We’ll write our names with steam dyed crimson, we will cut the hand to the edge so that our meat completes it.
Here we will die.
Here, in the last passage.
Here or there… our blood will plant its olive trees.
In the black and white photographic series Night is the New Day, Rebeca Martell evokes the recognition of the strangeness that she experiences looking at in exile. Between surprise and nostalgia, Martell moves towards the redefinition of herself, cautiously exploring the places she sees and the people who inhabit them. With a foreign lens, looks for the moment that sublimates the experience of herself, that captivates the feeling of being in the dark leaving behind the memories of the tropic, like running away from a bad dream.
Martell’s camera is the vehicle that intervenes between her gaze and the other; where the faces are not recognized, where the blur in the images is the metaphor of the distance between the self and the beings that inhabit reality. Martell utilizes the absence of light to blur the very act of looking. Martell’s work not only sublimates emotions but is also a lonely walk; the cold and silence, the memories that inhabit the memory.
The images of Night is the New Day are an evocation of what the darkness hides from the eye, what cannot be perceived by the naked eye, the ghost of the absent light during the winter that only leaves in its wake a few shades. Rebeca Martell makes use of photography to portray her days of winter in Sweden while, at the same time offers us a testimonial of a look that becomes raw, powerless and unprotected against others and before her own process of self-recognition. She portrays the moment where the connection between the gaze and the soul is created, right there where it appears what cannot be shown with the naked eye, where she reaches the image from the furthest part of the unconscious.
Liliana Marcos Lozano, 2022
Rebeca Martell bio: Rebeca Martell, an independent photographer, trained at UNAM, Centro de la Imagen, Jumex Collection, Philadelphia Photo Arts, Rufino Tamayo Museum, Alameda Art Laboratory, and Photoespaña.
Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca, the Barnes Foundation, X-Teresa Arte Actual, the Sebastián Foundation, Brukenthal National Museum of Contemporary Art in Romania, Philadelphia Photo Arts, and the National Auditorium; as well as in the Mexican embassy in Spain, Belgium, Lithuania, Hungary, Greece, Holland, France, San Pedro Museum of Art, and in the Juan C. Méndez PhotoMuseum, as well as having been a winner at the eighth State Meeting of Contemporary Art in Puebla, Mexico.
Philiput presents: Rebeca Martell – Night is the New Day photographic art by Rebeca Martell, curated by Devin Cohen, curatorial text by Liliana Marcos Lozano
Shawn Theodore: Night Stars A Solo Exhibition of New Work February 26 – March 20, 2021
February 11, 2021 (Philadelphia, PA) – Paradigm Gallery is pleased to present Night Stars, a solo exhibition of new photographic work by interdisciplinary artist Shawn Theodore. Night Stars is an expansion of Theodore’s investigation into a space he calls ‘Afromythology’, which unites the real and imaginary histories and futures of African Americans. In Night Stars, Theodore widens this space by melding together the traditions of African indigo making and the magical powers of water and stars.
The evocative exhibition illuminates the space where they all converge, a body of work that is a deep, deep blue. Night Stars marks the first exhibition at Paradigm with the artist. Night Stars is open to the public from February 26 – March 20th with an opening event on Friday, February 26th at 5:30PM.
Theodore makes connections, finds linked points and intersections within the past and seeing what is repeated in the current he identifies recurring themes, like spirituality. Spirituality has been passed on from generation to generation, and is something that is ostensibly part of the Black experience, but it is not something you can see or touch; it happens without direct knowledge, just faith.
In Night Stars, Theodore looks deeper for where instances of faith happen such as in music, quilt making or code switching. All of these hold examples of coded language, subversive art and intent and Night Stars is constructed from these metaphysical bridges. Bridges like quilts that were used to smuggle secret messages guiding people to freedom, far beyond the maker’s own physical passing. Or the Dogon tribe of West Africa, who were master astronomers.
They believed that their ancestors were descendants of a species from the Sirius star system eight and half light years away and to be free meant going back home. Though they were physically limited, their collective celestial knowledge somehow traveled across time and space to other groups of Black people who used it to understand the same set of stars that were used in the same way: to be led to freedom. ‘Afromyth’ sits upon these bridges.
The works in Night Stars are a series of statuesque portraits, monuments within a vast space of blue. Blue is a multi-tiered reference within the exhibition. The color is known to ward off evil in African and African American culture and Theodore questions how that symbolic signal came to be and why it still holds that power today.
The artist says, “To create in blue, one must first understand its powerful nature. There has to be a world that exists inside of the color. A spiritual process is happening that is begging us to look inside of it, and somewhere within it are answers”. Theodore connects the symbolic color to the 19th century process of cyanotype.
The artist has always been fascinated by the historic practice, which produces a cyan-blue print; however, it is extremely rare to find a Black subject in one of these prints. Rather than shooting in cyanotype, Theodore uses it as a guideline, photographing his subjects using blue filters and blue cast lights.
The resulting works are less historic than they are revolutionary. On the series Theodore says, “Featured in this collection are portraits made of bejeweled deities in the indigo-hued ether, the fervor of fête revelers, the quiet stillness amongst the dense foliage and haints of Low Country of South Carolina, possession in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, and sunrise reverence at the edge of the Caribbean Sea. At the center is the viewer, who stands at the bardos of these seemingly disjointed experiences, their presence unifying the real and unreal”.
Photography often acts as a fast route to see the past, but what is beyond the camera’s sight? Subconsciously, the brain creates narratives beyond physical photographs, beyond what we logically know or see. These leaps are our imagined archives and it’s within their boundless possibilities that Night Stars lives, filling the gaps.
