Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stephen Grebinski (MFA '11) self published photo book news

Stephen Grebinski (MFA '11) has recently had three of his books added to the Booklet Library in Tokyo, Japan. The medium-scale library is a collection of small press booklets/zines, book works, and architecture related publications. Their interest is in the support, provision, and promotion of a cross-section of the goings on in small press. Their collection list online represents contributions and additions from 2011 (along with our publications) and is slowly being updated to include most titles from 2008-present. Booklet Library's website is here, where you can browse Stephen's books digitally.

Grebinski's book Chlopak (digital preview at his site) will also be available for sale at Printed Matter in New York City. Congrats Stephen!

"When does an artwork begin and end?" @ ICA Philadelphia this Wednesday at 6:30PM


Wednesday, November 2 @ 6:30pm

Introducing the ICA Salon. Inspired by the exhibitions on view, this season the ICA will host a series of informal conversations about issues relating to medium, process, and the studio. We’ve invited four groups of artists, critics, and curators to gather every other week to talk about their current projects and what is at stake in contemporary art practice. Each salon is loosely organized around a theme aimed at raising further questions and conversation with the audience. The discussion continues over refreshments and picks up again at the next salon.

Where does an artwork begin and end? In this discussion we will take a moment to think about practices that reflect on process and the material conditions of an artwork’s production, while also considering the parameters within which art moves—both inside, outside, and between institutions and systems of capital. Our guests will share their experiences working with art objects in transit, making works that change over time, and finding inspiration in alternative economies.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Leigh Van Duzer (MFA '10) in group show "The Build Up" at Fowler Arts Collective

Fowler Arts Collective is pleased to present The Build Up, an exhibition of new work by Heather Ramsdale, Gabriela Salazar, Sara Schneckloth, and Leigh Van Duzer.

Working across mediums including sculpture, photography, site-sensitive installation, and drawing, the common thread through The Build Up is the transformation of visible structures and the investigation of infrastructure. With source materials including found objects, walls, the studio space, and new home construction, each artist is drawn to the built environment with a curiosity about how things are made and how to surpass functionality. There is a sense of attachment to breaking down and reshaping personal objects in order to create a new relationships to them, as well as a studied approach to the labor of literally building walls, first with stones, then with pencil. Some of the work translates photographic imagery to sculptural object, or referent to drawing, as a way to discuss the possibilities of dimensionality in a print. Site-sensitive installation responds to the gallery's unique history, by transferring images directly onto the walls and floorboards of the exhibition space. The artists bring the process of building into the studio and the exhibition space to address this primary human motive.

In her recent work, Leigh Van Duzer transforms photographic prints into three-dimensional sculptures that engage the viewer in a corporeal manner. Her interest in the conceptual and material flexibility of images has expanded into re-forming architectural structures in site-sensitive installations. Van Duzer received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, and her BA from Hampshire College in 2001. She has been awarded the Daisy Soros Prize to attend the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Austria. She has also received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Hambidge Center.

Kelsey Halliday Johnson (MFA '12) to discuss the Lugo Land residency

Lugo Land
White Room, Morgan Building

205 South 34th Street
Thursday, October 27, 2011
4:00 - 5:00 PM

Kelsey Halliday Johnson
Terry Adkins
Nancy Davenport

The Lugo Land Residency is an ongoing lens-based artist project in Lugo, Italy. Lugo is near Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region, and has a unique history that is actively being explored by residents of this project.
The Lugo Land Project provides an enriching residency experience where artists have the opportunity to make work and become involved in the artist community by giving lectures, exhibiting artwork, and contributing to a publication with their work made in and around the small town of Lugo. Past residents have included photographers such as Tim Davis, Graciela Iturbide, and Guido Guidi.

PennDesign will be awarding one Residency to a current PennDesign MFA student during the Winter Break. Please join us for this informative presentation on the Project and the proposal process for this year.

Kelsey Halliday Johnson was the Penn fellow last year, December 2010-January 2011.
She will present past work from the residency as well as her work and ideas on the project.

Monday, October 24, 2011

PPAC's Philly Photo Day is this friday 10/28

Philly Photo Day is coming up on Friday, October 28th! Everyone in Philadelphia is invited to take a picture of anything you like as long as it’s taken on the 28th within the city limits. You’ll have until October 31st to select your favorite picture and upload it onto our website.

To upload your photo use the form found here

Then on November 10th, from 6-9pm, join PPAC at the Philly Photo Day Opening Reception. Every single picture they receive will be printed and hung for exhibition in Sarah Stolfa (UPenn Lecturer's) PPAC space in the Crane Arts Building at 1400 N American St. Reprints of all the images will be available for $25.

