For the 2010 Biennial’s four principal exhibitions dedicated to Contemporary U.S. Photography, FotoFest has invited five curators to put together the exhibitions.

“The 2010 Biennial is a platform to show the different perspectives of photographic art being created today and the perspectives of a new generation of curators,” says FotoFest Creative Director Wendy Watriss. A fifth non-thematic exhibition, Discoveries of the Meeting Place, showcases outstanding U.S. and international work discovered at the FotoFest portfolio review at the previous Biennial.

FotoFest at Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter St, Houston, Texas
March 12 - April 25, 2010
Curated by: Natasha Egan, Associate Director and Curator, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago

Paul Shambroom
Martin Mace Cruise Missile, Interstate 75 Exit 146,
Centerville, Georgia
, 2008
Courtesy of the artist

Natasha Egan’s selections explore the United States at the close of the “American Century” as the nation negotiates its transition from Cold War superpower to an embattled, economically fragile nation. Ms. Egan says, “The artists in this exhibition address a repertoire of diverse but related themes including politics, surveillance, race, war, and economic insecurity. While the work is oftentimes critical, a quintessentially American optimism is evident.”

Ms. Egan’s selections include: Sheila Pree Bright, Jeff Brouws, Tim Davis, Myra Greene, Eirik Johnson, Erica Larsen, Jason Lazarus, An-My Le, Nic Nicosia, David Oresick, Trevor Paglen, Greta Pratt, Michael Robinson, Victoria Sambunaris, Christina Seely, Paul Shambroom, Greg Stimac, and Brian Ulrich.

FotoFest at Vine Street Studios, 1113 Vine Street, Houston, Texas
March 12 - April 25, 2010

Curated by: Aaron Schuman, photographer, writer, lecturer, curator. Founder and editor of SeeSaw Magazine

Hank Willis Thomas, Are You the Right Kind of Woman For It, from the series Unbranded, 1974/2007
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery

Aaron Schuman explores the legacy and continued influence of a “thoroughly modern photographic figure,” Walker Evans. “The striking similarities between Evans’s time and our own have become all too clear,” says Mr. Schuman. “Bearing this in mind, I began to investigate his profound influence on how the United States is still responded to, regarded, recognized and represented within photography today.”

The artists in Mr. Schuman’s exhibition are: Will Steacy, Michael Schmelling, Greg Stimac, Tema Stauffer, Jason Lazarus, Jane Tam, Richard Mosse, Craig Mammano, Todd Hido, Hank Willis Thomas, and RJ Shaughnessy.

FotoFest at Williams Tower, 2800 Post Oak, Houston, Texas
March 12 - April 18, 2010
Curated by: Curatorial team from the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Charlotte Cotton, Creative Director, National Media Museum, Bradford, U.K., and former Curator and Head of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), was the original curator invited by FotoFest to be one of the principal curators for the Contemporary U.S. Photography exhibitions at FotoFest 2010. At her suggestion, the actual curating for this exhibition was done by the team of curators from LACMA’s Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, Edward Robinson, Associate Curator, and Sarah Bay Williams, Ralph M. Parsons Fellow.

Nicole Belle, Untitled, 2008
Courtesy of the artist

This exhibition and the artists’ work in Assembly, are a reflection of the region’s place in the American mythos. Edward Robinson, one of Assembly's curators explains, “The cultural legacy of Southern California has engaged in an ongoing dialogue between utopian ideals and apocalyptic apprehension – the boosterism of the ‘end of the road’ state heralded for its promise and abundance, in contrast to concerns about the fragility of its natural and constructed environment.”

The selected artists are: Nicole Belle, Matthew Brandt, Peter Holzhauer, Whitney Hubbs, Matt Lipps, Joey Lehman Morris, Asha Schechter, and Augusta Wood.

FotoFest at New World Museum; Art League, Houston; and Isabella Court
March 12 - April 25, 2010
Curated by: Gilbert Vicario, Curator, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa; Former Assistant Curator of Latin American Art and Latino Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Kalup Linzy
Sweetberry Sonnet (Remixed), 2008
Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix and Taxter and Spengemann Gallery, New York
As a curator of contemporary art, Gilbert Vicario sees photography as just one of several media, including video, installation and performance, used by contemporary artists. In Medianation, Mr. Vicario, “explores the interrelationship between the digital image and notions of process and performance in contemporary art. Taking the media as a starting point and as an undeniable (though not unique) American phenomenon, artists in Medianation explore political, sexual, and cultural issues in a moment when the demise of traditional forms of communication: radio, television, film, and photography are giving way to an explosion of digitally-based forms of social interaction including Facebook and Twitter to file and video sharing sites such as YouTube, Xtube, MySpace.”

Artists include: Leslie Hall, Susanne Jirkuff, Adria Julia, Kalup Linzy, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Laurel Nakadate, Sandra Valenzuela, and Emilio Chapela.

Free Screening of Laurel Nakadate's Feature film Stay the Same Never Change, Thursday, April 1, 7pm at the Glassel School of Art.
[details here]


March 12 - April 23, 2010

Of the five Biennial exhibitions sponsored by FotoFest, the one non-thematic exhibition is the eighth edition of the Discoveries of the Meeting Place exhibition, a series that has proven to be a launching pad for numerous photographic careers.  Envisioned as a showcase for some of the best work discovered at the FotoFest’s previous Biennial portfolio review, the Discoveries  exhibition presents work chosen by ten reviewer/curators. The ten artists selected for the 2010 Discoveries exhibit are:

Andy Freeberg, (Mill Valley, CA)
selected by Karen Sinsheimer, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

Judy Haberl,
(Newtonville, MA)
selected by Rhonda Wilson, Rhubarb-Rhubarb, Birmingham, UK

Liz Hickok,
(San Francisco, CA)
selected by Rixon Reed, Photo-eye, Santa Fe, NM

Emma Livingston,
(Buenos Aires, Argentina)
selected by Darren Ching & Debra Klomp Ching, KLOMPCHING Gallery, NY

Toby Morris,
(Los Angeles, CA)
selected by Charles Stainback, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

Rachel Papo,
(Brooklyn, NY)
selected by Christopher Tannert, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

Dona Schwartz, (Minneapolis, MN)
selected by William Ewing, Musee de l’Elsee, Lausanne, Switzerland

Chris Sims,
(Efland, NC)
selected by Pippa Oldfield, Impressions Gallery, Bradford, UK

Sara Terry,
(Los Angeles, CA)
selected by Sue Brisk, Magnum Photo, NY

Ion Zupcu,
(Hopewell Junction, NY)
selected by Madeline Yale, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX


U.S. Vernacular and Chinese Modernism
Jim Vecchi and Xing Danwen

March 12 - April 25, 2010

In collaboration with and presented at the Architecture Center Houston (ArCH)

 U.S. Vernacular and Chinese Modernism pairs Xing Danwen’s modern urban architecture in China (Beijing) and its effects on social space with Jim Vecchi’s architectural and community space in a small New Jersey town, from the 1940s-60s.


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