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Bronx Senior Photo League Exhibition @ Bronx Documentary Center


Bronx Senior Photo League Exhibition
through February 2, 2020

Opening Reception Friday, November 22nd, 6-9PM

“Since 2017 the Bronx Documentary Center has taught photography to Bronx seniors, members of the Bronx Senior Photo League (BSPL), between the ages of 65 and 90. This intimate exhibition presents the Bronx through the eyes of these older adults as they explore family, friendship, and community. ”

Bronx Documentary Center
614 Courtlandt Ave, Bronx, NY 10451


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Zuzana Pustaiova @ Photon Gallery

© Zuzana Pustaiova, Family Album, 2018

Zuzana Pustaiova: FAMILY ALBUM
until 4. 12. 2019

“The series Family Album is based on the artist’s family archive. Pustaiová selects photographs from the archive and amends them with handcrafted artefacts of the past and the present – lace, colour stickers, matches, feathers, millimetre paper- with a sense of irony. The deliberately decorative character of the interventions and the context in which they are found constructs an intelligent commentary on the gender stereotypes of the typical Central European family. Pustaiová is not the only artist working with the photographic archive, however, where others express themselves with deadly seriousness, Pustaiová’s style is easy, without the unnecessary oversimplification and the distraction of the conceptual depth of the subject matter.
(Branislav Štěpánek)”

Photon Gallery
Zieglergasse 34, 1070 Wien


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Yorgos Efthymiadis @ Somerville Museum


Yorgos Efthymiadis – Faith In a City: Exploring Religion in Somerville, MA
November 17, 2019 – January 26, 2020

Opening Reception: November 17, 1-4pm

Somerville Museum
1 Westwood Rd, Somerville, MA


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Björn Persson @ The Empty Quarter Gallery


Björn Persson: THE REAL OWNERS OF THE PLANET
until 18th January 2020

Opening Reception:18th November 2019 (Monday), 7pm

“Persson’s imagery features wild animals in their natural environment, the place they and their forebearers have lived for generations. His photographs are shot at a captivating close range and he creates powerful portraits of individual wildlife. Animals which face an increasingly reduced possibility of survival.”

The Empty Quarter Gallery
Gate Village, Bldg 02,
DIFC, Dubai, UAE,


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Farah Al Qasimi @ Houston Center for Photography


Farah Al Qasimi: Open Arm Sea
November 22, 2019 – January 12, 2020

Opening Reception on Friday, November 22, from 5:30 – 8:00 pm

“Al Qasimi photographs everyday scenes—kiosks in a shopping mall draped after the close of the day, butterflies delicately perched on an orange slice, a portrait of a man comfortably reclining at home. Yet, despite the quotidienne nature of the subject matter, the photos present a mysterious tension, revealing matter-of-fact truths while obscuring others through paradox and ambiguity. A portrait of a falcon—a powerful bird of prey—is masked by its handler rendering it blind; a turned back in army fatigues is touched by a strange hand extending from outside the image frame; a man’s face disappears in vaporized smoke while a woman, only half inside the picture plane, gestures towards him. Through these fragmented, dreamlike scenes, the artist subtly points to the nuances of power and vulnerability, of surveillance and agency, and ultimately underscores the uncertainty of the photograph, whether private, public, or somewhere in between. Open Arm Sea is the artist’s first exhibition in Texas and her second solo exhibition at an institution in the United States.”

Houston Center for Photography
1441 W. Alabama
Houston, TX 77006


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Book Review: Legacy in Stone: Syria Before War by Kevin Bubriski

Kevin Bubriski was on assignment in Syria in 2003, during the infancy of the U.S. war in neighboring Iraq. He was photographing the country’s ancient monuments, as well as documenting the daily lives and ordinary human stories of its citizens. Unbeknownst to him, within the decade, a war would break out in Syria, and destroy or damage much of what he had photographed. Legacy in Stone: Syria Before War is a collection of 100 black-and-white photographs immortalizing the ancient monuments of Syria.

Until the Syrian civil war in 2010, the Suq (an open marketplace) in Aleppo was considered to be the longest continuously inhabited place of commerce in the world, existing for well over two millennia. Bubriski photographed the Suq while it was still thriving, teeming with merchants and artisans. He also captured stunning, decisive images from the Dead Cities, the basilica of St. Simeon, the pilgrimage sites of Serjilla, al-Bara, Kharab Shams, Mushabak, Baqirha, Qalb Lozeh, Resafe, early Islamic sites near Raqqa, and the ancient Roman trade cities of Apamea and Palmyra.