For more information about the event, please contact Julie Howard Taylor at (215) 232-5678 or

Tony Ward (Fine Arts Lecturer) featured in "The Unseen Eye" exhibit at George Eastman House Museum of Photography

All eyes will be on George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film this fall as it presents one the largest exhibitions in its history — The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the W.M. Hunt Collection. More than 500 photographs by the masters of the medium will be on view Oct. 1, 2011 through Feb. 19, 2012. The Eastman House is dedicating all of its primary gallery space to this exhibition.

Earlier this year The New Yorker referred to the collector as “the legendary” W.M. Hunt. He is a renowned curator and dealer who has been collecting photographs for 40 years. A self-described “champion of photography,” he is well-known for his “eye” and sense of humor. Hunt describes the collection as “magical, heart-stopping images of people in which the eyes cannot be seen.”

The photographs of The Unseen Eye have a common theme — the gaze of the subject is averted, the face obscured, or the eyes firmly closed. The images evoke a wide range of emotions and are characterized, by what, at first glance, the subject conceals rather than what the camera reveals.

Two exciting new photo/media courses in Annenberg School of Communication for Spring 2012

Scholars Program in Culture & Communication
SPRING 2012 - Visiting Scholars

Media Industries and Cultures of Production
Thursdays 5:00-7:00pm

This seminar examines various theories and methods for the study of the film/TV industry and the communities of workers and professionals that comprise it. Our focus is not on “the production of culture” (i.e., how film/TV produce mass or popular culture through their movies and series) but rather on “cultures of production” (i.e., how production worlds themselves function as cultural expressions, social networks, and communities). Traditional critical and cultural studies tend to focus on how entertainment, aesthetic experience, ideology, meaning, pleasure, hegemony, identity, etc. are produced or formed by film/TV’s onscreen products (films, series, video games). But this course turns the table and will investigate the ways that those same societal downstream “effects” can also be seen as generative forces that cultivate certain approaches to production over others; and certain kinds of organization and behavior at studios and production companies rather than others.

John T. Caldwell, is Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA. His books include: Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television (Duke, 2008), Televisuality: Style, Crisis and Authority in American Television (Rutgers, 1995), Electronic Media and Technoculture (ed., Rutgers, 2000), New Media: Digitextual Theories and Practices (co-edited, Routledge, 2003), and Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries (co-edited with Vicki Mayer and Miranda Banks, 2009). He is also the producer/director of the award winning feature documentaries Freak Street to Goa: Immigrants on the Rajpath (1989) and Rancho California (por favor), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002.


Mondays 4:00-6:00pm

In the 1970s, adding text to a photograph took on the mantle of a radical act, politicizing the image by undoing its autonomy and affirming its character as sign. Such claims consciously echoed those made in the 1930s by Walter Benjamin for the political force of the caption. Yet, historically, it was exceptional for a photographic image to be encountered free from the overdeterminations of writing. From Talbot’s Pencil of Nature to the illustrated press of the 1890s, from the archiving systems of the late nineteenth century to the picture magazines of the 1930s, the photograph never occupied a pristine space. What does this tell us about radical theory in the 1930s and 1970s? More broadly, what does it entail for our view of photographic meaning, the notion of the purely visual image and attempts to define the history of photography as the history of a distinct medium? This seminar will come at these questions backwards, moving from postconceptual practices back to those hybrid technological products that prompted exaggerated expectations but also exacerbated deep uncertainties about the status of the photograph that haunt us still, all the more in the age of the photograph’s digital dissemination.

John Tagg is Professor of Art History and Comparative Literature at Binghamton University. His books, which often focus on the relationship between photography and power, include The Burden of Representation: Essays of Photographies and Histories, Grounds of Dispute: Art History, Cultural Politics and the Discursive Field, and The Disciplinary Frame: Photographic Regimens and the Capture of Meaning.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Photographer Tina Barney to lecture at Philadelphia Photo Art Center

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 6:00 – 7:30pm
Hosted by the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center,
$5 suggested donation
Lecture located in Gray Area, 1400 N American St, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Photo: Tina Barney, Family Commission with Snake, 2007
48×60’’ chromogenic color print Image courtesy of Janet Borden, Inc.

Tamara Suber (MFA '11) Featured in DesignPhiladelphia "Not a Vacant Lot" exhibit

"Not a Vacant Lot" features the Play House by Marianne Bernstein and an architectural installation by a class of PennDesign Landscape Architecture students. The installation is in a vacant lot at on 313 S Broad Street in Philadelphia and the work in the lot deals with the continuing vacancy problem facing the city of Philadelphia (with over 40,000 vacant lots).

