395 GORE ST, FITZROY
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395 GORE ST, FITZROY
We are no more
february 20th to march 30th 2014
We are no more, an exhibition in partnership with Handicap International, focuses on the memory and loss of the Syrian refugees in North Jordan trough pictures of the few objects they were able to bring along.
Opening : Saturday february 22nd 2013 – 2 to 5 PM
MAISON DE LA CULTURE DU PLATEAU MONT-ROYAL, Montreal, Canada
“Qilin” is a Chinese mythical creature which is itself a combination of the four most sacred beasts in Chinese mythology. It is a creature of innate hybridism and duality, representing simultaneously and truth. Qilins signal the passage of the wise, and is the compass to the West.
2766 S La Cienega Blvd (at Washington)
Los Angeles, California 90034
I very much warm to this work although I do think the title misleading for the photographs in this tome capture of course moments in time. In other words, while some of these photographs might undoubtlessly be of timeless quality what they record is how some of us would like to remember the 1960s and 70s. What we get to see, the publisher lets us know, are “71 duotone images and extended commentary from Rowland Scherman, a former Life magazine photographer, featuring celebrity portraits of musicians, athletes and politicians, such as Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, the Beatles, Arthur Ashe, LBJ and Jimmy Hoffa.” Also included are previously unreleased images of Robert Kennedy.
Most photo books show pictures without captions, or with captions we could easily do without — such as “Mexico 1934″, or “Dog” (when the photo shows a dog), for instance. While such an approach — “I do not want to influence you, trust your eyes, judge for yourself,” the photographers seem to say — might be acceptable for, say, art photography or advertising, it is clearly not appropriate for documentary photography or for press photography.
The photographs in Timeless do not come with meaningful captions either, they do however come with “extended commentary” by the photographer, and it is this commentary that makes me appreciate this collection of black and white shots so much. Don’t get me wrong, I felt very touched by many of the pics and most especially by the cover photo but what to me stands out is Rowland Scherman’s commentary. Firstly, because such commentary is rarely found in photo books, and, secondly, because it it written so unpretentiously.
So what is this commentary all about? It is about the story behind the picture and describes what situation the photographer was in, what was required of him, how he felt about the assignment, how the photo came about etc. In short: it is the kind of information I have always been interested in and found difficult to come by.
Take for instance the shot of his younger brother Tom, it was on the first roll Rowland ever took, in the summer of 1957: “Tom had half-completed his first model of the Nautilus, and I had just bought my first real camera – a Nikon S2. What a good time to try out my (potential) portrait skills! I wanted a black background, so I moved the furniture away. I needed a little light so I moved a lamp a bit closer. Tom was a funny guy but I didn’t want a smile …”
“The problem is not that people remember through photographs but that they remember only photographs,” Susan Sontag penned in December 2009 for the New Yorker. In my case this does not hold for I experience photographs first and foremost as triggers – of emotions, of memories, of longings: The shots in this tome made me yearn for my youth regardless of the fact that I grew up in Switzerland (and not in the United States where these pics were taken) and that I’m a bit too young to have really been able to remember The Beatles’ First U.S. Tour or to grasp the significance of The March on Washington. With the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young or the promise that the youthful Robert Kennedy radiated I am however familiar.
Rowland Scherman’s photos bring back a time that in hindsight seems innocent and hopeful, for many it was a time of awakening. Just look at the young Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival. Or at Barbara Walters posing with a cup of coffee in one hand and a telephone in the other in a hotel bed. My personal favourite is the most endearing shot of the young Charlotte Rampling (together with Sam Waterston and Robie Porter). I do love Rowland Scherman’s photographs!
The fact that moments in time (that don’t really exist for everything, as Heraclitus famously said, is in constant flux) are made visible by photographs (a contradiction, I know, but life is full of them) should actually make us appreciate time much more than we usually do … and this is precisely what the photographs in this formidable tome help us do.
Photography of Rowland Scherman
Foreword by Judy Collins
Edited by Michael E. Jones and Christine Jones
Peter E. Randall Publisher
Portsmouth, New Hampshire 2014
Available March 1, 2014
Comprised of 10 photographic portraits, the exhibition tells the journeys of Eritrean refugees in their exoduses to find better stability and hope in the United Kingdom. Silvestri’s project aims to raise awareness of human trafficking in an emotive tribute to her sitters and to the plights of these refugees whose voices too often remain unheard.
Abbott and Marville: The City in Transition
February 27–April 11, 2014
An exhibition of photographs by Berenice Abbott and Charles Marville will be on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery from February 27 – April 11, 2014. Documenting now vanished streets and landmarks, Abbott and Marville: The City in Transition contrasts two cities – New York in the 1930s and Paris in the 1860s. Many of the images are on public view for the first time. An opening exhibition will be held on Thursday, February 27, from 6-8 p.m.
