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September 03, 2007


Lexi Auman

The exhibition I attended was the Souther Rites exhibition by Gillian Laub. I also attended the corresponding show, so I did have some background knowledge going into the exhibition on what it was about. After being able to physically view her work I was even more taken back by the quality of her images and the emotions you get from seeing her connection to the subjects. What is interesting about the exhibition is that it was arranged in a story telling way, where we begin with the girl who first wrote a letter and continue on into both the change of segregated proms, and the eventual tragedy that would strike. This helps tell the story of what is going on, and sets viewers up in a way to get close with the subjects and learn more about them.

One thing I really enjoyed about the individual images is that they had a corresponding note written by the subject and even sometimes by their relatives. Each caption also listed the subjects name and some info about them, which I think helps encourage the story and really shows Gillian's relationship with her subjects. These quotes gave a lot of history and background to the images, and put everything into context for those who were unable to attend her show. Each image also did a great job of portraying the subjects honestly, there was no sugar coating for the harder hitting images, but at the same time she did capture prom in a very beautiful way.

My personal favorite images were of the girls getting ready at the salon. The overall quality and the amazing color in these prints was stunning. Not only that but you fall in love with these girls and relate to their experience of getting ready and being excited for Prom. Overall, the entire exhibition was very strong, and I would highly suggest viewing her images.

Karissa Dohm

I saw Sarah Stankey’s MFA exhibition “Cache” on two separate occasions on March 26th and March 27th. My initial impression was that it was not a cohesive photography exhibition. There were several different mediums of art, including photos, bookbinding, and even just use of props. The photography aspect of the exhibition seemed to have two different themes: self-portraits and collections. I thought the collection part was interesting, as the frames were all different—one of them even framed in a drawer. The photos themselves didn’t leave a strong impression on me, as within the space, they didn’t take up a lot of room. The self-portraits seemed to be the central attraction of the exhibit, as most of the props and surrounding items were in the self-portraits or in line with the themes of them. I thought seeing contrasting ways one person can portray themselves, especially with most of them in the same space and from generally the same angle (head-on, looking into the camera) was really interesting. The photos themselves were sharp and impressionable.
The photos and works that were in the books didn’t leave as strong of an impression with me but seeing the hand-bound books and the other ways they looked and felt homemade is what left the impression with me. Being able to see all the items that were in the pictures was also incredible because at being able to see them with my own eyes showed me how ordinary they are, which made seeing them in the photos that much more extraordinary.
The one portrait that felt like it didn’t fit in was the KFC self-portrait. It didn’t have the sense of nature the rest of the works had, and there were no props that were in the picture within the space itself. It felt like it was just placed there to fill the space.
The rest of the pieces were comprehensive to me, and seeing all the different pieces together in one room, along with the opportunity to be able to interact with so many of the objects in the pictures, was very impressionable to me, and I feel like this work is going to stick with me for a long time.

Lexi Auman

Lecture Review:

I attended the Southern Rites lecture done in the Chazen by artists, Gillian Laub. Gillian is one of many UW Madison alumni, and in her lecture based around her exhibition she spoke on her experience taking the images and the corresponding film. This lecture was super interesting, and it was really emotional to hear her experience while capturing the images. Gillian began by discussing what lead her to be interested in the project, and how a teenage girl reached out about not being able to take her boyfriend to “White Prom”. After following up with the letter and going to Montgomery County, GA Gillian came to find that the town was still holding segregated proms, and that this was a normal occurrence at the high school. During her first visit many people were resistant in sharing any information on why this segregation was still occurring, and kids refused to talk to her if she meant to bring race into the conversation. After exposing that proms were segregated her first time visiting, Gillian explained the entire town become very hostile towards journalists of any sorts, and that when she went back she was met by officers and angry parents.

