Posts Tagged ‘The New Yorker’

LE MONDE: Klapisch on Webb

September 2, 2013
©Alex Webb, Havana, from "Violet Isle," January 2013 Workshop

©Alex Webb, Havana, from “Violet Isle,” (with Rebecca Norris Webb)

“Life is accidental, nonlinear, heterogeneous, plural. However, when you write a story or make a film, you must try to find geometry and temporality to make appear linear what is not.

Narration and composition of an image are often victims of this paradox, which is so difficult to resolve. The artist seeks to represent life, which is messy and full of clutter, but to do so, the scene must be organized without completely falling into chaos. For my film Chinese Puzzle, Alex Webb was a guide to try to resolve this paradox. “——French cinematographer Cedric Klapisch in Le Monde

“La vie est par nature hétérogène, plurielle, non linéaire, accidentelle. Pourtant, quand on écrit une histoire ou compose une photo, on doit ranger, cadrer, trouver une géométrie et une temporalité pour rendre linéaire ce qui ne l’est pas.

La narration, la mise en scène et la composition d’une image sont souvent victimes de ce paradoxe, très difficile à résoudre. L’artiste cherche à représenter la vie, qui est pleine de désordre mais, pour le faire, il faut l’organiser sans la dénaturer. Pour mon film Casse-tête chinois, Alex Webb a été un guide pour tenter de résoudre ce paradoxe.”—French cinematographer Cedric Klapisch in Le Monde

To read the rest of the interview with noted French cinematographer Klapisch: http://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2013/08/15/les-couleurs-du-chaos_3462085_3246.html

©Alex Web

©Alex Webb, “Havana, 2007″ from “Violet Isle” (with Rebecca Norris Webb)

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS & EXHIBITIONS WITH ALEX AND REBECCA:

——Monday, Dec. 2-Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, Miami, FINDING YOUR VISION @ MIAMI STREET PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL during ART BASEL MIAMI and the other art fairs. For more information visit the Workshop page of the festival:

http://www.miamistreetphotographyfestival.org/#!alex-webb-workshop/c8kn

——Sat. Sept. 21, Santa Fe, NM, RADIUS BOOKS ARTIST PARTY, 5-8pm, at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market. Book Sale, Sign-a-Thon, Video Shorts (including “Memory City”), and Silent Auction with Alex and Rebecca and some 50 other Radius artists including Sam Abell, Mark Klett, Stephen Dupont, David Taylor, Sharon Core, Charles Ross, Sharon Harper, Barbara Bosworth, John Gossage, Terry Evans, and  Julie Blackmon.

——Friday, Oct. 18, 2013 thru Feb. 2, 2014, “My Dakota” and “Violet Isle” at the Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona, Florida; artist talk, book signing, and opening reception with Alex and Rebecca on Friday, Oct. 18th, 6-8pm:

http://www.smponline.org/lectures.html#.UiS0jBbB50A

©

©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Badlands” from “My Dakota” at Southeast Museum of Photography, Oct. 18, 2013-Feb. 2, 2014

The photographer and poet grew up in South Dakota and sees the state’s landscape through the lens of grief for a brother who died. But that fact is not immediately apparent in these big, strong color photographs of sprinting deer, drooping sunflowers, and wide-open spaces. They offer an insider’s view, full of personal history, much of which remains coded. “Does loss have its own geography?” Webb has written on one of the gallery walls, and her camera circles the question obsessively, whether landing on a barbed-wire fence trailing torn plastic bags or a buffalo, glimpsed in a side-view mirror. Through Aug. 17.—from The New Yorker, Aug. 12 &19 issue

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.


THE SUFFERING OF LIGHT: New Yorker, NYT Lens Blog

December 12, 2011

Alex Webb, "Thessaloniki, Greece, 2003," from "The Suffering of Light" in the "New Yorker," December 19, 2011

Congratulations to Alex and Aperture for the coverage of the current THE SUFFERING OF LIGHT exhibition in this week’s NEW YORKER, WALL STREET JOURNAL, as well as on THE NEW YORK TIMES LENS BLOG, SLATE, the NO RING CIRCUS blog, and an interview with NATALIA JIMENEZ on the MSNBC BLOG.  In addition, THE SUFFERING OF LIGHT  is also included as one of PDN NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2011, one of AMERICAN PHOTO’s BEST PHOTO BOOKS OF 2011, one of the GUARDIAN’S BEST PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS OF THE YEAR, 2011, one of PHOTO EYE’s Best Photography Books of 2011, and one of ELISABETH BIONDI’S choices for 2011 BEST PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS on ELIZABETH AVEDON’S blog.

