By Elin Spring
“They all contain secrets.” That is how one visitor described photographs by the fourteen artists exhibiting at EXPOSURE 2019, just opened at the Photographic Resource Center. Those photographers are Astrid Reischwitz, Cate Wnek, Gregory Jundanian, Hank Hauptmann, Jaina Cipriano, Jessica Burko, Judy Haberl, Kristen Joy Emack, Mary Zompetti, Molly Lamb, Navidreza Haghighi Mood, Nick Meyer, Regina DeLuise, and Reid + Factor. The show will be on view through August 11th, 2019 in Lesley University College of Art + Design’s Van Dernoot Gallery, University Hall in Cambridge, MA.
EXPOSURE, the PRC’s annual juried exhibition aims to create a more edifying experience by including three to five images by each artist, selected this year from about 130 entrants by guest juror Mark Alice Durant. And despite a diversity of subjects, genres and processes, the show boasts a gratifying cohesion and mellifluous flow. Durant’s “secret?” His keen attraction to work that radiates “confidence” and possesses a “distinctive viewpoint.”
Diane Arbus once famously mused, “a photograph is a secret about a secret.” Of course, she meant good photographs, photographs that ponder profound, consuming matters like love and death. The images in EXPOSURE 2019 do seem to harbor “secrets about secrets,” sustaining a level of ambiguity that is at once alluring and mysterious. None of the works selected by Mark Alice Durant is a straight-forward document. All are interpretive, whether it is Molly Lamb contemplating grief and memory in her series Before the Trees (feature image), Cate Wnek considering the joys and terrors of motherhood in her series Raising Goosebumps, Hank Hauptmann’s street juxtapositions confounding reality and illusion in his Strassenbahn series, or Judy Haberl’s personality traits conveyed through the abstraction of markings left behind by The Chef’s Hand.
Regina DeLuise’s hushed B&W photographs from Rooms in the Dreamer’s House use the metaphor of home to create a “universal sense of what each of us crave.” In his series The Local, Nick Meyer’s images find a poignant paradox of pride and disillusionment in America’s left-behind towns. The contrasts of human fragility and resilience parallel the natural world in Mary Zompetti’s cameraless photographic series, Remnants. Jaina Cipriano’s vibrant, fantastical scenarios in The Garden boldly evoke a kaleidoscope of dreams and emotions.
The struggle for identity and the desire for connection are as timeless as civilization, explored with novel and insightful perspectives by photographers mining both history and the present. Navidreza Haghighi Mood invokes the unstable memory of his father in his series This Place Looks Like a Paradise; This is Paradise, while Astrid Reischwitz embroiders her ancestry into the present in her Spin Club Tapestry series, and Jessica Burko constructs imaginary histories, concealed in empty dresser drawers in her series Found Gone.
Gregory Jundanian finds the fragile balance between masculine bravado and vulnerability in his potent community Barbershop series, while Reid + Factor lace tension with humor in their subversive, feminist series Mad Habitat. In her series Cousins, Kristen Joy Emack captures intimate familial bonds between black girls with affirming and palpable grace. EXPOSURE 2019 is beguiling, offering several images by each photographer that entice with layered meanings and secrets worth discovering.
For more information, go to: https://prcboston.org/exposure-2019-artists/