Roula Seikaly I Photos without People – Ep.113

“There is suddenly, in some ways, a whole new branch, a whole new subject for photography…How will notions of isolation, loneliness, communication…be addressed photographically and are those photographic subjects? ” Roula Seikaly and I recorded at the SPE Conference in Houston just before everything began to be cancelled and public places were shut down. I called Roula to start the show because of all of the changes since we recorded, so there is a phone conversation at the start to check-in and then the original recording follows. Roula has been involved as a writer and curator with so many great organizations that you know and love such as Humble Arts Foundation, Hyperallergic, and Saint Lucy. We talk about her show, Portraits Without People at Axis Gallery, which was cut short by the pandemic and we talk a lot about teaching, photo history, the exhibition on cliché, Tropes Gone Wild, up now on the Humble Arts site, the community at SPE, and many more things. Roula Seikaly is the Senior Editor at Humble Arts Foundation and a writer and independent curator based in Berkley California. Her writing is featured on platforms including Aperture, Saint Lucy, Strange Fire Collective, Temporary Art Review, and SF Camerawork. She has curated exhibitions at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Triple Base Gallery, and SOMArts. Her curatorial practice addresses contemporary photography and new media, social justice efforts in contemporary art and exhibition making. She regularly contributes to print and online platforms including Hyperallergic, Photograph, BOMB, and KQED Arts. Cover Photo Credit: Preston Gannaway – Watermelons 2013 included in Portraits Without People show at Axis Gallery.