Brian M. Cassidy & Melanie Shatzky are collaborative artists working at the intersection of moving and still imagery. Their works have been exhibited at the Berlin, Toronto, Sundance, Locarno, Rotterdam and Ann Arbor film festivals, The Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Art, Le Musee de la Civilisation, ICA London, The Museum of the Moving Image and Lincoln Center. In 2012, they were nominated for a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Director; in 2014, they held a fellowship at The MacDowell Colony; and in 2016, they held a fellowship at Yaddo. Their feature debut, Francine, starring Academy Award winner Melissa Leo, was called “a small gem of bleak neorealist portraiture” by The New York Times and was selected as a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Their film, The Patron Saints, was called “a documentary shot with intimacy and great respect” by Artforum.
Cassidy & Shatzky’s photographic work has been featured in GUP Magazine, Der Greif, FlakPhoto, and Slate, among others. In 2015, the Montreal International Documentary Film Festival (RIDM) invited the duo to guest curate “A Photographer’s Eye: Photography & The Poetic Documentary”, a special program about the intersection of photography and documentary film, which was showcased at La Cinematheque Quebecoise.
Cassidy & Shatzky both hold an MFA in Photography, Video & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in NYC.
In The Children, collaborative artists Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky explore the ephemeral nature of childhood with a tough and tender immediacy, fixed by harsh flash, deep shadows and a pointed use of primary color. The Children shows us a world at once familiar and strange, where the more vulnerable aspects of youth are explored in a manner recalling the crime scene photography of the Speed-Graphic era or Technicolor film noir.
The children in these images inhabit a remote institutional setting and are enveloped by an untamed natural world. At times radiating innocence and joy, the images also suggest trauma. By limiting the factual origins of each photograph, Cassidy and Shatzky present an atmosphere in which the melancholy dislocation of these children reach us as if by way of dream logic. Within this abstract narrative context, the viewer is encouraged to reflect upon these boys and girls, not as documentary subjects, but rather as apparitions or symbols from our own fragile childhood, as if recollected through the darkened pathways of memory.
To view more of Brian and Melanie’s work please visit their website.