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Wig Heavier Than A Boot @ Filter Space

© David Johnson

David Johnson & Philip Matthews – Wig Heavier Than A Boot
June 26–August 15

Closing Reception: August 13 | 5 – 9 PM

“Revealing Petal—a drag persona as whom Philip manifests to write, and David photographs—the project crosses art-making rituals with isolated performances within domestic spaces and pastoral landscapes. Taken together, the resulting photographs and poems reveal dynamic relationships between author, character, and observer. By articulating a specific creative process in which one identity becomes two, the project, in turn, opens up a conversation about gender expression through an art-historical lens. A corresponding book is available via Kris Graves Projects.”

Filter Space
1821 W. Hubbard St.
Suite 207
Chicago


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Book Review: Frauen erneuern Havanna by Christine Heidrich

Paseo del Prado @Ewa Maria Wolanska

Editor and architect Christine Heidrich is the founder of a company that creates concepts, designs, colour tones, and atmospheres for architecture, exhibitions, productions and city spaces. Texts for this tome were provided by her and Irén Blanco-Inceosman, Maria Victoria Zardoya Loureda, and Peter Widmer. Moreover, there is also a series of very well-composed photographs by Ewa Maria Wolanska, with informative explanations on how they came about by Sylvia Claus

My interest in this book is personal – I know Havana from various stays, it is the city where I got married but haven’t visited for quite some years. And, needless to say, the exceptionally well-crafted photographs bring back lots of memories. That not all Cubans are fond of living in the old town, that quite some prefer, as I have heard, more solid structures.

Yet this tome is something entirely different, it is about aspects of Havana I’ve never thought of – I have no special affinity for architecture but like to be inspired by aficionados. And so, to spend time with this very well-designed book is above all a learning experience. It was for instance new to me (although not surprising) that women in executive positions in the building industry are in Cuba in the majority (contrary to the rest of the world where they are in the minority).

Uferpromenade Malecón@Ewa Maria Wolanska

Havana’s old town is considered one of the greatest living museums of architecture in the world, the press release informs me. The variety of architectural styles is stunning, the colours a joy and there’s something special in the air that can only be felt and not put into words (but it’s to do with a certain lightness of spirit). The effort to preserve and restore this cultural treasure is mainly led by women.

This book portrays 12 women architects and engineers as well as the buildings in old Havana that they restored and/or reconstructed. Since I look at the pictures from a photo-perspective, I’m especially impressed by the masterful use of light and colours. And, by the excellent framing. 

Vivienda Amargura, Innenhof @Christine Heidrich

The portraits are followed by excerpts from interviews with five of the twelve women, architect  Perla Rosales Aguirreurreta (“It is much more difficult to direct intellectuals and architects than  construction workers when doing restoration work”), architect Tatiana Fernández de los Santos (“I’m not the kind of boss who arrives at the last minute, I’m leading by example.”), engineer Johanna Aedo Gutiérrez (“In all things of life people have to recognise that you are competent to make them follow your lead.”), architect Norma Pérez-Trujillo Tenorio (“It is important that there is  architecture from each time that consciously embraces the city code and nonetheless insert its own ideas.”), and architect Zoila Cuadras Sola (“Many residents thought it not possible to restore these buildings.”)

Lots of interesting information can also be found under the heading “In our country you always work as a team.” Architect Irén Blanco-Inceosman answers at length questions by editor Christine Heidrich in regards to architecture in Cuba and the role of women architects. Most fascinating I thought that there’s a job waiting for all university graduates (in architecture or any other field), guaranteed by the state. And, when asked what distinguishes Cuban female architects from their colleagues in other countries, Irén Blanco-Inceosman responded: “I think it is the sense of community – in Cuba, we colleagues support each other very strongly.”

This is a most remarkable work that – apart from the superb photographs – provides much detailed information about Cuban architecture since the Revolution, on how architecture is practised on a daily basis and on the role of women in Cuban macho society (machos, by the way, differ considerably from country to country).

