San Jose: Summer lineup for Institute of Contemporary Art

Bernie Lubell: Conservation of Intimacy, 2000-2010, installation detail, Courtesy of the Artist
Bernie Lubell: Conservation of Intimacy, 2000-2010, installation detail, Courtesy of the Artist
Bernie Lubell: Conservation of Intimacy, 2000-2010, installation detail, Courtesy of the Artist
Bernie Lubell: Conservation of Intimacy, 2000-2010, installation detail, Courtesy of the Artist

The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) today announced its summer lineup of exhibitions. Opening in July 2010 and running through September 19, the four exhibitions “expose, capture and celebrate the art of collaboration, participation, experimentation, and manipulation of old and new technologies.”

Bernie Lubell: Conservation of Intimacy, opening on July 3 in the Main Gallery, is an immersive sculptural installation presented in partnership with the O1SJ Biennial Art and Technology Festival. Exposed: Today’s Photography/Yesterday’s Technology opens on July 17 in the Focus Gallery. Inspired by the rich history and alchemic experimentation of obsolete photographic practices, the artists in this exhibition create images using antiquated photographic methods, making works that range from daguerreotypes to tintypes, gum prints to cyanotypes. Captured: Photography’s Early Adopters also opening on July 17 in the Cardinale Project Room is an exhibition of vintage prints. Also opening in July in the ICA’s Lounge, Liz Steketee: Reconstructed Memories – a unique print series that uses the artist’s personal family photographs to rewrite history from her vantage point. An Opening Reception celebrating the works and artists in these exhibitions will be held on Friday, July 16, from 6-8pm at the ICA.

Bernie Lubell says, “What I like about Marey’s early medical apparatus is that while they reflect a naive faith in mechanical models for biology they also embody the evolutionary design necessary to get realistic results. They were designed by experience just as we ourselves are.”

Next up is Exposed: Today’s Photography/Yesterday’s Technology, the introduction of the digital camera over 20 years ago revolutionized photography. For novices and professionals alike, the computer has replaced the darkroom in the 21st century. However, even with the sophisticated advances of the digital age, a growing number of artists are embracing 19th century photographic technologies to make their work. Paradoxically, technology has greatly contributed to the enthusiasm, interest and renewal of antiquated photographic processes. Many artists utilize digital tools along with historic practices to make hybrid works.

Captured: Photography’s Early Adopters is a companion exhibition of vintage prints from the private collection of San Francisco gallerist Stephen Wirtz and guest curated by David Pace, lecturer, Art and Art History Department, Santa Clara University and ICA Board member. These images will also provide a lens to examine how contemporary photographers are informed by the historic work, whether they rely on its nostalgia and sentimentality or create radically different imagery.

The last in the series is Liz Steketee: Reconstructed Memories, a unique print series that uses the artist’s personal family photographs to rewrite history from her vantage point. By choosing unrelated images and digitally manipulating them into unlikely combinations, Steketee builds new memories. She forges new relationships, addresses old confrontations, imagines different experiences, and faces old demons. “I disrupt linear narratives and recompose events, establishing my family history as a construct,” explains Steketee. “Once these new snapshots have been finalized digitally, they are printed, aged and weathered according to their appropriate time period. This rebuilding of memory has allowed me to establish my own version of reality, as I prefer it.” Reconstructed Memories takes the form of a unique print series as well as a series of reconstructed “false” family photo albums that adhere to the artist’s revisionist history.

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