Bubriski recalls a special sense of discovery and awe being in a place of such rich history and haunting beauty. He remembers holding his breath and seeing the ruins take shape on the ground-glass of his camera as he gathered and preserved these sites forever in photographs. In an interview with public radio station WBUR earlier this year, Bubriski and Syrian scholar Amr Al-Zam spoke about important aspects of the project and the photographs. Al-Zam wrote the foreword to the book, and he said, “Syria is very fortunate in that it is an extremely rich region in terms of the amount of cultural heritage that we have. So even as we have lost such amazing, beautiful sites and monuments, there is still a huge amount left. My concern is that our ability to then make sure that future generations can see, feel, and experience the same things that we have and if not the same way, in just as equally meaningful manner.” But Al-Zam has also been quoted saying… “the damage is phenomenal and it’s gone forever. It can never be returned or retrieved.”

Bubriski’s images of Syria feature the architecture, and in some cases, the people he encountered at a number of the sites he photographed. The living legacy of Syria, its people, will endure. This is in contrast to the ruins of cities, cathedrals, and infrastructure that had stood for centuries. Generations of Syrians will never get to experience the rich history firsthand. Bubriski’s images serve to document and educate.  Roman columns and roadways, Suq rope makers and soap sellers, stacks of limestone abstracted in his compositions – in light of the destruction that has happened since the images were made, I felt lucky to be able to view these scenes. In the same WBUR interview, Bubriski says, “Everything has been damaged to some extent. Some things have been entirely destroyed. … This was a direct assault on the cultural history of place, and also the multi-ethnic cultural histories, because there were the ancient Romans and the early Christians and the Byzantine world, followed by the early Islamic world. All of that was targeted by ISIS and others.”

Some of the scenes Bubriski captured may never exist again. Without him as witness, and his photographs as evidence, this aspect of world history might have remained lost.

From Legacy in Stone by Kevin Bubriski, published by powerHouse Books

 

From Legacy in Stone by Kevin Bubriski, published by powerHouse Books

 

From Legacy in Stone by Kevin Bubriski, published by powerHouse Books

 

From Legacy in Stone by Kevin Bubriski, published by powerHouse Books

 

From Legacy in Stone by Kevin Bubriski, published by powerHouse Books

 

From Legacy in Stone by Kevin Bubriski, published by powerHouse Books

 

From Legacy in Stone by Kevin Bubriski, published by powerHouse Books

 

From Legacy in Stone by Kevin Bubriski, published by powerHouse Books

 

From Legacy in Stone by Kevin Bubriski, published by powerHouse Books

 

From Legacy in Stone by Kevin Bubriski, published by powerHouse Books

 


Kevin Bubriski’s fine art photography is in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. He is a recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships. His books include Portrait of Nepal (Chronicle Books, 1993), Pilgrimage: Looking at Ground Zero (powerHouse, 2002), and Look into My Eyes: Nuevomexicanos por vida 1981-83 (Museum of New Mexico Press, 2016).

To see more of his work, and follow links to his books for sale, please visit https://kevinbubriski.com 


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Kate Breakey @ photo-eye Gallery


Kate Breakey: Tree Stories
November 22,2019 – February 22, 2020

Opening Reception: Friday November 29, 2019 5-7pm

photo-eye Gallery
541 South Guadalupe St
Santa Fe, NM 87501


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Any More Odes? @ City of Athens Arts Centre – OPANDA

Aristotle Roufanis, Alone Together VIII, 2017

Any More Odes?
11 Nov 2019 – 06 Jan 2020

Opening 11 November 2019, 20:00

“Curated by EyesCulture, the exhibition urges to discuss the notions of space and urban environment, while exploring the relevance and the connection of the past to the present. According to the organisers, this is an exhibition that goes beyond contemporary approaches to photography: “The presumably transparent images of the past become an excuse for digging out emotions and relations, while in other cases the memories are approached in a more conceptual way creating an interplay between the present and the past by touching upon archival material or signified objects and events.””

City of Athens Arts Centre – OPANDA
Vas. Sofias Avenue, Parko Eleftherias
(metro station Megaro Moussikis)
11521 Athens, Greece


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AMERICAN TRUTH @ Chelsea Gallery

Image: Thomas Holton

AMERICAN TRUTH
November 16 – December 14, 2019

Reception: Thursday, November 21, 6:00 – 8:00pm

In “American Truth,” exhibiting artists present objects and images that reflect a multitude of American experiences. With a focus on the moments that are often missed, ignored, polemicized, made invisible, or even erased by the mainstream media, this exhibition explores our collective understanding of others and ourselves as people living in America.

