Mise-en-scène at Hazan Projects
Image above: ©Alejandro Durán, Amanecer (Dawn), 2011, Archival Pigment Print mounted in Sintra
Hazan Projects was pleased to present Mise-en-scène, a group exhibition featuring the work of Alejandro Durán, Benjamin Heller, Rebecca Reeve, and Pat Swain.
Through the medium of photography, four artists question and, at times, challenge the distinction between domesticity and wilderness. The works on view establish complex, foreboding realities within innately familiar worlds. Accomplished through the tailoring of each artist’s repertoire of setting and aesthetics, the selection of work embodies the emotive potency of the show’s namesake.
The relationship between communities and landscape is further memorialized in the wind-swept images of Rebecca Reeve. Vast landscapes are infused with the tactility of domestic settings. Her use of window dressings, sourced from the communities where her images are captured, poetically tie culture and human experience to the natural landscape. The floral patterns of a second-hand curtain feel as much a part of the landscape they frame as the reeds sprouting from the marsh.
Image above: ©Rebecca Reeve, Untitled #6 (Through Looking), 2014 Archival Pigment Print / Courtesy of Hazan Projects
The lush landscape of the Yucatan is the guiding hand behind the vibrant compositions of Alejandro Durán’s series Washed Up. Shot in Sian Ka’an, a UNESCO World Heritage site and biosphere reserve in Mexico, the project depicts the pervasiveness of the environmental impact of modern consumerism. Durán’s methodical use of form and quantity presents landscapes of debris with the fluidity, and more significantly the power of water itself.
Image above: ©Alejandro Durán, Derrame (Spill), 2010, Archival Pigment Print mounted in Sintra / Courtesy of Hazan Projects
The photographs of Benjamin Heller, closely intertwined with his work in sculpture and performance, thrive on the evocative power of a self-contained narrative. The only glimpse of figurative representation in the exhibition, the works by Heller are emblematic of the artist’s interest in moments of intimate transformation. His figures appear in theatrical suspension, caught in moments of reconciliation with their surroundings.
Image above: ©Benjamin Heller, ICE BEAR, 2009 Archival Pigment Print / Courtesy of Hazan projects
In the series, Evolutionary Decadence, the photographs of Pat Swain explore the ominous, phantom-like presence of plastic bags strewn on massive landscapes, in this case Mount Ainos, Kefalonia, Greece. Here, the plastic forms are emphasized, calling attention to their menacing and unearthly existence ‘evolving’ in our environments.
Image above: ©Pat Swain, Plastic 3 (Evolutionary Decadence), 2013 Archival Pigment Print on Plexiglass / Courtesy of Hazan Projects
Alejandro Durán received En Foco’s New Works Award and was included in the Bronx Biennial of Latin American Art in 2012. He has exhibited his work at the Galería Octavio Paz at the Mexican consulate in New York and he was Hunter College’s Artist-in- Residence for 2014-15. His solo show, Washed Up: Transforming a Trashed Landscape, was exhibited at Hunter’s East Harlem Art Gallery in 2015.
Image above: ©Monika Piatkiewicz, Opening Night, Alejandro Durán
Benjamin Heller’s photography, video and performative sculpture works have been shown nationally and internationally, including the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Brooklyn Museum, Wave Hill, New York Live Arts, ICP International Center of Photography, Robin Rice Gallery, Fresh Window Gallery, Eyebeam, and Honey Space in New York. In 2013 he was selected for the Bronx Museum AIM residency program and Biennial Exhibition.
Image above: ©Monika Piatkiewicz, Opening Night, Benjamin Heller
Rebecca Reeve was born in London, England. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Bath Spa University and a Masters of Visual Arts at the University of South Wales, Australia. Her photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally including La Biennale de Montreal, (Canada), Freies Museum, Berlin, (Germany), Museum of Latin American Art, (Buenos Aires), EFA Project Space, (NYC) and the Masur Museum of Art, (Louisiana). In 2013, she was Artist in Residence at Everglades National Park & was the recipient of the Artist in Exploration grant underwritten by Rolex. In 2016, she will be Artist in Residence at Joshua Tree National Park. She lives and works in New York City.
Image above: ©Monika Piatkiewicz, Opening Night, Rebecca Reeve
Pat Swain earned a Master of Fine Arts in Computer Art/Photography from Pratt Institute. Her photographs are held in several collections including, Goulandris Museum in Kissifad, Athens, Greece, Los Angeles Museum of Digital Art, Koc Foundation Istanbul, Turkey, The Gumusluk Academy, Bodrum, Turkey, Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.