Tag Archive for: Artists-in-Residence

Announcing Light Work’s 2023 Artists-in-Residence

With enormous pleasure, Light Work announces the 2023 Light Work Artists-in-Residence (AIRs). A total of thirteen artists working in photography and related media received residencies: Bruce Bennett (New Jersey), Marcus Xavier Chormicle (New Mexico), Devin Fenimore (Washington), Eric Gyamfi (Ghana), Kyoko Hamaguchi (New York), Katherine Hubbard (New York), Sayuri Ichida (United Kingdom), Clifford Prince King (California), Abdulhamid Kircher (California), Jim Mangan (California), Joiri Minaya (New York), Ahndraya Parlato (New York), and Agnieszka Sosnowska (Iceland).

Each year, Light Work supports emerging and under-represented artists working in photography and related media with funding totaling more than $60,000. Each receives a $5000 honorarium, housing, unrestricted 24-hour access to our digital imaging lab, wet darkroom, a library of photo-related publications, as well as critical and technical support. 

In addition to a financial award, Light Work AIRs benefit from technical, professional, and creative support, have space on-site to develop new work, and have extraordinary freedom to determine the shape and timing of their residency. Residency program participants can use their month to pursue their projects: photographing in the area, scanning or printing for a specific project or book, or experimenting with a new photographic technique. A special edition of Contact Sheet: The Light Work Annual presents the work of each Artist-in-Residence with an accompanying commissioned essay. Each AIR also makes a donation of work that becomes a part of the Light Work Collection.

Light Work has three exciting collaborations with prominent organizations that support our artists this year. Autograph in London, UK, has sponsored the residency of Eric Gyamfi, the latest in a partnership that dates from 1996. The Darryl Chappell Foundation has sponsored two residencies. Finally, Canson Infinity is offering each artist-in-residence access to its collection of fine art inkjet papers.

Light Work’s highly competitive residency program dates from 1976 and now receives nearly 1,000 applications annually. Artists who earn this distinction carry forward Light Work’s mission of providing direct artist support to artists working in photography and digital imaging. The annual applications are of such high quality that the slimmest of margins usually determine the judges’ final choices, and this year has been no exception. Light Work extends a full-hearted thank you to all who applied.

Bruce Bennett (New Jersey)
Marcus Xavier Chormicle (New Mexico)
Devin Fenimore (Washington)
Eric Gyamfi (Ghana)
Kyoko Hamaguchi (New York)
Katherine Hubbard (New York)
Sayuri Ichida (United Kingdom)
Clifford Prince King (California)
Abdulhamid Kircher (California)
Jim Mangan (California)
Joiri Minaya (New York)
Ahndraya Parlato (New York)
Agnieszka Sosnowska (Iceland)

See past Artists-in-Residence at www.lightwork.org/air
Applications are now open for 2024. Apply at lightwork.slideroom.com

Estate of Laura Aguilar Donates Works to Light Work’s Permanent Collection

With enormous pleasure and gratitude, Light Work announces the acquisition of works from the estate of photographer Laura Aguilar (1959 – 2018). The self-portraits, consisting of two triptychs and four singular black-and-white images, represent Aguilar’s exploration of the lived realities of members of various marginalized groups, including women, lesbians, Latinas, the working class, obese people, and those with mental health struggles and learning disabilities. It humbles us to receive this gift of six photographic works from this extraordinary artist. We consider it an honor to join her estate and other art institutions in the stewardship of her artistic legacy through the sharing of these important works.

 In May of 1993, Laura Aguilar was an artist-in-residence at Light Work. This was a prolific period for Aguilar; she entered Light Work following the success of her iconic Three Eagles Flying and the series, Clothed/Unclothed. Aguilar applied for the month-long residency after her colleague and friend, Willie Middlebrook, completed his residency in 1992. He suggested that she create the body of work comprising 12 Lauras and Don’t Tell Her Art Can’t Hurt as a means to further influence her series of nudes in nature.  

Laura Aguilar, Center #70 (abc), 2000-2001, Gelatin silver print , 8 x 10 in.

