Perspectives 2012: Anna Shteynshleyger: International Center of Photography

Perspectives 2012: Anna Shteynshleyger, Greg Girard, Chien-Chi Chang | International Center of Photography.

What an exhibition! I am very glad that I got to saw this- especially the work of Anna Shteynshleyger with her work ‘City of Destiny’. Born in 1977 and studied Master of Fine Arts at Yale University Shteynshleyger has a passion for her photography. In this body of work, she admits it’s a personal collection; however, this is at her discretion and purposefully curated her work so that the viewer would not have a preconceived idea, rather to make their own conclusion with the narrative she is trying to communicate.

Perspectives is an exhibition series that focuses on emerging young artists working in photography and video. The small group exhibitions in the series are nonthematic, highlighting the individual ideas and achievements of an engaging and eclectic group of new faces. Those presented within Perspectives have not been widely exhibited, inspiring conversations on contemporary art, broadening ICP’s audience, and revealing work that may otherwise not be seen outside of a small gallery setting. Above all, Perspectives will highlight global contemporary artists who have not yet been shown in New York, and who may not conventionally be considered photographers. ICP Curator Christopher Phillips organized this second exhibition in the series, which includes work by Chien-Chi Chang, Greg Girard, and Anna Shteynshleyger.

City of Destiny (Picnic)  Anna Shteynshleyger 2008

I was not permitted to photograph any of the work on the wall, so, unless you go before it closes I will have to try and describe it. Shteynshleyger’s work was in the second sort of room to the exhibition: the walls are all white, there is a hardwood flooring. There are not any benches. The space she used was approximately 10-12m wide and 30m or so long. You walk in so that the length of the room spreads out down the left so the shortest wall is on your right where there is a short description of the photographer and the works presented. Immediately left to this was three photographs, all different sizes but around 2m by 1.5m and all in colour. The triptych was a set of portraits of a child, a young couple and an older couple expecting a child. I can’t quite describe exactly what they looked like although there are some images of the works online HERE. However, to me, this short narrative somewhat depicts how we go through a cycle of youth, meeting and courting to creating new life once again. On the long edge of the wall to the left of the space was another diptych: the photographs were much larger however they were devoid of human presence, yet, it told the same story. With garden furniture for the childhood and then an elderly couple’s back garden followed by a nest. They were named Backyard, 2006 ; Picnic, 2008; Nest, 2007.

On the other end of the room was what was to me a death. On the left there was a photograph of carnations placed on a table and looking a little past; carnations are a symbol of death. In this series there was also ‘Mother’s Room, 2002’ which was an empty room with a light on, obviously taken at night. I thought that with it being night time, it symbolises the end of the day and the light signifies maybe a heaven or ‘better place’.

However, like the photographer says; we may take what we wish from the set of photographs.

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