Ben Altman: Say Peekskill

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Ben Altman: Say Peekskill

January 12th—March 28th 2013

Opening Reception January 12th 1-4pm


In conjunction with Peekskill Project V: A Citywide Festival of Contemporary Art organized by the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, The Field Library Gallery is pleased to bring you Ben Altman: Say Peekskill. This innovative show emphasizes the artist’s stimulating work with photography and sound.   The show runs from January 12th through March 28th with an opening reception on January 12th from 1-4pm.

Invited to submit a proposal for Peekskill Project V, Ben Altman was intrigued by the town: a compact but diverse community, an impressive location linked to the metropolis, a post-industrial town with a long, sometimes difficult history, and a vibrant arts community. He decided to ask residents about living in Peekskill.


Altman recorded audio interviews with residents, mostly encountered at random in parks, downtown, and on residential streets, and he took a photograph of each participant or group. His installation includes the portraits and the varied voices of these individuals, heard separately but also in an ever-changing mix. Residents visiting the exhibit are invited to add to the conversation.


As an immigrant who did not entirely belong in his native England, Altman often interrogates ideas of “home.” His work ranges from using himself and his home in role-play of fraught political situations, to seeking social and emotional traces inscribed in his native country. He uses photographs, video, sound, and installation. In Say Peekskill, he investigates how residents feel about their town, how they spend their time, how they came here, and if they will stay.


This exploration by an outsider paradoxically has the potential to stimulate Peekskill into conversations with itself.


Altman took a winding road to being an artist, including towing icebergs, professional sailboat racing, and commercial photography.  He has exhibited recently at ArtRage gallery in Syracuse, NY as part of the TONY: 2012 Biennial; with 2x2 Collective at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ; City Without Walls, Newark NJ;  Collaborative Concepts’ The Farm Project at Saunders Farm, Garrison, NY, and in many venues in Ithaca, NY. Ben is a fiscally-sponsored artist of Artspire, a program of the New York Foundation for the Arts, and is an alumnus of NYFA’s MARK professional development program. For more information, visit the Say Peekskill web page at http://benaltman.net/peekskill-peekskill




The Field Library Gallery is located on the upper, mezzanine level of the adult reading rooms, and viewing hours are the same as the Field Library open hours. The Field Library is located at 4 Nelson Avenue, Peekskill, New York, and is wheelchair-accessible. For further information please call Sibyl Canaan, Library Director at (914) 737-7110, or email scanaan@wlsmail.org or visit the library's website www.peekskill.org.


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