You are currently browsing the archives for the Community category.

June 14th, 2013

Look3: Carrie Mae Weems on Race, Sexuality, History and Finding Meaningful Work

Carrie Mae Weems, Deborah Willis

© Tristan Wheelock

Visual artist Carrie Mae Weems, who appeared on the main stage of the Look3 Festival of the Photograph last night for a conversation about her work with photo historian and curator Deborah Willis, is finally getting the recognition that she deserves. Weems recently received the Gordon Parks Foundation Award, and her rich, wide-ranging oeuvre from the past three decades is the subject of a touring retrospective exhibition.

As an artist, Weems is not easy to pin down. She uses primarily photography, but also written text, audio recording, video and fabric banners to explore a wide range of topics, including race, gender, sexuality, and power. A common thread to it all, she says, is “an overarching commitment to understanding the present by closely examining history and identity.”

But the work is far more playful and accessible than all of that makes it sound. Her work is grounded solidly in reality. (Take a quick tour here: http://carriemaeweems.net/work.html.) And like so many other photographers, she goes to work every morning, follows her interests, and figures things out as she goes along.

“I’m interested in photography and I’m interested in literature and I’m interested in film,” she explained near the beginning of her wide-ranging conversation with Willis. “I’m trying to figure out how to use those modes as a vehicle for expressing certain kinds of ideas…I’m just interested in whatever works.”

Her conversation with Willis, accompanied by a projection of her images, shed light on her artistic process with a grand tour of her various projects over the years . One of the best known is her “Kitchen Table” series, for which Weems used a kitchen table–that iconic object of American domesticity–to explore the experience of women in their role as mothers, wives, friends, and objects of sexual desire.

(more…)

May 16th, 2013

Photolucida: Portfolio Reviews From the Photographer’s Side of the Table

Lamb-HopewellFurn

© Eliza Lamb, from her series “Hopewell.”

By Eliza Lamb

As a photographer I find that portfolio reviews are the perfect combination of exhaustion and exhilaration, community and competition, motivation and humility. After I returned from a whirlwind four days in Portland, Oregon at Photolucida I was still coming off the high of it all. I found myself trying to integrate the connections I’d made and the feedback I’d gotten with the life I knew and the assumptions I held before I left. Sorting through piles of leave behinds, business cards, signed books and pages full of notes, I was struck by feelings of accomplishment and uneasiness, and by my downright good fortune for being able to be a part of such an amazing community.

The process of creating visual art can be very isolating and often involves years of self-reflection, pondering and personal expense, punctuated by both excitement and doubt. It can feel antisocial as we create our images and crawl back into our studios or sit in front of our computer screens for hours upon hours of editing, processing and contemplating. Having trained for years as an actress and receiving instant gratification, I find it can be near maddening putting your work out there to radio silence. But portfolio reviews are a way for photographers to join together to gain feedback, camaraderie and opportunities, to gather despite their home locations or educational training and present their work to the community as equals with common passions, goals and frustrations. (more…)

May 15th, 2013

No Sense of Irony In Hansen “Fake” Journalism Accusation

Let’s review: On Monday Paul Hansen, a veteran photojournalist and two-time newspaper photographer of the year award winner was accused of “faking” his World Press Photo award winning image. An analysis by independent experts recruited by the World Press Photo organization has since cleared Hansen of the charge.

The accusation was leveled by a tech blogger over at ExtremeTech, citing a single source: a computer scientist, Dr. Neal Krawetz, who wrote about the photograph on the blog for his company The Hacker Factor, a computer security consultancy.  Talking about Hansen’s photo, which shows a group of mourners in Gaza City carrying children killed in an Israeli air strike, Krawetz stated that in his “opinion, [Hansen's photo] has been significantly altered.” Krawetz provided his analysis and concluded that the image was “a digital composite.”

The ExtremeTech blogger got hold of Krawetz’s post, rehashed it, and tacked on this headline: “How the 2013 World Press Photo of the Year was faked with Photoshop.”

As of this morning the blog post had been shared on various social media platforms by roughly 25,000 people, and had received 271 comments. (Which, by the way, is about 24,450 more shares than a typical ExtremeTech blog post gets, so mission accomplished, right?). Sadly, many of the people sharing the accusation were members of the professional photography community. (more…)

May 3rd, 2013

Only One More Week to Take Part in JR’s Times Square Installation

MergeLeft's Tricia Scott holding up her self-portrait (left) © Dustin Cohen; Tricia Scott and photographer Dustin Cohen's self-portraits in Times Square (right) © Tricia Scott.

