Another Final Frontier

This past summer, I had the opportunity to work with Shona Kitchen and Aly Ogasian on their project, Another Final Frontier, which explores the relationship between NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and the natural landscape it sits within, managed by Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

In Shona’s words: “We ironically and poetically argue that Grey Island, a man-made spoil island within the boundaries of both Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Kennedy Space Center, offers a viable alternative for future human habitation. The project critiques the development of commercial spaceflight missions intended to establish permanent settlements on Mars through the use of terraforming. If we consider Kennedy Space Center as our final point of departure, then Grey Island is a return, a re-encountering of a world that is both familiar, yet strange and magical.”

My photographs of their project at Grey Island are currently being exhibited at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, through February 22nd, 2020.

Pictured: Shona Kitchen and installation in process.

I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore

This summer, I curated a show of graduate student work at RISD. Come see it at Sol Koffler Gallery, September 4th - September 29th. There will be an opening the evening of Wednesday, September 4th, 7-9pm. More details at the link below.

I Don’t Feel at Home in the World Anymore addresses collective anxiety in a moment fraught with increasing instability, when our very future as a planet looms uncertain and when our lives are valued in proportion to their productivity. The seventeen artists in this exhibit explore how this anxiety inhabits our personal life and the ways in which we respond to it, even as it threatens our own selfhood – what Jia Tolentino calls “capitalism’s last natural resource.”

Sol Koffler Gallery
169 Weybosset St.
Providence, RI 02903

Photobooks by Women @ MFA Boston

In March, I had the pleasure of presenting at How We See: Photobooks by Women, a conference at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, along with some fellow grad students. I spoke about Vanessa Winship’s lovely book, Sweet Nothings.

A short excerpt from my presentation:

“To me, these photographs are primarily about female friendship, and the particular qualities that relationship takes on at the edge of puberty. When I first encountered the portraits in Sweet Nothings, my mind immediately went to Italian author Elena Ferrante’s recent popular series, “The Neapolitan Novels” – the first book, especially, which is titled, My Brilliant Friend. These novels were largely acclaimed for their insight into the peculiarities of friendship between women, from girlhood to adulthood – not a topic that has often been at the center of great novels. Ferrante writes, in the voice of one of the girls in the novel, “We were twelve years old, but we walked along the hot streets of the neighborhood, amid the dust and flies that the occasional old trucks stirred up as they passed, like two old ladies taking the measure of lives of disappointment, clinging tightly to each other. No one understood us, only we two—I thought—understood one another.”

This same sentiment comes to life in Winship’s photographs. The girls often hold each others hands, at once an innocent gesture, but also a way to brace themselves for the uncertain world ahead of them. Their bodies feel like walls. In the portraits of two or three girls together, they stand incredibly close to one another so that there is a barely – if even – a gap between them, their body language speaking to the sort of devotion, camaraderie and trust that they feel for one another. They step in front of the camera with a mix of propriety and excitement, their arms often awkwardly by their sides. But in some photographs, their discomfort gives way to a giggle, or slight boredom as they wait for the shutter to click. Yes, these portraits convey a sense of innocence, as many have pointed out, but moreover, these girls demonstrate an acute awareness for their place in the world and their need for one another in order to navigate that world.”

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