If you really think about it, the fact that so many of us are able to live and thrive in the desert is pretty counter-intuitive -- if not completely insane. At some point or another, we've all wondered what in the world we are doing here.
In a group exhibition opening Friday, July 19, at Modified Arts, five local photographers grapple with this very question in an attempt to explore the pervasive desire to connect with the sometimes hostile environment. Curated by William LeGoullon, "What Are We Doing Here?" was conceived as a means of interrogating our collective definition of this place we call home: the desert.
See also: Christopher Coville's "Works of Fire" at Bokeh Gallery is a Testament to Photographic Experimentation Scottsdale 6 Drive-in Theater Closes; is Featured in Upcoming Exhibition by William LeGoullon Phoenix Creatives Form Self-Publishing Group Hermitag/e
This isn't LeGoullon's first rodeo. In addition to exhibiting his photography both locally and nationally, he has curated two exhibitions prior to this one (at MonOrchid Gallery and Shemer Art Center and Museum). But for this show, LeGoullon says he specifically sought artists whom he had not worked with as a curator before.
"I'm continually looking at patterns in photography, brainstorming curatorial concepts, and trying to be as aware as possible of work being made that is closely related to my own," he says.
In addition to LeGoullon's own work, "What Are We Doing Here?" features the work of David Michael Cook, Christopher Colville, Richard Laugharn, and David Shannon-Lier.
"The photographers in the show all have conscious and subconscious relationships to one another both conceptually and aesthetically," says LeGoullon. "I share common theories and approaches to photography with these guys, which is inspiring because it gave me more of a justified reason to include my own work as part of the exhibition."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
When asked about the connections between working as a photographer and curator, LeGoullon says he is still exploring:
"Curation is still new to me, so I'm still trying to determine where and how it fits within my own work. Sometimes the lines cross and worlds intersect. This exhibition blends ideas that thread through my own work, so in this case, this show definitely crosses over. But I'm sure it's not always going to be that way. I enjoy supporting and promoting the works of fellow artists as much as I enjoy exhibiting my own work. So in the end, I'm mostly interested in creating vibrations within our arts community."
"What Are We Doing Here?" opens at Modified Arts this Friday, July 19 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.. The show will remain on view through August 10, with a closing reception on Friday, August 2. For more information, visit the event page.