Thurs., August 30th – 6-9PM
Mother, Bethel, Harlem, USA
Thomas Allen Harris and IMA/MFA
Hunter East Harlem Gallery – 119th Street and 3rd Avenue
Mother, Bethel, Harlem, USA is a collaboration between artist and filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris and students from Hunter College’s IMA MFA program. Drawing from Harris’ extensive body of work, both as a photographer and filmmaker and as the the creative force driving his interdisciplinary project Digital Diaspora Family Reunion, the students collaboratively conceived works that are inspired by the family photo album, practices of archiving, and the local community of Harlem and East Harlem. Harris’s own investigations of site and history began with an exploration of his personal relationship to Harlem, through a remixing of his own photography and video with that of his Grandfather, Albert S. Johnson, an amateur photographer who spent his life documenting First AME Church: Bethel. This project led to the resurfacing of negatives of Harris’ documentation of James Baldwin’s funeral, scanned and printed for the first time after 30 years. IMA MFA students directly respond to Harris’ practice and their projects explore familial artifacts, the relationship between photography and memory, and creating stories that are deeply rooted in a local audience and participation. Together, the new works create a network between sites of cultural, political, and spiritual significance, generating nonlinear narratives participants are invited to expand.
Works by: Thomas Allen Harris and IMA students: Chris J Gauthier, Patri González Ramírez, Cynthia Groya, Janis Mahnure, Melissa Montero, Allie Shyer, Jacqueline Wade