Works by Lara Atallah
& Anne Spalter
Tuesday, July 31st-September 7th, 2018
On View Tues-Sat, 12pm-7pm
331 Canal Street, NYC
@lara_attalah @annespalter @kurtmcvey #oncanal
For ON CANAL, Lebanese artist Lara Atallah will debut her first major exhibition in New York City, titled Threshold. The exhibition consists of 20 Polaroids depicting Mediterranean shorelines and 3 large scale, suspended cyanotypes in addition to 8 small-scale “sun prints” made from pebbles collected from the various beaches.
Bordered by over 20 countries, the Mediterranean is commonly perceived as a place of recreation and leisure. Of late, the sea has become the only viable route to safer shores for masses of refugees fleeing war zones aboard hazardous, over- packed rubber boats. In many cases, these vessels never make it safely to their destination resulting in mass casualties. For those who survive, the Mediterranean represents the unforgiving, archetypal theatre of a perilous journey and an ever-present ocean of residual trauma. For too many others, it is a final resting place.
Polaroids, by definition, remove a great deal of creative control over the final product. A Polaroid camera does not give the option to set the aperture or the shutter speed. It reduces the photographer’s role to framing the scene. To photograph the sea with Polaroids means to embrace the unpredictability of the medium as well as the pictured subject—a large body of water that ebbs and flows beyond the limits of human control. Each photograph was deliberately damaged during the first 30 seconds of its development producing distorted landscapes-an expression of immediate and lasting trauma.
A moratorium on looking, 2018, Digital Video, 05:53 considers the Mediterranean Sea as a terrain of leisure and peril. Filmed in Mytilini and Athens, it is a contemplation on photography and the act of seeing. - Written by Kurt McVey
About Lara Atallah
Lara Atallah (b. 1989, Beirut) is a New York-based artist and writer. Her practice is informed by her interest in the political nature of landscape, and the power it holds to reshape our perception of borders. Using an array of different image-making methods such as Polaroids, still life, sun prints, and digital collages to manipulate narratives, her work examines how the act of crossing a boundary or drawing one impacts the photographic image. She holds an MFA in Photography from Parsons The New School of Design. Her work has been exhibited in the US and internationally, and is part of the Onassis Cultural Foundation's collection in Athens. She was also the 2015 recipient of the Georgia Fee Artist residency in Paris. Digital mixed-media artist
About Anne Spalter
Anne Spalter, an academic pioneer who founded the original digital fine arts programs at Brown University and The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the 1990s, will create a large-scale video sculpture entitled WELCOME / WARNING . Comprising five large monitors mounted in varied orientations along the front and back side of a vertical aluminum truss, the piece will assume the representational form of a lighthouse. High resolution source footage the artist shot of bodies of water from geopolitically diverse points around the world will harmoniously meld with actual shore rocks into a compelling and multifaceted digital megalith. An intermittent focal point on the top monitor will serve as a simultaneous beacon of hope and an all-seeing, Foucauldian eye.