*Due to COVID-19, “Night Stars” will be open for regular weekend hours with limited capacity and is available to view by private appointments during the week until further notice. The digital exhibition twin is available on https://www.paradigmarts.org/ for viewing from home. These policies are dependent on the current policies of the CDC, WHO and the Governor and Mayor’s offices. Paradigm Gallery’s number one priority is the safety and wellness of their visitors. For live updates on the exhibition and appointments, please visit the Paradigm website and socials. For any questions on Paradigm’s current policies, please email email@example.com.
About Shawn Theodore Shawn Theodore (b. 1970, Germany) is an award-winning photographer whose work opens broad conversations regarding the role of the photographer in the shaping of agency and imagery, engages in new forms of storytelling, and impacts the trajectory of the collective black consciousness.
Theodore has participated in exhibitions at various institutions, galleries and fairs, including the African American Museum in Philadelphia (2017, 2018), Mennello Museum of American Art (2018), The Barnes Foundation (2017, 2018, 2019), Steven Kasher Gallery (2018), AIPAD (2018, 2019), Hudson Valley Community College (2018), Catherine Edelman Gallery (2017), The Bakalar & Paine Galleries at MassArt (2017), Snap! Orlando (2018), Richard Beavers Gallery (2018), PRIZM Art Fair, Scope Art Fair, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Rush Arts Gallery (2017, 2018), and the University of the Arts (2019).
His commercial projects include works for Apple, Showtime Networks, RocNation, PAPER Magazine, New York Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The Atlantic, The New York Times, PDN and others. Theodore was awarded the prestigious PDN’s 30 New & Emerging Photographers to Watch (2019), the Getty Images / ARRAY ‘Where We Stand’ (2018) grant and a grant from the Knight Foundation for ‘A Dream Deferred’ (2018). He is a two-time nominee of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Fellowship, and a nominee of the Magnum Foundation Fund.
Theodore earned his BA in JPRA (Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising) from Temple University. He currently attends the MFA for Photography program at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD Atlanta). Theodore is a current trustee of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.
About Paradigm Gallery Paradigm Gallery + Studio® was established in 2010 by co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston. The gallery exhibits meaningful, process-intense contemporary artwork from around the world. Now open 11 years, Paradigm Gallery is globally recognized and known as a tastemaker within their greater Philadelphia arts community. As the gallery grows, it maintains its original mission to keep art accessible. Through monthly donations, free public art installations, and initiatives like Insider Picks, Paradigm Gallery, continues to be a champion of small businesses and emerging and mid-career artists.
Location: 746 S 4th St Philadelphia, PA 19147 Media Contact: Lainya Magaña, A&O PR 347 395 4155 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ebb & Flow, Sarah R. Bloom and Rosalind Bloom at Da Vinci Art Alliance
Ebb and Flow
Nature reclaims what is hers. Whether by destructive or creative measures, nature repurposes. In the two-woman exhibition, Ebb & Flow, abandoned spaces become renewing entities and collage landscapes become sites of infinite possibilities. Through photographs and mixed media collages, Ebb & Flow celebrates nature’s force and vitality. Sarah R. Bloom’s excursions to abandoned spaces capture growth among the rubble and hope amidst the decay of manmade structures.
By exploring these places and staging her photographs, Sarah R. Bloom forms a sense of kinship with the space and captures the comforting process of the earth reclaiming what is hers. Her photographs form a bridge to Rosalind Bloom’s work which presents natural elements abstracted into beautiful collages, the very work a repurposing of the old. Rosalind Bloom’s mixed-media collages of nature acknowledge and celebrate nature’s force, its antic energy, and its mystery. She restructures and reclaims the boundaries of the image, while demonstrating the inevitability of the earth reclaiming her space. Ebb & Flow reminds us that we are all here temporarily, and that nature will always prevail.
Ebb & Flow will be on view physically by-appointment February 18th – March 7th 2021 at Da Vinci Art Alliance and as a recorded video tour on the Da Vinci Art Alliance website.”
Sarah and I will have the opportunity to speak about the work during the Zoom session. We hope you can join us! Roz
Dear Artists, I am so happy to announce that we plan to resume programs at Kuerner Farm beginning in July with a few minor changes made to ensure everyone’s safety. Plein air and photography opportunities will begin this summer, and classes with Karl J. Kuerner will resume in mid-September. Please see links below for information and to register.
Shapes and Colors of Summer in July ONLINE MONTHLY EXHIBITION AT PLASTIC CLUB
The Plastic Club’s building is closed, but the Club is resuming its regular schedule of monthly shows with an online exhibition devoted to the shapes and colors of Summer.
The Summer show opens Wednesday, July 1. The art can be viewed on the Plastic Club‘s website (www.plasticclub.org) then. There will also be one of the Club’s “Third Sunday” online Salons with discussion about the exhibit on Sunday, July 19, from 1 to 2 PM.
Entries can be realistic or abstract, based on reality or your imagination, or any combination of these approaches. Any medium is accepted. Physical artwork must be submitted in the form of a photograph or video. A reasonably clear cell phone photo or video should suffice. As always, original digital imagery, photography and video are also welcome.
Due to the building closure, we have devised a simple method to submit your photograph, image or video along with your contact information. For detailed instructions, see the “Call for Submissions” on the Exhibitions Tab of the Club’s website, www.plasticclub.org.
A lottery will select three entrants to win a prize: four free workshop sessions when the Club re-opens.
The Plastic Club, located on historic Camac Street, was founded in 1897 by a group of women artists to promote the arts to the public and support artists both in the Philadelphia community and beyond.