EXHIBITION: PAST: 2014: 'HEART OF THE SOUTH BRONX: TRADES' at THE POINT's ART CONTAINER

HEART OF THE SOUTH BRONX: TRADES, Curated by Elisabeth Biondi. May 17-July 25, 2014.
THE POINT’s Art Container at the Campus for the Arts and the Environment, 1391 Lafayette Avenue, Bronx, New York, 10474

Fougeron’s series began in 2011 soon after she moved to The South Bronx. She created portraits of workers, interiors, machines, processes, and products of these diverse industries. On the one hand, she focuses on century-old industrial steel production, scrap metal recycling, and scaffoldings. On the other hand, she portrays artisanal family trades like baking, printing, and hand-made bedding. She also includes recent activities near the Hunt’s Point Food Market--custom prepping fish, crafting wooden boats, and creating green roof tops.

                                                    Valencia Bakery                                                                                                                              Casa Cement                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                    Valencia Bakery                                                                                                                              Casa Cement                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Elisabeth Biondi, Curator: Wall Text of the exhibition

Once Martine Fougeron decides on a project she will commit herself to explore it in depth and with singular dedication. It is what she has done with her award-winning fine art project ‘Teen Tribe’ which has been exhibited widely. For the past four years she has dedicated herself to a new significant endeavor: ‘Heart of the South Bronx: Trades’

Martine grew up in France and lived in the West Village before she moved to Port Morris six years ago. She cares about where she lives and she believes in the positive power of art/photography. With the help of THE POINT she wants to engage the local community and also reach beyond it. Her photography is her tribute to The South Bronx, to her and her family’s home.

She started to take photographs for this project after extensive research. First she identified the various enterprises that make up the economic community here. From the beginning her goal was to highlight the historic and economic importance of trades and workers in The South Bronx. She did not want to focus on the difficulties and familiar, grim visual clichés. Instead she examines what keeps people working in busineses large and small and what is being produced and crafted with care.  It is a project in progress but she already assembled a remarkable group of photographs that reflect the vitality and diversity of these neighborhoods.  Once finished, it will be a comprehensive and eye-opening document of the economic heart of  The South Bronx.

Ms. Fougeron decided to cover photographically each trade in four different ways. Her compelling portraits focus on the working people; her striking landscapes place the project geographically; her environmental pictures are both informative and reflective; and her close-ups are simply beautiful abstractions. Together it adds up to a remarkable artistic document of Port Morris and Hunts Point.

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                                                                       ''HEART OF THE SOUTH BRONX: TRADES' installation at THE POINT's Art Container

                                                                       ''HEART OF THE SOUTH BRONX: TRADES' installation at THE POINT's Art Container

 ‘Heart of the South Bronx: Trades’ is made possible with public funds from the Bronx Council on the Arts   through the department of Cultural Affairs’ Greater New York Arts Development Fund Program

 ‘Heart of the South Bronx: Trades’ is made possible with public funds from the Bronx Council on the Arts   through the department of Cultural Affairs’ Greater New York Arts Development Fund Program