Claremont, Calif. (November 1, 2007)— Antarctica will be the subject of the largest photographic exhibition ever shown at Pitzer College. It will be the first to take place simultaneously at the campus’ Nichols and Lenzer Family Art galleries from November 17, 2007 through January 12, 2008. Antarctica, curated by Ciara Ennis, brings together the work of three extraordinary artists: Joyce Campbell, Anne Noble and Connie Samaras. The artists’ collaborative work explores the subject of Antarctica, the coldest and most extreme continent on Earth.
The three women were able to photograph and experience first hand the severe and almost inhuman conditions of Antarctica. The work of Campbell and Noble was supported by the New Zealand Artists to Antarctica Program and that of Samaras by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Artists and Writers Program. Each artist’s work approaches the subject with differing yet interconnected critical frameworks. The result is a rich trans-cultural dialogue that seeks to serve as the de-exoticism of a landscape that has been romanticized, idealized, and rendered epic.
Rather than mere images of places or things, Joyce Campbell’s photographs (Last Light 2006) are formulated to be historically and physically compelling objects. Campbell approached Antarctica as something vast, savage, and primordial, framed without any signs of technology or traces of human presence. She used anachronistic photographic technologies including Daguerreotype, a fragile but exquisite photographic technique never before practiced on Antarctica. Campbell is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, photography, film and video installation. She is a professor in fine arts at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and divides her time between Los Angeles and Auckland.
Connie Samaras’ photographs (Vast Active Living Intelligence System) shot at the South Pole as well as her videos shot in other Antarctic locations depict the liminal space between life-support architecture and extreme environment. Samara is interested in ideas of speculative landscape, science fiction, psychological dislocation, and the political geographies underpinning fantasies of space exploration. Her work frames the paradoxical relationships inherent in attempts to colonize a space so resistant to human habitation that any structure regardless of its engineering is slowly and indifferently erased in a matter of a few decades by the creep and flow of the ice. Samaras is an artist and writer in Los Angeles and is an affiliated faculty member in Women’s Studies at the University of California, Irvine.
Anne Noble has been considering the cultural origins of the Antarctic imaginary and how this contributes to a sense of place since 2002. Her project (Whiteout), explores representation of the landscape at the point where perception and cognition founders. In other projects, whether from the decks of Antarctic tourist ships or traveling around the world to photograph dioramas of Antarctica, Noble critiques the framing of the Antarctic landscape as picturesque, heroic and sublime. Noble is one of the most celebrated photographers in New Zealand and is currently professor of fine arts at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand.
According to Director of Campus Galleries Ciara Ennis, “Campbell, Noble, and Samaras use romance, mystery, and fascination to present works whose exquisite formal beauty veils the foreboding and catastrophic subtext that infiltrates their work.”
OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, November 17, 6-8 p.m.
OPENING EVENT: Connie Samaras will read extracts from her South Pole Journal, Saturday, November 17, 5:30 p.m.
ARTISTS’ WALKTHROUGH: Join Joyce Campbell, Anne Noble and Connie Samaras for a discussion of their work, Nichols Gallery, Tuesday, November 20, 3 p.m.
GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday- Friday from 12-5 p.m. and by appointment only on Saturdays (909) 827-3143
For more information please contact Ciara Ennis, Director of Campus Galleries, Pitzer College Campus Galleries at (909) 607-3143, Fax: (909) 607-7880 or e-mail [email protected].