Center for Creative Photography - University of Arizona

photo by John Hazeltine

Tucson, AZ



Lorie Novak: Photographs, 1983-2000


The Center for Creative Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona presents two exhibitions of work by Lorie Novak from February 17 through April 29, 2001: Lorie Novak: Photographs, 1983-2000, a career survey of prints recently acquired by CCP; and Collected Visions: An Installation by Lorie Novak, a multimedia project that questions how family photographs shape our memories and relationships.

Novak has long explored the nature of the snapshot and has created innovative and engaging ways to look at family photographs as representations of both personal and collective memory. Lorie Novak: Photographs, 1983-2000, organized by the Center for Creative Photography, surveys nearly two decades of the searching, resonant imagery of artist Lorie Novak. Her signature use of projected imagery to combine and challenge the role of photography in constructions of reality, memory and the self is showcased in this selection of over thirty large-scale color prints recently acquired by CCP. In Lorie Novak: Photographs, 1983-2000, she repeatedly mines her family's own photographic history, transforming images from her childhood and related signifiers by projecting them into three-dimensional settings-from sylvan landscapes to stark interiors. (left: Photo by Lorie Novak, Identities, 1998, Incorporated color coupler print, 36 x 29 inches, © 1998 Lorie Novak, Collection Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona)

"This exhibition celebrates the establishment of the largest public collection of the artist's work and offers a defining overview of her influential contributions to American photography," said Trudy Wilner Stack, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Center for Creative Photography. "In addition, all of Novak's art reveals the importance and complexity of photography's role in family life."

Collected Visions: An Installation by Lorie Novak

Collected Visions: An Installation by Lorie Novak presents hundreds of family snapshots collected since 1992 from over 350 people in a new multi-media exploration of this culturally significant photography that shapes both memory and identity. The images are juxtaposed with one another and combined with overlapping spoken word and music in a dreamlike environment of dissolving projected images. The experience conveys the psychological and emotional power of photographs and explores their contemporary role in our everyday lives. (left: Collected Visions: An Installation by Lorie Novak, 2000, computer-based installation, Projected images 8.5 x 11 feet each, Coutrtesy of the artist, © 2000 Lorie Novak, Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona)

Two computer-driven, floor-to-ceiling, simultaneous 17-minute sequences use high-resolution digital projectors and a new high-quality streaming media system created specifically for the project by Jonathan Meyer. Elizabeth Brown's original music is mixed with recorded voices of people speaking about their family photographs. Novak said, "What I see in these photographs are the dreams, disappointments, joys, tensions, stereotypes, and myths of modern culture." Novak encourages visitors to participate in Collected Visions on the Web and during three Collecting Days at CCP when visitors can add to the project by scanning snapshots and/or writing stories about their photographs. The website has over 2,000 snapshots in a searchable database and 150 stories posted in a virtual gallery and museum. Collected Visions on the Web will also be accessible at a computer station in the CCP gallery.

Lorie Novak's work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad since 1980 at such venues as the International Center of Photography; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Smithsonian Institution; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Houston Center for Photography; The Art Institute of Chicago;The Southeast Museum of Photography; the Addison Gallery of American Art; The Jewish Museum, NY; SF Camerawork, and Breda Fotografica in the Netherlands. She has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and Tiffany Grant, and residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Rockeller Foundation's Bellagio Center, Yaddo, and Djerrassi. Her photographs are found in the collections of numerous American and European museums. Novak is currently Chair of The Department of Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (NYU), where she is co-director of Urban Ensemble, a program where Tisch students engage in community-based arts projects. She is also affiliated faculty at the NYU Center for Advanced Technology

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/23/11

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