Signed and numbered limited edition of 500 - US $50
Published 2008, Isis Editions
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From the Introduction
Over the last seven years, Alice O’Malley has collaborated with scores of downtown New York artists to create a photographic archive of and for those who inhabit the peripheries-- a document of affiliations. Set against backdrops of what seem to be the last empty rooms in the Lower East Side, a neighborhood reeling from takeover, O'Malley's portraits derive from the informal rituals of a languid afternoon visits and unhurried conversation. Marks of imperfection lend intimacy to the process.
The exhibition, Community of Elsewheres was instigated by Alice's longtime friend and subject, Antony. The two met through a mutual engagement in the particularly immodest post 80s-early 90s East Village club scene, which despite its nihilistic origins, quickly rose to the task of defying its own annihilation and evolved into a new political imperative on the part of artists who, in the wake of too much death, wanted a future.
O'Malley's portraits are a surprising reminder of so many things including the proximity of friendship and fanship. Espousing one’s heroes, a cherished form of bonding that goes back to the 60s film underground of Jack Smith and Andy Warhol, nimbly traverses generations, through the sometimes posthumous assemblage of a family tree.
In 19th century Paris, Atget created a record of urban spaces soon to be gone and a social strata invisible to many. Spirit photography, another visual archive of a vanishing world, gained popular interest particularly following moments of great loss due to war. Through seemingly alchemical processes, photography discerns the immanent presence of absence and simultaneously anticipates its opposite: a persistent, future-oriented present.
In the early 20th Century, Lucy Schwob changed her name to Claude Cahun and, through her writings, actions, and self-portraits, articulated a multiplicity of gender and female identity--a future feminine. O'Malley's work celebrates that excited futurity and its many antecedents, and in so doing finds that a truth of our time may continue to reside in our elsewheres.
- Lia Gangitano