Exhibitions Corporate Kinship, Queer Friendship, and Chemical Bonds at Eastman Kodak by Ali Feser
August 3 –31, 2021 Project Space Two
Eastman Kodak’s photochemical empire was anchored in an ideology of the family. Family was a metaphor for power relations within the corporation, a sociological phenomenon produced through company-sponsored welfare programs, and a chemical fantasy of what the American good life should look like. This fantasy shaped the aesthetic dispositions of workers; it was engineered into the emulsions themselves; and it was domesticated through family photography, giving mass visual form to the American Dream. Yet, film is a fantastically plastic media. It can be manipulated to project that dream queerly and critically, through the archives of two Kodak workers, Hy Meisel and Betty Jane Reidman. Ali Feserwill activate their collections as an installation, performance, and written text so as to theorize amateurism (the amateur is “one who loves”) and queer friendship, the labor of history, and the co-constitution of colonial, corporate, and queer archives.
Ali Feser is a cultural anthropologist. She teaches at the University of Chicago and writes on twentieth-century visual culture, industrial capitalism, and the materiality of fantasy. She is working on a visual ethnography of the American Dream through the affective, aesthetic, and ecological afterlives of Kodak film.
Funds for this residency came from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Max and Marian Farash Foundation; and Joy of Giving Something.