Archive for the ‘On Collaboration’ Category

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)

MEMORY CITY: A Thank You

April 29, 2012

©Alex Webb, Installation of work-in-progress of "Memory City" (by Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb) at the "House of Pictures" works-in-progress reception at the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY, Saturday evening, April 28th, 2012

Rebecca and I would like to thank everyone who’s been following our making of “Memory City,” which we now think –– with the addition of one or two more trips to Rochester –– may one day be a small book.  We are hoping to make our second trip this July.

As many of you already know, “Memory City” is connected to a larger Magnum project in Rochester called “House of Pictures,” so we’d like to give a special thanks to my Magnum colleagues who participated in the “House of Pictures” –– Alec Soth, Larry Towell, Susan Meiselas, Paolo Pellegrin, Bruce Gilden, Donovan Wylie, Jim Goldberg, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Chien-Chi Chang, and Martin Parr.

Additionally, we couldn’t have made it this far in our creative journey without the help of a whole community of people: the Visual Studies Workshop, the George Eastman House Museum especially photography curator Alison Nordstrom, Rick Hock and Claire Wearn, the master printer Ed Praus,  the Magnum Photos staff, the photography department at RIT with a special thanks to the photographer Willie Osterman and our invaluable, tireless and enthusiastic production team ––RIT students Madison McKenna, Amanda Webster, Christian Whitworth, and Brenda Bingham –– and, lastly, and perhaps most importantly, all the people of Rochester who were gracious enough to invite us into their homes and into their lives.––Alex Webb


UPCOMING EVENTS: APRIL, MAY & JUNE

MILAN AND BOLOGNA

––FRIDAY, MAY 4, MILAN, ITALY: “Together and Apart: Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb,” at Forma, which will simultaneously have Alex’s The Suffering of Light 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.


MEMORY CITY: Exposures 12 and 13

April 26, 2012

©Rebecca Norris Webb, "Tatiana's and her Younger Sister's Quinceanera Dresses with their Niece Looking On," Rochester, NY, 2012, from "Memory City," with Alex Webb

The inventors of Kodachrome, Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowsky, Jr. (whose former residence Alex photographed below using Kodachrome processed as black and white) were accomplished musicians –– Mannes a concert pianist, and Godowsky, first violinist for both the San Francisco and Los Angeles Symphony Orchestras. In the 1930’s Eastman Kodak hired the two men and gave them a lab in Rochester to continue working on the color film process they’d been developing in their off hours as musicians. 

As the story goes while working in darkness in their lab at Eastman Kodak, the two musicians measured film development times by whistling the last movement of Brahms’ C-minor Symphony.––Rebecca Norris Webb

©Alex Webb, "Former Residence of Kodachrome Co-creator Leopold Godowsky," Rochester, NY, 2012, Kodachrome processed as black and white, from "Memory City" with Rebecca Norris Webb

LINKS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

All this month, follow Alex and Rebecca and other 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 and Rebecca in Milan May 4-7 for “The Suffering of Light” exhibition and workshop.

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

MY DAKOTA book launch, book signing, and celebration, ICP, New York, Thursday, May 24th, 6-7:30 pm

MEMORY CITY: Exposure 11

April 26, 2012

©Alex Webb, "Open Door Mission Birthday Celebration," Rochester, NY, 2012, part of "Memory City" with Rebecca Norris Webb

Hope to see some of you tonight at our slide talk, “Together and Apart,” at RIT in Rochester at 8pm.  You can find the details on the link below.  As always, please bring questions.––Alex Webb an Rebecca Norris Webb

LINKS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

All this month, follow Alex and Rebecca and other from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here.

“Together and Apart: The Photographs of Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb,” Thursday, April 26th, @ 8pm, Webb Auditorium, RIT, Rochester, NY

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

Alex and Rebecca in Milan May 4-7 for “The Suffering of Light” exhibition and workshop.

MY DAKOTA book launch, book signing, and celebration, ICP, New York, Thursday, May 24th, 6-7:30 pm

MEMORY CITY: Exposures 9 and 10

April 26, 2012

©Alex Webb, "Mt. Hope Cemetery in the Rain," photographed with Kodachrome and processed as black and white, Rochester, 2012, from Memory City: Rochester in 36 Exposures (with Rebecca Norris Webb) 

Memory is “an old flautist,

[who] plays in the rain . . . ” 

––Ilya Kaminsky from his award-winning poetry book, Dancing in Odessa

Last weekend, Alex photographed a very rainy Mt. Hope Cemetery (above), where the poet Ilya Kaminsky’s father, Victor, was buried in 1994, one year after the then 16-year-old Ilya and his family moved to Rochester from Odessa after being granted political asylum.  The young poet’s response to his father’s unexpected death was to switch from writing poetry in Russian to English, an especially challenging decision considering Ilya had been deaf since four.  Looking back, the now noted poet said one reason he made the decision was because it was a way for both he and his father to learn the language of their new country.—Rebecca Noris Webb

At St. Monica’s Catholic Church on a rainy Sunday (below), Rebecca was in the back of the church photographing a first communion dress during the service when she smelled a fire in the church’s kitchen.  She alerted the congregation, which was soon evacuated.  After the fire trucks left and the windows thrown open to air out the smoke, Father Ray publicly thanked Rebecca at the service  for helping to save the historic church, which is located in Rochester’s 19th Ward. It’s not always that the presence of a photographer helps in such a direct way…––Alex Webb

©Rebecca Norris Webb, "After the Fire at St. Monica’s Church," Rochester, 2012, from Memory City: Rochester in 36 Exposures (with Alex Webb)

LINKS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

All this month, follow Alex and Rebecca and other from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here.

