Houston, TX – Houston Center for Photography is proud to present Prime Years, an exhibition about aging curated by HCP Exhibitions Committee member Fernando Castro R., on view from November 13, 2009 to January 8, 2010 with an Opening Reception and Curator Remarks/Artist Talk held on Friday, November 13 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The exhibition explores the many aspects of aging through images made via 12 different artist’s perspectives. From the editorial to the personal, the work in Prime Years depicts centenarians, artists, relatives, and other individuals enjoying, enduring, and living their lives beyond the age of 60.
Exhibiting Artists include Cynthia Morgan Batmanis (Houston, TX), Miloushka Bokma (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Edmund Clark (London, UK), Kaylynn Deveney (Albuquerque, NM), Victoria Diaz-Azcoaga (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Theresa DiMenno (Houston, TX), Eileen Kennedy (Philadelphia, PA), Gaby Messina (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Blake Ogden (Cambridge, MA), Jane Paradise (San Francisco, CA), Margot Quan Knight (Seattle, WA), and Mark Story (Hope, ID).
After reaching sixty many people are still in their prime. “Sixty is the new forty,” is their motto. This exhibit emphasizes this positive view of aging without denying its drawbacks. The theme did not lead us to the works but rather the works suggested to us the theme of Prime Years.
Fernando Castro R., Curator
About the Artists:
Cynthia Morgan Batmanis’ work And if I did, what then? is about the assault of Alzheimer on her aging father.
Miloushka Bokma’s depictions of grandmothers have the unsettling quality of Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Marriage. Her subtly colored scenes, which aim to bring together women generations apart, aresimultaneously intimate and detached, tender and cold.
Edmund Clark’s portraits of centenarians are optimistic and jocund. Their attire and demeanor suggests an ample social life.
Kaylynn Deveney’s series The Day-to-Day Life of Albert Hastings is also a book in the format of a journal. Her photographs depict the daily happenings of elderly man Albert Hastings and are accompanied by Hasting’s journal-like entries.
Victoria Diaz-Azcoaga’s whimsical works are based on games that children used to find in the printed media (cut-out dolls, find-ten-differences in the picture challenge, etc.). Diaz-Azcoaga’s grandmother is the main character in these re-created games.
Theresa DiMenno’s video, The Twenty Years Since Daddy Left, is comprised of photographs of her mother cover an expanse of twenty years from the point of a dejected overweight mature woman to her gradual reinvention of herself. The images are accompanied by captions written by the artist’s mother in response to seeing pictures of herself.
Edmund Clark, Dorothy Elleray, 100, 2008
Eileen Kennedy captures her husband’s life during his transition from being a successful professional with a semi-public persona to a retiree. While her scenes are intimate in nature, the project speaks to a universal quandary faced by many new retirees who explore new avenues for self-fulfillment and purpose.
Margot Quan Knight’s Portrait of a Woman: 1947-2007 compresses sixty years of her mother’s life to a two-minute video. The fast succession of photographic images emphasizes the fleeting nature of life.
Gaby Messina’s photographic project Great Women consists of a series of contextual portraits of elderly women. The props in the context clue the viewer about the active life the subjects enjoy and practice.
Blake Ogden’s photographic essay In My Grandmother’s House add an aura of nostalgia to the child-like exploration of artifacts collected by his relative. The camera discovers newspaper clippings, old photographs, and other memorabilia.
Jane Paradise’s images document the life of Norma Holt, a celebrated artist and photographer who summers on Cape Cod. Paradise’s photographs are situated alongside actual artworks created by Holt.
From 1987 to 2005 Mark Story photographed people worldwide who had lived over a hundred years. His close-up head shots are black-and-white portraits that render facial features like details of a map.