To say that Jean Conners first museum exhibition is long overdue is an understatement. Belonging to a generation of Bay Area artists that solidified the idea of artist as alchemist, she has been active since the late 1950s, shortly after moving to San Francisco from the Midwest with her husband, conceptual artist Bruce Conner.
Photographs produced using this mobile darkroom for children capture mundane carefree scenes. The overall feeling of this poignant book is that children are not only inquisitive but resilient, even experimental, and that no matter the context, photography will always be magical.
A book of delicate autobiographical drawings tells the story of two lovers forced separation. The books 5.5 inch-square format complements the intimate nature of its captioned images, as holding the book in one hand and flipping its pages with the other feels like unfolding a note that has been passed in secret.
This takes the idea of an artwork that has gone from creation, to destruction, to reanimation as the premise for a book that offers a much-needed glimpse into the ecology of the Bay Area art scene. It presents a template for how documentation and analysis can be used to honor the regions idiosyncratic art making practices.
These photographs summon the ghosts of the Strait of Hormuz, alluding to the psychic energy that lies beneath the sediments of the arid islands. These are perceptive portraits of men and women who appear undeterred by the harshness of the environment and its various elements, outwardly confident in a centuries-old ability to weather such forces.