Archive for May, 2012

MY DAKOTA: TimeLightbox and ICP

May 21, 2012

©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Storm Light,” from My Dakota (Radius, May 21, 2012)

In 2005, I set out to photograph my home state of South Dakota, a sparsely populated frontier state on the Great Plains with more buffalo, pronghorn, coyotes, mule deer, ring-necked pheasants, and prairie dogs than people. It’s a landscape dominated by space and silence and solitude, by brutal wind and extreme weather. I was trying to capture a more intimate and personal view of the West.  I was trying to capture what all that space feels like to someone who grew up there.  A year into the project, however, everything changed.  One of my brothers died unexpectedly.  For months, one of the few things that eased my unsettled heart was the landscape of South Dakota.  It seemed all I could do was drive through the badlands and prairies and photograph.  I began to wonder: Does loss have its own geography?

That first year of grieving was a blur of motel rooms, back roads, and dreams of my brother.  I still remember, however, one particularly elusive, haunted, dreamlike image.  One overcast day on a deserted country road in the Missouri River valley, I was startled by a flock of some thousand blackbirds.  I was mesmerized by how the birds flew through the stormy, unsettled Western sky as if they were one huge, dark, undulating, ravenous creature, picking clean the remains of the corn and sunflower fields in the last days of autumn.

To read the rest of the Time LightBox story about the making of “My Dakota” by Rebecca, please follow this link.  

BELOW: INFORMATION AND LINKS TO THURSDAY’S ICP BOOK LAUNCH OF “MY DAKOTA”

©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Blackbirds,” from My Dakota (Radius, May 21, 2012)

UPCOMING EVENTS: MAY & JUNE

NEW YORK

––THURSDAY, MAY 24, NEW YORK, NY: My Dakota book launch at ICP, May 24″ href=”http://www.icp.org/events/2012/may/24/book-signing-rebecca-webb-norriss-my-dakota” target=”_blank”>My Dakota book launch, party and book signing at ICP (43d and Sixth Ave), 6-7:30.

––THURSDAY, JUNE 21, RICCO MARESCA GALLERY, NY: “Weather,” a group exhibition with a selection of photographs from MY DAKOTA, 6-8 pm.  The exhibition runs through August 17.

RAPID CITY, SD

––FRIDAY, JUNE 1, RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA: “My Dakota” exhibition opening and book signing, Dahl Arts Center, 5-7pm.  The exhibition will run until October 13, 2012.

––CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

SATURDAY, JUNE 9,  AT LOOK3 PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

4-6pm Alex Webb in conversation with noted writer and cultural critic Geoff Dyer

6-7pm: Book signing with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the Second Street Gallery

9pm: “My Dakota” in the WORKS slide show

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS WITH ALEX AND REBECCA

>Friday evening, Oct. 5, thru Sunday, Oct. 7 pm: FINDING YOUR VISION WORKSHOP @ THE DAHL, Rapid City, South Dakota. Discount for members of the Dahl Arts Center.

ADDITIONAL LINKS FOR ALEX AND REBECCA:
Alex’s interview with Alessia Glaviano for Italian Vogue

See Alex and Rebecca’s photos and others from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here

See Rebecca’s My Dakota in progress at Radius Books

Q&A with Rebecca and Sarah Rhodes on Timemachine

To read the Robert Klein Gallery Tripod Blog Q&A with Rebecca.

Read more about Magnum’s House of Pictures project in the New Yorker and see Alex’s photo of the day, April 24th.

Alex’s “The Suffering of Light” exhibition at Forma, Milan, featured in Italian Vogue.

Rebecca Norris Webb, cover of "My Dakota" (Radius Books, May 21, 2012)

NYTIMES MAGAZINE: Alex’s Photographs of a Toxic Town

May 18, 2012
© Alex Webb/Magnum Photos for The New York Times Magazine

© Alex Webb/Magnum Photos for The New York Times Magazine

It’s not often that I’m envious of one of the Alex’s assignments, but I was of this intriguing story about an almost ghost town in one of the most toxic areas of the country on the Great Plains.

