Accompanying Image / Photo Example: 

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Achinto BhardraSheltering Tree, 2005, digital color print, 22 x 24", courtesy of the artist

Anne Arden McDonaldUntitled Self-Portrait  #551994, silver gelatin print, 16 x 20", courtesy of the artist


Iris BookCafe & Gallery

1331 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202   

(513) 260-8434
Monday through Thursday 8 am–9 pm
Friday 8 am–7 pm
Saturday 11 am–7 pm
Sunday 11 am–9 pm


Another Me: Transformations from Pain to Power
Photographs by Achinto Bhadra
Rituals and Enactments: The Self-Portraits of Anne Arden McDonald

Another Me: Transformations from Pain to Power

Photographs by Achinto Bhadra
Curated by William Messer
July 23–October 12  

Exhibition Reception
Friday September 28, 7 pm–10 pm
Artist Talk and Reception with Achinto Bhardra
Sunday September 30, 2 pm–5 pm 

Clothing and costuming, the bedposts of fashion, have long been connected to protection, identity, even power; but seldom have those connections intertwined with emotional survival and regeneration as in Another Me: Transformations from Pain to Power. In this moving, five-year project by Kolkata photographer Achinto Bhardra, young women and girls – most survivors of kidnapping or sale into sexual slavery – reassert personal identity before the camera.  On a journey of psychological healing, Bhadra's subjects find new ways to see and project themselves, established through a kind of metamorphosis aided by the simultaneous concealment and revelation of makeup and masks, in the process, rediscovering their voices. In many instancestheir stories accompany their chosen photographic identities.

Another Me: Transformations from Pain to Power is made possible by the Terre des Hommes Foundation of Lausanne, Switzerland, its office in Katmandu, and comes to Iris courtesy of the photographer and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Rituals and Enactments: The Self-Portraits of Anne Arden McDonald
Curated by William Messer
October 15–January 18, 2013 

Exhibition Reception and Artist Talk with Anne Arden McDonald
Tuesday October 16, 7 pm–10 pm 

From the ages of 15 through 30, Anne Arden McDonald would break into abandoned buildings or inhabit empty landscapes to make photographic self-portraits. She describes these initially private performances for her camera as “part ritual, part dance and part daydream,” attempts to reconcile the human dilemma of being both flesh and spirit – living in a physical body containing an uncontrollable mind. Her images can be viewed as visual metaphors for the human condition, revealing vulnerability amid strength, tension and balance. McDonald was born in London, raised in Atlanta, and now lives in Brooklyn, where she teaches at the Parsons School of Design. Her photographic work is exhibited, published and collected by major institutions worldwide.

Iris BookCafe & Gallery is a unique gathering place in Cincinnati's historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. With over 5,000 books on myriad topics, including many foreign language books, an intriguing selection of vinyl records, a wide array of home-made and locally sourced foods and beverages showcasing “the best of CIncinnati”, free wi-fi and a warm and welcoming ambience, most visitors never want to leave. And, of course, there are the quarterly photography exhibitions by local, regional and international artists, recently commended by CityBeat: “Under curator William Messer, the photography shows at Iris BookCafe and Gallery have been consistently valuable and thoughtful, providing yet another reason... for lingering at one of Main Street's most appealing destinations.”