Familiar Strange

Two, 2017, by Sam Margevicius

Familiar Strange

Curated by Efrem Zelony-Mindell

Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 | 6 – 8pm
Exhibition Dates: June 29 – July 25, 2017

Familiar Strange is an exhibition of new works by the MFA 2017 graduates from the International Center of Photography-Bard College.

How are things described? Is there potential and worthiness in an image, or are they more like memory? Separation and fusion are wanderers. Imaginative work tries to find parallels. Communed in opposites, isolation, and reflection there is reveal of certain identities of peoples and things. Groups and objects coerce together to form conversations; they are not without each other. Some events are uncontrollable, even in their capture. Sasha Louis Bush, Marla Hernandez, Gülsüm Kavuncu, Sam Margevicius, Hyungjo Moon, Cristina Velásquez and Nechama Winston cause such appreciations. Certain bonds, invisible, bind the thoughts of their viewers.

Things in front of cameras get made. Realities are adapted to each other in wit, wonder, intelligence, and illusion. What bursts forth onto the walls and into our world are wondrous colleagues fettered by friendships and edifice.

The artists of Familiar Strange have graduated from the International Center of Photography-Bard’s program with a Masters in Fine Art. Their polarity is a paradise of glorious differences; it’s a trick in the mind that they are not connected. Different little things and tools combine to build. Creating new worlds in forms that are always changing is how pictures vary. Establishing information to popularize relationships and practices makes these works cooperate. They are with each other.

How do we speak to one another? Ideas of these artists resonate kept secrets, especially those that may not be approved of. Evidence of community and cached layering mount in a glorious structure. Great desires live once these artists have navigated space and politics. Moving, emotional, physical. As long as there is enough inside each of us to make what drives us every day, a narrative between total strangers will always emerge. Similarities are often not outright. That doesn’t make them less worthy to struggle to find. The proof of that is in the works of Familiar Strange. Proud and beholden to the homes and crafts that are catered. The artistry of these seven artists is sharp and elusive with certain dynamics and surfaces. They slip into the folds of each other once they are allowed.

We are each the familiar strange of our own assembly. We are bizarre and loved and we each make us ourselves through differences. Nothing here is promised. We chase. We battle fear and narcissism. We want better so we can reveal intimate truths. We are together and we must form home for the outcasts of ourselves and for others. And differences need professing from mountaintops because they are the freaks of truths and individuality that makes us each uniquely important and unite whom we are.

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The exhibiting artists’ work celebrates our differences but promotes unity through a shared mutual respect, as explained in theirpress release. “We are each human—men and women, all sorts of sizes, shapes and colors—but here we are, each of us just people.” On the name of the show, Zelony-Mindell writes: “We are each the familiar strange in our own assembly. We are bizarre and loved and we each make us ourselves through differences.” PDN.edu.

What’s the story behind the title?

When I first met with the artists from the ICP-Bard MFA program, we spoke quite a bit. Something they expressed was that they didn’t think they had much in common—at least in regards to their works. Their works are dynamic and their interactions broad. I found that interesting as they’re an incredibly passionate group of people. I’m personally pretty driven when I hear individuals or groups of people say that they don’t have anything in common. I see that as a totally missed opportunity and took it as a challenge. Parts come together and people have common grounds, they’re visual, they’re social, they’re political, they have intimacies. Familiar Strange is a phrase that I noticed in one of the artists statements when reading over all of their books. Something really clicked in my mind and I felt it really optimized these thoughts that I was having about people being more related than they may seem. Humble Arts Foundation.

In Familiar Strange, seven artists — Sasha Louis Bush, Marla Hernandez, Gülsüm Kavuncu, Sam Margevicius, Hyungjo Moon, Cristina Velásquez, and Nechama Winston — establish relationships through their imaginative anddocumentary works. Together, their conversation finds parallels and highlights the ways in which speaking in a visual language differentiates from other forms of connecting and communicating. Their works induce the viewer into creating new bonds and relationships. This happens through inconsistent and ever changing forms particular to each artist’s practice. Once total strangers to each other, these seven artists have emerged into a new state of familiar after working together in the last two years at ICP-Bard. The subtle, yet concrete similarities between them are what make their union strong. They provoke us to move beyond our differences and perhaps celebrate and find strength in what makes us unique to each other. We are each human — men and women, all sorts of sizes, shapes and colors — but here we are, each of us just people. TagTagTag.

Featuring Sasha Louis Bush, Marla Hernandez, Gülsüm Kavuncu, Sam Margevicius, Hyungio Moon, Cristina Velásquez, Necham Winston at The 2017 MFA International Center of Photography Bard Show Familiar Strange June 29 – July 25, 2017. Curated by Efrem Zelony-Mindell at The Camera Club of New York, 126 Baxter Street, New York, NY 10013. Musée. 

Editor’s Picks | Wednesday: Cristina Velásquez, Gülsüm Kavuncu, Hyungjo Moon, Marla Hernandez, Nechama Winston, Sam Margevicius, Sasha Louis Bush “Familiar Strange” curated by EfremZelony-Mindell at BAXTER ST at CCNY. artcards.cc