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

Discovering Ansel Adams

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Discovering Ansel Adams provides unprecedented insight into the early career of Ansel Adams (1902–1984), demonstrating how, between 1916 and the 1940s, Adams developed from a 14-year-old tourist with a camera into America’s most celebrated photographer. Drawn from the definitive Adams collection at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) in Tucson, AZ, the exhibition brings together approximately 80 virtuosic photographs with unique archival objects, including the artist’s handwritten correspondence, snapshots, personal possessions, and photographic working materials. Featured works range from small, one-of-a-kind photographs from Adams’ teenage years to jaw-dropping mural-sized prints of his most famous mature views. Viewers join the artist on his journey... Continue reading Discovering Ansel Adams

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

Ian Strange: Disturbed Home

Posted on May 22, 2023

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 reading Ian Strange: Disturbed Home

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

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