Frauen erneuern Havanna: Architektinnen, Ingenieurinnen und ihre Bauwerke im architektonischen Weltkulturerbe der Hauptstadt.
by Christine Heidrich
Kehrer, Heidelberg 2020

www.kehrerverlag.com


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JAN GROOVER @ Galerie Folia

Jan Groover, Untitled (KSL 78.1) 1978, ©Janet Borden, NYC & Klemm’s, Berlin

JAN GROOVER “Everything that’s true is beautiful”
9 September to 24 October 2020

OPENING reception on Tuesday 8 September from 6:30 to 9pm

“Galerie Folia is thrilled to present the first French show of Jan Groover’s work. A selection of 25 photographs reveal the lush, formal and visionary beauty of an oeuvre that represents more than thirty years of work.”

Galerie Folia


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2020 National Competition @ Soho Photo Gallery

Temptation of Nasir © Kahdeem Prosper Jefferson
National Competition First Place Winner

2020 National Competition
June 29 – July 18

First Place: Kahdeem Prosper Jefferson
Second Place: Peter Baker
Third Place: Hugo Teixeira
Honorable Mention:
Jo Ann Chaus
Bella Kirchner
Fyodor Shiryaev
Sam Zalutsky

Also selected: Robert Bloom, Michael Borowski, Geoff Brown, Suzanne Engelberg, Mayra Ferra, Dan Florin, Richard Hughes, Isik Kaya, Paul Kessel, Saman Majd, Michael McFadden, Anne McRay, Martim Meirelles, Emmanuel Monzon, Barry A. Noland, Alexey Novikov, Karen Numme, Astrid Reischwitz, Susan Richman, Susan Rosenberg Jones, Nicole Freezer Rubens, Natalia Rudychev, Linda Troeller, Kathleen Tunnell Handel

Soho Photo Gallery
15 White Street, New York, NY 10013


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Book Review: Doug’s Gym: The Last of its Kind by Norm Diamond

Doug at his desk © Norm Diamond

Norm Diamond notes that on his first trip to Doug Eidd’s gym in downtown Dallas, he climbed a sagging wooden staircase to find a rundown old gym above a storefront attorney’s office. The place held a sense of an outmoded era, and while Diamond avoided gyms for most of his life, he was attracted to this one for its themes of memory, loss, and mortality. After officially joining, working out, and taking pictures on a regular basis, he realized there was more than aesthetics at play here. But not long after Norm began the project, the building ownership changed, and Doug’s Gym faced a billowing rent payment in order to remain in business. Due to his age and costs, Doug decided to close after 55 years. All things come to an end.

The inevitable cycle of life is a theme Norm explores here and in his preceding book, What is Left Behind: Stories from Estate Sales. The project features photographs of items at estate sales which explore themes of memory, mortality, and cultural history. Doug’s Gym embraces some of that same ethos with its old-school charm and endearing characters. According to Norm, “It was not like these new fitness places. Doug didn’t care one bit about stuff like that…eating herring out of a tin can with jack knife, and smoking cigars…all in this ramshackle place with peeling paint… and Doug didn’t care. That’s what drew a lot of people there.”

In Doug’s Gym there is a sense of respect and affection for the location and the man. “He really reminded me of my father,” Norm says, “they were both born during the depression and had many of the same attitudes about life.” The gym members who returned religiously accepted and embraced the gym for how they saw it and understood it. Norm describes Doug (87 years old when the project was shot) as strong but frail, and the gym itself as rickety yet fully functional. Sheer grit and determination are not to be underestimated. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

As an interventional radiologist, Norm faced loss and mortality as a routine part of his career spanning 40 years. While this fact is often used to be a frame of reference for Norm and his work, I find his work to be poignant and profound. I discuss this with Norm, and ask about his favorite aspect of the book. He mentions that his view of the world can be a bit dark, yet he speaks insightfully of Doug, the gym and the people who were members. “Just like me, many people seemed to be drawn to the gym just by the physical aspect of the place,” Norm says. “But I also saw a sense of opposing forces in Doug… that sense of struggle and strength… trying to stay strong and keep the gym going in the face of oncoming frailty, and ultimately mortality. Of course in the end, it’s always a losing battle.”

