Prev

Andre Viking

Artist Feature

Every week an artist is featured whose single image was published by Der Greif. The Feature shows the image in the original context of the series.

Aaron Wax - Little Stories About Him

Jul 25, 2018

»Little Stories About Him« serves as a meditation upon my relationship with my father. The project consists of portraits of my father, myself, as well as ambiguous still life and landscape imagery. These images serve as free flowing signifiers for our relationship as well as each of us separately. Through the reconsideration of this period in our lives I reflect upon moments that have passed, which I can never fully revisit or recreate. We look back upon our memories of childhood in an effort to discover what leads us to become the people we are today.

 

This project reflects upon childhood themes, my relationship with my father, and explores the topic of our aging. Through this process I attempt to do the impossible, to preserve the past. My photographs and our stories are unable to hold onto a time already over, but rather serve as a reminder of the temporal nature of our existence.


Artist Blog

The blog of Der Greif is written entirely by the artists who have been invited to doing an Artist-Feature. Every week, we have a different author.

Naturalization

Jul 30, 2018 - Aaron Wax

For my fifth post here I would like to share my recent project, Naturalization, which is an exploration into the life of my grandfather, a Polish Jew, who moved to the United States immediately before the Second World War with hopes to earn enough money to bring his wife and children to join him. Unfortunately, the War began and they were killed. Although he passed away before I was born, I have always felt close to his story. If not for his great loss I would not be alive. I create images from his saved objects, photographs, and documents. These photographs act as the framework for reconstructing his story. I also appropriate other materials to supplement my study.

Much of what I know from my grandfather’s life has been learned through oral histories. I am fascinated by how these stories can change overtime and how after numerous retellings a story becomes only a shadow of the original experience, both through omitting elements and exaggerating others. This shift inevitable in our imperfect memory allows for my creation of a new and equally flawed narrative. Due to the inconsistencies and limitations within my family’s memory I will never be able to create an accurate representation of my grandfather’s life, but this project is the construction a reimagined narrative based on his past.

To view more of my work please visit my website here


Molly Lamb – Take Care of Your Sister

Jul 29, 2018 - Aaron Wax

For my fourth post here I would like to share a recent project by Molly Lamb, Take Care of Your Sister. Lamb’s work about her family has evolved into a narrative of four series of images with poems, each of which she thinks of as a separate chapter. Take Care of Your Sister is the third chapter.

“My first recollection of inheriting the belongings of someone in my family is when I was five years old. Consistently, throughout the years since, I have inherited the belongings of most of my family. This history permeates my experiences and perspectives, and it also now ends with my life. When I pass away, all that I hold dear – my stories, my belongings, and those of my family – will dissolve into a world that does not speak the language of our nuances.

Take Care of Your Sister is a meditation on the emotional resonance of loss, family history, and family future through the land – a landscape that is grounded in reality yet also distorted through time and displacement. It is the third chapter in a longer, ongoing narrative and was inspired by visiting the Mississippi Delta where my father grew up and where my brother and I spent time with our grandparents when we were very young. When my father was a child there, he was asked to take care of his younger sister. When I was a child, the last words my father said to my brother were, “Take care of your sister.”

Without a family home to return to, the landscape becomes the place that harbors history and memory. The land engulfs and it provides respite. It haunts nightmares and it eases them away. I now live far away from the landscapes that make sense to me and give substance to my past, but I look for them here anyway. And I always return to them.”

Moths circling and circling

uneasy yellow light

suspended

in speckled black

below the stars

and cicada silence.

Strong wind on the bridge –

dirt in the air, in my hair,

in the shades of darkness

where the light laps against

the water’s whirling

solid,

where they caught

moths

when they were young.

That is not cotton.

He is not him.

Fields

rows

divides

dirt

cracks

where there is no rain.

Thick summer

clings to my skin

quietly urging

its way into my bones.

Ghosts in my eye

under the shroud cry

leave me here no more.

To view more of Molly Lamb’s work please visit her website here


The World’s Most Famous Beach

Jul 28, 2018 - Aaron Wax

For my third post here I would like to share a project I made in 2015, The World’s Most Famous Beach. This project is an examination of materials my grandmother saved from her honeymoon in 1946. I extract, decontextualize, and alter this imagery to create a unique narrative inspired by her experience. Through this process I explore what can be learned from our keepsakes. I am interested in the act of collection. The objects become a memory from another’s life.

To view more of my work please visit my website here


Rehan Miskci – Foto Yeraz

Jul 27, 2018 - Aaron Wax

For my second post here I would like to introduce the work of Rehan Miskci. She describes her current project Foto Yeraz as an extension of her quest to find new meaning in the tradition of studio photography and its connection to her Armenian identity. Foto Yeraz is a fictitious and vacant photo studio, where figures are absent, but spatial elements, such as large scale backdrops and props, still continue to exist, in fact they convert from serving as objects and start acting as subjects instead.


to see more of Rehan Miskci’s work please visit her website here


Ashley Catharine Smith – This is How We Spend Time Together These Days

Jul 26, 2018 - Aaron Wax

For my first post here I would like to introduce Ashley Catharine Smith’s project This is How We Spend Time Together These Days. Smith is a New York based artist working in photography, video, and fibers. Through the combination of these mediums she creates melodramatic depictions of relationships, sex, and gender. Her work is driven by her desire to unpack how societal expectations of gender norms affect our interpersonal relationships and sense of self. It also aims to construct moments of closeness with the subjects of her photographs though their printed image.

Smith’s images live in the intersection of photography and sculpture. Through an intervention on the surface of the print Smith creates a new reality. These photographs speak to a shift in perception that can occur when viewing images of our past. Smith explores the complexity of romantic relationships, by depicting intimate moments with a additional element of fibers seemingly growing from the surface of the photograph.

Smith earned her MFA in Photography, Video & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States at the Society for Contemporary Craft, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Knockdown Center among others. She is currently an adjunct photography professor at Drexel University and an instructor at the International Center of Photography.

To view more work by Ashley Catharine Smith please visit her website here.