Joel Sternfeld is an artist-photographer whose work is concerned with the utopic and dystopic possibilities of the American experience, as well as those of the human experience. Ever since the publication of his landmark study, American Prospects (1987), his work has maintained conceptual and political aspects, while also being steeped in history, art history, landscape theory, and seasonality. On This Site (1996) examines violence in America while simultaneously raising the question of what is knowable from a single photograph. All his subsequent work has sought to expand the narrative possibilities of still photography primarily through an authored text. His work is as ironic as it is dignified, as poetic as it is documentary. It represents a melding of time and place that serves to elucidate, honor, and warn. His books converse with each other and may be read as a collective whole. Sternfeld is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and spent a year in Italy on a Rome Prize. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, where he holds the Noble Foundation Chair in Art and Cultural History.
2018-2019 HANES VISITING ARTIST LECTURE SERIES:
Political Geography examines political, cultural and social landscapes. Artists in this lecture series present diverse interpretations of geographic spaces, including psychogeography, and work through modes of mapping and representation, performance and social practice. These artists examine the spatial distribution and control of political processes and how geographic location and identity impact these processes and spaces. These artists are influenced by the study of laws and the effects on bodies in specific geographical environments, especially in relation to the behavior of other individuals and political bodies. Collectively, their work challenges ideas of space, place, ideology, energy, systems of power, agriculture, and dys/utopias.