Copyright © 2002, Photographic Resource Center, Inc.

During the Winter of 2004/2005 several exhibitions and events dealing with vernacular or everyday photography were held on Commonwealth Avenue on the Boston University campus.

The PRC’s exhibition, Contemporary Vernacular, and educational offerings were held in conjunction with the Boston University Art Gallery’s exhibition vintage vernacular photographic works, In the Vernacular: Everyday Photographs from the Rodger Kingston Collection, related interdisciplinary conference, Vernacular Reframed, and the BU Sherman Gallery's juried student exhibition, Keepsake, and showing of Found Polaroids from Found Magazine.

Several organizations teamed up to present a closing week Vernacular Spectacular to celebrate the closing of the Vernacular exhibitions. See below an outline of dates, details, and links. Altogether, these related exhibitions and programs, made for many great reasons to get off the B Green Line at the BU West T-stop (or f-stop as we like to call it)!

@ PRC: Educational Programs
Found Magazine Open Mic Night: Wednesday, November 3, Paradise Lounge, free
Roundtable with Regional Artists: Thursday, December 2, free
Workshop: Saturday, December 4, “Lost and Found: Photo, Collage & Photocollage” with Jesseca Ferguson, Call for reservations
Curator Gallery talk by Leslie K. Brown, PRC Curator, Thursday, December 9, free
Vernacular Spectacular Closing Week Events

New England and Boston Premier: Screening of Documentary Film, “Other People’s Pictures,” and Discussion with the Filmmakers Lorca Shepperd and Cabot Philbrick, Monday, January 17, 7-9 pm, Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA, $6 members/$9 non-members, Co-Sponsored by the PRC and the Coolidge

Other People’s Pictures is a documentary about people who share an unlikely obsession—snapshots that have been abandoned or lost by their original owners and are now for sale. The film is set at New York City’s Chelsea Flea Market where, every weekend, dozens of collectors sift doggedly through piles, boxes and bins of cast-off photos. Since completing the film with a grant from the Jerome Foundation and a month-long artists’ retreat at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center, “Other People’s Pictures” has been screened nationally and awarded Best Documentary, New Orleans Film Festival, 2004 and Best Documentary Short, Coney Island Film Festival, 2004. The film has also been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered in June 2004.

Click here to visit the Coolidge Corner Movie Theatre website
And Here for the Documentary’s and Filmmakers’ website

The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, Closing Party

The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players—a self-described “indie-vaudeville conceptual art-rock pop band” – write and perform songs based on the contents of anonymous slideshows found at garage sales and thrift stores. Join Jason, Tina, and their10-year-old daughter Rachel on drums for a night of slides and sounds. The Trachtenburgs have played alternative spaces from NY and LA; renowned museums such as the George Eastman House; as well as large festivals like South by Southwest. They have been on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien,” NPR’s “Weekend Edition”; and most recently, filmed a pilot for VH1.

Click here to visit the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players website
Click here for the PRC press release

@ Boston University Art Gallery
Exhibition : In the Vernacular:
Everyday Photographs from the Rodger Kingston Collection

November 5-January 23, 2005
Conference : Vernacular Reframed
November 5-6, 2004
855 Comm. Ave, BU West T-Stop

This exhibition of over 150 vintage vernacular photographs and objects by primarily anonymous photographers examined entire categories of photography that have remained overlooked. By highlighting this diverse and unique collection, the exhibition sought to outline a model of photographic history that can account for the diverse totality of photographic creation and use. Vernacular Reframed, a two-day interdisciplinary conference, reexamined definitions of vernacular photography by exploring the ways photographs have been produced and consumed. Panelists included Ross Barrett, Geoffrey Batchen, A.D. Coleman, Merry Foresta, Bernard Herman, W. H. Hunt, John Ibson, Daile Kaplan, Rodger Kingston, Stacey McCarroll, Douglas Nickel, Jonathan C. Smith, Alan Trachtenberg, Stephen White. Conference proceedings will be published in Fall 2005.

Click here for more information on the BUAG exhibition and an extensive working bibliography on Vernacular photography.

@ Boston University Sherman Gallery: Juried Exhibition
Exhibition : Keepsake
November 2-December 17, 2004

Keepsake” was an exhibition of student work that incorporates, appropriates or alludes to found photographs, images and/or text and addresses the theme of “keepsake” in some way. A call for entries was put out to full or part-time student artists currently enrolled in Boston area colleges and universities. “Keepsake” received more than 100 submissions in a wide range of media – from drawing to photography to collage. Leslie K. Brown, Curator of the Photographic Resource Center, served as the exhibition’s juror and selected 39 works by 31 artists, including students from Boston University School of Visual Arts, Massachusetts College of Art, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Boston, Montserrat College of Art, and New England School of Photography.

Exhibition : Found Polaroids from FOUND MAGAZINE
Complementing the student show was the gallery debut of hundreds of found Polaroids from FOUND
MAGAZINE’s collection of items from all over the world. This component was curated and installed by
FOUND’s Co-Founder, Jason Bitner. Jason and Davy Rothbart are the co-founders of Found Magazine, a print and online journal of found photographs, notes, and stuff. Their work has been featured on NPR's This American Life, as well as covered in the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, SPIN magazine, Australian Style, and most recently Late Night with David Letterman. Visitors were encouraged to bring their own found photographs and ephemera to add to the gallery and for possible future inclusion in the zine!

Click here for the Keepsake and Found Polaroids press release
Click here for the Sherman Gallery website
Click here for FOUND MAGAZINE’s website

Related Vernacular Programs