DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Defiance College Women’s Commission Gallery will feature the photography of Deborah Orloff in an exhibit entitled Holzwege running Nov. 9 through Dec. 10. An opening reception will be held Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The title, Holzwege, the German word for wood-path, refers to paths in the forest that lead nowhere. These paths meander through the woods and end abruptly; you never know where one will take you. Thus, the concept of a wood-path can be seen as a metaphor for life’s uncertainty.
Orloff says of her work, “There are points in our lives when we are focused; it is as if we are on a clear path toward our goals. Other times, we feel unsure of where we are heading, or a chosen course ends unexpectedly and we must suddenly reevaluate our direction. I am exploring these ideas in a body of work in which I create ambiguous landscapes through the layering of multiple photographs. I combine the images digitally to create surreal, new spaces where one photograph disappears into the next. These invented landscapes represent the universal experience we all have, inevitably, when our lives suddenly change. Just when you think you know where you’re going, unexpected circumstances dictate a change of plans.”
The artist continues “Ultimately the images are meant to be ethereal and optimistic, conveying the sense of wonder that exists when we open ourselves up to new possibilities and realize that change is often fortuitous. While the word holzwege suggests a dead-end, the connotation is not necessarily negative. Rather, the inability to move forward presents opportunities for exploration, transformation, and previously unimagined destinies.”
Originally from New York City, Orloff moved to Ohio in 1994 to accept a faculty position at the University of Toledo. She currently runs the photography area of the new media program in the department of art, where she teaches full-time. Orloff received her MFA from Syracuse University in 1992 and her BFA from Clark University in 1986. Although her primary medium is photography, she has also worked in video, mixed media, and installation. Her work has been included in exhibitions in North and South America and in Europe at venues which include the Whitney Museum of American Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, and the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards and regularly gives public lectures about her work.
The Defiance College Women’s Commission Gallery is located next to Schomburg Auditorium in Dana Hall on East Sessions Street. Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, during Schomburg performances, or by appointment. Please contact Jan Bechtel, Gallery Coordinator, at 419-783-2444, or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is www.defiance.edu.
November 8, 2010