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.


Ian Strange: Disturbed Home

Posted on June 3, 2022

Ian Strange: Disturbed Home is a survey of the artist’s architectural interventions, including photographic and filmic interpretations of those structural works. Highlighting projects of the past twelve years and spanning geographies from Strange’s native Australia, to New Zealand, Japan, Poland, and the United States, including Cincinnati, Ohio, Strange’s provocative transformations of damaged or abandoned homes unlock themes of social upheaval and geographic displacement caused by a variety of factors—economic blight, environmental disaster, and social migrations. 

In response to the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record, Strange is creating a new body of work in Cincinnati, highlighting the effects of environmental... Continue


‘Free as they want to be’: Artists Committed to Memory

Posted on June 1, 2022

‘Free as they want to be’: Artists Committed to Memory considers the historic and contemporary role that photography and film have played in remembering legacies of slavery and its aftermath and examines the social lives of Black Americans within various places including the land, at home, in photographic albums, at historic sites, and in public memory.

This exhibition acknowledges artists’ constant involvement with efforts to explore the possibilities of freedom and their relationship to it. Their quest to be ‘as free as they want to be’ is envisioned in the subject matter they explore as well as in their... Continue


Tony Oursler: Crossing Neptune

Posted on

Water remains our most elemental unknown. It is a trans-cultural and historical symbol of mythologies ranging from childbirth, miracles, purification and healing rituals, to mysterious sea creatures, falling icicles, and invisible toxins. Belief in water is strong and its powers both benevolent and deadly. Water can wash away sins, cure disease, and offer eternal youth. Or it can harbor “blobsters,” freeze explorers, and swamp cities, depending on the teller and the listener, the fraudster and the rube.

Crossing Neptune is an exhibition featuring archival works on the theme of water from the personal collection of artist Tony Oursler—photographs, mostly... Continue


Recording Cincinnati World

Posted on March 23, 2022

The seventy-year-old slides of Cincinnati amateur photographer Alice Cusson are a deeply moving document of Cincinnati's past. Large-scale reproductions of Cusson's grainy slides, recently discovered by UC student and curator Jack Hall, make up the core of this exhibition. Matched with modern-day photos and compelling sound clips (that you can explore with your phone), these images tell a moving story about change over time in the Queen City.

The exhibition focuses specifically on Cincinnati—Alice Cusson's world. Most of Cusson's photos document Cincinnati landmarks, including The Terrace Plaza, The Hotel Alms, St. Francis DeSales Church, Memorial Hall, Ivorydale, and The... Continue


American Myth & Memory: David Levinthal Photographs

Posted on March 22, 2022

David Levinthal creates photographs that probe the recesses of American memory and imagination, and the stereotypes that inhabit familiar cultural touchstones. Levinthal, who spent his childhood engaging with classic American myths and legends through televised Westerns and plastic playthings, has never strayed far from these formative influences, dedicating his 40-year career to photographing toys in constructed scenarios. The exhibition American Myth & Memory: David Levinthal Photographs showcases more than 60 color photographs, created between 1984 and 2018, from two recent gifts to the Smithsonian American Art Museum of more than 400 photographs... Continue