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'Urban Interpretations'
Exhibit dates: 7-28 September 2007. Reception: 7 September.
Somerville City Hall: 4 October-6 December 2007.

about the show
artist statements directions/hours contact

Violet Byrd
Untitled No. 1 (pastel bicycles)
Polaroid Spectra Photograph
3" x 2.75" (framed 16" x 20")
full image web

Kay Canavino
"Somerville Pampas Fence"
Digital Print
Ultrachrome Archival Ink
Crane's Archival Museo Silver Rag Paper
20" x 24"
full image web

  Karen Davis
"Bench, Mt. Morris Park, Harlem"

16" x 20"
full image
  Gary Duehr
"Red Car" (diptych)
Pigment print on
watercolor paper
30" x 88"
full image

Shane Hutton
"East From Asakusa"
Archival ink on canvas
24" x 36"

full imageweb

Robin Radin
"On the Boulevard"
Toned gelatin silver prints
20” x 24”
full image

  Skye Schulte
"Patterns that Persist"
Archival ink jet print
11" x 33.75"
full image web
  Andrea Thompson
"Henna Tattoo,
Las Vegas (self portrait)"
Archival inkjet
16 x 20
full image
Peggy Tuitt
"Callejon De Hamel 12"
20" x 24" (framed)
full image
  Peter Urban
Kids with Camera
Achival inkjet,
pigment ink on luster paper
16 x 16"
full image
  James Zall
"untitled (alley)"
C-print, 20" x 16"
full image


about the show
Curated by Michelle Fiorenza.

Urban Interpretations is a photographic exhibition which explores human behavior, diversity, geometry, spirit, rhythms and patterns of everyday life in the context of densely populated urban environments. It is about the relationship between people and their physical urban surroundings and the impact they have on each other. The following eleven photographers share their interpretation of this theme.

artist statements

Violet Byrd: email
The photographs were made with a consumer quality point-and-shoot instant Polaroid camera. In that way they resemble snapshots. There is a difference of intention between the technique of the snapshot - an exhilarating form of photography in its deep regard for small, familiar moments of everyday life, or in its offer of proof in the reaching of an unfamiliar destination – in that the photographer intends to capture a known subject. These photographs are of small, familiar moments in the everyday urban landscape, but my intent in making them was to photograph what had not yet appeared, to freeze random details of constantly changing occurrences, to see what existed in the few seconds that the camera blocked my view and substituted its mechanical record for my biological vision.

Kay Canavino: email
An urban area offers some wonderful geometry to work with, as well as motion and irony. These photographs of the Castle at Prospect Hill, and my old neighborhood at Brickbottom, were the results of the challenge to find the beauty around me in my Somerville environment. The ghost images of a father and child exploring the Castle at night contrasts momentary visitors with the solid, permanency of stone. Pampas grass planted by a hopeful gardener in a sliver of ground struggles with asphalt and a chain link fence.
I am drawn to the night landscape because there is a different sort of beauty to be found at night, without the jumble of information visible in the daylight. Using the elements of black, available light, and the artificial light that I add, I explore the urban environment to discover what the night has to disclose.

Karen Davis: email
“Child’s Play,” is an on-going series of portraits of childhood. “City Kids” focuses on those images of children in the urban environment. I am especially attracted to children’s moments of deep engagement – with others, an object, a thought. I’ve re-learned from my observations, and hope to reflect in my images, something I knew as a kid: while adult memories of childhood may blend into a dreamy confection - a child’s experience is far more serious business.

Gary Duehr: email
In these photographs, I am interested in the energy created by colliding vantage points, like a car crash of victims and perpetrators, innocent and traitors, onlookers and subverters. A handshake might bump into a mob, a funeral into a bomb’s aftermath.
I want the patchy, rough quality to add to the immediacy, making it harder to lookaway, even though we might want to.
We feel somehow we shouldn’t gawk
but how could we not
So we do
At what’s tangled, amiss
At what stares back at us
as if through the lens of a camera

Shane Hutton: email
In your home city, life is largely utilitarian. You use buildings that are relevant to you in the way you need to use them and lose a sense of scale. But a foreign city strips the environment of most utilitarian uses and there the full impact of a city's gravity can be felt.
As you look at a foreign cityscape you find yourself wondering what's in all those millions of little boxes. How many coffee tables? How many magazines? How many telephones? How much copper wire is out there? How many packages of Haribo Gold-Bears Gummi Candy?
So the thoughts switch. How many people are having sex out there right now? How many are my age? Do I have a doppelganger out there? And you're hooked.
At some point between the gummi bears and who's having sex, a shutter quietly opens and closes.

Robin Radin: email
For over twenty five years I have photographed the cultural landscape of my neighborhood in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. My work draws inspiration from the vibrant and diverse lifestyles of the people who live in this urban community. I make portraits of people in the context of their neighborhood; their relationships with family, neighbors and their immediate environment. My photographs examine the complexities of human relations: an acknowledgment that we are simultaneously together as community and family, and alone, as individuals in this world.

Skye Schulte: email
One thing you see with living in the city is the idea of progressive repetition. It builds toward something. It gets complex. It even becomes overwhelming. But as you get to know and learn about a city you start to see those patterns that persist.
This is significant because human behavior is based on patterns.
Everything around us that we touch is a reflection of that: our cities, our buildings, our transportation, and even our stores. All of these are an exoskeleton left by our behavior.
Even when we aren't physically present in the urban environment, our life is echoed in the structures we build around us and in the patterns that we see. We demolish and rebuild our cities just as we demolish and rebuild ourselves. Urban life allows for this constant reinvention and renewal. And it is the persistent patterns in our lives that connect us all.

Andrea Thompson: email
Las Vegas is the city of image, surface, and constantly shifting identities. Here the gaze doubles back on itself: people see themselves being seen, and alter their identities in response to this scrutiny. In Henna Tattoo, Las Vegas, shop windows have caught my image muddled in layers of interior and exterior reflections; and, within the confusion, an unexpectedly tender moment of genuine human contact.

Peggy Tuitt: email
The images included in Urban Interpretations are a selection from a body of over 1,000 images taken during a recent research visit to Cuba. My intent as I embarked on this project was to capture the essence of what is Cuban – its everyday life. Arriving with no preconceptions, I was a voyeur in the truest sense.  Over 10 days I made hundreds of photo-sketches a day. I opened my lenses and my heart to experience and document all I encountered moving throughout Havana – the cityscape  - its people. It was a pleasure to experience what this timeless and hopeful place had to offer around every corner: the excitement, the people, the bikes, the architecture, the history, the scale, the intimacy, the warmth, the light, the sunsets, the energy, the character, the characters, the spirit, the contradictions and most of all the hope.

Peter Urban: email
Boston is an odd city to photograph. It lacks the iconic parts that speak to the world; there is no Empire State building, no Golden Gate Bridge. Other cities have the same cobblestones and gas lamps that we do, the old wharves and granaries. And, on the other side of the equation, there is more swoopy titanium, mirror and steel in evidence in other burgs. So the challenge I set myself was to see this place as a stranger would, to find the excitement in me and translate that into a rediscovery of my town. It is a classic city, a classy city. It is in a class by itself.

James Zall: email
The urban environment that wraps itself around us is the product of many separate decisions made by people, companies and governments over decades and centuries. Major changes (hills leveled, building lots seized from the
ocean) tend to be recorded and remembered, but not so the myriad of independent renovation, construction and demolition decisions that stitch, stretch, pucker or unravel the urban fabric. These images isolate just a few of the curious juxtapositions that result from these threads of activity.

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