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Department of Art & Art History
On the Route to Calamities by Catherine Michele Adams

Catherine Adams, Vocational Technical School, Pripyat, Chernobyl Zone, Ukraine (2018)

The Department of Art & Art History in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University is pleased to present the work of Catherine Michele Adams. The exhibition opens in Biggin Gallery ion April 29, 2020 and runs through August 28, 2020. The artist will present a lecture on her work at 5 p.m. in Biggin 005; a public reception in the gallery will follow. This event is free and open to the public, and Biggin Gallery is wheelchair accessible.

From the artist Catherine Michele Adams:

My photographic subjects and art practice changed when my health deteriorated.  I’d concentrated for a decade on photographing Baroque-era gardens and their sculpture, which I printed myself in nineteenth-century contact printing processes involving gold and palladium.  Then, almost overnight, I became allergic to film and printing chemicals.  Soon after, food—and thus energy—became challenging.  By the close of 2017 I had become fully symptomatic of an incurable chronic digestive illness, which left me with a simple decision: to accept becoming bedridden and pursue studio compositions or to attempt the travel I’d always dreamed of doing and figure out what photography would come from a traveling photographer having difficulty walking.  I chose the latter.  The resulting long-term photographic project develops environmental portraits across what’s now called The New East, a region laced as much with tragic stasis as extensive construction.  In a way, this echoes how I experience my body, as part tragic ruin and part vehicle for reinvention.  I travel and photograph slowly, often silently, since both steps and words exact significant measures of energy.  This physical part of my practice instills quiet into my photographic aesthetic, whatever the subject, wherein human presence arrives obliquely through objects and the mis-en-scene.