we like small things v.4

Juried by Oriana Koren


Filter Photo is pleased to announce we like small things v.4, an an exhibition of photographic work that is 10 x 10 inches or less, juried by Oriana Koren. There will be an opening reception, in conjunction with Collaborating with the Archive, on September 24th during the 2021 Filter Photo Festival.


How do we memorialize an event that is still ongoing?” ―Christina Sharpe 


Despite our fatigue, we find ourselves in what feels like a never-ending cycle of decay and crisis as we continue to navigate perhaps the most significantly deadly pandemic since the Spanish Flu of 1918, which lasted three years. As artists and as humans, we are constantly searching for meaning to our finite existence and, in moments of great uncertainty, the search for meaning seems even more important. 

All of the artists included in this year’s we like small things exhibition seem to echo the above sentiment posed by author Christina Sharpe, who sees the past as a position which we inhabit at all times.


That is to say, what is past isn’t restricted to the past, and that the past follows us into the present and the future, omniscient in the way we perceive deities to be omniscient. How do we make sense of how our lives have shifted in the last eighteen months? How do we parse through the loss of life? How do we, as artists, illustrate what it means for our species to survive mass death, mass hysteria, and potential impending disaster? We reach towards our past, we become archeologists, historians, and researchers as we unearth how those who came before found ways to give their lives — our collective existence — meaning in times of existential restructuring.


I found a common pattern amongst all the artists collected here: a majority used alternative photographic processes invented over a century ago to document their modern memories of this moment. From cyanotype prints, to collages of family heirloom photos and cut outs of images from magazines printed generations ago, to the ubiquitous but almost extinct technology of the instant polaroid print, these artists are in conversation with our past, helping us to see our present and future more clearly.


Oriana Koren, Juror's Statement

Image Credits: Dawn Surratt and Jade Thiraswas

Participating Artists

Oriana Koren is a photo-ethnographer, writer & researcher who has long been creating work and laboring for parity and inclusivity within the photography industry & community and within the larger scope of American history through their ethnographic work. Koren's work centers on the perspectives of people and communities with a history of colonization by reframing the image-making process through their personal research. Koren is a founding member of the Authority Collective, a co-author of the Photo Bill of Rights and the founder of the Lit List photo award.

This exhibition is partially sponsored by The Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Exhibition DatesSeptember 24 – October 30, 2021
Opening Reception: September 24, 6 - 9 pm CT
Timed entry: RSVP required
Location: Filter Space | 1821 W. Hubbard St., Ste. 207
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm | Saturday, 12 - 4 pm

Amber J.  Anderson
Constance Brinkley
Joan Lobis Brown
Derrick Burbul
Mike Callaghan
Michael Cordisco
Karla Nohely Salcedo Diaz
Michael Joseph
Diana Kelley
Prince Lang
Julie Lee
Nadine Levin
Donna Levreault
Kevin E Lyle

Jennifer Marion
Kathryn Morrison & Tyler Anthony
Elizabeth Pineda
Olivia Phare
Robert Rodriguez-Lawson
Rebecca Sittler
Traer Scott
Annmarie Suglio
Dawn Surratt
Jade Thiraswas
Ryan Van Der Hout
Anne Vetter
David Wong
Fengzhao Xu