FORAGE: Towards Ecological Futures in Photography (2024)


Towards Ecological Futures in Photography

Photography changed the world in complex and unpredictable ways. This exhibition explores the lesser-celebrated elements of the Kodak industry – its chemical legacy. Acknowledging the toxicity of film photography, the exhibited works were created using plant-based photo-chemistries. The plants used were foraged from neighborhoods in Rochester New York, home of Kodak.  They include species growing in Kodak’s contaminated industrial complex, as well as Eastman Mansion (founder of Kodak). The show uses plants to think about where toxicity pools and how Kodak shaped Rochester today. The story is complex and the exhibited works form part of a multi-year engagement with these issues as part of Cazenave’s PhD research.

All of the photographs in the exhibition were printed using photo-chemistry made with foraged plants. The show includes black and white photographs of Kodak’s now empty parking lots, as well as Rochester arts institutions. These were developed in plants foraged from a toxic Kodak landfill. The window maps an alternative history of Kodak, linking together contaminants, neighborhoods, institutions and Haudenosaunee lands that form an alternative history of Kodak. Plant-developed film negatives are accompanied by jars of plant matter used to develop them.

The exhibition also features a documentary film featuring @sustainabledarkroom artists. The Sustainable Darkroom is an international artist community working with ecologically-minded photographic methods. The project is run by London-based artists Alice Cazenave, Hannah Fletcher and Edd Carr.

Also featured are photographic works by CEPA staff and students, Nate Ely, Robert George, Curtis Kreutter, Kenny Budziszewski, Max Weiner, Adnan Hossain. These works were made during a workshop at CEPA as part of the Photography Works Mentorship Program.

Exhibit Location

The Cass Gallery

500 Seneca St,

Buffalo, NY 14204

Exhibit Dates

June 7, 2024 – August 25, 2024


Free to the public

Exhibit Times

Monday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday By Appointment only