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.


Silas Long: interior ruin

Posted on April 22, 2024

Silas Long's interior ruin delves into the interplay between technology, anxiety, and modern existence that captures the feeling of navigating life in the digital age. The exhibition invites contemplation of our perception of reality amidst commercial saturation and global instability. Through digital printing techniques, Long’s flattened surfaces create a collage-like effect that muddles the image’s material presence. Their collection of digital clips and textures are indicative of a visual world that the artist explores to interpret the profound impact technology has on the emotional psyche.

Silas Long's meticulously layered compositions of flattened textures... Continue reading Silas Long: interior ruin


Student Reflections

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Student Reflections highlights artwork by current Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC) students working with lens-based materials and equipment. The exhibition is a juried open call, available exclusively to AAC's current student body. Student Reflections allows the public to gain insight into the perspective of college art students in the contemporary age.

Student Reflections presents selected artwork by AAC students and welcomes guest judge Vikesh Kapoor, whose work is also featured in the Art Academy’s Pearlman Gallery show, Deeply Rooted.

Continue reading Student Reflections

Juan-Si González: Looking for Cuba Inside

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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


Willy Castellanos: Exodus. Alternate Documents, 1994–2024

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Willy Castellanos’ post-documentary practice emerged from the photographic record he made in Havana, Cuba, during the 1994 Rafter Crisis. Despite the scarcity of 35mm film in the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Castellanos photographed complete sequences of events that included the construction of the rafts, farewell rituals, and scenes of crowds launching into the sea. Between August and September 1994, over 35,000 Cubans embarked toward the United States on hand-built rafts in what became one of the most dramatic exoduses in contemporary history.

A decade ago, the exhibition Exodus: Alternate... Continue reading Willy Castellanos: Exodus. Alternate Documents, 1994–2024


I Was Here

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Seventeen emerging and underrepresented lens-based artists working in the mediums of photography, video, performance, collage, and mixed media explore the concept of proclaiming one's existence through image-making and storytelling. In our social landscape, the phrase "____ was here" is a familiar declaration found on walls and public surfaces, symbolizing an act of marking one's time and presence in a place. Taking inspiration from renowned photographer Ming Smith, this exhibition evokes her perspective of “celebrating the struggle, the survival, and finding grace in it.” I Was Here celebrates Smith’s legacy while providing young artists the opportunity to present work inspired by her style.... Continue reading I Was Here