The Tang to feature work by Wendy Ewald, Gilles Peress, Stephen Shore, Nick Waplington that explores Israel and the West Bank
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (December 12, 2017) — The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College is leading a four-campus exhibition of This Place, which features more than 600 images by twelve internationally acclaimed photographers who explore the personal and public spaces in Israel and the West Bank.
Opening February 3 through April 22, 2018, the Tang’s presentation will feature work by four of the twelve photographers, who each took different approaches, highlighting how photography can illuminate multiple perspectives on a complex topic: Wendy Ewald, taught and photographed children and adults in fourteen communities in Israel and the West Bank in their homes and villages, collecting tens of thousands of digital images, a selection of which is on display at the Tang Museum; Gilles Peress photographed the Road of Patriarchs from Hebron to Jerusalem and the Palestinian village of Silwan in East Jerusalem, areas he considers to be fault lines in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; Stephen Shore used a his 8 x 10 view camera and a digital camera to photograph landscapes and cityscapes, sacred places, street scenes, and community; and Nick Waplington created a photographic survey of Jewish settlements in the West Bank through both family portraits and images of the natural and built environment.
The idea for This Place was conceived in 2005, when French photographer Frédéric Brenner was driven by a desire to create a visual dialogue on the West Bank and Israel that moves beyond the prevailing, often polarized, news media representations. The photographers, all from outside Israel, created their work primarily between 2009 and 2012 and present a diverse portrait of a much-contested land. The goal of the project was to adjust the language and reading of the flood of images from Israel and the West Bank, to find the space between journalism and art, and to use artists to create a “parole poétique” — one that emphasized the essential humanity underlining the thorny conflict.
The Tang Museum has organized public programs that offer audiences the ability to further explore issues raised by This Place, including:
Dunkerley Dialogue with photographer Stephen Shore
Saturday, February 3, 5 pm
A talk with Terence Diggory, Skidmore College Professor Emeritus of English, and This Place artist Stephen Shore
Early Photography and Palestine: A Talk by Issam Nassar
Tuesday, February 6, 6 pm
A talk with Issam Nassar, a Palestinian historian of photography in Palestine and the Middle East, and professor of History at Illinois State University and a research fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies.
Dunkerley Dialogue with photographer Wendy Ewald
Tuesday, February 27, 6 pm
A talk with Crystal Dea Moore, Skidmore College professor of Social Work, and This Place artist Wendy Ewald
Inhabiting/Excavating/Sustaining: Understanding This Place
Wednesday, March 7, 7 pm
A dialogue with Paul Mendes-Flohr, the Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor of Modern Jewish History and Thought at the University of Chicago Divinity School; Jodi Magness, the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at UNC-Chapel Hill; and Michael Ben-Eli, founder of the Sustainability Laboratory. Part of Skidmore College’s Jacob Perlow Event Series.
Staring Back at the Sun: Video Art from Israel, 1970-2012
Wednesday, March 21, 6 pm
Thursday, March 22, 6 pm
A two-night program that traces the development of contemporary video practice in Israel and highlights work by artists who take an incisive, critical perspective towards the cultural and political landscape in Israel and beyond.
Lyd in Exile: Artists' Talk and Work-in-Progress Screening
Monday, April 2, 6 pm
Screening and talk with documentary co-directors Sarah Friedland and Rami Younis, moderated by Nurcan Atalan-Helicke, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences Program at Skidmore College
The four-campus exhibition of This Place is made possible by a three-year grant from the Teagle Foundation, which is supporting the development of curriculum around the exhibition and the creation of new museum-based teaching and learning. The project will culminate in a national public symposium in which the four participating institutions will share methods and outcomes, and locate lessons within the broader context of museum-based pedagogy and its role in higher education.
The three other museums collaborating on This Place are the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University, which will exhibit work by Rosalind Fox Solomon, Josef Koudelka, Thomas Struth, and Nick Waplington; the Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, with work by Wendy Ewald, Fazal Sheikh, Frédéric Brenner, and Stephen Shore; and the University Art Museum, University at Albany, State University of New York, with work by Martin Kollar, Jungjin Lee, Thomas Struth, and Jeff Wall.
