April 29th, 2014

ICP Celebrates Infinity Award Winners (Recap and Video Links)

Last night the International Center of Photography honored photographers working in photojournalism, fine-art and fashion at the 30th annual Infinity Awards. The awards were inaugurated in 1985 as a way to recognize outstanding achievements by photographers working in various genres within the medium.

It was the first Infinity Awards ceremony for new ICP director Mark Lubell, who promised the crowd that the organization would remain at the “center of the conversation” about the medium. Perhaps as a way to illustrate that point, ICP arranged for a drone to photograph partygoers during the cocktail hour, then put those photographs on-screen at the beginning of the ceremony.

The Cornell Capa Lifetime Achievement Award was given to German-born photographer Jürgen Schadeberg, who as an expatriate in South Africa during Apartheid, made some of the most famous images of Nelson Mandela, and encouraged black South African journalists to pick up cameras and tell their stories.

James Welling was honored for his contribution to fine-art photography; Steven Klein for fashion; Stephanie Sinclair and Jessica Dimmock were honored for photojournalism; Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin were honored for their publication Holy Bible; and Samuel A. James received the Young Photographer award.

Sinclair and Dimmock received a standing ovation from the crowd for their work documenting the practice of child marriage and its effects on adolescent girls, their families and their communities. The project, “Too Young To Wed,” is a decade-long pursuit for Sinclair that has spawned a non-profit that she hopes will help young girls and communities do away with the practice of child marriage.

Samuel A. James, who in his young career has worked extensively in Nigeria documenting the impact of oil extraction on the culture—including photographing the illegal tapping of oil pipelines and makeshift refining operations by impoverished Nigerians—thanked the Nigerians who “gifted me these stories” during a short acceptance speech. James also dedicated the award to a friend who was killed in an explosion while attempting to refine black-market crude oil.

In accepting the Publication award for their book Holy Bible, for which they combined the King James Bible with images from the Archive of Modern Conflict, Broomberg and Chanarin called the book their “attempt to somehow illustrate this text,” and said they hoped it would be an invitation to others to make their own attempts. They also paid tribute to their publisher, Michael Mack for his production of the book, and to the Queen of England, who owns the copyright to the King James Bible.

In a slightly incongruous presentation, pop star Brooke Candy spoke about Steven Klein and introduced a high-octane video that reviewed much of Klein’s work. The fashion photographer briefly thanked the crowd after noting that, “photography pretty much saved my life.”

MediaStorm produced short documentary films about all of the recipients except Klein. Watch those films on the MediaStorm site here.

Related: Tour de Force: James Welling’s Artistic Versatility
Best Photo Books of 2013

December 4th, 2013

What Does Robert Capa’s “Close Enough” Rule Mean Today?

Photos © Robert Capa (left) and © David Goldblatt

Photos © Robert Capa (left) and © David Goldblatt

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” Robert Capa famously said. But was he right?

To celebrate the 100th birthday of Robert Capa and the upcoming show “Capa in Color” at the International Center of Photography, Magnum Photos has been asking photographers to reflect on the great photojournalist’s legacy—and his famous adage— in an online project called Get Closer 100.

Every day since Capa’s birthday, October 22, the agency has posted  a photo from Capa’s archive and invited the public to upload a photo of their own that mirrors it. They’ve also asked renowned photographers to share their response to the Capa image in the form of a single photo and a short written text. Photographers who have to date shared their thoughts on Capa include David Goldblatt, Richard Renaldi, Jane Evelyn Atwood, Thomas Ruff, Benjamin Lowy, Gideon Mendel, Stefano De Luigi, Thomas Hirshorn and many members of Magnum. Their thoughtful critiques on Capa’s “get closer” rule are as individual as the photographers themselves.

Magnum photographer Olivia Arthur notes that when she’s photographing people in intimate settings, she is often struggling to put more physical distance between herself and her subjects in order not to make them uncomfortable. She explains, “Being close for me is about being inside someone’s world, when they feel relaxed about my being around. I try to let people have their space.”

Micha Bar-Am of Magnum adds to Capa’s quote, “But if you’re too close to the grindstone, you lose perspective.”

