“A Massive Force Like That of Miracles,” an Interview with Emily Chiavelli

Yang:
Tell us a little about yourself.

Emily:
My name is Emily Chiavelli. I grew up in Boston, lived in Kentucky for a couple of years, then lived in California for a while, then went back to Kentucky before I came to New York for this program. I have a BFA in photography from Northern Kentucky University. Right out of undergrad I enrolled in grad school in Baltimore. Maybe a month before the program started, I decided I wasn’t ready for grad school, so I spent a couple years working at coffee shops and an auction house before I decided to go back to school, which is how I ultimately ended up here. When entering this program I was doing documentary work, now I’m not. I think if I’d gone to grad school when I first enrolled, I’d still be doing documentary work. 

Yang:
What is your show about?

Emily:
The title of my show is A Massive Force Like That of Miracles. It’s from a book by Gilles Châtelet called To Live and Think like Pigs. Basically to really oversimplify it, he’s talking about something emerging from a chaotic system. I think that’s true of my work and the way I work, but when I thought of this title I was also thinking about the fact that I have no idea how airplanes work. It literally feels like a miracle to me. It makes no sense. Why don’t they fall out of the sky? Probably a stupid question to ask, but I really don’t understand it. I don’t know how it works. I don’t know how many things work, really. It’s really amazing to me. Obviously we all just take all these things for granted; we don’t really understand what’s underlying everything.

Yang:
Why Planes?

Emily:
I’ve watched a lot of these low-view-count videos. I could give a more complicated answer to this, but the reality is, I really like looking at these ones most. For me, first of all, it felt like a very childlike happiness, watching them fly, kind of like when you’re a kid and try to make shapes out of the clouds. When I was initially watching them, it was a simple idea that I could be on that plane, I could go on vacation, and I could get out of my shitty apartment. However, the longer I watched them, the more it gave me this anxiety that they could crash at any second. It freaked me out. So it’s kind of soothing, kind of terrifying. 

Yang:
Elaborate that?

Emily:
Because they all have no definable start or end point, none of them were like, “here’s the plane taking off,” or, “here’s the plane landing.” The videos were all shot when the planes are already suspended in the sky. And most of them were filmed on cell phones or point and shoot digital cameras, handheld. The motion is very jerky and unsettling.

Yang:
What’s on your mind during the process?

Emily:
I have been doing a lot of work using appropriation. I was specifically searching for videos that no one had ever watched. All of the videos in the show were found on YouTube and I did screen recordings of them. They all had only under five views when I found them. It’s kind of sad and poignant, I think. I’ve muted all the videos, but some of them had the audio with the person filming would say like, “This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.” And there’s something really sad and scary from a perspective of an artist, to make these images or videos that you think are really cool, and you put them out there, hoping other people think they’re really cool too, and then nobody cares at all. Furthermore, the process mirrors my reality. My parents are really into antique malls and thrift stores. All the decor we had growing up was someone else’s old stuff. In college I worked in a thrift store, after that I worked at an auction house for five years. And now I work at a thrift store again. So my whole life has been dealing with other people’s cast-offs. Last summer I really got into video appropriation because I was so broke and it was free, and a way to really pass the time. 

Yang:
Your works remind me of the word Remnant.

Emily:
Yeah. It’s like leftover stuff that nobody else was using that I scooped up. All this stuff online that everyone abandoned, you know? Earlier I was making work pulling photos from this old image hosting website called Photobucket, I think that both those and these videos are, like, visually very strong. I started thinking about this weird relationship I have with photography, and maybe in a cynical way. I started thinking that there’s no point taking any more pictures, because so many exist and there are so many good ones. Everything’s been photographed. And I think that like, it feels like sort of a weird privilege to call myself an “artist” or a “photographer” when everyone is doing it now, and everyone is making visually really strong works. What makes someone a “photographer” now? I really don’t know. 

“What We See,” an Interview with Beverly Logan

Opening Reception February 20th, 2020 6pm-9pm

At ICP-BARD MFA Studios 24-20 Jackson Avenue Long Island City 3rd Floor

Megan Mack: Tell us a little about yourself… 

Beverly Logan: I’m originally from Youngstown Ohio. I came to NY at the age of 18 to attend Columbia University. My first career was in publishing and after retiring I decided to apply to an MFA program. 

