This begins a series of posts that examine the work of participants and instructors that have featured in the ASX/VOID workshops from 2019 and will now be used to illustrate the Nearest Truth Workshops taking place in Athens in November of 2021.
Nearest Truth is a podcast devoted to photography and culture at large. Started by ASX content editor Brad Feruehlm in 2020, the “podcast” or archive of conversations has passed its 200th episode in just over a year. Everyone from artists such as Raymond Meeks, Roger Ballen, Lisa Barnard, and, Chloe Dewe Mathews to museum officials such as MoMA Chief Curator Clément Chéroux and Fotomuseum Winterthur Director Nadine Wiesbach have been interviewed along with publishers Michael Mack of MACK and Cécile Poimboeuf-Koizumi of Chose Commune have been interviewed in long format. The site functions as an archive more than a podcast with an aim of keeping an oral history of photography for the times.
Nearest Truth is also opening independent workshops in the autumn of 2021 to expand the reach of photographic education. Most workshops will be held in Athens, Greece. Nearest Truth Workshops intend to work with the highest placed individuals in photography. There will be an emphasis on multiple-artist workshops. The intention is to mix 2 or more instructors per workshop to give an optimum learning environment. There will be a concentration on the photobook and there will be some interesting plans regarding this in 2022.
Our first workshop will feature a 4 artist line-up with American artist Adrianna Ault, Tim Carpenter, Gregory Halpern, and Raymond Meeks. This workshop begins on November 1st with a finishing date of November 6th. It is a six-day workshop with a series of Zoom conversations leading up to the physical meeting in Athens. There are early bird prices for every workshop. The number of participants varies depending on the number of instructors. The intention is to help participants develop both existing and new bodies or work through sharing methodology and in-person reviews of work. Every participant receives equal access to each instructor with a secondary team of professionals available for consultation.
We will begin featuring a delayed spotlight on participants from the VOID/ASX workshops from 2019-2020 to give the artists exposure while also using their work as an example of projects developed through the workshops. These same initiatives are embedded in the Nearest Truth Workshops. We will continue to examine both written and recorded histories of the artists involved in our workshops for both ASX and Nearest Truth going forward. Feel free to visit the Nearest Truth Workshops website to find out more and thank you for your interest in the Nearest Truth Podcast/Archive.
Patrick Garcia joined the November 2020 workshop between VOID/ASX with Vanessa Winship and George Georgiou. This was a long-distance Zoom workshop due to the constraints of the pandemic. As Patrick is stationed in California, the scheduling of meetings between him and our team in Greece was something of rigamarole. Patrick showed up, clocked in, and delivered every day, and delivered incredible work that I am still very fond of. As a matter of fact, despite the number of images that I look at in my daily life and despite nearly a year having passed since we last looked at his work, a number of images stuck out for me and were easy to recall. Without looking back over his pdfs, I was able to send an email based on the strong influence of his images. That kind of staying power is quite rare these days and I assure you that it has little to do with my memory, which is quite flawed.
Patrick’s work is not specific to California, but parts of it are certainly enabled by the myth and grandeur of the state’s natural landscape, particular to its northern half. Beautiful and somber studies of national parks and trees are the subject of many of Patrick’s photographs. He has spent time examining the glen and moss of the area and has produced images that feel semi-communal in their specificity and that are coupled with a studied formality and concern for portraiture that exceeds simple documents. I would also suggest that in basic terms, that the light in Patrick’s photographs is a great catalyst for his subjects. It transforms their faces and profiles into something dreamy and filled with the potential to inhabit a number of more cerebral possibilities than the standard reading of rudimentary portraiture. This dream-state conjures up a strange reading of a type of recreational imagery born from an alternate era, a way of reading the scene more like a still from a film, than a postcard from a friend or a calculated image cleft from the gallery wall. There is something continual and never-ending in his images.
There is also an air of the idyllic in the work and a fragmentized separation, non-linear flow of images in his sequences that reminds one of prose-they act as quasi-descriptive interludes spaced in a rhythm that is not forceful, but that is instead read as tender. I believe within Patrick’s work that there is an incredible book lurking between his environmental studies and his portraits. Though the work does feel particular to his native Northern California, I believe the images are universal and that the considerations of ecology, community, and place shine through the work and create a world that one can achieve access to. I look forward to seeing Patrick’s work progress. He is one of those participants who has shown up to the workshop with a realized vision that has illuminated fellow participants but has been humble enough to also accept positive criticism for how to develop his work. Please check out his site and give him a follow on Instagram.
Early bird seats for the Adrianna Ault, Tim Carpenter, Gregory Halpern, and Raymond Meeks Workshop close on August 22nd. You can find out more information at