Several photographers said that over time, they decided that Capa’s adage is a demand not for proximity but for empathy. Agnes Dherbeys, who won the Robert Capa Medal from the Overseas Press Club in 2011, paired a 1944 photo by Capa of a French woman accused of collaborating with the Germans with one of her own images from her series on the Red Shirts Crisis in Thailand in 2010. Dherbeys writes that she tried to empathize with the terror of the protester crouching in a street to take cover from Thai Army gunfire.

Ashley Gilbertson, another Robert Capa Medal winner, questions the image Capa inspired of the “swashbuckling photojournalist.” Gilbertson, who pairs a photo he shot in Falluja, Iraq in 2004 with one of Capa’s images of the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy, says, “For the record, as hard as I tried, I never got that swashbuckling thing.”

The wide selection of Capa images underscore that he was much more than a conflict photographer.  Photojournalist Ed Kashi, who paired Capa’s photo of himself (seen in a mirror) photographing author John Steinbeck with a photo of Kashi’s father looking in a mirror, notes, “Conflict photographers of today are obsessed with only the agony, graphic violence and misery. Capa recorded those qualities with a quiet dignity, but he was also able to capture happiness. He was capable of portraying life in it’s full range of emotions, not just misery and death.”

There are 56 days left to the project. You can see Capa’s images—and upload your own response– at getcloser.magnumphotos.com.

November 19th, 2013

ICP Appoints Mark Lubell New Executive Director

The board of trustees of the International Center of Photography (ICP) has named Mark Lubell to be its new executive director. He replaces Mark Robbins, who left the job as director of the museum and school after 19 months to become President and CEO of the American Academy in Rome.

Lubell was Director of Magnum Photos from 2004 until 2011. During his tenure, he negotiated the sale of the Magnum press print archive to Michael Dell and his investment firm, MSD Capital, and its placement at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. In 2008, he lead the “Access to Life Project,” in which eight Magnum photographers documented the work of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and also lead initiatives to bring new revenue to the photo agency. Since leaving Magnum, he has been working as a consultant.

In a joint statement announcing Lubell’s appointment, Caryl S. Englander, board chair, and Jeffrey A. Rosen, board president, said, “Mark’s deep experience with photography, his aptitude with digital technology, and his managerial skills qualify him especially well to lead ICP forward, as we prepare to celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2014. Mark is a forward thinker whose vision of ICP’s central role in photography in the digital age builds on the spirit of our founder, Cornell Capa.” ICP has had three previous executive directors. Willis “Buzz” Hartshorn, who succeeded founder Cornell Capa in running the museum and school, stepped down in 2012 for health reasons.

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November 6th, 2013

ICP Executive Director Leaves Job After 19 Months

Mark Robbins, executive director of the International Center of Photography, is leaving November 15, the ICP board of trustees announced October 30. On the same day, the American Academy in Rome announced Robbins had been hired as its President and CEO, effective January 2014. Robbins became ICP executive director May 5, 2012, succeeding Willis “Buzz” Hartshorn, the director since 1994, who had resigned for health reasons. The International Center of Photography includes a photo school, museum, community programs.

In its statement announcing Robbins’ departure, Jeffrey A. Rosen, president of the Board of Trustees at ICP, said, “On behalf of the board, we thank Mark for his service to ICP, and wish him the best in his new endeavor.”

Debby Hirshman, the chief operating officer of ICP, told PDN she is serving as the acting director until a new executive director is hired. She said she has been in her role for two months; she had been a consultant to ICP since 2009. She said the search for a new executive director is “well underway” and the board of trustees is “already meeting with people and we hope to have a new executive director shortly.”

Hirshman declined to discuss what challenges the new executive director might face, whether or not the ICP museum and school will remain in its current location, and whether or not a new capital campaign will be conducted by the incoming executive director.

“I think people should feel that it’s an exciting time for ICP,” Hirshman said. As examples, she said that film director Oliver Stone is coming to give a public talk with ICP Chief Curator Brian Wallis, who curated the show “Who Shot JFK?”; the exhibition “Roman Vishniac Revisited” which debuted at ICP is currently traveling and Shirin Neshat, the Iranian visual artist, will receive an award in January as part of ICP’s “Spotlight” events. Hirshman said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be the executive director of ICP.”

