Barbara Ess, 1980s' Experimental Photographer/Musician, Exhibits Recent Work at Hudson Valley Community College
CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180, email@example.com
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011
The Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College announces an exhibit and lecture by New York City photographer/musician Barbara Ess.
"You Are Not I: Photographs, video and sound by Barbara Ess" opens with a free public reception on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. and runs through Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011.
The Stephen L Hyatt Memorial Lecture will be given by Ess on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium. This event is also free.
Ess's work has been described in the New York Times by writer Grace Glueck as "subtly-toned photographs that are not so much reality as a visionary version of it. Blurry and distorted, they seem to coax their subjects from mysterious spaces." Gregory Volk, wrote in ARTnews, "Ess's images often have a dreamy subterranean quality – part wonder and part menace – as if culled directly from the subconscious."
Ess has exhibited her work in galleries and museums in New York, Paris, Berlin, Vancouver, London, Los Angeles, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Madrid, Atlanta and Antwerp.
Remote Viewing Series (Times Square) 2011. Pigment Print, 20 x 26"
As one of a group of 1980s' photographers whose work questioned the very nature of photography, vision and the photographic image, Ess was at the forefront of the postmodern movement that pulled apart both the conceptual and visual underpinnings of what was expected of photography. Her blurred, often monochromatic images challenged one's trust in the photograph as a believable document – years before Photoshop made the distrust of photography not just ubiquitous but necessary.
As a musician, Ess brought a similar questioning of form--informed by the lessons of the women's movement and punk rock-- to the supremely male world of guitar-based rock music. Gritty, noisy, loud and anything but pretty, her long- time collaborations with filmmaker/musician Peggy Awesh and others have brought the same intellectual inquiry Ess evidences in her photography to the downtown New York City music scene. Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore wrote of Ess's photography as "exquisite and evocative – transcending its medium."
An associate professor of photography in the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, Ess has been exhibiting her photographs extensively since 1979. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and attended the London School of Film Technique.
Ess has received grants from LINE, Creative Artists Public Service Program and Kitchen Media, as well as fellowships from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (photography). A book of her photographs, I Am Not This Body was published by the prestigious Aperture Foundation in 2001. She lives and works in New York City.
2011 marks the tenth anniversary of The Teaching Gallery's exhibition program. Founded in 2001, the Teaching Gallery has presented more than 40 exhibitions and lectures by contemporary professional artists of regional, national and international standing, as well as annual exhibitions by students in Hudson Valley's highly regarded Fine Arts program. Since 2007, the gallery has been housed in its current location – the award-winning Administration Building designed by Architecture+. Through its exhibitions, the gallery serves as a learning laboratory for students in the Gallery Management degree program by providing hands-on experience organizing, installing and maintaining exhibitions.
For more information, directions or for gallery hours, call (518) 629-8006 or go to www.hvcc.edu/teachinggallery.