Award-winning photographic series on display in the Learning Commons

Dare alla Luce by Professor Amy Friend of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts has arrived at a screen near you.

The Dare alla Luce series is Friend’s best known work to date. It has been exhibited internationally, travelling to over nine countries. The series is also presented in two artist monographs, Dare alla Luce (Photolucida Publishing) and Stardust (L’Artiere Edizioni). A selection of this work was included in the stage design for Canadian Jazz Musician Diana Krall’s, Turn Up the Quiet world tour.

Friend notes: “in this series I am not specifically concerned with capturing concrete reality. I aim to use photography as a medium that explores the relationship between what is visible and non-visible. I have continued to work on the Dare alla Luce series over a period of time; initially responding to a collection of vintage photographs, retrieved from a variety of sources. Through hand-manipulated interventions I alter and subsequently re-photograph the images re-making photographs that oscillate between what is present and absent. I aim to comment on the fragile quality of the photographic object but also on the fragility of our lives, our history. All are lost so easily. By employing the tools of photography, I re-use light, allowing it to shine through the holes. In a playful and yet, literal manner, I return the subjects of the photographs back to the light, while simultaneously bringing them forward. The images are permanently altered; they are lost and reborn, hence the title, Dare alla Luce, an Italian term meaning, “to bring to the light” in reference to birth.”

Curator and author Laura Serani describes the imagery in the Stardust monograph by stating, Throngs of tiny lights with a mysterious provenance seem to emanate from the places and characters themselves, confirming the theory of what is visible and non-invisible. In daylight they penetrate the atmosphere and speak of hope; at dusk they inhabit skies where they seem to project dreams.”

Also playing: Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home, 2018-ongoing

This recent series by Assistant Professor Amy Friend explores the topic of migration. The imagery presented here combines a selection of over 300 letters written between family in Italy and Canada with photographs taken in Havana, Cuba (my husband’s homeland) at the famous Malecón. This location is steeped with an aura of hope, imagination, as well as longing and loss, that is not specific to a Cuban-only perspective. I utilize this place as a carrier of meaning, a literal and symbolic passageway, an ending point, a starting point and, a point of stasis in relation to migration. I felt it necessary to reflect on these personal histories with the aim of connecting people, to stories that relay what makes us human and alike. Some of the photos include folds that mimic those found in the letters written between family, while other folds indicate migratory map routes. The politics of migration are present in this work, through my investigations I do not resist this relationship, but rather offer a place to reflect – on the complex experience specific to these movements in life.

View this beautiful exhibit until Friday, November 15th in the Matheson Learning Commons of the James A. Gibson Library.

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