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Audrey Penven

Audrey Penven

Bereich: Fotografie

© Audrey Penven

© Audrey Penven

© Audrey Penven

© Audrey Penven

© Audrey Penven

Key Facts







Empfehlende Institution



März 2008 - April 2008


2005  Rutgers University, B.A. (Honors), Visual Arts: Photography
2006  ASUC Art Studios, Alternative Techniques for the Photographic Darkroom
2006  Rayko Photo Center, Introduction to Studio Lighting
2007  Rayko Photo Center, Wet-Plate Photography
2007  Goethe Institut, German language


MISSION17, San Francisco, CA, "Evolution of Atrophy." (curator)
TANGO, Oakland, CA, "Eclecticism."
Boontling Gallery, Oakland, CA, "Overhung 3, Well Hung."

Cricket Engine Gallery, Oakland, CA, "The Art of Tea."

The LAB, San Francisco, CA, "Postcard Show."
Caffe Mono, San Francisco, CA, "The Moment Before Leaving."

Mason Gross School of the Arts, New Brunswick, NJ, "B.A. and B.F.A. Open."

Professional Experience

since 2007
Freelance Photographer
Lab Technician Intern, Rayko Photo Center
Junior Photographer, Pacific Book Auction Galleries

since 2006 Gallery Intern, MISSION17

2006–2007 Photographer's Assistant, Sean McCarty Wedding Photography
2005–2006 Photographer's Assistant, Goodlux Photography
2004 Darkroom Technician, Mason Gross School of the Arts

Other Projects

2piR with Interpretive Arson, Oakland, CA
Dance Dance Immolation with Interpretive Arson, Oakland, CA


In my work, I have dealt with the issue of gender by consciously trying to avoid it.  It would be nice to live in a world free from defined gender roles, but unfortunately that is not the case right now.  That being said, one's gender weighs heavily on personal experience, whether it is acknowledged or not.  Active avoidance of the issues - which is what I often find myself doing - is a way of dealing with a very real experience. 

When I learned of the theme of this project, I began to examine my thoughts on gender.  As an artist, I try to avoid anything that can stereotypically be labelled "feminine."  Instead, I try to find a voice that is neutral with regards to gender.  Why do I do this?  Ingrained in my mind are the cultural conceptions of what femininity is - weak, overly emotional, superficial, and materialistic.  Although I am aware that this viewpoint is absurd, I still feel the need to rebel against it.  I feel as if I must distance myself from the concept of my gender in order to be taken seriously.

Now that I am aware of my tendencies, I am interested in exploring how gender shapes our experience. Our culture has ways of defining the genders.  I am interested in looking at how we express ourselves in response to these definitions.


Arriving for my two month stay in Vienna meant saying goodbye to my old self.  Routines developed at home lost their relevance.  The noise died away and I was able to listen to my thoughts, to let them grow, and follow where they led.  Some of the most valuable moments were spent in the smoky darkness of Viennese cafes, drinking strong espresso while in deep conversations with artists and philosophers.
These transformative moments rarely had the space and time to exist in the life I knew.  My plan was to work on my techniques of physical film manipulation.  I knew that it was important to let everything else flow organically.

During my stay at quartier21, I was inspired to work constantly on many projects.  I experimented with cyanotypes in collaboration with Graffiti Research Labs, photographed a monochrom puppet show, bicycled with critical mass, and shot many rolls of film. In conversation with the other artists in residence, I was able to refine my ideas on art and issues related to gender.  I more fully understand the importance of collaboration and allowing time to let ideas evolve.  It was fascinating to see the differences in the work of the five of us Nancy Mauro-Flude, Paula Delgado, Klara Swantesson, Ivana Moncolová, and myself.  Our theme of "gender issues" provoked me to examine my own treatment of the subject.  I've often denied that gender is relevant at all.  This in itself is a way of reacting to the issue.  I addressed this during our symposium in late April.

I learned the meaning of "goodbye" in Austria is not what it means at home.  It usually means the conversation will take on a new, more interesting topic and continue for another hour or two.  Leaving Vienna was far too abrupt for my taste, but the lessons and inspiration came home with me.  They will be with me forever.

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