For those who didn’t get a chance to see the exhibition yet, consider attending Alex’s gallery talk at APERTURE on Saturday, December 17th, from 4-5 pm.–Rebecca Norris Webb

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS:

Alex Webb, “The Suffering of Light,” @ Aperture, New York, through January 19, 2012

Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, “Violet Isle: A Photographic Portrait of Cuba,” @ MFA, Boston, through Jan. 16, 2012

Alex Webb, “The Suffering of Light,” at the Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, through Jan. 14, 2012

Rebecca Norris Webb and other artists, “Winged Shadows: Life Among Birds,” NDMOA, Grand Forks, ND, through Jan. 15, 2012

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

January 22-29, 2012: “The Streets of Havana,” a Nordic Light Workshop, is almost full.

Additional Webb Workshops 2012 include:

Sunday May 20 to Friday May 25, 2012,  Brooklyn, New York, “Finding Your Vision Workshop”

Friday, March 9 thru Sunday, March 11, 2012, Singapore, “Finding Your Vision” weekend workshop

Friday March 23 to Sunday March 25, 2012, possible weekend workshop @ Aperture, NY

For more information, please contact Rebecca:  rebeccanorriswebb@yahoo.com.   Ask to placed on the email blog/workshop update list for the latest workshop information.

Rebecca Norris Webb, "Havana, 2007" at MFA, Boston & NDMOA

TWO QUESTIONS: On Photographs that Inspire and Confound; On Birds and Returning

January 4, 2011

This month’s TWO QUESTIONS column features questions posed by two U.S. photographers. Based in Austin, Texas, BILL MCCULLOUGH makes his living predominantly from photographing weddings.  However, he is far from your typical wedding photographer — his pictures are witty, surprising, spontaneous; they take us into social worlds not often seen so perceptively.  His humor is gentle and good-natured, very much like Bill himself.  EMILY PEDERSON is currently studying photography, languages (she has mastered Portuguese, Spanish, and Czech), and social justice at New York University.   Her grandfather was a noted underwater photographer, so she grew up with photography in her life.   She has photographed in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and New York, as well as in her home state of Rhode Island.--Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Robert Frank, "Elevator Girl, Miami, 1955" from "The Americans"

BILL MCCULLOUGH: In photography, music, painting, and many other forms of expression, there is work that strikes the perfect balance of technique and emotion that can leave one in awe.  You may ask yourself, “how did they do that?” You are both photographers who have been in the trenches and attempted many things; therefore, you also have insight, understanding, and respect of what is truly difficult to accomplish.  Is there a photographer, dead or alive, who both inspires you and stumps you?  If so, who and why?

ALEX WEBB:  Ever since I first picked up a copy of Frank’s The Americans –– sometime in the late 1960’s –– my favorite photograph in the book has always been the mournful elevator girl.  I hesitate to say much of anything about it because Jack Kerouac in his introduction to the book said just about everything that needs to be said:  “And I say: That little ole elevator girl looking up sighing in an elevator full of blurred demons, what’s her name and address?”   What Kerouac latches onto is what has always most intrigued me about Frank’s work, its emotive heart.  Somehow, Frank managed to make deep and surprising poetry out of the mundane stuff of the world of America.

That quality is still what interests me most about Frank’s work. But looking back now at this photograph, I am also intrigued by how it speaks of another era in America.  I can’t recall when I last saw an elevator girl.  The notion seems quaint.  It makes me almost nostalgic, nostalgic, among other things, for a more intimate world, where human beings –– including those in more menial positions –– somehow seemed to count.  Now, soulless elevators in Miami gleam of burnished chrome.  Chimes denoting each floor have replaced the human voice.  Modern demons may sometimes stalk these elevators, but mournful elevator girls are long gone.   I guess today, Kerouac would have to go elsewhere to find a name and number.

