Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Seattle presents work from two series by photographer Kristin Capp, Desolate Beauty and Brazil.
Desolate Beauty is a selection of photographs from her ‘Americana’ series, originally published in 2000 by Edition Stemmle, Zurich, with text by Andy Grundberg. Captured while traversing the United States throughout the 1990s, these works offer insight into the small worlds within this country which are consistently and increasingly separate from one another. While captured in the 1990s, nearly 30 years later, the timing of these works remains ambiguous. In 2022, there is a sense of familiarity, and what many will observe as a distinctly American quality, which is to say; narratives of the mythological “West,” industrial impact on sweeping landscapes, commerce, suburban sprawl & nostalgia paired with personal mapping of relationships by the artist to individuals and geography. From the prismatic array of these elements, in her work Capp manages to emphasize beauty. As Americans continue, desperately, to understand, wrestle with and reshape the definition of “America,” this group of images offers a glimpse at the ranging dynamic of beauty in contrast with desolation at the core of national identity.
Capp first traveled to Brazil to shoot stills for a documentary film on Capoeira, in Salvador, Bahia. Moved by the energy of the African diaspora in that region, she was compelled to return to Brazil to engage more deeply in the culture in both urban and rural locations. Capp lived in Rio de Janeiro and photographed obsessively on back streets, on the beaches, at night, and was especially drawn to the striking modernist architecture in both Rio and Sao Paulo. Shot on black & white film with a Rolleiflex, these works were printed in her darkroom in New York, where she lived for 16 years. The project was published as a photo book entitled “Brasil” by Damiani, with critical text by Brazilian art historian, Paulo Venancio Filho.
“Full and empty, absent and present, the rhythm of the photographs alternates, and is completed between one and the other. The images are close or distant, at times defined, and other times out of focus. The marked face of an old woman is opposed to an unrecognizable beach that is out of focus, but both hold the same photographic intensity.” – Paulo Venancio Filho on Capp’s ‘Brasil’
Kristin Capp is a photographer, author and educator. She grew up in Seattle, studied photography in Montreal, and moved to New York City in 1994. In 2011, she traveled to Namibia on a Fulbright Fellowship, where she lectured at the University of Namibia and did research. Her photographic work has been widely exhibited and is held in permanent collections internationally. Capp has published three photography monographs: “Hutterite: A World of Grace” (Stemmle, 1998); “Americana” (Stemmle, 2000), and “Brasil” (Damiani, Italy, 2016). She is a Rockefeller Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, Sacatar Fellow, and recipient of the Aaron Siskind Foundation Award.
Her interest in rural communities and the African diaspora led her to Brazil in 2002, where she photographed in Salvador de Bahia, São Paulo, Itaparica and Rio de Janeiro. Shot on black & white film with a Rolleiflex, Capp printed this work in her darkroom in New York, where she lived for 16 years. The project was published as a photo book entitled “Brasil” with critical text by Brazilian art historian Paulo Venancio Filho.
Her current photographic practice in Namibia explores how collective memory is created, archived and defined by personal recollection in communities and individuals alike. In post-colonial Namibia, she is exploring the role of memory in the production of history. Capp’s collaborative work engages with youth culture, oral history and notions of space and architecture as a living archive of Namibia’s colonial past.
Kristin Capp : “Desolate Beauty II” & “Five” from Brazil
August 16 – September 30, 2022
Koplin Del Rio Gallery
6107 13th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98108
206.999.0849 | [email protected]
Link to online exhibition :
Kristin Capp | “Desolate Beauty II” & “Five” from Brazil | Artsy