Of People and Places

Of People and Places
Clare Richardson, "The Reaper [Beyond the Forest VI]", 2007. C-print. 83 x 71 cm. Cortesy of the artist and Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales

Wednesday, September 24 - Sunday, December 14, 2008

University Museum of Contemporary Art   
Free and open to the public.


This exhibition brings together for the first time the work of seven internationally renowned artists working in the field of photography, including:
YTO BARRADA (France and Morocco)
RINEKE DIJKSTRA (The Netherlands)
CUNY JANSSEN (The Netherlands)
AN-MY LE (born in Vietnam, currently living in the US)
CLARE RICHARDSON (UK)
JOHN RIDDY (UK)
and JOEL STERNFELD (US)

It combines work by young, emerging artists with work by those who are more internationally renowned. Works by these artists have been exhibited previously at such major museums as the Victoria and Albert, London; the Stedelijk, Amsterdam; Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Sprengel Museum, Hannover; and Museum Folkwang Essen. For several, this will be their premiere museum exhibition in the US.

Their images are very personal diaries of a place, exploring the evolving relationship between people and nature, rural and urban, old and new, timelessness and change, natural and artificial. It is the balance between these contrasts that lends these bodies of work a highly contemplative feel. The format of the exhibition will constitute a series of narratives or extended essays by each artist, which resonate and connect with one another. Singular characteristics in certain of these individual pictures, as well as obscure connections between contrastive identities and disjunctive moments, engender a sense of surprise and discovery. For example, Cuny Jansen travels to Amami-Oshima Island, Japan, to produce beautifully printed portraits of young people seen against a virgin landscape, encouraging an optimistic reading of the enduring truths of survival and beauty. John Riddy juxtaposes the natural beauty of Mount Fuji against the indications of an urbanized modern Japanese town. Clare Richardson is drawn to an area of Transylvania through her interest in farming and the mythic potential of unspoiled nature, in particular the narratives and folklore associated with the forest. Rineke Dijkstra presents portraits of schoolchildren and adolescents in city parks in Europe, China, and the US, positioning her subjects in almost Eden-like surroundings, looking back to the tradition of landscape painting. Joel Sternfeld's photographs are grand and epic in scope, recording a New England landscape at different times of the year and depicting the painterly and expressive changes of the seasons from the lush verdant green of springtime to the snowy expanses of winter. An-My Le explores a quarry along the Hudson River in New York where trap rock has been mined for over a century, returning repeatedly and choosing a range of times of day and weather conditions to record the site and its activities. Yto Barrada brings together a series of photographs to examine the static and transitory life of Tangier, Morocco ñ the border city 13 km from Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar -- at once symbolic, physical, historical and intimately personal.

 

Mondriaan Foundation, The Consulate General of The Netherlands in New York, British Council, and French Cultural Services of the French Embassy

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