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Photographing traditionally masculine activities that take place in communities near their homes, both artists explore themes of spectacle, masculinity, image, and risk. Hill and Pike their lenses to the performers, their spectators, and the moments of introspection and exultation that take place before, during, and after an event.
Currently based in Humbolt County, California, Hill photographs mixed martial arts events that take place in the casinos and on the tribal lands in Northern California. Having gained the the trust of trainers and fighters, Hill captures the male-cominated sport from the point of view of the female photographer, giving the viewer a perspective beyond stereotypical images of masculity.
“I am constantly aware of these formulaic images of masculinity. I equally embrace the show-worthy tough man alongside the seemingly vulnerable moments when they become lost in themselves—from adrenaline, exhaustion, fear or relief.” --Nicole Jean Hill
Alexis Pike, associate professor in the School of Film and Photography at Montana State University, received her BFA from Boise State University and her MFA from the University of Iowa. She has exhibited at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Ore., Missoula Art Museum, Photoville, Guate Photo Festival, Aperture Foundation, and was a Top 50 finalist for Critical Mass. Her work has been published in Harper’s, Surface, and Travel and Leisure, and she has a monograph published by Blue Sky Gallery. A photographic essay of her Evel Knievel series was recently featured in WIRED magazine.
Curator Julia Bradshaw is assistant professor of art and new media communications at Oregon State University.
The exhibition is in conjunction with the Society of Photographic Educators Northwest Regional Conference, which takes place on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis, October 20-21, 2017. For more information contact Julia Bradshaw.