Listening to her experiences returning to this town and not being allowed to take photos because of the fear of these parents was really worrisome, you don’t really think of the consequences linked to exposing such a huge issue. Perhaps what stood out to me the most during her lecture, before the exhibition, was her own personal connection to each of the kids. Gillian showed video clips from her film, and even in some of the photos she showed prior to the exhibition you can feel how involved she is in the lives of these kids. When she began discussing the murder of one of the boys by an older white man, I couldn’t help but cry because this entire piece is so relevant to what is happening today. Overall it was fascinating to hear about this very long process which was very challenging for Gillian to capture. It wasn’t simply going in and taking images of a segregated prom, it was exposing this and then dealing with the aftermath. I think that her images really capture a story, and bring to light a very real situation still occurring in the United States.

One thing Gillian's work inspires me to do is to get out of my comfort zone, as well as making connections with the people I photograph. Gillian was not afraid of the challenge, even when it seemed to make thing impossible, which is something I really look up to.

Melissa Paterson

I chose to go and listen to Monica Moses Haller talk as a part of colloquium. Haller is a multimedia artist who does a lot of long term collaborations and whose work involves social and environmental justice. Much of her work is framed by her origins and where her family came from; Louisiana and New Orleans. She uses photography as well as other mediums to capture the area around the Mississippi River bank and how different environmental and human influenced actions affect the area. Some of her photographs show the impact that hurricane Katrina had on the land such as oak tree skeletons; the remains of these huge trees that were suffocated after Katrina went through. In the background of these photographs you can see an oil refinery which further depicts the tension of the forces as play in the area and the mark they have on the land. This work segways into a conversation about ownership and who owns the water once the land is gone.
One thing that she has photographed a lot and is a central part of her body of work is the Oak tree. She began photographing this tree when she was nineteen and has been photographing it for eighteen years since. She said that oak trees resist being photographed because they are so big and it is impossible to fit the whole tree into the frame of the picture. According to Haller this is when the medium of photography is at its best; it forces the artist to think about the tree in parts.

Melissa Paterson

I went to the photography exhibit in the Chazen Museum titled Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty by Michael Kienitz. The show consisted of a collection of photographs taken over a span of five years that captures the beauty of one of Iceland’s national parks Vatnajökull, and the glacier for which it is named. At the same time that he was showing the immense beauty of the landscape, he was also making a commentary on how climate change is actively affecting it.
Many of his photographs were taken of the same area, but months or even years apart and the change from one to the other was drastic. One of the descriptive paragraphs next to the photographs explained that one of the caves that he photographed did not exist anymore, it was just a bunch of rubble and stone left. This exhibition of photographs was using artwork and his artistic skills to capture and comment very dramatically on something which has been a huge social issue in recent years. Kienitz is bringing light to this issue in a way that really draws the viewer in. His photographs are absolutely stunning and while he is showing you this gorgeous landscape and the natural structures that make it up, he’s also saying ‘look at how beautiful this is, it doesn’t exist anymore’.

Hayley Snell

I attended a colloquium discussion with Monica Moses Heller.

The first thing that drew me to Monica’s work is her relationship with land and nature. I have always found the human connection to nature fascinating and I think her perspective on this is interesting. Monica talked about how nature can be so representative of other ideas, like a river flowing and moving like time, or how trees resit and grow like people. I also enjoyed the questions she posed about what makes art and what power art has. She discussed how artists take on various jobs, in order to facilitate, document, critique, lift up others, and create. I want to consider this in my own work and make note of the story I want to tell and how it affects those around me.

Monica also worked with other mediums like sound and sculpture, which I think added an interesting dynamic to her work. Because she used several mediums she had to work to make sure they all fit together cohesively. She has to make sure her style was apparent throughout and that each piece of work she produced had meaning.

Monica also discussed her processes and how she went about documenting and creating art. I think one of the best pieces of advice she gave was to move slowly and take the time you need to finish your work. I am so often flustered with deadlines and rushing to get things done, I often forget that photography is art and it takes time to develop and grow. It is important to learn and grow, just as much as it is to finish your work and be happy with it.

Because of Monica’s lecture, I am challenging myself to consider the power my work holds. I also think it would be interesting to consider using multiple types of mediums to tell a single story.

