Thursday, October 23, 2014

Eliot Dudik, Breaking Ground at the College of William and Mary, Fall 2014

Williamsburg, VA-based photographer Eliot Dudik has organized a show of work at the College of William and Mary, called Breaking Ground, which is packing them in. 

The folks at William and Mary are celebrating the event, go here, and here, for more information.  

Lenscratch has run a feature story, here. More local reaction, here.

Dudik has recently  joined the faculty of the College of William and Mary with the goal, and challenge, of setting up a program in photography for the College. 

Dudik chose to launch his project with a major exhibition of contemporary photography, including images, videos, and hand-made books by 110 contemporary photographers.

One goal behind the organization of this show was to gather a diverse body of work in this, the 175th anniversary of the invention of photography, according to Dudik, "to be as broad as possible, to show the vast breadth of contemporary photography."

This goal is a pedagogical one, to inform administrators and other faculty, and to inspire prospective students in this program, about the potential of contemporary photography to facilitate human understanding and visual creativity.

Dudik took the labor-intensive route to mounting this show, creating the prints himself. from high resolution digital files supplied by the artists.

This process raised significant questions about the images themselves, especially in relationship to prints of these images produced by the artists, once the William and Mary show is over on October 31st.

Dudik explains, "These prints can't be floating around in the world because they are not part of the artists' editions and limiting their print releases is partially what brings value to their prints."

 “A large, digital, printable file is one of the things an artist has to keep closest to them because it's their livelihood,” he said. “It's quite a lot to ask an artist to send you a very large, printable file … So the artists are entrusting me that I will treat it with respect, keep it organized and do with it what I say I'm going to do.”

So Dudik plans to destroy the prints after the show ends on Halloween by burning them in a bonfire.

Then, presumably, the distinctive vision of the new photography program at William and Mary will rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes. 

Or, at least some new work by Dudik, who plans to preserve some of the ashes, and, as W and M says, "immortalize the show by creating at least one piece of artwork from them."

For us, any time one makes a list or establishes a group of contributors, one makes choices. Whenever one makes choices, one establishes a kind of informal canon, a list of people and their work, who meet certain standards, however loosely defined.

I've chosen to illustrate this blog post about Dudik's fine show with images by Southern photographers, by at least some of the Southern photographers Dudik chose to include in his show, namely, in order, from the top, Jeff Rich, Susan Worsham, Anne Berry, S Gayle Stevens, and Lori Vrba.

Any of the rest of you who want to contact me and send along a 72 dpi file of the image Dudik chose for the show, I'll e happy to include it in an updated version of this post. And we will not need to burn anything when we are done. 

And we will end, as we began, with a shot Dudik posted to Facebook from the opening of the show. The image at the top shows the crowds at the opening. The image here shows a Southern Photographer (namely, Lori Vrba) who got to attend the show.

Here's Dudik's full list of the participants in this show:

Aaron Blum, Acacia Johnson, Adam Neese, Alex Leme , Aline Smithson, Alyssa C. Salomon, Amy Elkins, Amy Friend, Andrea Bonisoli Alquati, Angela Bacon-Kidwell, Anne Berry, Anthony Antonellis, Arnaud Teicher, Ashley Kauschinger, Ben Huff, Bill Schwab, Blue Mitchell, Brandon Thibodeaux, Brian Ulrich, Brittany Nelson, Bryan Schutmaat,Bryon Darby, Carla Richmond Coffing, Christa Blackwood, Cig Harvey, Clay Lipsky.

Also, Daniel Coburn, Dave Jordano, David Carol, David Emitt Adams, David Goldes, David Hilliard, David Leventi, Elizabeth Mead, Eliza Lamb, Eugene Ellenberg, Euphus Ruth, Frances Denny, Frank Hamrick, Gareth Phillips, Gordon Stettinius, Greer Muldowney, Holly Roberts, Ian C. Bates, Ian van Coller, Jamey Stillings, Jared Ragland, Jason DeMarte, Jay Gould, Jeff Rich, Jennifer Chan. Jennifer McClure, Jess Dugan, Jim Fitts, JK Keller, John Mann, Jonathan Blaustein, Jon Horvath, Joshua Dudley Greer, Justin James Reed, Justin Kimball, Ken Rosenthal, Kevin Strickland, Kyle Ford, Kevin Parent  ,  

Also, Lawrence McFarland, Lisa Robinson, Lori Nix , Lori Vrba, Lottie Hedley, Mark Dorf , Mark Klett, Byron Wolfe, Matt Eich, Matt Gamber, Matthew Swarts, Matt Siber, Maude Schuyler Clay, McNair Evans, Meg Griffiths, Michael Tummings, Michele Tecco, Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman, Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick, Nicole Killian.

Final Group -- Paula McCartney, Petra Cortright, Polly Chandler, Rachel Jerome Ferraro, Rania Matar, Rebecca Nolan, Rebecca Norris Webb, Richard Bram, Rollin Leonard, Rob McDonald, Robert Sulkin, Ryan Zoghlin, S Gayle Stevens, Sara Macel, Stan Strembicki, Stephanie Shively,Susan Burnstine, Susan Lipper, Susan Worsham, Suzanne Elise, Terri Warpinski , Tim Hyde, Tom Rankin, Walker Pickering, Yoav Friedländer, Zach Nader.

And there you have it, an epic photography event!  And in the South, too. 

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