Exhibitions


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Facility 183. From the series 'Prison Map.' Josh Begley

A couple of years ago, the amazing Pete Brook of Prison Photography successfully crowd-funded a cross-country trip "8,000 miles across America, interviewing photographers and prison experts who've documented and witnessed the era of mass incarceration." (I backed the project and as a recipient of the mixtape reward, can vouch for Pete's musical taste as well as his drive, as it were.)

Pete has now curated an exhibition which opens in Philadelphia this weekend. "Prison Obscura presents rarely seen vernacular, surveillance, evidentiary, and prisoner-made photographs, shedding light on the prison industrial complex. Why do tax-paying, prison-funding citizens rarely get the chance to see such images? And what roles do these pictures play for those within the system? With stark aesthetic detail and meticulous documentation, Prison Obscura builds the case that Americans must come face to face with these images and imaging technologies both to grasp the cancerous proliferation of the U.S. prison system and to connect with those it confines."

Presented by the John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities with support from the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.

The exhibition opens January 24th, 2014, with a talk by Pete Brook at 4.30 pm. I strongly recommend you go if you can.

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Clinical contact holding cage, Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU), C-Yard, Building 12, Mule Creek State Prison, California. August 1, 2008. Brown v. Plata.
Photographer Unknown

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Untitled, Green Hill School, Chehalis, WA. Steve Davis

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Tameika Smith, 22 February, 2013. From the series Take A Picture; Tell A Story. Robert Gumpert

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Proliferation, Paul Rucker


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David Zimmerman has been working in India for the past two years on a series of beautiful portraits of Tibetan refugees and nomads, large-scale prints from which are on show at Sous les Etoiles Gallery in Soho, New York, through November 30th, 2013.

David says: "Much of my work for the past fifteen years focuses on issues of human survival, and adaptation in the aftermath of catastrophic events. The causes of these events are varied - from economic hardship in the southwest US, to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, to northern India where 100,000 Tibetans have fled Chinese occupation."

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"I have lived and worked in India for many years, and this past year, along with my wife, founded the Himalayan Art Centre - a free school teaching photography and visual storytelling to underserved regions of the southern Himalayas. The Art Centre in north India will also serve as a meeting and workshop space for visual artists and writers from around the world."

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All images © David Zimmerman

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Opening on Thursday at Proud Chelsea in London is a wonderful-looking exhibition, 'Jacques Lowe: My Kennedy Years.' The exhibition is drawn from the Estate of Jacques Lowe's special collection of vintage and modern fine art prints, all printed and signed by Lowe prior to his death, and is curated by my dear friend, photographer and curator, Emma Blau.

"To commemorate the 50th anniversary of JFK's death, Proud Chelsea is pleased to announce 'Jacques Lowe: My Kennedy Years,' a personal and intimate collection of photographs of the Kennedy family.

"When he was only 28, Jacques Lowe became JFK's presidential campaign photographer and later, personal photographer to the President. This gave Lowe unprecedented access to the personal and professional life of one of the most iconic leaders of the 20th Century. He took over 40,000 photographs of JFK at work and with his family, showing both the public and private man. These images established the Camelot myth in the popular imagination and shaped the public's perception of the whole Kennedy family. This exhibition of Jacques Lowe's photographs helps recount the story of these mythical years and a president who, in Lowe's own words, "empowered each one of us to believe we could make a difference".

The exhibition will run from September 26th to November 25th, 2013. 'My Kennedy Years: A Memoir by Jacques Lowe', is out now from Thames & Hudson, and accompanies the exhibition.

See my previous post about Jacques Lowe, and the effort to digitize his work using contact sheets after his negatives were lost in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

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Julio Jean Pierre, a host on Télévision Nationale d'Haïti (TNH), being made up a few minutes before going on air. Behind him, a bust of Alexandre Pétion, president of the Haitian Republic from 1806 until his death in 1818, one of the fathers of the nation.


I am happy to publish a selection of images from World Press Photo award winner and INSTITUTE artist, Paolo Woods. "With journalist Arnaud Robert, he tracked down Haitian society's invisibles, its absurd flaws and hidden aspects. He investigated the economic elites, NGOs, the profusion of FM radios, American evangelists. Month after month, he came to realize that all the substitution powers that had come to save Haiti were actually replacing Haitian authorities. And yet, in a country whose leaders have failed ever since it was founded, the population's desire for a State remains unaltered."

