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Sam Contis – Overpass

Presented by Point Reyes Books at Point Reyes Presbyterian Church, Point Reyes Station CA

Dec 10 2022
Sam Contis – Overpass

Artist/photographer in conversation about her book of photos of stiles in the English countryside

In conversation with Chris Jennings

Photographer Sam Contis, recipient of a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship, will be joined by Chris Jennings for a conversation about her new work, Overpass (Aperture).

This free event will be held at the Dance Palace.


Overpass is about what it means to move through the landscape. Walking along a vast network of centuries-old footpaths through the English countryside, artist Sam Contis focuses on stiles, the simple structures that offer a means of passage over walls and fences and allow public access through privately owned land.

In her immersive sequences of black-and-white photographs, they become repeating sculptural forms in the landscape, invitations to free movement on one hand and a reminder of the history of enclosure on the other. Made from wood and stone, each unique, they appear as markers pointing the way forward, or decaying and half-hidden by the undergrowth.

An essay by writer Daisy Hildyard contextualizes this body of work within histories of the British landscape and contemporary ecological discourses. In an age of rising nationalism and a renewed insistence on borders, Overpass invites us to reflect on how we cross boundaries, who owns space, and the ways we have shaped the natural environment and how we might shape it in the future.


Sam Contis (b. 1982) received her MFA from Yale University in 2008 and BFA from New York University in 2004. Her work has been exhibited widely, including at the Barbican Art Gallery, London; the Gropius-Bau, Berlin; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She is the recipient of a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship, a Nancy Graves Grant for Visual Artists, and an Aaron Siskind Fellowship. Contis’s work is represented in collections including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Carré d’Art, Nîmes; Centre Pompidou, Paris; KADIST, Paris and San Francisco; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She is the author of Deep Springs (Mack, 2017) and Day Sleeper (Mack, 2020). A new monograph, Overpass, will be published by Aperture this fall. In July–November 2022, a solo exhibition of her work will be on view at the Carré d’Art, Nîmes.

Chris Jennings grew up in New York City. He graduated from Deep Springs College and Wesleyan University. He lives in Northern California.


Free, donations welcome

Contact: 415.663.1542


    Official Website

Additional time info:

4:00 pm


Point Reyes Presbyterian Church

11445 CA-1, Point Reyes Station, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

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