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.

Southern Democratic

Posted on March 12, 2024

In October of 1976, William Eggleston went to Plains, Georgia on assignment for Rolling Stone magazine. Tasked with documenting the birthplace of Jimmy Carter, then the Democratic candidate for president, just weeks before the election, Eggleston used this project to further establish his uncompromising style: observational and democratic in nature, banal to the point of rigid and beautiful clarity.

The resulting images never appeared in the magazine but were later published as Election Eve, a collection of 100 original prints in two leather bound volumes, housed in a linen box and limited to five editions. Eggleston’s documentation of the South is decidedly... Continue reading Southern Democratic

Memory Fields

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Memory Fields explores the nuances of memory and its uncanny ability to transport culture, traditions, rituals, and feelings through space and time. Oscillating between place and placelessness, seven artists of diverse cultural backgrounds present a series of actions, systems, and moments that are influenced by regional, national, and transnational experiences.Memories contain stories that are potent, bodily, and felt. They have the potential to conjure joy, grief, and nostalgia, with its residue carrying through time. Memory is malleable, from a recollection of events to something more ambiguous, such as the sensation of familiarity or longing. It is selective, often reimagined, and flawed. Memories are... Continue reading Memory Fields

Artist Run: The Continuing Legacy of Cincinnati’s Artist-Run Spaces

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Cincinnati has long been an incubator for experimental, outsider, and DIY arts activities. Some would argue that it’s because Ohio is a flyover state—or perhaps it’s due to a lack of robust institutional support for local artists, or simply because of a lack of a strong collector and commercial gallery system—that artists here are more willing to step outside of the conventional white-walled box to create unique art experiences. Whatever the reason, Cincinnati has a history of artist-run spaces in spades. There is a joy, freedom, and willingness to “make it work” that is found largely in artist-run spaces. Artists identify... Continue reading Artist Run: The Continuing Legacy of Cincinnati’s Artist-Run Spaces

More than Meets the Eye: An Immersive Display of Narrative Power through Photos

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By harnessing the power of personal narratives and universal themes of resilience, peace, and hope that connect us across borders and experiences, More than Meets the Eye encourages viewers to see their own lives and communities through a new and empathetic lens. Inspired by a visit from 12-foot puppet Little Amal in 2023, A Picture’s Worth and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra began collaborations in an effort to help people better understand the experiences of immigrants and refugees through art. The exhibition consists of photographs of, and provided by, local immigrants and refugees, as well as companion audio stories that... Continue reading More than Meets the Eye: An Immersive Display of Narrative Power through Photos

Another First Impression

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Another First Impression explores the nuance within communities of color across the Midwest. This group exhibition brings together six artists from across the region to present a collection of original photographs, essays, and interviews that invite the viewer to embrace the complexity of the Midwest's diverse tapestry. Featuring artists from Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh, Another First Impression shines a spotlight on BIPOC communities that have long been marginalized or overlooked, capturing the essence of its people, landscapes, and cultures with honesty and reverence. Serving as a welcome mat, the exhibition extends... Continue reading Another First Impression