Hayley Snell

I attended the Southern Rites exhibition from Jillian Laub in the Chazen Art Museum.
Photography has the power to change how people see the world. I think it is the main reason I have been so drawn to it. While walking through the Southern Rites exhibit, I was reminded just how powerful a single photograph can be. Laub’s style is more photojournalistic, in that it has a back story and message to tell, which works so well to pull the audience in. It is a fluid piece of work, rather than a bunch of stand-alone stories.
Laub’s work is incredibly cohesive, and each photo tells a different side to segregated proms. She was able to talk to and photograph different kinds of students, parents, faculty, and situations. She also stuck with the story over a long period of time, this meaning that the stories of various students branch off into their own space.
I loved that Laub was able to also incorporate mementos, yearbooks, and quotes from the subjects she was photographing. It really humanized the subjects and brought her art to life. These objects and works made the story feel so devastating and real.
I think that it is so easy for some people to ignore the issue of racism and say it was a thing of the past. This exhibit does work to show that clearly isn't true. The story that she is telling is incredibly relevant and important. It should be addressed and have light shed on it. For me, it was deeply disturbing and heartbreaking, but I think more people need to be shown the reality of racism, especially in the U.S.

Saasha Sundaresh

The Chazen Museum presented Michael Kienitz’s Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty earlier in the year and I found the images displayed to be captivating. With the presentation of his show, I believe that the display and how the exhibit was organizes was a very important feature. The prints are made on aluminum and have no borders. I think this was such an effective decision because the use of tha aluminum created a shiny reflection on the image which enhanced the appearance of the ice and water that was photographed. By not using frames and borders, the image was the only focus and used all the space available to it. The reason behind the use of aluminum was to preserve the images for many many years. I think it is a very interesting decision because by preserving these images, the difference in the landscape will be noticeable if he is able to go on the same journey and photography his travels several years from the last visit. The images themselves are extraordinary. They show the beauty and raw nature of the area and thinking about how it will change almost breaks your heart. I think the images bring an environmental awareness to the viewer just in the knowledge that the area will be different in the future. The title “Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty” supports this awareness by reemphasizing the fact that it will not always look this way.

Saasha Sundaresh

On Wednesday April 10, the colloquium class presented artist Monica Moses Haller. She discussed several of her projects with a strong emphasis on her work in Louisiana and the Mississippi river. Beginning her lecture, she discussed some of her collaborations and the different types of work she likes to do and focus on. Many of her projects focus on social justice, environment, and collaboration.
The first project she discussed was her Veterans Book Project. In this project she was a design editor. She helped people that were present in Iraq and Afghanistan share their stories. There are a wide range of individuals that are a part of this project including civilians and families of the Veterans. When displaying the pieces, the team has left the display design open to the curators. They want it to be in a reading style environment where individuals can sit and take in all the information shared in the books. She believes that photography can be more engaging when it is approached critically. One of the biggest projects she discussed was an audio project she has been working on for several years now along the Mississippi River. It engages with environmental factors and sounds that may be heard in and along the Mississippi River. At the end of the journey she photographed a series of Live Oaks in the Louisiana area. She wanted the trees to provide an access into family and they served that purpose for her while she explored the history of her family and how they were able to move along the river to the Minnesota area.

Amanda Zhang

Photography Exhibition Review - Proms Integrated

The first thing that captured my attention at the Chazen was the exhibition titled “Proms Integrated.” When I walked into that room, the giant portraits of high schoolers dressed up for a dance was interesting. What kind of exhibition is just nice photos of prom, I wondered? However, on closer inspection, I realized the photos that are hung up couldn't have existed even as early as 2009. In Montgomery County, Georgia, even though the town has been “integrated” for generations, the local high school prom was still segregated. The white prom was held first, and then the black prom was held in the same space the day after. After reading this on the artist statement, I looked closer at the portraits being displayed and the description under each one. I was appalled that this kind of segregation still existed in this day and age.
“Proms Integrated” is not just a simple exhibition showing how a once segregated prom is now whole again. Even though Montgomery County has now had integrated prom since 2010, there has been lots of pushback. For example, in 2011 when photographer Gillian Laub was trying to capture the integrated prom on film, the sheriff physically attacked Laub and grabbed her camera and equipment. If the sheriff, someone who was supposed to keep order, could take such drastic measures in defiance of an integrated prom, then the racist townsfolk have no incentive to be welcoming to the idea of an integrated prom.
In the midst of the depressing photos, there were some happy stories. A bi-racial couple who went to the first integrated prom is now happily married with their third child on the way in 2016. This is evidence that not everyone in Montgomery County is so short sighted like that sheriff in 2011.

