John Divola

Artist lecture Thursday, February 11, 2016 7PM
Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., San Francisco, CA 94107
Zuma #3, 1977

Although the physical subjects that John Divola photographs range from buildings to landscapes to objects in the studio, his concerns are conceptual: they challenge the boundaries between fiction and reality, as well as the limitations of art to describe life. Over the past four decades, he has evolved a wide-ranging and rigorous body of work merging photography, painting, sculpture, performance, and conceptual art. Raised in the San Fernando Valley—which he credits as having an impact on his development as an artist—Divola’s imagery often examines the Southern California landscape including urban Los Angeles or the nearby ocean, mountains, and desert.

Divola earned a BA from California State University, Northridge in 1971 and an MA from University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied under Robert Heinecken. In college, the new art movements that inspired him—Minimalism, Conceptualism, and Earthworks—were often not easily accessible, but encountered through photographic documentation. “I came to the conclusion that [photography] was the primary arena of contemporary art,” Divola has said, “and that all painting and sculpture and performance was, from a practical point of view, made to be photographed, to be re-contextualized, and talked or written about.”

In 2014, Divola was the subject of a major museum solo exhibition, As Far As I Could Get, a collaborative project between the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Pomona College. Divola has taught photography and art at numerous institutions including California Institute of the Arts (1978-1988), and since 1988, he has been a Professor of Art at the University of California, Riverside.


Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program

Pier 24 Photography is pleased to present the Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program in collaboration with California College of the Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Each year, the Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program brings six photographers, writers, and curators to San Francisco to offer free and open lectures, and to work one-on-one with students at California College of the Arts.


Larry Sultan Photography Award


Bieke Depoorter, from the series I am about to call it a day, 2010.

Bieke Depoorter

Fall 2018 Residency
Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA

Click HERE for more information on the Larry Sultan Photography Award

Photographer Bieke Depoorter (b. 1986, Belgium) travels the world to find her subjects, creating extraordinarily intimate photographs that straddle portraiture, documentary, and fiction. The relationships she creates with those she photographs are the key to her work. As Depoorter describes it, “The relationships I establish with my subjects are the foundation of my artistic practice…. The resulting stories are always partially mine, partially theirs.”

In her early work, Depoorter traveled to far-flung locales in Russia, Egypt, and the United States, befriending locals to photograph. She asked her subjects if she could spend the night in their homes, building rapport and trust that eventually allowed her to capture the mundane, routine, ordinary moments of their lives. Depoorter’s first such project, Ou Menya, documented her encounters in the homes of locals in Russia. She completed a similar, long-term project in the United States titled I am about to call it a day.

In As It May Be, a project photographed in Egypt beginning just after the revolution in 2011, she tried to find trust in a time of turmoil and suspicion, in an environment where private life is often shielded. With this project, she also started to question her use of the photographic medium. Conscious of her status as an outsider, she returned to Egypt in 2017 with the first draft of the book, inviting others to write comments directly on the photographs. Contrasting views on country, religion, society, and photography arise among people who would otherwise never engage in a dialogue with one another. In Sete#15 (2015) and the short film Dvalemodus (2017), she began to conceive of her subjects as actors, projecting her own fictional narratives onto her subjects’ factual environments, thereby blurring the line between her world and theirs. In her most recent projects, such as the ongoing project Agata (2017), Depoorter works even more collaboratively with her subjects.

She has published four books, and her work has been shown in the United States and Europe, including Photomuseum The Hague, The Netherlands and an upcoming exhibition at FOMU Antwerp, Belgium. She joined the Magnum agency as a nominee in 2012 and a full member in 2016. She is the recipient of the Magnum Expression award and the Prix levallois, among other accolades.

Depoorter lives and works in Ghent, Belgium.