Michal Chelbin: Strangely Familiar starts September 7 at PRC

Portraits of performers and athletes in Russia, Ukraine, and England.
Exhibition runs September 7–October 31, 2010
Photographic Resource Center
832 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

Reception: Thursday, September 16, 6:30–8 p.m.
Artist lecture & book signing: Tues., Oct. 19, 7 p.m., BU Photonics Building rm. 206, 8 St. Mary’s St. Boston

“Because I shoot portraits I can say that people are my first inspiration. They are intriguing, mysterious, and unsolved.”  —Michal Chelbin (from 9/4/2008 interview on Nymphoto)

Michal Chelbin (born 1974, Haifa, Israel) started making pictures when she was 15, and honed her skills as a photographer during her compulsory service in the Israeli military. Following four years of study in Haifa, Chelbin began pursuing personal photographic projects and traveled in Russia, Ukraine, England, and Israel making the portraits that appear in Strangely Familiar (also the title of her 2008 Aperture monograph; The Black Eye, her new book, is forthcoming from Twin Palms). The body of work on display at the PRC this fall demonstrates Chelbin’s search for those displaying a “legendary” quality, which she describes as “a mix between odd and ordinary.”
Her photographs depict mostly young people who carry their livelihoods with them, often in the very form or function of their bodies. Her subjects are members of itinerant companies—dancers, acrobats, and carnival attractions—and athletes. Chelbin’s work, typically made of individuals in off-stage repose, reflects both the intensity of their pursuits and the fatigue engendered by being constantly on the road and almost always on display. Her photographs are staged, in the sense of being made by arrangement between artists and subject, but not manipulated or otherwise altered post-exposure.
The artist, who again lives in Israel after several years in the United States, will be present for a talk and book signing on October 19 at 7 p.m.
Exhibition organized in collaboration with Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York City.
To read more, please visit www.prcboston.org.

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