Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco CA, 94107
The work of Los Angeles-based artist Shannon Ebner, focuses on the intersections of image and text, investigating correlations between photography and language. Ebner considers various uses of language—including poetry, symbols, signage and political rhetoric—examining the limits and ambiguities of language and representation through the lens of photography. In addition to photographs, Ebner’s works take the form of sculpture, poetry, performance, and video. Using the written word as a foundation for photographs, she constructs images by building letters and phrases out of vernacular materials such as cardboard, wood, and cinder blocks, calling attention to the ways language and imagery are put together. Her alphabets explore language’s “other”—hovering presences like silence, nonverbal communication, misspellings, handwriting—and emphasize what written language commonly represses or takes for granted in order to function.
In projects like Auto Body Collision (2015), Ebner photographs language in found signage, looking for patterns, connections, and breaks in the repetition of specific words, like “auto,” “body,” and “collision.” Another project—Black Box Collision A (2014)—is an extensive meditation on and representation of the letter “A” mined from signs, advertisements, messages, and other modes of visual communication. Repetition across large-scale photographs of the letter “A” accumulates to open rather than close the meaning of even the most seemingly basic component of meaning.
Ebner received her BA from Bard College and MFA from Yale University School of Art. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; MoMA PS1, Long Island City; and Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Ebner’s work has been collected by institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Her published artist books include The Sun as Error (2009), Strike (2015), Autobody Collision (2015), and A Public Character (2017). Currently, Ebner is the Associate Professor of the Practice of Fine Arts at the USC Roski School of Art and Design. She curated the group exhibition Soil Erosion at Altman Siegel in San Francisco, which is on view from September 7 to October 28, 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
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.