I was very comfortable with photography as I’ve always taken photo classes as a hobby.

MM: What work did you submit to the MFA programs with?

BL: I submitted a project on consumerism that I collaborated with Chris Giglio on. It pertained to documenting expensive items of clothing and objects sold, i.e.  $3,000 shoes. I made thousands of images about this subject.

MM: How did you come into the love of collaging?

BL: I’ve always photographed my travels and life, I have a lifetime of photographs and that makes for an extensive archive. Upon entering ICP I found myself more interested in making work involving my already made images, than making new work. Gerhard Richter said that boxes of stored images felt unfinished—to piece that idea together, for me, collage was the best way to do that. Overall I was finished with walking around the streets with a camera.

MM: So you use mainly personal photos in your collages?

BL: All images are personal except for two by William Eggleston and Martin Parr. Just for fun. Otherwise all the photos are taken by me.

MM: What is your process like? Do you have an idea and then source the images or do you see an image and think oh that’s perfect for this one piece?

BL: The project is called “What We See” – which takes a look back at my life and see where things connect. My husband has dementia and a symptom is hallucinations, so  it’s curious to me— are hallucinations different than memory or similar?

Memory vs Hallucinations. However when I make collages I try to make them as subconscious as possible— if I try to make a story it becomes preachy and trite. I don’t have a goal in mind, no politics or agenda. Nothing sequential. 

I love landscapes- I’ve traveled to 50 countries. Generally I start with a landscape and print it large, then I cut pieces out— Maybe a car, maybe a back, maybe a tree, any object. I sit on the bed and play with the cut-outs. I lined the studio with metallic boards so I can move it around. Like a puzzle. Work it until the pieces fit together or they don’t. For me everything is about feeling- art and feelings are so closely related. Collaging was healing and gave me something to relax with, it reminded me of cutting out paper dolls, meditative, comforting, like being a child again. It all came about accidentally. Initially I didn’t want to do a show about my husband but it is a form of connecting to him. I know his hallucinations, memories, and brain function in a way we don’t understand. 

Your work is playful but also has a serious side—How do you navigate balance in your work?

Playfulness comes from the idea that life can be very difficult, you gotta find some way to make light of it or humorous- that isn’t degrading. Pity leads to the worst kind of feeling and can be horribly detrimental. Caregiving is a difficult position and I’m lucky to have this outlet. 

These series of works seem to have a deep connection to NY. Can you talk about your connection to NY? 

I have a connection to NY, but the work is not NY centric. The show is a mix of places and landscapes from all over the world. Triptychs and quadruples working in terms of layering. I connect to the process— what we see is the backdrop or set/stage and then work on top of it. Everyone is bringing their own narrative to each piece. Eventually I would want to have people make their own. Using magnets to move the collage pieces around – so I can see how each participant’s mind works. 

What themes do you see in your work?

Mainly the idea of hallucinations and memory but even without my husband’s dementia I would still be doing this- looking back at my life and seeing what makes sense- I alway want to be combining pictures. A picture of my dog with a landscape of Japan is still fascinating to me. I just have to remind myself to stay messy and sloppy… don’t think, every time I over think it becomes trite. Cut out $3000 shoes put it on a landscape that’s not pedagogical. My story, my history, my memories and see how they go together. I guess I could say I use memory to create a hallucination. It’s fascinating, trippy, and so much fun. I have to have a sense of humor and laughing is very important— they make me laugh! 

On view by appointment: February 21st-23rd

Contact: beverlylogan@me.com

ICP-Bard Group MFA Show “The Ties That Bind” at Baxter St, July 1-30


The Ties That Bind

Curated by Charlotte Cotton

Please join us for our group exhibition The Ties That Bind at The Camera Club of New York Baxter St next July 8th.

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.

On view: July 1st – July 30th

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 6 pm

More info: The Camera Club of New York Baxter St

126 Baxter St, New York, NY, 10013

Baxter St 2016 poster v3 

Theresa Ortolani, PDN Multimedia Winner

Saudade: Name of the Father was selected as one of 11 PDN Photo Annual 2016 Multimedia Winners©TheresaOrtolani_00Earlier 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.

