Tag Archives: Danforth Museum Of Art

Filter Photo Festival Week: Beth Gilbert

This week, I am sharing a few of photographers that I met at the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago….

Beth A. Gilbert presented a body of work in Chicago, Scarred Land, that looks at civilization’s impact on the environment, especially after the affects of war. The project focuses on Israel and the scarred landscape that reflects the trauma of conflict.  Beth lives and works in Boston and earned a BA in art with a concentration in photography from Simmons College, Boston. She worked for a professional, full-service photo lab, Color Services in Needham, MA as Assistant Digital Technician for 5 years. Beth now works for herself providing digital photographic post-production services. In the fall of 2013, Beth will be attending the Rochester Institute of Technology to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree photography. Her work has been exhibited at the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University, the Danforth Museum of Art, and the Hadassah Gallery in Jerusalem. In addition, she has played a key role in the production of numerous photographic exhibitions for both nationally and internationally recognized artists.

 Restaurant Interior, Dead Sea, Israel 2010

My photographs are primarily landscape based, dealing with the environment, the ways in which human beings affect it and leave their mark upon it. One major influence reflected in the subject matter of my photographs is my interest and background in political science/middle eastern studies. My images have also been inspired by the work of Jem Southam, whose photographs capture a balance of the natural landscape and the intervention of man within it, following the cycles of decay and renewal, documenting the changes over days, months and years. Since the focus of my imagery relies heavily on society and civilization’s impact upon the environment, I am sensitive to my process being as non-invasive as possible- staying true to the unaltered landscape. I have a desire for my photographs to be ‘pure’, as in true to the original medium. My employment of a traditional tool of landscape photography, the 4×5 camera, and using minimal alterations to compliment my ideology fits in well with my artistic expression and vision. In 2010, I decided to take my ventures in photography further, and extended my vision to Israel.

 A Different Viewpoint, Gilbon, Israel 2010 

The photographs in this series entitled Scarred Land, which were all produced in Israel, deal with war, the damage it inflicts upon the terrain, and the natural recovery over time. The battle sites and military training zones depicted have not been memorialized or preserved in any way, and are now naturally recovering from the inflicted trauma as well as being reclaimed by the earth. The focus of the imagery on war zones is to portray to the viewer that this is how we, as human beings, treat each other and the world we live in.

 Charred Landscape, Gamla, Israel 2010 

We are a unique species defined by our intelligence: the ability of abstract thought, understanding, selfawareness, communication, reasoning, learning, having emotional knowledge, retaining, planning, and problem solving. This intelligence enables us to create/invent ever growing technologies through which to better our lives. Unfortunately, some of these technologies are also implemented for the purpose to assault one another and to defend ourselves, which in turn damages the Earth. In my opinion the rationale for going to war with another nation, state or people: whether it be over resources, religious ideology, cultural differences, or power is completely absurd. If everyone took the time to look at the larger picture, the traumas inflicted during war and in its aftermath have detrimental repercussions for not only us and future generations, but for the planet we inhabit and all of its living beings. Therefore, the ramifications are not advantageous to anyone or thing and we could eventually be the means to our own demise.

 Fire-Ravaged Ruins, Gamla, Israel 2010 
Barbed wire bush, Dead Sea, Israel 2010 

Abandoned Outpost, Dead Sea, Israel 2010 
(Un)Occupied Territory #1, Dead Sea, Israel 2010 
(Un)Occupied Territory #2, Dead Sea, Israel 2010 
Trenches from the ’48 and ’67 Wars, Jerusalem, Israel 2010 
Imbedded Plastic from Explosion, Golan Heights, Israel 2010 
Debris, IDF Firing Zone, Gamla, Israel 2010 
IDF Training Grounds, Golan Heights, Israel 2010 
Trench Entrance, Jerusalem, Israel 2010 
Syrian Sentry Post, Golan Heights, Israel 2010 
Fire-Scorched Valley, Gamla, Israel 2010 

Rachel Loischild

Rachel Loischild is an artist and photographer based in Boston Massachusetts. I had the pleasure of seeing her work on Estate Sales in the Flash Forward festival, and was interested to see more.  Rachel’s work speaks to what was, the poignancy of transience, the idea of personal legacy. 

She holds her MFA  in photography from Pratt Institute. Her photographs have been shown widely, including her international debut at the Jounju photo festival in Jounju Korea. As well as having her work exhibited at the Danforth Museum of Art, the Monmouth Museum and numerous fine art galleries across the country. Rachel teaches photography at both Clark University and Pine Manor College. 

I am featuring work from two series, Estate Sales, and Back in the Valley, both explore terrain that is familiar and sensory, and deal with memory and the passage of time.

Estate Sales
is an investigation of the estate sales of New England documenting the
objects and domestic spaces that remain after someone dies.

Estate Sales
becomes a collection of environmental portraits that tell a story about
individual lives, families, and an entire generation, which is quickly
evaporating. Details of ones life are laid out and exposed, allowing for
the examination of the physical relics of someone’s life. This work
examines these domestic spaces that have been very clearly shaped by
women, creating portraits of them and examining the cultural nuances to
which they subscribed, as well as comparing them to our own schema
today. This can be seen in the pieces of cosmetics remaining on a
dressing table and the ornamentation of a house; even the choice of
wallpaper reflects such subtleties.

but curious – well-worn surfaces, upholstery faded from decades of sun.
Illumination plays a key role in the work, aesthetically adding life
back into a space that is now defined by death. What remains becomes
still life as anthropology; these homes become a part of both art and
social science. The miniature as the grand and the grand as the
miniature, like museum dioramas tell us of an ancient past, these still
lives speak to us of the recent past allowing us to create our own
dialogue with this time gone by.