“Together and Apart: The Photographs of Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb,” Thursday, April 26th, @ 8pm, Webb Auditorium, RIT, Rochester, NY

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

Alex and Rebecca in Milan May 4-7 for “The Suffering of Light” exhibition and workshop.

MY DAKOTA book launch, book signing, and celebration, ICP, New York, Thursday, May 24th, 6-7:30 pm

MEMORY CITY: Exposures 7 and 8

April 25, 2012

Rebecca Norris Webb from "Memory City: Rochester in 36 Exposures" (with Alex Webb)

––7––

This contact sheet was printed by Ed Praus, one of a dying breed of master printers who’s worked in Rochester, NY,  –– home of Eastman Kodak and RIT ––for more than 25 years…

I guess I identify with dying breeds, being one of those photographers who hasn’t yet made the switch to digital.  There’s something about the tactile quality of working with film that I love.  (You can even see it in the words surrounding the process, beginning with the word, “film” itself, which also means “a thin covering or coating” –– and with the word, “contact.”)  Even if I’ve never liked changing film in the rain, not to mention Rochester’s late spring snow.

Yet, what I do like about working with film, unlike working digitally, is that something tangible is left behind –– a piece of film that occupied the same place and time and perhaps bad weather as the photographer.  Even if film is nothing more than the flimsiest of materials.  Like those silk or taffeta or organza dresses at the back of a woman’s closet, film has accompanied us to dance after dance, wedding after wedding, anniversary after anniversary, funeral after funeral.  No matter the weather.—Rebecca Norris Webb

Alex Webb, Rochester, 2012, from "Memory City" (with Rebecca Norris Webb)

––8––

LINKS & EVENTS

All this month, follow Alex and Rebecca and other from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here.

“Together and Apart: The Photographs of Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb,” Thursday, April 26th, @ 8pm, Webb Auditorium, RIT, Rochester, NY

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

MY DAKOTA book launch, book signing, and celebration, ICP, New York, Thursday, May 24th, 6-7:30 pm

MEMORY CITY: Exposure 6

April 24, 2012

Alex Webb, Rochester, 2012, from the project "Memory City" (with Rebecca Norris Webb)

LINKS & EVENTS

All this month, follow Alex and Rebecca and other from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here.

“Together and Apart: The Photographs of Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb,” Thursday, April 26th, @ 8pm, Webb Auditorium, RIT, Rochester, NY

MY DAKOTA book launch, book signing, and celebration, ICP, New York, Thursday, May 24th, 6-7:30 pm

MEMORY CITY: Exposures 4 and 5

April 23, 2012

©Rebecca Norris Webb, "Marianne's Consignments," Rochester, 2012, from "Memory City" (with Alex Webb)

This morning –– taking a break from photographing in a Rochester spring snow storm –– Alex and I decided to make our first pairing of the project.  (Even on a relatively clear afternoon in Rochester –– the City of Epic Weather –– you can see evidence of wind in these two photographs…)

Alex has just left to photograph the Godowsky house –– where one of the inventors of Kodachrome lived in the 1930′s with his wife, the singer and painter, Frances Gershwin, whose noted brothers, Ira and George, often played for –– and with ––the couple (Godowsky was also an accomplished violinist).

Anyway, Alex will be photographing the historic house with one of those last rolls of Kodachrome –– which will later be processed as black and white by one of Rochester’s last master printers, Ed Praus, another artist in his own right.––Rebecca Norris Webb

©Alex Webb, Rochester, 2012, from "Memory City" (with Rebecca Norris Webb)

LINKS & EVENTS

All this month, follow Alex and Rebecca and other from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here.

“Together and Apart: The Photographs of Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb,” Thursday, April 26th, @ 8pm, Webb Auditorium, RIT, Rochester, NY

MY DAKOTA book launch, book signing, and celebration, ICP, New York, Thursday, May 24th, 6-7:30 pm

MEMORY CITY: Exposure 2

April 21, 2012

from "Memory City: Rochester in 36 Exposures" by Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb

––2 ––

One of my first memories involved a photograph.  The photographer was a blur of uncomfortably bright lights, a stranger’s voice insisting that I fold my hands exactly like my father’s hands.

My only defense was to gaze down into the folds of my new dress, and hide  –– all those varying hues of gray and blue and black, like a stormy, unsettled sky.

How much of this is my memory?  How much of this is my memory of the photograph?  I wonder about this from time to time since one of my brothers died.––Rebecca Norris Webb

LINKS & EVENTS

All this month, follow Alex and Rebecca and other from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here.

“Together and Apart: The Photographs of Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb,” Thursday, April 26th, @ 8pm, Webb Auditorium, RIT, Rochester, NY

MY DAKOTA book launch, book signing, and celebration, ICP, New York, Thursday, May 24th, 6-7:30 pm

MEMORY CITY: Exposure 1

April 20, 2012

Alex Webb, Rochester, 2006, from "Memory City: Rochester in 36 Exposures"

––1 ––

In Rochester in 2006, I took this photograph using Kodachrome, a film Kodak decided to discontinue three years later.

It’s hard for me to believe that the film I used for more than 30 years can now only be processed as black and white.

Kodachrome ….from rich, vibrant color to deep blacks and white, like a fading memory…––Alex Webb

LINKS & EVENTS

All this month, follow Alex and Rebecca and other from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here.

“Together and Apart: The Photographs of Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb,” Thursday, April 26th, @ 8pm, Webb Auditorium, RIT, Rochester, NY

MY DAKOTA book launch, book signing, and celebration, ICP, New York, Thursday, May 24th, 6-7:30 pm


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