Justin Clifford Rhody
Justin Clifford Rhody (b. 1984, Flint Michigan) is a fine art photographer, filmmaker and sound artist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rhody ran Friends & Relatives Records, a music/zine/object label (2000-2016), organized a public slideshow series of found 35mm photo slides called Vernacular Visions (2013-2018), and was a co-founder of the White Leaves Artist Residency (2015-2020). In 2018 Rhody exhibited work in Brooklyn, London, Oakland and Santa Fe, presented talks in Los Angeles, Oakland and at the Northern New Mexico College and was an artist-in-residence at LATITUDE in Chicago. In 2019 Rhody spent 6 months in the Everglades developing a large body of work titled No Fixed Borders Florida which was sponsored in part by the Kodak film company. Throughout 2020 he has had films screened in Italy and San Francisco, photo work published in Argentina and released a 7″ record, a VHS tape and a cassette.
Closed Off Opening
Closed Off Opening is an experimental video that draws from my personal experience at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was laid off from work and I live with a person fighting a terminal case of lung cancer, so I was confined to my home and immediate surroundings. At first, I rarely left the three block radius surrounding my house. But as an artist who used to travel regularly, I decided to explore my neighborhood with renewed perspective. Without a strict work schedule I found myself waking at dawn and taking early morning walks through the less developed areas near my house. I consistently gravitated towards a rather ordinary small bush at the back end of a parking lot. One morning I brought along a camcorder in an attempt to capture my fascination with this bush. For the next three months I would wait for the light to alternate and watch the bush grow and change while I considered my place in the world’s current difficult situation. In the end, I accumulated over sixty hours of footage and ninety-nine rough edits that I shaped into an eight minute abstracted portrait of blossoming that occurred while society at large seemed to lay in dormancy. The work invites viewers to meditate on the process of slowing down and caring for our unfolding moments, and to consider the unbelievable beauty in what is often seen as banal and unspectacular.
This event is part of the Culture Connects Midtown Project. To learn more visit cultureconnects.site.