Molli A. Pauliot

Exhibition Review:
Un/Seen: The Alchemy of Fixing Shadows

The Un/Seen: The Alchemy of Fixing Shadows exhibition at the Chazen Museum, Leslie and Johanna Garfield Galleries showing February 15 to April 14, 2019. Exhibition was curated by students from AH506/806 Introduction to Museum Studies: Theory & Methods, taught by Sarah Anne Carter, Curator and Director of Research at the Chipstone Foundation and produced in collaboration with the Chipstone foundation. This exhibition was curated by students in AH506/806 Introduction to Museum Studies: Theory & Methods, taught by Sarah Anne Carter. Featuring works from four photographers Eric Baillies, Jon Horvath, Tomiko Jones, and Tom Jones.
The exhibit outlines the history of photography including early photographic process focusing on changes in science and art. The chemical process development of prints and the complexity of science that changed from the first photographs to the current featured artists. The progression to include photography as art in the 19th century and creative strengths the featured photographers are using. Photographs are used as historical objects of the era in which they were taken entangled in science, events, and powerful mystical magic process as capturing the moment while revisiting historical techniques.
The features artists Eric Baillies, Jon Horvath, Tomiko Jones, and Tom Jones all contributed a photograph that explored their artistry in capturing history. Eric Baillies explores photography at Eastman House with collodion negative and silver nitrate (carbon print), tintype, ambrotype to make a negative and salt print. Baillies recommends that artists visit the History of Photography at George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. Jon Horvath, Beer Bottles and Tumbleweeds, works focuses on Bliss, Idaho, a small town along the Oregon Trail. Horvath used tintype in his work. Tomiko Jones, Rattlesnake Lake, using lake water to clean the film and developed using platinotype. The lake takes on two roles in her work as the image itself and assistant in making the print. Tom Jones, “Choka Watching Oprah,” captures his grandfather in a comfortable quiet daily moment watching TV in his living room with his family pictures in the background. Jones used a gelatin silver prints with this image. The featured artists shared their interest, influences, historical, and modern uses of techniques. Modern photography may be seen as faster, easier, and less complex however the creative artistry that historical knowledge has given to the craft is appreciated in Un/Seen: The Alchemy of Fixing Shadows.

Molli A. Pauliot

Artist Review:Un/Seen: The Alchemy of Fixing Shadows

Roundtable Discussion with Eric Baillies, Jon Horvath, Tomiko Jones, and Tom Jones at the Chazen Auditorium on February 14, 2019, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The discussion was moderated by Sarah Anne Carter, Curator and Director of Research at the Chipstone Foundation. The goal of the discussion is to explain the artist’s submissions on exhibit and what historic techniques in science, art, and magic create photographic experience. How does photographic history influence current trends and the changes that continue to be explored by artists with creativity?
Eric Baillies spoke on his experience exploring and working at Eastman House with collodion negative and silver nitrate (carbon print), tintype, ambrotype to make a negative and salt print. Recommending that artists visit the History of Photography at George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. Jon Horvath shared his need for self-discovery in his work and his dedication to getting the right photograph. Horvath worked with tintypes and his submitted photo was a landscape photo from Bliss, Idaho taken during a super moon. The landscape was an old Indian Chief silhouette in a cliffside. Tomiko Jones spoke of receptivity tasks and the P’s consisting of place, performance, politics, play, people in conversations, and process. Tom Jones revealed that he had a family history with Kodiak and his father’s work in the company yet, explored painting before turning to photography. He is always working on multiple projects and has worked with film and digital prints.
There was a greater amount of conversation at the end of the talk and with four professional artists more timed allotted for more questions and artists comments would have been appropriate. All four artists contribute early influence too family members and relationships to their parents or grandparents. This information expressed the support and nurturing access they had by family that feed their creativity at an early age. There is modern influence expressed by their interest in specific location, nature, family, and sciences. A creative collaboration with students and colleagues to learn different techniques and technology to be used in their artistry. The stories they shared allowed for a better understanding in their art and submissions in the exhibit.

