En Foco/In Focus
We're particularly proud to host this exhibition because it closely mirrors the vision and commitment of our CHROMA program at The Arts at CIIS. The artists and works, dating from the 1970s to the present, represent the pluralism of voices within contemporary lens-based media, artists who include some of the most innovative figures in contemporary U.S. art. Comprised of fifty-six striking images by forty-eight different artists, this exhibition tells a powerful story, both local and universal.
The earliest works in the exhibition from the 1970s and '80s reflect the documentary impulse that characterized photographic work produced during and immediately after the civil rights era. "In contrast to photographic essays of the period exposing inner-city decay, these were images by individuals who lived in and understood the rhythms of life in these neighborhoods. Cultural representation became self-representation, as the camera became a potent means of political and self-expression," writes Elizabeth Ferrer, exhibition curator.
The second part of the exhibition reflects the multicultural discourse of the 1990s, and the impulse to use photography to examine identity (racial, ethnic, sexual, gender-based), otherness, and the social and cultural contexts that shape perspectives on the self.
The final part of this exhibition looks at work produced since the turn of the 21st century. The youngest photographers represented in the collection mirror the contemporary art scene's global landscape, drawing from multiple photographic traditions and creative modes.
This traveling exhibition is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Canson Infinity, Archival Methods, and En Foco members and supporters.
About En Foco
En Foco's mission is to support the creation of work by photographers of diverse cultures, primarily U.S. residents of Latino, African, and Asian heritage; and native peoples of the Americas and the Pacific. En Foco makes their work visible to the art world while remaining accessible to underserved communities, using photography as a vehicle to raise awareness and promote cultural equity.
Open house and conversation with the curator, Elizabeth Ferrer, and En Foco Director Miriam Romais: Thursday, February 28, 6:30PM (CIIS Main Building, 4th floor)
Guided tours for school groups: by appointment
Image credit: Wendel White, Marshalltown School, Mannington, NJ, from the series Schools for the Colored, 2008/2011