This fall, Culturehall announced its first open call for applications for membership. We received a remarkable number of submissions from artists around the world working in various media. From this impressive group of applicants, we selected four artists to create portfolios for the site. Culturehall will announce a winter application call in January 2011.
Jillian Conrad often constructs assemblages with unmediated materials which mirror our innately human abilities and limitations. Her work Falls initially acts as a sculptural wallflower, passively involved in the viewer's space. Providing its elements as truths, upon closer inspection the work suggests functionality as a viewing platform, inviting observers to intimately engage a cloistered image. Through the treatment of a concrete lens, the subject, a re-oriented antique photograph of a waterfall, becomes intangible as a specific image. Much like Jillian's previous work, the untethered visual information of the landscape combine with the man-made nature of the viewing block to create a new space, which occupies a territory between the imagined and real.
Alexander Harding studies our perception of light. He traces the way sunlight falls on commonplace objects in domestic spaces at specific times of the afternoon, and he paints on the objects themselves to record this quality of light. Harding photographs his painted still lifes under artificial light and exhibits the images as large-scale photographic prints in his series, Painted Light. His beautiful and enigmatic images lead us to consider how light affects the way we experience reality as it is translated by both painting and photography.
German photographer Evi Rita Lemberger documents the inhabitants of a border region in the Western Ukraine called Transcarpathia. Ein Nichort describes a "non-place": territory claimed by seven different countries during the last century and where the residents variously speak Hungarian, Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Polish, German, and other regional languages or dialects. An extremely high unemployment rate leaves an ethnically and culturally diverse population struggling to fend for survival through its own limited agricultural resources. Lemberger photographs this fractured community with sensitivity to color, natural light, and human expression. Her sparse interiors reveal the idiosyncrasies of what is actually present - such as galoshes, framed photographs, flowers, and tapestries - within a broader context of absence and neglect.
Sam Keogh creates a form usually reserved for the powers of geological time and pressure through his work Sacriligus Totem. Oscillating between generating and unwinding spectacle, what initially appears as a crystal or gem dissolves into a placeholder of wax, tape and other debris common to contemporary existence. The work ostensibly creates a tension between its scrappiness and preciousness but it emerges out of this polarized space as a declarative fake, announcing its currency as forgery itself. In tandem to his object-based studio practice, Sam works collaboratively with Joseph Noonan Ganley on Radical Love. The project is a series of ongoing experiments in discursive practice revolving around the notion of fidelity to a demand. In whatever form it takes, each participant is equally responsible for its realization. The first Radical Love spawned a three-day camping seminar and publication documenting the products of the event.
David Andrew Frey is a New York-based artist, curator and technologist. He founded Culturehall in 2008 as a new way for artists to connect with curators, gallerists, collectors and other artists. David received a MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000. He has also studied at the Camberwell College of art in London the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin, the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has been involved with Internet-based technologies since 2000.
Tema Stauffer is a photographer based in Brooklyn and a curator for Culturehall. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1995 and received a MFA in Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998. Her work has been exhibited at Jen Bekman Gallery and Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery in New York, as well as galleries and institutions nationally and internationally. She teaches photography courses at William Paterson University and the School of the International Center of Photography, and co-taught a workshop at Toxico Cultura in Mexico City. She also writes a blog about photography, PalmAire. In 2010, she was awarded an AOL 25 for 25 Grant for innovation in the arts.