Up & Coming Weekly

January 26, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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12 UCW JANUARY 27-FEBRUARY 2, 2021 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM COVER STORY 'Mounument to Strangers: Photographs of Johanna Warwick' New exhibit opens at Gallery 208 by SONI MARTIN The new exhibit at Gallery 208, "Mon- ument to Strangers: Photographs of Johanna Warwick", opens Feb. 2 5:30 p.m. Visitors to the exhibition will see a body of work by an artist who utilizes a minimalist approach to comment on cultural history and how obsolete processes can inform and continue to shape perceptions about Americana. British born but raised in Canada, Warwick works and lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "Monument to Strangers" is the result of Warwick re- searching and recontextualized daily printed newspapers photographs from the 1880s to the 1960s. Visitors to the gallery will see large scale portraits which have been "recontextualized" to reveal Warwick's truth, "images affect our understanding of cultural history." "Monuments to Strangers" also in- cludes smaller works inspired by the process of image making during an ear- ly period in the history of commercial photography and printing. Warwick noted, "it was the first time in history, images of reality could be reproduced on presses reaching the public, rather than an image interpreted and altered by hand." We are fortunate in the area to be able to see works by a contemporary photographer who does not live in our region and an artist whose approach is conceptual. As with many concep- tual works of art, visitors do not need to know the artist's intent, but knowing the intent most often enhances a differ- ent type of experience than not know- ing the meaning or purpose of the work. (For that reason, Gallery 208 always posts artist's statements throughout the exhibit.) A prelude to visiting the gallery is best said by Warwick : "In this work, I utilize news images and materially re- contextualize them to emphasize the limitations of photography as an emo- tionally and factually accurate record of the time. I combine analogue and digital processes to underscore the ways in which news photographs have been produced and how that production affects our understanding of cultural history. The photographs look at the se- lective representation of the individual within printed daily newspapers from the 1880s to the 1960s." Seeing the overly large portraits, 24" x 36," viewers should be aware War- wick has been inspired by anonymity and through this body of work wanted to " highlight how women and minori- ties were vastly underrepresented." In creating this body of work the artist is "re-presenting these images in hopes to reveal and question our flawed history. The figures in the blocks are unknown, but they were at one point important, or significant enough, to have their image produced in this way. The images reveal how versions of history were presented publicly… I don't seek to make a docu- ment as they were used before, but to photograph them as visual monuments. During this period in history, Men are photographed abundantly; women are few and far between." The exhibit also includes exquisite traditional still-lifes, created by us- ing the outdated blocks of commercial printing as a subject. In these small works the artist is showing us an anti- quated process while using new tech- nology. Warwick noted: "I am photo- graphing them to present this historic process and lost imagery in a new way, using the technologies that made them obsolete. In re-photographing these im- ages, my photographs are several itera- tions of light sensitive materials being exposed: the original photograph, the rephotographed negative, the photo- mechanical produced block, and my exposure. Each image thus goes from a positive, to a negative, recorded once again as a negative, then inverted to a positive. It is in this long chain of events, which traverses over decades, that the glow of light and color occurs. Together I strive for the photographs to describe the history of representation in American daily newspapers, as well as the history of photography." Printed Woman #4 Printed Woman #1

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