Presenting remotely from Switzerland
6:30 - 9:00 pm
Digital Silver Imaging
9 Brighton Street
Hidden Waters :: Desert Springs
Unnoticed and disregarded, natural springs are places where water emerges from underground aquifers. Despite being only small features in vast landscapes, they have a profound impact on their surroundings. More than 10% of endangered species in the United States live at springs, and since the beginning of human existence, springs have been revered as essential to our survival. 130 years ago, immigrants crossing through the Southwest journeyed from spring to spring, often founding towns at water sites. The need for fresh spring water still endures in the arid and semi-arid terrain of the American West. These images capture the contrast between marginal arid terrain and spring-fed islands of life. They are stories of desert springs which exist in every condition, from lush to bone-dry and relatively untouched to heavily impacted.
Bremner Benedict graduated from New York University and earned a BFA at Western Washington University. She also studied at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley College and at the Maine Photographic Workshops Residency Program. Bremner has had solo exhibitions at Boston City Hall; the Griffin Museum at Stoneham; the Hess Gallery, Pine Manor College; the Northern Arizona Museum, Flagstaff; Gallery Kayafas; Silver Eye Photo Gallery, Pittsburgh; The Print Center, Philadelphia; among others. Her work is in numerous prestigious collections including the Fidelity Art Corporation, Center for Creative Photography, Decordova Sculpture Park & Museum, the George Eastman International Museum of Photography, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard, among others.
During 2017, Edward Boches spent a lot of time in the gyms of the old mill towns north of Boston and attended numerous local amateur boxing matches. He got to know many of the boxers -- and the trainers committed to them --and found them to possess an inner strength as well as a physical one. It takes both to step into the ring. To put the body through the punishment boxing demands. To make the sacrifices needed to achieve a few moments of glory.
Following a thirty years career as an award-winning copywriter and creative director at the Mullen ad agency, Boches turned his creative energies to documentary photography, where his primary interest lies in exploring how contemporary America lives, works, and plays. Recently, in response to the divisive economic and political climate, Boches has sought out communities and subcultures that bring people together, photographing urban skate parks, hip hop dance crews, inner city boxing gyms, and his own extended family. His work has been exhibited at the Griffin Museum of Photography and the Providence Center for Photographic Arts as well been featured in the Lowell Sun and the Social Documentary Network and has appeared on numerous websites in support of the arts and social justice.
Abandoned Gas Stations of the South Caucasus
"Again and again, I’ve driven down the major and minor roads, all across the entire South Caucasus, from Armenia to Georgia to Azerbaijan. I’ve been on the road since 2012, documenting the makeshift lives that have become normal for displaced people. Seeking refuge, they had to flee from countless local conflicts, often times in their own country, after the fall of the Soviet Empire.
"I encountered them on these routes, over and over again: out-of-service Soviet gas stations. Like cautionary reminders or helpless gestures of the past, these historical artifacts rise by the side of the increasingly widening roads and highways.
"In contrast to socialism’s belief in standardization—which also affected the majority of the era’s architecture—each one of these gas stations wears its individual face. In most cases, time has left its detrimental mark on them: It knocked out teeth and made eyes go blind. The stations managed to keep their peculiarities, however—despite the fact that almost all of them have not been used in a long time now. Once, they were symbols of progress, of mobility, and growing prosperity. Now, they are relics of that period.
"These gas stations are an expression of a peculiarity that is bizarre at times, of subversive creativity, and—not least—of the improvisation necessary in times of departure, change, and collapse. As they stand, they serve as metaphors for the system’s contradictions; a system in which I myself grew up, with its forced equality shaping me. They visualize small parts of the mosaic of collected memories."
Jan Zychlinski was born in former East Germany. Since 2007, he has been a lecturer in Social Urban Development at the Berner University of Applied Science, with a focus on social photography. He has taken his humanitarian perspective around the world to document human experiences during crises and everyday life, including the fate and living conditions of refugees in the South Caucasus after the collapse of the Soviet Union.