Related articles:

ICP Names New Director to Succeed Hartshorn

ICP Director Willis Hartshorn to Step Down

 

April 10th, 2013

ICP Announces Artists in 2013 Triennial

© Thomas Hirschhorn. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris, and Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York.

© Thomas Hirschhorn. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris, and Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York.

A.K. Burns, Lucas Foglia, Jim Goldberg, Mishka Henner, Thomas Hirschorn, Andrea Longacre-White, Gideon Mendel, Trevor Paglen, Michael Schmelling, Mikhail Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse are among the 28 artists selected for the 2013 Triennial at the International Center of Photography (ICP). This survey of contemporary photography and video from around the world opens May 17.

The theme for this year’s Triennial–the fourth in the museum’s history– is “A Different Kind of Order,” and according to a statement from ICP executive director Mark Robbins, it will look at works “shaped by social, political and technological changes.” Given that social, political and technological change characterizes life everywhere these days, the theme sounds like a catch-all. But the show will also look at a different order of image making, showcasing works that explore digital image making, video, painting, sculpture, collage, and installation art as well as photographic print making and the role of the photographer as curator. The exhibition will include an installation of approximately 100 photo books as a testament to the explosion of interest in artist’s books and self-publishing in the past few years.

The Triennial is curated by Kristen Lubben, Christopher Phillips, Carol Squiers and Joanna Lehan.

Some artists’ talks and events will be held in conjunction with the Triennial. On the night of the May 17 opening, for example, Nica Ross, one of the artists in the Triennial, will stage a video performance inside the glass-box pavilion of the ICP School, across the street from the Museum. If you’re coming by taxi, expect some rubber-necking delays on 6th Avenue.

Here’s the complete list of selected artists:
Roy Arden b. 1957, Vancouver; lives and works in Vancouver.
Huma Bhabha b. 1962, Karachi, Pakistan; lives and works in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Nayland Blake b. 1960, New York City; lives and works in New York City.
A.K. Burns b. 1975, Capitola, California; lives and works in New York City
Aleksandra Domanovic b. 1981, Novi Sad, former Yugoslavia; lives and works in Berlin.
Nir Evron b. 1974, Herzliya, Israel; lives and works in Tel Aviv.
Sam Falls b. 1984, San Diego; lives and works in Los Angeles.
Lucas Foglia b. 1983, New York City; lives and works in San Francisco.
Jim Goldberg b. 1953, New Haven; lives and works in San Francisco.
Mishka Henner b. 1976, Brussels; lives and works in Manchester, England.
Thomas Hirschhorn b. 1957, Bern, Switzerland; lives and works in Paris
Elliott Hundley b. 1975, Greensboro, North Carolina; lives and works in Los Angeles.
Oliver Laric b. 1981, Munich; lives and works in Berlin.
Andrea Longacre-White b. 1980, Radnor, Pennsylvania; lives and works in Los Angeles.
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer b. 1967, Mexico City; lives and works in Montreal.
Gideon Mendel b. 1959, Johannesburg; lives and works in London.
Luis Molina-Pantin b. 1969, Geneva, Switzerland; lives and works in Caracas, Venezuela.
Rabih Mroué b. 1967, Beirut, Lebanon; lives and works in Beirut.
Wangechi Mutu b. 1972, Nairobi, Kenya; lives and works in New York City.
Sohei Nishino b. 1982, Hyogo, Japan; lives and works in Tokyo.
Lisa Oppenheim b. 1975, New York City; lives and works in New York City and Berlin.
Trevor Paglen b. 1974, Camp Springs, Maryland; lives and works in New York City.
Walid Raad b. 1967, Beirut, Lebanon; lives and works in New York City.
Nica Ross b. 1979, Tempe, Arizona; lives and works in New York City.
Michael Schmelling b. 1973, Atlanta, Georgia; lives and works in New York City.
Hito Steyerl b. 1966, Munich; lives and works in Berlin.
Mikhael Subotzky / Patrick Waterhouse b. 1981, Cape Town, South Africa; lives and works in Johannesburg / b. 1981 Bath, England; lives and works in Italy, England, and South Africa.
Shimpei Takeda b. 1982, Sukagawa City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan; lives and works in New York City.

