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.

Fragments of Epic Memory

Posted on April 22, 2024

An immersive encounter with the Caribbean and its diaspora, Fragments of Epic Memory intertwines past and present, memory and myth, and continuity and change, creating a testament to the enduring power of art to illuminate the complexities of personal experience. From the streets of Jamaica to the shores of Trinidad and Tobago, Fragments of Epic Memory connects, contextualizes, and complicates historical depictions of the Caribbean region as a place for colonial profit and tourist pleasures. By combining historical and contemporary materials, the exhibition transforms stagnant and biased narratives into multifaceted and revelatory ways of understanding the region’s history. Fragments of Epic Memory... Continue reading Fragments of Epic Memory

The Devil Hiding in Plain Sight

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Continuing his fierce and open questioning of racial and cultural constructs, Zora J Murff presents a new exhibition of artworks titled The Devil Hiding in Plain Sight. In this collection of collages, Murff uses methodologies of enlightened witnessing and appropriation to demonstrate how a global conspiracy of anti-Black genocide has existed and continues to persist through systemic oppression.

Artist Diamond Stingily said, “I think violence is a part of every day for a lot of people. To not live in violence is a privilege.” This is a real political stance, not a radical one. Murff asks all attendees of... Continue reading The Devil Hiding in Plain Sight

ImageOhio: Undercurrents

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The open call for Undercurrents asks Ohio artists to bring their perspectives to the forefront as they delve into their unique experiences as lens-based creatives. Responding to three questions—Why do you use lens-based media? What is hidden within your work? What are the undercurrents that unite Ohio lens-based artists?—the artists are asked to unearth the histories that helped shape them. Through this group exhibition, ROY G BIV continues to champion emerging artists by providing a platform to increase the public's awareness of their work and creating a space to celebrate and highlight lens-based artwork.

Continue reading ImageOhio: Undercurrents

Michael Reese: Decoding Polaris

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Decoding Polaris is a series of mixed-media cyanotypes and installations by Atlanta-based artist Michael Reese. Exploring the celestial mapping of routes to freedom used by enslaved people in the American South, Reese creates new interpretations through cyanotypes, a 19th-century process of camera-less photography. Polaris, more widely known as the North Star, is the focal point of his compositions. Overlaid with astronomical patterns, lines, and the phantom shapes of the southern states, each artwork is a meditation on the boundaries, scale, and elemental tools used to find a path to freedom.

Of Decoding Polaris, Reese... Continue reading Michael Reese: Decoding Polaris

Tony Oursler: Crossing Neptune

Posted on May 22, 2023

Water remains our most elemental unknown. It is a trans-cultural and historical symbol of mythologies ranging from childbirth, miracles, purification and healing rituals, to mysterious sea creatures, falling icicles, and invisible toxins. Belief in water is strong and its powers both benevolent and deadly. Water can wash away sins, cure disease, and offer eternal youth. Or it can harbor “blobsters,” freeze explorers, and swamp cities, depending on the teller and the listener, the fraudster and the rube.

Crossing Neptune is an exhibition featuring archival works on the theme of water from the personal collection of artist Tony Oursler—photographs, mostly... Continue reading Tony Oursler: Crossing Neptune