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Familiar strange, ICP-BARD’s MFA 2017 exhibition


How are things described? Is there potential and worthiness in an image, or are they more like memory? Separation and fusion are wanderers. Imaginative work tries to find parallels. Communed in opposites, isolation, and reflection there is revealing of certain identities of peoples and things. Groups and objects coerce together to form conversations; they are not without each other. Some events are uncontrollable, even in their capture. Sasha Louis Bush, Marla Hernandez, Gülsüm Kavuncu, Sam Margevicius, Hyungjo Moon, Cristina Velásquez and Nechama Winston cause such appreciations. Certain bonds, invisible, bind the thoughts of their viewers.

Things in front of cameras get made. Realities are adapted to each other in wit, wonder, intelligence, and illusion. What bursts forth onto the walls and into our world are wondrous colleagues fettered by friendships and edifice.

The artists of Familiar Strange have graduated from the International Center of Photography-Bard’s program with a Masters in Fine Art. Their polarity is a paradise of glorious differences; it’s a trick in the mind that they are not connected. Different little things and tools combine to build. Creating new worlds in forms that are always changing is how pictures vary. Establishing information to popularize relationships and practices makes these works cooperate. They are with each other.

How do we speak to one another? Ideas of these artists resonate kept secrets, especially those that may not be approved of. Evidence of community and cached layering mount in a glorious structure. Great desires live once these artists have navigated space and politics. Moving, emotional, physical. As long as there is enough inside each of us to make what drives us every day, a narrative between total strangers will always emerge. Similarities are often not outright. That doesn’t make them less worthy to struggle to find. The proof of that is in the works of Familiar Strange. Proud and beholden to the homes and crafts that are catered. The artistry of these seven artists is sharp and elusive with certain dynamics and surfaces. They slip into the folds of each other once they are allowed.

We are each the familiar strange of our own assembly. We are bizarre and loved and we each make ourselves through differences. Nothing here is promised. We chase. We battle fear and narcissism. We want better so we can reveal intimate truths. We are together and we must form home for the outcasts of ourselves and for others. And differences need professing from mountaintops because they are the freaks of truths and individuality that makes us each uniquely important and unite whom we are.

Efrem Zelony-Mindell

Efrem Zelony-Mindell is a poet, photographer and independent curator based in New York, USA. 

Familiar Strange
June 29–July 25, 2017
Baxter St. at the Camera Club of New York
126 Baxter St.
New York, NY 10013

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