August 2 – October 31, 2008
Nicole Hatanaka was born and raised in California. In 2004 she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with two BAs, in art history and studio art. In May, 2008 Nicole will receive her MFA degree in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design.
In addition to maintaining her studio practice as an artist and photographer, Nicole has worked as
an assistant gallery director, a research assistant, and a college instructor.
Academic areas of interest include: critical histories and theories of photography; evolving dialogues regarding the photographic index in a digital age; and the relationship between science and art (and by extension, photography).
My current body of work, Taxinomia, examines arrangements of objects in natural science museums and nature laboratories. Many of the photographs in this series were taken in the storage spaces, workspaces, offices, and backrooms of these institutions, and focus on the unexpected, accidental, and commonly overlooked.
Underscoring my project is an interest in how specimens become worthy of preservation and study. What gets preserved and what gets thrown away? Which objects are put on a pedestal and which in a drawer? What determines value?
More broadly, my practice is an attempt to deconstruct such binaries as ordinary and extraordinary, order and disorder, official and non-official, valuable and insignificant in order to reframe the ways in which meaning may be constructed and interpreted for both the individual and the collective.