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Filter Photo at Night: Women’s History Month

Whitney Bradshaw, Patty Carroll, Edyta Kielian, & Kathryn Rodrigues

Filter Photo is pleased to present Filter Photo at Night: Women’s History Month, a series of photography projections in downtown Chicago, featuring local artists Whitney Bradshaw, Patty Carroll, Edyta Kielian, and Kathryn Rodrigues. Projected in the windows of the former Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, this exhibition highlights four distinct projects that encompass a wide range of topics amplifying the voices of women artists working in Chicago.

In response to the alarming rollback of women’s rights, artist Whitney Bradshaw presents one hundred images from her celebrated photographic series, OUTCRY, portraying women engaging in unbridled self-expression at maximum volume as an act of defiance against patriarchal oppression. Since Bradshaw launched the OUTCRY project on the night of the 2018 Women’s March, the series has grown to more than four hundred portraits of women from all walks of life who have chosen to take a stand against a culture that too often dismisses women’s voices. Drawing from her background in social work, the artist invites small groups of women who are not previously acquainted with each other into her studio for “scream sessions,” where they can express emotions—ranging from rage to sorrow to laughter—in a safe, supportive, and healing environment designed to cultivate a spirit of feminist solidarity across different life experiences. The resulting photographic portraits challenge expectations around how women—and in particular, women’s anger—are portrayed in traditional portraiture and mainstream culture.

Patty Carroll is known for her use of highly intense, saturated color photographs since the 1970’s. After teaching photography for many years, Carroll enthusiastically returned to the studio delighting viewers with her playful critique of home and excess. Her ongoing project, Anonymous Women: Domestic Demise, is a series of studio installations made for the camera, addressing women and their complicated relationships with domestic life. In the still-life studio photographs (made on a full size “stage” set) that humorously comment on the mania of running and decorating a home, the objects take over and lead to mishaps and mayhem for the lone figure of a woman. Carroll grew up in suburban Chicago, which influenced the entire series and has remained the locus of her work ever since.

Edyta Kielian was born in Tarnow, Poland and moved to the US in 1995. For the project, My Fate in Someone Else's Hands, she invited people who had, or still have, the status of undocumented immigrants to be photographed. The artist met hundreds of immigrants, and draws on the experiences of her friends, family, and herself.  She has applied for permanent residency status three times and was refused twice. After waiting for over 20 years, she is no longer undocumented but hopes to draw attention to the challenges that undocumented people face. Speaking of her own experience, Kielian states, “I have chosen this country and I love living here. This is my home; my children were born here. America is the home I wanted for them. I truly respect and appreciate this country; however, immigration is not only a geographical change, it involves changes in all aspects of life - social, cultural, environmental, behavioral, and lifestyle, which causes trauma -- negatively impacting the mental well-being of immigrants. Nobody’s future is certain, but immigrants face extra uncertainties due to the hazy half-and-half status we hold between our home and adopted countries." 

Kathryn Rodrigues is an artist and educator. Being raised in a military family left her with a deep interest in identity, memory, domestic life, and the natural world. Her series, Homesick, explores the contrast between her transient, international childhood and current life in the suburbs, ideas of transcendence within a domestic setting, and her experience as a parent. Rodrigues began a series of self-portraits taken in her yard and around the exterior edges of her house. The artist explores the intersection of interior and exterior spaces, using her body as a cartographic tool for delineating and transgressing edges and boundaries. These images capture the dichotomy of liminal moments of freedom outdoors while also remaining restricted to her property, moments she spent alone but also in plain sight of her children and neighbors, longing for connection but also for the security of separation.

On View: March 1st - 31st, 2023

Location: 1 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL

Produced for Filter Photo by David M. Wong and Jeff Phillips; Projection Design and Implementation by Jeff Phillips and Melissa Simms.

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