Posts Tagged ‘PhotoEye’

NEW BOOK: Book Launch @ Aperture, June 1st

May 30, 2011

Alex Webb, cover of "The Suffering of Light" (Aperture), with an essay by Geoff Dyer

 

Please join us to celebrate the launch of Alex’s new book, The Suffering of Light, at Aperture at 6:30pm, which will include a conversation with photographer and critic Max Kozloff and a booksigning afterwards. (To take a look inside Alex’s new book, follow this link to the PhotoEye site.) And here’s a link to a portfolio of Alex’s work from the new book on the La Lettre site, courtesy of the Robert Klein Gallery in Boston, which will have a joint show of our work on Saturday, September 17th, from 2-4pm.

And below you’ll find a rough, homemade video of our Violet Isle show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, an exhibition mentioned in The New York Times on Sunday and reviewed in The Boston Globe on Tuesday, May 31st.   For those who are part of the “Two Looks” online community, please let us know if you get a chance to see Violet Isle at the MFA, Boston, which will be up until January 16, 2012.

By the way, if you visit the MFA by June 16th, be sure and stop by and see the photography show, “Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection,” which includes work by such noted photographers as Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus, Julia Margaret Cameron, Wright Morris, Alec Soth, William Eggleston, Robert Frank, Mitch Epstein, Larry Sultan, Mike Smith, and Helen Levitt.–Rebecca Norris Webb

DARK HORSES: “Killed” by William Jones

April 6, 2011

We are pleased to have guest blogger, Michael Itkoff, a founding editor of Daylight Magazine, launch our first column of DARK HORSES.  We asked Michael to choose a book that he felt has been overlooked or underappreciated in the photo world.  He chose the book, Killed: Rejected Images from the Farm Security Administration by William Jones.  Besides Michael’s column, you’ll also find a five-minute video piece, “Punctured,” directly below, which was recently exhibited at the Andrew Roth Gallery in New York. As always, please leave your comments at the end of this column.

In addition, we’d like to remind our online photography community about the annual Daylight/CDS Photo Awards, for both established and emerging photographers, whose deadline is MAY 1, 2011.  You can read more about the awards on Daylight’s blog.

Lastly, for photographers in the LONDON area, we wanted to let you know that we’ve added a last-minute weekend workshop in London, Friday evening, June 17th, through Sunday afternoon, June 19th.  Space is limited, so we’ll fill it on a first come basis.  Here’s a link to the Magnum Events page for those interested in having more information.–Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Punctured from The Paris Review on Vimeo.

History is widely understood to be a malleable record. The dense reams of paper-work and documentation that amalgamate into historical record are generally controlled by a ruling party, selectively shared and highlighted as needed. The inaccessibility of such archives can deter all but the most devoted pursuers of information. In the United States, the Freedom of Information Act coupled with the searching power of the internet have added a level of transparency few regimes have matched. Recently, the undiscerning publication of sensitive government documents by Wikileaks have forced us to evaluate the line between open-source accountable governance and potentially negligent loose lips.

The control of information has long been a significant historical hinge. Figures from Martin Luther to Thomas Paine have helped to sway public opinion with their influential publications. In his new book, Killed: Rejected Images from the Farm Security Administration, the artist William Jones has reexamined the well-known historical record left us by Roosevelt’s New Deal. While searching for homoerotic elements in the FSA archives, Jones stumbled on a series of rejected photographs and assembled them into a video.

Between 1935-44, under the watchful eye of American economist and government official Roy Stryker, a number of photographers were sent into the interior of the United States to bring back a record of the Great Depression. The results of this campaign have been shown widely around the world and become emblematic of America’s dignified suffering during this difficult period. The photographs we have come to know and love were, of course, vetted and approved by Stryker himself but little is known about the others. Until now. Combing through the archives, Jones has presented us with 157 images rejected by Stryker.  The images are compelling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the negatives themselves were ‘killed’ by Stryker’s hole punch. In the book, photographs appear by Walker Evans, Theodor Jung, Carl Mydans, Marion Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn, John Vachon, John Collier, Jr., Russell Lee and David Myers.

Stryker’s circular redactions serve to bind each image with the next both formally and conceptually. Looking through the photographs one cannot help but think about why Stryker chose to reject them. In one pair of photographs, two little girls stand in a farers field with flowered dresses. Their clothing matches the squash blossoms around them and the photographer adjusts his viewfinder to catch their wary father as he walks by. This strange dynamic is highlighted by the girl’s expression, which changes from cherubic to awkward as the father approaches. Another rejected image features a pair of young African-Americans picking cotton. A self-portrait by John Vachon is definitively marred by two hole punches over his face. In one of Walker Evans’ images, a sad looking barefooted child sits in the dirt next to a man with ragged pants.

In the images described above, and many more, underlying tensions are magnified by the sheer weight of the historical context. Despite the magic of photography, the documentary process is imperfect at best. Coupled with the gesture of governmental rejection, the photographs in Killed make for a potently loaded experience.–Michael Itkoff

Michael Itkoff is a photographer, writer, educator and a Founding Editor of Daylight Magazine. Michael’s monograph, Street Portraitswas published by Charta Editions in 2009.  His website: www.michaelitkoff.com

TWO CITIES: Montreal and Philadelphia

February 26, 2010

Alex Webb, Gonaives, Haiti, 1987

Please join Alex and Rebecca for their slide talk in MONTREAL on Monday, March 1st at Dawson College. The lecture is called “Together and Apart,” and is open to the public.  It will feature Alex’s work from Haiti, Rebecca’s work from the American West (including the recent photograph below), and their joint work from Cuba.

Rebecca Norris Webb, Poet's House, Rapid City, South Dakota, 2010

And please join Alex and Rebecca for an artists’ reception/book signing for their joint exhibition, “Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba” in PHILADELPHIA on Thursday, March 4th, from 5-7 pm.  It will be held at Gallery 1401 at the University of the Arts, as will a second SPE event and book signing on Friday, March 5th, also from 5-7pm.  PhotoEye will also host a book signing for Alex and Rebecca at SPE on Friday from 1:30-2:30pm.  For more information about all three events, visit Magnum Events.

Alex Webb, Havana, 2001

RNW, Havana, Cuba, 2007


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