Robert Frank, "Barber shop through screen door, McClellanville, SC, 1955," from "The Americans"

REBECCA NORRIS WEBB: From the moment I first saw a print of Robert Frank’s barbershop in McClellanville, South Carolina, the image has lingered with me, a sign –– I’ve learned to trust over the years –– of a truly poetic image.  Like the strongest and most resonant poems, the image sends me into a kind of reverie each time I view it.  I think this has something to do with the fact that it’s a reflection, one that blurs inside and outside, like a daydream. So, for me at least, Frank’s mysterious barbershop blurs into the barbershop in my small town in southern Indiana where I was born.  Like Frank, I, too, have pressed up against a small town barbershop’s screen door, have seen into the interior thanks to my own shadow.  Come to think of it, the screen door itself seems somehow quintessentially American (I don’t recall coming across that many screen doors in Europe, for instance…).  The screen door is welcoming yet protective, practical yet vulnerable, luring both june bugs and photographers alike.

ROBERT FRANK LINKS:

Link to NPR story:  “Robert Frank’s Elevator Girls Sees Herself Years Later”:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112389032

Link to Robert Frank’s book, “The Americans”:

http://www.amazon.com/Americans-Robert-Frank/dp/386521584X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294157675&sr=8-1

Link to reviews of the “Looking In: Robert Franks” The Americans” show:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/14/090914fa_fact_lane

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/2009/sep/29/looking-in-robert-franks-emthe-americansem/

Links to reviews of Robert Frank’s,  “The Americans”

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100688154

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/01/0082794

Rebecca Norris Webb, Havana, 2008, from "Violet Isle"

EMILY PEDERSON: Rebecca, what is it about birds?  In Violet Isle, birds are constantly appearing in your photographs. Why is that? What is it that draws you to birds?

RNW:  As someone who comes out of the street photography tradition, I only photograph what I come across in the world, and the most common creature I found in Cuban menageries was the bird –– from roosters and peacocks and woodpeckers to cockatiels and pigeons and parrots.  I love the rich and resonant questions this suggests:  Of all the creatures, why are birds the most popular animal in Cuban menageries?  What does this suggest about the individuals who have these menageries?  What does this suggest about Cubans and their relationship to nature?  And what does this suggest about Cuban culture more generally?

What I love about photography –– and poetry –– is that sometimes images have the ability to suggest these sorts of questions.  One of my favorite lines about birds is by the poet, Li-Young Lee:

Only birds can reveal to us dying by flying.

And just yesterday I came across these two wonderful lines by T.S. Eliot in his poem, “Four Quartets”:

…a hollow rumble of wings…

…wait for the early owl…

Personally, when I first started photographing birds in Cuba, it was a period in my life that roughly corresponded to my acquiring my first pair of professional birding binoculars, inspired in part by the red-tailed hawks in Prospect Park near my apartment, the same kind of hawk that’s also found in my home state of South Dakota.

During one of my last trips to Havana, I remember the delight of watching a hawk attempting to open her wings just inches away from me –– instead of my observing the raptor from the usual distance of my field glasses.  Yet simultaneously I also felt a something catch in my throat as I watched the hawk fumble, unable to spread her wings fully in so small a cage .  Looking back, I realize that I often had this complicated and seemingly contradictory emotional response –– delight and discomfort –– while photographing caged birds throughout Cuba.

Li-Young Lee link:  http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/291

LInk to T.S. Eliot’s poem, “Four Quartets”:  http://www.tristan.icom43.net/quartets/

Alex Webb, Havana, 2008, from "Violet Isle"

 

EP: Alex, when you photograph you seem to go back again and again to a particular place. You don’t move there for a while to carry out your work, but you return over and over. How does that affect the way you see, the way you work?

AW: My meanderings in a country are rarely planned.  For instance, in Havana, even when I find myself working in the same neighborhood, it is often somewhat by chance: I wander into the same locale three days later –– or even, perhaps, a year later.  And even if I contemplate returning to a specific area, it is often a spur of the moment decision: I find myself completing work in one street or block and suddenly decide to return to somewhere that I have been before.  Sure, sometimes I may decide that a street or a market that I photographed in the morning might be more interesting in the afternoon or vice-versa, but as often as not the return to a particular locale is serendipitous.

For instance, the above photograph was taken during my last of 11 trips to Havana over 15 years.  Who know how many times I had walked down this particular street during my other trips.  But the particular mood and color and feel of the street caught my eye in fall 2009.

