rebecca copper

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INTER/INTRA (2023) is an exhibition that examines the dependencies between human and non-human living beings. Communicated throughout the work on view is the mundane dependency that humans have on animals, plants, and other living matter, but also how these forms of life are dependent on humans. The artists’ works simultaneously strip that mundanity through emphasizing the deeply tangible, intrinsic relationships all persons share with the natural world. Each artist approaches the theme of the exhibition in striking contrast, highlighting personal entry points to interspecies connection.

artistic research, curatorial project, art exhibition, curatorial resident

artists featured: Rachael Anderson, Ruth Burke, Lucía Monge

Wave Pool Gallery, Cincinnati Ohio
with support from maria seda-reeder and Milo Whitson

Photo credit(s): by the artist and Wave Pool Gallery, taken by Elan 

Waterways (of Ohio)
Waterways (of Ohio) is a lens-based, socially engaged project that explores different ways to know, look deeply at, and form social relationships with the non-human life of local rivers, creeks, and waterways. I explore the sociality of lens-based practices: how the camera can encourage connection and relationship building. When I engage the body of water, I contemplate what it is I am exchanging with it. While photographs sometimes result, I don’t always bring the camera. I compare what I experience by the waters with what I read in books, and how the River(s) are named and traced on maps. My understanding of these waterways requires my returning again and again over time.

lens-based & socially engaged  
photography, dialogical art, process-based, artistic research, 

Ohio River, Olentangy River, Clear Creek

Funded by the Greater Columbus Arts Council
Thank you GCAC!

I explore different photographic processes considering the social and extractive thresholds of the camera. I’m interested in the flattening of time and space into two-dimensional representations by desires to hold, keep, or preserve. More specifically, I experiment with the slowness of analogue photography, preferring the tangible process. I eschew complete control over the image, threatening openness, surprise, and instability.

artistic research, process-based

Single Parent Archive
Single Parent Archive is an archive that centers the multiplicity of experience connected to single parenting, or caring for a dependent on one’s own. Co-founded with Marti Clemmons, the Single Parent Archive intersects identity, care/care labor value, and archival/preservation practices. 

As of current, the Single Parent Archive is still in the midst of structural development and has acquired a small collection. The collection contains poetic narratives, photography, interviews, scanned recipes, illustrations, and more. The philosophy of the archive is to investigate alternative practices of archiving; to inquire and refuse the “capturing” of objects/stories/experiences from communities; to find regenerative aspects of preservation.

For more information

socially engaged
archives, parenting, lens-based, preservation, dialogical

collaborators: Marti Clemmons, Shelbie Loomis, Peter Freeman, Aisling Dunn, Amy Schuessler, Gilah Tennenbaum,  Pat Young, Katharine English, Cindy Cumfer

A video triptych; distorted images overlap panning photographs, still film negatives, and Sony handycam footage.  Four audio layers track the visualizations.  

moving image
short film, photography, video, audio

Duration: 5min 5secs

NY Diary Film Festival 2022, 
Bushwick, NY

Colonial Hills;
Suburb Study, Auditing Ohio, World of Colonial Hills

Colonial Hills is a collection of site specific art projects that interrogate my relationship to an American suburb, Colonial Hills. The work includes photography, narrative writing, and socially engaged works such as textbook auditing and dialogical art. For more information

site-specific artwork
socially engaged, photography, dialogical, 
personal narrative, interviews, textbook audits

collaborators: Minus Plato, Kevin Acton, 4th grade students: Idil, Jesusia, Griffin, Timothée, Adwoa, Okbahgzhi, Eva, Adrian, Evalynn, Chris, Kyad, Gavin, Augusta, Ben, Jordan, Will, Sam, Fadumo, Colin, Greta, Sharon, Shai, Sylvia, Scout, Pranish, Kennedy, Jesse

The Letter “U”
I worked with Laura Glazer and Lisa Jarrett to organize a workshop with Wendy Ewald for Portland State University’s Art and Social Practice MFA program. Wendy led a multi-day workshop discussing her collaborative processes. Based on one of Wendy’s projects with Katy Homans and educators in Tanzania, the MFA cohort created a photographic alphabet about the Martin Luther King Elementary School, where the King School Museum of Contemporary Art (KSMoCA) is located. Photographs were taken to represent the letter “U” for the word “Useful”. The images were created in collaboration with artists Laura Glazer and Shelbie Loomis, and two elementary students. After showing our student collaborators how my camera worked, the students composed the image for “U’. They chose to demonstrate how a trash can is useful. 
socially engaged , collaborative photography
workshop, photography, alphabet, dialogical

collaborators: Laura Glazer, Lisa Jarrett, Shelbie Loomis, Wendy Ewald, students of KSMoCA

Gatherade Stand (Nettle Soda Documentation)
Artist Gili Rappaport facilitated a socially-engaged artwork with students of the Martin Luther King School Elementary titled, The Gatherade Stand. There were several components to their social artwork such as poetry writing, music making, and creating a nettle soda emblazoned with the well-known Gatorade symbol. The Gatorade symbolism was a pop gesture, a throwback to the work of Corita Kent. I collaborated with the students to document the freshly canned soda, materials to make the soda, and their signage. The images were captured on an SX-70 Polaroid Land camera. Students naturally grew interested in the function of the camera.

collaborative photography
dialogical, process-based

collaborators: Gili Rappaport, 5th grade students: Aden, Ana, Bella, Caeden, Caterina, Chanel, Fatina, Matthew, Mo, Penelope, Rehema, Romelia, Romero, Serena, Taylor, Timmy, Zayair

Rachael SX 702020-2021During isolation and uncertainty of Covid-19, Rachael and I created a space of care at her family’s orchard using the Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera. The camera was a tool that helped catalyze a deeper development in our relationship with each other and the land her family has grown flowers and food on/with for over a decade.  
For more information

socially engaged  
photography, dialogical, process-based

collaborators: Rachael Anderson, land, plants, non-human living of the Anderson Orchard