Before Aguilar’s 2016 retrospective, Show and Tell, she wanted to create the Laura Aguilar Trust to protect her legacy. Aguilar spent time with co-trustees Christopher Velasco and Sybil Venegas to clarify her wishes for how to handle her work after her death. One primary goal was to make sure that her work found its way to institutional collections for future generations to study. Light Work is one of those institutions. Aguilar often spoke so warmly of her experience here and encouraged many aspiring photographers to apply. After her residency, Aguilar gave the Light Work Collection two of her Clothed/Unclothed prints (1993), the 12 Lauras, and three unpublished prints from her trip to Mexico. Since her death, the Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016 has placed her works in a number of collections. As a thank you, the Trust wanted to give Light Work a range of significant works that continued Aguilar’s legacy after her residency. This gift includes Windows (Nikki on my Mind) (1990), Center #70 (abc) (2000-2001), and selected images from the Stillness & Motion series (1999). 

Laura Aguilar died in 2018 at age fifty-eight, just as recognition of her work was gaining momentum. Her eponymous retrospective, Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell, at the Vincent Price Art Museum in Monterey Park, California, was the breakout exhibition of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA: Latin American and Latino Art in LA 2017-2018 and also Aguilar’s last exhibition during her lifetime. Since her death, she has joined the ranks of other iconic female photographers.

Laura Aguilar, Stillness #30, 1999, Gelatin Silver print, 11 x 14 in.

“We are honored by the donation of work by Laura Aguilar,” said Dan Boardman, Light Work’s director. “Aguilar was a visionary artist who exemplifies our mission to support emerging underrepresented artists at pivotal early points in their careers. This gift will aid students, members, and visiting artists as they use our Collection for research and inspiration.” 

Header image: Laura Aguilar, Windows (Nikki on my Mind), 1990, Three Gelatin Silver prints, 8 x 10 in each


The Light Work Collection is an extensive and diverse archive that maps the trends and developments in contemporary photography. There are currently more than 4,000 works of art in Light Work’s archive. The Collection contains all original work, including color and black-and-white photographic prints, alternative processes, collages, installation pieces, artist books, portfolios, and publications. Online visitors will find early work by many artists who have gone on to significant acclaim after their Light Work residencies, winning coveted awards, exhibiting work in prestigious museums, and securing top gallerists to represent them. This noteworthy collection includes all genres of expression found in contemporary photography, including documentary, abstract, experimental, and conceptual work. The Collection has grown over the past four decades due to the generosity of former artists-in-residence and individual donors.

Explore the Light Work Collection online at http://collection.lightwork.org

Announcing 2022 Light Work Artists-in-Residence

With great excitement, Light Work announces the following 2022 Artists-in-Residence: Mónica Alcázar-Duarte (United Kingdom), Nando Alvarez-Perez (Buffalo, New York), Simon Benjamin (Brooklyn, New York), Gary Burnley (Ridgefield, Connecticut), William Camargo (Chicago, Illinois), Jasmine Clarke (Brooklyn, New York), Paula Damasceno (Greensboro, North Carolina), Mercedes Dorame (Burbank, California), Dylan Hausthor (Peaks Island, Maine), Musuk Nolte (Lima, Peru), Elle Perez (Brooklyn, New York), Nona Faustine Simmons (Brooklyn, New York), and Claire A. Warden (Phoenix, Arizona). 

Each year, Light Work supports emerging, under-represented, and previously excluded artists working in photography and related media with support totaling more than $60,000. In addition to receiving an unrestricted stipend of $5,000, each artist has access to our technical and professional resources and facilities.

“It’s my great pleasure to congratulate the 2022 Light Work Artist-in-Residence recipients,” said Light Work director Dan Boardman. “I know I speak for the entire staff when I say we are thrilled to have artists working in our space throughout 2022. This year’s cohort exemplifies the wide range of approaches making up contemporary photographic practice, and we are looking forward to providing space and time to each of these practitioners.”

This year, Light Work has two exciting collaborations with distinguished organizations in support of three of our artists. Autograph in London, UK, has sponsored the residency of Mónica Alcázar-Duarte, the latest in a partnership that dates from 1996. Additionally, the Darryl Chappell Foundation has sponsored the residencies of Jasmine Clarke and Gary Burnley. The first year of Light Work’s partnership with the Darryl Chappell Foundation advances our shared mission to foster an appreciation of the fine arts among members of the African Diaspora through grants and to deepen an appreciation of the fine arts in the larger community. 

Light Work’s highly competitive residency program dates from 1976 and now receives nearly 1,000 submissions annually. Following an international call for submissions, we select twelve to fifteen artists and invite them to come to Syracuse for one month to pursue creative projects. To date, more than 500 artists have participated in the Light Work Artist-in-Residence Program and many have gone on to achieve international acclaim. The artists who receive this distinction embody Light Work’s mission of providing direct artist support to emerging, under-represented, and previously excluded artists working in photography and digital imaging.

