EXHIBITION 2019 / FIXED ON REALITY
RONA YEFMANLet It Bleed
As early as 1996, her younger sibling, Gil, was Yefman’s first model and inspiration. She began an intimate image record of their adolescence, using the camera to invent multiple novel identities in an imaginative world they constructed for themselves. This body of work became a joint archaeological journey, chronicling two siblings’ symbiotic existence as collaborative artists, and their mutual desire to live exterior to the norm. The most complex part of this project occurred between 2000-2008, during which time Yefman documented Gil’s intimate process of transformation from male to a female, and her subsequent transformation back to become, in Gil’s words, “beyond any gender”.
Rebelling against conventional gender roles as well as familial ones, this extensive body of work is the focus of the artist book, Let it Bleed, which combines images of formal role-play and performative acts with snapshots and mixed videotapes that expose very real emotional situations, chronicling an experience of growing up and intense relationships through a curve of fantasies, hopes, and desires; disappointments, confusion, conflicts, and flirtation with familial taboos. Rona Yefman (b. 1972, Israel) is a photographer and video artist exploring identity through a range of human encounters and experiences. She lives and works between Brooklyn, N.Y. and Israel.
RAFAŁ MILACH The First March of Gentlemen
The First March of Gentlemen is a fictitious narration composed of authentic stories. Historical events related to the town of Września came to be the starting point for reflection on the protest and disciplinary mechanisms. In the series of collages, the reality of 1950s Poland ruled by the communists blends with the memory of the Września children strike from the beginning of the 20th century. This shift in time is not just a coincidence, as the problems which the project touches upon are universal, and may be seen as a metaphor for the contemporary social tensions. The project includes archive photos by Września photographer Ryszard Szczepaniak. This project was made at the Kolekcja Wrzesińska residency.Rafał Milach (b. 1978, Poland) is a visual artist, photographer and an author of photobooks. His work focuses on topics related to the transformation in the former Eastern Bloc.
If you opened the local newspaper in the small New England town of Amherst, Massachusetts, as Aaron Schuman did one day, you might find a section entitled ‘Police Reports’ – succinct and extraordinarily anticlimactic accounts of crimes, suspicious activities, events and non-events reported in the area during the previous week. In SLANT, Schuman interweaves a selection of these clippings published between 2014-2018, with quietly wry photographs he made within a thirty-mile radius of Amherst from 2016-18, in response to their unintentionally deadpan descriptions. What began as a genuinely affectionate, tongue-in-cheek take on the small towns where Schuman spent his childhood steadily came to reflect the disquieting rise of “fake news”, “alternative facts”, “post-truth” politics and paranoia in America following the 2016 election. Schuman’s subtly offbeat combination of images and words, however, was always inclined to create a foreboding sense of unease.
In SLANT, the relationship that has been constructed between photography and text takes its inspiration from a poetic scheme called ‘slant rhyme’, notably espoused by the 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson, who also happened to live and write in Amherst. In such a rhyming scheme, “there is a close but not exact correspondence of sounds, often using assonance or consonance; generally it is used in poetry to give variations and an inharmonious feeling.” Appropriating this literary device, SLANT serves as a wider reflection upon something strange, surreal, dissonant and increasingly sinister stirring beneath the surface of the contemporary American landscape, experience, and psyche.
Aaron Schuman (b. 1977, USA) is an American photographer, writer, lecturer and curator based in the United Kingdom. Schuman’s photographic work speaks about the ways that we find ourselves at odds with images, text and media in the post-truth age.