Howard Greenberg Gallery
41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406, New York
wall space gallery is pleased to feature Atomic Overlook by Los Angeles-based photographer Clay Lipsky alongside our February/March exhibition, Internal Ballistics: The Photography of Deborah Bay and Sabine Pearlman. In our stairwell exhibition space, Americans train a tourist’s gaze on the spectacle of a-bomb testing. Lipsky’s photomontages blend 1950′s military photographs with contemporary scenes of agape vacationers. Darkly humorous, clear-eyed, and voyeuristic in its own right, this series challenges us to rehistoricize both the atomic era and our own moment.
wall space gallery
116 East Yanonali Street C-1
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
F-Stop Magazine: How did you first become involved in photography and what led to you working in this medium as an artist?
Ellen Jacob: When I was 12, I traveled cross-country with my Kodak instamatic. When I returned home, my mother said, “Your pictures are better than anyone your age.” Given that competitive encouragement, my love of images and art was solidified. I spent my Pratt years as a sculpture major, using photography to document my space and performance pieces.
About six years ago I picked up my camera again to explore issues that I feel deeply about. I try to use photography to explore the social and personal issues that concern and terrify me. These issues tend to be ones that are in front of us, but often not seen.
F-Stop: The “Documentary” issue of F-Stop includes your project “Substitutes,” can you tell us about this project? What led to you creating this project?
EJ: I live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. I noticed that the women pushing the strollers are almost always women of color and the children white. I wondered why and my wondering became this multi-year project.
For me, the situation raised issues of racism and exploitation. These issues can be complex, especially at a personal level, and the answers are not always completely clear. Most of the women, nannies and employers, say race doesn’t matter. But if race doesn’t matter, why these persistent racial divides?
When I was young, a wonderful woman named Martha took care of me; she was black and I am white. I haven’t seen Martha for over 30 years, but I remember her face vividly. Substitutes is about the indelible impressions these women leave, and the persistent questions they raise.
F-Stop: Having worked as a nanny for a long time myself, I find your assessment of the job very interesting. My experience was different from what you describe in your statement (being white, decently paid, the relationships with children and family were openly acknowledged and talked about and continued beyond the time period of the job, etc). Do you think that the issues you are talking about are more specific to the Upper West Side or to perhaps the wealthy?
EJ: I find this question interesting. I would ask what is decent pay? What are the benefits? Do you get health care? Are your employers paying into Social Security on your behalf?
The women in these photographs are substitute parents. Being a nanny is a low-paying job where love between the nanny and child is one of the anticipated but unspoken duties. This is an unusual expectation in a financial transaction, I think.
Your own experience as a nanny is not unique at all. Every nanny I spoke with loved her work and loved the child (or children) she cared for. Most felt like part of the family, and many stayed in touch once the child was old enough to no longer need a nanny.
I don’t think this situation is peculiar to the Upper West Side. The UWS of Manhattan is a culturally and economically diverse neighborhood where the politics are overwhelming left—a place where you usually find great sympathy for the problems of women, minorities and the poor. Also, by New York standards, the families I encountered are well off, but not rich people.
F-Stop: Can you discuss your process for making these images? How do you find your subjects? Do you get to know them to any degree?
EJ: I found the nannies in a variety of ways. Some of the nannies I knew from my building. Some of the nannies were friends of theses nannies, some were introduced to me by the mother and some I went up to on the street and told them about my project. I spent time, sometimes days, with some of the nannies. This way I was able to develop a more intimate relationship which allowed me to capture more of their feelings. One nanny I photographed in New Jersey when the family moved there. With others I spent much shorter periods of time.
I started out shooting traditional street photography where I just snapped women with strollers, but found many of the images to be redundant and not in-depth enough. I became interested in learning more and wanted to talk with the women.
F-Stop: What do you hope people see or feel or perhaps learn when they look at these photographs?
EJ: I must admit that the response has been surprising and wonderful. The work was on exhibit at Soho Photo Gallery on White St in New York. Slate interviewed me and interest really took off. Huffington Post, The Daily Mail and others ran interviews. WPIX and MSNBC interviewed me live. The issue is one many people hadn’t thought about and it clearly hit a nerve. Some of the most rewarding reactions have come from women who work as nannies. Many of these women told me they felt validated and “seen” by my work. They saw themselves in the images.
F-Stop: Do you have a favorite image in this series? If so, which one and why is it the image that speaks to you most?
EJ: No. All the images have wonderful stories in them and looking at them makes me smile as I remember these strong, lovely women. I have kept in contact with some of the nannies and families.
F-Stop: What are you working on now?
EJ: I am working on what I plan as a series of photographic installations titled Waiting Room. The first installation is images and words of a friend of mine who spent over a year in a nursing home dying of cancer. This work explores the waiting, the persistence and the places, largely separated from life, where we live while dying.
F-Stop: What photographers or other artists inspire you?
EJ: It changes all the time. But right now I am inspired by Jim Goldberg, Sophie Calle and Cristina de Middel
F-Stop: What is the best career advice you have ever received?
For more of Ellen Jacob’s work: www.ellenjacob.com