Betwixt and between
Brexit. Global Warming. Immigration. Identity. Fake News …These are among the controversial issues today that exemplify the idea of being betwixt and between - for many, liberating concepts; for others, deeply troubling, perhaps life threatening concepts.
Our next exhibition, BETWIXT AND BETWEEN, featuring over 40 photographs by forty artists, reflects on how comfortable photography has been with the notion of capturing a moment when results are not certain, intentions not clearly established, and reality subverted.
David Graham’s roadside sign BUY NOW PAY LATER could easily infer opportunity – no down payment; or tragedy – a worthless investment. Luca Campigotto’s Perito Moreno Glacier can’t help but stir up feelings over global warming, but in fact it glorifies one of the very few glaciers that is advancing. Diane Arbus’s man and boy sharing a bench in Central Park, perhaps a harmless portrait 50 years ago, may now elicit questions of pedophilia. Hilary Swift’s family of raccoons emerging from their home in Central Park seems equally charming and menacing. Kazuo Sumida’s extended arm in a subway window might show an intimate embrace, or reveal an act of hostility.
Even photography’s ability to depict reality is in question, with new tools that encourage a synthesis of multiple moments into one cogent image with multiple interpretations. John Dowell’s African Union Church, 2018, depicts a modest church for an African American congregation, situated behind a field of cotton in what was once called Seneca Village. Founded in 1825 by a black man, it grew into an integrated community, two thirds black and one third Irish and German, before it was leveled in 1857 by the right of eminent domain to make way for Central Park.
Fatemeh Baigmoradi’s series It’s Hard to Kill presents appropriated and charred images of families and groups who burned their personal photographs so as not to be identified as liberal opponents of the Ayotollah when he came to power in Iran.