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EXHIBITIONS JAN 13-MAR 26

Three New Exhibitions that Challenge the History of Street Photography in Conjunction with the Multi-City FotoFocus Biennial

DAYTON (August 23, 2022) – The Contemporary Dayton (The Co) presents three new solo exhibitions featuring the work of Teju Cole, photographer, curator, Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Harvard University, and former photography critic of The New York Times Magazine; Amy Powell, nationally published Dayton-based photographer; and James “Jamie” Nares, British and New York City-based filmmaker. The exhibitions will open the evening of Friday, September 16, 2022, with an Artist Talk by Teju Cole. Additionally, Cole will teach a Masterclass to area students on photography.

One of photography’s primary contributions is to deepen our understanding of the world and act as a literal record of the world around us,” said The Co’s Curator and Director of Programs, Michael Goodson. “We are excited to bring globally known artists, Teju Cole and James “Jamie” Nares to Dayton along with Dayton artist, Amy Powell, who each reexamine the concept of street photography.

The three exhibitions are presented as part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial. FotoFocus is a Cincinnati-based nonprofit organization created to celebrate and champion photography as the medium of our time. Through programming that ignites a dialogue between contemporary lens-based art and the history of photography, the Biennial is an ambitious month-long celebration of photography that unites the region’s museums, galleries, universities, and non-traditional spaces. This year’s Biennial showcases major new artist commissions and a wide range of original exhibitions, events, and projects, all centered around the theme of World Record. The theme considers photography’s extensive record of life on earth, humankind’s impact on the natural world, and the choices we now face as a global community.

PRESENTING TEJU COLE: BLIND SPOT
THE DR. ROBERT L. BRANDT, JR. GALLERY

The Co is proud to present the work of Teju Cole, photographer, curator, Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Harvard, and former photography critic of The New York Times Magazine. Culled from his ceaseless travels around the world, Blind Spot consists of a cycle of 34 photographs paired with Cole’s insightful prose. With photos from locations including Zürich, Tripoli, Lagos, Seoul, Ypsilanti, Ubud, Brooklyn, and São Paulo, Cole’s main focus is not on the extravagant landscapes themselves, but instead on finding the enigma of the mundane in each place. While each photograph is named by place, the short text interlinked with each may describe the specific moment or place of the image or may connect to a pathway into Cole’s memory. However, each is considered as much as the image to which it is paired, a 1:1 ratio, which makes Blind Spot a literary as much as a photographic project.

The exhibition is on loan from Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, NM and is organized by The Co as part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial. The exhibition is accompanied by signed copies the publication, Blind Spot, available at The CoSHOP and an Artist Talk on Friday, September 16, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. in the gallery and online.

In conjunction with the exhibition, The Co and University of Dayton partnered on a special program featuring Teju Cole who will teach a Masterclass on photography to a select group of students from Central State University, Sinclair Community College, Stivers School for the Arts, University of Dayton, and Wright State University on Saturday, September 17 at the Arcade Innovation Hub. Cole will study and critique photography and engage students in dialogue to seek out the potential of a deeper narrative.

 

PRESENTING AMY POWELL: WHAT ONCE GREW STRAIGHT, AND TALL T’WARD THE SUN, IS ABSORBING BACK DOWN, TO DIRT LIKE A SPONGE
THE IRA H. & SUSAN P. THOMSEN FAMILY GALLERY

The Co presents an exciting new body of work by Dayton-based artist, Amy Powell. What once grew straight… is made up of hundreds of images the artist selected from social media that were tagged “Dayton, OH,” which she then printed and arranged specifically for the exhibition.

Working in the pictorial tradition of American photographers like Eugene Atget, Harry Callahan, and Emmet Gowin, Powell’s intimate portraits center around her family. Noted for her use of vivid colors, precise composition, and evocative allure, Powell strives to capture the banal beauty of the suburbs. For this project, however, she turns the notion of artist/photographer/curator on its head, and selects other’s images based on their striking composition, absurdity, poignancy, and visually compelling qualities; collectively creating a portrait of a place and its citizens living their lives during perilous times. Powell’s work has been published nationally in TIME magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Elle, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and more.