You can read the rest of the NYTimes Magazine story here about Treece, Kansas, by the writer, Wes Enzinna, and see a portfolio of Alex’s photographs, here.  I know first thing Sunday morning, I’m looking forward to buying a copy of the NYTimes to see the story in the magazine.  Call me old fashioned, but there’s something special about holding the NYTimes magazine in one’s hands…––Rebecca Norris Webb

UPCOMING EVENTS: MAY & JUNE

NEW YORK

––THURSDAY, MAY 24, NEW YORK, NY: My Dakota book launch at ICP, May 24″ href=”http://www.icp.org/events/2012/may/24/book-signing-rebecca-webb-norriss-my-dakota” target=”_blank”>My Dakota book launch, party and book signing at ICP (43d and Sixth Ave), 6-7:30.

RAPID CITY, SD

––FRIDAY, JUNE 1, RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA: “My Dakota” exhibition opening and book signing, Dahl Arts Center, 5-7pm.  The exhibition will run until October 13, 2012.

––CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

SATURDAY, JUNE 9,  AT LOOK3 PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

4-6pm Alex Webb in conversation with noted writer and cultural critic Geoff Dyer

6-7pm: Book signing with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the Second Street Gallery

9pm: “My Dakota” in the WORKS slide show

ADDITIONAL LINKS FOR ALEX AND REBECCA:

See Alex and Rebecca’s photos and others from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here

See Rebecca’s My Dakota in progress at Radius Books

Q&A with Rebecca and Sarah Rhodes on Timemachine

To read the Robert Klein Gallery Tripod Blog Q&A with Rebecca.

Read more about Magnum’s House of Pictures project in the New Yorker and see Alex’s photo of the day, April 24th.

Alex’s “The Suffering of Light” exhibition at Forma, Milan, featured in Italian Vogue.

©Rebecca Norris Webb, "High Winds," from the book, "My Dakota" (Radius Books)

©Rebecca Norris Webb, “High Winds,” from the book, “My Dakota” (Radius Books)

TRIPOD BLOG: On Loss and the Repeated Image

May 9, 2012

©Alex Webb, Rebecca in Havana Writing in the Mornings, January 2012

Tripod Blog: How do the arts impact your art?

RNW: Literature –– especially poetry –– has long been a major influence on my work and on my life.  Alex and I were both literature majors in college, so besides our large collection of photography books, we have an equally large collection of novels, essays, and poetry books.

For instance, while working on My Dakota, which is an elegy for one of my brothers, I turned to poetry books for solace, not to my vast collection of photography books.  During those first difficult months, some of the only poems that spoke to me were villanelles, such as Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art” or Roethke’s “The Waking,” a poetic form whose two refrains are repeated four times each.

Each time a refrain is repeated –– such as Roethke’s haunting line, “I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow” –– the meaning shifts, sometimes questioning the original meaning, sometime meandering off, sometimes circling back.

So in part, it was because those villanelles spoke to me when I was most grief struck that I managed to uncover the book’s organic rhythm and sequence, whose repeated photographic and text images–– such as apples and swallows’ nests and waves –– echo the confused, meandering path of my own grief.

To read the rest of the Tripod Blog Q&A with Rebecca.

©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Flower Girl,” from “Memory City” (a collaborative work-in-progress with Alex Webb)

UPCOMING EVENTS: MAY & JUNE

NEW YORK

––THURSDAY, MAY 24, NEW YORK, NY: My Dakota book launch at ICP, May 24″ href=”http://www.icp.org/events/2012/may/24/book-signing-rebecca-webb-norriss-my-dakota” target=”_blank”>My Dakota book launch, party and book signing at ICP (43d and Sixth Ave), 6-7:30.

RAPID CITY, SD

––FRIDAY, JUNE 1, RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA: “My Dakota” exhibition opening and book party, Dahl Arts Center, 6-8pm.  The exhibition will run until October 13, 2012.

––CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

SATURDAY, JUNE 9,  AT LOOK3 PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

4-6pm Alex Webb in conversation with noted writer and cultural critic Geoff Dyer

6-7pm: Book signing with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the Second Street Gallery

9pm: “My Dakota” in the WORKS slide show

ADDITIONAL LINKS FOR ALEX AND REBECCA:

See Alex and Rebecca’s photos and others from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here

See Rebecca’s My Dakota in progress at Radius Books

Q&A with Rebecca and Sarah Rhodes on Timemachine

Read more about Magnum’s House of Pictures project in the New Yorker and see Alex’s photo of the day, April 24th.

Alex’s “The Suffering of Light” exhibition at Forma, Milan, featured in Italian Vogue.

©Alex Webb, from “Memory City” (a collaborative work-in-progress with Rebecca Norris Webb)

NEW BOOK: CONTATTI

May 7, 2012

©Rebecca Norris Webb, Contact sheet for “Blackbirds,” a photograph in the upcoming book, “My Dakota” (Radius Books, May 2012).  This contact sheet is part of the new book by the Italian publisher, Postcart, called”Contatti.”

Rebecca and I are in Milan, where a new group book, “Contatti,” was launched at the MIA photographic festival this weekend.  Rebeeca’s above “Blackbirds” contact sheet is one of more than 50 from photographers from around the world, including Larry Fink, Donna Ferrato, Albert Watson, Jane Evelyn Atwood, Jacob Sobol, Callie Shell, Vince Muesi, Elinor Carucci, Mark Steinmetz, Lucia Nimcova, and Roger Ballen.  Currently, it’s only in Italian (I’ve included Rebecca’s original English text below), but an English version may soon be forthcoming. ––Alex Webb

Text © Rebecca Norris Webb, an excerpt from the new book, “Contatti,” edited. by Giammaria de Gasperis, Postcart Edizioni, May 2012)

UPCOMING EVENTS: MAY & JUNE

BOLOGNA

––MONDAY, MAY 7, BOLOGNA, ITALY: “Together & Apart: Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb. 5 pm

NEW YORK

––THURSDAY, MAY 24, NEW YORK, NY: My Dakota book launch at ICP, May 24″ href=”http://www.icp.org/events/2012/may/24/book-signing-rebecca-webb-norriss-my-dakota” target=”_blank”>My Dakota book launch, party and book signing at ICP (43d and Sixth Ave), 6-7:30.

RAPID CITY, SD

––FRIDAY, JUNE 1, RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA: “My Dakota” exhibition opening and book party, Dahl Arts Center, 6-8pm.  The exhibition will run until October 13, 2012.

––CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

SATURDAY, JUNE 9,  AT LOOK3 PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

4-6pm Alex Webb in conversation with noted writer and cultural critic Geoff Dyer

6-7pm: Book signing with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the Second Street Gallery

9pm: “My Dakota” in the WORKS slide show

ADDITIONAL LINKS FOR ALEX AND REBECCA:

See Alex and Rebecca’s photos and others from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here.

Read more about Magnum’s House of Pictures project in the New Yorker and see Alex’s photo of the day, April 24th.

Alex’s “The Suffering of Light” exhibition at Forma, Milan, featured in Italian Vogue.

Italian translation of above text by Rebecca Norris Webb

TWO QUESTIONS: On Last Pictures and On Grieving

May 2, 2012

©Alex Webb, Erie, Pennsylvania, 2010, last photograph of "The Suffering of Light" (Aperture, Contrasto, Thames and Hudson, 2010)

REBECCA NORRIS WEBB:  During a recent lecture in Singapore, you talked a little about the last photographs in your books, which often, in hindsight, have a kind of importance you didn’t realize at the time you were editing the book.  Would you talk about this again, specifically in regards to your last book, “The Suffering of Light”?

