January 11 – March 3, 2017
Sean Kernan was looking for experience not photographs when he happened upon a small boxing club in Kampala, Uganda. His involvement with this place and its people captured his attention, he began photographing and his method of shooting and seeing was challenged. “For me the great gift of the place was that it did not allow any of my visual habits to operate,” says Kernan. “I had to intuit when to swing a camera around at the last moment to catch something I’d seen out of the corner of my eye. I was cut off from constructs and ideas and projected into a realm of pure seeing.”
Sean Kernan’s series, Kampala Boxing Club, is featured in the Griffin’s satellite gallery, The Griffin@Digital Silver Imaging, from January 11th through March 3rd 2017. A reception will take place on January 19, 2017 from 68pm. The reception is free and open to the public.
Kernan says, “The room itself had an austerity that was almost monastic. The ring was wood planking worn smooth as the floor of a Zen temple by years of shuffling feet. The air was frenetic with shouts and blows, the smell of sweat and dust, sound of music and honking from the street outside, gold-colored light flung like buckets of color against the walls.” He goes on, “In the seeming chaos there was purpose in the clash of strategies and bodies. This was a place where a poor boy from Africa could make a chance for himself using just his body and his determination.”
Sean Kernan is a widely exhibited photographer, writer and pioneering teacher. He is the author of three monographs; The Secret Books, (with Jorge Luis Borges), Among Trees, (with Anthony Doerr), and Darrell Petit: In Stone. His explorations of creativity and photography have been published as “Looking into the Light: Creativity and the Photographer.” He collaborated with Choreographer Alison Chase in a theater/dance/, multimedia piece “Drowned,” at MASS MoCA and the Miller Theater in New York. He has produced two film documentaries, The Kampala Boxing Club, about boxing in Africa, and Crow Stories, about the Crow Tribe in Montana.
His exhibitions of photography include: Centre Regional de la Photography, France; The Alexandrian Library, Egypt; William Benton Museum, Connecticut; Sala Bustos, Kunsthaus Santa Fe, and Museo de la Ciudat, Mexico; Wesleyan University, Connecticut and the Whitney Museum, New York. His photographs have been published in the “New York Times Magazine,” “Smithsonian,” “New York Magazine,” “Bloomberg Business,” “Communication Arts,” “Graphis,” and in magazines in China, Iran, Italy and Switzerland. He has taught and lectured at the New School/Parsons, Art Center Pasadena, Yale Medical School, ICP, University of Texas, and both the Maine and Santa Fe workshops. He has written for “Communication Arts,” “Graphis,” “Lenswork,” among others.