by Justin Raphael Roykovich
On view at the Rice Media Center gallery September 6 - October 17, 2019
The Visual and Dramatic Arts department at Rice University is pleased to announce its first fall exhibition, In/Between | A Rock and a Hard Place: Visions from the Ghost World of how to Survive One's Sovereignty of Self Destruction in a Land We Assumed We Once Knew by Photography Lecturer Justin Raphael Roykovich. The opening reception will take place at the Rice Media Center Gallery on September 5, 2019 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Roykovich generally addresses one’s relationship to a site through time, connecting and documenting seen and un/seen occurrences. His work is about looking at those spaces as an InBetween site, one that is rapidly changing both socially and environmentally. While at these sites, he often experiences them through an adopted performance persona that he calls "The InBetween" - an extension of his physical self that moves through what we experience as reality. It explores that reality in a state that is neither here nor there as it slips, shuffles and slides through the curtain of "the real" that separates what we see in a physical life from the unseen mechanics that keep our universe spinning. This extension touches upon notions of the multiverse, the possible hidden dimensions left to be discovered in physics, the invisible yet palpable nature of dark matter, or even something as simple as gravity - invisible forces that make up and guide our lives that yet exist outside the realm of visibility. He therefore explores locations - both the geographic and the liminal - to expose and research how the layers of history, mythology and psychic scars of a site can affect the phenomenological intersections of current physical, mental and emotional experiences within that place and time. He utilizes photography, video, performance, installation and mark-making to explore these psychic environments of intersections, systems, networks and experiences, using himself as a queer-coded conduit.
In/Between | A Rock and a Hard Place specifically examines the unsettled time we live in as we experience social and cultural shifts through the natural world in ways that we cannot yet define. Included are explorations of localities out of time, caught in transition, landscapes that were and that will be still, yet have no current path to navigate. These sites become familiar yet foreign, questioning our ability to build identities on psychic anchors bound to a constantly moving, brittle terrain that humans as a species clumsily destroy as we try to remain upright. This re-mapping of psychic geography is a chance at a repositioning of cultural mindsets while dislocating obstacles that prohibited us from accurately and fairly surveying what we originally saw in the first place.
Prior to joining the Visual and Dramatic Arts (VADA) department at Rice, Roykovich spent a year at the Galveston Artist Residency, on Galveston Island, Texas from September of 2017 through August 2018. Galveston as a site is both a transient and enduring place: though the barrier island has been battered and literally washed away numerous times, its residents and its culture remain defiant of its natural watery adversary. His time spent there focused on the history of the island, the history of its people, the cycles of destruction and rebirth, preservation, deterioration and how the island itself is small microcosm of the challenges we will all face with impending climate change. One day quite soon, the Earth will reclaim that land, while we, as a global society, will experience a huge shift in the way we will live our lives even though we have yet to map out how to navigate that change.
Roykovich was heavily influenced by the lands connected to his familial lineage, as well as his own childhood: His biological father was born in Amityville, New York, site of the well-known house in which an alleged demonic possession and subsequent murder took place; his maternal grandmother was born and raised in Sleepy Hollow, New York - the location known for the folklore of Washington Irving, who embedded into the American psyche a pervasive and ghostly cultural identity with his Headless Horseman; he himself was born in Aurora, Colorado, the site that would become infamous for the 2012 movie theater shootings where 12 people died. He then grew up in Northern New Jersey, in a small, rural town that Weird New Jersey Magazine once coined the epicenter for "weirdness" in the entire state. His own childhood home was perceived as “haunted”, and he was seemingly predestined to involve himself in areas of the sublime and uncanny.
While Roykovich currently teaches digital and analog photography at Rice, he is a conceptual and research-based artist, working in and around New York, Washington D.C., Minneapolis and now Houston. He received his MFA in Visual Art from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2014 + his BFA in Art and Visual Technology, cum laude and with departmental honors, from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia in 2011. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and residencies, where he was able to make site-specific work: The Woodstock Brydcliffe Guild, The Chatauqua Institution, The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia and in Venice, Italy at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia. His work has been shown across the United States and internationally.
In/Between | A Rock and a Hard Place: Visions from the Ghost World of how to Survive One's Sovereignty of Self Destruction in a Land We Assumed We Once Knew will be on view at the Rice Media Center Gallery from September 6, through October 17, 2019. Rice Media Center Gallery hours: Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For more information on Justin Raphel Roykovich visit: http://www.jrroykovich.com
For questions regarding the exhibition or artist contact: Maria Martinez, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 713-348-4882.
Information on the Visual and Dramatic Arts at Rice University can be found at: vada.rice.edu
56th Annual Student Art Exhibition
At least i have you, egg.
Opening March 7 | 6-8 PM
Rice Media Center Gallery
Anna Fritz - Zwischenraum
Zwischenraum is a space of the in-between. It is a sculpture for inhabitation, which is designed around absence. It relies on inhabitation to fill the empty halls and voided windows, which frame scenes of human interaction.
Windows and walls become the medium. Their distorted scale, coloration, and configuration warp our understanding of them as objects of the everyday, making them appear both familiar and uncanny. They become psychological and phenomenological. The window becomes a two-way gaze and the walls create an optical illusion. Ultimately, the project is an investigation into ideas of viewership in both art and architecture and how these disciplines affect the human experience of objects and space.
Julia Casbarian - Telefrag
Telefrag is an interactive sculpture that puts the viewer in the place of a cat. Playing with scale and ideas of transformation and transportation, the audience becomes an integral part of the piece, a fabric-covered play space for human cats. The fabric-covered structure is a teleportation machine of sorts, as it transports human viewers into the world of a cat. Playing with the idea of teleportation and common tropes in cartoons where botched teleportation results in shrinking bodies, mismatched parts, and other mutations, the audience becomes a teleportation accident, where humans have been shrunken to cat size.
Helena Martin - Push/Pull
Since its earliest conception projection has been focused on light. Shadow puppets, magic lantern shows, and camera obscuras have at their very base elements the use of light and shadow in order to create visuals. Later developments such as zoetrope’s and flip books added in the element of motion. An exploration and tribute to these base elements of projection, this exhibition will explore the nature of light, shadow, and movement.
Abbey Perez - VHS, CRT, Celluloid, Remixed.
With my project of hand-painted, bleached, cut, and scratched 16mm film projected onto a landscape of defunct and out-of-date technology I hope to provoke nostalgia for the past while creating something new. I wanted to use objects that most people think of as outdated in new ways, giving them new life to viewers and artists alike.
The Mavis C Pitman Exhibition has been underwritten by the Mavis C. Pitman Endowment and the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts. For more information, please visit www.arts.rice.edu or call 713-348-4882.
At least i have you, egg. will be on view at the Rice Media Center Gallery through March 28,2019.
Business & Pleasure
Fifty Years of Photographs
by Paul Hester
Rice Media Center, Main Gallery
On view through February 22, 2019
The Visual and Dramatic Arts Department at Rice University is pleased to present “Business & Pleasure, Fifty Years of Photographs” by Paul Hester with an opening reception on January 17, 2019, from 6-8 PM at the Rice Media Center Gallery. The photography instructor emeritus is sharing fifty years of his professional and personal life through a wide assortment of photographs from film and digital cameras.
The salon style show will cover the first and second floor walls of the Rice Media Center and include images from Hester’s undergraduate years at Rice in the Sixties. During that time the camera used in the beginning photography classes was the 4x5 view camera under the instruction of Geoff Winningham. Advanced students were offered the use of many different cameras and lenses from the store room of the Media Center: Leica M-4, Widelux (a 35mm camera with a moving lens that rotates 140 degrees), Olympus Pen F half-frame, 120mm Yashica, Nikon F, even a fisheye lens. Those were the beginning days of the Media Center when the Menils brought art, art history, film, photography, and Andy Warhol to Rice.
Those were the halcyon days at Rice’s Media Center. The influences and contributions made by the Menils cannot be exaggerated. Their commitment to bring photography and filmmaking, art, art history, and artists to the Media Center created a truly exciting community and a fertile space for budding artists.
“After a year of travel in Europe on a Thomas J. Watson Travel Fellowship and two years in graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design, where I used a 35mm Leica M-4 exclusively, I returned to Houston in 1977 to work as the Photography Coordinator for the Visual Art Department at Rice. During those two years, the pay and working schedule followed the precedent established when John Lee Simon had the original position. I was required to be present four hours in the afternoon; in the morning I explored the city with my brand-new-to-me used Hasselblad Super Wide 120mm camera, making square pictures all over Houston, which seemed totally different after four years away,” recalls Hester.
