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Photographer and educator Wendy Ewald to kick off Syracuse Symposium on Sept. 13 with lecture and book signing
Photographer and educator Wendy Ewald to kick off Syracuse Symposium on Sept. 13 with lecture and book signingSeptember 06, 2005Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Internationally renowned documentary photographer and educator Wendy Ewald will visit Syracuse University on Sept. 13 as the first guest of the Syracuse Symposium 2005: Borders.
Ewald will speak at 6 p.m. in Watson Auditorium, in the Robert B. Menschel Media Center, 316 Waverly Ave., followed by a reception and book signing. Her exhibition, “Secret Games: Collaborative Works With Children 1969-99” will be on display in the Light Work Gallery, also located in the Menschel Media Center, through Oct. 15. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Syracuse Symposium 2005: Borders, is hosted by Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Her visit is co-sponsored by Light Work/Community Darkrooms, the Soling Program and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
For over 30 years, Ewald, a MacArthur fellow, has taken an unusual artistic path exploring the visual imaginations of children and adults around the world in a sustained, evolving artistic project. Addressing conceptual, formal and narrative concerns, Ewald’s work challenges traditional notions of documentary photography and the role of the artist. Using creative collaboration as the basis for the artistic process, she has traveled throughout the world, working in communities in Labrador, Appalachia, Colombia, India, South America, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Mexico and the United States.
Starting initially as a documentary investigation of places and communities connected to teaching, Ewald’s project has evolved over the years to focus on questions of identity and cultural difference. In all of these projects, she partners her keen observational and creative skills with her subjects’ visual inventions. She encourages children to use cameras to create portraits of self and community, to articulate their own personal fantasies, dreams and hopes. Ewald herself makes photographs, sometimes giving her negatives to collaborators to mark and write on, mixing the images in such a way that it is challenging to know who actually “created” a given image. In blurring the distinction of individual authorship and throwing into doubt the artist’s identity, Ewald crosses the border that separates the photographer from the subject and creates a new artistic form.
The Soling Program will provide classes, workshops and community-based projects for SU students throughout the year, including training in Ewald’s “Literacy Through Photography” program. Light Work has also invited the Duke Center for Documentary Studies to conduct a workshop for Syracuse City School District teachers and community activists.
Light Work is a nonprofit, artist-run organization dedicated to the support of artists working in photography and electronic media. For more information, contact Mary Lee Hodgens at 315-443-5785.