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


FotoFocus Goes to College, or: Building Engagement with Photography by Collaborating With Higher Ed

Posted on October 25, 2018

Last week, three artists from the exhibition “Past as Present: Capturing and Archiving the Female Experience” headlined its opening reception. The event offered the pleasures one would expect from a FotoFocus-affiliated production: astonishing art, tasty refreshments, and a lively panel discussion featuring the artists themselves. But there was one twist. The event didn’t occur at the Contemporary Arts Center or a similar venue. Instead, it took place in the heart of the University of Cincinnati’s Clifton campus, at the DAAP Reed Gallery. FotoFocus has cultivated a rich relationship with higher education, even if that relationship sometimes gets overlooked. “Consistently, since the first Biennial in 2012,”... Continue

East/Central Neighborhood Spotlight: Three Itineraries for Oct. 27

Posted on October 15, 2018

There are more than 90—count 'em, more than 90—FotoFocus projects at museums and galleries across the region this Biennial. We know, it can be daunting. Sot here at The Lens, we want to help you navigate the shows scattered around town. Today, we’re talking about what’s happening in central and eastern parts of the Cincinnati region. Without further ado, here are three itineraries to choose from on the East/Central Neighborhood Spotlight Day, Saturday, October 27. All you need is an open mind, some time and an appetite for art. 1. Embed in Methods These days, we all have a powerful camera in our hands. Smart phones do the... Continue

Open Archive: The 2018 Biennial Theme Looks at the Archive in All Its Forms

Posted on October 2, 2018

Archives are both fixed and flexible. An archive is a record, but it can also be an account—a repository of objects that has the additional purpose of being a source of knowledge. And a photographic archive is still more elastic: It’s art, it’s history, it’s politics, it’s thought. Archives can be reorganized, appropriated, or entirely forgotten. They can be everything or nothing at all. This year’s FotoFocus Biennial theme is Open Archive—that is, the literal opening of archives, and also an open interpretation of what archives actually are and what they do. Unlike any other art form, an individual’s experience with photographic archiving is generational. From... Continue

FotoFocus Super-Charges Final Friday

Posted on September 23, 2018

It's Final Friday—on steroids! Chances are you've been to the Over-the-Rhine art walk by now, held the last Friday of each month...hence the name. (And if not, keep reading, this is a great opportunity to start.)  Galleries and shops along and adjacent to Main Street throw open their doors to neighbors, newbies, and visitors who nosh, drink, conversate, and, of course, admire art. It’s a genuinely good time. But get ready, because Final Friday is super charged in September and October—boosted by the energy and presence of FotoFocus. And, really, the FotoFocus cup runneth over in Over-the-Rhine, providing opportunities well beyond Final Friday. For instance: all... Continue