Wednesday, 03 February 2021 17:29

Visiting Artist Talk: Helen Maurene Cooper

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Virginia with her daughter Ruby, one of a kind ambrotype on clear glass (wet plate collodion process), 8x10"  2020 Virginia with her daughter Ruby, one of a kind ambrotype on clear glass (wet plate collodion process), 8x10" 2020 Submitted photo

"The Caregivers addresses the emotional and physical labor of parenthood, elder care, and romantic partnership in the Philadelphia neighborhood where I live during a global pandemic."

"Using an 8x10 camera, the wet plate collodion process (ambrotypes), and the sidewalk in front of my home studio, I make portraits in public spaces of families and lovers. Over a series of multiple sessions, I collaborate with my subjects to tell intimate stories of how they nurture, support and protect each other. Through gesture, expression, the placement of bodies and the manipulation of perspective, I depict a wide range of queer and heteronormative families who live within walking distance of my front stoop. I use these portraits as a means to explore caregiving not as a given role for a women but with the context of queer and feminist thought that sees this labor as a radical act. The work weaves together a narrative of world-building, using public space and the politics of family and intimacy during a period of self-isolation."

Helen Maurene Cooper is an artist and educator living in Philadelphia, PA. She earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Bard College. She has exhibited widely, nationally, and internationally; Onomatopee (Eindhoven, Netherlands), Clare Morris Gallery ( Ireland), Soap Factory (Minneapolis), Space Mountain (Miami), and Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (Chicago).

Her work is represented by Bert Green Fine Art, (Chicago). Awards and Fellowships include; the Cultural Council of Eindhoven, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and the University of Chicago. Her 2017 monograph, Paint & Polish: Visual Economy and Visual Culture from the West Side (Onomatopee, Eindhoven Netherlands). Paint & Polish was reviewed in, New City, Nails Magazine, and the Creators Vice Magazine. Artists' talks have been given at PS1, The Fashion Institute of Technology, Kansas City Art Institute, Elmhurst Art Museum, The Arts Incubator at the University of Chicago, and Oxbow School of Painting. Cooper began her study of wet plate photography with France Scully Osterman in 2013. People of the Caregivers (2020-Present) is her second body of ambrotype plates.

This event will be held remotely via Zoom. You can join on your computer via the link above.

If you are unable to join via computer or do not have speakers or a microphone on your computer, you can dial in for audio. Call +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) and enter ID 922 9968 1673.

Note that everyone will be muted by default. If you would like to speak during the public Q and A after the lecture, you have the following options:

  • Online - raise your hand, or use the Chat option
  • Phone - press *9 to raise your hand, *6 to send a request to be unmuted to submit comments.
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