Posts Tagged ‘Contatti’

Reflections on Ray Metzker, 1931-2014

October 10, 2014
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©Ray Metzker, “Sailor, 1963,” Laurence Miller Gallery

“I want a deep space that overpowers the figure: worlds of voids.”—Ray Metzker, 1931-2014

Sadly, we’ve lost a poet of light and shadow, Ray Metzker. Here is Alex’s thoughtful reflection about this unique street photographer—and specifically this dark urban haiku of a photograph (above) that Metzker took some 50 years ago, that has long lingered in Alex’s mind and influenced his early street photography, notably Alex’s image from Uganda below taken some 20 years after Metzker’s.—Rebecca Norris Webb

“As a budding street photographer, I’d spend hours huddled over a stack of books in my Vermont high school’s library, many of them the classics: works by Cartier Bresson, Kertész, Frank. I was particularly taken by a slim booklet called Toward a Social Landscape— which included early work by Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, and Bruce Davidson, among others, and was edited by photographer Nathan Lyons—as well as a selection of Ray Metzker’s photographs entitled My Camera and I in the Loop,in an issue of Aperture. Although reminiscent of the street photographs of his teacher, Harry Callahan, Metzker’s work struck its own special note: stark shafts of light crisscrossing impenetrable shadows; self-absorbed figures darting in and out of the light, caught in a kind of black-and-white chiaroscuro; isolated faces peering out of the darkness.

 It wasn’t just the formal mastery of these images that captivated me. They also suggested something about the isolation, the alienation, and the loneliness of the urban world. “—Alex Webb, from “Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image”

In Memoriam: Ray K. Metzker, 83, PDN Online: http://www.pdnonline.com/news/In-Memoriam-Ray-K–11820.shtml

©Ray Metzker, “Sailor, 1963,” Laurence Miller Gallery, NYC: http://www.laurencemillergallery.com/artist_metzker.htm

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©Alex Webb, “Uganda, 1980″ from “Slant Rhymes” at Robert Klein Gallery at Ars Libri, Boston, thru Oct. 31, 2014; Alex’s image and Metzker’s above are also included in “Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image”

 EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS:

—SATURDAY, OCT. 25, APERTURE FOUNDATION, NYC, 3-4:30PM: Join Aperture, Larry Fink, Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb for an afternoon of presentations and readings from the recently launched The Photography Workshop Series. In the series, Aperture works with the world’s top photographers to distill their creative approaches, teachings, and insights on photography—offering the workshop experience in a book.

Fink and the Webbs will present their titles, Larry Fink on Composition and Improvisation and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Imagefollowed by a Q&A with the books’ editor, Denise Wolff, and book signings.  For more information on the book party follow this link.

——NEW WORKSHOP ADDED: FINDING YOUR VISION @ MIAMI STREET PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL, Monday Dec. 1-Friday Dec. 5, 2014.

 

CURRENT AND UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS, EVENTS, REVIEWS:

——THRU OCT. 31, BOSTON, MEMORY CITY at ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY; SLANT RHYMES at ARS LIBRI WITH ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY;

REVIEW OF THE TWO BOSTON SHOWS BY ELIN SPRING.

——FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7: CHICAGO: MEMORY CITY ARTIST RECEPTION, TALK, AND BOOK SIGNING, STEPHEN DAITER GALLERY: 5:30-8, with artist talk from 5:30-6pm

——PARIS PHOTO BOOK SIGNINGS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, \Grand Palais, Paris: APERTURE BOOTH: 3:30pm book signing with the Webbs of “Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image” and Alex’s “The Suffering of Light”; SATURDAY, NOV. 15, 3:00pm at RADIUS BOOKS booth: Webb book signing of “Memory City” and some of the last copies of “My Dakota” and some of their limited editions.

GROUP SHOWS:

——THURSDAY, SEPT. 18-November 1, 2013, “Rectangular Squares,” at Sepia Eye Gallery, NYC, a group exhibition with Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, and other photographers. Sepia Eye is located at 547 W. 27th, 6th floor.

——SATURDAY, OCT. 11-OCT. 19, CASTELNUOVOFOTOGRAFIA FESTIVA, ITALY: CONTATTI: Contact sheets and prints of Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Jason Eskenazi, Donna Ferrato, Lucia Nimcova, Roger Ballen, Callie Shell, and Anders Petersen.

——MEMORY CITY REVIEW in Fraction

——SLANT RHYMES: Interview with Teju Cole and the Webb on the New Yorker Photo Booth

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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