February 22, 2024


Without Art It's Really Boring!!!

Griffin Museum of Photography : Rachel Portesi : Standing Nonetheless

3 min read

The Griffin Museum of Photography presents Rachel Portesi: Standing Still, a solo exhibition of functions by artist Rachel Portesi, featuring a range of collodion tintypes created with massive-structure vintage cameras that check out the evolving lifelong complexities of female identity. Also on display screen are a range of 8 x 10 Polaroids, 3D Viewmasters, and video clip installations with footage of her method which results in a voyeuristic encounter of looking by the lens at her versions held in spot – moving but virtually however.

The performs in Standing Nevertheless are section of the artist’s ongoing sequence of “hair portraits”, which incorporate very long exposure analog pictures with elaborate staged studio constructions that merge organic elements with her model’s tresses of hair. The result is a sequence of portraits that examine the nuanced transitions similar to motherhood, aging, and decision, as perfectly as the intersection of identification and femininity with the actual physical world.

While pictures is an critical aspect of Portesi’s perform, she also collects the dried botanicals, branches, and bouquets that fill her studio windows and walls blurring the barrier between outside and the studio. These all-natural features, together with models in her pics, are similarly necessary to the manufactured tableau of her get the job done.

Each portrait is the end result of hrs Portesi spends building a collaborative ‘hair sculpture’ with the model as the product stands towards a wall. The subject’s hair is fixed to the wall with drive pins, screws, apparel pins and fishing line (Portesi is an avid angler) intricately intertwined with symbolic objects such as fresh new flowers, twigs, significant plant fronds, relatives heirlooms and mementos, and additional flora from Portesi’s back garden in Vermont and a nearby flower farm. Quite a few of the ‘hair sculptures’ also use ceiling-suspended fishing line for more volume.

“As I engaged with this new mode, my types turned conduits of self-reflection–a way to search at the confines of my decided on female position from the outside” the artist describes. “And there I observed a post-maternal form of power wholly distinct from the job I’d inhabited just before motherhood. Seeking at them now, these illustrations or photos on the wall, photographs of elaborate hair sculptures constructed in my studio to adjust. Elements of myself I decide on to leave at the rear of. Other people I deliver with me.”

Standing Still is a common and personal look at narratives surrounding female-figuring out gendered encounters, social constructs of femininity, as perfectly as the prolonged-founded symbolic significance of hair.


Rachel Portesi gained a BA in Sociology and Images from Marlboro College or university, VT. Her get the job done as a black and white documentary photographer was complemented by the acquisition of her first Polaroid Land digital camera in 1991. Ten years later on, with a go to New York Metropolis and no access to a darkroom, Portesi’s apply shifted completely to the immediacy of the Polaroid. Working this way resulted in a body of work manufactured about much more than two a long time ending a several years ago when an more mature, even more finicky and time-consuming way of creating “instant pictures” caught Portesi’s consideration — the soaked plate collodion tintype. Her new operate explores how female identity is redefined by motherhood and growing old. Portesi’s photographs have been exhibited at different venues in New England and in New York, and have been penned about in Vogue, Forbes, and Musée magazines amid many others. She will work and lives with her family in Saxtons River, Vermont.


Rachel Portesi : Standing Still
September 8- October 30, 2022
Griffin Museum of Photography
67 Shore Rd, Winchester
MA 01890


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