Current Student Joseph Liatela '21 in Group Photography Exhibit, 'Love, Actually'

Audrey Deng
April 18, 2020

Work by current student Joseph Liatela '21 is featured in the group photography exhibit Love, Actually at New York’s Humble Arts Foundation, curated by Jon Feinstein.

Love, Actually, which is available online, uses photography to show that love is a constant through hardship. “Around the world, political and social division threatens irreparable damage... As the election year approaches, as 45 continues to tweet hateful words, as violence blends into the grey of the news cycle, as the earth melts, as we don't have time to talk... the world can feel grim and apocalyptic. But love, trite as it may seem, is a constant.”

Love, Actually is the gallery’s sixty-third online exhibition. Shows 39-64 are also available to view online. The Humble Arts Foundation is based in New York City, Seattle, Detroit and San Francisco, and has served the international photography community for over a decade through exhibitions, grant making, publishing, educational programming and community building.

The photograph by Liatela in the show in particular is titled If I could attach our blood vessels in order to anchor you to the earth to this present time I would (2018). It shows two torsos pressed together against a sandy background, a depiction of the artist and his partner. The title takes its name from an excerpt of David Wojnarowicz’s When I Put My Hands On Your Body (1987).

In a comment to the university, Liatela says, “This was my first time working with Humble Arts Foundation. I found out about Humble Arts Foundation from Roula Seikaly who is a Senior Editor there, and a writer and curator based in the Bay Area. I first met Roula in 2018 when she wrote about my solo show at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco.”

Liatela is a transdisciplinary artist based in New York City. Through a transgender lens, his work examines the institutional, cultural, and medico-legal notions of what is considered a “complete” or “correct” bodily formation. Using performance, sculpture, and photography, he makes work that examines issues of gender representation, biopolitics, and questions of authenticity. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, and he is currently an MFA candidate in New Genres at Columbia University.