In 1972, curious about the problem of identity, Melissa Shook began an ambitious project of photographing herself everyday for a year. The sum of this impressive undertaking resulted in a compelling set of intimately scaled black and white photographs that range from the artist performing for the camera, to the camera describing the physicality of her being. These early influential photographs will be complimented with a selection of recent daily photographs from 2014-15 that combine individual text entries with a self-portrait image; both text and image act as a diary, reflecting upon the complexities of the human condition. Along with her daily portraits, the gallery will be exhibiting a collection of her extended portraits of her daughter Krissy in her teen years, and a compilation of her video pieces. The exhibition in its entirety explores notions of change and aging, as well as photography’s ability to form an extended document to reveal these qualities.
A photographer, video artist, and writer, Melissa Shook has taught photography at the Creative Photography Lab, at MIT and at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Shook’s photographs have been exhibited in numerous solo and prestigious group exhibitions, including: Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography (MOMA 2010) and Photography in Boston 1955-1985 (Decordova Museum). Among her awards are a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Fellowship, an Arts in Action Grant and a Polaroid Foundation Grant.
Her photographs are in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Center for Creative Photography, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bibliotheque Nationale, Fotografiska Museet, Moderna Museet, among others.
February 18 – March 31, 2017