We are pleased to announce the 2022 Light Work Artists-in-Residence!

Mónica Alcázar-Duarte (United Kingdom)

Nando Alvarez-Perez (Buffalo, New York)

Simon Benjamin (Brooklyn, New York)

Gary Burnely (Ridgefield, Connecticut)

William Camargo (Chicago, Illinois)

Jasmine Clarke (Brooklyn, New York)

Paula Damasceno (Greensboro, North Carolina)

Mercedes Dorame (Burbank, California)

Dylan Hausthor (Peaks Island, Maine)

Musuk Nolte (Lima, Peru)

Elle Perez (Brooklyn, New York)

Nona Faustine Simmons (Brooklyn, New York)

Claire A. Warden (Phoenix, Arizona)

See past Artists-in-Residence at www.lightwork.org/air
Applications are now open for 2023. Apply at lightwork.slideroom.com

Six Light Work Artists-in-Residence and Urban Video Project Exhibiting Artists Among Guggenheim Fellows

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded two Light Work Artists-in-Residence and three former Urban Video Project (UVP) exhibiting artists 2021 Guggenheim Fellowships. The Guggenheim is one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for scholarly and artistic achievement, honoring individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. Congratulations to all this year’s awardees, including Light Work and UVP family members Sama Al Shaibi, Ephraim Asili, Crystal Z. Campbell, Jill Magid, Cauleen Smith, and Rodrigo Valenzuela. The recipients are among the 184 artists, writers, scholars, and scientists Fellows selected from a pool of more than 3,000 applicants. 

“I am thrilled to announce this new group of Guggenheim Fellows,” said Edward Hirsch, President of the Foundation, “especially since this has been a devastating year in so many ways. A Guggenheim Fellowship has always been meaningful, but this year we know it will be a lifeline for many of the new Fellows at a time of great hardship, a survival tool as well as a creative one. The work supported by the Fellowship will help us understand more deeply what we are enduring individually and collectively, and it is an honor for the Foundation to help the Fellows do what they were meant to do.”

We are excited to offer signed, limited edition Fine Prints and Contact Sheet volumes featuring works by this year’s Guggenheim recipients. Proceeds benefit and champion Light Work’s on-going support of emerging and under-represented artists working in photography through residencies, publications, exhibitions, educational programming, and a community-access digital lab facility. Search all our offerings at lightwork.org/shop.

Rodrigo Valenzuela 
American Type 15, 2019
Archival inkjet print, 14 x 11″ image on 15 x 12″ paper
Edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist

Rodrigo Valenzuela’s work in photography, video, and installation boldly addresses themes of labor, power, and representation. In American Type, he uses and critiques the language and history of abstraction in art, while imbuing his photographs with social and political meaning. Valenzuela participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in 2017.

Works from and essays about 2021 Guggenheim recipients appear in Contact Sheet Annuals 134, 190, 156, and 201. Light Work designs and prints Contact Sheet in the tradition of fine art photography monographs and is completely commercial-free. We invite you to see first-hand the innovative and creative work of artists who are making important contributions to the field of photography.

Over Light Work’s 48 year history, 42 of our Artists-in-Residence and exhibiting artists have received the Guggenheim Fellowship, including Dawoud Bey, Sandford Biggers, Eric Gottesman, John Gossage, Elijah Gowin, Leslie Hewitt, Sky Hopinka, Deana Lawson, Osamu James Nakagawa, Suzanne Opton, Christian Patterson, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Cindy Sherman, Mark Steinmetz, and Hank Willis Thomas. We are humbled to provide time, space, and resources for these artists early in and often throughout their careers. We extend our congratulations to all the 2021 award recipients on joining this illustrious Fellowship legacy. 

The Bungalow, 2014

Anouk Kruithof Talks Books, Travel, Feminism & More

Anouk Kruithof is a Dutch artist currently based in New York City. She has been exploring and questioning the picture-plane, image, materiality, physicality and philosophy of the medium of photography for over a decade. Her multi­­-layered, interdisciplinary projects take the form of photographs, installations, artist books, text, sculpture, ephemera and performance. Kruithof was an Artist-in-Residence at Light Work in May 2013. Her new book, The Bungalow, was recently published by Onomatopee. She recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for her forthcoming book, AUTOMAGIC, which she worked on while in residence at Light Work.

