Monday, February 9, 2015

Laura Beth Reese

Laura Beth Reese is a Boston-based artist and curator. She was born in Iowa and raised in the Northeastern United States – sometimes in New Jersey and sometimes in Massachusetts. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in 2009 at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA and went on to earn her Master of Fine Arts in 2014 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Reese’s work has been exhibited around the United States, most recently at the Griffin Museum of Photograph and the New Art Center, where she co-curated the recent exhibition I Want To Smell Your Hair. Laura Beth Reese uses photography as a catalyst for intimacy – taking pictures of others as a way of reaching out and connecting. Her projects are often autobiographical: she photographs people that occupy her life in one way or another. Reese photographs with a large format camera and color film.

Artist Statement: Home Study 

Home Study
is one component that addresses my status as an adopted child, focusing on my identity and the ways in which it has been shaped by my adopted family and the spaces in which I spent my childhood. The photographs were made in New Jersey, where I grew up and where my parents currently reside, and Utah, where my formally estranged sister lives. With many of the photographs, I worked in collaboration with both my mother and my sister, so that we could each have a hand in the process of representing the impact of adoption on our family. Our conversations about our family and the problems inherent in adoption strongly affected what I chose to photograph. This collaboration furthered the exploration of my relationships with my mother and my sister, so that the process of taking the photographs became as important as the photographs themselves. The images speak to the ways in which adoption has simultaneously aided in forming my strong relationships with certain family members and created conflict and unease in my relationships with others. Ultimately, the photographs speak to identity, family, and womanhood through the representation of my own personal narrative. They are the result of my constant search for my origins as well as an investigation into the ways that specific people and spaces have or have not shaped my identity.

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