Synchronized Swimmers

January 17 - February 22, 2020

My grandmother was in her mid-sixties when she learned to swim. Her lessons began the day she had an in-ground pool installed in her back yard. It was then that my grandmother, my sisters, and I began our love affair with water. Her pool became our most frequented place of play. Holding our breath, stepping into the water, we slipped into our imaginations.

Synchronized Swimmers is a multimedia, photographic stage that juxtaposes the still against the moving, 2D with 3D, in an attempt to create a phantasmagoric stage for a highly costumed, multimedia performance to unfold. Relying on research and imagery from the Gulf Coast of Florida, including the Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaid Show, Synchronized Swimmers will source untrained performers from the hosting communities to embody the photographic space. Fog, animated lighting, and sound lure the viewer deeper inside the story towards a willing suspension of disbelief.

By incorporating forms of installation, performance, storytelling, folklore and regional cultural studies with a strong focus on the American South, my work overlaps the past with the present, and collapses the fourth wall established in the still image. I am interested in “reversing the camera’s crop” by enlisting community participation. Through this cooperative creative space-making, the audience and performer are one and the same. Participants are invited to step inside the photograph, inside the story, creating the latent image of a sensory experience that lives on in the mind of the viewer.

Synchronized Swimmers relies on generative research and will grow over the next two years as it travels across the southeastern United States. This evolving project will produce a series of large-format photographs and a short film for future exhibition.

— Jenny Fine

Jenny Fine (b. 1981, Enterprise, AL) is a visual artist and professor currently living and working in Alabama. Rooted in the photographic form, Fine’s practice employs time as material in an exploration of both personal and cultural memory, identity, and our shifting relationship to the photograph in our digital, image-saturated age. Fine has shown her work in solo exhibitions at Geh8, Dresden, Germany (2012), Dublin Arts Council, Dublin, Ohio (2014); The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, Ohio (2015), Children’s Museum of the Arts, New York, New York (2015); Wiregrass Museum of Art, Dothan, Alabama (2015); and Stephen Smith Fine Art, Fairfield, AL (2016).

Exhibition Programming

Originial score for Synchronized Swimmers composed by Taylor Shaw.

Featured Above: Jenny Fine, When We Were Synchronized Swimmers, 2010/2018, 24”x36”, hand-colored archival pigment print

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Refund Policy

The Wiregrass Museum of Art may cancel any class with insufficient enrollment; students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student withdraws at least 1 week before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for the full cost of the class. If a student withdraws 24 hours before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for half the cost of the class. There are no refunds after the start date of class, and membership fees are nonrefundable. Students are not enrolled until complete payment is received.

Terms and Conditions

The Wiregrass Museum of Art reserves the right to photograph and reproduce chosen works publication, publicity, and educational purposes. Participation in this exhibition shall be an agreement on the part of the artist to these conditions. The museum reserves the right to exclude works submitted without appropriate preparation (documentation, mounting hardware, suitable frame/mat, etc.), or which are damaged or incomplete. The museum is not responsible for the safekeeping of any works left in its care ninety (90) days after the close of the exhibition.

Email Educator Amanda Holcomb

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