October 3 – December 14, 2018
Wednesday, October 3, 6-8pm
Pratt Institute Photography Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work by Allen Frame, Pratt Adjunct Professor of Photography, curated by Lia Gangitano, Director of Participant Inc. Three new photographic installations made in Rome are presented with previous photographs made in Florence twenty years ago, as well as one of Frame’s earliest Super 8 films. Revisiting a practice he began around 1990 in which photographs from his own archive were combined with found photographs, Frame’s recent wall compositions emanate from discrete photographic collections found in thrift stores, interspersed with found drawings, paintings, objects, and text, at times combined with photographs made by the artist. Frame is the recipient of the Abigail Cohen Rome Prize in Visual Arts from the American Academy in Rome in 2017/18.
In new large-scale pieces, Frame explores personal narratives imbedded in found images and adds to them in different ways, from interjecting literary texts, with Ennio (2018); to bringing a set of photos from the 1950s into the present by photographing people who may or may not be the same characters today, with Two Sisters in Rome (2018). Ennio assembles over fifty pictures of one family in Italy in the late 1930s, centered on the oldest brother, an air force pilot, his sister, and a man with whom they both appear close. Interspersed among them are text excerpts, written by hand, from the Italian translation of William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom, which tells the story of a brother and sister during the 1860s in Mississippi, and a stranger from New Orleans with whom they are both in love—tying together the Italian Mussolini-era family pictures and the Faulkner Civil-War characters with the presence of a romantic triangle. Ennio is accompanied by a series of seven recently printed portraits by Frame from negatives found with the photographs. Frame has noted: “In this piece and others made over the last year, there is a relationship between a sprawling, epic form and an intimate, personal narrative.” The inclusion of Frame’s early Super 8 film portrait of his childhood friend Barry, made in Mississippi when they were 19, creates another connection between Faulkner’s homoerotic Southern narrative and Frame’s Ennio.