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A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age opens this fall at the George Eastman Museum

Over 90 objects by more than 30 contemporary artists will be on view from October 22 through January 29, 2017
 

Rochester, N.Y., August 30, 2016—A major new exhibition, A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age, will be on view at the George Eastman Museum from October 22, 2016, through January 29, 2017.

Today, the majority of photographs that we take are recorded digitally and viewed on screens—smartphones, tablets, computers—rather than exposed on film and printed, as was the norm less than twenty years ago. While this has broadened access to photographic image-making and allowed photographs to reach a wider audience than ever before, photographs in the form of image-bearing sheets of paper have become increasingly scarce outside of the art world.

“The exhibition explores how the shift from analog photography to digital imaging has changed our relationship to memory,” said Lisa Hostetler, Curator in Charge, Department of Photography, George Eastman Museum. “How does our relationship to our ancestors change if their physical likenesses don’t show signs of age like photographic prints do? What if deleted digital images become important in ways unanticipated when they were made? I’ve selected the works in the exhibition in hopes of creating a visual dialogue that will encourage us to think about photography and the future of memory.”

A Matter of Memory: Photography as Object in the Digital Age was curated by Hostetler, and includes works by more than thirty artists—Matthew Brandt, Marco Breuer, Phil Chang, Leslie Hewitt, Jason Lazarus, Diane Meyer, Bertien van Manen, and Augusta Wood, among others—who highlight the presence of photographs as objects. The exhibition is generously sponsored by Deborah Ronnen and Sherman Levey.

An exhibition catalogue, published by the George Eastman Museum, contains an essay by Hostetler and contributions from Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Photography, William T. Green. It will be available for sale ($50) in the Museum Store and online beginning this fall. The publication of this book was made possible by the George Eastman Museum Publishing Trust Endowment, which was established by Thomas Gosnell and Richard Menschel with funds donated by Thomas and Georgia Gosnell and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Public Programming
Exhibition Preview

Friday, October 21, 6–8 p.m.
6 p.m., Curator’s Remarks in the Dryden Theatre
6:30–8 p.m., Exhibition Preview in the Museum
Curator Lisa Hostetler and some of the artists will be signing books from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Cash bar and light refreshments. Free to members, $15 general, $10 students. Reservations required: (585) 234-6064 or membership@eastman.org

Panel Discussion: Matter and Memory in the Digital Age
Saturday, October 22, 1 p.m., Dryden Theatre
Artists James Welling, Marco Breuer, and Diane Meyer will discuss how the transition from analog to digital technologies is changing the landscape of memory. Following the panel, join artist Phil Chang in the galleries as he replaces his unfixed prints with new ones that will fade in a matter of hours. Free to members; included with museum admission.

Artist’s Talk: Jason Lazarus, Gestures Toward the Photographic
Thursday, November 17, 6 p.m., Dryden Theatre

Jason Lazarus will trace multiple projects that rely on found images and text, including his installation T.H.T.K. (Rochester), on view in A Matter of Memory. Exhibitions open until 8 p.m. Free to members, $10 general, $5 students.

Gallery Talk: Lisa Hostetler, Curator in Charge
Saturday, December 3, 1 p.m.

Free to members, included with museum admission.

Gallery Talk: William Green, Curatorial Assistant
Saturday, January 14, 1 p.m.

Free to members, included with museum admission.

Dryden Theatre Film Series: Film ÷ Photography
Leading up to the opening of A Matter of Memory, this series presents four features and two shorts that derive their meaning, establish their form, and construct their narratives on the basis of photographic images—reminding us that film is nothing but 24 photographs per second.
     Thursday, September 1, 8 p.m.
     Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
     Preceded by Fast Film (Virgil Widrich, 2003)

     Wednesday, September 7, 8 p.m.
     Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966)

     Thursday, September 22, 8 p.m.
     Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)

     Saturday, October 22, 8 p.m
     Flags of Our Fathers (Clint Eastwood, 2006)
     Preceded by La jetée (Chris Marker, 1962)

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