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CON(TRA) EL ARCHIVO

Arlene Mejorado, Irene Antonia Diane Reece, & William Camargo
Curated by Alexa Ramirez Posada

Opening Reception: November 1st | 6 – 9 PM 
Exhibition Dates: November 1st – December 20th, 2024

Image © William Camargo


Filter Photo is pleased to present, Con(tra) El Archivo, a three-person exhibition of work by Arlene Mejorado, Irene Antonia Diane Reece, & William Camargo, curated by Alexa Ramirez Posada.

 

All too often, we think of “the archive” as an objective truth, scribed by an all-knowing watchman, noting all that takes place in the annals of history. This romanticization of the archive has done nothing but rob the people of a chance to realize the historically oppressive hands behind the institutional archive. The gaps in the history of Black and Brown people beg the question: Who has the right to archive and who has been stripped of the content of which to archive? How do institutions of knowledge and culture promote the erasure of Black and Brown bodies and memory? What role does photography play in the archive, and how can it be used as a tool for (re)gaining historical agency?

 

Con(tra) el Archivo seeks to to crack these questions open through the work of three contemporary artists and photographers from the Latine diaspora who continuously face the voids within the archive through their work. Not only do these artists face these voids, but they also work with them as source material—stretching, melding, and fusing personal with canonized histories. Arlene Mejorado, Irene Antonia Diane Reece, and William Camargo push us to reconsider the scope of a camera lens and imagine a world without an objective view-finder.

About the Artists & Curator


Arlene Mejorado is a lens-based artist from Los Angeles working with analog and digital photography, 16mm film, video, archives, zines, and mixed-media installations. Informed by her upbringing in a migrant household, Mejorado is interested in repair work, countering erasure and mending fragments in personal, collective, diasporic, and migration experiences within stories and narratives. She has been awarded the Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellowship, Aperture Creator’s Lab, the DocX fellowship with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the Performance Lab at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, the NALAC artist grant, and the Lucie Foundation Independent Book Award. Her work has been shown at Vielmetter, Charlie James Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego, USC Roski Mateo Gallery, Culver Center of the Arts, New Wight Gallery, and the International Center of Photography. Her photography has been published in Vogue, Teen Vogue, The Atlantic, The California Sunday Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.F.A. in Visual Arts from The University of California in San Diego. 


Born and raised in Houston, TX, Irene Antonia Diane Reece identifies as a contemporary artist and visual activist. She has an MFA in Photography and Image-making (Paris, France) and a BFA in Photography and Digital Media (Houston, TX). With a background in photography and image-making, Reece's journey through lens-based work has transformed her art practice to become critical of the tools that we use to create art in an effort to decentralize whiteness, engage and deconstruct the violence of the camera, protect Black archives, and centralize and celebrate the complexities of Black identities. She has had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Museum and Project Row House in Houston, TX. Her work has been featured in NYT, Vogue, Art Papers, OVER Journal, Lenscratch, FOAM Magazine & The Photographer’s Green Book, and she has made contributions to ProPublica and the You Are Your Best Thing Anthology by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown.


William Camargo is a photo-based artist and educator born and raised in Anaheim, California. He is a lecturer in photography at UCSD, CSUF, and PCC. William is the founder and curator of Latinx Diaspora Archives, an archive Instagram page that elevates communities of color through family photos. His work focuses on gentrification, police violence, and Chicanx/Latinx histories. William has residencies at the Latinx Project at NYU, Light Work,  TILT Institute in Philadelphia, Center for Photography at Woodstock, and Penumbra Foundation in NYC. William’s works are in several public and private collections, including S.F MOMA Library, Huntington Library, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Harvard Library, and LACMA.


Alexa Ramíres Posada was born in 1999 in Mexico City, surrounded by artwork made by her Abuelo Chavo in her small home. She moved to Chicago in 2008, where she first encountered the feeling of nostalgia in being away from home, and found solace in art museums. Her interest in curating as a profession began after receiving the Mellon Undergrad Curatorial Fellowship at LACMA in 2021 while finishing her BA at Pomona College, where she majored in Studio Art and minored in both Media Studies & Chicanx-Latinx Studies. After studying in the Decorative Arts and Design department, she knew she wanted to combine her disciplines to build her own curatorial and art historical practice. She is most interested in exploring the bounds of modern and contemporary Latinx avant-garde. She sees curating as an extension of her artistic practice, where she aims to utilize institutional history to center decolonization, queerness, and anti-power liberation. As a curator, she hopes to be able to bend the boundaries and hierarchies between spectator and spectacle.

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