Where We Live: Photographs of Human Spaces

Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery
July 26 - December 29, 2024

What meaning can be found in a house, a skyscraper, or a storefront? What do we feel when we look into a room, out a window, or down a street? Are the spaces we build ever just brick, wood, and metal, or do we necessarily make them something more?

Through photography, this exhibition presents some of the endless range of answers to these compelling questions. Utilizing their medium’s capacity to highlight and energize pieces of the world around us, the featured artists provide an opportunity to pause and see the significance of the spaces we create for ourselves. Some of the photographers sought out unfamiliar locations, while some chose to return to their own hometowns and see them anew. Most of their pictures do not include people, placing focus squarely on constructed spaces themselves and bringing out a wide range of narratives, associations, and emotions. As Todd Hido, one of the artists in the exhibition, explains: “I wonder about how people live, and the act of taking that photograph is a meditation.”

The artworks included in Where We Live have been drawn from the collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell, who have long collected photography and supported its display at the Akron Art Museum. Their collection includes many pictures related to this theme, creating a rich representation of the interchange between photographers and the built environment.