Photo by Jacob Drabik

The Lens

The Lens is the FotoFocus editorial platform, highlighting our programming and featuring in-depth conversations on photography and the moving image drawn from perspectives and insights in our community, throughout our region, and around the globe.


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FotoFocus at 10: An Oral History

Posted on December 17, 2020

As FotoFocus celebrates its first decade, we get the behind-the-scenes scoop of how it started—and what the future holds—from eight people who have lived it.

I. Origin Story

TOM SCHIFF, Founder, FotoFocus and CEO, Lightborne: The idea started maybe 12 years ago or so with James Crump, who was the curator of photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum. I mentioned to him that I thought there were never enough photography exhibits in Cincinnati. I thought, If we could have a photography festival in Cincinnati,... Continue


FotoFocus at 10: A Video Road Trip with Past Participants

By Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator

Posted on October 8, 2020

Thirteen esteemed artists and curators who have contributed to a decade of FotoFocus programming join from their homes around the world to reflect on where they've been, where they're headed, and the fundamental need for creativity and humanity in times of crisis.

FotoFocus is 10 years old. What started as an organization to promote photography through public exhibitions and lectures in and around Cincinnati soon evolved from funding a Visiting Artist and Lecture Series to producing a Biennial and Symposium for photography and lens-based art. Since 2010, FotoFocus... Continue


A Long Intermission: Searching for Cinematic Moments During Covid-19

By C. Jacqueline Wood, FotoFocus Film Curator at Large

Posted on September 9, 2020

Whether it's an increase in binge-watching or awareness of daily sights and sounds, the pandemic lockdown has permanently changed the way we, individually and collectively, relate to film—in ways we are still discovering.

While theater marquee lights remain dim—displaying words of wisdom rather than movie showtimes—many of us continue to experience meaningful cinematic moments outside of the traditional theater-going experience. The current pandemic has produced sweeping changes in how we consume media, altering what we watch and how we watch it. But at its core, film is a meditative... Continue


The Allure and Pitfalls of Seeing Photographs, and the World, in Isolation

By Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator

Posted on August 19, 2020

Political crises are often abstract, even invisible—and thus difficult to record, particularly in a single frame. So how do we, in a state of isolation, move beyond the isolated image to see what's happening?

A friend pointed out recently that the months of isolation have made us not only worried and frustrated but also socially awkward. As we venture out of our pods, we are rusty at communicating, made worse by masks and other safety protocols. You can’t read facial expressions, you don’t know where someone has been, you... Continue


Photographs Are the Monuments of Our Online Visual Culture

By Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator

Posted on July 14, 2020

Originally published on July 11, 2020 by The Art Newspaper, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator Kevin Moore asks which photographs will ascend to a more permanent station in today’s social imagination.

Monuments have taken a beating this past week—traditional monuments, that is, statues of what you might call failed white male conquerors, so prevalent in the lingering Confederate South. Shortly after the current occupant of the White House gave a speech at Mount Rushmore on 3 July, protestors in Baltimore pulled down a Christopher Columbus... Continue