behind the lens plus is a collection of photographic work submitted by women around the world online through a free, open, and non-thematic call. Far from exhaustive or conclusive, the project strives to present just one collective of women who are building an archive for themselves through the reclaiming act of visual documentation.
The world has always abbreviated the presence of women: the mere existence of Women’s History Month and the 19th Amendment confirm this. In such a world, the use of photography by women is a form of self-preservation, and a proclamation of witness.
The original online component of this project featured a selection process and subsequent essays (scroll down here). This writing was a labor of love to celebrate strong work, but it was also the product of one individual’s visceral response.
The in-gallery exhibition for behind the lens plus was a due and deserved chance to honor every person who shared their world with this project. It materialized the paper and pixel trail of things that this group of women––from innumerable places, histories, and identities––have deemed worthy of immortalization. It commits to memory what was gathered in this project, and held close in these photographs, during a period of time that repressed those exact acts.
Whether in-person or online, I hoped for people to connect or reflect with any number of works shown in this installation––and, I also hoped a bit more bravely, that behind the lens plus might attest to the infinite volume of photographs by women which merit our close- and slow-looking.
Featured Artists: Karyna Asanova, Catalina Aranguren, Mayomi Basnayaka, Chelsea Bradway, Susan Carr, Loredana Celano, Jo Ann Chaus, Alexis Childress, Jaina Cipriano, Julianne Clark, Dawn Colsia, Frijke Coumans, Yvonne Dalschen, Rossella Damiani, Cynthia DiDonato, Sharon Draghi, Jan Ekin, Xiomara España, Onyinye Ezennia, Millicent Fambrough, Rhona Fraser, Beth Ferraro, Kayla Guajardo, Claudia Ruiz Gustafson, Casey Hill, Emma Hodge, I-Lun Huang, Gina M Kane, Işık Kaya, Danielle Khoury, Sandra Klein, Susan Lapides, Anna Latino, Hannah Latham, J. K. Lavin, Susan T. Landry, Pat Littlefield, Mary McGrath, Denise Marcotte, Vicky Martin, Caroline McAleer, Jennifer Bolig Martirano, Laurie McGowan, Lisa Morales, Diana Cheren Nygren, Karen Olson, Ayoola Omovo, Kayla O’Neal, Savanah Pennell, Camila Espinoza Petermann, Courtney Pitts, Chandler Price, Shalini Ray, Melinda Gribko-Reyes, Gail Rousseau, Angelina Ruiz, Samantha Sadik, Tehreem Saleem, Patricia Scialo, Janina Schindler, Devisha Shah, Laurène Southe, Shelby Swann, Janet Testoni, Adriana G. Torres, Lucy Wald, Karin Forde Whittemore, Vicki Windman, Matiyshenko Yelyzaveta, Antonenko Yiulya
Special thanks to Director David DeMelim, and all those who took pause with this project during a most difficult year.
Photos by David DeMelim.