MUSEUMS | D.C. area galleries: Evocative images from around the worlds
By Mark Jenkins, Friday February 14, 2014
When winds and tides send the Adriatic into Venice, the canal-laced city’s most famous plazas become ponds, and pedestrians stride though several inches of water. That phenomenon is evoked by “Venice,” Chris Anthony’s sequence of large-
format photographs at Randall Scott Projects. But in fact the Swedish-born artist made the images at Venice Beach, in bone-dry Southern California.
The square images are dominated by sea and sky, in tones that range from light gray to near-white. (There’s an ocean-blue one in the series, but it’s not on display here.) At the bottom is a human figure or two, engaged in a simple activity: sweeping, skiing, bicycling, sitting on a suitcase. Some of the people are dressed in red, offering a note of color that contrasts with the whiteout conditions.
The implications are plentiful: human life’s beginnings in the oceans, rising sea levels attributed to global climate change, the essential aloneness of every person in a vast, indifferent universe. But the pictures also continue the plan of Anthony’s previous work, in which actors pose with props in the midst of an unexplained scene. All the world’s a stage, so the photographer has taken this idea outdoors, where water and sky become a theatrical backdrop. The world overwhelms the small figures, and yet it’s the person who gives the moment meaning.
Chris Anthony: Venice
On view through Feb. 22 at
Randall Scott Projects, 1326 H St. NE, second floor; 202-396-0300;www.randallscottprojects.com
Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah
The Gallery at Vivid Solutions has been outfitted with a few comfy touches for Washington photographer Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah’s show: pillows and an overhead light fixture, all decorated with Arab motifs. But as its title suggests, “Adrift” is not an evocation of home. It’s an attempt to evoke rootlessness with images of specific places.
Jadallah is of Palestinian descent but has spent most of her life in the United States. The photos in this selection, all untitled, are in-camera multiple exposures made in Morocco (where the artist’s father lives) and Turkey in 2010 or 2013. A few depict villages as ghostly jumbles of boxy houses and satellite TV dishes. Most feature craggy ridge lines and complicated skies, thick with clouds and sometimes dyed red or purple by dawns or sunsets. The pictures are horizontal, as landscapes customarily are.
Overlapping several exposures often has the effect of fracturing the line between heaven and earth. The effect can be disorienting, even ominous. Yet the ground remains solid, the sky constant, if mutable. Only the eye is adrift, a metaphor that can be read in various ways.
Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah: Adrift
On view through Feb. 28 at the Gallery at Vivid Solutions, 1241 Good Hope Rd. SE, 202-365-8392, www.vividsolutionsdc.com
The title of Peter Karp’s Studio Gallery show, “Color This Time,” apparently refers to the lack of the black-and-white images for which the local photographer is known. But color is also the principal thing that links these pictures, which range from faraway street scenes to studies made in Karp’s D.C. studio of single objects against a white backdrop.
The urban shots include ones from Germany, Italy and Mexico. There’s also a vignette of clay jugs and a bicycle-wheeled cart whose vivid reds and greens exclaim “India!” (It’s Bangalore.) Even within this group, Karp varies his approach. In Dresden, he gazes at the street from inside a window whose glass distorts the picture into accidental impressionism; in Florence, he made the only one of these pictures that features a person, a woman whose gestures happen to mimic those of a figure in the painting behind her. It may document a spontaneous moment, but it looks stagey.
Karp’s interest in the worn, aged textures of Old World facades extends to the rusted, battered surfaces of a humble can he photographed in his studio. That photo is part of a conceptual pair with an image of a redheaded bird corpse, also posed on a white sheet. The latter picture recalls Colby Caldwell’s much larger ones on the same theme, which draw power from being part of a unified series. “Color This Time” is less cohesive, but it includes several visual ideas worthy of further exploration.
Color This Time:
On view through March 1 at Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW; 202-232-8734; www.studiogallerydc.com
The Girl From Nowhere
Also a world traveler, the Girl From Nowhere offers recent glimpses of France, Romania and Macedonia — and the District — in “Urban Eyes,” at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. The photographer (who identifies herself as French American, and whose given name is Camille Clifton) shares Karp’s affinity for weathered exteriors, exemplified by an oxidizing green metal gate in Bucharest. But she also likes signs, whether official or ad hoc, and graffiti, offhand or elaborate.
Indeed, “Urban Eyes” includes not only pictures of scrawls on well-worn doors and walls but also paint atop paint. In Marseille, the Girl found an outdoor painting of a woman to which someone else, it seems, had added red drips from her eyes. But the most striking picture shows an embellishment that was probably inadvertent: yellow paint splashed on Paris pavement. Vivid and random, it’s the sort of serendipitous image that draws some people, and more than a few photographers, to city streets.
