Friday, February 13, 2009 - March 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009 - 7pm to 9pm
Wednesday - Saturday, 12 to 6pm
Civilian presents twenty-five photographs by Christopher Sims depicting everyday life at the naval base and joint detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. It took Sims nearly three years to gain access to the base, which can be visited by civilians determined and patient enough to find the right channels to gain entry. A condition of his visit was that he was only permitted to shoot digital images, not negative film. Upon leaving the base, his work was inspected by military personnel and, with the exception of a few images, was deemed acceptable.
Shot in 2006, the images will be on view in the United States for the first time in this exhibition at Civilian. Unpopulated and lacking an overt political message, this work reveals a much-talked-about (but rarely seen) landscape as an outpost of the American commonplace: fast food restaurants and parking lots, prison cells, playgrounds, and cul-de-sacs. The subtle strength and candor of this work provides a counterpoint to passionate rhetoric about this infamous military base, yet adds its voice to the on-going debate about American values in a time of war and transition.
Sims received his BA in history from Duke University in 1995. He completed an MA in visual communication at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill in 2003. He completed his MFA in studio art at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD in 2008. His work has been exhibited at the Houston Center for Photography; Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC; the Center for the American South at UNC, Chapel Hill; and the Decker Gallery at MICA. He is currently teaching at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
Curated by Amanda Maddox & Jayme McLellan
For more information or high-resolution images, please contact the gallery.
Co-curator Amanda Maddox is assistant curator of photography and media arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. A former curatorial intern at MASS MoCA and photo conservation intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she has worked on a number of exhibitions. Most recently, she curated the group show Known Unknowns for Washington Project for the Arts. She received a B.A. in English Literature from Brown University and an MPhil in the History of Photography from University of St Andrews in Scotland.
Opening Reception: Friday, February 13, 2009 from 7pm - 9pm
Civilian presents twenty-five photographs by Christopher Sims depicting everyday life at the naval base and joint detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Shot in 2006, the images will be on view in the United States for the first time in this exhibition at Civilian. Curated by Amanda Maddox & Jayme McLellan.