* Photo, above: “Film still, Touching Reality, 2012.” © Thomas Hirschhorn. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris, and Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York.

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February 9th, 2012

Moriyama, Ai Weiwei to Be Honored at ICP Infinity Awards

Photographer Daido Moriyama will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist and dissident, will receive the Cornell Capa Award at the 2010 International Center of Photography Awards. The gala event will take place in New York on May 2.

The International Center of Photography (ICP) has also announced other recipients of 2012 Infinity Awards:

Young Photographer: Anouk Kruithof
Writing: David Campany
Art: Stan Douglas
Publication: The Worker-Photography Movement 1926–1939, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
Photojournalism: Benjamin Lowy
Applied/Fashion/Advertising: Maurice Scheltens and Liesbeth Abbenes

The 2012 ICP Trustee Award winner will be announced in the future.

The 2012 winners were selected by a committee made up of Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, Guggenheim Museum in New York; Sophie Hackett, Assistant Curator of Photography, Art Gallery, Ontario, Canada; and Michael Mack, publisher, MACK, London. They selected the award winners from among nominees submitted by curators, academics, editors in nine countries.

Past recipients of ICP’s Lifetime Achievement Award include Annie Leibovitz, Eliott Erwitt, Lee Friedlander, editor Harold Evans and curator John Szarkowski.  The annual Infinity Awards are ICP’s largest  fundraiser, with ticket sales supporting exhibitions, education programs and community outreach. Inaugurated in 2000 in honor of ICP’s founder, the Cornell Capa Award has previously been given to Robert Frank, Mary Ellen Mark, Josef Koudelka and others.

For information, or to purchase tickets to the Infinity Awards, visit www.icp.org/support-icp/infinity-awards.

Related article:
27th Annual ICP Infinity Awards Honor Humanistic Tradition

January 11th, 2012

Does Being a Woman Make it Harder to Be a Photographer?

On balance, not so much.

That was the consensus of the women photojournalists who participated in the panel discussion “Groundbreaking Women in Photography,” organized by the International Center of Photography in New York on January 10. The first in a series of annual “Spotlight” events ICP will hold to raise funds for its programs, the panel was made up of photographers Mary Ellen Mark, Gillian Laub, Samantha Appleton, Stephanie Sinclair and The New York Times Magazine director of photography, Kathy Ryan. NBC anchor Ann Curry moderated the discussion.

Photo © ICP. Left to right: Mary Ellen Mark, Stephanie Sinclair, moderator Ann Curry.

Gillian Laub, who has photographed intimate portraits of young people on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian divide, noted that being a woman has often helped her gain access to people’s homes. “I’m not an intimidating person,” she noted. When she enters strangers’ homes, “People feel comfortable with me” in a way that they may not if she were a man.  Being a woman can be an “asset, depending on the kind of work you want to do,” said Stephanie Sinclair, who has photographed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon and covered gender issues such as female circumcision and the problems faced by child brides. Luckily, Sinclair said, “I like to do intimate work.”

Samantha Appleton, who covered the war in Iraq, said that early in her career covering conflict, “I worked hard not to be classified as a woman photographer. I fought to be one of the boys.” Over time she’s let go of that battle. “There are a thousand things in your personality that affect how you tell a story. Being a woman is a part of it.” Ryan concurred. While noting that in certain countries or political situations, sending a woman photographer can be risky, Ryan said that when she has to choose the right photographer for an assignment, she first considers their vision and eye, then she considers their personality and what it might add to the assignment.  “Some women are forceful, some are quiet,” she noted.
(more…)

August 24th, 2011

ICP Director Willis Hartshorn to Step Down

Willis “Buzz” Hartshorn, director of the International Center of Photography since 1994, confirmed today that he will leave his position as soon as his replacement is hired. Hartshorn, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, says he is leaving his role at ICP for health reasons. The board of trustees announced his decision publicly in a press release issued this morning. The board has formed a search committee and hired an executive search firm to find his successor.

Hartshorn told The New York Times that he first informed the board of his diagnosis five years ago, and they asked him to stay on. Now 60, Hartshorn said, “I’m seven years into this thing, and I can feel the difference physically.” He also said, “It’s not fair to them [the ICP staff and trustees] and the best thing for me and my family is that I pace myself in an appropriate way.”

