Abigail R. Cohen



MFA Thesis Show, installation view


MFA Thesis Show

Artist Statement

MFA Thesis Show, Savannah College of Art and Design
Galerie Lumiere, Savannah, GA

Inside this room, I have created a continuous, never-ending photograph. It has no beginning and no end. Like life, it is not contained in these supposed parameters.

The subjects are sometimes alone, sometimes with others, sometimes dissected, sometimes overlapping, repeating, blank, etc. It is a narrative that has no focal point, no real measure, so that it is like a dream or myth- a half-reality: the reality one’s subjectivity creates on it’s own. . It is, what I have coined, a lifecycle- one cycle of an eternal allegory.

Photographing with the Holga, a simple, plastic camera, creates a deep hazy image which is both romantic and terrifying. The imagery is about being home, being attached, being safe, but also about being left vulnerable to the wild world, beckoning and demanding my attention. The image, in one cycle of my journey, examines the relationships between people- are we alone on our perspective journeys? Do we go through life together? Or do we simply exist next to each other? My subjects, at the same time a reflection of myself and a projection of themselves, are both intimate and distanced, alone but together. The fluidity of the photograph gives it structure while the discontinuity in imagery gives it chaos. There is a balance of all things: a balance of intimacy and tension, of chaos and fluidity, of mystery and awareness. This all reflects my philosophy of life.

The work has become a reflection of myself searching for meaning through photography. To reference Susan Sontag- Photography has made me a tourist in my own life.

in memoriam

We are saddened at the passing of artist and InLiquid member Abigail R. Cohen, who died December 12, 2000 of a heart attack at the age of 27.

Her connection to the art community as well as InLiquid was strong. Her beautiful photographs shown on the site are just an example of her gift as an artist. Studio Z and InLiquid staff members had the opportunity to work closely with Abigail towards the launch of The ArtBiz.com, the company she cofounded last year along with Danielle Taylor and Dana Sunshine. Our companies also worked together as cohosts of the Silent Auction Benefit this past fall.

There was a memorial service this morning at Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel. Having seen the size of the crowd that attended, we know that Abigail will be missed by many people whose lives she has touched. Our condolences go out to Abigail’s family, Ed, Dana and Danielle, and all of her loved ones.

The following is the obituary which was printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday, December 13, 2000.

Abigail R. Cohen, 27, a promising Philadelphia photographer who cofounded a Web site aimed at artists, died yesterday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania of complications after a heart attack.

She lived in Center City.

Miss Cohen, who was born with a congenital heart defect, suffered a heart attack last Wednesday while visiting architectural sites in Cienfuegos, Cuba.

She was one of three children and the only daughter of Betsy Cohen, former head of Jefferson Bank, and Edward Cohen, chairman of Resource America.

Miss Cohen, whose photography examined personality and human experience, was just beginning to hit her stride.

She recently staged a show, “Life Cycle,” in Savannah, Ga., where she had earned a master’s degree from Savannah College of Art and Design this year. Her work also has appeared in New York and Maine, and, two years ago, she staged a show at Taller Puertorriqueño, a Puerto Rican cultural center in North Philadelphia.

She also taught photography at the University of the Arts.

Miss Cohen considered herself an artist, and her identification with that community was reflected in the Web site she started last year with Dana Sunshine, a close friend and high school classmate. The site – www.TheArtBiz.com – provides business, legal and financial services to the artistic community, and provides up-to-date information on grants and juried shows, as well as advice on the best places to buy inexpensive art supplies.

Miss Cohen grew up on Rittenhouse Square and in Downingtown. She graduated from Germantown Friends School in 1991 before earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997.

In addition to her parents, she is survived by brothers Daniel and Jonathan; her companion, Edward McGowan; and her grandfather, Sidney Zubrow.

Memorial donations may be made to the Abigail Rebecca Cohen Fund for Youth in the Arts, in care of Sue Taylor, 1521 Locust St., Fourth Floor, Philadelphia 19102.



Images copyright © Abigail R. Cohen

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