The Girl From Nowhere: Urban Eyes
On view through Feb. 28 at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE; 202-547-6839;www.chaw.org
Jenkins is a freelance writer.
GOING ADRIFT WITH LAILA ABDUL-HADI JADALLAH
I first met photographer and arts organizer Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah in 2008 while working at International Arts Artists, where we bonded over photography, art, and politics. She has lived and exhibited her work in Paris, Washington and the Middle-East, in such venues as Studio Gallery, Adah Rose Gallery, Speos Gallery, Baked & Wired, George Mason University, FotoWeekDC and the Gallery at Vivid Solutions. Influenced by her bi-cultural status as a Palestinian-American, her work reflects her constant reproach as to what constitutes home by photographing the places she has lived and the objects within them.I caught up with Laila for an interview last week as she made the final preparations for her solo show, Adrift, at the Gallery at Vivid Solutions. The show opens tonight (1/10/2014) in Anacostia alongside Common Ground, a collaborative exhibition by Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann and Michael B. Platt at Honfleur Gallery.
GB: When and where did Adrift start?
LJ: Adrift started sometime in May 2010 in Morocco where I was visiting my father. The first photograph was taken at about 5:45am on a beautiful day and the trip continued for a week driving around the entire country!
GB: How did your family travels and palestinian heritage influence your use of multiple exposures?
LJ: This body of work has really grown in meaning over the years. When I first began this series I was not fully aware of why I chose to create multiple exposures, but today, they are representative of the changes that have been occurring on the ground in Palestine/Israel and all over the Middle-East. The “Palestine” my grandparents and father were born in, does not exist the way they knew it and even the one I saw a few years ago has already changed.
GB: There is a sense of wonder in your photos that seems to invite the viewer to step into your shoes. Is there a certain emotion or mood you want your audience to experience?
LJ: One of my photography professors in grad. school always told me, once your photograph is out into the world, it belongs to the public. It is no longer up to you how people will perceive it, therefore, I really just hope that people enjoy the photographs, but also reflect on the deeper meaning they represent and find they can relate to it.
GB: Your decision to use gold frames for the photos in Adrift is interesting, especially in the context of migration, freedom of movement, and the arbitrary borders imposed over our lives.. (not a question I suppose, start talking!)
LJ: As a visual person I tend to obsess over strange things, including having to use gold frames for the works. I really wanted to create an ambiance in the gallery space that was inspired by the beauty of the colors and design often found in that part of the world. In the context of migration, freedom of movement and borders, as someone who comes from a place I can’t really go back to live, you have to bring what you can wherever your home is now. I live a very privileged life here in the U.S. and like many children of immigrants, was so fortunate to be raised in a household where stories of where we are from were constant by my grandparents and parents – but no matter what, there will always be this idea of longing for a home and maintaining a connection to it, that is so important. So the ambiance I tried to create, speaks to this idea and I hope it was successful.
GB: How did you get connected with the crew at Vivid Solutions?
LJ: I was lucky enough to be connected with Beth at Vivid Solutions a few years when I used to take my work to be printed at the photo lab they operated. She invited me to be a part of a group show where I exhibited one of the works from this series (not included in the exhibition up now). I had an artist talk a while back with Adah Rose Gallery where I spoke about this series and I was just lucky enough, to have Beth keep me in mind for this opportunity since. I am very grateful for the exposure and it has been very inspiring working with her and Piper on this show.
GB: Where would you like to travel to next?
LJ:I have never been to South America, so that is pretty high on my list. In terms of this series, I do hope to be able to return to Israel and Palestine and photograph the ever-changing landscape there…
Be sure to catch Adrift at the Gallery at Vivid Solutions. The Gallery at Vivid Solutions is now located upstairs at 1241 Good Hope Rd. SE above Honfleur Gallery.
Opening Reception: January 10, 2014, from 6-9pm
Exhibit Dates: January 10 – February 28
Artist Talk: February 1, 2014 at 2pm
January 10 openings: Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann & Michael B. Platt, Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah | Pop Up Saturday at Anacostia Arts Center Sat. 12/21
Openings in Anacostia
Friday, January 10, 6-9pm at
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann & Michael B. Platt
In Common Ground, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann and Michael B. Platt have combined their disparate visual languages to create a common space. Both the process of creating the exhibition-a dialogue between a painter and a digital photographer-and the resulting finished pieces illustrate that common ground can serve as both a space and a mode of action.
This exhibition was first shown at Grace Teshima Gallery in Paris, France from September-October 2013, a project that was made possible by the Sister Cities International Arts Grant awarded to Honfleur Gallery by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Join Mann and Platt at the gallery on Saturday, February 1 at 2:45pm for an artist talk.
Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah
Adrift presents landscapes of Morocco and Turkey created by photographer Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah through in-camera multiple exposures she made during her travels through those countries. Influenced by her status as a Palestinian American, this series reflects her constant reconsideration as to what constitutes home by photographing the places she has cultural or tangible connections to in a non-static way.
Join Jadallah at the gallery on Saturday, February 1 at 2pm for an artist talk.
Both galleries are located at 1241 Good Hope Road, SE.
‘Alchemical Vessels’ offers bowls full of healing
Asking multiple artists to execute variations on a single item is a familiar gambit, as anyone who happens upon a tricked-up fiberglass donkey or elephant around town will be reminded. The object in the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery’s “Alchemical Vessels” is a bowl, but the 125 contributors to this show didn’t begin with a piece of identical crockery to decorate. The finished objects are made from — to list only a few — acrylic, wood, pumice, raw clay and red flocking. The variations don’t stop there: The pieces include Barbara Frank’s spiraling twigs that penetrate the surface, Rosana Azar’s paintbrush tips arrayed in a circle and Bridget Sue Lambert’s toy house that sits on artificial turf inside its dishy setting.
The exhibition is a benefit for the Smith Center for Healing, which works with cancer survivors and caregivers. The center calls the vessels in the display metaphors for itself, “a space where healing can take place.” That aside, the bowl is an archetypal geometric shape, and one that neatly defines inside and out. Some of the bowls are jokey, while others seem solemn and even devotional. (Flip a bowl over, as Shelly Lowenstein does, and it looks like a Buddhist stupa.) Add the opposition between soft and hard, and the possibilities for juxtaposition become vast.
Do you have an online gallery where one can view your photos?
For how long have you done photography? How did you begin?
I started doing photography during college and have had an ever changing relationship to it from there. I worked as a photography assistant while completing my first degree and then moved into working at galleries and in exhibition development. I then decided to return to photography for my Master's and since have been independently curating photography-related exhibitions as well as doing other photography work on the side.
What has been your education as a photographer?
It is an equal mix of formal education and practice. The only way to learn how you really want to do photography is through trying various paths - including classes, assisting, freelancing and exhibiting.
Please list any exhibitions in which you have participated.
Anthro After Hours | Baked & Wired, Feburary 2011 Love Is... | Baked & Wired, Feburary 2011 Second Look: Prints from the Vivid Solutions Archive | Vivid Solutions, January 2011 lOuNgE, Washington, DC January 2011 FotoWeekDC | Adah Rose Gallery, November 2011 FotoweekDC: The Breadth and Beauty of Photography | Studio Gallery, November 2010 Graduate Exhibition | SPEOS Photographic Institute, May 2010 Palestine Children's Relief Fund Fundraiser, January 2009 Garden Gallery | Studio Gallery, May 2008 Partners for Peace Fundraiser | Bus Boys and Poets, August 2007 George Mason University | Women's Center, May 2007 Alternative Photo Processing | George Mason University, April 2007
What is your favourite type of photography?
Any type that makes me question what I know.
What type of preparation do you do before undertaking the photo session?
My favorite part of the preparation process is creating my mood board. It allows me to not only define my theme(s), but also provides me with inspiration and direction while on the shoot.
Describe your current equipment: cameras, lenses, computers, accessories...
My arsenal of equipment includes: Nikon D300 (and back-up) with lenses, 1 studio light, Fuji Instax Instant Camera, MacBook, two Lacie drives, a flash, light meter and tripod.
Which past masters of photography do you most admire?
Duane Micheals is my all time favorite. Otherwise, too many to list!
Do you consider yourself more technical or more artistic?
Artistic, with a lot of technical training. Technical training allows you to pick and choose how much or how little technique / equipment / editing etc. to use.
How does one develop the instinct of knowing when to press the shutter release button?
One of my professors once told me: pick a frame and wait for the right subjects to pass through it.
Which websites for photographers do you frequently visit?
I read http://www.aphotoeditor.com everyday.
Barbès mon amour
Barbès, ses rues qui débordent, ses tissus bigarrés, ses parfums épicés. Et puis soudain, au milieu de ce dédale étourdissant, on déboule dans la petite rue des Gardes qui abrite l'atelier show-room d'une dizaine de créateurs en plein quartier de la Goutte d’Or. Parmi eux, une femme flamboyante : Sakina M’Sa.
Sa particularité ? Elle rachète de vieux bleus de travail chez Emmaüs. Elle les découpe et les double de tissus africains ou de soies colorées pour les transformer en sacs et minijupes. A dévaliser dans ses ateliers : des robes graphiques qui redessinent la silhouette, des tenues aux couleurs qui claquent... De quoi pimenter son dressing de printemps.
