Todd Walker at 100; Frank Gohlke, Speeding Trucks and Other Follies @ Etherton Gallery

Todd Walker: ©️The Todd Walker Image Trust, courtesy Etherton Gallery

Todd Walker at 100; Frank Gohlke, Speeding Trucks and Other Follies
November 18th, 2017-January 6, 2018.

Reception, 7-10pm, Saturday, November 18th, 2017

“Todd Walker was among the generation of West Coast photographers working in the 1960s who questioned the philosophical underpinnings of modernist photography as established by Beaumont Newhall and Ansel Adams. He was a great experimenter and innovator. He led the world of photography with his revival of 19th century photographic processes as well as early digital photography. He experimented with commercial printing processes — not unlike Warhol and Rauschenberg — but also made hand-made artist books based on Shakespeare’s sonnets and 17th century English literature. He also predicted the ascendance of digital photography and the decline of darkroom photography. Walker was invited to teach at the University of Arizona in 1977 and retired in 1985.

Frank Gohlke is a leading American landscape photographer, who was among the photographers included the seminal show, New Topographics. He is Professor Laureate at the University of Arizona, here in Tucson. Gohlke is best known for his quietly penetrating images of the American vernacular landscape — grain elevators (silos), trucks, campers, small town and suburban street scenes. We are debuting work that will be featured in his forthcoming Steidl publication, Speeding Trucks and Other Follies. Speeding Trucks brings together three bodies of work made very early in Gohlke’s career, 1971-72. We will also present a small installation of the grain elevator photographs.”

Etherton Gallery
135 South 6th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85701

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Aaron Siskind @ Gitterman Gallery

Chicago #15, 1965

Aaron Siskind
November 16, 2017 – January 20, 2018

“The exceptional vintage prints in this exhibition are masterful examples of Aaron Siskind’s interest in exploring the inherent abstraction of the real world. With these works, Siskind simultaneously captured the bold, graphic qualities of his subject and their nuances of texture and tonality. The images appear both as powerful, gestural forms from a distance, and as rich topographies with minute details and subtlety up close. As abstract as they are, his photographs still possess a sincere, humanist quality. His subjects are often fragments of marks or forms created by others, traces of human existence. As such, the images function as meditations on what we leave behind: emotional, even spiritual records of the interconnectedness of all things. Siskind’s work has often been compared to that of the Abstract Expressionists, with whom he identified and even exhibited. The visual similarities between Aaron Siskind’s graphic photographs and the bold, gestural marks of Abstract Expressionist paintings is striking, but there are important differences as well. As photographs of actual things (walls with peeling paint, piles of rocks, etc), Siskind’s works introduce a tension between the real and the abstract that is absent from any painting.”

Gitterman Gallery
41 East 57th Street, Suite 1103
New York, NY 10022

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Ben Marcin @ C. Grimaldis Gallery

Ben Marcin: Structures
November 9th to December, 23

Reception on Thursday, November 9, from 6-8 pm.

C. Grimaldis Gallery
523 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

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In vitro @ Bodega

In vitro
Eugène Atget
Sara Deraedt
Silvia Kolbowski
Mary Overlie
Jindřich Štyrský
November 3–December 10, 2017

Opening November 3, 6–8pm

167 Rivington St.
Lower Level East
New York, NY 10002

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Gérard Musy @ GalerieEstherWoerdehoff

© Gérard Musy, Courtesy Galerie Esther Woerdehoff
Kristen McManamy, les Bains Douches, Paris, de la série Lustre, 1992
Tirage gélatino-argentique vintage sur papier baryté Bergger, tiré par le photographe
30 x 24 cm, pièce unique

Gérard Musy
29.11 – 23.12.2017

opening reception Mercredi 29 novembre, de 18h à 21h

36 rue Falguière
75015 Paris – France

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Book Review: The Outsider by Elizabeth Heyert

I love the concept of this book and do think it an excellent idea to photograph people who take photographs of other people – and felt instant sympathy when glancing through the pages of this tome. Very probably because I have taken such pictures myself. And also, because these photographs show the ones portrayed as actors on a stage.

In 2014, Elizabeth Heyert, who lives and works in New York, started to photograph the Chinese taking photographs of each other. “They shoot incessantly, often with family members looking on and directing, and with an intimacy with their environment that borders on stagecraft.”

She traveled to Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou, “often wading through enormous crowds to uncover private moments between people who were strangers to me.” Unable to speak Chinese, she remains an outsider, a spectator. In her words: “I call the project The Outsider because as a Westerner in the East, and a stranger in a foreign culture searching for authenticity, I allowed myself to be a spectator of the photographer/subject relationship.”

Part of being attracted to this book results from the fact that I myself have once been (in 2002, as a teacher of English) a stranger in this foreign Chinese culture, albeit not searching for authenticity (also: the idea of searching for authenticity via photographs has so far never occurred to me) but missing the possibility to communicate with words. Being unable to verbally communicate while being amongst the Chinese often felt like visiting a zoo – which, needless to say, can be fascinating, on both sides. I particularly remember Chinese children who stared and cheered at me up in the mountains of Fujian Province – as strange and fascinating as they seemed to me, as strange and fascinating I must have seemed to them.

