In Construct of Viewpoint, the latest series by Pittsburgh artist Hannah Altman, one finds the separations between maker and made reconfigured and put completely back into the author's own hands. In part a comment on the erasure of women's identity as attached to the singular garments of the past which all bore the unique stamp and style of the hands that made them, and that, once entering the impersonal market, would become but a commodity detached of these personal voices, Hannah finds a powerful entry point for her own approach to self portraiture, with every step of the creative process the pieces are in Altman's control, she wields the lens, she is her own image and the documentation of it, the separations between maker and made disappear and the full, free voice tells its own story on its own terms.
One finds pillows with Hannah's image entitled sex object, the first with an exclamation point, the second with a question mark. This does not seem accidental but a precise and well measured method of enunciation, sex object! (a shout of one's condition in a predatory society bent on reducing woman's complexity to objectification, then - sex object? becoming a question mark when the object is reclaimed and remade from a distance that has been abolished by an artist in command of her representation.)
We still live in a world where this work needs to be done, a world that still all too readily wants to erase female identity from the things that they make, the words that they write, the stories that they tell, their own image, here the past does not merely inform the present, it is also still very much embedded in our own cultural "now."
In her effort to "relentlessly insert herself into her own work" Hannah Altman not only tells her own story on her own terms, she tells a universal story, she makes alive voices of the past and brings that past to bear on the present, and a promise to bear on the future, which, sadly, is still very much up for grabs.
Construct Of Viewpoint is a timely call to the world we are now in, after all the title speaks to what it might mean to make in full control, to construct and cultivate one's own body, space, world, words, art and meaning unencumbered of erasure. All those hands of the past embroidering their lives onto the made form only to have their histories erased, their voices muted. This fall is a chance to enter a gallery space where, if one listens and looks hard enough, they will find a past come alive in a now filled with promise.
Hannah Altman's Construct Of Viewpoint will be on display at Junior High! gallery in Los Angeles, opening reception on October 20, from 7:00pm 10:00pm. You can find out more by visiting www.welcometojuniorhigh.com/calendar/2017/10/20/construct-of-viewpoint
Visit Altman's website @ www.hannahaltmanphoto.com/
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.