Below, Kruithof and Light Work’s Jessica Posner engage in a conversation about The Bungalow, AUTOMAGIC, travel, feminism, and more.

Jessica Posner: Hello, Anouk! You were an Artist-in-Residence at Light Work in May 2013. Can you tell us a bit about what you worked on during that time, and what you have been up to since then?

Anouk Kruithof: During my Light Work residency, I spent the first week on my book Pixel Stress, which was published by RVB Books in September 2013. The other weeks I worked on my upcoming book, AUTOMAGIC. It is a very extensive project containing work from 2003 through 2015, which I started working on in May 2011. Readers can check out my Kickstarter to learn more about AUTOMAGIC.

In 2013, I made the solo show Everything is Wave in gallery Boetzelaer|Nispen in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In the Spring, my small solo exhibition Within Interpretations of a Wall opened at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. I did nine months as an artist-in-residence through ISCP in New York. This summer, I started my publishing platform, Stresspress.biz. I’ve published two more books: Untitled (I’ve taken too many photos / I’ve never taken a photo), self-published, and The Bungalow, published by Onomatopee. Shane Lavalette, the Director of Light Work, basically checked the first dummy of The Bungalow in May of 2013.

In the past year I’ve traveled a lot too: Jamaica, Mexico, LA, and Europe. I’m currently living in New York City, and I just found a new studio on the Lower East Side. I am crazy about it!

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

JP: It sounds like you’ve had an amazing two years. Congratulations! I’d like to start off a conversation about The Bungalow by asking you about a phrase that you use in the introduction of the book, “screen-reality.” Can you expand on that term?

AK: The world by now is dominated by photos. In this world, people function as processors of an ongoing stream of images. For many of us, it has become more normal to look at the world through a computer or iPhone screen, than seeing it in physical reality. We filter reality by means of a screen, and thus experience life in this way. That reality is limited to a rectangle, even though this screen-reality is ascribed a “full view.” But the real full view, the context, fades when we take in such large quantities of photos through a screen. Photos have become pieces of evidence of entities. By this I mean that a thing that has been recorded only exists because the photo shows us it’s there. For many, a photo is proof that what is depicted exists for real, even without physically or consciously having seen the object in reality. Seeing in the physical sense has been degraded because of this. Seeing is the only sensory process remaining, while the other sensory experiences—smelling, touching, tasting and hearing—have no role to play in screen-reality.

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

JP: In The Bungalow, it appears as though you are very assertively colliding a history of what appears to be manual collage with a much newer imagery/language of digital image editing softwares like Photoshop. Can you tell us about this?

AK: Instead of the physical environment, the computer screen provides the frame in which you play with objects. Within this screen-frame, you slide the new entities (the photos) into, behind, and/or across each other. We do so consciously in Photoshop, or unconsciously by opening multiple photos or windows simultaneously. By making a screenshot of this compilation, you create a digital still life. A new entity comes into being, with its own origin on the screen (versus originating in physical reality). “Screenshot-photography” is born. In my view, this is a way to record the screen-reality in which we live.

JP: I find myself lingering on the spreads in The Bungalow in which you are abstracting bodies engaged in what appears to be sexual or physical power play. Though you are abstracting specific content through the process of collage, the images of bodies performing through restraint, obfuscation, or other forms of manipulation persist.

AK: The bodies of those women are clearly acting some kind of scene between bondage and wrestling, and were literally cut out by my hand and a scissor. An empty void fills them up, their forms becoming sculptural. I find the forms more interesting. The imagination provides more to wonder about. Spectators are given space to visualize what they want to see or desire. I, for example see a white form vacuuming. But, actually, the vacuum was the body of a woman. To me this is funny and raises questions.

The white shapes let one focus more on the environment, the backdrops, and the furniture; rather than the acts those women are performing in the original photographs. Removing the women’s bodies also means relieving them from the previous situation. Maybe it was a power play before, but I don’t know. I wasn’t there when the pictures were taken. Neither do I know how those women felt when posing for those pictures. So I see it as a symbol of liberation.

There is so much female nudity in the history of photography, and often as a gesture of dedication and appreciation for beauty and female body. But to me it’s usually tiring, banal sexiness. Women are seen as objects to look at, and photos are sketches of surface.

This chapter does raises some questions about the position of women, the mystery, the funny side and the never ending intelligence, strength and power of women. At least that’s what my intentions and thoughts were.

