My work is an observation of the parallels between photography and theater. In both we enter a black space and an image appears. What is seen is at once, simply, itself and what it seems to be.
In the past, the work focused entirely on the performer in the spotlight. In this series of photographs entitled STAGE, I focused my attention away from the performer and onto the stage about to be inhabited, or once inhabited, by the performer. Although still and empty, the stage is filled with expectation and, perhaps, dread as lights dim and a curtain begins to rise. Or, after a performance, with nothing left but the physical space and the memory of what occurred there. As such, the images can conjure emptiness and occupied space, equally silent and animated.
Rhona Bitner investigates how the spectacle and experience of performance and theater is represented in a two-dimensional photograph. Currently she is working on a project imaging the legacy of American music. Her work has been exhibited in the United States, France, Switzerland, Greece and Spain. It is represented in the public collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France, among others and has been reviewed widely in publications including Artforum, The New York Times, ArtPress and Beaux Arts. She divides her time between New York and Paris. In 2010 she is a fellow at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program in Brooklyn, NY. website.