In Back In The Valley,
Rachel returns to her parents home in a series of portraits of her
parents and their home in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. This
project is linked to her landscape work of the same region, Views From The Happy Valley,
which depicts landscapes of the agricultural land that surrounded her
in childhood. 

In this ongoing project Rachel confronts viewers exceptions of family construct in showing her middle-aged lesbian parents in their home revealing the banality of their every day lives.  By pairing landscapes with portraits Rachel shows her deep connection to the valley in that she includes these non-domestic spaces in her schema of home.  

Sarah Malakoff

Sarah Malakoff’s photographs explore the idea of home, but I am drawn to the formal study of spaces that are more than just rooms, they are rooms with elements of quirky expression, each with a surprise twist.  I have to admit it, I’d like to hang out in these homes and meet the people who created these spaces.  The lack of human evidence makes the work feel like a movie set, ready for the drama to unfold. Sarah was awarded a spot in the 2009 Critical Mass top 50 portfolios with the project, Living Arrangements, and also exhibited it at the Griffin Museum of Photography.

Sarah lives and works in Boston,
Massachusetts and teaches at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  She received her Master of Fine Arts
from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.  She has had numerous solo
exhibitions including the Sol Mednick Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, the Griffin Museum
of Photography in Winchester, MA, Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston, MA and
Plane Space in New York, NY.  Her
photographs have recently been shown at the Carnegie Museum of Art in
Pittsburgh, The DeCordova Museum, The Portland Museum of Art, The Danforth
Museum of Art, The Smith College Museum of Art, The Photographic Resource
Center, and Photo Center Northwest.
photographs are examinations of the home as both a refuge from and at times a
re-creation of the outside world. 
In my images, architecture and furnishings appear as uncanny symbols of
culture, family, and nature.  With
the intentional exclusion of human occupants, my subjects spark curious
speculation of their own.  The
private and personal are expressed in part by objects and signifiers which are displayed
versus those which are hidden; what is allowed inside, and what is kept
out.  For example, doors and
windows both frame exterior views and keep the elements at bay.  Land, weather, and wildlife are ever
present on the other side of the wall even as they are brought safely inside in
the form of pattern, simulation, and domesticated animals.  Ironically, both indoors and out
equally project artifice.
These pictures speak to notions of comfort, class, and style as well as universal attempts to control and transcend our environment. Tensions, and often humor, appear between absence and presence, old and new, real and surreal, permanent and transient, genuine and artificial, the domestic and the natural worlds. The desire to resolve these tensions drives the viewer to create their own narrative and imagine possible inhabitants.

Nadine Boughton

The Annenberg Center for Photography’s IRIS Nights will be featuring a lecture with Nadine Boughton on Thursday evening, April 19th in Los Angeles. Tickets are available here at noon today, Pacific Standard Time, and tomorrow at 9:30am. The lecture accompanies the exhibition, Digital Darkroom that takes a look at the intersection of art and technology. Nadine grew up in Rochester, New York, under the shadow of George Eastman’s Kodak Tower. She studied photography with Garry Winogrand, and at Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY, and Lesley University Seminars, Cambridge, MA. She currently lives in Gloucester, MA where she teaches photography, collage and creative writing.

Nadine’s unique approach to image making has garnered her recognition as one of the Top 50 portfolios in the Critical Mass 2011 competition, Photolucida, and her collages will be exhibited at Photo Center Northwest, Seattle, WA, Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR and RayKo Photo Center, San Francisco, CA. Her work has been exhibited at the Davis Orton Gallery, Hudson, NY, the Boston Drawing Project/Carroll & Sons Gallery, Panopticon Gallery, Bromfield Gallery, Photographic Resource Center, Griffin Museum of Photography, Danforth Museum of Art, in the Boston area. Her work was featured in Plates to Pixels on-line gallery.

TRUE ADVENTURES IN BETTER HOMES: When I recently discovered men’s adventure magazines of the 1950’s and early 1960’s at a flea market, I found them shocking, funny, ambiguously rich artifacts of popular culture. Seeing them as narratives from the collective psyche, I wondered how they would speak in an environment of orderly homes with sunny patios depicted in women’s magazines of the same era. This portfolio reveals a collision of two worlds: men’s adventure magazines or “sweats” meets Better Homes and Gardens.

These photocollages are set against the backdrop of the McCarthy era, advertising, sexual repression, WWII and the Korean War. The cool, insular world of mid-century modern living glossed over all darkness, which the heroic male fought off in every corner.

My intention is to show how the inner psyche reflects the culture at large. I am drawn to the tension of opposites: inner and outer spaces, wildness and domesticity, the sweat and the cool.

With a background in psychology, I am always interested in what lies beneath appearances. The predator theme so present in the “true” adventures led me to explore “who” or “what” is breaking through. Whether the metaphor is that of bats or whales, this “other” carries not only our deepest fears but our deepest desires. We meet ourselves.

Sarah Malakoff, Untitled Interior (blizzard)

Sarah Malakoff, Untitled Interior (blizzard)

Sarah Malakoff

Untitled Interior (blizzard),
Roslindale, Massachusetts, 2005
From the Living Arrangements series
Website – SarahMalakoff.com

Sarah Malakoff is a photographer who lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts and teaches at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her photographs are examinations of the home as both a refuge from and at times a re-creation of the outside world. She has had solo exhibitions at the Sol Mednick Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA, Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston, MA and Plane Space in New York, NY. Her photographs have also recently been shown at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, The DeCordova Museum, The Portland Museum of Art, The Danforth Museum of Art, The Smith College Museum of Art, The Photographic Resource Center, and Photo Center Northwest.