Matthew Genitempo, “Jasper” at Pulp until August 19, 2018

FotoFilmic is pleased to introduce the work of three promising rising photographers whose film-based artistic practices each attracted high interest and praise from juror and contemporary photography lead figure MARK STEINMETZ. SOLO III Winner MATTHEW GENITEMPO, a recent University of Hartford MFA graduate, presents his recently completed series ‘Jasper’ taking place in a homonymus small town in Northern Arkansas’s Ozark mountains.

The FotoFilmic SOLO III Runners-Up selected by Mark Steinmetz are Michelle Peters, currently in school at RISD, and Ruya Qian from Shanghai, China. The curated selection of works published here will also be reproduced in print in the upcoming SOLO catalogue publication compiling all SOLO exhibitors of this first exciting program edition.


JULY 21 – AUGUST 19, 2018

JUROR FOREWORD: “It’s early in the morning in the Ozarks and the fog snakes its way between the hills in these highly descriptive yet mysterious photographs by Matthew Genitempo. This photographer looks at men who lead isolated lives in their cabins and caves. Possibly the men are hunters or observers of nature; one maintains a collection of obsolete videotapes but mostly little is told to us about these men or their activities. In one nocturnal scene, some hunched white creature scuttles across a vague white terrain – is it a phantasm or taxidermy specimen? A cat on high guards over an axe that’s jimmied in place to keep a trailer door from opening. The men light their fires and the smoke rises up to join the fog.”

– Mark Steinmetz

FILM TALKS Interview #33: learn more about Matthew’s photographic practice and how juror Mark Steinmetz influences his work by reading our latest interview with him!



I am an American photographer currently living and making work in West Texas.

Artist Statement:

Jasper is a project that I began and completed during my time at the MFA photography program at the University of Hartford. The men in the photographs have chosen to live a life sequestered in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. The project explores my fascination with running away from the every day.

Practice Statement:

Shooting on film is an essential part of my practice. Not only do I prefer the look of film, the time between when the picture is made and when I actually get to see it is important as well. This helps remove me from the context in which the picture is made and aids me in making decisions about where the picture may find a home.



Michelle Peters (b.1994) is from Rahway, New Jersey and received her BFA in Photography at the Otis College of Art and Design in 2017. She is currently a first year MFA Photography candidate at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Artist Statement

What’s a passing phase? What stays? What do you do when what you put in the past gets reincarnated into new things? New people you meet? New places you see? How do you pick up where you left off when you’re under the faulty assumption that it’s at stasis?

This series of work explores locational ambiguity and how to ground identity within this frame. Gary Winogrand and Lucy Lippard’s The Lure of The Local were two staple influences in my production of photographs. Winogrand helped me come to terms with having faith in the richness of everyday life in order to make photographs, while Lippard helped me exist in unfamiliar spaces due to the nourishment of psychological ties to past familiar spaces. Gravitating towards rural landscapes around America that reflected those of my childhood, I found solace in places that had a slowness of living and ignorance to time and the bustling city life that laid on the outskirts. Through these places I discovered an honesty about my subjects- they were unapologetically themselves. They coexisted with nature for entertainment, living purposes, and mental happiness. Nature was their witness and other people didn’t matter. Upon returning to New Jersey, I reacquainted myself with people I haven’t seen since moving away five years ago, and the camera was a vehicle to come to terms on how to construct our relationships. Identity ironically becomes grounded with the acceptance that it’s an ongoing negotiation between people.

Practice Statement

The process of shooting on film is a fix for my on edge anxiety; it washes away my obsessiveness of the moment. To know that all I can do is to let something unfold in front of my eyes and trust the film plane to register it, is the most relieving feeling in the world. And to be honest, there are not a lot of things in this world that makes me feel relieved or are in any way cathartic for me. I won’t know if all ten shots on one roll has the “one”, but thank god I don’t have the burden of checking a screen, scrolling, and having the panic of needing to go back and perfect. With film, “it is what it is”. You react, and let go. Working this way with photography has made it the default coping mechanism for all the other areas in my life. And if the picture comes out horrible, it’s still the most precious gift knowing that maybe experiencing what you saw was far better than ever having it as an object. The process also gifts the feeling of enduring a suspension of time. Send the roll in, time passes, forget the moments that are inscribed on my Portra 160, now a days mostly Tri-X 400. I get it back and fall in love all over again, and most of the time it’s even more than the first time. I place the film on the light box and scan for the one frame when the past and present feel like they have caught up with one another and created something that isn’t even recognizable from when I first saw it. And that’s the feeling I look for every time that makes every thirty dollar box of film worth it. Digital can’t give me that.



Ruya Qian, artist , based in Shanghai, China. Born in Suzhou. Studied in Shanghai, Jiaotong University for BA and San Francisco Art Institute for MFA in Photography. Usually working on mediums such as photography, installations and ceramics. Finalist of Three Shadows’ Photography Award 2016. Works got exhibited in many cities in China and in the US.

Artist Statement

This is a self-portraiture project completely about myself. I was mentally abused for 10 years from 8-18. During that time I was living a quite isolated life, so myself to me, became an important also maybe the only partner. Over a decade, all kinds of emotions accumulated inside me and I could be exploded anytime. This project becomes a outlet of my emotions. It’s the excreta of my soul. I always argue with myself. Sometimes she was…shy and quiet, another angry and grumpy, one sensitive and emotional, one numb and cold blooded, one sad and lonely, one timid and useless and one bold and reckless. These sides of me are constantly struggling and fighting with each other. These conflicts can take me to a very dark place. It is time to bring them into the light. Self-portraiture is always a complex proposition. How much do you reveal? How truthful can an image be? What mask are you wearing? May you and yourselves live happily ever after. (Most of works are pack film double exposures, then scanned and reprinted by 33x24cm, transparent acrylic framing or silk-mirror installations. There are 4 pieces of writing I wrote with the works, but only showed in public twice, once as an audio.)

Practice Statement

For me this project is not only about the result (the actual image came out), but also the process. It’s relatively difficult to use a rangefinder camera (most pack film cameras nowadays are rangefinder camera, mine is a modified polaroid 100b) to do double exposure to achieve the accurate position. So usually behind one single image, the shooting process will last up to 4-9 hours, cost several boxes of film. For example, in one photo, I hugged myself who is crying. I was really crying while shooting by asking a friend keep swearing to me and shouting to me like when I was little how my family treated me. So in each shot of this scene, was like: my friend shouted at me—- I cried—-one exposure—-I cleaned my face —-then another exposure, on and on until I got the image I want. In another shooting, I screamed to myself for couple hours. This is a healing process, I have to face what most frightened me and my ugliest emotions again and again until I get over it. And also I like the solidified feeling of instant film, they made me feel secure..