Family

At the age of 16, the New York based artist Chris Verene started photographing his surround-ings, his family and his close clan of friends living in the town of Galesburg. FAMILY documents a strange and yet famil-iar world, and reveals everyday life as being at the same time both bizarre and mundane.
Udstillingsperiode:
23-03-2012 - 06-05-2012
Medie:
Photography
Titel:
Family
Kunstner:
Chris Verene (USA)
At the age of 16, the New York based artist Chris Verene started photographing his surround-ings, his family and his close clan of friends living in the town of Galesburg. Ever since that time, his family and township have been a focal point in his working life - an ongoing docu-mentary project that has lasted for over 28 years. Family documents a strange and yet famil-iar world, and reveals everyday life as being at the same time both bizarre and mundane.

Like many small towns in the United States, Galsburg is a backward society characterized by a high degree of unemployment and difficult living conditions. The population of the township is slowly declining, as young and old seek happiness outside the city limits. By means of anthropological portraits, Verene unearths the lives of the average citizens. He tries to avoid too much staging of the people portrayed and focuses instead on an honest depiction of his family and friends. Wrecked marriages, tasteless interiors, worn clothing, decay and ill health seem to confirm the worst stereotypes about the Midwest: in these pictures everybody seems to be a bit strange, unhappy or overweight. Yet the images paradoxically possess an undeniable optimism, openness and intimacy. The message seems to be that people do what they can to get through. Children play, people hold hands, while others relax and bask in the sun. Despite the difficult living conditions one finds hope, warm-heartedness and not least, powerful family ties.

The fact that Verene has known his subjects through several decades allows him to get to grips with them by moving in close. Without any kind of embarrassment, they show us who they really are. Their presence is immediate and insistent and we get the feeling, almost, of being one of them: a genuine member of the clan. The revealing and semi-romantic aspect of these photographs is further enhanced by the handwritten narrative texts attached to each work.

Chris Verene (b. 1969, Illinois) has had a distinguished career as an art and documentary photographer, and also as a performance artist. He studied at Georgia State University and in 2000 was selected for the Whitney Biennale, also the same year the book Chris Verene was published. Again in 2010 the monograph on Galesburg was published by Twin Palms Press. Chris Verene is represented in several public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Deitch Projects in New York, and the Paul Morris Gallery. Chris Verene was the first photographer to receive a grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation for full support 2002. His work has been discussed in mainstream media such as Artforum, The New York Times, Vanity Fair and Vogue.

For more info: http://www.chrisverene.com/

WORKSHOP: Thursday 22 March at Danish School of Media and Journalism OPENING: Friday 23 March 16.00 -18.00
The artist will be present. ARTIST TALK: Saturday 24 March at 14.00.

Link to interview with Chris Verene on KUNSTEN.NU
http://www.kunsten.nu/artikler/artikel.php?galleri+image+chris+verene+family    

The exhibition is generously supported by:     
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