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Masao Yamamoto @ ATLAS Gallery

Masao Yamamoto, A Box of Ku #550, 1998 © Masao Yamamoto, Courtesy Atlas Gallery.

Masao Yamamoto
24 May – 16 June 2018

“Ethereal and timeless, Yamamoto’s works are characterised by their simplicity and economy of means, as well as a delicacy of scale, and have frequently been described as poetic or haiku-like. Works from A Box of Ku and Nakazora from the late 1980s are presented alongside larger-scale examples from the more recent series Kawa = Flow, marking the first solo exhibition of Yamamoto’s work in the UK in over a decade.”

ATLAS Gallery
49 Dorset Street, London, W1U 7NF


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ALFONS MUCHA @ Czech Center New York

ALFONS MUCHA: Shaping The Czech Identity
May 31 – June 22, 2018

Exhibition Opening: Thursday, May 31, 2018
7PM in the Gallery

“After a successful career as a leading exponent of the Art Nouveau style in Paris and America, Mucha returned to his native Czech lands in 1910 to paint his magnum opus, The Slav Epic, a cycle of twenty monumental paintings depicting Czech and Slavic history. The Slav Epic will form a spectacular and moving backdrop and context for the display of the first postage stamps and banknotes Mucha created for the newly independent Czechoslovak state. The exhibition will include a range of works in which Mucha addresses Czech identity through lithographs, drawings, photographs, and writings.”

Czech Center New York
at the Bohemian National Hall (between 1st and 2nd Avenue)
321 E 73rd Street
New York, NY 10021


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Book Review: A Handful of Dust by Nish Nalbandian

September 12, 2014, Gaziantep, Turkey
Ali says, “Most Syrian situations are bad. There are no jobs. Thank God I have this career. Other people sit in a park or garden while I am at work with my family and I love it. I love going to work.“

There are pictures of the migration crisis we rarely get to see – pictures of the lives of the millions of Syrians who now live in Turkey. Documentary photographer Nish Nalbandian met very poor and also very wealthy (who managed to move their factories to Turkey) Syrians, some in the countryside, some in cities. His specific goal, he writes, “is to try to get you to see yourself in these pictures. Because these people lived lives in Syria not too different from your own. Try to imagine what your life would be like if a sudden war or disaster had you fleeing your home to a different country with nothing but a suitcase and some documents.”

December 2, 2015, Gaziantep, Turkey
Mahmoud left Syria after being detained by the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda. “I was arrested once for two days at a checkpoint that belonged to Jabhat al-Nusra just for wearing a necklace, which is forbidden in (extreme interpretations of) Islam,”he says. Being a gay man led him to seek asylum in Germany, where he now lives with his sister.

It goes without saying that it is almost impossible to envisage such a situation for oneself. Yet this is also what most Syrians very probably had thought. Photographs to be understood must be felt. Photographs in combination with the stories behind the pictures stand a good chance to make us feel empathy.

March 9, 2014, Görentas, Turkey
Abu Malik’s five children stand outside their home overlooking the Syrian border in Görentas. The kids spend most of their time outside playing or looking for something to do as there is no school.

Documentary photography means to to go outside, to leave the studio and confront oneself with people. And, to come back with pictures that give testimony to the people, places and things observed. Documentary also means pictures with words. A Handful of Dust is exemplary in this regard, the pictures and words complement each other perfectly.

December 8, 2015, Reyhanti, Turkey Jamal Hazara, his wife, Haldia, and their two young boys, from the Idlib Countryside in Syria, fled to the farming area of Halay in southern Turkey after bombing and fighting escalated near their home in 2014. In 2015, the family was squatting in a small abandoned farm building with a leaky roof and no insulation.

Only about 11 percent of Syrians in Turkey live in camps. Approximately 250,000, that is. “The rest have ‘self-settled’ in both urban and rural areas.” In other words: Of the roughly twelve million who left Syria (almost half of the country’s population), around three million have ended up in Turkey. Moreover: “In Turkey, Syrians are not considered refugees. They are called ‘guests’. Once they register they are entitled to access to health care and ostensibly some food or relief. “Needless to say, the degree to which they adapt to their new situation varies yet “some are in very grim situations. Trafficking and abuse of women, girls, and boys is rampant and terrible.”

