What Will You Remember?
July 12, 2021
By Elin Spring
The prolonged, forced isolation we have just endured has demonstrated in no uncertain terms how precious and precarious our relationships can be. Even in the best of times, we look to artists of every ilk – writers, musicians, dancers, photographers, even scientists – to illuminate the mysteries of our attachments. The year of the pandemic has only intensified these desires. As if answering the call, EXPOSURE 2021 juror Kris Graves, artist and Editor at Kris Graves Projects, has selected images by fourteen photographers whose work exemplifies a heightened sensitivity to human connections and interactions. The visually and emotionally compelling 25th Annual PRC Juried Exhibition will be on view at the Mary Cosgrove Dolphin Gallery at Worcester State University through August 20th, 2021.
Our first relationships are formed at home. The complex and nuanced politics of these bonds lay the groundwork for all our subsequent relationships and are embraced by several exhibiting artists. Katie Golobic is an adept witness to the dynamics of her young kids, with contrasty B&W compositions mirroring their frenzied activity. Elizabeth Libert’s lush color portraits pinpoint the emotional center of boyhood. Kristen Joy Emack’s pensive B&W images of her growing daughter center on identity, whereas the portraits by Norman Aragones focus on the expectations and disappointments that attend childhood.
A diversity of themes based on family are expressed imaginatively by several of the exhibiting photographers. Diana Cheren Nygren weaves together familial generations with lyrical layers in nostalgic hues. Jo Ann Chaus’s dramatically lit, symbolic scenarios convey a sense of longing and disconnection. Becky Behar’s collaborative studies with her children explore metaphoric narratives of comfort and control interlaced with the tradition of knitting.
Many photographers recognize an expanded definition of family. Boston photographer Tira Khan discovers an ancestral past she never knew in her romantic images of the land and people of Rampur, India. Cindy Weisbart’s emotionally charged B&W photographs of a community college basketball team and their coach chronicle a robust sense of kinship. Diane Bennett’s striking B&W images of people gathered in public places consider the special significance of collective experiences. Michael Joseph’s color Polaroid street portraits offer a riveting perspective on individuality and diversity in the unique community of Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Some EXPOSURE 2021 photographers muse on larger-scale relationships. Hannah Altman’s allusive color images contemplate the cycles of life and death. David Gardner’s meticulous, sweeping landscapes examine the exploitation or preservation of natural ecosystems while Lee Day’s digitally disrupted urban landscapes ponder our relationship to a computerized ecosystem.
Juror Kris Graves’ selections for EXPOSURE 2021 reflect the profound importance of our relationships, whose primacy has been brought into sharper focus by the exhausting ordeal of Covid-19. Following last year’s forced online exhibition, it is a real treat to have this annual PRC show in an actual gallery again. The space and installation at Worcester State University truly amplifies the meaning and interrelationships of enchanting, fresh perspectives by a selection of gifted photographers.