February 15 – March 25, 2001
Beaver College Art Gallery
This traveling exhibition (organized by the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore) features over 1000 snapshots solicited from internationally recognized artists as well as amateur and untrained photographers at every level of experience. Submissions came from 24 countries around the globe, the only requirement for inclusion being that the entries be no larger than 4” x 6” and a suggestion they hold some personal significance for those responding. The show features 800 snapshots originally submitted to the Contemporary Museum (where the exhibition was on view from November 2, 2000 through February 4, 2001) as well as approximately 200 images solicited from area artists, fine art photographers, and residents of the immediate communities within and surrounding Beaver College.
Hung floor-to-ceiling in alphabetical order, each snapshot is labeled with the name, birth year, and city of residence of the person who submitted it, as well as a title ascribed by this individual to the image. While vastly outnumbered by unknown photographers, some of the more internationally recognized contemporary artists participating in the project include: Luis Cruz Azaceta, Polly Apfelbaum, Ken Aptekar, John Baldessari, Jennifer Bornestein, Emily Cheng, Petah Coyne, James Elaine, Louise Fishman, Rainer Ganahl, Douglas Gordon, Harmony Hammond, Holly Hughs, Connie Imboden, Koo Jeong-a, Isaac Julien, Sejla Kameric, Jerry Kearns, Mary Kelly, William Kentridge, Elke Krystufek, Justine Kurland, Pepon Osorio, Fabian Marcaccio, Jonathan Monk Sam Samore, Andres Serrano, Mira Schor, Kiki Smith, Buzz Spector, Jessica Stockholder, John Waters, Randy Wray, Rob Wynne, and Allan Wexler.
“We’re trying to explore the relationship between fine art and non-art imagery and the relationship between things of personal value and images that would be aesthetically valuable in a public context,” said Adam Lerner, associate curator at the Contemporary Museum and exhibition co-curator. As such, the show explores contemporary techniques of popular folk imagery and family documentation as well issues regarding the impact of photographers on their subjects and indeterminate meanings that have always tempered the presentation of snapshots. Other issues raised include the relationship between accidents and deliberate intention, naturalness and theater, and the effects of captions and titles on photographic images. “Snapshot” is accompanied by a CD-ROM catalog (of the original exhibition only) and three special events, each scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in Stiteler Auditorium, Murphy Hall, a short walk from the gallery.
On Thursday, February 22, exhibition curator Adam Lerner will deliver a lecture entitled “Puppy Porn to Debbie Harry: A Curator’s Perspective on the Snapshot Exhibition,” during which he will discuss the process of organizing and realizing the exhibition in Baltimore as well as addressing the many issues and interpretative possibilities yielded by this unusual project.
On Thursday evening, March 1, the gallery will screen Pecker, the 1998 film by participating artist John Waters. This rags-to-riches pastiche of the contemporary artworldstars Edward Furlong as a Baltimore-based youngster whose idiosyncratic photographs of working-class Baltimore life transform him into an art star. But Pecker’s success turns to misery back home as family and friends are dragged from their everyday lives into the spotlight, becoming the subjects of political and cultural debates in the media.
On Thursday evening, March 8, Mia Fineman, curator of this past summer’s Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition “Other Pictures: Vernacular Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection,” will present a lecture entitled “Try Harder, Fail Better: The Accidental Art of the Snapshot.” Fineman will discuss nearly 100 black & white images that comprised the exhibition. Never intended for public display, all of these anonymous photos were made between1900 and 1960 by amateur photographers and hobbyists during an era that saw the emergence of the camera as a nearly ubiquitous accessory of modern life. Chronicling the spirit of their time in refreshing and often unexpected ways, the images were selected exclusively from the collection of Thomas Walther, one of the finest private photo archives in the world. The opening reception will take place in the gallery on Thursday evening, February 22, directly following Adam Lerner’s lecture (at approximately 7:30 pm).
“Snapshot” is a traveling exhibition organized by the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore; Curators: Gary Sangster, Executive Director; Adam Lerner, Associate Curator; Sarah Vezina, Program Assistant, The Contemporary Museum, Baltimore. Eight-hundred of the initial 1325 images presented at the Contemporary Museum (gathered since 1999) are supplemented at the Beaver College Art Gallery with additional snapshots submitted from the immediate neighborhoods surrounding the gallery and the Philadelphia artistic community including photographs from Phoebe Adams, Astrid Bowlby, Susan Fenton, Kevin Finklea, Ap. Gorny, David Graham, Jim Hinz, Sharon Horvath, Howard Hussey, Catherine Jansen, Maurie Kerrigan, Sarah McEneany, Eileen Neff, Gabriel Martinez, Stuart Netsky, Staurt Rome, Maurie Kerrigan, Peter Miraglia, Jennie Shanker, Merle Spandorfer, Sandy Sorlien, Sarah Van Keuren, and Bob and Paula Winokur (list in formation).
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am to 3pm, Weekends noon to 4pm.
The exhibition is funded by the Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts and the Friends and Advisory Board of the Beaver College Art Gallery.
For further information please contact Richard Torchia at 215-572-2131.