Variously Documenting: Methods of Portraiture was in conversation with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art’s current exhibition, Uncanny Effects: Robert Giard's Currents of Connection. It brought together three contemporary photographers--Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Naima Green, and Ian Lewandowski--who are documenting queer communities. As Ariel Goldberg (co-curator of UNCANNY EFFECTS: Robert Giard’s Currents of Connection) points out in their introduction to the panel, queer photo history tends to be marked by its most sensationalist narratives and figures. Until his sudden death in 2002, Giard steadily built and sustained LGBTQ culture in a singularly precarious moment, making photographs of queer writers, their friends and lovers, and their wider communities. Inspired by the loss of life in a pandemic, his project was made possible by a slow and considered process of analog networking.
In the radically different context of image-making today, three artists— Lewandowski, Brown, and Green, share aspects of their photographic practices with Giard’s legacy, touching on themes of slowness, refusal, banality, intimacy, and the haptic and handheld. As we collectively mourn our shared queer spaces, defend our communities, and negotiate both illness and our intimate relationships, these artists’ work achieves a singular resonance right now.
Variously Documenting: Methods of Portraiture from Leslie-Lohman Museum on Vimeo.
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art is temporarily closed in support of New York City’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, so “Uncanny Effects: Robert Giard’s Currents of Connection” is not currently on view.
Although the exhibit is closed, you can read about it in these two articles.
“Buffering the Lens” offers a glimpse of the exhibition and explains the approach of curators Ariel Goldberg and Noam Parness as they assembled this retrospective of Robert Giard’s work. Giard’s practice was highly personal as well as historical, since he sought to understand the cultural production, experiences, and environments of the artists, writers, activists and friends he photographed. Goldberg and Parness delve into Giard’s archive of letters and notes to deepen our understanding of the context for his work.
"Cultural Connections" is an interview with the curators—Ariel Goldberg and Noam Parness—in Aesthetica magazine.
Variously Documenting: Methods of Portraiture, on Zoom March 31st
In conversation with the current exhibition Uncanny Effects: Robert Giard's Currents of Connection, this event brings together three contemporary photographers--Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Naima Green, and Ian Lewandowski—who are documenting queer communities. Moderated by Ariel Goldberg, this conversation will explore how their specific photographic practices in and around portraiture relate to legacies of image-making in LGBTQ communities of the 1970s-1990s.
The panel will take place on Zoom, Tuesday March 31st 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Register today on Eventbrite Space is limited!
The Robert Giard Foundation is saddened by the deaths of Terrence McNally and Maurice Berger, whose portraits were taken by Robert Giard.
The spread of COVID-19 and its accompanying public health precautions have left many of us feeling fearful and uncertain. Artists have the gift of embracing uncertainty and contradiction in all their beauty and strangeness, showing us other worlds within the one we inhabit, and uplifting us in difficult times. Their art lives within us.
A Panel Discussion
Celebrating the Robert Giard Exhibition at the East Hampton, NY Library
Date: Sunday, September 8
Time: 5 PM
Place: East Hampton Library
Robert Giard’s portraits of LGBTQ+ writers and activists were made at a particular moment in history — the 1980s and 1990s — when the gay community was reeling from the impact of the AIDS crisis. Today these powerful images prompt us to ask new questions about the relationship between art and activism across a range of pressing social issues.
Lola Flash uses photography to challenge stereotypes and offer new ways of seeing that transcend and interrogate gender, sexual, and racial norms. She received her bachelor's degree from the Maryland Institute and her Masters from London College of Printing, in the UK. Flash works primarily in portraiture with a 4x5 film camera, engaging those who are often deemed invisible. Flash’s work welcomes audiences who are willing to not only look, but see. lolaflash.com.
Carlos Sandoval, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, is on faculty at the Columbia School of Journalism. A sometime lawyer, Carlos writes a monthly column for The East Hampton Press and is currently at work on a family memoir spanning over 11 generations in what is now the United States. caminobluff.com.
Kathryn Szoka is a photographer of communities in transition, including Bridgehampton’s African-American community and the coal region in eastern Pennsylvania. Her recent series, WITNESS, uses landscape imagery as a commentary on contemporary culture. Szoka is represented by the Robin Rice Gallery in New York and teaches photography. She is co-owner of Canio's Books in Sag Harbor, and co-chair of PEER, a multi-issue grassroots organization on the East End. kathrynszoka.com.
Rabbi Jan Uhrbach is the spiritual leader of the Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons. In addition to her congregational work, Rabbi Uhrbach is on the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary and serves there as Director of the recently established Block/Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts. Before joining the rabbinate she was a partner in a New York City law firm specializing in media litigation. synagoguehamptons.org/about-us/rabbi-jan-uhrbach/
Register for your free ticket ›››
The Robert Giard Foundation
The Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons
The East Hampton Public Library