Lai Seipel

Lai Photography Lecture Review

Michael Kienitz’s lecture inspired me to take stock of my own photographic practice. His in-depth knowledge of the structures and the processes that go into the formation of the beauty around him, I believe, was the core reason that he was able to create such great works. The ability to understand the sources of light and how they are formed, such as the moulins which allow light to enter the caves, gives his work the ability to be scientific and artistic. Michael spent 5 years photographing these vanishing and beautiful landscapes. I found it shocking to realize that places like this exist and that fantasy films were even created here. We should be joyous of the moments we have with this beautiful place and accept the fact that nothing is permanent and we can only move forward until the end. Despite the fact that this world is warming and these wondrous places will never be the same. For now, we have proof that they did exist.

Lai Seipel

Lai Photography Exhibition Review

The work of Michael Kienitz in Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty is both poignant and somber. His dedication to preserving the vanishing natural beauty of the Icelandic Glaciers is honorable and I found it inspiring. As the Earth warms we will continue to see more of these natural wonders disappear. With them, the beauty of these places will also change. One great example of this was one of the works which were of a cave that no longer exists. The beautiful vibrant light which he captured can no longer be seen in the same way. There is a tendency to be nostalgic when looking at these images, realizing that nothing will ever be the same. It is true that our earth is warming and scientifically speaking we have passed the point of no return. I believe that it is important to take these works as they are and accept this change. Honor those who wish to preserve the beauty for the future generations and face the change of our world head-on.

Rita Benissan

In the start of the semester, I went to the New Midwest Photography at the James Watrous Gallery in the Overture building. It was great to see such a cohesive exhibition that showcase many works from different photographers from the Midwest. One of my favorite works were from Dave Jordano. He had a series of photos of Detroit abandon houses and building at night. Being from Michigan and seeing these types of building really gave them new life specially in the night time setting.

After the show, I looked into more of his work and how he capturing the forgot neighborhood that people kind of forget about in Detroit. He found a way to highlight the neighbor and the resident that live in these scenery. Another one of my favorites was Andy Adam with his portraiture, looking back now I really enjoyed the and also Clarissa Bonet

It was a really good opportunity for me to attend this opening reception specially at the beginning of the semester, because it gave insight on how different thing people photographer and what stories that they are portraying in their work!

Ciera A Lampshire

Ciera Lampshire Exhibition Review

I went to the Family Pictures exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum, it will be on display until January 20th, 2019. Family Pictures features black photographers and explores the ways they portrayed a range of familial relationships. The exhibition shows more than just photographs, but for this review that is all I am focusing on. Some of the images are more intimate, while others touch on the history of race within the United States. The exhibition was an interesting idea, but I’m not sure I enjoy there being photographs among installations and videos, it seems like a bit much. The photos themselves are very interesting to me, because they are so different from the work I produce. Some seem carefree and candid, while others seem more posed. There was a series of colored photographs that seemed to be from one particular families photo album that I felt very different from the other works. LaToya Ruby Frazier’s Momme and John Edmonds’ Untitled II were my favorite works of the exhibition. They were both so strong and dramatic, and I was just drawn to them over the others. Momme interested me because the composition had a woman half covered by the profile of another woman sitting in front of her, and it just felt like a mother and daughter to me and brought strong emotions of my mother and the love I have for her. Untitled II has this beautiful lighting that creates such a dramatic final image even though it appears that the photo was taken in someone’s kitchen. This photo just makes me think of how sometimes you can feel alone even when you’re with your family.

Overall I found this exhibition to be very interesting, though not entirely cohesive in my own personal opinion. It was also interesting to see so many portraits, since I don’t do that sort of photography. I did enjoy seeing the different values and definitions of family and how each artist portrayed their subjects differently. The exhibition definitely made me think of the history of the United States and my own family and how we value each other, which I feel is the goal of the work.

