Join us in person for a conversation with photographers, Mike Berns and Robert Shiverts, as they discuss their backgrounds and artistic inspirations for their new show on display in Creative Coworking's main lounge.
Sponsored by onShore Security, this month’s free event features a photography exhibit by:
Every fight has it’s own story. These stories are fluid and change from boxer to boxer and from fight to fight. Two people, trying to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the other as they circle the ring. The performance of boxers is defined both by their opponents and by the endless training that has preceded the bout. Movement is not arbitrary, but integral to the sport and like dance, part of the beauty that draws me to photograph it.
I try to understand the rhythm of the fight in order to capture the dynamic interactions that will define it. The object is to fill each frame from edge to edge with the all of the pertinent parts that reflect the nature of the moment. Releasing the shutter on the camera happens almost spontaneously, as if the image itself is in control of my magic box. Cartier-Bresson knew this, as well as the fact that composition in this type of photography must be felt and not limited to a construct created by strict artistic rules. The image presents itself instantaneously without time for contemplation, only for instinct.
Neil Leifer, the photographer who made the iconic image of the Ali – Liston fight, talks about position and background. As I determine which part of a scene ends up in my camera’s frame both of these issues must be resolved. The image comes from experience with a sport, at times from a pre-determination of what I want to say about its nature and culture, and sometimes from just pure luck. The camera only captures a part of the scene in front of it. If it is moved in either direction, the photograph can be redefined. It can simply show the boxers, or the boxers with the referee, the boxer with his or her support team, the crowd, or any combination that is required to tell my story.
“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” - Muhammad Ali
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The spirit of my work has been kindled not only by photographers but with equal intensity by the dada and surrealist painters and poets such as Andre Breton, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Hans Arp.
It is the influences of dada and surrealism which provide psychic unity to most of my diverse images. There have been several photographers, though, who have helped shape the actual photographic images which are decisive for me—in particular, Ray Metzker, Harry Callahan, and Aaron Siskind. These photographers demonstrated that the photo is not “made” by the subject matter they gaze at and recorded, nor is it a report of some mythical realm called objective, external reality. They have proven that the photographer makes the subject and creates and recreates a believable, self-contained mini cosmos.
The photograph, a self-contained mini cosmos of a mental state objectified, creates meaning by reference to itself; to the viewer who, as Duchamp has so insightfully said “completes the work of art;” to the history of art; to other photographs by the photographer and other photographers’ and artists’ works. It follows, then, that photographers must take “ownership” for what they are capable of seeing. [...] The photographer, as artist, must deal with the eternal tension between the aesthetic and the ethical. But aesthetics indeed spills into ethics; art is part of life and is inescapably grounded in values.
“I believe in the future transmutation of those two seemingly, contradictory states, dream, and reality, into a sort of absolute reality, of surreality, so to speak.” - Andre Breton
+ RSVP recommended, but not required
Fun Fact: With over 100 works on display, Creative Coworking never takes a commission: 100% of the selling price goes directly to the artists. Consider gifting local art this holiday season, most of the art on display is ready to buy directly from the wall!
Plus, ongoing exhibitions by these fine Evanston & Chicagoland artists:
Jerry Alt • Sofia Ansaldo • Shellie Argeanton • Raissa Bailey • David Bender • Michael Berns • Zhanna Biletska • Annelise Bronsveld • Amethyst Cannady • Iliana Cardona • Molly Cranch • Melanie Deal • Elyse Fineman • Larry Geni • Kathryn Gauthier • Ted Glasoe • Fran Joy • Sarah Kaiser-Amaral • Sarita Kamat • Virginia Kondziolka • ITALA • Elisa Ann Lindstrom • Rhonda Long • Christine McClure • Amee McCaughan • Paul Minnihan • James L. Merriner • Ayla Pizzo • Adriana Poterash • Carolyn Potts • Robert Shiverts • Kyriakina Valavanis • Bruce Lee Vernon • Komal Wadhwa • Daryl Wilkerson Jr.