Laurie Toby Edison

Photographer

Sharing The Walls

Laurie says:

I posted here about my work in LGBT: Our Common Wealth, an exhibit currently at the Commonwealth Club Gallery in San Francisco that runs through September 19th. It was curated by Pam Peniston.

I wanted to also post about the work of some of the other artists who shared this beautiful exhibition.  They include Kim Anno, Lenore Chinn, Tina Takemoto, Bren Ahearn, Jeremy Sanders, Indira Allegra, and Preston Gannaway

Tina Takemoto has an impressive small installation from her Looking for Jiro Onuma project

Looking for Jiro Onuma explores the hidden dimensions of queer sexuality during the incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II. Jiro Onuma immigrated to the U.S. from Japan in the 1920s at age 19, and he was imprisoned in Central Utah during WWII. Jiro worked in the prison mess hall and liked muscular men. He was also an avid collector of homoerotic male physique magazines. This project tries to imagine how Jiro Onuma survived the isolation, boredom, humiliation, and heteronormativity of imprisonment as a dandy gay bachelor from San Francisco.

The Japanese word “gaman” means enduring the unbearable with patience and dignity and the “art of gaman” refers to artworks produced in the prison camps using found materials. Gentleman’s Gaman reengages the craft practices established during incarceration and infuses them with a queer sensibility.

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Gentleman’s Gaman: Tarpaper Portrait of Jiro Onuma and Friends

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And work from Kim Anno’s stunning Water Cities series

I am interacting with science, performing hydrodynamic experiments in tanks, creeks, rivers, oceans, and various other bodies of water. Sometimes I stage the photographs both as a puppet master and a director, other times I use underwater equipment to record water light, and animal and human phenomena as it interacts with the camera. I use a tapestry of sound elements as a tool of commentary.

Over the past four years I am involved with making multi-media public art works that are collaborations with actors and composers. In the great outdoors, I am working with new digital cinematography and its interaction with sound in strange, abstract as well as familiar ways.

Currently, I am making a work: Men and Women in Water Cities. This work is in progress, and involves actors, and filming people in predicaments underwater. The work is inspired by Robert Longo’s paintings: Men in Cities, but takes off in unexpected directions. The most recent chapter, Water City: Berkeley, is completed as of 2014.

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And Lenore Chinn‘s powerful portrait Before The Wedding.

… For the painting of Kim and Ellen, I had actually been toying with the idea that it would be kind of nice to do an image of women. I like the idea of doing an image of two women who had very different personalities, and whose appearance was also very different. They also come from different ethnic cultural backgrounds. Kim is of mixed ethnicity, part Asian, part Native American, and I believe Polish as well. And Ellen comes from a Jewish background. So what I wanted to do was something that incorporated their background and their interests. This is the way I approach all of my paintings of figures, but particularly if I’m doing something that is thematically about a relationship or partnership. I like to see if I can incorporate a variety of these different elements and bring it into a cohesive design… “

“We decided to set the stage for this project in Kim Anno’s studio over in Oakland. We talked about things that might be included as design elements, props if you will, that would fit the bill for what we had in mind. And so in a way it was somewhat of a collaborative effort, even though I was staging the things that we decided to use. I said I would like to have Kim’s artwork in the background, and she had some very interesting works on paper which we could include, and I told her that I also recalled seeing a Chinese screen in her studio, and liked the idea of incorporating that somehow. And then the rest were things that we had thrown together as we were going through their home, before we got to the studio.”

“We spontaneously set things up, moved things around, and tried out different things. We had candles which included a couple of metal candlestick holders æ like little winged angels æ and we thought metaphorically they would be really good to include because they stood for their relationship. We had a lot of texture and light. We had had a fan, but it didn’t work very well, because it blew out the candles! So that’s how that painting came to the surface. – from a video interview Rudy Lemcke
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I’m delighted to be in an exhibition in my home city with such fine work.

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Laurie Toby Edison by Carol Squires

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