There’s no way to distinguish how many years passed make a specific time period history. In “Present Histories Redefined,” history lies within the last two calendar years. The photographs of Feda Eid, Jonathan Mark Jackson and Joanna Tam document the everchanging stories of the present, focusing on marginalized voices. Curated by Jessica Burko, photography as “Power Art” is showcased at Lesley University’s VanDernoot Gallery by the Photographic Research Center.
Feda Eid’s photography brings an immediate sense of familiarity, depicting a recognizable setting. Although her artist statement reveals the setting, the captions beside the photographs don’t disclose the location. That familiar place is behind-the-ropes, so to speak, of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. As a luminary of the museum, Eid was granted access to use the museum in an intimate manner for her “Reflected” series. The photographs are a “visual story of the past and present that sheds light on the importance in museum spaces, spaces that often exclude the stories, faces and bodies of marginalized communities, Black, Indigenous, and people of color.” In the series, each photograph of the featured diverse millennials among the artwork is titled by the respective individual’s name. In “Reflected, Paloma,” 2019, archival print, “Paloma” and the viewers are confronted with a mirror — Paloma, in a blue floral crown, looks away from the mirror and her reflection; the viewer sees Paloma as well as her reflection.