Globalism connects people from all corners of the earth, and the bilateral relationship between the United States and China, the world’s largest economic powerhouses, is one of the most important of this century. As an artist, I question the impact of economic systems and advertising on identity and culture. In 2008, I traveled to China for the first time to investigate visual representations of Capitalism in this Communist country that engages in what it calls “Capitalism with Chinese characteristics”. Each time I returned to China to continue this exploration, I discovered a new subject that furthered my vision of this vast and diverse country and became the content of a series of projects that live at the intersection of East and West.
The sixty-two photographs in Impossible Is Nothing were selected from thousands of images, created over a span of eight years, focusing on constructed realities within contemporary China as they relate to ideas of luxury and status, with the West as a model of Capitalist values. At the same time, there are hints of what lies beneath the surface and the costs of global consumerism. Portraits, still life images, and urban landscapes, rich in detail, are woven together to create a lyrical ode to the optimism and imagination of contemporary China.
Your generous contribution to this campaign will directly involve you in the production of my first monograph Impossible is Nothing and reward you with fine art prints at discounted prices. Art is also a great gift for the holidays!!!
With your help, a hardcover first edition of Impossible Is Nothing: China's Theater of Consumerism will be published by the highly respected Daylight Books in Spring 2017. The book will be 11x11 square. It has a target print run of 800 copies, and will include 62 color photographs within 103 pages.
Collecting images in a book creates a very different experience than seeing them digitally or as large scale prints. Turning the pages of Impossible is Nothing leads the viewer into a labyrinth of constructed reality. Through juxtaposition and repetition a visual language is developed to address ideas about consumerism and identity as they relate to labor, luxury, and landscape.
I am fortunate that two brilliant writers made contributions to Impossible Is Nothing. An essay by award-winning journalist Rob Schmitz provides context for the images in the book, giving the reader a sense of time, place and history. A foreword by independent curator Susannah Magers addresses the conceptual underpinning of the book.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Priscilla is a fine art photographer based in Minneapolis, MN. She holds an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, and a BA from Carnegie Mellon University. Priscilla’s work has been supported by numerous awards and grants, including a McKnight Fellowship and multiple MN State Arts Board grants. Her work has been exhibited at galleries, museums and photo festivals nationally and internationally, such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the National Galleries of Scotland, the Louisville Photo Biennial, and the Landskrona Photo Festival in Sweden. She has traveled widely, exploring the world as an artist. Many of the images for this book were created during her time at artist residencies at Art Channel in Beijing and the Chinese European Art Center in Xiamen. Priscilla is an Associate Professor of Studio Art at Gustavus Adolphus College. She is represented by Rosalux Gallery.
ESSAY BY ROB SCHMITZ
Rob Schmitz is the Shanghai Correspondent for NPR. From 2010 to 2016, Schmitz was the China Correspondent for the public radio business program Marketplace. Schmitz has won several awards for his reporting on China, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards and an Education Writers Association award. His work was also a finalist for the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award. His reporting in Japan — from the hardest-hit areas near the failing Fukushima nuclear power plant following the earthquake and tsunami — was included in the publication 100 Great Stories, celebrating the centennial of Columbia University's Journalism School. In 2012, Rob exposed the fabrications in Mike Daisey's account of Apple's supply chain on This American Life. His report was featured in the show's "Retraction" episode, the most downloaded episode in the program's 16-year history. Prior to his radio career, Schmitz lived and worked in China – first as a teacher for the Peace Corps in the 1990s, later as a freelance print and video journalist. He has a Master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Schmitz's latest book is Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road (2016).
FOREWORD BY SUSANNAH MAGERS
A Bay Area, California native, Susannah Magers has a passion for and background in intersectional and radical curatorial practice, writing, exhibition interpretation and management, and public engagement with the arts. Recent experience includes working as the Deputy Director and Curator of Contemporary Art at Rochester Art Center, and as as the Interpretation Manager for the site-specific contemporary exhibition about global human rights, @Large: Ai Wei Wei on Alcatraz. Magers also co-directed the North Oakland, CA alternative arts and project space, The Royal NoneSuch Gallery, which supports emerging and mid-career artists in the Bay Area with an emphasis on experiential and experimental programming.
Images from Impossible Is Nothing have been featured in HYPERALLERGIC, Hypertext Magazine, F-STOP Magazine, The Dialogist Quarterly, and as part of the Museum of Contemporary Photography's Midwest Photographer Project, and have been exhibited internationally.
The publishing of limited-run fine art books is a high-risk, daunting challenge, and we applaud publishers like Daylight willing to bring these works to market. A new model has emerged to share this risk, and publishers and artists have embraced crowd-funding to give life to these collectible books. With Kickstarter, no money changes hands until a pre-set funding goal is reached, thereby eliminating investor/purchaser risk. When the goal is met, and production costs are covered, you receive the book you helped bring into existence and additional artist’s incentives as a reward for your support. This means that a project succeeds only when a critical mass of people believe in it!
I have already raised $12K for this project through a grant and a studio sale of my fine art print inventory. At this point, I am asking for your help to raise $18K. Exceeding this campaign goal would help me recoup $6K in funds I have personally contributed to the project.
My deepest gratitude for your interest in this project. I hope that you will support the campaign by becoming a backer and choosing one of the rewards as well as sharing it with others!
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Daylight Books is a non-profit organization dedicated to publishing art and photography books. By exploring the documentary mode along with the more conceptual concerns of fine art, Daylight’s uniquely collectible publications work to revitalize the relationship between art, photography, and the world-at-large.
ABOUT THE REWARDS
• If you are interested in multiple rewards, please note that you can add rewards on the payment page--in the upper right where the dollar amount appears, click on EDIT to add rewards or dollar amounts for multiple prints of the same size.
• All prints will come with an additional white border for easy framing: the 4x6 suite will be printed on 5x7 paper and so forth.
• Limited Edition prints are signed by the artist in pencil, and numbered to show the unique number of that print and the total edition size.
• Images for prints can be chosen from my website.
• All prints will be shipped out in time for a pre-Christmas delivery date of December 23, 2016.
• April 2017 is the projected date of delivery for the book based on Daylight’s production schedule. If this changes, I will be in contact.
• I will do my very best to refund shipping to those whose deliveries I can make in person.
• All contributors will be invited to the launch party in Minneapolis! Date TBD.
Risks and challenges
Publishing any book is an enormous undertaking. Working with the team at Daylight Books has allowed me to focus on what is essential to this project, presenting a strong collection of meaningful images. With your help, we can ensure the on-time production and distribution of "Impossible is Nothing" in Spring 2017. We promise to deliver a beautiful monograph!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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