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Hannah Altman

Hannah Altman is a Jewish-American artist from New Jersey. She holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Through photographic based media, her work interprets relationships between gestures, the body, lineage, and interior space.

She has recently exhibited with the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Blue Sky Gallery, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and Photoville Festival. Her work has been featured in publications such as Vanity Fair, Carnegie Museum of Art Storyboard, Huffington Post, New York Times, Fotoroom, Cosmopolitan, i-D, and British Journal of Photography. She was the recipient of the 2019 Bertha Anolic Israel Travel Award and included in the 2020 Critical Mass and Lenscratch Student Prize Finalists.

She has delivered lectures on her work and research across the country, including Yale University and the Society for Photographic Education National Conference. Her first monograph Kavana, published by Kris Graves Projects, is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Thomas J Watson Library.

Artist Statement

Float with Both Feet ​constructs fabricated narratives as the hinges of feminine archetypal structures pivot around them. This project explores interconnected gestures between the body and its surrounding environment, considering the intricate web of refraction that unfurls between subject, object, and maker. Each element is sensitized by the light of another surface. The portrait, as presented here, demandingly exists in unstable relation to something else; not quite here, nor there, but always starkly present.


Haircut, 2017

Release Date: May 7, 2021

Haircut is part of a series called Float With Both Feet, which explores fabricated narratives in relation to feminine structures. The project considers interconnected gestures between the body and its surrounding environment, considering the intricate web of relationships that are upheld between subject, object, and maker. The portraits exist in this sort of dreamlike state, not quite here, nor there, but always very present.

I developed this longer form project throughout most of my undergraduate college years, which is a space of rapid change - of becoming and unbecoming - and that’s really what Haircut is about. It is organic in the way that this South Oakland of Pittsburgh apartment DIY haircut happened and is the site of a documentation of change, but it is fabricated in the sense that the slice of hair across the back itself is very much staged as a remnant. Through that performance of change there is this permanence in the presence of what is left behind.

Release Date: December 3, 2021

"I woke up in the early hours that morning, fumbling towards the blue light of the bathroom. Met with the biting kick of December cold at my ankles, I looked down at the iced layer of snow filling the grooves of the bathroom tile and crunching beneath my feet. I had left the fucking window open. I thought about the night before, how I was stifled by the small warmth of my body in this narrow apartment, how I shoved the glass upwards with a creak, followed by the rusted mesh screen. How I had stuck my head out the window and tried to swallow the dark air until my lungs felt sharp and snowdrift numbed my ears. And now it was everywhere. I scooped it all into the sink so that when it melted in the warmth of the day’s sun and destroyed its own shape, there would at least be something solid to contain itself in."

What You Allow In, 2018

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