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History Bites: Work in Progress – On Photographing Brazen Grit
March 20, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
In this slide talk, photographer/author Emery Roth tells how America’s industrial past has propelled his artistic explorations. It’s a talk about history, art-making and creative process.
They called the steep valley of Connecticut’s Naugatuck River, “Brass Valley,” because from the time the world began running on steam and bearings, trolleys and soot, the Naugatuck Valley came to be where most of the world’s brass manufacturing happened. When Lazlo Gyorsok and I began photographing the abandoned factories that remained everyone told us we were too late; everything was gone. Then a door opened where no door should have been, and we found ourselves photographing in the last working brass mills in the valley, places where workers still poured glowing metal and ran century-old machines. We had stepped into the past. The production line had been a secret — men using ancient machines to make specification-critical, seamless tube for nuclear submarines. Photographing there for three years was the realization of an impossible dream and led to the publication of Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry (Schiffer Books, 2015). After three years making photographs in another century, how does one return home and refine that focus in new work? The slide-talk will sketch out the path I’ve followed and some useful strategies.
Members: Free; Non-Members: $5 suggested donation. Please bring a bagged lunch. Beverages and dessert will be provided.