MergeLeft’s Tricia Scott holding up her self-portrait (left) © Dustin Cohen; Tricia Scott and photographer Dustin Cohen’s self-portraits in Times Square (right) © Tricia Scott.

 

May 10 is the last day for visitors to New York City’s Times Square to take part in the latest photo project by JR, the French street artist known for posting oversize prints of his portraits on public spaces, including walls, bridges, trains and roofs. Launched on April 20, his new installation consists of a mobile photo booth, where visitors can take a self-portrait that is then printed as a 3 x 4-foot black-and-white poster. Subjects can choose either to have their portrait plastered onto Duffy Square in the center of Times Square or bring it back to their own communities to display there. Anyone can line up for the photo booth between noon and 6 pm EST each day through May 10 to be part of the project.

The Times Square installation is part of his “INSIDE OUT” project, which began when JR won a TED Prize in 2011. Winners of the annual prize receive $1 million, which is meant to inspire them to “think bigger about what’s possible,” according to TED.com. JR said his wish was to “create a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work, by making digitally uploaded images into posters to display in diverse communities.” The “INSIDE OUT” project, which launched in May 2011 with a photo booth Paris, is his TED wish realized. The photo booth has since traveled throughout France as well as to the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Palestine, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Tokyo. A documentary about the work, called Inside Out: The People’s Art Project, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, the day the Times Square installation began.

For more information on “INSIDE OUT,” visit www.insideoutproject.net. You can watch JR’s TED talk about the project below:

Related Article:

Hiding in Art: JR and Liu Bolin Collaborate

May 2nd, 2013

29th Annual ICP Infinity Awards Honors Art, Photo-J, and Photos That Mix Both

“There is no more meaningful honor than one given by one’s peers,” said photographer David Goldblatt as he accepted the Cornell Capa Lifetime Achievement award last night. Goldblatt’s was the last of the awards given at the 29th Annual International Center of Photography Infinity Awards, an event honoring achievements in photography. The awards presentation, held at Pier Sixty in New York City, is the primary fundraising event for the International Center of Photography (ICP), including its museum, photo school,  educational programs, student scholarships and community outreach.

In his acceptance speech, Goldblatt apologized for voicing a note of criticism about his award: Its name. “Lifetime Achievement,” he said, implies “one has reached the end of the road,” suggesting the winner wouldn’t be coming back to accept another award in “15 or 20 years.” Goldblatt, who was born in 1930, said that if it were renamed the “Work in Progress Award,” the recipient might be encouraged to work harder, albeit “in a state of geriatric dissolution.” Mark Robbins, the executive director of ICP and the master of ceremonies for the evening, then told Goldblatt, “We look forward to much, much more.”

“Work in Progress” also describes recent images by the Young Photographer Award winner, Kitra Cahana, who has begun to follow “a new trajectory in my photography,” she said. A photojournalist who has shot for National Geographic and The New York Times, she has over the past year taken intimate and quiet photos of her father in his hospital bed. As a result of a stroke, he is paralyzed from the eyes down. Cahana explained in the video that preceded her speech that her father, a rabbi, now dictates his sermons “letter by letter, blink by blink.”

Actor Jeff Bridges, winner of a Special Achievement Award, praised Cahane’s work in his acceptance speech. Bridges, who shoots film on a Widelux camera to photograph on movie sets, offered a toast to film as well as to the moments photography captures.

David Guttenfelder, the Associated Press photographer who has photographed widely in North Korea for the past year and a half, won the Photojournalism award. Other award winners view photojournalism with skepticism. Cristina de Middel won the Publication prize for her book The Afronauts, which envisions Zambia’s aborted attempt to create a space program in 1964. She said she had worked as a photojournalist until she became frustrated with the media. “Two years ago, I started messing with fact and fiction,” and decided to try “telling stories in a new way.” The video interview that preceded her speech showed archival news photos of the space program, as well as real documents she incorporated into the book.  (Like all the videos shown last night, it was created for the event by MediaStorm. A longer form of each video can be viewed on the MediaStorm website.)