This colourful, insightful long-term project on the situation in Woods' adopted home of Haiti has been collected into a book to be published by Photosyntheses this month. Woods will exhibit at Photoville 2013 in Brooklyn, NY (September 19-29), and for three months at the Musée Elysée, Lausanne, opening September 20. 

Can't make it? Enjoy this selection.

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Radio Lumiere 90.9 FM. This is one of the oldest protestant radios. It has stations all over the country and is financed by the American and German Baptiste churches. Pastor Emile Alnève has just read from the Bible and is about to lead the listeners in prayer.

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Radio Paradis 92.3FM. William is spinning from a building still under construction a few meters from the sea in the village of Tiburon, while his friends have come to check on him. The equipment for the radio has been paid by a 'Diaspora' - a Haitian living in the US. The radio is powered by solar panels and broadcasts ten hours a day.

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The construction of 3,000 houses, 15 kilometers north of Port-au-Prince. The project, whose cost is evaluated at $44 million, is managed by the government and financed by the Venezuelan 'Petro Caribe' fund. Morne à Cabri.

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Tent city on a soccer field that belongs to a church. After the earthquake, inhabitants of makeshift districts (Jalousie, seen in the background) sometimes pitched tents in the camps to benefit from NGO help. The most visible camps in public squares were dismantled. Pétion-Ville.

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The American religious organization Global Compassion Network supplies houses built from grain silos, a gift of the Monsanto company. Torbek. 

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In Port-au-Prince's Notre Dame Cathedral, a man looks for iron to recycle from the ruins of the earthquake. 

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A game of dominos among police officers who are in charge of the security for the president. The losers of the game are designated as 'dogs' and forced to wear something that attracts the ridicule of passersby. Here, they are tied together with electric wire. Presidential Palace, Port-au-Prince.

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The Croix-des-Bossales Market, where pèpès, second-hand clothing from the United States, is sorted, resized and sold wholesale. Port-au-Prince.

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Mario Andrésol, though he left the Haitian National Police, still enjoys continuous protection supplied by the Ministry of the Interior. Belleville, Pétion-Ville.


Eric Jean-Baptiste, owner of Père Eternel, Haiti's second biggest lottery. Lottery, or Borlette as it is called in Haiti, is ubiquitous in the country and according to one estimate Haitians spend as much as $1.5 billion per year on the Borlette making it the biggest industry in the country. The son of one of Papa Doc's Tonton Macoutes, Jean-Baptiste has utter contempt for the mulatto elite that rules the core of the Haitian economy. Port au Prince.

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Michel Joseph Martelly in front of the presidential palace destroyed by the January 12, 2010, earthquake. Port-au-Prince.

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A borlette office. Haitians invest two billion dollars every year in these private lotteries - nearly a quarter of the GNP. They are often referred to as "banks" since the poor invest their money in them. Camp Perrin.


Special thanks to Anna-Maria Pfab, Cultural Manager, INSTITUTE

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© Mary Scanlon

There seem to be more and more and more photo-related events going on, worldwide. 

"The Photo Art Fair is a four-day exhibition of carefully curated, collectable works from up to 50 international photographers. As a brand new show, the Photo Art Fair is designed to provide visitors with the unique opportunity to purchase collectable photographs direct from both undiscovered and emerging artists." It is taking place at London's Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square, from May 3-6, 2013, and will also feature panel discussions and all that stuff. There is a fee for becoming an "intelligent collector;" it's £7.50 in advance or a tenner at the door. 

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Some new images from Tabitha Soren's "Running" series, previously published here. Tabitha's solo show at Kopeikin Gallery in LA opens soon.

The gallery says "In Tabitha Soren's photographs, archetypal figures struggle to escape or arrive - the viewer cannot be sure. Uncertainty, chaos and vulnerability infuse Soren's universe. These are elemental fears made visible. Movement provides an opportunity for loss of control, un-self-consciousness. A theater of the absurd unfolds as she describes our shared instinct to survive. Her figures stumble, grimace and lose composure. They are both wounded and heroic."

Go see! The exhibition, erm, runs from April 13 - May 18, 2013.

