Exhibition Dates: 06/20/12 - 07/15/12
Opening Reception: 06/20/12, 6-8pm
My White Friends extends Myra Greene’s 10-year exploration into photography’s description of race. Throughout her life, she has been questioned on why she has so many white friends, as though her African-American heritage should dictate a different social circle. This line of thought reveals the undertone of racial politics of this nation.
Over the last 5 years, Myra has traveled the country reconnecting with her past, and those who have influenced her personal worldview. My White Friends explores the challenges of presenting whiteness in a photograph. Images initially read as benign portraits of a cross section of white American life, yet the impetus for their creation lies in an undercurrent of racial description. By photographing friends, peers, and mentors, the images visually ponder if photography can capture and describe the nuances of whiteness. Do gesture and environment allude to a lived truth, a performance by the sitter, or stereotype implored by the photographer? These photographs offer descriptions instead of resolutions. Readers charged with dissecting coded information, are confronted with their own notions of race.
Myra Greene was born in New York City and received her B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.F.A. in photography from the University of New Mexico. She currently resides in Chicago Il, where she is an Associate Professor of Photography at Columbia College Chicago. She received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Photography (2009) and has completed residencies at Light Work in Syracuse New York (2004) and the Center for Photography at Woodstock (2004).
Greene’s work has been featured in nationally exhibitions in galleries and museums including The New York Public Library (2012), Art Museum of the Americas in Washington. D.C. (2012), FotoFest 2010 in Houston, Texas, at the Winter Street Studios (2010), Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta (2009), Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco (2008), Yuma Art Center Museum in Yuma Arizona (2008), Wadswoth Museum in Hartford CT (2006) and Sculpture Center in New York City (2003). Her work is in the permanent collection of Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City and The New York Public Library. To view more of her work, please visit her website: www.myragreene.com/
This project is partially supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Support also provided by Columbia College Chicago.