Crime Unseen at the MoCP

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Crime Unseen, Museum of Contemporary Photography. October 28, 2011-January 15, 2012. Artists include: Richard BarnesCorinne May BotzChristopher DawsonDeborah LusterChristian PattersonTaryn SimonAngela StrassheimKrista Wortendyke

October 28th was the opening of Crime Unseen at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. The opening was accompanied by an artists talk with two of the artists featured in the show, as well as an opening reception.

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One fantastic thing about being a photography student here at Columbia College Chicago is the Museum of Contemporary Photography. MoCP is not a part of the photography department, but it is located in the same building. Currently there are three graduate students that are working there as assistants, and one former graduate student that is working as a curator. These are great opportunities for us grad students.Not only are there options of working at the museum, but graduate students meet regularly with the curators of the museum to talk about their work. The curators are surprisingly available to stop by (since the museum and grad room are located in the same building) and take a look at work if you want them to. This is an advantage that is not shared by many other schools.

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Another advantage to having a museum as part of your school (and in this case, a museum that focuses specifically on photography) is the work and the artists that they bring in. The current show is a great example. While the photography department has it’s own lecture series that brings in three artists per semester, the museum will also bring artists in for openings, talks, or book signings.

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For the current show, Crime Unseen, MoCP brought in Christian Patterson (the museum also just published his book had just been published with the support of MoCP) and Angela Strassheim to give a small talk about their work during the opening. Then there was mingling with artists after the talk. Again, this is not the norm.

The museum says the following about the current show:

All of the artists in Crime Unseen grapple with a retelling of disturbing crimes. Using photography and other methods, the artists reactivate historical material and open it up to further contemplation. By drawing on techniques of photojournalism, forensic photography, and documentary landscape, the artists actively engage with myth and reality as they question the roles of memory, the media, and evidence in solving and remembering crime.”

It is a good show, and if you are in the Chicago area, I suggest you check it out. The MoCP is just another reason that makes Columbia such a great place for an MFA in Photo.