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.


On the Line: Documents of Risk and Faith

Posted on June 6, 2022

The works in this exhibition address a range of topics, spanning performance and the body, climate change, power, colonialism and identity, heritage, and territory. Collectively, they portray complex and contested relationships humans have with notions of environment, wilderness, nature, and place. The "line" metaphor is an organizing principle as well as reference to the precarity of this moment: at serious risk; caught, captured; following the path of a line. The exhibition emphasizes photography, in all its forms, as delivering a special charge to document while also grappling with historical expectations, enlarged geographies, and contemporary urgencies. The photographic documentation of various artistic interventions... 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


Refuge: Needing, Seeking, Creating Shelter

Posted on March 22, 2022

Refuge: Needing, Seeking, Creating Shelter is a look at civil strife, economic insecurity, and proliferating environmental crises, as artists from across the globe explore the search for refuge—how, why, and where people need, seek, and create shelter. The technologies of transport have long determined the movement of people and goods, fueling the expansion of empire and capital, the displacement of communities and resources, the shapes of borders. As the global refugee crisis continues, ensuring universal access to human rights in a world where, as poet Amit Majmudar says, “There’s no America to sail to anymore,” will require seismic changes—changes potentially... Continue


New Tides

Posted on

This exhibition highlights works concerned with the ebb and flow of social, political, and artistic trends and how these tropes and themes can return with differing focus and intensity. Presenting the swell of ideas, explorations, and concerns of emerging photographers from within the Midwest, the exhibition demonstrates how they see, process, and contextualize the recurrence and reemergence of social, political, and artistic trends in their own practices that establishes a new World Record. This exhibition serves as an artistic interpretation of world events/records from the perspective of emerging artists from across the Midwest. New Tides Continue

Baseera Khan: Weight on History

Posted on March 18, 2022

Baseera Khan shifts seamlessly between media to explore the interconnectedness of capital, politics, and the body. Their work in video, photography, sculpture, and performance creates spaces of reprieve, beauty, and safety, while also critiquing power structures and knowledge systems that systematically exclude or misrepresent marginalized populations. For their first solo exhibition in the Midwest, Khan brings together new and recent collages, sculptures, and video, alongside a major new commission that responds to architectural signifiers of power.  Monumental in scale, Painful Arc (Shoulder-High) (2022), features a classical Islamic arch clad with custom pictographic paneling inscribed with... Continue