Sakina M’Sa, 6 rue des Gardes, métro Barbès-Rochechouart
Découvrez la collection de Sakina
Public Health Innovators On The Silver Screen
November 04, 2011 1:54 PM
Public health innovation gets its closeup.
For a peek at some fresh ideas in public health, I went to the movies.
Physicians, entrepreneurs, students, activists and at least one blogger gathered at the West End Cinema in Washington this week for the first FastForward Health public health film festival.
"We're at the cusp of innovation in public and community health," co-organizer Andre Blackmantold the audience.
Organizers and speakers described the film festival as a fun way to approach a serious subject, and a great counterpoint to the American Public Health Association's annual meeting also taking place in DC this week. They dubbed their event "the un-conference."
Blackman said he wanted to showcase stories that often went untold or overlooked. The festival offered films in three categories: food and water, technology, and the built environment and community.
Many of the films, especially those in the technology category, focused on doctors, patients and hospitals. But exercise, nutrition and overall wellness were also themes. "Everything about your health is connected to everything else," said keynote speaker Robert Gold, dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park.
Inspiring people to take a more active interest in their health is a persistent challenge for public health professionals. Ted Eytan, a family physician and director of the Permanente Federation at Kaiser Permanente, said that only about 10 percent of a person's health needs are met through medical care. "You have to provide excellent health care, but that's not enough," Eytan said. Kaiser Permanente sponsored a film called Everybody Walks, which focused on ways to develop personal habits and community spaces that encourage daily exercise.
Many of the films made use of humor, animation, pop culture references and bright music. All of them featured strong characters and a sense that something new was afoot. The characters ranged from school children trying to cook up nutritious meals costing no more than a dollar a day to doctors looking for new ways to treat rare health problems in rural areas.
Blackman and his collaborators hope to make FastForward Health an annual event that includes more movies and venues in more cities. While the primary audience will remain public health students and professionals, they hope to attract the general public, too.
During some introductory remarks, Eytan said that having an impact on public health issues is "not just about statistics and data. It's about bringing whatever talent you have to the conversation." He was speaking specifically about the protagonist of a film called 73 Cents, but it was the resounding lesson throughout the evening.
Chez Onze aims to create whimsical and thought provoking exhibitions to promote photography and photographers. Founder, Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah is an independent curator and photographer living in Washington D.C. A recent graduate of SPEOS Photographic Institute in Paris, she has curated a number of local exhibitions including: The Breadth and Beauty of Photography, Peter Karp: Mostly Grey and Le Graffiti Parisian a Washington for the inaugural Art All Night DC.
V U E is an eclectic exhibit that captures life through the wandering eyes and minds of an international collective of photographers. Photographers from Canada, England, India, Mexico, Portugal, and the U.S. come together to explore elements of space, nature, and time captured through a variety of photographic styles and traditions. From questioning the relationship between human and location, to examining the human body in animal form and contemplating the fictitious and realistic qualities of the photographic process, these eight photographers have traveled the world in search of answers to all questions, big and small.
The following photographers studied together at Spéos Paris Photographic Institute (2009-2010):
Adah Rose Bitterbaum of Adah Rose Gallery and I had the honor of being a part of the first Nuit Blanche held in Washington, DC on September 24-25, 2011. We invited wonderful local artists, Aniekan Udofia and Freda Lee-Mccann to perform live graffiti at the former Wonderbread Factory, the headquarters for the event organized and sponsored by Alliance Francaise de Washington, Art Soiree and Spain Arts & Culture with a generous grant by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
In addition, SND+VSN the music and image collective I am a part of closed out the night!
Read more about it here.
FotoWeek: “The Breadth and Beauty of Photography” at Studio Gallery
The Studio Gallery’s FotoWeek exhibition includes more than a dozen artists and just as many visual directions. Iwan Bagus uses understated black and white to create an impressive array of multiple-exposure images of ghostly human figures haunting spartan interiors. Olivia Alonso offers an inspired image of a pair of feet resting under a momentarily elevated bedsheet. Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah photographs landscapes from a moving car, as dreamy as if they were videos. But the most intriguing work may be that of Yve Assad, who prints her color images on aluminum, lending her subject matter a mesmerizing shimmer. The approach works moderately well with an image of a boat on the water, but her work truly sparkles – literally and figuratively – in an aerial photograph of a series of almost fractal-like sandbars in water. It is a classic case of technique elevating content.
The gallery is located at 2108 R St. NW. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 1 – 7 p.m.; Fridays, 1 – 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 1 – 6 p.m. Free. (202) 232-8734.