This month, we are featuring TWO NEW PUBLICATIONS (including David Alan Harvey’s BURN, which is in print for the very first time), TWO OPENINGS in New York, TWO EVENTS at a brand new photography festival, called INVISION, TWO VIEWS of photographer JULIE BLACKMON, and a FAREWELL to Canadian writer and photographer, JULIE MASON. –Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb
TWO NEW PUBLICATIONS: BURN and NOMADS
For everyone who has been following Magnum photographer DAVID ALAN HARVEY‘s award-winning online magazine, BURN, there’s now a print edition in the form of a 300-page book showcasing 25 photographers’ work, including ROGER BALLEN, JAMES NACHTWEY, as well many talented emerging photographers. (Alex and I were honored to be asked to contribute a selection of photographs from VIOLET ISLE, our joint book on Cuba.) You can see a selection of the work — and read James Estrin’s piece — on the New York Times Lens Blog. To see page samples from the new book, as well as order your own copy of BURNo1 — an edition of only 1,000 copies — visit the BURN web site.
There’s also a new online travel photography magazine with a twist: the photographers — including ERNESTO BAZAN and ED KASHI — also supply the writing, in the form of journals, poetry, or other text pieces that accompany their images. Called NOMADS, this beautifully designed, thoughtful, and often visually surprising online magazine is the brainchild of the insightful photographer/educator LAURI LYONS and her talented staff. —Rebecca Norris Webb
TWO OPENINGS: NEW YORK CITY
We wanted to note the opening of two exhibitions this week, both on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21.
At RICCO MARESCA GALLERY, photographer GERALD SLOTA collaborates with the playwright, screenwriter, and film director, NEIL LABUTE. Apparently the two of them met via email and decided to collaborate, creating a series of strange greeting cards, wherein LaBute would attempt to probe Slota’s psyche, and Slota would respond to Labute’s words in the form of images. Slota’s photographs often push the edge of photographic technique, often distressing the image, by scratching on it or adding to it. His work can be darkly psychological — as can the work of LaBute, who’s been called “America’s misanthrope par excellence” by the UK’s Independent. You can read more about the Slota/LaBute collaboration in the current issue of Fluence.
At 601 ARTSPACE, ROBERT BLAKE, formerly director of the General Studies Program at ICP, has curated a show of the work of JOE RODRIGUEZ and MARTIN WEBER, entitled “Cultural Memory Matters.” Both these photographers in very different ways have explored some of the issues surrounding cultural identity and heritage. While Rodriguez, born in Brooklyn of Puerto Rican descent, approaches the world in a traditional documentary manner, photographing life as played out in front of the camera, Weber, from Argentina, often uses text pieces in the images, transforming or qualifying the viewer’s understanding of the photograph. It should be interesting to see their work side by side.–Alex Webb
TWO MORE: THE SHORT LIST
ALIA MALLEY has work in the SHFT New York pop-up gallery show, 112 Greene St., between Prince and Spring Streets, which opens on Thursday, October 21st, from 6-8pm.
RAJIV KAPOOR has an exhibit, “Paradoxes of Living on Holy Land,” at Seattle University’s Vachon & Kinsey Galleries, which is up through December 3.
TWO EVENTS: New Photography Festival in Pennsylvania
We hope some of you can join us at a new photography festival, called INVISION, the first weekend in NOVEMBER, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a short drive/bus ride from NEW YORK. On Saturday evening, November 6, I will show a selection of work — featuring some of Rebecca’s photographs, too — as part of a weekend of photography with presentations by LARRY FINK, NICK NICHOLS, and PETER VAN AGTMAEL.
On Sunday, NOVEMBER 7, Rebecca and I, joined by others from the photography world, will conduct a series of portfolio reviews. (We understand there are only 30 slots available.)–Alex Webb
TWO VIEWS: Julie Blackmon
If you’re in New York, this is the last week to visit the JULIE BLACKMON show, LINE-UP, at the ROBERT MANN GALLERY, which is up through Saturday, October 23d. Julie, like me, is the member of a large family — although, unlike me, she is the eldest of nine children, and I’m in the middle of five — and, when looking at her photographs in this exhibition, one can’t help but be transported back to one’s own childhood, with its terrors and its chaos and its comic antics. Julie’s genius is that this childhood is seen through the prism of the Dutch Renaissance painters, especially Jan Steen’s domestic scenes, and her beautiful prints are a mix of the staged, the improvised, and the photo-shopped — you can’t get more 21st Century than that! Her marvelous first book, Domestic Vacations, is a welcome addition to any photographic library.–Rebecca Norris Webb
A FAREWELL: Julie Mason
Alex and I like to think of our photographic workshops as communities, and it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to one of our treasured members, JULIE MASON, who died last weekend of ovarian cancer. To honor Julie’s long commitment to social justice, health, and women’s issues, here is a video tribute to her from the Canadian House of Commons.
Alex and I had the pleasure of working with her on a long-term photographic project at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, as well as with her photographs during the Magnum Workshop in Toronto last May. Julie, a gifted Canadian writer who was finding her way in her other passion, photography, gave as much — if not more — to Alex and myself, as we probably gave to her. I was struck by her insights and her compassion and her generosity. I remember last May after struggling through a presentation of “My Dakota,” an elegy for my brother, Dave, Julie took me aside and quietly mentioned her cancer. She had not fear in her voice but love. She was only telling me because she was concerned that her granddaughers, who meant the world to her, wouldn’t remember her. I told her how important photographs were to my late brother’s two daughers and son. So, together, we came up with the idea of a “memory box,” with a mix of her photographs, writings, and momentos of times with her granddaughters to give to each of them. Whether Julie had the time to create these objects is immaterial. The memories of Julie, themselves, are the best memory box for any grandchild.
For those who knew Julie, and would like to leave a memory, Alex and I invite you to leave a comment in celebration of her life. I guess, in a way, this POSTINGS column, is a kind of memory box for Julie. For spending time in Julie’s presence was a gift to each of us who had the good fortune to have known her — no matter for how long.–Rebecca Norris Webb