EMBODIED explores the assertion of self, the expression of body, and questions of belonging. The artists included in this series bend the rules of photography to incorporate painting, collage, and bold manipulation of color and the image itself into a contemporary sensibility of the portrait. EMBODIED will unfold through 6 solo exhibitions over the period of 9 months. We will engage conversation through artist talks, writings, lectures, panel discussions, poetry readings, hands-on workshops, film screenings, and more.

Participating Artists

March 2017
Lauren Semivan, Observatory (USA)

March 2 – April 2, 2017
Observatory combines drawing, an archive of objects, and the human presence as a narrative tool. Within each image, ghosts of previous drawings create a sense of time suspended, evoking gesture, atmosphere, and memory. 

April 2017
Ervin A. Johnson, #InHonor (USA)

“I began #InHonor as a personal response to the killings of Black people across America. To be completely honest the work was born out of guilt. All of my friends had rallied up… I, on the other hand, was nowhere to be found. I consider myself, for the most part, a conscious individual and so my silence became a burden. When the time came for me to be vocal with my peers I chose the path of cowardice. What real change would come of my presence as a young gay black man at a march in which half of my people don’t accept or acknowledge me? Still though I felt moved to do something. In Honor of Us is a series of photo-based mixed media portraits made to honor Blackness as it exists in its various forms… The skin color is removed from each portrait and then aggressively renegotiated. Pigment stands in for an idea or preconceived notion about a particular type of human experience. That experience is culminated and summed up in a word; Black.”

June 2017
Ima Mfon, Nigerian Identity (Nigeria, USA)

Nigerian Identity “examines the idea of what it means to be Nigerian. In this unified series of photographic portraits of my fellow Nigerians, all people are presented in a uniform manner: photographed on a white seamless background, looking directly into the lens, and enhanced so that their skin tones are virtually identical. The idea behind this discipline stems from my experiences living in America.”

July 2017
Nakeya Brown, Selected Works (USA)

Nakeya’s work explores Black female identity with a specific focus on hair politics. Brown remarks, “I’m interested in the ways in which we look at and define beauty from the context of a black woman.”

August 2017
Kris Sanford, Through the Lens of Desire (USA)

“Growing up queer, I searched for a history that spoke to me—included me… Through the Lens of Desire creates implied narratives using snapshots from the 1920s- 1950s.  Vernacular photographs from that era were created as private keepsakes and the unselfconscious intimacy they depict feels authentic and relatable. As modern viewers, we witness personal moments that were never intended to be public.”

November 2017
Sylwia Kowalczyk: Lethe (Poland/Scotland)

“Lethe is the river that cleanses Dante in Purgatory, the one that wipes memories of the dead as they drink from it or bathe in it… It is an escape, a relief from our own physical limitations. ‘The soul that has been rash enough to drink from the fount of Lethe… is reincarnated and again cast into the cycle of becoming’, according to Mircea Eliade.”