Off the Books: Three Photographers – Medora Hebert, Jesseca Ferguson & Robert Flynt
Heightened interest in books as an object of reverence has risen exponentially as technology threatens to make them obsolete. The work of three well-known photographers who use the book in some form will be explored at VCP. Jesseca Ferguson produces intimate books using pinhole photography, Robert Flynt uses illustrations from old books to create evocative figural images, and classic portraits of authors by Medora Hebert will be featured in an exhibition that explores the book.
Robert Flynt’s work has been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad since 1980. It has been shown in major museums, galleries, and alternative spaces, as well as in collaborative performance and dance projects. In 1992 he was included in “New Photography 8” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where his work is in the permanent collection, as well as in the Metropolitan Museum, The International Center of Photography (NY), and L.A. County Museum, , among many others His notable one-person exhibitions have been at Witkin Gallery, Wessel+O’Connor Gallery and ClampArt in New York, the Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica, the G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, and the Gomez Gallery in Baltimore. He has been included in over 50 group exhibitions since 1980. He had a solo exhibition at Heartgalerie in Paris in March, 2009, followed by group exhibitions in Berlin, Tel Aviv, and Chicago, among others. In 2012 his work is featured in “Naked Before the Camera” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Flynt’s collaborative projects include commissions from Brooklyn Academy of Music with choreographer Bebe Miller in 1989, and the L.A. International Arts Festival with Ishmael Houston-Jones and Dennis Cooper in 1990, and with Yoshiko Chuma on The Yellow Room, Daghdha Dance Company (Ireland) in 2003. Body-Scan, a image/performance project with choreographers Benoit Lachambre and Su-Feh Lee, premiered at Le Quartz in France in March, 2008 and toured internationally in 2009. In March 2009 he collaborated with Pavel Zustiak/Palissimo on Weddings and Beheadings, premiering in New York at the Ailey Center Theater. The pair received a Baryshnikov Arts Center residency in 2010 and premiered their new collaboration, Amidst, there in June, 2011. His recent collaboration with choreographer Yoshiko Chuma, “Love Story, Palestine” was presented at La Mama ETC in New York in May of 2012. Along with numerous visiting artist and residency engagements throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, Flynt has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Light Work, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Art Matters, the Peter S. Reed Foundation, and the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy. Most recently he was a resident at Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain. Flynt’s work has appeared in numerous photo publications, anthologies and artist’s books. His 1996 monograph, Compound Fracture (Twin Palms Publishers) received a Best Books of the Year award from the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
Jesseca Ferguson has worked with pinhole photography and hand-applied 19th century photo processes since 1990. Her pinhole photographs and collaged “photo objects” have been included in solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and the UK. International museums holding her work include the Bibliothèque nationale, Paris, France; the Museum of the History of Photography, Krakow, Poland; Brandts Kladefabrik, Odense, Denmark; and the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey, Chippenham, UK. In the US, her work has been collected by the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; and the Ransom Center for the Humanities, Austin, TX, among others. Handmade Pictures by Jesseca Ferguson, a solo show of thirty-five of her works, was on exhibit at the Fox Talbot Museum in England from January through June 2011. In winter 2012 she was visiting artist-in-residence at the University of Southern Maine, Gorham, Maine. Ferguson lives, works, and teaches in Boston, Massachusetts.
Medora Hebert started her photographic career in 1977. With no experience and a twin lens Rollei she went up in a small aircraft, knelt on the seat, and photographed a rock concert though the window. The resulting picture ran across the top of the entire front page of the Keene Sentinel the next day. Excited by the process and encouraged by the editor of what was then called the Women’s’ Page, she began freelancing by shooting fashion shows and eventually all aspects of a daily newspaper. She began studying photography at Keene State College night school, the Maine Photographic Workshop (now called Maine Media Workshop), The League of New Hampshire Arts and Crafts and other various workshops and started shooting weddings in 1980 when people started requesting her services. She did extensive freelance work for Liesure Weekly, the Keene State College Office of Public Affairs and the Antioch New England Graduate School public relations office. 1986 she joined the staff of the Keene Sentinel as a part time lab tech. When she left in 1988 to move to the Hanover, New Hampshire area she was a full time staff photographer. There she immediately started freelancing at the Valley News and continued shooting weddings. In 1993 Medora became a full time staff member of the Valley News. She left the paper in 2001 to do weddings and freelance photography.
Photography has grown and changed over the years and she has kept up, at first starting with a twin lens film camera with 2 1/4 negatives, moving into 35mm format black and white, and then into color. From using the black and white darkroom she started scanning negatives onto the computer, learned Photoshop and changed to the digital photography world.
After leaving the Valley News she began to ramp up her knowledge of Photoshop and studied with Photoshop expert Jim Block of Etna, New Hampshire and started showing art work that she had been producing over the years. Her work has been shown in galleries and venues in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. She is represented by Vox Photographs.
Her author photos have appeared on book jackets, in magazines and newspapers. Her collection of her author photos on exhibit at VCP for Sept. is owned and displayed by the Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, NH.
Selection of images from the exhibition: