Exposing the Archive:

Newspace Center for Photography and the Oregon Historical Society Research Library (OHS) are pleased to announce the selection a project by collaborating artists Briana Cerezo, Ross Lee Chappell and Jennifer Rabin for residency and exhibition in our institutions’ joint Exposing the Archive program.

In fall 2016 Newspace and OHS announced an open call for projects by Oregon artists employing image-based practices that critically examine issues pertinent to Oregon, with a focus on collective histories, identity formation, and the politics of place. The selected project will be developed in residence at Newspace’s facilities and the OHS Research Library from January to September 2017 and will receive funds to cover research, production and artist fees supported by the Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights Grant Program. An exhibition and series of local and traveling public programs will follow in October and November of 2017.

About the Selected Project:

Briana Cerezo, Ross Lee Chappell, and Jennifer Rabin are artists-in-residence at the Oregon Historical Society and Newspace working on a collaborative project that seeks to explore how place, history, and story—which all converge in OHS’s archives—affect individual and collective identities. The artists are specifically looking at the ways that the archives have included and excluded different communities. Whose history is being recorded and whose is being erased? Whose is represented and whose is misrepresented? Which communities are attempting to tell the stories of others and which communities are largely self-representing?

In a time when hatred, xenophobia, and bigotry have been given a national platform, sharing stories is a way that we convey who we are and what matters to us. It is how we maintain culture, pass down history, and push back against the forces that marginalize. Story is survival. And we are looking at how the archives keep the stories of Oregonians.

The artists are making portraits of Oregonians across the state and listening to them talk about why sharing stories matters, when they feel seen and unseen, and who they want to tell and keep their stories.

About the Artists:

Briana Cerezo is a photographer who makes portraits as a way to dive deeper into the world she lives in and to understand the nature of the human experience. She strives to create a safe environment for the people she photographs in which barriers can be broken down and truth can be allowed to surface.

Ross Lee Chappell is a creative writer, conceptual artist, and theater artist. His experience with physical disability has encouraged his longstanding explorations into compassion and otherness.

Jennifer Rabin is a writer, an arts writer, an artist, and an arts activist. Her writing has appeared in The Sun, Harvard Review, Visual Art Source, Hyperallergic, Oregon Humanities, Willamette Week, and The Rumpus. Her visual art has been shown in Oregon and South Carolina. She is the founder of ArtPassportPDX.

About the Collaborating Institutions:

Newspace Center for Photography connects and inspires people by offering an accessible place to create, learn, and engage in the evolution of the image. Newspace’s exhibition program explores the image’s unique position to reflect, communicate, teach, propose, and challenge the state of our culture and surroundings.
1632 SE 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 | 503.963.1935

Oregon Historical Society serves as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all.
12009 SW Park Ave, Portland OR 97207 | 503.306.5207

For press inquiries please contact Yaelle Amir at curator@newspacephoto.org

Image: Vintage researchers. Photo file #821-B-9, negative #13188 Courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society.