Carnegie Center Is Currently Open | Hours

Like a Bad Penny, photographs by Rachael Banks
October 4 – November 30, 2019

Opening Reception:  Friday, October 4, 2019
5:30 PM Members-Only Curator and Artist Talk
6:00 PM Public Opening Reception

The Carnegie Center presents Like a Bad Penny, a solo exhibition by photographer Rachael Banks. The series title Like a Bad Penny references an old English proverb that describes the recurrence of an unwanted person or event. Banks is interested in how trauma creates dysfunction within families and how it establishes a foundation from which identities are built upon.  Banks is particularly drawn to the idea that in spite of our resistance, the older we get, the more like our parents we become. Like a Bad Penny is a visual document that uses portraiture and staged environments to reference how destruction, violence, and substance abuse can manifest in those we love the most. This exhibition also features site-specific wall illustrations by Matthew McDole inspired by Banks’ photographs.

 “Despite my attempts to reconcile with the destructive actions of my parents and the region I was born into, I am also inevitably attracted to people with these same attributes,” explained Banks. “The camera is a tool that allows me to create symbolic images of trauma inspired by personal memory and compulsive storytelling. In my quest to photograph others and the relationship we share, it is my own memories of trauma that, like a bad penny, always turns up.”

 Like a Bad Penny opens on October 4 with a Members-Only artist and curator talk at 5:30 PM, and a public reception from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. The exhibition, which is part of the Louisville Photo Biennial, is on view through November 30, 2019.

 

Artist statement

A bad penny always turns up.

At the age of sixteen, I underwent a psychotherapy procedure (EMDR) in effort to discover and address the origin of my deepest personal trauma. The result of this experiment was more questions than answers. Was it my birth into the world or is it possible that trauma can be passed on from one person to another? Can trauma endured by a place find roots within the individuals who inhabit it?

Like a Bad Penny is an ongoing photographic search for the relationship between trauma and relationships. The series title Like a Bad Penny references an old English proverb that describes the recurrence of an unwanted person or event. I am interested in how trauma has created dysfunction within my family and how it is the foundation of my identity. Specifically, I find myself drawn to the idea that in spite of our resistance, the older we get, the more like our parents we become. Like a Bad Penny is a visual document that uses portraiture and staged environments to reference destruction, violence, and substance abuse. Despite my attempts to reconcile with the destructive actions of my parents and the region I was born into, I am also inevitably attracted to people with these same attributes.

I see trauma as an energy that cannot be created or destroyed – it can be inherited, transferred, and shared. My trauma existed before I was born. I inherited some of it from my family and other parts are from the land I grew up in. I share it with the people I am in relationships with. The camera is a tool that allows me to create symbolic images of trauma inspired by personal memory and compulsive storytelling. In my quest to photograph others and the relationship we share, it is my own memories of trauma that, like a bad penny, always turns up.

–Rachael Banks

 

Rachael Banks is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Northern Kentucky University in Covington, KY. She received an MFA in photography from Texas Woman’s University (Denton, TX) and has exhibited her photographs regionally, nationally, and internationally. Banks’ work focuses primarily on family dynamics, relationships, and nostalgia. She is especially interested in social subcultures and identity informed by place. Rachael is an avid supporter of self-publishing, accessible art, zines, and collecting.

 

 

Banks Fawn, KY, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  36 x 24 inches

Life is Pain, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  36 x 24 inches

Good Will, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  16 x 24 inches

I only fear God, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  16 x 24 inches

I’ll Keep You Close, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  20 x 30 inches

Two Months, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  10 x 15 inches

Dad sits for me again, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  16 x 24 inches

Michael at Camp, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  16 x 24 inches

I see Him in You, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  16 x 24 inches

KENTUCKY, 22019. Archival Pigment Print.  10 x 15 inches

Like a Weed (a nod to Laura), 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  10 x 15 inches

Nathan, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  20 x 30 inches

Alec and Andy, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  36 x 24 inches

16 Years, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  15 x 10 inches

Smoother than your eye, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  24 x 36 inches

Taylor and Princess, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  24 x 16 inches

Andy Bullet Eyes, 2019. Archival Pigment Print.  16 x 24 inches

 

 

 

 

 

SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS

Join our email list