John Houck

Artist lecture Wednesday, September 14, 2016 7PM
Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., San Francisco, CA 94107

Los Angeles-based artist John Houck explores human perception and memory using both analog to digital technologies. By simultaneously resisting and embracing technology, Houck exploits the ambiguity between the artist’s hand and his digital tools, engaging viewers to grapple with what exactly they are looking at. His background in architecture informs his manipulation of space through the photographing and successive re-photographing of objects. Through Houck’s process of re-photographing, he “complicates the image” until he reaches a final composition and refers to the result as “a photograph of itself,” forcing a collapse of spatial and temporal relationships within a single image. 

In his most recent work, Houck rigorously arranges and photographs keepsakes given to him by his parents. Subsequent iterations of re-arrangement and re-photography create spatially layered images that evoke the complexity and malleable nature of memory, and show how objects laden with personal histories can drive the imagination and inspire new narratives. Houck refers to these images as “aggregate photographs,” emblems of the manner in which imagination and recollection alter and distort our views of our past lives.

Houck received his MFA from UCLA in 2007 and his BA in Architecture from Colorado University in 2000. He participated in the Whitney Independent Study (2010) and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2008) programs. Houck’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He will have a solo exhibition at The Dallas Contemporary Museum in 2017.


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.