EMILY PEDERSON

Emily Pederson, Prague, 2009

I was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1989. I study photography, Portuguese, and Spanish at the Gallatin School at New York University.

My grandfather was an undersea photographer and cinematographer, and documented undersea life in the Bahamas in the 50s and 60s. So there were always neat old cameras in my house as I was growing up, and I started to take photographs early on. The summer after my junior year in high school I lived in Peru for a month doing volunteer work at an orphanage. It was my first true experience of life elsewhere, and it played out like a fever dream. I took thirty rolls of film, and after that was significantly more fascinated by photography.

After graduating high school, I moved to New York City and have lived there since, except for four months last year, which I spent studying in Prague, learning Czech and traveling in Eastern Europe. I’m currently working with Alex Harsley at the 4th Street Photo Gallery, which he established in 1971, helping him distribute his work and documenting the history the gallery has witnessed. I see photographs as agents of information and as records of light. What allures me the most is how photography gives us the ability to freeze time.–Emily Pederson

My website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emilykpederson/

BILL MCCULLOUGH

Bill McCullough, Waco, Texas, 2005

American photographer Bill McCullough was born in 1963, in Dickenson Texas. He graduated with a degree in Plan II economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. He is a self taught photographer. His work has been published in Spot (Houston Center of Photography), United States; and Photonews, Germany. In 2008,  his work was purchased for the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His first solo show will take place at the SRO gallery at Texas Tech University in March, 2011. He has been chosen as a 2010 Fotofest discovery. He currently resides and works in Austin, Texas.

Bill’s webswite:  www.billmccullough.com

VIOLET ISLE: In the New Yorker

December 29, 2009
This week’s New Yorker includes a review of the Violet Isle show at Ricco Maresca Gallery, whose last day is Saturday, Jan. 2nd.
Violet Isle at Ricco Maresca Gallery
from The New Yorker:

ALEX WEBB AND REBECCA NORRIS WEBB

This married couple shows color photographs from several trips to Cuba that emphasize the easy compatibility of their distinct visual styles. Alex usually takes a broad view of streetscapes complicated by shadows, reflections, and arrested movement; he has a filmmaker’s ability to find the skewed but perfect balance in a scene that threatens to spin out of control. Rebecca tends to focus on details, framing intriguing still-lifes and capturing marvellous shots of birds, including a pigeon that appears to be flying away from a freshly laid egg. Both Webbs use color like the Fauves—in hot, vibrant swatches and pungent accents. The results are the opposite of tourist views: pictures that are generated and animated by their subjects, never imposed on them. Through Jan. 2. (Ricco/Maresca, 529 W. 20th St. 212-627-4819.)

TWO VIEWS: Santiago de Cuba

November 11, 2009

It’s nice to see that the New Yorker is featuring one of Alex’s photographs this week.  It is one of those amazing and complicated and beautiful street photographs of his, one that I think captures the feel of the streets of Santiago de Cuba, the island’s “second city,” a vibrant, one-of-a-kind Cuban city that is often overshadowed by the larger and more frequently visited Havana.

One memory I have of this remarkable coastal city is that it is so hilly that instead of having “bike taxis” like most of the cities of the eastern part of the island, it has “motorcycle taxies.” If you’re a passenger, the driver hands you a helmet, you hop on the back of the motorcycle, and off you go.

Below the New Yorker link, you’ll also find another photograph of Alex’s from Santiago de Cuba from Violet Isle.––Rebecca

Link to Alex’s photograph in the New Yorker

Santiago, Cuba, 2008

Alex Webb, Santiago de Cuba, 2008

NOVEMBER’S FOTOFORUM:  The Indelible Image

For November, the FotoForum topic will be “The Indelible Image.” For this column, we are inviting former workshop participants and other photographers to send us a jpg (72 dpi; 6 inches on the longest side) of one of the first images by another photographer that you remember seeing as a beginning photographer, an image that still lingers with you today.  If you’d like, feel free to also include a sentence or two about the photograph and your encounter with it, up to a paragraph in length (250 words max).  To continue this notion of creating an online photographic community, please also include a short bio (100 words max) and link to your website or other link that features your photographs online. ––Alex and Rebecca

Please email your indelible image (and text) to Rebecca at rebeccanorriswebb@yahoo.com


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