Elizabeth Heyert is not only aware of the problem that the inability to verbally communicate poses but has given it quite some thought. “Did the young Chinese woman in Chanel sunglasses and designer clothes pose on the wall depicting the Workers Revolution because she admired the background, or was it an ironical political statement? Do the bride and groom, hugging in front of the surreal cityscape of Shanghai, cling to each other with intense love or desperate anxiety? Are the crowds of Chinese with cameras preserving memories of happy moments, or inventing happy moments to memorialize in photographs?” She doesn’t know the answer, she writes. Whether speaking Mandarin would have provided her with convincing answers, I’m not sure either.

As interesting such information would have certainly been, for Elizabeth Heyert’s project words aren’t really needed. The pictures, for once, speak to quite some degree for themselves and are a joy to look at. To me, they are perfect illustrations of our innumerable attempts to give meaning to life by trying to make moments significant. And, as it says in Shakespeare’s As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players …”.

There is a hardly a photo in this book that does not make me smile. It is a wonderful human comedy that Elizabeth Heyert has captured on film. For her project she used a vintage Leica and Tri-X “in a country where film is no longer even sold.”

On the last pages of the book, there’s also a short story by Madeleine Thien, the youngest daughter of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants to Canada – an inspiring piece about her photographer father and the questions that arise when one asks oneself whether photographs can depict reality.


The Outsider
by Elizabeth Heyert
Damiani, Bologna 2017

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Tarrah Krajnak & Tabitha Soren @ Silver Eye Center for Photography

Tabitha Soren

Tarrah Krajnak: SISMOS
Tabitha Soren: Fantasy Life
DECEMBER 1, 2017 – FEBRUARY 17, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, December 1, 2017, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

1979 was a time of seismic changes in Peru’s capital, a transitional period between the military dictatorship of the 70s, and the onset of the Shining Path’s guerilla war in 1980. The city’s population swelled and was transformed by a massive influx of rural migrants from the highlands and eastern jungles; and artist Tarrah Krajnak’s birth mother was among them–one of many young women uprooted during that tectonic demographic shift. That’s almost all Krajnak knew about her mother. Like her peers, she was vulnerable in a city that was a violent, dangerous place. 1979 was a year that created orphans.

In SISMOS, Krajnak sets out not to recover some stable, “authentic” identity hidden by the circumstances of her birth and adoption, but rather to pull together archival materials, found photographs, untold narratives, and images in an effort to patch together, reclaim, and invent something like a psychic history of that year, and locate herself within it.

Fantasy Life
In 2002, Tabitha Soren first began photographing a group of minor league draft picks for the Oakland A’s―young men coming into the major league farm system straight from high school or college. Since then, she has followed the players through their baseball lives, an alternate reality of long bus rides, on-field injuries, friendships and marriages entered and exited, constant motion, and very hard work, often for very little return. Some of the subjects, like Nick Swisher and Joe Blanton, have gone on to become well-known, respected players at the highest level of the game. Some left baseball to pursue other lines of work, such as selling insurance and coal mining. Others have struggled with poverty and even homelessness.

Fifteen years after that first shoot, Fantasy Life portrays a selection of these stories, gathering together a richly textured series of photographs taken on the field and behind the scenes at games. These images evoke the enduring spirit of this quintessential American fantasy of making it in the major leagues.”

Silver Eye Center for Photography
4808 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

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Habby Khalil @ The Empty Quarter Gallery

Habby Khalil:Raya and Sakina
1st November 2017 – till 18th January 2018

Opening 1st November 2017 | 7pm

“Inspired by the rich cultural history of the first half of the 20th century, Alexandria was the glory of the Mediterranean elite, those symbol of the liberalism and pluralism of modern Egyptian history.

Alexandria was also one of the bespoken crime scenes, for the most heinous murders sister couple, Raya and Sakina.”

The Empty Quarter Gallery
Dubai at DIFC Gate Village

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Felix R. Cid @ Garis & Hahn

Felix R. Cid: The Sword of Damocles
November 4 – December 16, 2017

Opening Reception: November 4 | 6-8pm

“Cid’s photomontages are comprised of hundreds of high-resolution digital photographs taken within the past year, capturing political marches, rallies, and protests around the world. These photographs are digitally rendered to create dramatic abstract compositions that confound an immense accumulation of visual information. This conglomeration of photographic detail speaks to the state of our Information Age – a Post-Truth era defined by a 24-hour news cycle, ubiquitous social media consumption, as well as the proliferation of “alternative facts”.”

Garis & Hahn
1820 Industrial Street Los Angeles, CA 90021

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ELLIS PALMER @ Torrefazione Vittoria

17th, November 2017 / 07th, January 2018

“To Venus in Scorpio joins this project: a cinematic taste personal diary in which day-to-day reality is already contaminated by a sort of ramified presentiment of something that is about to happen. Immanent and sometimes threatening intensity is equally perceptible to a sense of disturbance beyond what has been portrayed.”

Torrefazione Vittoria. Via Ferrabò 4, Cremona (Italy)

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