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VIEWFINDER: A New Play by Donna Barkman

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Work by Emma Rivers in the WORD show, photographed by Kristin Pareti

Writing the Walls 2017 opens with VIEWFINDER, a new one woman show by Donna Barkman, and directed by Mara Mills. Viewfinder will be performed at HVCCA on April 23 @ 4:00 pm.

Viewfinder is a kaleidoscopic response to Emma River’s “Bathrobe Chronicles” from HVCCA’s Word exhibit and an exploration of the internalized influences of home, family, social milieu, and lived experience.

As a writer/actor, Donna Barkman has performed her solo plays, “Hand-Me-Downs: Scenes from a Life with a Little Help from Antigone and Mother Goose,” and “Sticks and Stones and Women’s Bones,” in New York City and environs. Her poetry has appeared in Chautauqua, Boston Literary Review, String Poet, Per Contra, Pennsylvania English, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, and others, as well as in many anthologies. Ms. Barkman served as a juror for the Bronx Council on the Arts Poetry Competition and has regularly written and performed poetry and short plays for many ekphrastic events at Upstream Gallery, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and Ceres Gallery in New York City.


“I’s Closed I’s Open” Opening Reception


Join us for the opening reception for HVCCA’s Spring Artist-in-Residence, Mark Berghash.

Mark Berghash was born in Buffalo, NY in 1935, and has lived and worked in New York City since 1957.

Berghash’s Aspects of the True Self challenges the notion that it is the photographer rather than the subject who determines the success of a photographic production by selecting the moment when the subject’s character or personality is fully revealed. By presenting his participants with questions that explore their history and their psyche and giving them the ability to work the shutter and thus self-record their reactions, he places the power of exploration into the hands of the subject.

I’s Opened I’s Closed is a series of head and shoulder photographic diptychs, each one accompanied by a Haiku-like poem. In creating each portrait the subjects are requested to think about their inner lives. The first image is with their eyes closed, the second image with their eyes open. After the photo session, the subject writes down his or her thoughts and feelings. From these Berghash and his wife Rachel, a poet, compose a Haiku-like poem. Berghash’s intention in making these portraits is to record aspects of a person’s true inner self.

In an article for Art F City in 2016, Rom Vaughan said, “Whether Berghash succeeds in truthfully plumbing his subjects’ minds is known for certain only by them; but there is no doubt that he strikes to the core of the precept that photography is significantly related to memory. Photographs are often saved simply because they revive the past. Berghash has pushed the process of reviving the past to its most extreme and nearly un-photographable point by producing work that is the manifestation of memory, not just an instrument of recollection.”

Livia Straus, Director of HVCCA spoke of Berghash’s work saying, “His combination of words and images create a powerful confessional mode that both reveals and hides. His other Authentic Self projects such as ‘Twin Selves’, ‘Galut’, and portraits of Holocaust survivors explored the different aspects of personality that we reveal in public and those born of hidden desires.”

Berghash’s work is included in collections of and has been exhibited at The California Museum of Photography, Riverside; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio; Franklin Furnace Archive, NYC; International Center of Photography, NYC; International Polaroid Collection; the Jewish Museum; NYC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; MOMA NYC; Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israel; and Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art.

In parallel with the opening of I’s Closed, I’s Open,  HVCCA is proud to premier Donna Barkman’s playViewfinder, based on the auto-biographical  dioramas of Emma Rivers. Click HERE for more information about Donna Barkman’s play.

As part of his exhibition at HVCCA Mark Berghash will be photographing subjects, especially first and second- generation immigrants from the Peekskill community, on April 1st – 2nd, 2017. Photographs taken will be included with the exhibition of I’s Closed, I’s Open.

For more information about being a photographed on April 1-2 or the plays, please contact the museum at 914-788-0100, or at [email protected], or visit the photoshoot events.

*Photograph courtesy of the artist

“HVCCA is the most dynamic contemporary art site in Westchester… Maybe one day, these regional, more experimental art places might supercede art-stately New York City.” —Ben Genocchio, NY Times