CORVALLIS, Ore. – “Spectacle,” an exhibition of photographs by artists Nicole Jean Hill and Alexis Pike, will run Oct. 2 through Oct. 21 in Oregon State University’s Fairbanks Gallery, 220 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.
“Spectacle” was organized by Julia Bradshaw, assistant professor of photography and new media at OSU. It is being presented in conjunction with the Society of Photographic Educators’ Northwest Regional Conference taking place on the OSU campus October 20-21.
Photographing traditionally masculine activities that take place in communities near their homes, Hill and Pike explore themes of spectacle, masculinity, image and risk. They direct their lenses to performers and their spectators, and the moments of introspection and exultation that take place before, after and during an event.
Based in Humboldt County, California, Hill photographs mixed martial arts events that take place in the casinos and tribal lands in Northern California. In gaining the trust of trainers and fighters, Hill has created a photo series that offers a distinct visual narrative of this male-dominated sport from the point of view of a female photographer.
“I am constantly aware of these formulaic images of masculinity,” said Hill. “I equally embrace the show-worthy tough man alongside the seemingly vulnerable moments when they become lost in themselves –from adrenaline, exhaustion, fear or relief.”
Pike is an associate professor in the School of Film and Photography at Montana State University, Bozeman. Her photographs are from the project “Color Me Lucky,” and are inspired by American daredevil Evel Knievel.
She explores the spectacle of the men and women who compete in daredevil showmanship events during the Evel Knievel Days festival in Butte, Montana. The photos depict the calculated recklessness of daredevil events alongside small details of Americana.
“I’m interested in what attracts a woman or a man to act on or to witness risky behavior for the sake of a thrill,” Pike said.
Fairbanks Gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 19 for the Corvallis Art Walk. The gallery will also be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. For more information on the Society of Photographic Educators Northwest Regional Conference, go to: https://www.spenational.org/conferences/illuminate-provoke-spe-nw-2017