I’s Closed , I’s Opened: The Inner Self
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
Apr. 23, 2017, 05:00 am
Berghash’s I’s Closed, I’s Opened: The Inner Self challenges the notion that it is the photographer rather than the subject who determines the success of a photographic production by selecting the moment when the subject’s character or personality is fully revealed. By presenting his participants with questions that explore their history and their psyche, Berghash focuses revealing the inner self.
I’s Opened, I’s Closed: The Inner Self is a series of head and shoulder photographic diptychs, each one accompanied by a Haiku-like poem. In creating each portrait the subjects are requested to think about their inner life. The first image is with eyes closed, the second image with eyes open. After the photo session the subject wrote down his or her thoughts and feelings. From these, Berghash and his wife Rachel, a poet, composed a Haiku-like poem for each subject. Berghash’s intention in making these portraits is to record aspects of a person’s true inner self.
In an article for Art F City in 2016, Rom Vaughan said, “Whether Berghash succeeds in truthfully plumbing his subjects’ minds is known for certain only by them; but there is no doubt that he strikes to the core of the precept that photography is significantly related to memory. Photographs are often saved simply because they revive the past. Berghash has pushed the process of reviving the past to its most extreme and nearly un-photographable point by producing work that is the manifestation of memory, not just an instrument of recollection.”
Livia Straus, Director of HVCCA spoke of Berghash’s work saying, “His combination of words and images create a powerful confessional mode that both reveals and hides. His other Authentic Self projects such as ‘Twin Selves’, ‘Galut’, and portraits of Holocaust survivors explored the different aspects of personality that we reveal in public and that, born of hidden desires, that remains unseen.”
Among other institutions, Berghash’s work is included in collections of and has been exhibited at The California Museum of Photography, Riverside; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio; Franklin Furnace Archive, NYC; International Center of Photography, NYC; International Polaroid Collection; the Jewish Museum; NYC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; MOMA NYC; Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel; and Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art.
As part of his exhibition at HVCCA, Mark Berghash will be photographing subjects, especially first and second- generation immigrants from the Peekskill community on April 1-2, 2017. Photographs taken for this project will be hung with exhibition of I’s Opened I’s Closed photographs.
The Berghash opening will follow VIEWFINDER, a new play by Donna Barkman, directed by Mara Mills.