FotoFest Exhibitions

Assembly: Eight Emerging Photographers from Southern California

Curated by the Curatorial Team at the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department,
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)


Nicole Belle, Untitled, 2008. Courtesy of the artist.

Nicole Belle
Matthew Brandt
Peter Holzhauer
Whitney Hubbs
Matt Lipps
Joey Lehman Morris
Asha Schechter
Augusta Wood

Curatorial statement excerpted from the FotoFest 2010 Biennial Catalogue

presents eight significant photographers who have emerged from Southern California in the last decade. Approaching the making of photo-based art in a number of different ways, their work both reflects the region’s cultural heritage as well as suggests important trends in current American photographic practice.

Over its relatively short course, the cultural legacy of Southern California has held an ongoing dialogue between utopian ideals and apocalyptic apprehension – the boosterism of the “end of the road” state heralded for its promise and abundance in tension with concerns about the fragility of its natural and built environment. Photographers working in Southern California have long responded to its exceptional physical terrain as well as the presence of its entertainment industry, with the liminal lure of image sundered from reality to generate a dream realm for consumption. The region’s strong and sustained academic network has supported artistic output marked by an emphasis on material craft and conceptual experiment.

Building upon a photographic tradition drawn to the region’s daylight or to its Klieg light, the photographers assembled here reckon with the radical changes now posed by digital production and emerging social media. In diverse and highly personal ways, their work suggests common interests in examining the physical make-up, presentation, and dissemination of photo-based art; a greater acceptance of the mediated experience a photo-driven world offers for the formation of contemporary identity; and a greater interest in the possibilities for curating one’s own understanding of the world. Some of the photographers revisit the inherent fragility and provisional materiality of historic photographic processes; others engage the indexical possibilities of performance – self, appropriated image, altered environment – to elicit new realms of attention and meaning. All engage, in various ways, with the relationship of memory to the formation of personal experience and understanding. In total, the assembled achievements of
these eight photographers begin to suggest the vitality and richness of American photographic practice today.

Edward Robinson
Associate Curator, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

This exhibition made possible by FotoFest 2010 Biennial Sponsors, Williams Tower and Sally Sprout.