2015 ICP-Bard MFA, Theresa Ortolani is a PhD candidate in The European Graduate School’s Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought Division
©TheresaOrtolani_02©TheresaOrtolani_03©TheresaOrtolani_04©TheresaOrtolani_05©TheresaOrtolani_06©TheresaOrtolani_000Images, Video, Story ©TheresaOrtolani 2016

Read more EYE TO EYE posts by Theresa Ortolani 

 

 

 

I am not your mother

Ivana Larrosa – solo exhibition

RollingmemoryFebruary 18-21, 2016

Reception : Thursday, Feb. 18, 6-9pm

Vermouth With The Artist : Friday, Feb. 19, 12-4pm

On View : Friday-Saturday, Feb. 19-20, 12-7pm / Sunday, Feb. 21, 12-5pm

ICP-Bard MFA studios : 24-20 Jackson Ave. Long Island City, NY 11101

Remembered Space

Much of Ivana Larrosa’s work is an exploration and expression of the strangely subjective perception that she inherited as a result of a traumatic car accident years ago, which left her with permanent double vision. Stuck in an overturned car for more than an hour, Larrosa brushed up against death and came out with a new desire for self-discovery. After a long period of physical therapy she began a series of solitary travels around the globe and focused all her energies on art making. In New York she has been using her body as material in documented performance; developing an acutely stylized approach that blends a playful womb-world with a hauntingly inescapable strange loop.

gravity

In one of my favorite video pieces, Gravity (4:31), the shot from above holds steady on a brown leather couch.  The artist crawls around it, contorting her body and grabbing on as if for her life. It reminds me of a childhood playing on couches where the wood tiles were lava, not to be stepped-on or fallen-into. The stagnant camera disorients the viewer as the piece endures, becoming a ghostly view of the out-of-body experience.

MaskMonths ago I watched as Larrosa brought a variety of candy colored plastic toys into the studio. There were little 3D figures reminiscent of the flashing LED people in the crosswalk light, but some of them were running and some had their fists raised like superheroes flying through space. She brought in old broken mechanical devices: tape players, TVs, and typewriters, then proceeded to color them with spray paint. She installed them laying on the floor in elaborate compositions with confetti and curlicues every which way – it was sensory overdrive. Looking at this work and it’s installation revealed moments of hilarity mixed with a hallucinogenic heaviness. Her little walk/run/fly figures cascaded down a color gradient banner toward the hardwood floor.

10

“Like in Star Wars, ‘I am your father,’ but it’s ‘I am not your mother’… that’s really how it came. I think in the end you need to use humor, I think in the end life is not that serious…. Like you are not going to get rejected at the gates of heaven if you don’t have enough pictures!”

“I am not your mother” Ivana Larrosa 1st MFA Solo Show of 2016

Y=X©ivanalarrosa

Ivana Larrosa. Y=X, 2014. C-print 36×24″

MFA Solo Thesis Show season starts over, and I have the honor to break the ice for the Class’16 with I am not your mother. Needless to say I would love dear reader coming over and join me for this big moment. It’s a piece of my experience at ICP-Bard and also the most intimate and wild work I have done. (One of the reasons because the title is in first person).

If there is a word that sums up my experience at this program is “healing”.  It’s been a tough but very rewarding job thanks to the support of my beautiful and talented community of classmates, teachers, staff and ICP and NY artist community. So grateful to share this rebirth with you in this long road that my car accident has led me. Continue reading

Klompching Gallery FRESH finalist

J U L Y  8  –>  A U G U S T  1


FRESH 2015
Exhibition Dates: July 8–August 1, 2015
Artist Reception: July 8th, 6:00–8:00pm
FRESH 2015 expands across the wall, the page, and the internet— exhibiting photographers; Matthew Arnold, Bill Durgin, Ima Mfon, Johanna Warwick, Kimberly Withal. In addition, Klompching Gallery is showcasing photographs by FRESH 2015 finalists: Chris Bennett, Frank Diaz & Deb Young, Mark Dorf, Rhea Karam, Bear Kirkpatrick, William LeGoullon, Peter Leighton, Theresa Ortolani (Bard-ICP 2015), Liz Steketee, and David Wolf

www.klompching.com 89 Water Street; BrooklynNY 11201