A Handful of Dust includes texts by Mexican photographer Javier Manzano (“Fleeing the Fires of War“), Syrian refugee and activist Aref Krez (“Before Aleppo Burned“), author and filmmaker Greg Campbell (“The Refugee in All of Us“), and reporter and writer Carmen Gentile (“Resilient Refugees“), who, when once asked what the Syrians thought about the Turks and living in Turkey, answered: “I haven’t talked to every Syrian; I can’t make a generalization.” Nish Nalbandian’s pics illustrate this convincingly.

March 9, 2014, Görentas, Türkey
Former Nusra Front judge Abu Hamid, 43, takes a moment of fun, joking that he should be riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Working as a judge and a religious teacher before the Syrian Revolution, he was conscripted to work for al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra as a judge when the group took over his hometown of Deir ez-Zour. Abu Hamid had spent the previous fifteen years teaching young Muslim extremists that violence was not in accord with the teachings of Islam. However, under Nusra he was tasked mostly with dividing up oil revenues in what he considered was an unjust system. When he was ordered to rubber-stamp the executions of innocent people he was appalled and terrified. When he asked the local Nusra Emir why they had executed these people he was told to stop questioning his orders or they would kill his family. That day he piled his family in his car and fled to Turkey.

The people portrayed in this tome want to be heard, seen and noticed. This is what I felt when spending time with these photographs. Photographer Nish Nalbandian gives some of the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees a face, a body, a voice. He invites us to identify, to feel compassion. And, it will work if we are ready for it.

 

A Handful of Dust
by Nish Nalbandian
Daylight, April 2018
daylightbooks.org/products/a-handful-of-dust-syrian-refugees-in-turkey


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CPAC 2018 Annual Members’ Show @ Colorado Photographic Arts Center

Molly McCall, Chance, 2018

CPAC 2018 Annual Members’ Show
June 9 – July 14, 2018

Opening Reception on Saturday, June 9 (5-8pm)

“Juror Paula Tognarelli, Executive Director and Curator at the Griffin Museum of Photography, selected 32 photographers for the exhibition and 19 Special Mentions to be included in the exhibition catalog.” More information: https://cpacphoto.org/2018-members-show/

Colorado Photographic Arts Center
1070 Bannock Street, Denver, 80204


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Robert Richardson @ Museu Municipal de Faro


Robert Richardson: BRIGHT LIGHT photographs from Algarve and England
12 May – 22 July 2018

“Robert Richardson made a brief visit to the Algarve in February 2012. The photographs show his enjoyment of the region’s vibrant winter light and how it reveals architecture, objects and nature. These photographs, taken in Albufeira and Loulé, are complex and aesthetically pleasing compositions. They are part of his series of photographs from various European countries and were recently published as Issue 2 of his Duty Free Lounge poster project, which has been represented at print festivals in England and Italy”

Museu Municipal de Faro
Portugal


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View Finder: Landscape and Leisure in the Collection @ Museum of Contemporary Photography

William Henry Jackson, Cathedral Spires, Garden of the Gods, Colorado, 1901

View Finder: Landscape and Leisure in the Collection
Jul 19 — Sep 30, 2018

“Photography has played a vital role in our understanding of the outdoors, allowing us to view natural spaces without being physically present in them. Parks fill a similar role, as they provide institutional access points and infrastructure into wild, natural spaces. In his book Our National Parks (1901), John Muir, cofounder of the Sierra Club, wrote: “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, overcivilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”[i] Presenting a selection of historical and contemporary works from the MoCP’s permanent collection and the Midwestern Photographers Project, View Finder: Landscape and Leisure in the Collection considers the varied ways these designated outdoor spaces enhance human experience, from allowing for rest and refuge, to their ability to meet other, more subliminal needs.”
[i] John Muir, Our National Parks (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Cambridge, MA: The Riverside Press, 1901), 1.

