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Joachim FrankUAlbany's "The Creative Life" series continues with acclaimed photographer Frédéric Brenner on March 7, 2018

7 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall, University at Albany uptown campus.

Frédéric Brenner is a world-renowned photographer and the project initiator of the celebrated exhibition This Place, on view at the University Art Museum through April 7, 2018. Brenner will visit the University at Albany for an evening of conversation with WAMC's Joe Donahue as part of the University's The Creative Life: A Conversation series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, at the Performing Arts Center on UAlbany's Uptown campus. The event is free and open to the public.

A leader in the field of photography, Brenner conceived of and launched his most recent project This Place, in 2007, inviting eleven world-renowned photographers to join him in exploring Israel and the West Bank as place and metaphor. The photographers are Wendy Ewald, Martin Kollar, Josef Koudelka, Jungjin Le e, Gilles Peress, Fazal Sheikh, Stephen Shore, Rosalind Solomon, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall, and Nick Waplington.

In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, for the story "Shooting Israel / 'A Confederation of Tribes'", Brenner said that the idea of the project was to look beyond the political narrative -- not to bypass and downplay it -- but to break free of the double perspective of 'for' or 'against,' perpetrator or victim and use photography as a tool to view this contested region of the world as a living organism, with all its rifts and paradoxes.

The current iteration of This Place is a collaborative project between four academic museums: the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University, the Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, the University Art Museum, University at Albany, State University of New York, and the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. Each museum is presenting roughly one-fourth of the photographs from the broader exhibition, and these are on view simultaneously during the spring 2018 semester. The University Art Museum is presenting work by Martin Kollar, Jungjin Lee, Thomas Struth, and Jeff Wall.

Born in Paris. Brenner best known for the creation of monumental international art projects that explore questions of longing, belonging, and exclusion. His opus, Diaspora, was the result of a 25-year search in over 40 countries to create a visual record of the Jewish people at the end of the 20th century. Initially intended as a record of vanishing Jewish communities, the project evolved into a probing examination of the multiple, dissonant identities of individual Jews and of Jewish communities living among the nations. A New Yorker review of Diaspora said, "Often the pictures provoke contradictory responses, as when a group of Roman Jews are shown standing proudly amid the ruins of a classical amphitheater. Brenner's work-elegiac, celebratory, irreverent-transcends portraiture, representing instead a prolonged, open-ended inquiry into the nature of identity and heritage."

Frederic Brenner's work has been exhibited at museums around the world, including in New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, and Mexico. Winner of the Prix de Rome (1992), he has published 7 books including Diaspora: Homelands in Exile (2003) and, most recently, An Archeology of Fear and Desire (2014). Brenner's This Place works will be on view at the Welling Museum, Hamilton College through July 5, 2020. Visit www.fredericbrenner.com.

The Creative Life series, a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with regional public radio station WAMC, brings leading figures from writing, music, dance, choreography, visual arts, architecture, theatre, and filmmaking to the University for conversation with Donahue about their creative inspiration, craft, and careers. UAlbany's Creative Life series continues with choreographer Garth Fagan (March 28) and two-time Tony and Grammy winner Patti LuPone (April 26). Previous guests have included fiction writer Joyce Carol Oates, tap dancer-choreographer Savion Glover, jazz violinist Regina Carter, painter David Salle, and author Lois Lowry.

Major support for The Creative Life is provided by The University at Albany Foundation with additional support from the UAlbany Alumni Association, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Provost and University Auxiliary Services. For additional information, call the UAlbany Performing Art Center box office at 518-442-3997.

Below, the opening of the exhibition This Place at the Brooklyn Museum in 2016 kicked off with a discussion moderated by Jeff L. Rosenheim, Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with photographers Rosalind Fox Solomon and Thomas Struth and project initiator Frédéric Brenner. The photographers discuss their personal journeys documenting Israel and the West Bank and detail their artistic processes and what they learned from their experiences.