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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Friday night opening at Wesleyan's Zilkha Gallery

Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University
238 Washington Ter., Middletown, (860) 685-3355
Framing and Being Framed: The Uses of Documentary Photography
Sept. 13—Dec. 7, 2008.
Opening reception: Fri., Sept. 12, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

Framing and Being Framed at Wesleyan University's Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery is an examination of how contemporary visual artists and photographers comment on traditional assumptions about documentary photography in their work. In order to encourage viewers to grapple with issues of context, subjectivity and interpretation, the artists in the exhibition employ devices such as accompanying text, animation, participation, collaboration, and reenactment of events. Represented by two-dimensional and video works, featured artists include Perry Bard (Web), Matthew Buckingham (Web), Wendy Ewald (Web), Koto Ezawa, Eric Gottesman (Web), Alfredo Jaar (Web)">Web), Emily Jacir (Web)">Web), An-My Le (Web)">Web), Susan Meiselas (Web)">Web), and Ann Messner. Nina Felshin, Zilkha Gallery's Curator of Exhibitions, curated the exhibition.

Framing and Being Framed: The Uses of Documentary Photography runs from Sat., Sept. 13 through Sun., Dec. 7, 2008. The public is invited to attend the opening reception on Fri., Sept. 12 from 5—7 p.m., with a curator's talk at 5:30 p.m. Gallery Hours: Tues.—Sun., noon—4 p.m.; Fri., noon—8 p.m. The gallery will be closed from Nov. 25—30 for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery is located at 283 Washington Terrace in Middletown, Connecticut. For more information visit or call (860) 685-3355.

Framing and Being Framed is part of a larger university-wide photography initiative entitled Eye of History: The Camera as Witness.

Wendy Ewald, Eric Gottesman, and Susan Meiselas are represented by collaborative projects in which they engage the vision and voice of a particular population. Ewald, a pioneer of collaborative photography, is represented by excerpts from "Towards A Promised Land," a project in which she collaborated with young people in the British seaside town of Margate. Eric Gottesman is represented by his project with Sudden Flowers, a children's art collective in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that he helped found.

Perry Bard's video "Man With a Movie Camera: The Global Remake" was shot by people around the world who were invited to record images interpreting the original script of Vertov's classic, experimental documentary film Man With A Movie Camera (1929).

Koto Ezawa's short DVD "The Simpson Verdict" (2002), a computer-generated animation, is the result of reconstructing, frame by frame, the documentary television footage of the O.J. Simpson verdict being handed down in the courtroom.

The twelve photographs that comprise Matthew Buckingham's series "Will Someone Please Explain it to Me, I've Just Become a Radical" refers to a student demonstration against recruiters from the Dow Chemical Company, the manufacturers of napalm, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1967.

An My-Le's "29 Palms" (2003-04) was shot at the eponymous military base, located in California's Mohave desert, where Iraq- and Afghanistan-bound Marines train before deployment.

Related Events:
Eye of History Panel Discussion
Friday, Nov. 7, 4:30—6:30 p.m.
CFA Cinema
Internationally renowned documentary photographers Wendy Ewald, Eric Gottesman, and Susan Meiselas join acclaimed writer and critic David Levi Strauss in a panel discussion articulating the themes of the conference and the exhibition. Wesleyan President and historian Michael S. Roth will introduce the panel.

Looking for an Icon, film screening
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m.
Zilkha Gallery

About the Eye of History project at Wesleyan:
Ever since its invention in 1839, the camera has served as a key eyewitness of current events as well as a powerful means by which the past is remembered. From its use as documentary evidence of war to its uses in politics and social reform, photographic images have served a variety of roles.

This fall Wesleyan is hosting a series of public exhibitions, films, and talks exploring how photographs shape the ways in which people remember historical events and engage the world. In the Davison Art Center, Zilkha Gallery and Olin Library, these exhibitions will explore the past, present and future of photography as an eyewitness of history. Visit for more information about the project.


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