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Symposium Panel Considers the Common Trope of a Woman with a Camera

Posted on September 20, 2017

What, if anything, does it mean to be a woman photographer? Cincinnati will soon have a chance to explore the topic during the 2:00pm panel of the Second Century: Photography, Feminism, Politics symposium on October 7, 2017 at Memorial Hall.

The panel, “Woman with a Camera,” will reconsider the work of historical figures such as Berenice Abbott and Diane Arbus, as well as reflect on the contemporary practice of artists such as Anne Collier and Zoe Leonard, probing the paradoxes of the term “woman photographer”.  With viewpoints from art historians, professors, artists and writers, we will analyze the personal narratives that accompany and complicate the common trope of a woman with a camera.

Meet the Panelists
Panel moderator, Prudence Peiffer, is an art historian specializing in modern and contemporary art, and a senior editor at Artforum magazine. Her writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe New York Review of Books online, Artforum, and Bookforum, among other publications, and her book on the photography of Ad Reinhardt is forthcoming.

Makeda Best is the Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at the Harvard Art Museum. Forthcoming publications include a book on Civil War-era photography, an essay on photography and incarceration, and an article on class and labor in nineteenth-century American photography. She has previously published on topics including soldier photography and memory and Hiroshima. She is co-editor of Conflict, Identity and Protest in American Art (2016). Her research has been supported by fellowships from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Phillips Collection, and the Andrew K. Mellon Foundation. She received her MFA in studio photography from the California Institute of the Arts and PhD from Harvard University.

Claire Lehmann is an artist and writer based in New York. She has contributed to such publications as ArtforumParkettBomb, and Triple Canopy, and to catalogues for the New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Formerly an editor at Cabinet magazine, she co-curated Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New at MoMA, and is a coauthor of Artists Who Make Books, forthcoming from Phaidon/PPP.

Carmen Winant is an artist, writer, and assistant professor of visual studies at Columbus College of Art and Design. Across projects, Winant makes study of the evocative, moving, and contradictory impulses that inform and describe feminist history. Most recently, Winant has completed installations at the MoCA Cleveland (A World Without Men, 2015), the Columbus Museum of Art (Pictures of Women Working, 2016) and the Wexner Center for the Arts (The Answer is Matriarchy, 2017). In 2016, Winant had solo shows at Fortnight Institute in New York and Skibum McArthur in Los Angeles; she will have a solo show in October at Cave in Detroit. Winant is a contributor to Frieze, Aperture, Time, Cabinet, and The Believer Magazines. She currently is at work on an experimental book about practice.

Woman with a Camera
The panel will take place at 2:00pm on October 7 at Memorial Hall and will be moderated by Prudence Peiffer, Senior Editor, Artforum, New York, with panelists: Makeda Best, Curator of Photography, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA; Carmen Winant, Artist and Writer, Assistant Professor of Visual Studies and Contemporary Art History at Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, and Dean at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME; and Claire Lehmann, Artist, Writer, Curator, New York.

We encourage you to visit the Woman with a Camera Facebook Event for more updates. You can also find the complete schedule for the Second Century: Photography, Feminism, Politics symposium at FotoFocusSymposium.org/about.