ALEX WEBB: For me, sometimes the last picture in a book points the way towards the next book or project: the last picture in my first book, Hot Light/Half-Made Worlds, a photograph from Haiti of a child in a sea of fire, seems to lead directly into the turmoil of Under A Grudging Sun, my second book.  

The last picture in The Suffering of Light, unlike the bulk of photographs in the book, which are from outside of the United States, was taken in Erie, Pennsylvania, when Rebecca and I were making one of our many trips from NY to South Dakota so she could continue working on her book, My Dakota. As we’ve made these trips, I’ve become intrigued by the notion of photographing more in the US, especially in the declining industrial region that stretches from western NY and Pennsylvania across the midwest.  It’ s something Rebecca and I have been talking about doing together.

So it was very gratifying last week for both of us to spend time in this region photographing in Rochester NY as part of the Magnum “House of Pictures” project.  We hope in July to return to Rochester to finish what we think will be a small book, Memory City. And perhaps the last photograph of that book will lead us to our next U.S. city to photograph?

©Rebecca Norris Webb, "Homestead House Blizzard," from "My Dakota," Radius Books, May 2012

SARAH RHODES for Timemachine Magazine:  Did your pictures start to change once you decided to make your South Dakota project into an elegy for your brother?

RNW: A few years ago, I remember showing the photographs to Linda Hasselstrom, a South Dakota rancher, who besides being a poet and essayist is an insightful editor, as well as a woman who’s experienced the loss of a husband.  During one of her Windbreak House Writing Retreats at her ranch near Hermosa, South Dakota.  I was trying to figure out what I had left to photograph and said to her, “Linda, I see summer, fall, and winter in these photographs, but not spring.”

“When you’re grieving, there isn’t any spring,” she replied.

Link to the rest of the Timemachine Interview:

Link to the Timemachine “My Dakota” portfolio:

©Rebecca Norris Webb, "My Dakota," Radius Books, May 2012

UPCOMING EVENTS: APRIL, MAY & JUNE

MILAN AND BOLOGNA

––FRIDAY, MAY 4, MILAN, ITALY:

4:00 Alex Webb book signing of “La Sofferenza della Luce” @ Contrasto booth, MIA photography festival

7:30: “Together and Apart: Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb,” at Forma, which will simultaneously have Alex’s “La Sofferenza della Luce”  exhibition in the gallery (Slide talk by invitation only, but former students, friends, member of the Two Looks online community, and press are welcome.  Space is limited, so please contact Alex and Rebecca to reserve one of the limited seats: webbnorriswebb@gmail.com)

––SATURDAY, MAY 5TH, MILAN, ITALY:  Two book launches, featuring the work of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the MIA photography festival, 8 pm

––MONDAY, MAY 7, BOLOGNA, ITALY: “Together & Apart: Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb. 5 pm

NEW YORK

––THURSDAY, MAY 24, NEW YORK, NY: My Dakota book launch at ICP, May 24″ href=”http://www.icp.org/events/2012/may/24/book-signing-rebecca-webb-norriss-my-dakota” target=”_blank”>My Dakota book launch, party and book signing at ICP (43d and Sixth Ave), 6-7:30.

RAPID CITY, SD

––FRIDAY, JUNE 1, RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA: “My Dakota” exhibition opening and book party, Dahl Arts Center, 6-8pm.  The exhibition will run until October 13, 2012.

––CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

SATURDAY, JUNE 9,  AT LOOK3 PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL

4-6pm Alex Webb in conversation with noted writer and cultural critic Geoff Dyer

6-7pm: Book signing with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the Second Street Gallery

9pm: “My Dakota” in the WORKS slide show

ADDITIONAL LINKS FOR ALEX AND REBECCA:

See Alex and Rebecca’s photos and others from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here.

Read more about Magnum’s House of Pictures project in the New Yorker and see Alex’s photo of the day, April 24th.

Alex’s “The Suffering of Light” exhibition at Forma, Milan, featured in Italian Vogue.

©Alex Webb, "La Sofferenza Della Luce," (Contrasto, 2011)



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