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Antioch College’s Herndon Gallery opens Disappearing Acts

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio—Sept 5, 2014— The Herndon Gallery at Antioch College presents Disappearing Acts, an official 2014 FOTOFOCUS Biennial exhibition venue, opening September 5, 2014 and running through November 14, 2014.  Co-curated by Charles Fairbanks and Jennifer Wenker, Disappearing Acts brings together for the first time the works of filmmaker Basma Alsharif (Palestine/USA) and photographer Eric William Carroll (USA).  Alsharif and Carroll use filmmaking and photography less to represent the world than to perform absence and reify nostalgia.  Disappearing Acts are photographic performances of the human psyche, collective memories captured on film and developed in a darkroom.

On Friday, September 12, 2014, 7-9pm, an opening reception, screening, and auto-hypnosis performance by Basma Alsharif will be held in the gallery.  An artist talk/reception with Eric William Carroll will be held in the gallery on Friday, October 23, 2014, 7-9pm.  A diazotype process workshop will be held with Carroll on Saturday, October 24, 2014, 9am-5pm in Glen Helen Nature Preserve.  All events are free and open to the public.

“Disappearing Acts temporarily suspends what cannot be captured: the essence of fleeting, slipping, and the liquidity of time passing,” writes co-curator, Jennifer Wenker.  “ It is of both languid and shutter-quick moments, movements, and memory blurred, jarred and less certain; that of placelessness and shifting.”  

For photographer Carroll, who makes work with diazotypes (an obsolete architectural blueprint paper technology that produces gorgeous ephemeral images, but which are non-archival) the impulse in making work is conflicted and requires negotiation.  Carroll says during his weeklong residency at Antioch/Glen Helen, “ I keep coming back to opposites–light and shadow, absence and presence, the archival impulse (of a photographer) and the act of letting things go.  My favorite place to be in the world is outside in the woods–but so much of my artistic practice is literally spent in dark, windowless rooms.  I’m constantly trying to reconcile.”  

A constructed 12’ x 13’ darkroom replete with a futuristic/obsolete revolving darkroom door sits empty within the gallery space with only the ghosts of it’s past present within: floor to ceiling photograms of once-requisite (now unnecessary) darkroom equipment: enlargers, wire racks, chemicals, pans, tubes.  Co-curator, Charles Fairbanks writes, “Eric William Carroll’s photography mulls over loss: from the disappearance of darkrooms to the evanescence of shadows in a forest. But Carroll’s work doesn’t dwell in nostalgia so much as deploy it. This Darkroom’s Gone to Heaven is an elegy of obsolescence sung by obsolete technology: a recursive absurdity that captures our contradictory relationships to media.”

“Basma shares Carroll’s aesthetic of temporaneousness and nostalgia, “ Wenker writes, “Her dizzingly-layered, overlapping voice/translation/text/moving images woven throughout her 16mm films viscerally pull the viewer into a placeless uncertainty of nomadic timelessness and disorientation.”

Fairbanks writes, “Basma Alsharif’s installations hide more than they reveal: fragmented stories are conveyed across media, in multiple languages. Born to Palestinian parents and raised on three continents, hers is an aesthetic of exile, ruptured space and memory, longing for others. Rather than suggesting (as many have) that the act of recording hampers unmediated experience, this artist posits filmmaking as hypnosis, trance and travel, a way to other possible worlds.

About the artists:
Eric William Carroll is an artist exploring photography in all its forms. By reenacting photography’s cultural and technological history, he aims to reveal the medium’s elementary characteristics and metaphorical potential, as well as our expectations and desires for the art form. “I’m interested in blurring the line between nature and technology.  The obsolution of older technologies is what moves the man-made closer to the realm of nature.  That’s what attracts me.  Essentially, all of this work is about time. I’m interested in how we feel when things don’t last as long as we want them.  It’s a strange mixture of nostalgia, sadness and beauty.”

Born and raised in the Midwest, Carroll has bounced between New York and San Francisco and currently teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. His work has been exhibited widely, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Camera Club of New York, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and SF Camerawork. Carroll has participated in residencies with the MacDowell Colony, Rayko Photo Center and the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary, and was the winner of the 2012 Baum Award for Emerging Photographers. He is represented by Highlight Gallery in San Francisco.

Basma Alsharif is a nomadic artist/filmmaker born to Palestinian parents in Kuwait, raised in France and later in the United States.  She has lived and worked nomadically all her life, and since receiving her MFA in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Chicago, she has integrated her nomadic experience into her artistic practice living in Cairo, Beirut, Sharjah, Amman and Paris. Basma is an artist/filmmaker working between cinema and installation whose work is informed by a fascination with the human condition as it relates to the subjective experience of political landscapes, history, and the natural world.

Basma’s works have shown in solo exhibitions, biennials, and film festivals internationally including YIDFF, the Jerusalem Show, TIFF, the Berlinale, Videobrasil, and Manifesta 8. She won a Jury Prize at the 9th Sharjah Biennial, received the Marion McMahon Award at the Images Festival in Toronto, and was a guest of the Flaherty Film Seminar in upstate New York. Basma is represented by Galerie Imane Fares in Paris France and her works are distributed by Video Data Bank. She will be a resident of the Pavillon at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris from November 2014 - June 2015.

Herndon Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1:00-4:00pm.  The gallery is closed during the Antioch College quarter break, September 21-29, 2014.  For more information, contact Jennifer Wenker, creative director of the Herndon Gallery at or 937-319-0114.  Additional information may be found at and



About Antioch College
Antioch College is a small, liberal arts institution located on a historical campus in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The College has an inspiring mission and a proud history of educating leaders and contributors to our society, including Nobel Laureates, Fulbright Scholars, MacArthur Fellows, notables in arts and culture, the sciences, the public sector, and business. Our innovative baccalaureate program integrates rigorous classroom learning with full-time work and community engagement. Commitments to social justice, sustainability, and global issues are important components of the Antioch College experience. A low student–faculty ratio provides Antioch College students with personal attention from professors who have a strong commitment to teaching. Originally founded in 1850, Antioch College is authorized by the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents to grant the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.