What’s Left Behind

  • What’s Left Behind

    • 29 January 2022
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman
    Date/Timing Sept. 24 - Nov. 12, 2022

    This exhibition is part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial. Juried group show reflecting on the record humans are leaving for future generations

    Local Eyes, a group of five Cincinnati photographers (Helen Adams, Jymi Bolden, Melvin Grier, Samantha Grier and Amanda Cawdrey) who have curated exhibits of local photography for FotoFocus since 2012, curates a juried group exhibition of images by 41 local artists that explores the theme of “What’s Left Behind” – how what we consume, what we collect, and what we discard affects the environment we live in and our lives in the greater context. What record are we leaving behind for future generations?

    Exhibiting artists: Sharee Allen, Tad Barney, Will Batstone, Brendan Burkett, Michael Prisco Caporale, Bruce Crippen, John Engelman, Sharon Evans, Scott Filipiak, Diane Germaine, Linda Gillings, Lloyd A. Greene, David Hartz, James Hernandez, Ron Hoffman, Will Jones, Jodi Kessler, Kent Krugh, Danielle Martini, Guennadi Maslov, Michelle Miller, ChengLun Na, Kelsey Nolin, Eliza Ollinger, Kate Palyshniuk, Steve Plattner, Joel Quimby, Gabi Roach, Gregory Rust, Alane Schloemer Shoemaker, Robin Short, Brad Smith, David Smith, Matt Steffen, Jerry Stratton, David Thomson, Pat Timm, Roderick Vesper, Tony Walsh, Cliff Warnken, Bryn Weller, N. Willman

    When you walk into a person’s home, you get a sense of who they are from their belongings. This can also be the case by seeing what we discard. Archaeologists uncover the nature of ancient societies by studying things left behind. What record are we leaving behind today? Trash speaks to a disposable and materialistic society. The popularity of organizing and “tidying” has exploded. We are being encouraged to keep only what “sparks joy.” What we discard exposes our attitudes towards consumption, class, mobility, sustainability, and the environment. The things we regard as trash were at one point something we valued and used, a relationship that is fleeting. Are we becoming a disposable society? Are other areas of our life affected? Are humans themselves disposable?

    Scientists sanctioned by the United Nations have gone on record saying humans are fueling a greenhouse effect. Our consumer habits are driving climate change. The production and use of household goods and services contribute greatly to global greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that the average product results in carbon emissions of 6.3 times its own weight. It is estimated that one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste. When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. If food goes to the landfill, it produces methane- a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide. Trash travels through the world’s rivers and oceans where it is often eaten by birds and fish, concentrating toxic chemicals in their tissues, and filling their stomachs, causing them to starve.

    Henri Cartier-Bresson wrote “Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”

    “What’s Left Behind” Opening Reception
    Saturday, September 24 from 6-8pm
    Celebrate the opening of this juried photography exhibition alongside the artists and members of the Local Eyes committee. Music by DJ Paloma and free light refreshments.

    “What’s Left Behind” Curator & Artist Talk
    Saturday, October 8 from 12-2pm
    Join Curators from Local Eyes as they share more about the exhibition theme, and a selection of exhibiting artists as they speak about their work.

    Panel Discussion: Making a Difference – Reducing, Reusing & Recycling
    Saturday, October 22 starting at 12pm. Panel discussion beginning at 12:30pm.
    Representatives from local organizations that specialize in the fields of reuse, recycling, and food waste will talk about ways people can work toward environmental sustainability.

    All events are free and open to the public.

    Image credit: Brad Smith, Junk Collector Louisville Kentucky, Widelux panorama camera – tri x film – black and white fiber print, 1998, 7.5 x 18 inches

    Support for this 2022 FotoFocus Biennial exhibition was provided by FotoFocus.



    What’s Left Behind is part of the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial. Now in its sixth iteration, the Biennial activates over 100 museums, galleries, universities, and public spaces throughout Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio in October 2022.

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  • Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 - 5:00
  • Saturday: 11:00 - 4:00
  • Closed Sunday - Monday