The Chazan Gallery at Wheeler is pleased to present No Man’s Land, a two-person exhibition of works by Theresa Ganz and Millee Tibbs, from October 20 to November 9, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Gallery Night, October 20, 2016 from 5:00-9:00 pm. The public is invited.
Theresa Ganz takes photographs as source material for composed landscapes. Traditional landscape tends to suggest vastness and the conquering vision of man over nature, or conversely nature’s awesome greatness and the smallness of man. Ganz’s work seeks to undermine these dispositions, offering instead a more myopic and ambiguous vision. The viewer is never afforded enough distance to gaze out, but is confronted with a mazelike and internal world of warped detail and impenetrable surfaces. When photographs are cut and pasted together, they are freed from the logic and context by which we usually understand them and our minds must attempt to assemble a new whole from marooned parts. Ganz’s work blends influences of 19th century Romanticism, with an interest in the relationship of the individual to the natural world, and 21st First World lived experience which happens less and less in the physical body encountering the actual world, and the natural world is under grave threat. Romanticism and later Transcendentalism promised spiritual experience through communion with nature. In a time of catastrophic environmental degradation this seems impossible, yet the longing remains. Is it still possible that an intuitive response to natural beauty can lead us somewhere profound? In a digital, dematerialized world can objects still have aura? Is it still meaningful to stand in a room with art works? These questions haunt and motivate Ganz’s work.
Theresa Ganz was born in New York City in 1980. She earned her BA from Vassar College in Film and her MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in Photography. She works in photobased collage, installation and video. Her work has shown nationally and internationally at, among others, The Datz Museum of Art in Korea, the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, The Bell Gallery at Brown University and The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin and at various commercial spaces in New York and San Francisco. Her work will be included in the 2016 DeCordova Biennial. Her work has also been featured in print publications including Mousse Magazine, Outpost Journal and Magazine Gitz. She was the 2015 winner of the ArtSlant Prize. She is a founding member and director at Regina Rex in Brooklyn. She currently resides in Providence, RI where she is faculty at Brown University.
Millee Tibbs is interested in surfaces and their relationship to what lies beneath – the discrepancy between what we see and what we know. Tibbs is drawn to photography because of its ubiquitous presence in our culture and its duplicitous existence as both an indexical representation of reality and a subjective construction of it. Photography presents an illusion as if it were reality. A piece of the world is frozen, flattened, and miniaturized in the time it takes a shutter to open and close. This sleight of hand offers a subjective construction as objective evidence. Tibbs is interested in the space where these qualities contradict each other and coexist simultaneously.
Tibbs uses physical alterations to photographic images of the American West to create relationships between formal geometries and natural spaces that question the illusionistic representation of the photographic image and the mythologies contained therein. This work reassesses larger-than-life landscapes from an analytic point of view. It is in opposition to the concept of the landscape photograph as a consumable object, and questions the aesthetic framework that propagates expansionist myths – the dramatic vistas of inaccessible, uninhabited landscapes that became the visual codes that define the genre. Through the physical manipulation of the paper on which iconic images are printed, Tibbs draws attention to illusionistic artifice and the rhetoric imbedded in this.Millee Tibbs’ work derives from her interest in photography’s ubiquity in contemporary culture and the tension between its truth-value and inherent manipulation of reality. Tibbs’ exhibition venues include the Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY; Blue Sky Gallery – Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Portland, OR; the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA; David Weinberg Photography, Chicago, IL; the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Licoln, MA; Brown University, Providence, RI; and Notre Dame University, IN. Her work has been published by the Humble Arts Foundation, Blue Sky Books, and Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism. Tibbs’ work is in the permanent collections of the RISD Museum, and the Portland Art Museum, and Fidelity Investments. She has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, VCCA, the Wurlitzer Foundation, Jentel, the Santa Fe Art Institute, and LPEP, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tibbs grew up in Alabama, completed an MFA at RISD in 2007, and is an assistant professor of photography at Wayne State University.