Norm’s sensibility for capturing the essence of the gym is spot on. The act of looking is an important underlying theme in his work. He looks at the gym, and he sees the gym; like his use of natural light coating the surfaces of the gym equipment like a cozy blanket. Attentive portraits provide chiaroscuro vignettes of individuals who are as much a part of the gym as its decor. We see sunlight skim the surface of peeling paint on the walls, and a sagging tin-ceiling coated with a patina of hot Texan air, sweat, and cigar smoke providing the hues. I’m drawn into the details and left wondering how many years an image of Marilyn Monroe was held in place with staples, or how long it takes clear cellophane tape to turn that amber shade? Norm writes this description in his essay, “The place was so dilapidated that is was somehow beautiful at the same time. I had entered at time capsule that had yet to be buried.”

I get this tingly feeling when experiencing a situation of heightened concentration – whether it’s my own action, or that of another person who is completely focused on something at hand.  It feels like flirting with the fringe of fascination, and pulling back just in time. To stop and look, to see, the beauty in the object before me… as if the act itself can stop time, and maybe I can hold that feeling of fascination and focus for a few minutes longer. Let’s cheat the perpetual march of time just a bit, let’s be immortal for a few more seconds. Norm is able to give that type of attention through his photographs. His concentration on the details and how they fit into the big picture is at the heart of his projects. Whether it’s looking at or listening to a person, place or thing, his work embodies the skilled practice of looking, listening and seeing; even if his view of the world may be a bit dark. But we keep up the struggle…even against the losing odds of cheating time and death, and the impending finality of it all.

Front Windows from Doug’s Gym © Norm Diamond

Wrist Roller © Norm Diamond

The Heavy Bag © Norm Diamond

West Wall No. 1 © Norm Diamond

Hanging Gloves © Norm Diamond

The Chair © Norm Diamond

Down to the Nub © Norm Diamond

Doug and Sauro © Norm Diamond

Empty After 55 Years © Norm Diamond

Last Weeks © Norm Diamond

 


Doug’s Gym: The Last of its Kind by Norm Diamond
With an Essay by Roy Flukinger
Hardcover: 112 pages
Published by Kehrer Verlag


Norm Diamond is a fine art photographer based in Dallas, Texas. He has studied with Jay Maisel, Debbie Fleming Caffery, Keith Carter, Arno Minkkinen, Aline Smithson, Sean Kernan, Susan Burnstine, and has been mentored since 2013 by Cig Harvey.  Diamond was a finalist in the Photolucida Critical Mass competitions of 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019.


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Remsen Wolff – Amsterdam Girls @ Foam

Joris, Amsterdam 24 april 1991 © The Remsen Wolff Collection, Courtesy of Jochem Brouwer 2020

Remsen Wolff – Amsterdam Girls
11 September – 6 December 2020

“The exhibition Amsterdam Girls presents more than 50 portraits and contact prints from the analogue archive of the American photographer Remsen Wolff (1940-1998). From 1990 to 1992, Wolff spent one month each year at the American Hotel in Amsterdam to work on the project Special Girls – A Celebration. For this project Wolff made a series of portraits of transgenders in New York and in Amsterdam, the city known at the time as ‘the gay capital of Europe’. These unique portraits range from the exuberant and glamorous to the subdued and vulnerable. Together, the photographs show the huge variety in gender fluidity in the 1990s, beyond the exhibited publicly in notorious nightclubs such as Club RoXY and iT. The individuals posing for Wolff’s camera vary from well-known figures like Jet Brandsteder (a.k.a. Francine), Hellun Zelluf, Vera Springveer and Viola Voila (regular performers in clubs like RoXY and Mazzo), to anonymous transsexuals who often struggled with their (sexual) identity, lonely and insecure. ”

Foam
Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS Amsterdam


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Alec Soth – I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating @ Foam