The retrospective will showcase a wide variety of photographs from his Rice undergraduate years, through many commissioned and self-assigned projects, and including his most recent work. Taking the shapes of square, rectangular, 4x5, 35mm, elongated 35mm panoramas, and biggest of all, pictures from a Cirkut camera that he used in 1982 to re-photograph points of view recorded in negatives from the 1920s and 1930s. The Cirkut camera is a 19th century panorama camera that turns 360 degrees on a turntable atop a tripod, making a negative that is 8 inches tall and 60 inches long.
In contrast to photography’s analog days in the darkroom, Hester now enjoys the instant visual gratification of digital pictures. When his ‘photo-senses’ tingle and the need to document that very moment arises, he might rely on his iPhone, or Nikon D3X, or his mirrorless Fujifilm digital camera. “The best place to photograph is where you find yourself, and the best camera is the one you have with you. After working as an architectural photographer using very unforgiving color transparency film in a 4x5 view camera, the joy of extending the making of a photograph beyond the moment of exposure into the post-production time is my greatest delight with the digital process. In a way it is similar to using black and white film; the making of the print is again, as Ansel Adams said, the performance of the score recorded in the negative.”
Paul Hester received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, where he studied with Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Lisette Model, Minor White, Charles Harbutt, Bert Beavers, Richard Lebowitz, and Sally Stein. He divides his time between Fayetteville, Texas and Houston, Texas; between teaching and taking pictures; between looking and thinking; between now and then; between here and there. His photographs reside in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Wooster Art Museum in Massachusetts, the National Museum of American Art in Washington DC, the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, and in the homes of passionate collectors everywhere. He was on the faculty of the Department of Visual & Dramatic Arts, Rice University, Houston, for 15 years, where he taught courses in photography and writing-intensive classes about the language of photography. He traveled twice to Xi’an, China, and once to Havana, Cuba, with groups of students studying ways in which these countries are represented in photographic histories.
Paul Hester taught photography in the Department of Visual & Dramatic Arts at Rice University from 2003-2018, and photographed for Cite, the magazine of the Rice Design Alliance, since it began in 1982. Last year he photographed 100 locations around Houston chosen by 100 throws of a dart, culminating in issue 100 of Cite.
With his wife, Lisa Hardaway, a Rice graduate of the Shepherd School of Music, they operate as Hester + Hardaway Photographers, and have produced books on historic Texas court houses, California Spanish-style houses with Diane Keaton, a history of Glenwood Cemetery, the architecture of Philip Johnson in Texas by Frank Welch, and photographed a year of the changing seasons at the houses and studios of Georgia O’Keeffe in Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.
Following retirement from teaching, Paul continues photographing art at the Menil Collection, which he began in 1979 when the Menil presented extraordinary exhibitions in The Barn, the home of the Institute for the Arts, an identically sized metal building along side the Media Center, which was demolished by the University in 2014.
Paul and Lisa are based in Fayetteville, Texas, and photograph for architects, artists, art galleries, and builders around the state. They maintain a large archive of film and pixels from fifty years of photography. www.PhotoGypsies.com
“Business & Pleasure” will be on view at the Rice Media Center gallery through February 22nd. Gallery Hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. For more information visit vada.rice.edu or email email@example.com
Closest Visitor Parking Lots:
Moody Visitor Lot
West Lot 2
The Rabbit Hunt
By Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lucas
Rice Media Center
Opening Reception on November 8, from 6-8 PM
Reception: 6:00 PM
Screening: 6:30 PM
Closest Visitor Parking Lots:
Moody Visitor Lot
West Lot 2
Opening Reception: September 18, 6-8pm
On view at Rice Media Center Gallery through October 25, 2018
The Visual and Dramatic Arts department at Rice University is pleased to host Mexico City artist Agustín Estrada. His exhibition is titled, “Shizen: On the Art of Looking at Nature”. The artist explains that, ‘the first word is the Japanese word for Nature, because it is not only about gardens but more about two Japanese phenomena related with the Art of looking at Nature with two particular concepts called “Hanami” and “Momiji” the first one related to flowers blooming in the early spring and the second one with the changing color of the leaves in autumn. Both clearly identified in Japanese culture.’ The department welcomes this photography exhibition as it’s a great opportunity to bring different people together to view, consider and talk about these images.
Agustín has worked with photography and printing for over 40 years with the majority of his publications focusing on various cultures. To explore more of Augtín’s work visit: http://www.agustinestrada.com
Exhibition opens: Tuesday, September 18, 6-8 PM
On view at Rice Media Center Gallery through October 25, 2018
Gallery hours: Monday - Friday, 10am-5pm