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.


Posted on March 14, 2022

The Perspectives is a photo-based, mixed-media mural celebrating Black iconography, culture, expression, and joy. Produced in partnership by Mz. Icar, an anonymous, interdisciplinary art collective, and ArtWorks, this public artwork is informed by the collection of oral histories and archival photographic records from residents of Walnut Hills, a Cincinnati neighborhood with an incredibly rich Black history. The creation process includes neighborhood engagement and the employment of four local Youth Apprentices under the mentorship of both Mz. Icar and an ArtWorks Teaching Artist. This highly collaborative mural is a powerful record of Black voices and histories, past and present.... Continue reading Perspectives


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Yonder is a multi-stage, educational, photo-documentation program engaging the public (regional, national, and international) in a collaborative chronicling of the many ways horizons determine and evolve our quotidian understanding of the world. Beginning in August of 2022, and in support of Manifest Drawing Center’s photographic educational mission, the project includes two free workshops, two free public demonstrations on the conversion of digital photographs into analog black-and-white darkroom prints, a public multi-week showcase of the resultant works, and a printed book of the final, edited photographs. Continue reading Yonder

Jurakán: A Film Series

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Jurakán is the name given by the Taínos, the indigenous people of the Caribbean, to the god of chaos and discord who controls the often turbulent weather that affects the region. The images and narratives that predominate about the Caribbean today tend to evoke images of the sun, but representations of wind and water are more prevalent in Taíno imagery and remain part of the imagination of the people who live in the region. The word hurricane, derived from Jurakán, refers to storms that form as they enter the Caribbean, unlike other words, like cyclone or monsoon, that describe storms with turbulent... Continue reading Jurakán: A Film Series

Phantasmagoria: The Fictitious Truth of 1666 Bruce Street

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Phantasmagoria: The Fictitious Truth of 1666 Bruce Avenue presents a visual metaphor of fiction and truth within records. Digital extrapolations, presented through unconventional media with accompanying narration, make an intimate statement about the surreal concept of a shared reality. Human experience, once recorded, begins its own swirling existence through time and interpretation, dissolving and reconstituting until the original truth becomes a fiction of the past and the fictional past becomes a truth of the moment. Perspectives turn on time and place, revealing only what falls within a limited sightline at a particular moment. Tina Gutierrez... Continue reading Phantasmagoria: The Fictitious Truth of 1666 Bruce Street

Teju Cole: Blind Spot

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Teju Cole: Blind Spot presents photographs paired with texts, each giving the other context. Cole’s photographs and writings are culled from his ceaseless travels around the world. The images and thoughts conjured in distant parts of the world in one work might literally be placed next to another that take the viewer home. This resistance to geographic continuity allows the viewer to compare how a location in Africa might be similar to a small town in Ohio.  The short text that is interlinked with each photograph touches on subjects as varied as faith, Cole’s... Continue reading Teju Cole: Blind Spot