New Addition to the Chicago Project

We are pleased to announce the newest addition to The Chicago ProjectMike Rebholz. Mike is an architectural photographer living and working in Madison, WI. He attended the Milwaukee Center for Photography—after which he worked in advertising for 20 years, before spending the past 15 years in architectural photography. Below are two of Mike’s pieces along with his artist statement. Be sure to visit Mike’s Chicago Project page to see more of his work.

Anson Jimenez Shack #3, Lake Monona, WI, 2010
Un-Named Red Shack, Lake Mendota, WI, 2011

The project started as a contemplation of the architectural form of the ice shanty but became more than that over the 10 week duration of the ice fishing season where I live. I found beauty and community and I fell for both the day I stepped onto the ice. To be on the ice and share the cold and camaraderie, the wet and the silence alters one’s sensibilities.

There is an inherent distance to photographing on the ice, it is a long way from shore to where the fish and the shanties are clustered and that distance is almost always a component of the photographs.

When I’m  on the ice there is a closeness of community if there are fishers on the ice. I hear laughter and jokes, warnings, “someone’s got a flag up.” It is that contrast of the big emptiness and the coziness of the shanties that I want to bring home, the sense of a time that only lives a short while and then disappears entirely until the ice returns.