In an email he sent to donors and supporters yesterday in advance of the museum’s press release, Hartshorn said he plans to “transition to a different role at ICP.” He had recently begun a strategic planning initiative for ICP.

Hartshorn was named the director in 1994, succeeding the museum’s founder, photographer Cornell Capa.  During Hartshorn’s tenure, the museum moved from its historic building on E 94th Street to its current location in midtown, across the street from the campus of the ICP school. Hartshorn also lead the capital campaign which raised more than $20 million to fund the move and the renovation of the facilities. In 2003, ICP held its first triennial, its survey of contemporary photography around the world. The growing stature and ambition of the museum’s exhibition schedule, permanent collection and photography school is reflected in its operating budget, which has grown from $6.5 million in 1995 to $17 million in 2010, while also balancing its budget, according to the ICP board.

“Buzz and his team have lead ICP from strength to strength throughout his 17-year tenure, from its exhibition programs, to its greatly increased endowment, to the breadth and depth of its educational programs, and the photography talent trained by ICP, to its leading position in the world of photography,” said Jeffrey A. Rosen, president of the ICP board of trustees in the statement announcing Hartshorn’s departure.

Hartshorn received his BA at the University of Rochester and his MFA in Photographic Studies from the Visual Studies Workshop/SUNY Buffalo. He worked at the George Eastman House in Rochester before he joined the staff of ICP in 1982.  Among the exhibitions he curated for the museum were “Annie Leibovitz: Photographs 1970-1990” and “Man Ray: Bazaar Years.”  He had served as the museum’s deputy director under Capa before he was named to the position of director.

February 10th, 2011

Elliott Erwitt, Ruth Gruber to be Honored at 2011 ICP Infinity Awards

The International Center of Photography has announced the recipients of the 27th Annual Infinity Awards, which will be celebrated May 10 at a gala in New York City.

Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Ruth Gruber, who is known as much for her writing and humanitarian activism as for her photography, will receive the Cornell Capa Award, named for ICP’s founder.

Seven other awards will be given out:

Young Photographer: Peter Van Agtmael, Magnum Photos nominee
Writing: Gerry Badger, The Pleasures of Good Photographs (Aperture)
Publication: From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America by Alec Soth (Walker Art Center)
Art: Abelardo Morell
Photojournalism: Adrees Latif, chief photographer in Pakistan for Reuters
Applied/Fashion/Advertising Photography: Viviane Sassen, fashion photographer
ICP Trustees Award: The Durst Family

In announcing the awards, ICP director Willis Hartshorn noted, “This year’s recipients capture the importance of how photography shapes our sense of history in an ever more image-conscious world. We are pleased to recognize their achievements.”

Recipients were nominated by an international panel of 14 photo editors, curators, gallery directors and photographers. The selection committee was made up of Philip Gefter, author and critic in New York; Greg Hobson, curator of photographs, National Media Museum, Bradford, UK; and Lisa Hostetler, curator of photographs, Milwaukee Art Museum.

July 19th, 2010

New Competition Seeks Photos Defining Democracy

A new competition supported by the Annenberg Space for Photography and other public and private organizations invites amateur and professional photographers around the world to submit a photograph completing the phrase “Democracy is…” Winning submissions to the International Democracy Photo Challenge will be selected by a combination of online voting and an independent panel of judges. The competition is open for submissions through July 28.
 
The judging committee, which is co-chaired by documentary photographer Phil Borges, International Center of Photography director Willis Hartshorn and Academy Award-winning director Louie Psihoyos, will announce 36 finalists on August 19. Submissions will be evaluated on three criteria: Relevance to the contest question, quality of the image’s technical elements and creativity in completing the prompt “Democracy is…”

Between August 19 and August 26, the contest winners will be selected via online voting by the general public. Two winners from each of six global geographic regions (Western Hemisphere, East Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, Near East, South & Central Asia) will be announced on the United Nations' International Day of Democracy, September 15.

The twelve winning submissions will be exhibited at the United Nations in New York, as well as at other galleries in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, including the Annenberg Space for Photography. International galleries that will host the exhibition have yet to be announced by the contest sponsors.

Click here for more information on the competition including submission instructions.

—Eli Meixler
 
 
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