Performances will be held daily from within the Play House from 4-7pm. Video screenings by 10 artists as well as award-winning photographs of Philadelphia vacant lots by Daniel Traub will be projected on the cube from 7-10pm daily. Kelsey Halliday Johnson (MFA '12) has been working to facilitate this project with artist-curator Marianne Bernstein. Tamara Suber (MFA '11) is one of the ten performance and video artist featured.

The closing reception for Design Philadelphia will be held at "Not a Vacant Lot" on Saturday the 22nd 7-10pm. Beer will be provided by Triumph Brewing Company and music by Broadzilla DJs with special guests.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Spring photo course preview

Current Penn students- check out this teaser for the spring photo course offerings. Spring registration is right around the corner.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Photos by Christopher Payne, MArch'96, on display at Drexel's Pearlstein Gallery

Christopher Payne (Penn MArch'96), who spoke at PennDesign last spring about his photographic series "Asylum" is currently exhibiting some of the work at the Drexel University Leonard Pealstein Gallery through October 29th. Continuing Payne's interest in architecture, the series of photographs documents years of research into the history of the little seen public mental health system from the early 20th century. His new images are in stark contrast to popular media images of institutional squalor, terrifying environments that make fodder for horror movies, and systematized abuse against patients typically shown of state mental institutions. Instead Payne looks a lost trend of opening large public institutions in small rural towns with expansive properties, fresh air and gardens (for effective treatment) and world class architecture that was meant to cheer patients and create an environment for rehabilitation. These buildings were made by preeminent architects, but proved expensive to manage with state funds and exorbitant with a waning interest in the importance of mental health. Each institution was designed to be an entirely self sufficient community with the labor of the patients, providing their own clothing, food, and needs from within the institution making them architectural novelties.

The abandoned ruins in Payne's photos show a historical moment, both cultural and architectural, that changes the way we look at the history of mental health in our country. The work took nearly a decade to complete, with Payne getting unrestricted access from numerous states to document their history. 22 of his large format images are on display at the Pearlstein Gallery and it is worth the quick walk over to Drexel to see his technically fabulous and provoking images in person.

The gallery is located on 3215 Market Street and is open from Monday to Friday from 11am to 5pm. Free and open to the public. More info here

Saturday, October 1, 2011 Summer Photo Contest Winners Announced!

(Above: Runner up image from Ayasha Guerin '12)

UPenn's 34th Street Magazine just announced the winners to their Summer Photo Arts Contest. Congrats to all of the winners and check out more of the image on here.

Hamza Walker lectures @ ICA Philadelphia 10/6

Thursday October 6th at 6:30 pm
Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia
118 S 36th St Philadelphia 19104

Since 1994, Hamza Walker has served as Director of Education for The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago - a non-collecting museum devoted to contemporary art. He also writes and has had articles and reviews published in such publications as Trans, New Art Examiner, Parkett and Artforum.

The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago is one of the country’s premiere exhibition spaces devoted exclusively to contemporary art. Founded in 1915 as a non-collecting museum, it has mantained the same mission - to promote developments in contemporary visual art through exhibitions and related events (lectures, concerts, readings, performances, film and video screenings) designed to broaden the context for a given artist’s work. Over the past few decades, The Society has developed a reputation for providing local, national and internationally recognized artists their first museum exhibitions, simultaneously bringing the world to Chicago and presenting Chicago to the world. The Renaissance Society has been a platform for many interesting video installations and work of photographers such as Laura Letinsky and Ben Gest (not to mention countless other international artists in other mediums).

For an interesting perspective on the curatorial and about art-education, please RSVP here before attending:

Hal Foster lectures at Tyler Wednesday 10/5

Lecture Information: 6pm, B04 auditorium, Tyler School of Art_Architecture, Temple University, 2001 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia [While this is not a Penn event, it is definitely worth sharing for any creative students or professionals in the Philadelphia area.]

Hal Foster is an internationally renowned author of books on modern and contemporary art and theory and a Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. In 1991 he joined the editorial board of the international journal "October", a position he continues to hold. In addition to several edited collections, Foster’s books include Compulsive Beauty (1993), The Return of the Real (1996), Design and Crime (and Other Diatribes) (2002), and Prosthetic Gods (2004). He is also the author, with Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois, and Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, of the textbook Art since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism (2004). His new book, Figment: Painting and Subjectivity in the First Pop Age, is due out in 2011. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Foster continues to write regularly for October, ArtForum, and The London Review of Books. Within photography he has written about conceptual photography, photo montage, appropriation, and postmodern photographic practices.