Rhona Bitner at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

December 29, 2010 - February 1, 2011

Jonathan Ferrara Gallery
400A Julia Street

For a diehard music fan, the hardest adjustment of all is the silence that descends when the band has finished playing and the lights are turned back up. In the absence of music, other senses fill the void. This exhibition looks at the paradoxical phenomenon of hearing music when nobody is playing.

Rhona Bitner - Artist Statement
As CBGB’s closed its doors in 2006, I began to think about music, primarily popular music, its wide reach and direct relationship to the human experience. I became intrigued by the notion of physical emptiness (co)existing with the memory of what occurred there.  

This new series of photographs records spaces that may be empty of the performances that made them memorable yet remain filled with the recollection of what occurred there and the moments when they became unintentional place-markers of events, ideas and progressions of popular culture. In some cases, the performances became hallmarks of a zeitgeist experienced by a movement or generation. 

Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH, 16 September 2008

These venues encompass a wide range — clubs, theaters, arenas, parks, churches, recording studios — but still retain the unifying  significance of the “place where it happened.” Many of these sites continue to inspire visits or pilgrimages.

The current state of these locations (empty, disused, reused) may belie their significance. But as places where a particular event happened, where a musician was discovered, where a hit song was recorded or where a genre found its voice, these venues may introduce a rather immediate and/or intimate relationship with a viewer than that of mere nostalgia. A simple, straightforward photograph of a place, perhaps not immediately evident for its significance can introduce an echo of recognition or familiarity, reinforcing a relationship  of place, memory and resonance and, perhaps, a faint whisper of sound.

I have titled this project LISTEN.

Red’s Lounge, Clarksdale, MS, 10 May 2008 


Rhona Bitner


Lives and works in New York City and Paris

2010   Women In Photography (web-based), New York, NY
2007   Galerie Xippas, Athens, Greece
2006   BFAS - Blondeau Fine Art, Geneva, Switzerland
           Galerie Xippas, Paris, France
2005   Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA
2002   CRG Gallery, New York, NY
2000   Massimo Martino Fine Arts + Projects, Mendrisio, Switzerland
1999   Galerie Nathalie Pariente, Paris, France
1998   Galeria Forum, Tarragona, Spain 
           Ucross Foundation Art Gallery, Clearmont, WY
1997   Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA 
1995   Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA

GROUP EXHIBITIONS (selected):    
2011   Fleming Museum, University of Vermont:  Curated by A. Marceau DeGalan
2010   Les Rencontres d’Arles, France:   “I am a Cliche”, curated by Emma Lavigne
           Parcours Saint Germain, Paris, France
           Galerie du CG, Aix-en Provence, France:  ‘PARADE’, curated by Agnes de Gouvion
             St. Cyr*
           Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper WY:  “Ucross-27 Years”, curated by Lisa
2009   National Theater, Athens, Greece:  Curated by Katerina Tselou
2008   Chateau de Malbrouck, France:  L’Homme Merveilleux *
           Galeria Palma Dotze, Barcelona, Spain
2004   Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France:   Eblouissement *
           Centre Photographique d’Ile de France, Portault-Combault:   En Piste
           Grand Palais, Paris & National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa:  The Great Parade *
2003   Centre Nationale de la Photographie, Paris, France:  Fables de l’identité *
2002   Ctr. Nationale des Arts Plastiques/Abbaye de Montmajour, Arles,
           France:  Le Cirque en Majeste
           Grimaldi Forum, Monte Carlo, Monaco:  Jour de cirques
2001   Wadsworth Atheneum, CT + American Federation of Arts:
              Images from the World Between *
2000   Bayly Art Museum at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville:  In Our Time
1999   Troyer Gallery, Washington D.C.
1998   Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France: METEOR
           Universidad de Salamanca, Spain: IMAGO ‘98 *
1997   The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY NY:   Heart, Body, Mind,
                  Soul: American Art in the ’90s
1996   Portalen Contemporary Art Center, Denmark
           Musee Henri Martin, Cahors, France:  Le Printemps de Cahors *
1995   Espace Van Gogh, Arles, France:   A quoi jouent-ils? *
           Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL:   Seldom Seen: Photographs 
                  from the Collection
           Julie Saul Gallery, NY NY: Choices
           Bonnie Benrubi Gallery, NY NY:   Summer Salon
1994   The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY NY: From the Collection: Photography
           Cristinerose Gallery, NY NY:  Chasing Angels *
1992   The Rennaisance Society, Chicago IL:  Picture This…
1991   John Post Lee Gallery, NY NY: ORNAMENT
           Amy Lipton Gallery, NY NY: INVITATIONAL
           Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco CA: The American Scene
           White Columns, NY NY: PHOTOPROJECTS
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Bayly Art Museum at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Paris, France
Centre National des Arts Plastiques, France
Fondation NSM Vie / ABN-AMRO, Paris, France
Fonds National d’Art contemporain, France
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
Collection of King Juan Carlos I, Madrid, Spain