Mishka Henner, winner of the Art prize, has doctored iconic images by Robert Frank (a past Cornell Capa Award winner) by removing significant sections. He has also explored oil fields by collecting satellite images and gathered images from Google Street View for a study of sites where sex workers have been solicited. “It’s funny. Do photographers own what they photograph?” Henner asks in his video interview. “It’s raw material for me, just as Frank’s woman in an elevator was raw material to him.”

The award for Applied/Fashion/Advertising was given to Erik Madigan Heck, whose clients include Neiman Marcus, Eres, Vanity Fair and W. “I create an image purely to create a beautiful image. Sometimes I don’t show the product,” he said in his interview.

The ICP Trustees Award was given to Pat Schoenfeld, who was hired by ICP founder Cornell Capa in 1974, shortly after he opened the museum. Schoenfeld launched the museum book store, and over the years worked on membership, publications, publicity and other programs before she left ICP to launch the ARTS cable service. She has served on ICP’s board since 1987. She told the audience that she thinks of herself as “the grandmother of ICP,” having seen it through its childhood under founder Cornell Capa, and its adolescence under the direction of Willis Hartshorn, who stepped down last year. She said, “I look forward to the coming years with our new director, Mark Robbins.”

This year’s Infinity Award winners were selected by Susan Bright, writer and curator; Douglas Nickel, professor at Brown University; and Ramon Revert, editor in chief and creative director, Editorial RM. They made selections from nominations submitted by a nine-person committee that included Isolde Brielmaier, curator at Savannah Collect of Art and Design Museum of Art; Frank Kalero, publisher of OjodePez and director of GetxoPhoto; Michele McNally, assistant managing editor for photography, The New York Times; Marleos Krijnen of FOAM in Amsterdam; photographer Facundode Zuviria; Carol Squiers, ICP curator, and others.

Related Articles
A Tribute to David Goldblatt, ICP’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Honoree

ICP Infinity Awards to Honor Goldblatt, Henner, de Middel

AP’s David Guttenfelder Inside North Korea

Moriyama, Ai Weiwei to Be Honored at ICP Infinity Awards

April 26th, 2013

Alec Soth on Wandering, Storytelling and Robert Adams vs. Weegee

Last week at the Portland Art Museum as part of the 2013 Photolucida festivities, Alec Soth gave a lecture titled “From Here to There: Searching for Narrative in Photography.” The talk could have been titled “Searching for Narrative in Photography Lectures,” because Soth mostly allowed the audience to lead the way with questions, which he responded to with the aid of a number of prepared slideshows. The evening was free-form, entertaining and a bit wandering, which made sense given that Soth emphasized that wandering and taking pictures without a set goal in mind has produced some of his most important bodies of work. But more on that later.

Soth started on a down note, sharing a quote from Robert Frank—“There are too many images, too many cameras now. We’re all being watched. It gets sillier and sillier. As if all action is meaningful. Nothing is really all that special. It’s just life. If all moments are recorded, then nothing is beautiful and maybe photography isn’t an art any more. Maybe it never was.” He also showed a photograph of an installation by Erik Kessels: a pile of prints made from all of the images uploaded to Flickr in a 24-hour period.

Soth described the perspectives offered by the Frank quote and Kessels’ installation as “bleak.” But, he said, the “way out of this [bleak situation for photographers] is storytelling.” (more…)

March 12th, 2013

Photogs Dish Anonymously About Clients’ Rates Via New Tumblr Site

A new site on Tumblr set up by an anonymous editorial photographer seeks to provide a platform where photographers can share information about what clients in all fields, from editorial to advertising to non-profits, pay photographers.

Still in its infancy, the site, Who Pays Photographers, is based on a similar Tumblr, Who Pays Writers, which, you guessed it, lists fees paid to writers. According to the anonymous founder of Who Pays Photographers, the response has been a bit overwhelming, indicating a serious interest among photographers to talk about, and read about, the fees clients pay for photographic work.

Thus far the site has information about The New York Times, Getty Images, AP, AFP, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN and several other clients in the US and abroad.

We exchanged emails with the creator of Who Pays Photographers to find out a bit more about her/his goals for the site.

PDN: How long have you worked as a photographer and in what field?

Who Pays Photographers: I’m an editorial photographer with 6 years experience, about half of that time as a staffer at a magazine, and more recently, as a freelancer.

