Urban Video Project (UVP) is pleased to present “AKIN: Keren Shavit & Eva Marie Rødbro” at their Everson Museum of Art architectural projection venue during the months of February and March. Rødbro and Shavit will be present for an indoor screening including additional selections of their work, and Q&A with the audience on Thursday, March 8 at 6:30pm in Watson Theater at Light Work on the SU campus. A reception will follow. This event is FREE & OPEN to the public.
The title of the exhibition and related event, AKIN, points to parallels in Rødbro’s and Shavit’s artistic process. Both artists have work that involves them integrating into and establishing relationships within the family structures and tightly knit subcultures that they document. The title also points to the ways that both artists make the process of watching uncomfortable for the audience in ways that lead us to reflect on our own beliefs and assumptions. In the triangle of artist-subject-audience, Rødbro and Shavit don’t give us signposts telling us how to respond to the images they create or where they stand as the documentarians. The artists work with vulnerable subjects: a young child trying to make sense of the adult complexities of their family life and their struggling single parent a rabbit being roughly handled at a show and the older “gentleman” who clearly takes his hobby as a rabbit fancier very seriously.
The presence of the artist behind the camera — and sometimes in front of it — adds another layer of uncertainty for us as audience members. We are led to wonder why they are there and how they gained such intimate access, questions which point to the complex relationships at the heart of all documentary. While the images are uncomfortable to watch, the artists do not give us direction on how to judge the characters or whether we should be judging them at all. The fact that much of the imagery is beautiful and compelling makes our position even more conflicted because we do not want to simply look away.