WEDU Arts Plus

S9 E19 | CLIP

919: The Neighbors USF Cam

USF's Contemporary Art Museum presents a virtual photography exhibition that shows a candid view of American life and families called The Neighbors: Slide Shows for America.

AIRED: October 08, 2020 | 0:06:26

- Hello, I'm DALIA COLON.

And this is WEDU ARTS PLUS.

Many museums are closed due to the pandemic.

So USF's contemporary art museum in Tampa is bringing its

latest exhibition to you.

(slide projector changing)

- Well, the exhibition is called,

"The neighbors slideshows for America"

It's five commissioned photographic slide shows

or photographic portfolios,

from five artists who lived and work in America.

(Upbeat music)

We invited these five artists to give us

a look at their community.

- The idea really is to sort of get a composite view

of America at a time when that composite view is being

contested seriously, contested

both in our electoral process

but also in the culture. So what we wanted to do is to

to basically hand off

the idea of coming up with that composite view.

To five brilliant photographers.

(upbeat music)

- So each of them gave us they were digital.

So we put these into slide format.

So believe it or not

there's still places that will make slides for you.

So you get the idea of being in a darkened room with the

sound of the slide projectors changing.

So what sort of brings up that whole nostalgic

aura of being in a community ,

watching slides together in a darkened room.

- So what we wanted to do at the museum with this show

was really to appeal to some of that too,

to appeal to that community,

maybe lost community or community in construction.

- You know, this is a very interesting,

shall we say time for our country?

There's a lot of division. There's a lot of mistrust.

And I think this is a really good time to remind ourselves

of who we are and what makes us strong.

And that's really our diversity.

- There is a, a great photo by Kathya Maria Landeros

of probably the daughter of a farm worker

and remember farm worker Latino holding a sparkler

during the 4th of July.

There is a beautiful picture of a young boy

dressed in hasidic clothing,

overlooking the Brooklyn Queens expressway

in Williamsburg America's city.

There is a picture by Kurt Hammelburgof men taking down

a flag, and it seems to be draped all over his head

with cornfields behind him.

And then there's a lot of photographs of a family.

(slow piano music)

- Even though I do photograph in my family

and in communities that I know,

it just feels like people are very vulnerable right now.

(Slow piano music)

- Think I'm just becoming more resourceful

and finding ways to continue creating the work

that I need to make.

But in a way that truly, you know,

feels safe to me right now.

- We have each one of the projections taped, videotaped

and available on the website,

which is the way viewers will be able to experience the show

essentially until we hit phase three and we can allow

a limited number of people to walk through.

- But we kind of wanted to hedge our bets,

not knowing what's gonna happen.

Could we make it both real and virtual?

The challenges are,

it's never going to be the same as walking into a gallery

and seeing work firsthand.

And having the experience of being

able to actually be in that space.

And you can converse with the works.

You can see one work next to another work

and see how the curator has placed them in conversation.

And so it's never gonna be the same as that real life

kind of acquaintanceship with the works.

On the other hand, it's always there when you want it.

And the other hand, it makes the work available to them,

really broad range of people.

And, you know, an almost unlimited number of viewers.

- We are in apart together mode.

And I think this is one way in which we can

arrive at some more of that togetherness

and I think that's fundamental.

- Right now what else can you do?


We are planning on always having some kind of virtual

element tour exhibitions,

even when we're gonna be completely open.

And so I don't think that's ever going to go away.

I think we're just, I think we artists

and curator, et cetera.

I think we're just on the threshold

of what virtual exhibitions

can eventually be.

So it's kind of exciting to think of the landscape that's

out there that we can explore.

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