Photographer Robin Resch has been named the winter 2021 Anne Reeves Artist in Residence at the Arts Council of Princeton. During her residency, she will continue to work locally on her series”Taking Pause.”
The completed Princeton portraits will be on display in Princeton’s Dohm Alley from April to October of 2021.
“Taking Pause” is a documentary, collaborative portrait project that asks people to reflect on what in their lives feels most essential. The project explores what people identify and connect with most deeply, and what truly matters to people, and why.
Resch documents each participant with two distinct portraits: one of the physical self, and an accompanying portrait of the reflective self through what the person chooses to share. Each participant is then asked to tell his or her story.
“At a time when our country feels so torn and disconnected, this project aims to reconnect and place trust with those we don’t know,” Resch said. “Crucial to this project is its collaborative nature that aspires to connect with people, share stories, and spend time together. In short, to take pause, to reflect.”
Work on this series began in early 2018 with a core group of participants from varying backgrounds. Between November 2018 and March 2019, Resch began to expand the project’s community by working with people across the United States. She drove solo 10,553 miles across the country on a route that was largely determined by the location of the participants.
“Our lives are so diverse and we’ve all been impacted in similar and yet differing ways,” Resch said. “To some degree, it has been equalizing. In other ways, it’s been polarizing. How has it impacted us? Have our values changed? Would we answer the question ‘what is irreplaceable to you?’ differently today than a year ago?” She said her hope is to sow seeds for a conversation that can help heal people in such a challenging time, rebuilding trust by addressing people’s fears and fostering communication and reflection.
Her goal for the Princeton portion of the project is to capture as broad a spectrum of the local community as possible.
Resch’s work with each participant culminates in two photos and a brief written text. Five portrait sets will be printed on vinyl banners and be displayed in Dohm Alley, a public space located near the corner of Nassau and Witherspoon streets, next to Starbucks.
Resch is a Princeton-based photographer who lived in Italy, France, and the Netherlands until 1998. She left Europe to pursue her master’s degree in architecture at Princeton University, which she combined with advanced photographic studies with Emmet Gowin and Andrew Moore. She said heer architectural training informs her documentary photographic work. She is particularly interested in making images that are about and their personal environments as well as the impact on the collective environment. Her landscape photography is more abstract and seeks to explore the human experience of the natural environment.
Resch’s work has been exhibited at Princeton University’s Lucas Gallery, the Pringle Gallery in Philadelphia, Design Within Reach, Princeton Project Space, the Arts Council of Princeton, and the Nassau Club. Her photographs have been published in the New York Times, the Witte de With Cahiers, the Rotterdams Dagblad, Italian GQ, and Princeton Magazine. She has maintained an active portrait studio since 2003. In 2012, she was honored to be the exclusive campaign photographer for the Princeton fundraising event with First Lady Michelle Obama.
This project would not be possible without the support of Timothy Andrews, a longtime friend and supporter of the Arts Council of Princeton, who has underwritten the Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence program for three years. The Arts Council also acknowledges the Princeton University Humanities Council for their generous support.
The Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence Program, named after the Arts Council of Princeton’s founding director, was established by the Arts Council in 2009 to offer artists the opportunity to conceptualize and create work while providing the community with creative interaction with working artists in all disciplines.