This Place has been exhibited at the DOX Center for Art in Prague, Czech Republic (October 24, 2014 – March 2, 2015), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Tel Aviv, Israel (May 14 – September 6, 2015), the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach, Florida (October 15, 2015 – January 15, 2016), and the Brooklyn Museum of Art in Brooklyn, New York (February 12 – June 5, 2016). This Place is organized by Chronicle of a People Foundation, Inc., New York, and the tour is managed by Curatorial Assistance, Pasadena, California. The exhibition was curated by Charlotte Cotton and is organized for the Tang Museum by Rachel Seligman, Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs.
Wendy Ewald (b. 1951, Detroit, Michigan) has spent more than 40 years collaborating with children, families, and teachers all over the world. In her work, she encourages her collaborators to use cameras (as well as using the camera herself) to record themselves, their families and their communities, and to articulate their fantasies and dreams. Ewald often has them mark or write on her own negatives, thereby challenging the concept of who actually makes an image. She has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of American Art, the Fotomuseum in Winterthur, Switzerland among others and participated in the 1997 Whitney Biennial. Her many honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Gilles Peress (b. 1946, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France) started using photography to create museum installations and books in 1971, having previously studied political science and philosophy in Paris. His ongoing project, Hate Thy Brother, looks at similitude and difference and its consequences in ethnic conflicts. Peress' books include Telex Iran; The Silence: Rwanda; Farewell to Bosnia; The Graves: Srebrenica and Vukovar; A Village Destroyed; and Haines. Peress' work has been exhibited and is collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the V&A in London; Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; the Museum Folkwang, Essen; among others. His awards and fellowships include The Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants, Pollock-Krasner and New York State Council of the Arts fellowships, the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography and the International Center of Photography Infinity Award. Peress joined Magnum Photos in 1971 and has served three times as vice- president and twice as president of the co-operative.
Stephen Shore (b. 1947, New York City, New York) has had work widely published and exhibited, with solo shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; George Eastman House, Rochester; Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, Paris; and Art Institute of Chicago. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. His series of exhibitions at Light Gallery in New York in the early 1970s sparked new interest in color photography and in the use of the view camera for documentary work. More than 20 books have been published of Stephen Shore's photographs including Uncommon Places: The Complete Works; American Surfaces; Stephen Shore, a retrospective monograph in Phaidon's Contemporary Artists series; Stephen Shore: Survey and most recently, Survivors in Ukraine and Luzzara. Stephen also wrote The Nature of Photographs, published by Phaidon Press, which addresses how a photograph functions visually. His work is represented by 303 Gallery, New York; and Sprüth Magers, London and Berlin. Since 1982 he has been the director of the Photography Program at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, where he is the Susan Weber Professor in the Arts.
Nick Waplington (b. 1965, London, United Kingdom) studied at Nottingham University for his BA in Fine Art in 1988 before completing his MA with Distinction at the Royal College of Art in 1990. He received an ICP Infinity award in 1993, and was in the Harold Szeemann curated group exhibition in the Arsenale of Venice Biennale in 2001. He has exhibited widely including a solo show at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (Double Dactyl, 2007), and The Philadelphia Museum of Art (Living Room, 1992). His work is held in a number of prominent museum collections including the Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and MoMA, New York. He is the author of more than twenty publications including Living Room, 1991; Other Edens, 1993; Terry Painter L’artiste, 2003; and Settlement, 2014. He lives and works in Los Angeles and New York.
The Teagle Foundation, based in New York City, works to support and strengthen liberal arts education. Teagle sees the liberal arts education as fundamental to meaningful work, effective citizenship, and a fulfilling life. The Foundation aims is to serve as a catalyst for the improvement of teaching and learning in the arts and sciences while addressing issues of financial sustainability and accountability in higher education.
The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College is a pioneer of interdisciplinary exploration and learning. A cultural anchor of New York's Capital Region, the institution's approach has become a model for university art museums across the country—with exhibition programs and series that bring together the visual and performing arts with fields of study as disparate as history, astronomy, and physics. The Tang has one of the most rigorous faculty-engagement initiatives in the nation, the Mellon Faculty Seminar, and robust publication and touring exhibition initiatives that extend the institution's reach far beyond its walls. The Tang Teaching Museum's building, designed by architect Antoine Predock, serves as a visual metaphor for the convergence and exchange of ideas that the institution catalyzes. More information at tang.skidmore.edu.