There’s a Place @ MoWA

Jeri with her 1956 Pink Cadillac, Green Bay, Wisconsin, 20113, 50x40 archival inkjet print © J. Shimon & J. Lindemann From "There's a Place" exhibition at Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, Wisconsin

Jeri with her 1956 Pink Cadillac, Green Bay, Wisconsin, 2013, (50×40 archival inkjet print)  © J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

THE EXHIBITION

For more than 30 years, we’ve collaborated as J. Shimon & J. Lindemann to make photographs responding to Wisconsin as both place and state-of-mind. There’s a Place is our first museum retrospective and the largest exhibition of our work to date. It’s on view April 11- June 7, 2015 at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend, WI.

Using contemporary and historic photographic techniques, while drawing on the history of photography, we created a somewhat melancholy body of work that stands as a record of our time. Using photography, film, sculpture, and our impulse to archive, we found meaning in the ordinary. The exhibition will contain vintage platinum/palladium prints, cyanotypes, gum bichromate prints, gelatin silver prints, tintypes, daguerreotypes, 3D stereo views, and archival inkjet prints.

THE CATALOGUE

MoWA produced a 120-page color catalogue, There’s a Place: A Three Decade Survey of Photographs by J. Shimon & J. Lindemann, designed by Dan Saal of Studio Saal Corporation, to supplement the exhibition. The volume contains 99 photographs and essays by art-blogger Rachele Krivichi, freelance curator Dan Leers, MoWA director of exhibitions Graeme Reid, art historian and gallery director Debra Brehmer, and acknowledgments by Laurie Winters.The plate section includes some stereo version photographs. These are shown as color, double-image photographs set against a black background. To see the 3-D effect, use a standard stereo Lorgnette viewer (see below). Stereo Realist cameras were manufactured in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 1947 to 1971 and are one of the camera types we’ve experimented with.

    Free There’s a Place PDF download from MoWA

Purchase There’s a Place Hardcover with Dust Jacket (11×13″) from Blurb

Purchase There’s a Place Softcover (8×10″) from Blurb

Purchase 3D Lorgnette stereo viewers from 3Dstereo.com or amazon.com

PRESS & BACKGROUND

Read Museum of Wisconsin Art announcement

Read Milwaukee Magazine profile April 2015  by Claire Hanan

Listen to There’s a Place (Lennon/McCartney, 1963 takes 1-13) by the Beatles

“There is a place
Where I can go
When I feel low
When I feel blue
And it’s my mind
And there’s no time when I’m alone”

Harvestores on the Horizon

Harvestores on Horizon, Long Lake Road near Brillion, Wisconsin (1.31.2014) © J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

Harvestores on Horizon, Long Lake Road near Brillion, Wisconsin (1.31.2014), Cyanotype Print,
© J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

Driving across Wisconsin, Harvestore® silos punctuate the Wisconsin landscape with their verticality and glimmer. The iconic blue silos were the ultimate vessel for fermented silage (animal feed) used on dairy farms. Made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by A.O. Smith, the structures became a symbol of progressive farm practices. From 1949 until 1984, 75,000 Harvestores sprung up across North America until sales bottomed-out. Small farms struggled, the silo unloading mechanisms malfunctioned then feed storage went horizontal (ag-bags and covered piles) to better service the 21st century industrial farms. In less than a half century, the Harvestore went from state-of-the-art to relic.

In collaboration with Worm Farm Institute, we designed a band shell to be made of salvaged Harvestore® parts for  Fermentation Fest October 2014 near Reedsburg, Wisconsin. An Indie Go Go campaign raised $6,500 to purchase parts, hardware, lumber, and supplies. The band shell stage hosted a number of scheduled and impromptu performances including J. Shimon and Lawrence University music conservatory colleagues (see below). Plans are in motion to reinstall it permanently in Reedsburg, Wisconsin in 2015.

We Go From Where We Know with John Shimon (guitar), Brian Pertl (Tibetan horn), Leila Ramagopal Pertl (Harp), John Gates (Metal) performance in Harvestore Bandshell, Fermentation Fest, Lime Ridge, Wisconsin, October 12, 2014. Photo by Paul Gaudynski

We Go From Where We Know with (L to R) John Shimon (guitar), Brian Pertl (Tibetan horn), Leila Ramagopal Pertl (harp), John Gates (metal) performance in Harvestore Bandshell, Fermentation Fest, Lime Ridge, Wisconsin, October 12, 2014. Photo by Paul Gaudynski

View the We Go From Where We Know improvisational performance on YouTube

Read Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Review 10.17.2014 by Mary Louise Schumacher

Hear Wisconsin Public Radio 7.31.2014 segment by Patty Murray

View The Wisconsin Project Blog

View Indie Go Go Havestore Bandshell Campaign Archived Post

Read about Fermentation Fest

We Go From Where We Know

“J. Shimon & J. Lindemann: We Go From Where We Know” "Nash Corn Crib" and “Concrete Tear Drops” surrounded by portraits and postcards at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. October 13, 2013 – February 23, 2014. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

