FotoFocus Presents Second Century: Photography, Feminism, Politics on October 7

Anne Collier , Woman with a Camera   (35 mm, diptych),  2009. Inkjet print, 20⅜ × 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Galerie Neu, Berlin; The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow; and Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles. © Anne Collier Image approved for limited use.

Anne Collier, Woman with a Camera (35 mm, diptych), 2009. Inkjet print, 20⅜ × 24 inches. Courtesy of
the artist; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Galerie Neu, Berlin; The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd.,
Glasgow; and Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles. © Anne Collier Image approved for limited use.

FotoFocus is presenting Second Century: Photography, Feminism, Politics, at Memorial Hall on Saturday, October 7, 2017. The one-day symposium features diverse speakers addressing a range of topics revolving around feminist approaches to photography and lens-based art in today’s socio-political climate.

“At a time when everything has become intensely politicized, FotoFocus felt it would be timely to discuss photography from an overtly political perspective," says Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator. “All art has a point of view and may be seen to come from an artist's particular identity, including gender and political identity. Second Century will bring together a broad range of perspectives—national, cultural, racial, artistic—to explore photography from a political standpoint and what it's like to be a creative woman today. It should be an inspiring day for everyone."

“Second Century” is a play on the title of Simone de Beauvoir’s seminal text, The Second Sex of 1949, a book that dealt with the treatment of women throughout history and marks the starting point of second-wave feminism. Second-wave feminism built upon first-wave feminism’s concern for suffrage and equal property rights to focus more broadly on sexuality, family, workplace rights, and other forms of inequality, both tacit and legal. The current socio-political climate broadly embraces different feminine identities, including queer and transgender. Second Century: Photography, Feminism, Politics acknowledges the absorption and application of myriad feminist ideals and practices at the beginning of a second century of organized and evolved feminist approaches to art and politics.

“Our aim is to encourage dialogue about the world through the art of photography,” says Mary Ellen Goeke, Executive Director of FotoFocus. “We’re excited to bring international and local speakers together with socially minded members of our community to explore a variety of female perspectives pertaining to feminism, art and culture.”

Second Century: Photography, Feminism, Politics will take place at Memorial Hall on Saturday, October 7, beginning at 10am. Free and open to the public, the symposium will include panel discussions throughout the day. The one-day symposium is designed to be flexible, allowing people to attend all day or the panel of their choice. More information is available at FotoFocusSymposium.org. 

Second Century: Photography, Feminism, Politics
Schedule of Events: October 7, 2017 (Subject to Change)

10 a.m. Panel: Still They Persist, with FemFour
Moderated by Steven Matijcio, Curator, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, with Cincinnati-based FemFour panelists: Sara M. Vance Waddell, FemFour Founder and Collector; Cal Cullen, Artist, Curator and Executive Director, Wave Pool; Jaime Thompson, Curator of Education, Contemporary Arts Center; and Maria Seda-Reeder, Writer, Curator, Educator.

StillTheyPersist_PrimaryLogo_LRG2.jpg

FemFour, a group of socially minded members of the Cincinnati arts community, has assembled a traveling archive of posters and placards, sculptures, textiles, and photo/video documentation from the Women's March of 2017. This continually evolving archive, which will be on view at the Contemporary Arts Center during the symposium, attempts to keep alive a message of ongoing resistance. FemFour will be discussing their motivations and their process as part of this undertaking, as well as examining the nature of politically activated objects, their preservation and circulation. 

11 a.m. Panel: Gender and Imaging in the Online Realm
Moderated by Kate Palmer Albers, Associate Professor, University of Arizona, with panelists: Natalie Bookchin, Artist and Associate Professor of Media, Associate Chair, Visual Arts Department, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, NJ; and Nora Khan, Writer and Contributing Editor at Rhizome, New York.

The many roles of photographic images in our personal lives are affected profoundly by new systems of image production, distribution, and programming. As photographs circulate in online realms—on social media and through digital platforms, where they are shaped and affected both by human decisions and algorithms—can we discern a feminist approach? This panel will address the intersections of images, technology, and gender in both art and daily life.

1 p.m. Panel: Women of Latin American Film
Moderated by Michelle Farrell, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Fairfield University, CT, with panelists: Diana Vargas, Artistic Director, Havana Film Festival New York; Laura Gómez, Director and Actor, New York; and Ana Katz, Writer, Director, Actor, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Panelists address the complexities and limitations of the category “women's film,” particularly through the lens of Latin American films made by women filmmakers and scriptwriters. Two aspects of “women's film” will be explored: the oversimplified terms of the definition itself, i.e., women writing and directing their own stories; and a less obvious subject, the development of an audience which recognizes women's voices as distinct based on their female authorship. 

2 p.m. Panel: Woman with a Camera
Moderated by Prudence Peiffer, Senior Editor, Artforum, New York, with panelists: Makeda Best, Curator of Photography, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA; Carmen Winant, Artist and Writer, Assistant Professor of Visual Studies and Contemporary Art History at Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, and Dean at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME; and Claire Lehmann, Artist, Writer, Curator, New York.

What, if anything, does it mean to be a woman photographer? This panel will reconsider the work of historical figures such as Berenice Abbott and Diane Arbus as well as the contemporary practice of artists such as Anne Collier and Zoe Leonard, probing the paradoxes of the term "woman photographer," as well as the personal narratives that accompany and complicate the common trope of a woman with a camera.

About FotoFocus
Founded in 2010, FotoFocus is the largest, Cincinnati-based non-profit arts organization whose mission is to present the finest in contemporary photography and lens-based art. FotoFocus supports and curates artistically, intellectually, and academically rigorous exhibitions and programs that are accessible, educational, and enriching to a diverse public. The organization celebrates and champions photography as the medium of our time and aims to encourage dialogue about the world through the art of photography. Programming includes the FotoFocus Biennials, the Lecture and Visiting Artist Series, a series that has invited more than 35 internationally-renowned photographers to Cincinnati. Since its inception, FotoFocus has presented more than 300 projects, worked with over 100 partners and provided support and funding to over 150 programs. More information about FotoFocus can be found at www.FotoFocusCincinnati.org

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