Rafael Soldi curates Here and Now: Queer Geographies in Contemporary Photography
Rafael Soldi has curated an exhibition, Here and Now: Queer Geographies in Contemporary Photography, that opens at the Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh on May 15th and runs through July 19th, 2014. The exhibition highlights the work of artists “embarking on physical and emotional journeys to define and discover queerness across the American landscape. Turning to more than just their immediate surroundings, the artists of Here & Now intuitively look for meaning through their personal travels and relationships.”
Rafael states, “These artists’ instinctive search for context stems out of a desire for human connection and extended placeness fueled by a history of otherness in the world. In this exhibition, images become the spaces where new maps are imagined and created; they help us map our own place within a larger territory as we define what it means to be queer today.”
The artists and artist teams making up Here & Now each share their individual understanding of what it means to be queer today:
Zackary Drucker (Los Angeles, CA); Molly Landreth (Seattle, WA); Michael Max McLeod (Phoenix, AZ); Elle Perez (New Haven, CT); Richard Renaldi (Chicago, IL); We Are the Youth, featuring Laurel Golio and Diana Scholl (both Brooklyn, NY); and #1 Must Have, featuring Adrien Leavitt, and A. Slaven (both Seattle, WA).
Zackary Drucker complicates established binaries of view and subject, insider and outsider, and male and female in order to create a complex image of the self. Presented through a video projection, Drucker’s Lost Lake posits beauty and fear as inextricable from the psyche of the American landscape. Contemplative moments and stunning vistas are jarringly punctuated with the vocabularies of witch-hunts, hate crimes, and psychological violence.
Zackary earned an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007 and a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2005. She has performed and exhibited her work internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals, including the 2014 Whitney Biennial; the 54th Venice Bienniale; Curtat Tunnel, Lausanne Switzerland; L.U.C.C.A. Museum of Contemporary Art, Lucca, Italy; Les Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; MOMA PS1, New York; Invisible Exports, New York; and Jerome Zodo, Milan. In Los Angeles, her performances, films, and videos have been seen at the Hammer Museum, REDCAT, L.A.C.E., Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Steve Turner Contemporary, and Human Resources. She current lives and works in Los Angeles and is represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
Molly Landreth presents a seven year journey through rapidly changing communities across America to offer brave new visions of what it means to be queer in America today. She explores concepts of identity and community through intimate large-format film photography and multimedia collaboration.
Molly earned an MFA in Photography, Video, and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and a BA in Studio Arts from Scripps College in California. She has exhibited and lectured about her work at the Seattle Art Museum Gallery, the Jen Bekman Gallery, Leslie/Lohman Gallery and Kathleen Cullen Fine Art in New York, as well as many other universities and festivals internationally. Molly was the recipient of the Robert Giard Memorial Fellowship and named one of the Humble Art Foundation’s top 31 Emerging Art Photographers. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Time Magazine’s Lightroom Blog, LeMonde, The Guardian, and The Advocate, among others. Landreth is based in Seattle where she is a freelance photographer specializing in portraiture and lifestyle work.
Michael Max McLeod has photographed over 200 adult video arcades throughout America, using a camera to photograph an architecture of voyeurism. McLeod’s images reveal circumstantial worlds that exist entirely in the dark, proving why adult video arcades still exist in the Internet era.
Michael earned a Bachelor of fine Art in 2011 from Arizona State University. Before studying photography, McLeod worked as a designer for the Rolling Stone website and as a producer for Playboy. Starting in 2011, Michael published the ten-photobook series, Casual Encounters. Images from Casual Encounters appeared in exhibitions worldwide and were published in Queer Zines Volume 2, Self Publish Be Naughty, and 10×10 American Photobooks. His work has been exhibited at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, Indiana; The Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, the Netherlands; and the Tokyo Institute of Photography. In 2013, he received a Phoenix Art Museum Contemporary Forum Emerging Artist Grant for his photographs of adult cinemas. McLeod currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
Elle Perez takes on a countrywide journey to document queer Diasporas, and her photographs draw attention to the often unspoken and undocumented space between genders.
Elle is currently pursuing her MFA at Yale University. She previously received a BFA in Photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011. She has exhibited throughout the United States, most recently at Current Gallery in Baltimore.
Richard Renaldi presents Hotel Room Portraits, which offers a glimpse into the artist’s life on the road and creates emotional documents of mundane and carnal moments past. His images are not only a record of intimacy and a journal of his travels with his partner Seth, but also an affirmation of their commitment to one another over the span of fifteen years.
Richard received his BFA in Photography from New York University in 1990. His photographs have been shown at galleries and museums throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. In 2006, Richards’s first monograph, Figure and Ground, was published by the Aperture Foundation. His second monograph, Fall River Boys, was released in 2009 by Charles Lane Press. Richards’s most recent monograph, Touching Strangers, was released by the Aperture Foundation in April 2014. He is currently represented by Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York; Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta; and Robert Morat Galerie, Hamburg, Germany.
We Are the Youth focuses on addressing the lack of visibility of LGBT young people by providing a space to share stories in an honest and respectful way through portraiture and storytelling. We Are the Youth captures the incredible diversity and uniqueness among the LGBT youth population.
Since 2010, We Are the Youth work has been shown at the Brooklyn Museum, the Leslie/Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the Fresh Fruit Festival, and the GenderReel Festival. The group was created by childhood friends and Brooklyn-based artists, Laurel Golio and Dianna Scholl. Laurel Golio’s work revolves around the examination of community and its various subcultures, and she is especially interested in using portraiture to investigate issues of self-presentation and identity. She graduated from Smith College with a degree in Visual Anthropology. Diana Scholl is an award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in New York Magazine, City Limits, POZ and Westchester Magazine. In addition to writing, she currently serves as a communications strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Journalism.
#1 Must Have reframes the queer experience outside of the victim paradigm often seen in popular culture and presents their subject through contemporary vernacular such as zines, Tumblr sites, community exhibitions, and queer dance parties.
#1 Must Have is a Seattle-based photo-zine and blog documenting queer culture. It is produced by Adrien Leavitt, a photographer and lawyer, and A. Slaven, a librarian by day and club promoter by night, whom, for the last four years, have been photographing and posting color portraits of Seattle’s queer community.
About the Curator
Rafael Soldi is a Peruvian-born, Seattle-based photographer and independent curator. He is currently the Marketing Director at Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle. Soldi earned his BFA in Photography & Curatorial Studies from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has curated exhibitions at Farmani Gallery; Wilgus Gallery, Baltimore; the Maryland Institute College of Art; and the Photographic Center Northwest. His work has been exhibited and published internationally at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle; the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC; the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA; Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle; Connersmith, Washington, DC; and Photographic Center Northwest, among others. He is a 2012 Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Award Winner, 2014 Puffin Foundation grant recipient, and his work is in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington; Frye Art Museum; and the King County Public Art Collection, Seattle; among others. For more information, please visit www.rafaelsoldi.com.
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