This past October, I was fortunate enough to travel back to Atlanta, GA to celebrate homecoming and the 150th anniversary of my alma mater, Morehouse College. Morehouse holds a special place in heart because that is where I discovered photography. Being back in the Atlanta University Center was quite surreal. I was able to reconnect with friends and professors, but most importantly I was reminded of why I opted to pursue photography after graduation. The representations of blackness that thrive there weren’t the depictions that I saw in western art or even in the media. These types of affirmations are best embodied by living through them.
Located directly adjacent to Morehouse is the Clark Atlanta University Museum of Art. The current exhibition Leisure without Luxury is a wonderful embodiment of that diversity of blackness. Within the selection of works, there was joy, critical thought, satisfaction, and even a hint of pleasure. Most notably was an oil painting by William M. Hayden entitled Saturday Night Function, 1950. This painting encapsulates all of it. There is an air of respectability as well as the shedding of inhibitions.
Saturday Night Function, 1950 – William H Hayden
The colors are so wonderfully complimentary. The warmth simply radiates throughout the canvas. In a time when joy (and still is) was a political protest, Hayden’s ability to capture this simple indulgence is quite remarkable. Both corners of the foreground illustrate two couples embracing unapologetically. The jazz band playing to the left oozes confidence while immediately adjacent the delicate flow of the woman’s dress as she dances, depicts a feverish lust for life.
Seeing these works grounded me in a way that is almost inexplicable. It furthered my understanding of what I am pursuing in my own work, and also that it can be done.
Please join ICP Alumna Esther Boesche for her solo show “Breaking Glass”
Esther Boesche is a multidisciplinary artist who was born in Northern Germany and lives and works in Brooklyn. In her work she is observing influences and characteristics of social, political and anthropological systems. Esther Boesche has studied Design and Photography at the Muthesius School of Arts in Germany and received her MFA from the International Center of Photography in New York 2015. She has exhibited in various places in Germany and the United States. She was awarded with the DAAD Artist Grand for the year 2013 and the ICP Director`s Scholarship from 2013 to 2015.
The title breaking glass is based on a German expression, that dates back to 16 year hundred where the fragility of human luck was compared to the fragility / breakabilty of glass. Somebody breaking too much glass means being a trouble-maker: interrupting everybody else’s peace or illusion
As a child, people would say to me “you are breaking too much glass”, or “don’t break too much glass
These images are about the relationship between myself and my upbringing in Germany. They examine the influences of cultural conditioning as well as the specific, family conditioning I received through my parents, who were (of course) also conditioned themselves. Household objects play an important role, as most of our family life was spent much more in the kitchen or doing other house work. These objects, (the tulips, the coffee cup, the iron) are related to strong German rituals of daly life, as I experienced it in my childhood…
BREAKING GLASS is a way to make peace with my past, and to come to a deeper understanding of the emotions and conditioning I experienced in order to let go.
Breaking Glass-Opening ESTHER BOESCHE
Scheduled: Jun 30, 2016, 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Location: SoAM Studio
35 Meadow St, Unit 205, Brooklyn, NY 11206, United States
The Ties That Bind is a collaboration and conversation between the ICP-Bard’s MFA class of 2016. Hailing from eight different countries, we employ photographic methodologies to challenge and investigate our intimate bonds and personal boundaries.
We have shared common interests that surface in the work and explore our subjective truths, family histories, memories and the impact of trauma.
We ask you to examine what is often overlooked or silenced and held in the peripheries of our experience. We invite you to engage with and find connections between us and the world at large.
Opening Reception: July 8, 2016 | 6 – 8 pm
The opening reception will also include two performances to begin at 7 pm: Moving Images by Minny Lee and lost, lost, lost: you, you, you by Martha Naranjo Sandoval.
Saudade: Name of the Father was selected as one of 11 PDN Photo Annual 2016 Multimedia WinnersEarlier this year, the project was awarded Honorable Mention by the International Photography Awards in five categories: Portrait, Culture, Photo Essay, Deeper Perspective, and Moving Image
Saudade: Name of the Father was also selected as a VISURA Multimedia Grant 1st Place Finalist, and a selection of photographs were included in the Seoul International Photo Festival and the New York Photo Festival
The feature length version, Produced and Directed by Theresa Ortolani, is anticipating a 2020 release.