Artist Talk: Documentary Photographer Diana Matar

Tue, October 13, 2015 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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“One of the key concerns of my work has been the attempt to photograph things that can no longer be seen…how absence can become a presence among the people and the places where the lost once lived.”

Alwan is pleased to be in conversation with Diana Matar, an artist working with photography, testimony and archive to investigate issues of history, memory and violence. She will discuss her first exhibition in New York, Evidence, a photographic essay documenting buildings or places where atrocities took place in an effort to tell a larger story of Libya's political struggle.

Evidence has also been published as a photobook by Schilt Publishing and listed as one of the The New Yorker's "The Best Books of 2014." It will be available for signature by Diana Matar at the event.

Evidence is showing at the Rick Wester Fine Art Gallery and is running from September 12 - October 24, 2015.

Suggested Contribution: $10 General Admission | $5 Students and Seniors

Doors open at 6:30pm

About Evidence

Evidence is a photographic essay that screams for resolution but what remains is the search for its truth, perhaps as closure. Human idealism and conviction, dissonance, betrayal and cruelty mark a quest to make sense of the loss of the personal and the larger broken past; to seek whatever enabling impulse can be had against the nightmare of oppression and of history. It is also a thoughtful and well crafted result of six years of travel, photographing and development.

The installation features approximately 40 photographs and text panels. Matar’s photographs are metaphysical contradictions based on an evaporated pursuit. She succeeds in creating an extended portrait through metonymic devices, photographing what is absent. In her notes on the project, she wrote, “Key to [the] work is the idea of trying to photograph something that is not there, an irony in photography where we so stubbornly rely on a subject." This preoccupation is born out of the belief that history’s traces are somehow imprinted on architecture, landscapes, even faces.

About the Artist

Diana Matar has been the recipient of the Deutsche Bank Pyramid Award for Fine Art, the International Fund for Documentary Photography Award, The Arts Council of England Individual Artist Grant, and has been nominated for Prix Pictet in 2010 and again in 2015. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections and is published and exhibited internationally.

Alwan's program is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.

Last updated: 2015-09-26 00:35:20

Diana Matar, Evidence 4, 2012
Diana Matar, Evidence 4, 2012
Diana Matar, Evidence 1, 2012
Diana Matar, Evidence 1, 2012

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