Anne Leighton Massoni, Photography Program Director at the University of the Arts will speak about her series “Holding” during our next Photo Night at the Pen and Pencil Club on Wednesday, October 14th at 8 p.m. Please join us!
Anne Leighton Massoni is the Program Director of Photography at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to teaching at UArts she has held positions at Marshall University, Cornell University, Tyler School of Art, Washington College, Memphis College of Art, and Monmouth University.
Massoni graduated with an MFA in Photography from Ohio University and BAs in Photography and Anthropology from Connecticut College. Her work relates to ideas of both real and fabricated memories, using a variety of film and digital techniques.
She has exhibited nationally and internationally including the H. F. Johnson Museum in New York, The Print Center in Philadelphia, The Sol Mednick Gallery in Philadelphia, NIH in Washington, DC, the Allen Sheppard Gallery in New York City, Newspace Gallery in Portland, Rayko in San Francisco, the East End Film Festival in London, England, the 2013 International Mobile Innovation Screening in New Zealand and Australia, and IlCantinonearte Teatri e Galleria del Grifo in Montepulciano, Italy. Recent publications of her work include ASPECT: The Chronicle of New Media Art and SpostaMenti, an exhibition catalog of her series “Holding” and The Photograph & The Album, Published by MuseumsEtc in England.
She serves as the Vice Chair of the National Board of the Society for Photographic Education.
The series Holding, utilizes created images and found photographs to present a place between truth and fiction. These contrasting images sit side by side with a thin line painted across their surface, drawing imagined connections. The images themselves reinforce the concepts of memory and often use mnemonic elements and notions of artifact to represent an underlying story, which touches on the personal while still attempting the collective.
I combine photographs I’ve made of empty places – spaces once inhabited or currently inhabited but with no one present – with found photographs of times that no longer exist – images that are empty of personal memory – and then paint a thin line to draw a literal point of connection from one image to the next. The line, like a strand of DNA, ties the images, separated by generations, to one another. The line is often initiated in the found photograph by pointing to the senses – taste, smell, touch, sound – to a point in the contemporary image that speaks to the residues left behind by current or past inhabitants.
The Holding series is made of five “chapters”, each dedicated to a person of influence in my life which serves to establish place, lineage, and narrative in each chapter. Leaning on the notion of the “book” as narrative, chapters are titled in “honor of” and each diptych’s title utilizes the complexity of language to help navigate the viewer to underlying connections and conundrums – the narratives of the diptychs are often as rich as they are convoluted. Each “chapter’s” photographs are made in the location of the honoree’s “home” and while appropriated photographs are collected in the same location, they are not necessarily of that place.