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

JP: Your response makes me curious to ask if you consider yourself a feminist? Does that play any role in your art practice?

AK: Of course I am a feminist, which woman isn’t a feminist? Maybe the ones who don’t know what feminism means. Luckily, I am surrounded also by male friends who are feminist as well. I don’t necessarily manifest feminism through my art works directly, though, because I like to think about making work and striving towards a more holistic universe of equality. I feel that’s a huge task to think about. It’s what makes me depressed at times, like, “what to do?”

I have so much energy… what’s the richest and most valuable way to transition this energy for a bigger cause? But the thoughts are overwhelming and bring me in a deep dark black hole, because one can only do just a little. The best is to be honest to yourself. Do what you love and believe in this. Hopefully, it resonates when it’s truly sincere. Even if you don’t know what it actually is, you give what you can give. Bring it out there.

JP: Do you see the work you do as political? To me, presenting a critical, visual story divergent from more traditional or popular modes of presentation and representation (which you articulate above) could be interpreted as a political act. Was this ever your intention?

AK: My work is not political. Socially engaged, for sure. I strive to make rather layered work because I appreciate work which leaves space for people to engage with it by raising questions, leaving gaps, and intervening thoughts on different layers. It’s about respecting that people with different ages, cultural backgrounds, different emotions, and experiences will take something out of a work. What matters to them, what makes them wonder? My work isn’t a one way road with no space for u-turns.

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

JP: I realize I’ve gotten a little off track, and maybe this is as good a time as any to make a u-turn to return back to The Bungalow. There’s something really sweet and strange about this spread with the skeletons. Can you tell us about it?

AK: From what I know about the photos I chose, those skeletons are the ones used in hospitals or classrooms in biology or anatomy lessons. It looked to me as though some people are fooling around with them in a basement, treating them as a real persona. The old ladies are laughing, the man dancing with them could be a doctor or biology teacher. They are just dancing with the skeletons, carrying them around. I think the people in the pictures are drunk. Those photos were probably taken by amateurs, and made me laugh out loud. I could not quite get how this situation would appear.

Isn’t that not the most interesting thing when you look at photos? They should be like question marks. That’s almost the only way I get hot from a single photo, if its embedded with some question mark behind the surface of what we see. Evidence by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel is maybe the best example of what I’m trying to explain. Some of the images I chose from Brad Feuerhelm’s collection remind of, and relate to, that work by Sultan and Mandel.

JP: It’s almost as if the question mark, or that open ended unknowing, is your punctum which connects all of the images you choose to work with.

AK: If a photo does bounce this question mark towards me I have already passed by. There are too many photos. They are everywhere. One needs to develop a personal filter system to not drown in the image-ocean we’re living in.

JP: Are there any other chapters from The Bungalow that you’d like to tell us more about?

AK: Command Shift 3: New Photography is the chapter where you see some images opened in Photoshop and then re-photographed by making a screenshot. It’s a digital way of making a still life photo, screen-reality is a reality too. It’s like taking of a trip and stepping into some sort of parallel world. And like in a trip, I don’t want to see some images, while others enrich me.

I do not want an overdose of photos, and the abundance of photos must not make me forget the distinction between reality and screen-reality. Like a drug addict, I assume to have my photo-consumption under control.

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

JP: In looking at The Bungalow alongside your other books, it is easy to notice your incredibly vibrant and adventurous colors choices. Can you talk about how you arrive at specific palettes for each project or book, and what that decision making process is like?

AK: I filter life through color. Its broad pallet is brimming with strong mental qualities. This is most of all the case with indeterminate hues. While I mainly work with photography, I tend to manipulate, filter, order, and work with colour in ways that might seem to make more sense if I were painting or drawing. For example, Happy Birthday to You is printed on dirty mint-green paper because that is the colour I saw on most of the walls and in the isolation cells in the mental institution where I was doing the project. This color is supposed to have a calming effect on patients, although I think it might just be a placebo effect. When the institution was being set up, the powers-that-be decided to paint most of the walls this color. So, in this case, the specific color adds something to the project’s content. In Becoming Blue, I used blue because of its art historical and psychological meaning.

I deliberately remove color as well. The combination of black and white is a statement. Part of A Head with Wings is in black and white. A huge part of Happy Birthday to You is too, even though the images are printed on dirty mint-green paper. I also made a wallpaper diptych Der Ausbruch Einer Flexiblen Wand (hart/weich) in black and white.

