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Direct Contact: Cameraless Photography Now

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art | Mariah Robertson

February 16 – July 02, 2023

How does one experience a photograph that appears “unphotographic”? Focusing on the material and tactile properties of the medium, Direct Contact: Cameraless Photography Now is the first contemporary survey to examine cameraless photography across generations, cultures, and ideologies. Referred to as photograms or contact prints, cameraless photographs are made using analogue photography’s foundational elements: light, chemistry, and light-sensitive surfaces.


Presenting recent work by over 40 artists–including Yto Barrada, Iñaki Bonillas, Ellen Carey, Hernease Davis, Sheree Hovsepian, Roberto Huarcaya, Kei Ito, Dakota Mace, Fabiola Menchelli, Lisa Oppenheim, Daisuke Yokota, among many others–Direct Contact highlights many emerging global artists and features primarily women-identifying artists. Unfolding across five sections–Age, Scale, Form, Texture, and Value–Direct Contact positions cameraless photography as both an intellectual cornerstone in the medium’s history and an enduring and important force within contemporary art.


The exhibition is curated by Lauren Richman, Assistant Curator of Photography.