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.

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 reading Refuge: Needing, Seeking, Creating Shelter

New Tides

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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 reading New Tides

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 loaded cultural... Continue reading Baseera Khan: Weight on History


Posted on March 14, 2022

All houses, once lived in, have stories. Some are mere whispers, others scream. A home’s visual history interprets the movements of its residents, through time. Like us, houses breathe and have lives. In Mature, the images of the Stair House capture the passage of time before the transformation into a new chapter arrives. This new chapter is coupled with the passing of Marie Ward (1927–2020), who lived in the house for the past 50 years, and speaks to the Appalachian-migration experience of Cincinnati in the mid-20th century. A video interview with Ward speaks to the experience of living... Continue reading Mature

Unusual Characters: Portraits and the Modern Eye

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Unusual Character: Portraits and the Modern Eye shares the work of five modern photographers whose portraits are atypical, uncomfortable, yet inexplicably attractive. They make us pause and ask questions. The process, medium, and presentation used by the artists in this exhibition add to the mystery. The wet-plate tintypes of Craig Barber harken to an earlier age and the 3D animations of Claudia Kunin cause the subjects to move among us. Sunjoo Lee’s paper covered models are robotic and abstract at the same time. Sandra Klein’s self-portrait composites puzzle, surprise, and inform us, while Matt Zory’s street photography reveals a harsher... Continue reading Unusual Characters: Portraits and the Modern Eye