Emma Wilcox


PRESS RELEASE: Emma Wilcox, Jun 25 - Jul 31, 2010

Emma Wilcox
Jun 25 – Jul 31, 2010

Gitterman Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of contemporary black and white photographs by Emma Wilcox.  The exhibition will open with an artist’s reception on Thursday, June 24th from 6 to 8 p.m. and continue through Saturday, July 31st.

This exhibition is comprised of work from Wilcox’s Eminent Domain and Forensic Landscapes series.  Wilcox is interested in the various ways that land is marked, be it chemically, visually or textually.  Taken primarily within a 5-mile radius of Newark, NJ, these haunting, enigmatic images suggest multiple narratives, hinting at crime, destruction and violence.  Artist and critic Tim Maul writes: “progress” has rendered these landscapes ancient, and Wilcox is both a cartographer and guerrilla, staging interventions embedded within photographs that like maps themselves, never succeed as precise conveyors of “truth”.  The images bear no obvious time stamp; they serve as a subjective document and challenge the notion of evidence.  Though often dark, both visually and conceptually, the work has an underlying note of resilience and perseverance.

Wilcox’s father, great-uncle and grandfather all worked in Newark for periods of time in their lives. Interested in the role that individual memory plays in the creation of local history, Wilcox moved to Newark after college.  She began taking photographs at night on foot, developing her own familiarity with the area and its history.  In 2005, when she was evicted from where she was living by the state because of eminent domain, Wilcox became determined to claim Newark as a place she refused to leave.

It is difficult to date Wilcox’s work, prompting the question: do her subjects still exist or are they on the brink of disappearing?  The gelatin silver process, which uses chemical processes now considered archaic, is an ideal medium for depicting landscapes with a long chemical memory. These photographs are a testament to what endures, ensuring that her subjects will never vanish completely.

Emma Wilcox was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1980.  She studied photography at the School of Visual Arts with Tim Maul, Stephen Frailey and Sid Kaplan.  Wilcox has had the following solo exhibitions: Forensic Landscapes, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ, 2007 and Salvage Rights, Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT, 2009. She is the recipient of a NJ State Arts Council Fellowship for photography, the Camera Club of NY residency, the Newark Museum Residency and was a core participant in Night School at the New Museum in 2008.  She participated in Emerge 7, Aljira, Newark, NJ in 2006 and AIM 29, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY in 2009. She is also co-founder, with Evonne M. Davis, of Gallery Aferro, a Newark, NJ alternative space.