I choose colors for specific reasons. Organizing things in color is a strategic way to create order within chaos, mostly because I’m always overwhelmed with material. I take too many photos and I’m an obsessive book collector. I always have too many things on hand. Working with color or non-color calms me somehow. It has a meditative effect on me and adds a specific aesthetic quality to the work. You might notice this more than I do, since for me it feels natural to work this way.

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

JP: Several times, you have used travel as a metaphor while talking about your work. It seems travel is a really important part of your life and art practice. How does travel feeds your practice as an artist?

AK: I love to be in the air, in the ocean, deep down under, or on the road. Movement is important. It’s what makes my life, and maybe my work, dynamic. My worst nightmare is to be a “real” studio-artist. I could never live/work within four walls, working only with materials and my own mind. That being said, I do need to work in a studio. Working with interventions on the street, traveling, interviewing people, and collaborating are important for my practice as well. Photography, video, and text make a connection with the outside world, which next to my digital persona, makes life interesting to me.

JP: If you could go anywhere in the world for any length of time, all expenses paid, where would you go, and for how long?

AK: What a question! I would love to be and work in New York, actually, this amazing place with people of all nationalities in it is unique. I feel it’s the place where this hunger for a more holistic universe of equality comes closest of all places in the world. The energy and drive this creates is fascinating and makes me not want to go anywhere else. But my visa expires mid-September, so maybe this plus my love (who lives in Europe) will make me move back. But I don’t need to think about this yet! I just moved into my new studio and have three interns coming to work with me until the end of June. I love being in New York. In this eccentric place, everyone is slightly insane.

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

The Bungalow, 2014

From The Bungalow, 2014

JP: I always felt at home in the city when I lived there as well. Although, I do find that as an artist eccentric contexts crop up no matter where you land. So, what’s up next for you?

AK: Finally publishing my AUTOMAGIC book! I’m also developing my photo-sculptural practice, which will be shown at Art Bruxelles at the end of April. In September, I have a solo show with my gallery, but I have no idea what I will show.

I’m also working on a project around surveillance, anonymity, the representation of the self in media networked realities, and indexing/anti-indexing. It’s a huge collaborative project where I make simple photos of the back of heads of people posing against a simple one-coloured wall or piece of paper. It’s sounds boring, but it’s going to be thousands and thousands of pictures—heads becoming pixels. Brains and thoughts of people of all nationalities will be captured in there. Maybe it’s going to be statement on the failure of human encyclopedic unity.

JP: Thanks so much Anouk! One final question: What’s your favorite cocktail?

AK: The “Angelita” from the Experimental Cocktail Club, which is super close to my studio!

One of the most remarkable experiences in my life was diving the Cenote Angelita (a sinkhole) in Tulum, Mexico. You dive through a gas cloud hanging between saltwater and freshwater. When you’re lost in this gas cloud, looking up to the sun, it’s as if being in cosmic energy, as if the whole spectrum of color surrounds you, as if you’re breathing the roots of the tree. Once you go deeper through the other side of this gas cloud (~150 ft. deep), you see this bizarre set with a tree and the edges of sinkhole. It’s like caves surrounding you. It’s an outrageous experience. You have to walk with your diving gear through the jungle quite a bit too before you arrive, and you have to love diving and not be afraid of depth and small spaces. After the dive, you’d better smoke a little to emphasize the experience. I did this dive with an independent, hippie instructor who holds his gear in a van on the beach and we had a super high time together! When drinking the Angelita cocktail, I dive back in this memory.

JP: Thanks, Anouk. I, of course, want to encourage our readers to buy all of your books and check out your Kickstarter for AUTOMAGIC. I’d also love to encourage them to check out the wonderful video documentation of your books online. I love watching the way you handle the books.

AK: For me a book is an experience, an intimate meeting as well. I like to walk through a book with my fingers the same as how I explore the world traveling.

To learn more or support the publication of Kruithof’s AUTOMAGIC, visit her Kickstarter page.

Anouk Kruithof‘s work has been exhibited extensively throughout New York, Europe, Asia, and Australia. She has published seven artistbooks. She is the recipient of the 2012 ICP Infinity Award from the International Center for Photography and the winner of the 2011 Grand Prix Jury and Photoglobal prize at Hyeres, festival international de mode et de photography. Her work is in the collections of FOAM Amsterdam, Het Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Fotomuseum Winterthur Switzerland and Museum Het Domein Sittard NL, MOMA library, ICP library, Pier 24 library, and the library of Het Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Jessica Posner is an artist, Communications Coordinator at Light Work, and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University. You can contact her at jessica@lightwork.org.

