Friday, February 22, 2013

MFA Thesis: Adam Neese

Last semester Adam took a class at Texas Woman's University with me, and I feel in love with his work. He inspires me to believe in myself, and stay true to my artistic vision. I want to share some of his inspirational words and work today. Below is a short interview about his MFA Thesis Exhibition which is opening tomorrow night. 

Saturday February 23rd 7:00 - 10 pm

The Janette Kennedy Gallery
South Side on Lamar 
1409 South Lamar St. 
Dallas, TX 75215 

Adam Neese (b. 1985, Longmont, Colorado) was raised in Grapevine, TX, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth. His most recent photographic project A Known World investigates his memories and personal history in the landscape of North Texas. Adam’s work has been exhibited in various venues throughout the United States, including Louisiana Tech University, Lexington Art League (KY), and PhotoPlace Gallery (VT.) In 2012, his work was published in The Artist Catalogue and the Dallas area arts magazine Semigloss.

Adam holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and will receive his Master of Fine Arts from The University of North Texas in May of 2013

View more of Adam's work here 
Find out more about his MFA exhibition here 

Ashley Kauschinger: How did A Known World begin? What have you learned about yourself while creating this series? 

Adam Neese: A Known World began in the fall of 2011, after making a lot of pictures in the area concerning the loss of a natural landscape and development encroaching on these places. After I made the first Map of Memories, I decided to revisit each of the places in a more systematic way, photographing it as it lies now. Rather than a heavy, nostalgic look at disappearing places, these visits were prompted by sincerity and to celebrate childhood.

I have learned much about myself throughout the creation of this series. For one, I am slow. Slow in concept, as well as physically slow with my camera. I choose to photograph with a view camera for its ability to render space, but also because the speed is more in line with my personality. I’ve also learned how slippery memory can be. In many instances, I would be in field photographing and I would remember another experience. Each time I went out, the shot list would grow larger. The brain is an amazing organ, and has the ability to recall information that I would have never thought existed anymore.

AK: What are you thoughts on the connection between land, history and personal memory? 

AN: This project has helped me anchor my memories to a place through the creation of documents.  It’s appealing to think that you can take a subjective, intangible thing like memory and create a physical object that becomes a piece of history.
While out photographing a site important to me, I’ve often wondered what else occured in these places.  The cultural history of the landscape is more vague and half remembered than my experience.

For instance, the image Shi’Rahad has connection to both history and personal memory:

In 1843, Sam Houston, then president of the Republic of Texas, met with representatives of ten Native American Nations to sign a peace treaty that is known today as The Treaty of Birds Fort. Shortly thereafter, two pioneer settlements were established near the confluence of Little and Big Bear Creek. My friends had an entirely different name for the confluence, and it an important place in our fantasy world.

AK: What is your process of promotion? 

AN: Just like my photographic process, I am a tortoise with promotion. I prefer to cultivate authentic relationships with people I want to know rather than sending mass unsolicited emails to folks. I attended PhotoNOLA this past December, and found it an invaluable experience to meet people. I also really love to send physical mail, and I think it adds a nice touch to send someone a 4x5” print.

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