Ciera Lampshire

Ciera Lampshire Lecture Review

I attended Michael Kienitz’s artist talk tour at the Chazen Art Museum. He currently has a show entitled Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty that will be up at the Chazen until February 3rd, 2019. Seeing his work for the first time was truly amazing. His photos are large prints on aluminum that are free of any frame or glass, and I think printing on the metal was a smart choice because it made the ice look so interesting and beautiful. He said that he keeps his photos as shot, because if he changes them it’s like he is changing the natural habitat of Iceland. I absolutely love that because I also am interested in nature photography and I try to keep my images as true as possible to really show the beauty I found in nature. I feel like me, he is showing how important it is to take care of the Earth, especially in his photo showing how much greenhouse gases effected the natural state of these mountains and ice formations in Iceland. His images of large glacier forms could comment on global warming and how we need to start thinking about future generations and preserve our environment. He stated that for this series he worked with a Sony a7R 11, a mirrorless lens camera, and a drone. He stated that he printed his photographs on aluminum because they would then last for over 300 years, but I also think they add a nice touch to the photos themselves. It’s interesting that he wants his work to last for so long, because I feel there will definitely be a lot of change in Iceland’s scenery between that time. Some people in the group had asked how he is able to stand the cold for so long to capture this series, to which he laughed and stated that the weather is pretty similar to Madison.

I knew I had wanted a drone before attending this talk, but now it is even more so. I have always dreamed about traveling the world and taking stunning photos to show people who have never had the chance to go there, or to show change to those who don’t believe our Earth will one day die, or to show what goes unnoticed to the usual traveler. Attending this talk only made me more ambitious to achieve my dream, and it was a great time learning about how someone else was able to capture the beauty of a faraway land and bring it back for us to see. He seemed like a very genuine person and his photography is beautiful.

Rita Benissan

I was able to attend the artist talk with Michael Kienitz, who was featuring his series Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty at the Chazen Art Museum through September 14- February 3rd, 2018. I was just really amazing about he was able to capture the true beauty of Iceland. Also enjoyed how he said that he doesn’t edit or change to his photos because in a way if he changes it, he is changing the natural habitat that these mountain and glacier shows. To me that shows he is very strategic when it comes to going to Iceland to get the purest colors from scenery. He could also be considered his work to show why it so important to take care of the earth. He even had photo that he took to show how much carbon dioxide and gases effects the natural state of these mountains.

He works with mostly with drone capturing the sceneries in Iceland. He uses a Sony Mirror less camera (a7R 11) that holds up to 1044 mega file. The way he presents his work is on aluminum without any frames and no glass. He uses that way to present his work, because his photographs would last for over 200-300 years. Which was just very interesting to hear. He capturing this ice mountains that has lasted or been around over 150-200 years. A lot of people who attended this talk was older men and women who travel all over the around and take photos. When they question about how are you able to withhold the cold for so long taking this photography, he just laughed and explain the climate is pretty similar to Madison.

It was also cool for him to talk to talk about how people might think his images are dirty specially when it comes to the picture of the volcanos, but it really is the pumice that resistant like a dust form.

Yuqi Lin

Another photography exhibition I visited was Studies in Stone, Ice, and Memory by Peter Blanchard, Terri Messinides, and Steven Ralser at Overture.

The first series of photos I saw were Ralser’s about ice. There were ice holes, ice cracks, gas bubbles under ice level… Everything was about ice. According to his idea, each frozen ice fishing hole is unique. If you look at them carefully, each of them would have different textures and scratches. There are gas bubbles continuously rising from the lake bed, and those bubbles can be frozen in ice and form into different patterns.

Blanchard, on the other hand, put his focus to the natural mountain or scene rather than water (ice). He had several photos taken at Antelope Canyon, with powerful red-brown color compared with Ralser’s work. According to Blanchard, those “stones” were a remarkable record of geological time, as it took them millennia to form and there might be many interesting stories happening during such a long time. Indeed, even though we are unable to see the whole process today, we can imagine and learn from those old existing objects. Afterall, history is always precious knowledge with impressive stories behind those simple objects.