April Artists-in-Residence

The Light Work Artists-in-Residence for April are Ayana V. Jackson and Brian Ulrich. Both artists are using part of their residency time to edit work, scan film on our high-resolution Imacon scanners, and work on book dummies. Read more about each of their projects, as well as more info on Ayana and Brian, in the Artists-in-Residence page of the Light Work website. There you can also find details on the residency program and how to apply.

The image at left, La Reina de la Primanera, is by Ayana V. Jackson.

Dean Kessmann at Conner Contemporary Art

2009 Light Work Artist-in-Residence Dean Kessmann is currently exhibiting Art as Paper as Potential at Conner Contemporary Art in Washington, D.C. This is his fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. It will run through May 8.

Art as Paper as Potential investigates ideas of tactility as well as the multiple references, implications, and meanings that can be drawn from the sight of a blazing white sheet of paper. Kessmann’s work plays with this idea of a “blank” surface that may have been erased of content or be as yet untouched. The exhibition is staged in three parts with a 21-foot long light box piece, split into three sections, at its center. The center panel of this piece, which is titled Intersecting Data: Light/Dark, is shown here. Read more about this elegant suite of work at Kessmann’s website.

Images from Art as Paper as Potential, along with an essay by Tim Wride, will be featured in The Light Work Annual 2010, Contact Sheet 157, which will be published in July 2010.

Soldier Billboard Project in Washington, D.C.

Images from Suzanne Opton’s series Soldier will appear on billboards in six Metrorail stations throughout Washington D.C. from March 9 to April 4, 2010.

The Soldier Billboard Project features portraits of American soldiers between tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Click here to read about various reactions to the series, which has been on a two-year tour to cities including Denver, Houston, Atlanta, and Miami, among others.

The series has generated considerable controversy in some venues, including CBS Outdoor’s decision to pull Opton’s billboards in Minneapolis-St. Paul during the Republican National Convention there in 2008.

Light Work has enjoyed working with Opton since 2005 when she was an Artist-in-Residence here in Syracuse. Light Work held the exhibition Soldier in 2006. As part of the exhibition, images from the series appeared on five billboards throughout Syracuse, which extended the work into the community where it could be seen by the general public. Contact Sheet 136 celebrates the series and the exhibition.

Opton continues to work with Light Work/Community Darkrooms by realizing prints with Digital Lab Manager John Mannion and his assistant Carrie Mondore up through today.

Three works from Solider are in the Light Work Collection, which you can view and read about here. A black-and-white image from this series, Soldier Conklin: 272 days in Iraq, 2006, is also available in the Light Work store; your purchase goes directly back into our programming that supports emerging and under-recognized artists.

Images: Above, left: Soldier Birkholz, 353 Days in Iraq, 205 Days in Afghanistan. Right: Billboards in Syracuse initiated by Light Work in conjunction with the exhibition Soldier, 2006.

Lola Flash opens at Gordon Parks Gallery

The exhibition Flash in Retrospect, featuring work by 2008 Light Work Artist-in-Residence Lola Flash, opened on February 13 at Gordon Parks Gallery on the John Cardinal O’Connor campus of The College of New Rochelle. The exhibition will run through May 2, 2010.

Flash’s work addresses boundaries and the physical and ideological areas that exist concerning those boundaries. Begun in 2002, [sur]passing examines how skin color impacts black identity both in real life and in front of the camera. With the portraits in epicene, Flash depicts a mosaic of subjects who have challenged societal confines, including those of race, class, and gender. Photographed in various cities in the United States and abroad, her series quartet looks at the interstitial places that comprise these cities and define the lives of their inhabitants.

Flash was born in the United States and is of African and Native American heritage. She spent ten years in London, where she regularly exhibited her work and also attained her MA. A classic Flash photograph, Stay Afloat, Use a Rubber, is part of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum collection. She is now based in New York.

Read more about Flash and her work at her website. Flash has two photographs in the Light Work Collection, which you can view by clicking here. Her work was also featured in Contact Sheet 152, which you can preview and purchase here.

Images: Above, left, Amanda, Cape Town, South Africa, from the series [sur]passing. Right, the artist with her work at the exhibition opening on February 13, 2010.

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