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.


Strangers in a Strange Land: Photographs of American Visionary Artists and Eccentrics

Posted on March 14, 2022

Strangers in a Strange Land: Photographs of American Visionary Artists and Eccentrics presents a diverse group of visionary artists and eccentrics who collectively represent a vanishing fragment within American culture. In contrast to our bland, consumer-oriented society, the lyrical worlds created by these often marginalized, sometimes unconventional visionaries result in a universe of places and artifacts rich in meaning, juxtapositions, and unintended beauty. Some are utopian, others dystopian. Their visions and life experiences shape the environments they construct—generally out of found materials discarded by modern mass culture. They express a wide array of religious, social, political, and spiritual themes. With... Continue

Jewish Cincinnati: A Photographic Record by J. Miles Wolf

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Jewish Cincinnati: A Photographic Record by J. Miles Wolf extends the photographer's 2018 FotoFocus exploration of Jewish houses of worship in Cincinnati to a broader integration of the Jewish community within Cincinnati, focusing on photographs that document Jewish contributions in all walks of life. Aligning with the 2021–2022 celebration of the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial, this exhibition affords the opportunity for Wolf to train his discerning lens on former places of business like the Krohn-Fechheimer Shoe Factory, the Fechheimer Brothers Company (still manufacturing uniforms in Cincinnati today), the Manischewitz matzo factory (first commercial matzo factory in America), Bloch Printing, and the... Continue

THE OVERSTORY

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Trees are a record of the world, holding time and marking it in ways we cannot completely fathom, and in ways that are unappreciated by most. They breathe air into the sky to sustain us, while also sequestering elements from the air into the ground and in their own bodies. In this way they serve as intermediaries quite literally between heaven and earth. The Overstory explores the notion of time as record through these great fellow beings we live amongst and how they hold a kinship with the lens, always seeing and experiencing, protecting their... Continue

Critical Distance

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Experts say it takes twenty years to lend honest reflection on major life and global events; taking critical distance to look back at what holds new relevance now. Over the past few years, the effects of multiple pandemics have become glaring. Inequities have been overlooked, consciously and out of convenience, but over time they become unavoidable. These events are not contained within national borders and the current pandemic is a reminder that health is interconnected. The political consequences of the past 20 years echoes across the globe and we recognize the need to evaluate the insights of photographers outside of the US... Continue

Unorthodocs and Vanishing Acts in The Box

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Unorthodocs is a curated film festival devoted to exploring the possibilities of creative nonfiction filmmaking. Many of the most significant creative innovations happening in contemporary film play with the boundaries of fiction and nonfiction storytelling. This festival spotlights the most adventurous contemporary and historical examples with many of the filmmakers in attendance, giving audiences a chance to meet some of the most accomplished and promising documentarians working today. One of the annual highlights of the festival is a masterclass given by a luminary of the documentary field (past presenters have included Yance Ford and Julia Reichert). Among this year’s selections... Continue