The exhibition’s participating artists include Jaime Permuth (MPS 2009 Digital Photography; MFA 1994 Photography and Related Media), Lissa Rivera (MFA 2009 Photography, Video and Related Media), Kathy Shorr (BFA 1988 Photography), Thomas Holton (MFA 2005 Photography, Video and Related Media), Zackary Drucker (BFA 2005 Photography), BFA Photography graduates Amy Elkins (2007), Star Montana (2013), Dana Davenport (2015), Brian Finke (1998), Lisa Elmaleh (2007), Hector René Membreno-Canales (2014) and Ilona Szwarc (2013) will also be showing work. Other artists in the show include Anna Beeke (MFA 2013 Photography, Video and Related Media), Renee Cox (MFA 1992 Photography and Related Media), Kathryn Mussallem (MPS 2015 Digital Photography), Anna Ogier-Bloomer (MPS 2017 Digital Photography), Rachel Papo (MFA 2005 Photography, Video and Related Media), Sarah Teller (BFA 2017 Photography and Video), Amy Stein (MFA 2006 Photography, Video and Related Media) and Melvin Harper (MFA 2017 Photography, Video and Related Media).

Chelsea Gallery
601 West 26th Street, 15th Floor, NY, NY


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Book Review: I’ve Always Been a Cowboy in My Heart by Sandy Carson

Border Troubles / Grand Prairie, TX 2014

Photo books that make me smile are rare. Sandy Carson’s “I’ve Always Been a Cowboy in My Heart” is one of them for this Scotsman has an eye for the absurdities of daily American life. He sees what most Americans probably do not really see – that the things they surround themselves with have often a distinct (and very American) weirdness to them. A Texas-shaped waffle on a plate, for instance, or a stranded thrift store named Possibilities.

Sandy Carson came to the United States in the 1990s and has since spent his life in Texas. And, quite obviously, he is still baffled by what he is observing. “I’ve Always Been a Cowboy in My Heart,” this 12-year project, is testimony to this.

Selfiatric Help / San Francisco, CA 2015

His outsider’s view is a sympathetic wondering about this strange, fascinating and also somewhat childlike place for it seems to represent the (often crashed) hopes and dreams of children. Needless to say, Americans most probably won’t see themselves that way yet I do – and I find this view also represented in these pictures.

Take for instance the pic that shows an empty room (probably a former shop) with a sign on the window that says ANSWERS, ANSWERS. To what?, one might wonder. Or the sign near a supermarket, in front of which a saleswoman is checking her cell phone, that says: HONK IF YOU LOVE LIBERTY (nothing, it seems to me, defines Americanness better than turning whatever – liberty, in this case – into something you can sell).

And then there are the signs where some letters are missing – a movie theatre called SKYLINE where below the name it says: NO SHOWING THIS WEE,” for instance – or are askew like the first three letters of the ALCOHOLICOS ANONIMOS-sign (as if they had stumbled because of being drunk). No doubt, Carson possesses an “instinct for the bizarre,” as Katherine Parhar termed it.

Glacier National Park. MT 2016

Although my genuinely sympathetic view of America has gotten a severe beating after Trump became a parttime-resident of the White House (he seems to spend a lot of time in Florida when not watching Fox News in Washington), I still very much warm to Carson’s observations that I perceive to be taken with empathy.

I also very much liked Katherine Parhar’s essay on Carson and this tome, “a Scot writing about a Scot who photographs America, like others before him, with an eye to the outside, to the edgelands …”. I thought it particularly fitting that she also refers to Swiss-born Robert Frank whose American photographs are characterised by the kind of outsider’s view that I believe is not really possible to people born and raised in the United States. Come to think of it, there are exceptions tough, as my numerous photo-discussions with Americans suggest that.

Katherine Parhar rightfully points out that “this book is not a grand narrative. It deals in small (and tall) tales of America, heartfelt, which today is a precious thing.” Indeed!

Lazy Tree / Seattle, WA 2009

Also, I thought this observation of her very much to the point. “To see them as he saw them is to feel like you are happening on a project that romanticises both the unravelling of the American Dream and the vaulting hope it still stirs. It is to accept both Americas, the degenerate and the hopeful, as true.”

Moreover, keeping in mind that photographs often remind us of what is not anymore, I see these pics as documents of a childlike innocence that somehow seems to have evaporated by the dominating media prominence of the divisive Mr. Trump.

 

I’ve Always Been a Cowboy in My Heart
by Sandy Carson
Yoffy Press, Atlanta, GA
To purchase the book: http://www.yoffypress.com/cowboy


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