2010   New York Foundation for the Arts: Fellow in Photography
2009-2010   Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program, Brooklyn, N.Y.: 
2002   Ucross Foundation, Wyoming, U.S.: Fellowship
1993   Ucross Foundation, Wyoming, U.S.: Fellowship

B.S., New York University, New York
Parsons School of Design, New York
International Center of Photography, New York
2010   ‘Heavy Duty and Razor Sharp’  Emma Lavigne, Les Rencontres d’Arles 2010, France
2010   ‘PARADE’ Agnes de Gouvion St. Cyr, GAC Bouches du Rhone, France
2008   ‘L’Homme Merveilleux’, Christian Debize: Chateau de Malbrouck, France
2007   ‘Photogrpahies Modernes et Contemporaines, La Collection Neuflize Vie’: 
                Flammarion, France
2006   ‘Rhona Bitner : Stage’, Regis Durand: Galerie Xippas+BFAS-Blondeau Fine Art   
2004   ‘Eblouissement’, Regis Durand: Jeu de Paume, Paris
            ‘La Grande Parade’: Gallimard, France/Yale University Press
2002   ‘Best Regards: Collection nsm vie 1997-2002’, Elisabeth Nora:
                Editions du Regard, Paris
2001   ‘Images from the World Between’, Donna Gustafson: MIT Press, Boston
1998    ‘Rhona Bitner : Circus’, Jorge Ribalta: Universidad de Salamanca: Spain   
            ‘IMAGO ’98’: Salamanca, Spain
            ‘9e Primavera Fotografica’, individual text by Jorge Ribalta: Barcelona, Spain
1996    ‘Le Printemps de Cahors’, individual text by Adam D. Weinberg:
                Cahors, France  
1995    ‘A Quoi Jouent-Ils?’, Christian Caujolle, Bernard Millet: Arles, France
1994    ‘Chasing Angels’, G. Roger Denson: New York, NY

PRESS (selected):    
Petrinou, C.: Highlights, March-April, 2007    
Konstandinidi, C.: Estia, March 12, 2007
Guillot, C.: Le Monde, May 13, 2006  
Shulman, K.: ARTnews, March 2006  
Altaio, V.: El Temps D’Art, January-February, 2006   
McQuade, C.: The Boston Globe, December 2005   
Schwabsky, B.: ArtPress, (interview), December, 2004
Fanchette, F.: Liberation, July 3, 2004
Guégan, S.: Beaux Arts, April, 2004
Guerrin, M.: Le Monde, August 22, 2003
Durand, R.: Beaux Arts, June, 2003
Ballentine, S.: New York Times Magazine part II, March 30, 2003
Schwabsky, B.: Artforum, March, 2002   
Johnson, K.: New York Times, December 11, 2001   
Glueck, G.: New York Times, November 16, 2001
Breerette, G.: Le Monde, October 17-18, 1999
Protzman, F.: The Washington Post, August 5, 1999
Vidal, J.: El Pais, May 28, 1998
Miralles, F.: La Vanguardia, May 15, 1998
Altaio, V.: El Mundo, May 3, 1998
McQuaid, C.: The Boston Globe, April 3, 1997
Hodes, R.: L’Evenment du Jeudi, 13-19 June, 1996
Planca, E.: Arte, June, 1996
Marmignon, A.: Le Figaro, June 18, 1996
Dagen, P., Guerrin M.: Le Monde, April 18, 1996
Ardenne, P.: ArtPress, October 1995
Hagen, C.:  The New York Times, August 18, 1995
Aletti, V.:  The Village Voice, July 18, 1995
Stapen, N.: The Boston Globe, May 4, 1995  
Aletti, V.:  The Village Voice, July 30, 1991