Andrew Miller and Jay Turner Frey Seawell
Respecting POTUS & National Trust
Exhibition: November 1-22, 2019
Opening and Artist Talk: November 1, 6-10pm
Aurora PhotoCenter at Tube Factory (directions)
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
“Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”
Both quotes are attributed to one of our founding fathers and third president, Thomas Jefferson, and they perfectly illustrate the vital, acrimonious, and sometimes outright hostile relationship that has always existed between a free press and the halls of power within a democracy. Traditionally the press, this fourth estate, has served as an additional check on the government’s power. In Seawell’s project, National Trust, he dissects the “careful manufacturing of appearances in relation to power, politics, and media in the United States.” His subjects range from historical structures to political spectacles and media culture, and they are all inextricably tied to superficial appearances and perceptions. Meanwhile, in Miller’s project, Respecting POTUS, he explores these appearances and perceptions as they relate to the Office of the President both inside and outside of the Beltway. According to Miller, “Political pundits, elected representatives, along with 24-hour cable news exist to hold those in power accountable but at times contribute to the divisive and hostile nature of our political culture today.”
Jay Turner Frey Seawell is a photographer based in Washington, DC. He earned his MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. His photographs have been included in numerous exhibitions in the United States as well as the Pingyao International Photography Festival in China. Seawell is a two-time nominee of The Baum Award for An Emerging American Photographer. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University. Seawell is the 2016 recipient of the Award for Innovation in the Documentary Arts from the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University. His first photobook, National Trust, was published by Skylark Editions. Seawell was a winner of the Magenta Foundation Flash Forward competition in 2018.
Andrew Miller is a Chicago-based fine art photographer specializing in interiors, architecture, and portraiture. His personal work explores the intersection of people and politics that is found in the urban environment.
This exhibition has been made possible in part by the Efroymson Family Fund