Amy Powell: What once grew straight… is courtesy of the artist and is organized by The Co as part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial. Artist Talk: Amy Powell in conversation with Stacy Kranitz will take place on Friday, November 4, 2022 at 6 p.m. in the gallery and online. Stacy Kranitz is an American photographer who works in the documentary tradition, currently living in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Tennessee.

PRESENTING JAMES NARES: STREET
THE JACK W. AND SALLY D. EICHELBERGER FOUNDATION VIDEO GALLERY

The Co presents STREET by James “Jamie” Nares, a British artist living and working in New York City. Nares makes paintings and films and played guitar in the no wave group, James Chance and the Contortions, with Jim Jarmusch in the Del-Byzanteens, and she was a founding member of Colab.

STREET is a 61-minute video of New York City’s streets and its people that has been edited from sixteen hours of continuous footage and then greatly slowed down. A love letter to Nares’ adoptive home, the film slows the clamor of the city to a hypnotic effect. Originally produced in 2011 to be projected nightly on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s south-facing wall in Central Park, viewers encountering the spellbinding, slow-tracking video are reminded of the fabric of life that make cities everywhere so unique.

James Nares: STREET is on loan from the Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY, and is presented by The Co as part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial. Virtual Artist Talk: James Nares in conversation with Michael Goodson will take place online Friday, December 4, 2022, at 6 p.m.

 

PROGRAMS & EVENTS

OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION / ARTIST TALK: TEJU COLE
Friday, September 16, 2022 At The Co
25 W 4th Street, Dayton, OH 45402 Members Preview:   5–6 p.m. Artist Talk: Teju Cole:  6:30 p.m.
Public Reception immediately following until 8 p.m. codayton.org/events

MASTERCLASS: TEJU COLE ON PHOTOGRAPHY
Saturday, September 17, 2022 from 1–3 p.m. Arcade Innovation Hub
31 S Main St, Dayton, OH 45402
Open to students from Central State University, Sinclair Community College, Stivers School for the Arts, the University of Dayton, and Wright State Universiry. Free, students must apply at codayton.org/masterclass by Friday, September 9, 2022.

ARTIST TALK: AMY POWELL IN CONVERSATION WITH STACY KRANITZ
Friday, November 4, 2022, at 6 p.m.
At The Co and online at codayton.org/amy-powell

VIRTUAL ARTIST TALK: JAMES NARES IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL GOODSON
Friday, December 4, 2022, at 6 p.m. Online at codayton.org/james-nares

ABOUT THE CONTEMPORARY DAYTON

Mission: To provide art for the community and a community for artists.

Overview: The Contemporary Dayton (The Co) is the region’s contemporary art center. Established in 1991 as Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC), a 501c3, The Co produces and presents original exhibitions and programs, art events, community partnerships, and artist opportunities. Exhibitions and education programs feature artists living and working today, both nationally and in Ohio, with an emphasis on those whose work focuses on issues of social justice. In addition to its three galleries—open to all and always free—its retail store, the CoSHOP, provides income for Ohio artists and extends The Co’s accessibility to art, from visitor engagement to educational outreach through store products, programs, and experiences.

The Co is proud to support the creation of connections among the arts, community building, civic engagement, community planning, and use of public space, and makes an annual economic impact of 3.4 million to the region. Recently raising 1 million during the Pandemic to expand and move into its new home in downtown’s historic Dayton Arcade, The Co is led by Executive Director Eva Buttacavoli, a 30-year art museum administrator, curator, and educator, whose previous roles were at The Contemporary Austin, TX and The Perez Art Museum Miami, FL; and Curator Michael Goodson, who previously served as Curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Beeler Gallery, Columbus College of Art and Design, OH; and as Director at James Cohan Gallery, NY.

The Contemporary Dayton receives operating support from Culture Works, Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District, Ohio Arts Council, the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, and Members.

ABOUT THE FOTOFOCUS BIENNIAL
The 2022 FotoFocus Biennial, now in its sixth iteration, activates over 100 projects at museums, galleries, universities, and public spaces throughout Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio in October 2022. Each Biennial is structured around a unifying theme; for 2022 that theme, World Record, considers photography’s extensive record of life on earth while exploring humankind’s impact on the natural world.

FotoFocus welcomes global artists, curators, critics, educators, and regional visitors to Cincinnati with exhibitions, talks, performances, screenings, and panel discussions during an expanded week of programming, September 29–October 8, 2022.

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