JUST THE FACTS | LightField Festival of Photography & Multimedia Art | August 12 - September 30, 2017

JUST THE FACTS | LightField Festival of Photography & Multimedia Art | August 12 – September 30, 2017

2017 LightField Festival of Photography & Multimedia Art

August 12 – September 30, 2017

The second annual LightField Festival­ at Hudson Hall, JUST THE FACTS exhibits still photography and multimedia work by six distinguished artists. Their focus is on working class people who struggle daily to keep their dignity in a social landscape that is increasingly hostile to immigrants and the working poor. JUST THE FACTS investigates how marginalized people, largely invisible to mainstream culture, have been left behind by technology and globalization. Exhibiting artists are:

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew’s photographic work addresses the political, social, and transformative issues stemming from her own experience of living between three cultures. Recent solo exhibitions include the Royal Ontario MuseumNuit Blanche Toronto 2015 and sepiaEYE, New York City. Other exhibitions include the RISD Museum, Newark Art Museum, Tang Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and 2016’s Crosslines at the Smithsonian Museum of Art & Industries. Matthew is Professor of Art (Photography,) the Director of the Center for the Humanities and the 2015-17 Silvia-Chandley Professor of Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island and is represented by sepiaEYE, New York City & Tasveer Gallery, India.

Brenda Kenneally is a mother, documentarian and interdisciplinary artist living in Brooklyn. Kenneally’s obsession with capturing a core truth of the people she photographs earned her The W. Eugene Smith Award in 2000 for photographers who work in the tradition of the legendary Life Magazine photographer. Her long-term projects are intimate portraits of social issues that intersect where the personal is political.

Phyllis B. Dooney is a social documentary photographer and visual storyteller. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Feature Shoot, American Photo, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Prison Photography and elsewhere online and in print. Dooney was awarded first place for The Center’s Editor’s Choice Prize in 2015. In 2016 she was a Screen Projects mentee and was highlighted in the 4th annual New York Times portfolio review.

Stacy Kranitz was born in Kentucky and received a BFA from New York University and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. Her work has been featured in publications including Adbusters, Elle, Granta, Mother Jones, New York Times Magazine, Oxford American, Rolling Stone, Vice, and Wired, and focuses on history, representation and otherness within the documentary tradition.

Zoe Strauss is committed to promoting art accessible to her community and facilitating social interactions through her photographs and installations. She concentrates on the overlooked America, aiming her lens at those things we cannot or choose not to see. Strauss describes her work as an epic narrative, juxtaposing the beauty and struggle that coincide in everyday life. In 2012 she completed her project “Under I-95,” a ten year long endeavor for which she displayed photographs featuring downtrodden city dwellers, abandoned structures and bemusing signage, etc. by affixing them to the pilasters supporting the overpass of Interstate-95 in South Philadelphia. Her chosen subjects and scenes reflect the artist’s interest in confronting and depicting life in America as a visual abstraction as well as employing the camera as a self-reflexive tool.

Maganbhai Patel, AKA Masterji, is an Indian immigrant who set up a home studio in Coventry, England, and created images of astonishing immediacy. Masterji’s first exhibition opened in Coventry in November 2016 – when the artist was 94 years old. His work paints a brilliantly evocative portrait of immigrant life in the mid 20th century and has been selected as a part of Coventry’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021.

Director and editor Manfred Kirchheimer is best known for Tall: The American Skyscraper and Louis Sullivan (2006), Claw: A Fable (1968) and Spraymasters (2008). Krichheimer weds the aesthetic exuberance of modernist urban chroniclers like Walt Whitman, Joseph Stella, and Charles Mingus to the leftist populism of Studs Terkel and Jane Jacobs. His documentary (and quasi-fictional) films are intricate montages of sound and image that thrum with hard bop or proto-hip-hop energy. They are fanfares and requiems for New York’s immigrant working class and demimonde, its art and artists, buildings and builders, haves and have nots.

Photo: Brenda Ann Kenneally

Artist Talk: Brenda Kenneally with Linda Tirado, author of Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, August 26 at 5pm
Free and open to the public

Upstate Girls, the project that Brenda is exhibiting with LightField this summer, is also coming out in book form in November 2017 (Regan Arts). In anticipation of this long-awaited publication, Brenda will talk about Upstate Girls with author Linda Tirado (Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America).

September 2, 2017, 7pm
Screening: Canners (2017)
Directed by Manfred Kirchheimer, 76 minutes

Followed by a Q&A with the director Manfred Kirchheimer and film critic Eric Hynes, Film Comment columnist and Associate Curator of Film at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY.
Tickets:  $10 suggested donation to benefit LightField; reservations encouraged

Manfred Kirchheimer’s deeply humane film Canners is an ode to the men and women who earn their daily bread by diligently collecting New York City’s bottles and cans. They talk to Kirchheimer about their struggles, their families, and their dreams, never straying too far from this film’s abiding subject, survival in the city.

“The can collectors trust him, which means that, through the wonderful alchemy of cinema, it feels as if they trust you….A testament to its director’s indefatigable humanism.” – A. O. Scott, The New York Times

Photo: Nydia Blas

Women Picturing Revolution in conversation with Catherine Morris, organizer of We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85, Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum
September 9, 2017, 5pm

Free, reservations recommended.

Join us for a conversation about how photography proposes acts of everyday resistance in connection with race, invisibility, mothering, and art.

Women Picturing Revolution (WPR) highlights the work of female photographers who have documented conflicts, crises, and revolution in private realms and public spaces. WPR sheds light on personal and political experiences that are often overlooked or underrepresented.

Catherine Morris is the Sackler Family Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

LightField is a non-profit organization showcasing the work of innovative and distinguished lens-based artists through exhibits, festivals and talks. LightField’s annual festival at Hudson Hall is the only media arts festival outside of the New York City metro area. It aims to spark discussion around the aesthetic choices of documentary artists, to evoke the power of lens-based art to spotlight social issues, and to provide a framework for discussion and debate. As well, LightField creates educational photography workshops for young people in underserved communities.

LightField Festival 2017 will present a full schedule of screenings, talks and related events. For more information as the program develops, please check this webpage or visit lightfield.vu.