Guest Reading Shortlist 7.4.14: Qiana Mestrich

© Mark Cohen, Untitled (girls' faces flashed in bus window), 1973, from Artificial Light: Flash Photography in the
Twentieth Century at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Reading Shortlist is an occasional post with an eclectic listing of recommended sites, readings and links. A recommendation does not necessarily suggest an agreement with the contents of the post. For previous shortlists, please visit the site links page.

Today's guest for Reading Shortlist is Qiana Mestrich.

Mestrich is a photo-based visual artist and writer from Brooklyn, NY. As a person of mixed cultures (Panamanian and Croatian), Mestrich's work is autobiographical and seeks to establish a heritage lost through generations of emigration.

Mestrich has worked professionally for over thirteen years as a digital media professional doing content management and online marketing (SEO and social media) for large corporations. In 2007, a desire to merge her work experience and interest in photography led her to start the blog Dodge & Burn: Diversity in Photography History. Profiling photographers of color, the blog seeks to record a more inclusive photography history, featuring contributions to the medium by underrepresented cultures. The blog is integral to her fine art practice.

In 2012, she co-edited the book How We Do Both: Art and Motherhood (Secretary Press), a diverse collection of honest responses from contemporary artists who have walked—and are still walking—the tenuous tightrope of motherhood and making art. Mestrich is a 2013 graduate of the ICP-Bard College MFA in Advanced Photographic Practice and received her B.A. with a concentration in photography from Sarah Lawrence College in 1999.

Audio Arts Archive at Tate.org
Created in 1972, Audio Arts recorded artist interviews and sound art on cassette tapes. You can listen to all 24 volumes on the Tate website, featuring work and words from Duchamp, Abramovic, Richter, Stella, Warhol and so many more.

Slideshare Presentation: Meet Generation Z
I love Slideshare mostly for its presentations uploaded by digital marketers around the world. This is a recent presentation that got me to click through to every slide and left me feeling like this youngest generation of Americans may be more compassionate and intelligent than any other before them.

Artificial Light: Flash Photography in the Twentieth Century
As a photographer I've always preferred natural light, mostly because of my extreme fear of the garish quality of flash. This exhibition currently on view through August 3, 2014 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art shows diverse examples of flash photography from (some surprising) masters of the strobe like Weegee, Parks, Moriyama, Mapplethorpe and others.

Stuart Hall Essay: Cultural Identity and Diaspora (PDF)
Jamaican/British cultural theorist Stuart Hall passed away in February of this year but he left behind a legacy of critical writings, recordings and interviews around the uneasy subject of identity. As a person of mixed heritage who actively engages the never-ending questions about identity in my own artwork, this short essay is crucial and I can see myself reading it at least once a year.

Still from Lupita Nyong'o on Plaza Sesamo

Lupita Nyong'o on Plaza Sesamo (Video)
If you've ever watched Spanish-language television (Univision, Telemundo, etc.) you’ll see that there's a blatant exclusion of dark-skinned, Afro-Latin people who in reality represent a major part of the Latin American population. In this video clip the Mexican-born actress Lupita Nyong'o invites the young viewers of Plaza Sesamo (the Spanish-language version of Sesame Street) to share a laugh with her. Her presence makes me smile too :)

Follow the Lilt
A great article with practical advice about finding the part of a project that really excites you. This concept would be great in practice if used during art critiques.

Malcolm Gladwell on Criticism, Tolerance and Changing Your Mind
Years ago I came to the conclusion that despite popular belief, it's OK to be a "hypocrite" and flip-flip on certain issues. This process of changing our minds is part of discovering who we are and it's crucial to overcoming prejudice. This BrainPickings.org article presents Gladwell's insightful commentary on the value of criticism as a form of discourse and how to do it right. BTW, almost everything on this site is worth a read!

Arty Bollocks Generator
I just had to inject some humor into this list and so why not a site that makes fun of the process of writing artist statements? Use this tool to generate your own art-speak infected drivel. There's even a Twitter version and you can also put your artist statement on a T-shirt.

I am Joe Scanlan
The most shocking piece I've read in the name of art activism. Curator/artist Ryan Wong created a fake persona of a white male artist who actually got selected to participate in the recent Whitney Biennial. The article is Wong's confession and post-Biennial reflection "about the realities of race, class, and gender privilege within the art world."

© Gabrielle Galimberti
Delicatessen with Love Photo Series by Gabrielle Galimberti
It's such a simple concept but this is one of my favorite photo series I've seen in a while… The photographer travelled to 58 different countries where he photographed women in their kitchens along with the ingredients and final presentation of their signature dish. There's so much to discover in these images as they show both the similarities and differences within each culture and their respective cuisines. I also love that each woman's pose/demeanor shows such a sense of pride over their domain and culinary expertise.