Michael Patrick Demmy

Born1959
Died2012
BirthplaceGoldsboro, NC
GenderMale
CitizenshipUnited States
Cultural HeritageEuropean-American
Light Work RelationshipLight Work Grant, 2000
Light Work PublicationsContact Sheet 112

Artwork

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Essays

The Light Work Grant is one of the oldest photography
fellowship awards in the United States. Every spring Light Work awards three grants of $1000 to photographers, critics, and photo-historians residing within a fifty mile radius of Syracuse. The twenty-sixth Annual Light Work Grants were awarded in the spring of 2000 to three photographers:

Doug DuBois (Syracuse) was awarded a grant for his three series of large-scale prints, Winners, Motorini, and Motorsai. Winners is a series of posed portraits of successful players in games of chance and skill from the midway at the New York State Fair. In a publication that accompanied the recent exhibition of DuBois’s work at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, Thomas Piché, Jr., senior curator of the Museum, connects this series to the work of August Sander, relating it to Sander’s Man of the Twentieth Century. Piché wrote, “Like Sander’s subjects, Winners can be read for specific information about these people at this fair.”

Motorini, a collection of images of motor scooter riders in Florence, was photographed in July 1999. DuBois notes, “Florence has the highest number of Vespa-type motor scooters in Europe. The streets are narrow and the motorini can navigate the traffic with great ease but more importantly with the intimacy of a high-speed stroll. This spectacle of motorized flaneurs was photographed somewhat discreetly from the pedestrian sidewalk.” 

DuBois approached the motorsai of Bangkok in a completely different manner, confrontationally. Bangkok, according to DuBois, has the worst and riskiest traffic in the world. There was risk involved in photographing the motorsai as well. DuBois ran out into traffic and crouched directly in front of the motorcycles as they paused at long stoplights. Through this series, DuBois presents several issues including the emerging global economy, class, and national identity. 

Doug DuBois is an assistant professor in the Art Media Studies Department at Syracuse University. His work has been exhibited at S.F. Camerawork, San Francisco, California; Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; Bridge Center for Contemporary Art, El Paso, Texas; Columbus Museum of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio; and the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York. 

Michael Patrick Demmy (Johnson City) combines original and appropriated images with wood, iron, canvas, sheet metal, and copper, to create a “library” of visual information in his  installation Narrative Mythological Structures. From this library of information, Demmy says he begins “making connections,
comparisons, and metaphorical jumps beyond its mere subject matter. It is like a word that combines with other words, then other sentences, to produce a complex thought.” As a speaker repeats a word to add emphasis, Demmy repeats images to strengthen connections. In The Fall he repeats the images of two women, a nun in full habit and another with wind blown hair, to contrast the perceptions of good and evil. Earth’s biosphere
provides the visual information for Surface; images of divers, airplanes, swimmers, and fish carry us between strata and from  conscious to subconscious thought. 

Demmy is a photographer and business owner. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Parsons School of Design, New York, New York; Natura Morte, New York, New York; and State of the Art Gallery, Ithaca, New York.

Carol Golemboski (Ithaca) hand tones silver gelatin prints of items she says “are especially worn, such as old toys and
garments, as well as objects that echo the shape of the human form.” These remnants of life are grouped with beads, shells, leaves, cages, and stuffed birds into allegorical tableaux. She then incises lines and words into the photo emulsion. Striving to create an unsolvable mystery within a believable situation, Golemboski uses nonsensical text to disquiet the viewer and cause anxiety. Like vanitas painting, in which everyday items such as fruit,
flowers, and timepieces are held as emblems of life’s actions and occurrences, Golemboski’s images also relay the inevitability of the passage of time. Golemboski says this work is her response “to emotions that cannot be accurately described in verbal terms,” but seem to relate to life’s greatest fear, death.

Golemboski is an assistant professor in the Cinema and Photography Department at Ithaca College. Her photographs are included in the permanent collections of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, and the Taylor Arts Center in Hampton, Virginia. She has exhibited widely, including Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana; Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia; Amarillo College, Amarillo, Texas; and Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.

We congratulate the grant recipients and wish to thank the 2000 grant selection panelists: Vincent Cianni, an artist and instructor of photography at the Parsons School of Design, and artist Dinh Q. Lê of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 

 

Marianne Stavenhagen