I then went to the other side of the exhibition, where another exhibition was on as well. There was a pretty interesting series of work there. It was about using printer underwater to scan pictures out. Those images looked colorful and abstract.

Charlotte Mabie

”HotSpots” is a photography show on display in the Danziger Gallery in New York which I visited during Thanksgiving break. Liz Nielsen created this collection of photographs using old fashion darkroom techniques that were also used to make photograms. I read her artist statement to get a better idea of how her work was made and was initially surprised to learn that it was actually done without a camera. Rather, Nielson would gather various textured materials and layered them on top of each other to form a composition. Then she would project light and paint over the paper to create unique shapes.
After reading how this was done, I was instantly drawn to this process for many reasons. I enjoy the textures created by the layered materials and how the organic lines and shapes resemble rock forms. I also appreciated the disorder. In a process like this, there’s no way of predicting exactly what you’re going to get. In her artist statement she explains how the best results come just by experimenting with the materials until something works.
Liz Nielson’s photograms consist of vibrant colors and backgrounds that resemble galaxies. I found her work very different then most other photographers I have known. Her use of the photogram process and bright colors create abstract compositions that grab the viewers eye. I was especially drawn to a particular photogram called “Spacestone Arch”. This piece had a dark background that reminded me of looking at the night sky. In the foreground there were various shapes creating an arch. The pink shapes seemed to be glowing off of the page.

Yuqi Lin

I attended the lecture Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty given by Michael Kienitz at the beginning of the semester at Chazen Museum lecture hall. It was the first time I had been to an art lecture with so many people. The lecture hall was extremely overwhelming.

Kienitz introduced us about the location and geographic situation of the places he stayed, talked about what living skills (or just climbing/walking skills in ice mountains) he learned from local guide to take those amazing pictures. He also invited one of his guides to the lecture and he gave a brief talk.

After the lecture, I also went to his exhibition. Those photos are so gorgeous and amazing that not much afterward PS was needed. They looked super natural and comfortable. Kienitz also took a series of aurora photos but I did not see many in his exhibition (if I remember correctly). He showed them in his lecture, which made me further want to visit Iceland. Among the photos in the exhibition, there was one I really love – one with many seals lying on the ice lands on the seaside. It was taken from the sky, using DJI if I remember correctly.

This lecture and exhibition not only showed us the beautiful scenes of Iceland, but more importantly, it made people think – the environmental problem, the global warming problem and so on. Imagining such a beautiful scene may disappear in few decades, how would you feel? I think I would be truly sad and regretful. Therefore, it is important that people learned from such a lecture or exhibition and take action in their daily life together to protect the environment. It is human’s duty to keep these beautiful things and moments but not destroy them.

Charlotte Mabie

Lecture Response
A few days ago I had the opportunity to visit the exhibit at the Chazen, “Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty: Photography by Michael Kienitz”. Not only did I see the photographs on display, I attended a tour with the artist who explained the process behind creating his body of work. Michael Kienitz visited Iceland for the first time over five years ago and became aware of the melting glaciers that were deteriorating at a fast rate. He was extremely interested in studying this further, so he returned to Iceland and spent over five years living in Vatnajokull National Park capturing photographs of the beautiful landscapes and learning about how climate change was destroying them. Vatnajokull National Park is home of the worlds largest glacier, as well as other landscapes including volcanoes, ice caves, waterfalls, canyons, and mountains.
Before understanding the significance of his work, I found the photos very striking. They show beautiful scenes of natural landscapes that most people will never see in person. He mentioned that he doesn’t ever retouch his photographers, and doesn’t edit them to visually enhance them because he want’s them to appear just as they do in real life. He also told us how he used a drone to capture some of these images, but was always careful not to disturb wildlife. What I found to be most impressive about his work after hearing him speak was not just the quality of the photos. It was the way he saw these landscapes and knew that they had to be documented before they were gone. His work resonated with me because of the way they captured a heartbreaking and exquisite phenomenon.

Kenzie Bryant

Show review

Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty

I attended the show Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty, photography by Michael Kienitz at the Chazen Museum. The show focuses on the beautiful natural wonders of Iceland and how it is being affected by the ever-increasing issue of global warming.

