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Monica Haller

2010 - US & Canada Competition
Creative Arts - Photography

BIO

I collaborate long term with small groups of people most often using photography, video and writing. As artist, my role changes depending on the particular collaboration and the work I want to achieve within it. In some projects I make formal images meant for the gallery, using a 4 X 5 view camera for example. Other times I don’t make pictures at all, but instead act as an investigator, editor and facilitator. But always, by sustaining long term interactions and flexible roles, my collaborators and I have the opportunity to be thorough in our investigations together. I focus on individual details to address larger issues that are political, psychological and civic in nature.

My academic background is in Peace and Conflict Studies (the study of philosophies of violence and non-violence). In practice, I worked with people making transitions from violent situations, to less violent situations. I did this nationally and internationally. For example, I did field research about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and worked with survivors of domestic violence in the United States. I came to visual art motivated to create a physical space for the voices of the people with whom I worked and myself. Also importantly, art making was a place where I could conduct more philosophical and critically rigorous inquiries about the situations in which my collaborators and I found ourselves.

I went on to earn a M.F.A. in Visual Studies. I received a McKnight Foundation Fellowship for Photographers for 2009 – 2010, the Bush Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists in 2007- 2009, the Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artist in 2007 - 2008, and the Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellowship in 2002 and 2005 from the University of Minnesota Law School.
 

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