“J. Shimon & J. Lindemann: We Go From Where We Know” “Nash Corn Crib” and “Concrete Tear Drops” surrounded by portraits and postcards at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. October 13, 2013 – March 2, 2014. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

J. Shimon & J. Lindemann: We Go From Where We Know  "Nash Corn Crib" and "Concrete Tear Drops" surrounded by portraits and postcards at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin October 13, 2013 - February 23, 2014. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

J. Shimon & J. Lindemann: We Go From Where We Know” “Nash Corn Crib” and “Concrete Tear Drops” surrounded by portraits and postcards at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. October 13, 2013 – March 2, 2014. Photo courtesy of John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

A collaboration with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s Connecting Communities program, We Go From Where We Know was the culmination of our research-driven The Wisconsin Project. The installation centered around a Wisconsin-built 1949 Nash Ambassador sedan automobile filled with individually hand-cast concrete corncobs and life-size full-length studio portrait photographs of Wisconsin Natives & Tourists. “Nash Corn Crib” is based on Shimon’s childhood memory of a derelict Nash repurposed as a corn crib by a neighboring farmer. Glass and rusty nail encrusted concrete tear drops, a participatory installation of “found” vintage postcards, trophy cases of “made” cyanotype and palladium real photo postcards, a reliquary of Wisconsin tourist souvenirs, and 101 framed watercolor paintings depicting a Rural Utopia combined to express the Wisconsin we have come to know through the works of self-taught artists whose primary medium was concrete and agrarian wisdom(s). Seeing our home state characterized as a Gothic netherworld in Michael Lesy’s seminal book Wisconsin Death Trip, as a picturesque vactionland on picture postcards, and populated by hard-working gemutlichkeit cheeseheads galvanized our meditation on Wisconsin as place as we museum-ized the mood and objects we found here.

View Natives & Tourists portrait photographs on Flickr

View Rural Utopia watercolors on Blogspot

View Made and Found postcards on Blogspot

View the We Go From Where We Know improvisational performance on YouTube

View photographs from the opening by Art Elkon and James Rhem

Listen to Caitlin Oleson’s interview with Shimon & Lindemann about art and life

Read more about the 1949 Nash Ambassador on Blogspot

Read Shepherd Express 11.27.2013 review by Erin Hefferman

Read The Nash Times January/February 2014 reportage by Tom Creecy

Read Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2.16.2014 review by Mary Louise Schumacher

Read Third Coast Daily 2.28.2013 review by Kat Murrell

Read Photograph Magazine March/April 2014 review by Lyle Rexer

Read mnartists.org 5.7.2014 review by Jay Orff

Decay Utopia Decay

Portrait Society Gallery, Milwaukee, “Decay Utopia Decay” installation view with wigwam photographed by Francis Ford, January 2013

Portrait Society Gallery, Milwaukee, “Decay Utopia Decay” installation view with Ambrotypes photographed by Francis Ford, January 2013

The fragility of human existence was central to our exhibition, Decay Utopia Decay, at Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Focusing on our lives as collaborative artists and teachers having never been apart in more than 30 years, we increasingly understood our human bondage to the vulnerabilities of the body. Ultra large format, historical process photography directly relates this work to a continuum established by generations of photographers while indulging in a hand-made battle with material defying the contemporary fixation on the virtual. The exhibition ran November 9, 2012 – January 5, 2013, but many works remain available for viewing in the gallery’s archive room by request or appointment 414.870.9930. The Museum of Wisconsin Art and Chazen Art Museum acquired ambrotypes from the exhibition for their permanent collections.

View self-portrait images on Flickr

View vegetable portraits on Flickr

View our rock opera Decay Utopia Decay (part 1, part 2, part 3)

View Too Big video about our 30×36 camera

Read blog post on BlogSpot

View photographs by Art Elkon from the opening on FaceBook

Read Express Milwaukee November 12, 2012 review by Judith Ann Moriarty

Read Express Milwaukee November 13, 2012 review by Peggy Sue

Read Milwaukee Journal Sentinel October 24, 2013 “2013 Wisconsin Triennial”

review by Mary Louise Schumacher

Visiting Tom

Quote

Tom, 2009, 10×8 gelatin silver print

On Sunday, August 16, 2009 we went with writer Mike Perry to Tom’s farm. In the process of making photographs with our 8×10 view camera, Tom told the stories that belong to a lifelong collection of experiences and stuff. Posing for photographs altered the relationship with time. Infinite unrecorded moments contribute to the making of a single statement representing an impossibly complex evolution. Invention, persistence, deterioration, obsolescence, and wisdom accumulate on the surface where they were available to the camera. Our photographs, an extended portrait, are published in Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace by Perry. Reviews and interviews about the book have been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Cap Times, OnMilwaukee.com, VolumeOne.org, and Boswell and Books blog. The book made The New York Times Book Review Best-Seller list in September 2012.