On Friday, October 7th 2011, from 7 to 11PM, Photographer Lamia Khorshid will exhibit her newest series “Hotel St Michel” at Curator’s Voice Art Projects.
Miami Beach-based Khorshid, MFA’07 solo show in Wynwood will showcase her photographs which express a sense of place and territory using long halls or intimate rooms as backgrounds with detail furniture and architectural components to convey a personal feeling of loss.
“I decided to make thoughtful work full of many layers of meaning which represented various aspects of marriage, relationship, property, ceremony, domesticity, permanence, the fleeting moment, past and present,” said Korshid.
“As a firm an enigmatic woman, Khorshid shows herself as an iconic matriarch in possession of her power with an undeniable life stanza,” said Milagros Bello, Ph.D curator of the show.
“No capitulation is possible on the grounds where she stands for demanding observance for herself and her environment; in her photographs she shows a feminist angle proposing a paradigm of woman’s power and rule,” said Bello.
Miami Art Gallery & Museum Examiner interviews Khorshid, an Egyptian-born full-time Lecturer of Photography at the University of Miami and owner of The Miami Photo Academy.
Tell us about were you come from and when did you move to America?
I was born in Egypt in 1977, my family moved from Egypt to Zambia when I was 2 years old and then moved to Miami in 1985 when I was eight years old. to Miami. I left Miami briefly during my high school years when we lived in Panama City, Florida. I came back to Miami in 1994 to study architecture at the University of Miami.
You were a finalist in the 2000 (AIA) American Institute of Architects Photo Competition. Did that first successful experience motivate you after graduating from architecture to start a career in photography?
In my undergraduate years, I discovered I was interested in photography and studied art as a minor. The photo that was selected in the finalists category was called “Venice, Italy.” It was one year after I graduated with my Bachelor of Architecture and Minor in Art degree. I had a passion for photography, and at the time I was mostly interested in the psychology of space. It is funny you mention it here, because now, 11 years later, I am still interested in the psychology of space, but that space is surrounding a portrait, and that portrait is usually of me.
When did you come up with the creative idea of photographing yourself in the iconic Hotel St Michel of Coral Gables to tell a personal story? Did you stay at the hotel to get away from your problems and/or just by chance you discovered a staging opportunity for your upcoming work?
Unfortunately, I found my marriage in trouble in 2008, I separated from my ex, and then went through a very hurtful divorce. Six months after the divorce, I was still struggling with the feeling of loss, and had not yet come to terms with the end of the relationship.
I was going through a period of self-reflection and I decided to check into a hotel to get away from my life for a bit. I first checked into a different hotel the first night and found the ambiance to be devoid of comfort. I decided to go to the Gables area instead, to the Hotel St Michel, an iconic architectural building close to the University. I found the traditional and historic decor of the hotel to be immediately comforting. I brought my whole photography equipment because I knew I wanted to work on how I was feeling at this period of my life. Somehow, translating the experience into image, gave me something I could keep and hold onto, since so much else was lost. It was important to me that the work was about the experience, and the decor of the rooms and common areas worked very well in the way they added to the meaning of the pieces. I believe that my studies in architecture have contributed to making me aware of the psychology of space. I utilize the space itself as a tool to reinforce the meaning behind the work.
Tell us about your experience of teaching at UM.
I started teaching photography classes as an Adjunct Photography Instructor for many years, while I set up my own studio, The Miami Photo Academy. I kept shooting, creating more work, and exhibiting locally as well as nationally. Now, I teach full time at UM and I also offer short 15 hour photo workshops which will resume again in February 2012.
What are you currently working on?
The work I am doing now is to photograph myself in other people’s homes, as if they were my own. That has a lot to do with how much we moved when I was younger. We were not the kind of family who bought a house and stayed there. I actually recollect a lot of houses I lived in by their exterior color, and I think that is why my photos are very vivid in color as well.
As with many Egyptians you were brought up in the Islam tradition. Do you think religion shapes a person’s future when it comes to marriage?
The religions we were brought up with do shape and affect our ways of seeing, as do many other things such as which country we were raised in, which countries we have traveled to and lived in, how much education or lack of education we were offered, the neighborhoods we lived in, etc. My parents and my extended Egyptian family is Muslim and I am glad I had that experience because it heightened my awareness of understanding their beliefs and at the same time, decided that my beliefs were different. I am no longer Muslim, and I am skeptical of organized religion. I prefer to make my own decisions. As a result of moving from the East to the West at a very young age, my family had growing pains here, it was a cultural, and religious adjustment for all of us in different ways. Regarding their practicing religion and the subject of my marriage, it was rather expected that they did not accept my engagement or my marriage in the beginning. I decided to marry without their blessing and they did not attend to the wedding ceremony. However, eventually they came around, embraced the union as much as they could, and we moved on.