On Tuesday, February 12 there will be two exciting events happening in relation to the exhibition "The Darkroom in the Digital Age."
At 5:30pm in Smith Hall, room 130, Philadelphia-based artist, educator, and museum professional Justyna Badach will give a talk on her work, which, like other work featured in this exhibition, is created using historical photographic development processes. Doctoral student Danielle Canter, a co-curator of the exhibition explained, "The exhibition features two photographs from [Badach's] series Land of Epic Battles, which is comprised of single frames pulled from ISIS recruitment videos. Her distinctive works are made by modifying a nineteenth-century gum printing technique to use gunpowder rather than pigment to color the prints. In her artist talk, Badach will tell us more about this project and her larger photographic practice."
Curated by doctoral students Meghan Angelos and Danielle Canter, "The Darkroom in the Digital Age" features contemporary photographs created through various analog development processes including daguerreotype, cyanotype, and wet-plate collodion.
The exhibition began to develop last spring when Professors Jason Hill
and Jessica Horton sent out a call for proposals for a guest curated exhibition
of contemporary art in Recitation Hall Gallery. This is the third annual
exhibition of this type curated by graduate students in the program. Doctoral student Meghan Angelos proposed a contemporary photography exhibition and asked fellow doctoral student Danielle Canter to co-curate the show with her. Angelos explained, "I've always been
interested in the complexity of historical photographic processes and their
unique material qualities, especially in comparison with today’s digital images.
I was aware of a number of well-known contemporary artists who are interested
in these processes, so I thought that this trend would be an interesting theme
for an exhibition. As Danielle and I began meeting with local artists, we
realized that the reasons why they decided to revisit these laborious processes
were just as interesting as the processes themselves, and it became a central
component of our show." Through their diverse projects, featured artists Justyna Badach, Andrew S. Bale, Jon Cox, Martha Madigan, and Joshua Meier adapt historical techniques that resonate with their choices of subject matter.
When asked what people might enjoy most about this exhibition, Canter emphasized the variety of works as being a big draw saying, "[the works] don't necessarily fit expectations of historical photographs being small, black and white, and two-dimensional. I hope [visitors] will leave the gallery with a greater understanding of how these photographs were made and why an artist might choose a complicated technique invented in the nineteenth-century over a simpler digital process available today. I find the most compelling part of the exhibition is the connections between the five artists' projects, which raise a lot of shared concerns about the environment and current political issues."
An exhibition reception will follow Justyna Badach's talk in Recitation Hall Gallery at 6:30pm. Both events are free and open to the public.