En Foco/In Focus, the first permanent photography collection in the country dedicated to U.S.-
based artists of Latin American, African, Asian, and Native American heritage, opens for the first
time on the West Coast on January 22, 2013 at California Institute of Integral Studies(CIIS).
The exhibition is comprised of fifty-six striking images by forty-eight different artists.Though
diverse in approach and content, together they tell a powerful story, both local and universal.
The earliest works in the exhibition date to the 1970s and 80s.They reflect the documentary
impulse that characterized photographic work produced during and immediately after the
civil rights era. “In contrast to photographic essays of the period exposing inner-city decay, these were images by individuals who lived in and understood the rhythms of life in these
neighborhoods. Cultural representation became self-representation, as the camera became
a potent means of political and self-expression,” writes Elizabeth Ferrer, exhibition curator.
The second part of the exhibition reflects the multicultural discourse of the 1990s, and the
impulse to use photography to examine identity (racial, ethnic, sexual, gender-based), otherness,
and the social and cultural contexts that shape perspectives on the self. The final part of this
exhibition looks at work produced since the turn of the twenty-first century.The youngest
photographers represented in the collection mirror the contemporary art scene’s global landscape.
The current generation of photographers draw from multiple photographic traditions and creative
PUBLIC PROGRAMMING: Open house and conversation with the curator, Elizabeth Ferrer, and En Foco Director Miriam Romais: Thursday, February 28, 6:30PM (CIIS Main Building, 4th floor)