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.

Juan-Si González: Looking for Cuba Inside

Posted on April 22, 2024

Years ago, Cuban-born artist Juan-Si González traveled through Missouri and stumbled on a sign: “Burger King, Cuba, 3 Miles.” The ironic juxtaposition led him to investigate. He later found 16 small towns called Cuba in the United States, most founded around the time of the Spanish-American War. Born out of that surprising discovery, Looking for Cuba Inside is a multimedia installation that moves like a travel diary along the walls of the gallery. It is a montage of documentary images and an absurd chronicle, oscillating constantly between memory, reality, reportage, and fiction.

The... Continue reading Juan-Si González: Looking for Cuba Inside

Prince Lang: Person, Place, Thing

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Prince Lang, known for his infectious smile and captivating storytelling, presents Person, Place, Thing, a solo exhibition rooted in the Walnut Hills community. Through photography, Lang goes beyond the surface to capture the present moment as part of the backstories of Black Americans. Lang’s work highlights everyday life—the joys and the struggles that define a community's spirit. 

As part of the exhibition, Peebles Gallery engages with the community by distributing disposable cameras to individuals, inviting them to capture their own stories. This collaborative approach underscores the importance of community building and offers a platform... Continue reading Prince Lang: Person, Place, Thing

Marissa Nicole Stewart: Call Me When You Get Home

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Call Me When You Get Home is a body of work drawing from Marissa Nicole Stewart's relationships with the women in her family. It explores the place-making practices and generational worldbuilding that occur within a Black matriarchal household while also celebrating self-constructed identity.

The exhibition seizes fleeting moments, brings forward deeply ingrained memories, and challenges photographic tradition with an experiential eye. The exhibition’s rich images of Black women are revealed in black-bordered prints, allowing the work to sink into the space and envelop the viewer. These flow into the matriarch of the family, the... Continue reading Marissa Nicole Stewart: Call Me When You Get Home

as it was meant to be told: AAPI Artists on Selfhood and Belonging

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In contemporary society, self-portraiture is an act of reclamation and a declaration of selfhood. Through the use of photography, video, and sculpture, four artists find their voices and express the complexities of their life experiences. Their approach to imagining the self is multifaceted and involves more than just depictions of a physical body; their portraits are reflections of the ancestral stories, cultural traditions, and modern realities that shape their identity.

Through the intimate act of turning the camera towards themselves, they invite the viewer to reflect and bear witness to their existence. This exhibition is a mode of self-discovery,... Continue reading as it was meant to be told: AAPI Artists on Selfhood and Belonging

Blank Generation: Downtown New York 1970s–80s

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Blank Generation presents a panoramic visual survey of the tectonically shifting arts culture of the 1970s–80s in downtown New York City, and the raw and dynamic new ideas in music, film, art, literature, graffiti, fashion, queer culture, and performance that it spawned. The bleak and bankrupt NYC of Travis Bickle and Ratso Rizzo felt like a city teetering on the verge of collapse, but in the dive bars, abandoned buildings, and squats of the grimiest neighborhoods, a cultural renaissance was taking place. 

The iconoclastic writers, musicians, scenesters, performers, outsiders, and other creators whose life... Continue reading Blank Generation: Downtown New York 1970s–80s