Museum of Contemporary Photography
at Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605


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London Nights @ Museum of London

Antony Cairns, LDN030, 2011-2012. Silver gelatin print on aluminium, 50 x 75 cm, AP 1 of 2. Courtesy of Roman Road and the artist. © Antony Cairns

London Nights
11 May – 11 November 2018

“London Nights is a group exhibition curated by Anna Sparham (Curator of Photography) at the Museum of London. Featuring over 200 photographs, this major exhibition explores England’s capital after dark through both historic and contemporary images ranging from the 19th century to the present day. Drawing from the museum’s collection and loaned works, London Nights displays pieces that span the genres of portrait, documentary and conceptual photography, and features works by many renowned international photographers, including Alvin Langdon Coburn, Bill Brandt, Rut Blees Luxemburg and Nick Turpin. ”

Museum of London
150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN


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Jacqueline Hassink @ Benrubi Gallery

Onoaida 8, Yakushima, Japan, 2016

Jacqueline Hassink: Unwired
June 1 – August 17 , 2018

“For the photographs in Unwired, Hassink traveled as far afield as Yakushima, an island in the extreme south of Japan, and Svalbaard, a Norwegian island near the Polar Circle. The landscapes are an intense study in blues and greens, by turns vivid and subdued, and shifting perspectives and horizon lines, some immeasurably vast, others foreshortened by curtains of vegetation. The contrasts make the viewer acutely conscious both of his or her body and its relationship to space. If the immediate effect is isolating, it gradually relaxes into the sense of being part of a different kind of network, global in the most literal sense of being “of the earth.” This feeling carries over into the exhibition’s two interiors, both of which emphasize the viewer’s perspective and the experience of looking, as well as the natural processes of decay and dilapidation. The message is clear: the things people make can be beautiful and useful, but they’re temporary. On the one hand, this reflects an awareness mono no aware, the Japanese aesthetic of the awareness of impermanence, but when we relate it back to the threatened environments in the landscapes we see a more pointed critique of an industrialized society.”

Benrubi Gallery
521 West 26th Street, Floor 2


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Zoe Wetherall and Ashok Sinha @ Front Room

Zoe Wetherall and Ashok Sinha: Strata
May 24th, 2018—June 24th, 2018

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 24th, 7-9 PM

“Aerial photography actually got its auspicious beginnings before airplanes and helicopters in 1858 when Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (known as “Nadar”) first mounted a tethered balloon in Paris with a large format camera. Things have been photographed from rockets, satellites, pigeons, you name it, but mostly nowadays they are taken from chartered helicopters and drones. In the two-person exhibition, “Strata,” Wetherall floats hundreds of feet gently above us in a balloon, while Sinha is soaring thousands of feet up in a jet airplane with scores of other passengers, who are unaware of his photographic exploits.”

Front Room Gallery
48 Hester Street
NYC, NY 10002


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ENTHRALL & SQUALOR: Photographing Downtown 1977-1987 @ The Living Gallery Outpost

Arlene Gottfried / Courtesy of Daniel Cooney Fine Art

ENTHRALL & SQUALOR: Photographing Downtown 1977-1987
May 20 – 24, 2018

• Alexis Adler will show photos of a young Jean-Michel Basquiat and the East Villageapartment they squatted together in 1979 that became both refuge and artist atelier after hedropped out of high school while transitioning from graffiti artist to icon.

• Arlene Gottfried (1951-2017) “…chronicled life the way she saw it, thriving on the energy ofthe streets, roaming and recording everything she felt through a deeply empathetic andloving lens.” Paul Moakley, TIME magazine.

• Meryl Meisler will exhibit classic images of CBGBs and Infinity Disco from her books A Taleof Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick and Purgatory & Paradise: SASSY ‘70s Suburbia & TheCity. Newly recovered Club 57 photos round out this profound document depicting a cityreveling at the edge of collapse.

• Ken Schles will deconstruct and install 168 prints from his downtown books, Invisible Cityand Night Walk, creating an immersive chronicle of his life downtown during New York City’slast outburst of pre-Internet creativity.

The Living Gallery Outpost
246 East4th Street


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