Marcia Wood Gallery is delighted to host an exhibition by New York-based photographer and former Atlantan Chris Verene, featuring video and photographs from the "Home Movies" series.
In 1986, at age sixteen, Verene began photographing his family's hometown of Galesburg, Illinois, and has since documented the lives of its people through a factual yet sympathetic lens for over thirty years. In 2009, Verene began video-recording the same characters he had photographed since the late 1980s. Of these videos and photographs, all shown under the blanket title, "Home Movies," the New York Times wrote: “Made with low-budget cameras, it’s a riveting, sad and sometimes comical series of short, documentary portraits of poor, white working-class people getting by…” (2014).
The new photographs and videos in the 2019 installment of “Home Movies” follow the unusual weddings of two new characters and document the complicated and urgent issues of drug addiction and recovery, gambling addiction, racism, and food stamps.
During the run of the exhibition, Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) will host the screening of “Home Movies”, Verene’s episodic documentary video series. Currently in production, “Home Movies” features the artist’s family and friends in a typical American small town. The October 10 film screening of "Home Movies 2019” will be followed by a Town Hall Meeting to discuss issues including addiction, homelessness, public aid, food stamps, and what role art can play in addressing them. Panelists joining Chris Verene will be photographer Ashley Reid, Mona Bennett, Ambassador of the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition and film critic Felicia Feaster. For details: acpinfo.org/tickets
Verene’s documentary photographs are represented in many major museum collections including The Whitney, The Met, The Jewish Museum, The Walker Art Center, The LA MOCA, The SF MoMA, The J. Paul Getty Museum, and are the subject of two major books from Twin Palms Publishers. Though "Home Movies" is unreleased, seven short films that form the foundation of this project were screened at Postmasters Gallery and the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2015, and are now in the permanent collection of The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Verene has been profiled in major publications such as Vanity Fair, Art Forum, Parkett, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vogue L'Hommes, and many others. Verene is also an accomplished musician, recording and touring with artists such as The Indigo Girls, The Rock*A*Teens, and Ani Cordero. Verene also works under the pseudonym Cheri Nevers, a performative alter-ego who takes glamorous photographs of ordinary people as part of a “Self-Esteem Salon.” Verene created the persona, which involves dressing in drag, with the intention of making people “look fantastic" and feel beautiful and empowered.
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