PDN: What inspired you to start the site? Was it just a natural reaction to seeing Manjula Martin’s Who Pays Writers, or was there more to it?

WPP: The site was a simple reaction to Who Pays Writers, a site that was linked to a number of times during the recent Nate Thayer kerfuffle with the Atlantic. It seemed obvious that the photo industry could really benefit from having such a resource and I found it surprising that nothing of the sort existed. (more…)

March 11th, 2013

Park Officials Block Effort to Name Lawn For Slain Photojournalist Chris Hondros

© Brooklyn Bridge Park

© Brooklyn Bridge Park

A campaign to get Brooklyn Bridge Park to name a lawn after photojournalist Chris Hondros, a Brooklyn resident who was killed in Libya in April 2011, is being blocked by Park authorities who now say they will not accept proper names submitted to its Name That Lawn contest. (*March 13, 2013: See Update to this story, below.)

In February, Brooklyn Bridge Park, a city-run park, announced on its website that it was running a Name That Lawn contest to solicit names for a stretch of green on a recently repurposed pier. Patrick Whelan, photo editor at the Wall Street Journal, suggested it be named for Hondros, a New York native and winner of the Robert Capa Gold Medal. Soon dozens of friends and colleagues of the late photographer had spread the word via social media, and news about the campaign ran run on the websites of DNAInfo and a local CBS news affiliate.

On March 9, however, several people who had submitted Hondros’s name received an email signed by Nancy Webster of Brooklyn Bridge Park, saying the Park was looking only for names that described aspects of the park.  Acknowledging the volume of emails suggesting Hondros’s name, Webster’s email added, “While we very much appreciate the desire to honor Chris’s memory, we are also keenly aware that there are so very many deserving and special Brooklyn residents to memorialize and pay tribute to. And as such, the naming of one lawn for one person does not seem fully inclusive of the
larger community.”

Webster noted that the rule change had been added to  the contest page of the Park’s website. It now reads, “We are looking specifically for a name that reflects the geography or features of the park, so no proper names please.”

Photographer Alan Chin, an early promoter of Whalen’s idea, called Webster’s email “disingenuous.” “All kinds of parks and parts of parks are named for all kinds of people. In my own neighborhood of Red Hook here, there’s the ‘Louis J. Valentino Park’ named for a local firefighter who died in a burning building in 1996. Wouldn’t the ‘Chris Hondros Meadow’ be in exactly the same spirit?” (Among city-run parks in Brooklyn alone, Chin might have added McCarren Park, Maria Hernandez Park, J.J. Byrne Playground, or the Lt. Federico Narvarez Tot Lot, which were named for a state senator, a city council member, a Building Department clerk and a New York police lieutenant who died in 1996.)

He said that the Park’s “backtracking” on the rules of its own contest “is graceless and insulting in the extreme.”

Webster’s email claims that the Park would contact the Chris Hondros Fund, the non-profit foundation created after his death to support photography education and photojournalism projects, “to explore other ways to honor his memory.”

Christina Piaia, president of the Chris Hondros Fund did not say whether the Park had been in touch, but sent PDN the following statement: “We feel humbled by the outpouring of love and support evident in the notes shared with us, and, in the spirit of Chris, this serves as a testament to the incredible life he led and legacy he leaves behind in each of us.”

Whalen says the Park’s decision is “disappointing,” but he hopes that supporters of the campaign will rally around another effort to create a place named for Hondros where friends and colleagues could meet or talk about his work. “Next month will be the second anniversary of our loss as well as Chris’ birthday. I feel the time is right and the support is there to make this happen.”

* Update, March 13, 2013: Four days after the Brooklyn Bridge Park changed  the rules of the contest; the Park has responded to criticism of its change by calling the contest off, The New York Times reports today.


Related Articles

Chris Hondros Remembered as Humanist, Friend

Chris Hondros Dies of Injuries in Libya

Andrea Bruce Wins Getty Images & Chris Hondros Fund Award

 

January 30th, 2013

ICP Infinity Awards to Honor Goldblatt, Henner, de Middel

South African photographer David Goldblatt will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 29th Annual Infinity Awards, the International Center of Photography (ICP) announced yesterday. The awards will be given at a gala to benefit ICP on May 1 in New York City.