From an overall curatorial viewpoint, the show was very well organized and had a great flow throughout the space. I appreciated the inclusion of seating throughout the space because it suggests the viewer to really spend time with the work and not only move around, seeing all different angles but also to go up close as well as step back and rest to take it all in. Kienitz work is full of great colors and insane detail that in order to experience it entirely, the viewer must spend time with the show as well as the individual pieces.

When I first came into the show I had immediate questions of why this place, how did he go about gaining access to an area that must be harshly effected by the global climate and is there a social or environmental goal in presenting these images to the world as most would never be able to see it for themselves? Some of those questions were answered for me in the detailed show description at the entry of the show but I left the show still wondering if there was a way he could use this artistic work to call attention to the fact that indeed these amazing views and natural wonders will soon be gone.

There were a few aspects that I may have liked to be different. First, I would have liked his video to be more prominent. It was set on a small screen, mounted directly following the small hallway, and wasn’t given its own space to breath and be taken in. Had he placed it in the bigger part of the gallery so there could be more space to stand and watch, it may have been more powerful. Also, the video included music which really added to the whole experience when not only viewing the video but the still photos as well. I wish that the music was actually throughout the whole gallery because it would have made the entire experience even more powerful. Also, including the music overall will help drown out some of the noise from kids and large groups and possibly facilitate a quieter atmosphere in order to hear the music.

The photography alone was amazing. Being able to capture the colors as vibrant as they were, the sun and how the warm colors of the sunlight reflected off the ice in some photos was so magical. In some instances I wish some were bigger, such as the seals photos because the abstraction of the image took control a bit but the overall story of the vanishing ice was definitely impactful.

My favorite part of the photos captured is the contrast in color between the ice forms themselves and the coats that the guides wore, reds and oranges against the black and blue nature. This really added to the idea of the vast size and impact that these natural forms hold and the idea of the negative human impact that we have even though in comparison we are so small and insignificant but hold so much harmful power. This show has some amazing power and I recommend all should go and experience it for themselves.


Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home
Lecture by Karla from Porchlight at the Chazen

The lecture starts with a video about homeless and troubled people and their experience living homeless and how they transformed their lives after finding a home with Porchlight. The video featured sad music in the beginning then gradually became more uplifting depending on what the interviewee was describing.

Karla described her story with social work and how she has been helping the homeless for 27 years. When she was in high school she got inspired to help people in need and since then she made it her mission to help the homeless. Another video was shown, and it explains the process of nurturing homeless into productive members of society.

The exhibition featured various mediums of art and artifacts that represent homelessness. Two wood sculptures shaped as houses with lights inside that create a light image were very captivating. There were more sculptures that express horror, a large horizontal painting that portrays destroyed homes, and cloth piece of art with flower knitting.

There were also a few photographs of people sleeping in the streets or public areas. The photos feature high contrasts, sharp details and colors, and dark vignette around the corners. The expressions are sad and content at the same time. It portrays the reality of homeless people and that they’ve become acclimated to their lives.


Iceland’s Vanishing Beauty: Photography by Michael Kienitz

Exhibition at Chazen

The exhibition features more than 20 images. Some are life size, and some are more medium size. According to the photographer, the images all used natural lighting with no heavy editing or modification of color. The images capture scenery of nature such as glaciers, volcanic mountains, caves, skies and watery locations. The artist mentions that he was focusing on the transforming beauty of Iceland and impact of climate change on Iceland’s glaciers.
The photographs are vibrant with blue tones reflecting the nature of icicles and glaciers. Some are more neutral with purple tones or smudges sunlight and bright warm tones. The cave photos have dramatic shadows and details which are all natural. The majority of the photos stay consistent with blue tones. Yet the images don’t seem monotonous or flat. They’re blue images but filled with so much texture and shades of blue. The natural shapes of caves and glaciers create strong shadows dynamic imagery. The photos capture the natural element of water, air and earth making the images different even though they have similar color palettes and were shot at the same location. Overall, the exhibition is mesmerizing to look at especially being large and detailed. The images virtually transport the viewer as if they’re in Iceland.

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