My large-scale photographic installations investigate, deconstruct, and interpret “the city,” both as its physical self and as an idea. The work is dually site-responsive; the location of the exhibition space determines content while the size and shape of the exhibition space determines form. I “gather” architecture by shooting scores of images during repeated neighborhood walks, capturing flux from a pedestrian point of view. Research into past and present zoning, landmarking, and development help guide my eye and provide a conceptual base for the work, while my real-time, feet on the pavement, gut reaction to the physical make-up of space influences composition. Impossible to take in with a passing glance, the grand scale of the work halts viewers in their tracks, forcing them out of their complacent gazes, demanding they reconsider their relationship the city.
My compositions are created from photographs I’ve taken myself. Most of my projects include images shot over a specific period of time such as summer, but others incorporate self-generated archival materials covering a span of years. The photographs are edited and cut out in Photoshop, and then composed into sketch compositions on the computer. I build a model of the exhibition space, print out the computer sketch, and install it in the model. I then photograph the mock installation, moving the sketch around until it interacts with the space in a transformative way. Once I feel the composition matches the space, I scale up my sketch and print it out in multiple sections, onto a sticky backed removable inkjet paper called Photo Tex. The images are then cut out by hand and “collaged” onto the walls of the exhibition space one by one.
Jennifer Williams received her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, New York and her MFA from Goldsmiths College in London, England. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows both locally and nationally. New York area venues include Robert Mann Gallery, 440 Gallery, Muriel Guépin Gallery, La Mama Gallery, The Homefront Gallery, City College, A.I.R. Gallery, New York Art Residency and Studios (NARS) Foundation, DUMBO Arts Festival, and HOWL! Festival. National venues include Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA), University City Arts League, Mount Airy Contemporary, Icebox Project Space, and Moore College of Art Gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; Aljira Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, New Jersey; San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose, California; Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey; Artworks in Trenton, New Jersey; West Collection, Oaks, Pennsylvania; University of West Florida Gallery, Pensacola, Florida; Vermont Photo Place Gallery, Middlebury, Vermont; and Platform Gallery, Seattle, Washington.
Jennifer has received fellowships from NARS Foundation in New York; CFEVA in Philadelphia; Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York; and A.I.R. Gallery in New York. Her work has been featured in many publications including ARTnews, Collector Daily, New Jersey Courier News, Site95 Journal, Excerpt Magazine, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Title Magazine, and The New Yorker.