Chicago, 1975 © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of the Maloof Collection & Howard Greenberg Gallery. New York

Alec Soth – I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating
10 September – 6 December 2020

“Magnum photographer Alec Soth (1969) has become known as the chronicler of life at the American margins of the United States. He made a name as a photographer with his 2004 series Sleeping by the Mississippi, encountering unusual and often overlooked places and people as he travelled along the river banks. A major retrospective in 2015 was followed by a period of seclusion and introspection, during which Soth did not travel and barely photographed. His most recent project, I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating, is the result of this personal search, and marks a departure from Soth’s earlier work. The photographer slowed down his work process and turned the lens inward. Foam presents the first museum exhibition of his new series, consisting of portraits of remarkable people in their habitat, and still-lifes of their personal belongings.”

Foam
Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS Amsterdam


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Bronx Senior Photo League @ The Bronx Documentary Center (online)

Gathered pink shredded paper, rubber ball, scissors and glue and made a COVID-19 virus model as shown on T.V. , April 2020 © Carmen Rodriguez / BDC

Bronx Senior Photo League
Tuesday, June 30th – Virtual Exhibition Launch

https://www.bronxseniorphotoleague.org/

“The Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) proudly presents the work of the Bronx Senior Photo League (BSPL), a free documentary photo program for older adults. Beginning in the fall of 2019 older adults, ages 60-90, from the Mitchel Senior Center and Kips Bay Castle Hill Senior Center, attended classes to learn the art of digital photography and document their everyday lives. ”

FEATURING
Carmen Adorno | Virginia Alicea | Juanita Alleyne | Esther Anaya | Veronica Brown | Nellie Bryant | Virgilio Carballo | Dario Diaz | Elena Farciert | Isaac Flores | Margaret Floyd | Lucille Gantt | Minerva Garcia | Teresa Guzman | Elaine Hall | Gloria Halman | Lynda Henderson | Lidia Maria Isaac de Mota | Rupert Joseph | Deborah LeDeatte | Thomas Martinez | Maria Meza | Ninfa Nuñez | Ana Ortiz | Adela Paredes | Consuelo Pizarro | Cheryl Richemond | Carmen Rodriguez | Hortensia “Penny” Santana | Joyce Slaughter | Gregory Sumlin | Phyllis Thomas | Gloria Tyler | Vivian Valentin | Mildred Vega | Carmen “Candy” Vidal | Louis Wright

The Bronx Documentary Center


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Shirley Baker. A Different Age @ James Hyman Gallery (online)


Shirley Baker. A Different Age
22 June–24 July 2020

ONLINE http://www.jameshymangallery.com/

“Co-curated by Baker’s daughter Nan Levy and James Hyman, ‘A Different Age’ reveals an increasingly rare sight today even as lockdown eases: the view of elderly folk congregating in parks, asleep on benches, and nonchalantly spending time outdoors. The exhibition explores Baker’s humorous and humanist view depiction of older people, showcasing her rare colour work as well as a selection of iconic black and white street scenes captured in and around Manchester and Salford.”


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2020 Annual Members’ Show @ Colorado Photographic Arts Center

Antarctica Obscura iii, detail, by Michael Quinn

2020 Annual Members’ Show
June 30 – August 8

“The Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC) is proud to announce its 57th Annual Juried Members’ Show, highlighting outstanding photography by 46 talented artists from Colorado and across the United States. Juror Ann Jastrab, Executive Director at the Center for Photographic Arts in Carmel, California, selected 32 photographs for the exhibit from a pool of 130 entries, including an additional 20 images that will be featured in an exhibition catalog. Timed entry to see the exhibit will be offered between 4 pm and 6:30 pm. Due to COVID-19, visitors are asked to wear masks. The number of visitors in the gallery will be limited. At 7 pm, a virtual Zoom award ceremony with the juror will take place. Registration is required for both and can be found on CPAC’s website. All events are free and open to the public.”

Colorado Photographic Arts Center
1070 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204 and Online


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