Joe Johnson: The States Project: Missouri
Most of the photographers I chose for this week’s feature are people I have met since moving to St. Louis. The one exception is Joe Johnson, who I have known since my first year at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where he was a grad student and taught one of the first photography courses I took.
Throughout his career, Joe has made several bodies of work, including The Playing Field, Local Weather, Mega Churches, and The Evening News, a series of pictures of evening news sets, featured here.
He is now an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia and is someone I consider a good friend and colleague. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting his classes many times over the past few years and have also remained inspired by his work for more than a decade. With that, I introduce Joe Johnson.
Joe Johnson’s work has been exhibited internationally and nationally including the Cleveland Art Museum, the Nelson Atkins Museum, Mass MoCA, and the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park. His photographs have been the subject of articles and reviews in Art in America, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Wired Magazine Raw File, Esquire Magazine Russia, and YVI Magazine in the Netherlands. Johnson’s works are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City; the DeCordova Museum and the Beach Art Museum. He holds an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. The recipient of Center Santa Fe’s Excellence in Teaching Award, Johnson currently teaches within the University of Missouri Fine Art Program where he is the Director of Graduate Studies.
These pictures of evening news sets are part of my larger working interest in architectures that share an aesthetic of social persuasion. The critical narrative of my photographs depends on the extent that I can reconcile the visual appearance of objects and spaces with their status as instruments of control. The authority of the network news set seems to come from another time, a pre-internet model of delivering facts from a space built to literally be photographed. My photographs of scenes, both before and behind studio cameras, describe a precarious performative venture, alluding to the fragile staging of breaking news.
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Jen Everett: The States Project: MissouriJanuary 14th, 2017
Joe Johnson: The States Project: MissouriJanuary 13th, 2017
Kat Reynolds: The States Projects: MissouriJanuary 12th, 2017
David Johnson: The States Project: MissouriJanuary 11th, 2017
Priya Kambli: The States Project: MissouriJanuary 10th, 2017