Goldblatt, 82, has produced numerous books and museum exhibitions of his work, which defies definition as either art or documentary photography.  His work was included in ICP’s recent exhibition, “The Rise and Fall of Apartheid,” and is being exhibited now at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In a statement announcing this year’s Infinity Award winners, ICP executive director Mark Robbins said, “We are pleased to recognize the achievement of this year’s recipients including David Goldblatt, who has dedicated his career to not only documenting his native South Africa but also to teaching visual literacy and photographic skills to youth disadvantaged by the system of apartheid.”

The Infinity Award for Photojournalism will be awarded to David Guttenfelder, the Chief Asia Photographer for the Associated Press, who has been documenting North Korea. The Infinity Award for Art will be awarded to Mishka Henner, who used Google Street View to capture images of the outskirts of European cities where sex workers have solicited clients.

Other winners of 2103 Infinity Awards are:
Young Photographer: Kitra Cahana
Publication: Cristina de Middel, The Afronauts
Applied/Fashion/Advertising: Erik Madigan Heck (selected for PDN’s 30 in 2011).

Not announced yesterday was a winner for the Cornell Capa Award, inaugurated in 2000 in honor of the founder of ICP.

Past winners of ICP Infinity Awards include William Eggleston, Elliott Erwitt, Daido Moriyama, Lee Friedlander, Annie Leibovitz, William Klein and Malick Sidibe.

Related articles
Moriyama, Ai Weiwei to Be Honored at ICP Infinity Awards

AP’s David Guttenfelder Inside North Korea

Deutsche Börse Announces Shortlist for 2013 Photography Prize (de Middel and Henner)

January 15th, 2013

$15K Alexia Foundation Grant Deadline, Exhibition Coming Up

© Justin Maxon. Jasmine Rasheed-Bacon, 6, consoles her cousin, Breonna Starkey-Bacon, 6, after she went into a closet to cry because of a disturbance in the house. The two cousins are very close and rely on each other for support. The girls live in a dangerous neighborhood called the Sun Village in Chester, PA, which is notorious for its drug trafficking and drug related crime.

© Justin Maxon, from his Alexia Grant supported project. Jasmine Rasheed-Bacon, 6, consoles her cousin, Breonna Starkey-Bacon, 6, after she went into a closet to cry because of a disturbance in the house. The two cousins are very close and rely on each other for support. The girls live in a dangerous neighborhood called the Sun Village in Chester, PA, which is notorious for its drug trafficking and drug related crime.

The deadline for the 2013 Alexia Foundation grant is this Friday, January 18. The $15,000 grant will be awarded to a photographer who is looking for funding “to produce a substantial picture story that furthers the Foundation’s goals of promoting world peace and cultural understanding.”

The Alexia Foundation supports photojournalism that explores issues of social justice and cultural awareness. It was founded by Peter and Aphrodite Tsairis, in memory of their daughter, Alexia, who was killed in the bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

In addition to the professional grant, the Alexia Foundation will also give out student awards that provide educational opportunities and cash grants for photography undergraduate and graduate students who are making work that coincides with the goals of the foundation. The deadline for entries for the student awards is February 1.

Last year’s professional grant was awarded to Justin Maxon, who has used the funding to work on a project about the number of murders that go unsolved in America. The student award went to Katie Orlinsky, who completed an internship at MediaStorm and worked on her project about the human cost of Mexico’s drug war.

Both Maxon and Orlinsky will speak about their work at “Images & Issues,” an Alexia Foundation exhibition and fundraising event that will be held January 23 at 25CPW Gallery in New York City. The event will feature an exhibition of the work of last year’s grant recipients, and images from past Alexia Grant winners, including Melanie Blanding, Wesley Law, Ismail Ferdous, Ezra Shaw, Bob Miller, Marie Aragon, Juliette Lynch, Matt Lutton, Veronica Wilson, Justin Yurkanin, Mark Murrmann, Christopher Lane, Ryan Henriksen, Peggy Peattie, Matt Black, Mackenzie Reiss, Ami Vitale, Katie Orlinsky, Justin Maxon, Stephanie Sinclair and Khaled Hasan.

Visit the Alexia Foundation site for more information on the grants and the exhibition.

Related: Anatomy of a Successful Grant Application: Tim Matsui on the Women’s Initiative Grant [Subscribers only; PDN subscribers can login to read this story]
Justin Maxon Wins $15,000 Alexia Foundation Grant