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All images © Tabitha Soren

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It would be hard to be anything but moved by Joshua Lutz' latest project, "Hesitating Beauty," in which Lutz tries to convey the far-reaching impact that his mother's extreme mental illness had during and after her lifetime. 

"Blending family archives, interviews, and letters with his own photographic images, Lutz spins a seamless and strangely factual (yet unflinchingly fabricated) experience of a life and family consumed by mental illness. Rather than showing us what it looks like, "Hesitating Beauty" plays with our conceptions of reality to show us what it feels like to grapple with a family member's retreat from lucidity." ClampArt

I encourage you to listen to Joshua's moving interview with American Public Radio. Excellent reviews in American Suburb X and Mother Jones

'Hesitating Beauty' will be on exhibition at ClampArt from April 11th to May 16th, 2013. The book from Schilt Publishing is out now.


Pyke_Philosophers.jpgSteve Pyke's 'Philosophers' is now on exhibit in New Orleans.

Head to the New Orleans Center for Creative Art's Ken Kirschman Artspace.

The exhibition runs through December 14, 2012, and is being held in connection with PhotoNOLA 2012, the Crescent City's annual festival of photography.


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Mach Schau presents "Baron Wolman: The Groupies." An exhibition of limited edition prints, signed by Baron Wolman. In association with Rock Paper Photo and curated by archivist Dave Brolan, at 46/48 Beak Street London W1, 15th - 27th October, 2012.

Because these are my good mates, here's the blurb in its entirety:

Baron Wolman was the first chief photographer at Rolling Stone magazine. From 1967 his assignments for the just-launched magazine were as diverse as a backstage session with James Brown; dinner with Pete Townshend after a day photographing The Who recording "Tommy"; shooting Janis Joplin performing at his house to recreate a performance for a live review; flying to New York to photograph Mick and Keith as they announced the Stones' Altamont show; being on stage with Santana in front of 300,000 people at Woodstock; or being almost whacked by Jimi Hendrix as he swung his guitar in concert. Every day was different, every artist was different and the scene was constantly evolving.

The more he worked, Baron began to notice that aside from the usual hangers-on at concerts, there were women who had obviously spent an inordinate amount of time and effort putting themselves together for their backstage appearance. They were not just hanging out, they were strutting - style and fashion mattered greatly. In fact, Frank Zappa thought them important enough to form a band out of a group of them, The GTOs, led by the legendary Pamela Des Barres, and produce their album. These women were a subculture of chic that Baron and Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner thought merited a story. And so in 1968 this led to an entire "special super duper neat issue" of Rolling Stone called "The Groupies And Other Girls" featuring insightful interviews and photographs of the scene. Baron's interest in music and fashion would progress after his tenure at Rolling Stone as he went on to set up the influential magazine Rags, regarded as the Rolling Stone of fashion. Still, The Groupies special issue remains an important landmark.

All images in the exhibit can be purchased online at rockpaperphoto.com as limited-edition fine art prints hand-signed and numbered by Baron. Rock Paper Photo is the ultimate online gallery of fine art pop culture photography, where fans and collectors can discover and purchase iconic images of their favorite artists and personalities from the last half century.

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© Christine Burrill, courtesy 151ArtsBrownstone

'Uprising Los Angeles' features photo collages made by Christine Burrill, a Los Angeles-based cinematographer and photographer. Being hosted by a new arts space in Harlem, 151ArtsBrownstone, the exhibition highlights Burrill's images of the aftermath of the 1992 LA riots. The exhibition is being held in honor of the 20th anniversary of the events that took place following the Rodney King trial.

"Burrill began working with photo collage after she read an article on David Hockney in The New Yorker in 1983. She was taken with his methods and set out to replicate what he called "separate glimpses" of the same subject. Burrill's impressive photo collages are made up of over a hundred 4x6 images that have been layered digitally then printed as a single image on archival paper. The exhibition presents a range of subject matter­­­: would-be gang girls flashing victory signs, empty shells of stores, elegant African-American churchgoers displaying resolve after Sunday service, a Korean family sweeping up the remains of their store, and a dismayed Latino cop standing quietly among by wreckage. The images feel remarkably current, invoking the pathos, and lurking potential, for violence in communities plagued by injustice."

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© Christine Burrill, courtesy 151ArtsBrownstone

'Uprising Los Angeles' opens on Thursday, October 11th and will remain on view through December 2nd.

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