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Past Exhibition "Where We Are Not Known"

Past Exhibition "Where We Are Not Known"

Where We Are Not Known: Photographs by Kirstyn Russell

March 11 - April 4, 2013



Artist Talk & 
Opening Reception 6:00 - 9:00 pm March 14, 2013

The Reynolds Gallery, Department of Visual Arts presents, Where We Are Not Known, a solo exhibition by contemporary photographer Kirstyn Russell. Russell will exhibit three photographic series that intertwine histories, both real and created, that she projects onto the landscape.
According to Russell: 

I began looking at the edges of communities and questioning how we project ourselves into what we photograph. As I continued with the work, I started looking at gender and queerness in the landscape. Is there room for queerness in areas where it may not be safe to be queer? I started photographing queer spaces in rural, suburban and abandoned urban places. I found that often you see more rainbows on the muffler shop than on the local gay bars. I realized I was projecting queerness into the stores, street signs and grocery stores I was driving past. In areas where overt queerness is hidden (no queer signifiers on the gay bars) I noticed pool halls called "Butches" and supermarkets called "Big Bear." By making these photographs I want to consider places that could easily be missed as you move from destination to destination. I am interested in searching beyond the geographic boundaries, to the possibility of a psychological, historic, and identity based understanding of the areas I photograph.

Kirstyn Russell received her B.F.A. from New York University and her M.F.A. from California College of the Arts. In 2007 she received the Cadre Grant to produce 10 images from the series Where We Are Not Known as postcards and mailed them to 75 recipients. The work was reproduced in Capricious Magazine and written about in Make/Shift Magazine. She was a speaker at the 2011 Society for Photographic Education conference. Kirstyn is a Professor of Photography at San Joaquin Delta College. For further information on the artist please visit her website, www.kirstynrussell.com.