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.


The Biennial in Book Form: Three Volumes to Add to Your Shelves

Posted on October 30, 2018

The 2018 Biennial theme Open Archive sparks a multitude of thoughts and inspiration. Behind each curated show, featured photograph, and careful performance lie layers of narrative and woven experience, charged with texture and intertextuality. Which is why exploring the material behind this year’s exhibitions only adds to the intrigue—and the richness of the conversation.

Modular and multifaceted, the two-volume catalog No Two Alike: Karl Blossfeldt, Francis Bruguière, Thomas Ruff invites audiences to compare the three aforementioned artists in an open, flexible format. It juxtaposes the work of one of the most celebrated contemporary artists, the German photographer Thomas Ruff (b. 1958), with two important photographers... Continue


Meet the Curator: Ulrike Meyer Stump

Posted on August 8, 2018

In No Two Alike: Karl Blossfeldt, Francis Bruguière, Thomas Ruff, FotoFocus Guest Curator Ulrike Meyer Stump re-stages an iconic 20th-century photo exhibition with a modern twist. Here, the independent curator and Zurich University of the Arts lecturer discusses abstraction, Paris, and curatorial problem solving. No Two Alike re-conceives a 1929 London exhibition featuring photographs by German sculptor Karl Blossfeldt and American photographer Francis Bruguière. What is most memorable about this pairing, and why is the exhibition worth revisiting? The combination of Blossfeldt’s plant photographs and Bruguière’s experimental photographic designs is surprising. They were initially created in entirely different contexts: Blossfeldt’s as teaching materials for Jugendstil designers... Continue

Meet the Curator: Steven Matijcio

Posted on July 30, 2018

Steven Matijcio is the FotoFocus Guest Curator behind The Fold: Space, time and the image, featuring Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari, on view at the Contemporary Arts Center October 5, 2018 through February 10, 2019. Here, the CAC curator discusses curatorial instincts and society’s ever-expanding archive.

Akram Zaatari is a photographer, but he also considers himself an archivist, collector, curator, critical theorist, and filmmaker. What can you tell us about his work? Akram was one of a handful of artists to emerge out of the prolonged Civil War in Lebanon, and this short-lived era of experimentation in the television... Continue


Meet the Curator: Drew Klein

Posted on July 23, 2018

Drew Klein is performance art at the Contemporary Arts Center. Bringing an international sensibility to the Cincinnati scene, Klein’s curations and commissions have been nothing shy of existential, provocative—and absolutely stunning. From Takahiro Yamamoto’s Direct Path to Detour to Jens Lekman’s Ghostwriting project, the Performing Arts Director has proven tireless in his quest for extraordinary art that asks us stretch our minds. While Klein continues to change the face of performance art in the Midwest, we’ll eagerly await the CAC Black Box performance of Blind Spot—an interdisciplinary collaboration between writer-photographer Teju Cole and composer Vijay Iyer. Blind Spot takes place Saturday, October 6 at 7 p.m.,... Continue

Meet the Curator: C. Jacqueline Wood

Posted on July 17, 2018

Artist C. Jacqueline Wood is a force for film in the Queen City. Trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she put her proverbial stake in the ground for experimental film with the opening of the Mini Microcinema on Main Street in Over-the-Rhine. As a Guest Curator in FotoFocus’s upcoming Biennial, this October Wood will share her take on the theme, Open Archive, with more than 20 screenings of film and video work at the Mini—playing for the public throughout the month of October. This is the first year FotoFocus has incorporated Guest Curators in a Biennial. How did you get this... Continue