Exhibitions 2012

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Rania Matar
Girls in Between: Portraits of Identity
September 6 – November 3, 2012
Opening Reception & Book Signing with the Artist: Thursday, September 6, 2012, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

PRC Gallery, 832 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Rania Matar, Izzy, Brookline, from A Girl and Her Room, 2011.

With her camera Rania Matar poignantly captures the elusive and mysterious moment in a female’s life when she is both a child and an emerging woman. Spurred on by her observations from her own daughters, Matar invites her subjects to decide for themselves how they will appear in a photograph and what parts of themselves they are willing to share with others. By establishing what she describes as “beautiful and intimate collaborations” with each girl she photographs, Matar uncovers a world so personal to each girl that the viewer walks away feeling as if he or she has met and had a conversation with each subject. The girls in Matar’s photographs, from both the United States and Lebanon, simultaneously hide and expose themselves, exhibiting a dual vulnerability and ferocity completely unique to the female transition from girl to woman. This show features work from Matar’s highly acclaimed project A Girl and Her Room as well as never-before-seen work from Matar’s new project L'Enfant-Femme.

Copies of A Girl and Her Room, published by Umbrage Editions this year, will be available at the PRC Bookshop.

Read the review in The Boston Globe >>
Read the review in The Phoenix >>
Read the review in The Buzz, BU's LIfestyle Magazine >>

Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. Originally trained as an architect at the American University of Beirut and Cornell University, she studied photography at the New England School of Photography and the Maine Photographic Workshops in Mexico. She teaches photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and in refugee camps in Lebanon.

Matar has won numerous awards, including the 2011 Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography, 2007 and 2011 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowship, first place at the New England Photographer Biennial, Women in Photography International, and the Prix de la Photographie Paris. She has accumulated honorable mentions at the 2010 UNICEF Picture of the Year Award, the 2010 Lens Culture Exposure International, the Silver Eye Center for Photography Fellowship, CENTER and the Photo Review. She was selected at one of the Top 100 Distinguished Women Photographers by Women in Photography, and was finalist for the distinguished Foster Award at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Among other exhibitions, Matar was also featured in the EXPOSURE 2011, the 16th annual juried exhibition at the PRC. Her images are in the permanent collections of several museums worldwide.

A Girl and Her Room, chosen as a top fifty winner in Critical Mass, is Matar's second book published by Umbrage Editions with essays by Anne Tucker and Susan Minot. Her first book, Ordinary Lives, was published in 2009 by the Quantuck Lane Press with an essay by Anthony Shadid.

The PRC’s 2012 exhibition program is supported by a generous grant from the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation.