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Shirley Baker @ James Hyman Gallery (online)


Shirley Baker: A Different Age
22 June to 24 July 2020

Online: http://www.jameshymangallery.com/

Shirley Baker, once writing of her motivations, expressed a world of street life that seems like a distant memory: “I love the immediacy of unposed, spontaneous photographs and the ability of the camera to capture the serious, the funny, the sublime and the ridiculous. […] I feel that less formal, quotidian images can often convey more of the life and spirit of the time.”

James Hyman Gallery


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Edouard Taufenbach Suddenly, Last Summer @ Elizabeth Houston Gallery online

Ragazzi di vita, 2019, Collage on Canson paper

Edouard Taufenbach: Suddenly, Last Summer
June 3 to July 31

“Suddenly, Last Summer culls images of LGBTQ leisure and pleasure from the collection of filmmaker Sebastien Lifshitz. Gathered over the course of three decades, Lifshitz’s more than 10,000 snapshots constitute an archive of international queer history, recording the intricacies of intimacy and desire against verdant, balmy backdrops. A femme in heels gazes skyward as she attempts to scale a tree. Sailors in speedos lounge side by side on the dunes. A woman wraps her arm around her partner’s dainty waist. The particularities of those photographs, already anonymous with the passing of time, are reshaped by Taufenbach’s hand into universal instances.”

Elizabeth Houston Gallery https://www.elizabethhoustongallery.com/edouard-taufenbach-suddenly-last-summer/


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In Sickness and in Health: Heather Agyepong, Anna Fox and Jo Spence @ James Hyman Gallery

Image: Heather Agyepong

In Sickness and in Health: Heather Agyepong, Anna Fox and Jo Spence
18 May – 19 June 2020

Visit http://www.jameshymangallery.com/exhibitions/2678/in-sickness-and-in-health-heather-agyepong-anna-fox-and-jo-spence

Originally conceived for the cancelled Paris Photo New York fair in March, the themes of this three person exhibition have taken on a new resonance in the present global health crisis. The opening is timed to coincide with the UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week and 10% of sales will go to MIND, the mental health charity.

James Hyman Gallery


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Trump Revolution: Climate Crisis @ www.trumprevolutionbdc.org

A 16-year-old resident of Island View Drive wipes her tears, as she looks on at her family’s home destroyed by the Thomas fire, the morning after the fire started, in Ventura, Calif., on Dec. 5, 2017.© Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

Trump Revolution: Climate Crisis
Virtual exhibition launch SATURDAY, MAY 23

Visit online www.trumprevolutionbdc.org

FEATURING
Stacy Kranitz | Kadir van Lohuizen I Yuri Kozyrev | Katie Orlinsky | Bryan Thomas | Marcus Yam

Through photos, words and multimedia, the BDC exhibition, Trump Revolution: Climate Crisis, documents the current president’s overturning of decades of American environmental policy, and its profound effects on American society and our planet at large.

This is the second in a year-long series of Trump Revolution exhibitions examining America’s societal and political transformation, one whose speed, reach and consequences are unmatched in our country’s history.


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Primetime: A Virtual Photography Exhibition @ youngarts.org

Image Chiemeka Offor

Primetime: A Virtual Photography Exhibition
Opening Thursday, May 21 at 1 PM ET/10 AM PT on youngarts.org

RSVP https://www.youngarts.org/event/youngarts-spring-alumni-exhibition-opening/1017

Primetime is a virtual photography exhibition featuring the works of 11 YoungArts alumni that explores current affairs, disease, race and representation, body image and heritage. Originally intended to be on display at the YoungArts Gallery, it takes on new meaning as the world continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.


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(She) Her/Self @ Artworks Center for Contemporary Art

Image Credit: Amy Jorgensen

(She) Her/Self
Amy Jorgensen and Randi Ganulin
MARCH 13 – JUNE 27, 2020

Virtual Reception with Artist Talks is on Thursday, May 21st, at 6 pm Mountain Time via Zoom. Reserve your spot by emailing contact@c4fap.org

“The body as signifier of Self. The body as (She). Her body as evidence of the fundamental right to Herself.

Historically, women’s bodies have been a frequent subject of male artists’ works. Most of these historic images ignore the agency of the women portrayed. Women’s bodies serve as the object of the male gaze. As women reclaim their agency and turn away from the ways of objectification, female-identified artists are creating groundbreaking work that further shifts this paradigm to reflect women’s views, concerns, and Selves.

With self-portraits as the primary vehicle for Amy Jorgensen’s Body Archive and Inanna by Randi Ganulin, the artist’s performative acts of creation refer to the primary source of Self and the power of embodiment. _Hamidah Glasgow”

Artworks Center for Contemporary Art
Physical distancing protocols are in place, and masks are required.
310 N. Railroad Avenue, Loveland, CO 80537


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SOPHIE DELAPORTE @ Sous Les Etoiles Gallery (online)

Dripping Purple, 2019, Archival Pigment Print, 23 x 16 | 60 x 40 inches, Ed. of 5

SOPHIE DELAPORTE “FRAGILE LANDSCAPES”
MAY 1 – JUNE 5, 2020

“Since the early 90s, when the artist began her formative collaborations with cutting-edge British magazine I-D, Sophie Delaporte has remained dedicated to the “play” in photography and fashion in its most straightforward definition, emphasizing freedom and theatricality. ”

Sous Les Etoiles Gallery
http://www.souslesetoilesgallery.net/exhibitions/sophie-delaporte4


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Book Review: Keeper of the Hearth: Picturing Roland Barthes’ Unseen Photograph by Odette England

© Ka-Man Tse

The publication of Keeper of the Hearth: Picturing Roland Barthes’ Unseen Photograph marks the 40th anniversary of French literary theorist Roland Barthes’ renowned work Camera Lucida (La Chambre claire). It is arguably one of the most influential books about photography. Odette England invited more than 200 photography-based artists, writers, critics, curators, and historians from around the world to contribute an image or text that reflects on Barthes’ unpublished photograph of his mother at age five. This snapshot is known as the Winter Garden photograph. It is known as one of the most famous unseen photographs in the world. The book is also a tribute to Barthes’ late mother, Henriette. Barthes discusses the photo of his mother at length, and uses it for philosophic theory, in Camera Lucida, but never reproduces it.

Keeper of the Hearth’ features hundreds of images and texts, supported by three essays. Each contributor could submit text or a photograph made specifically in response to the theme, from their archive, or even a found image in whichever format they chose. While paging through the book, I am struck by the range of submitted images. We are presented with literal and allegoric images to reflect the theme, all in a variety of photographic mediums. Some artists’ image response is based from the perspective of Barthes, some are from Henriette’s. Some poignantly, lovingly, and achingly evoke a sense of loss, or explore related themes of memory and family. 

The mystery of who Barthes’ mother is, or what the Winter Garden photograph looks like is deepened and  multiple layers of meaning are unearthed from the contributor’s mix of invented memories and semi-fictional events. Even without knowing the full background to Barthes’ passages in Camera Lucida, entirely new layers of meaning are applied when viewing the book with the text from the essayists and contributors in mind. This is echoed in the following excerpt from Charlotte Cotton’s foreword:

“What strikes me most about the collective response that is contained within Keeper of the Hearth is the enduring capacity of Barthes’ writing to be a creative springboard for many”.

Odette England shares an especially important and strong thematic tie in her preface – Henriette is the French feminine form of Henry; which translates as the female keeper of the hearth. Knowing the source for the title of the book also reinforces the theme of the invisible guiding hand of Barthes’ mother. The maternal idea could imply a sense of safety, warmth, or a central source of familial balance. With such strong touchstones, the ideas of birth, origin, death – and arguably just as important, life – form a philosophical assertion of sense of purpose and existence. Viewed through this lens, I sat transfixed in a spell while examining hundreds of images with this interpretation in mind. A warm, reassuring undertow is created with this theme flowing across all the related images.


© Sasha Rudensky

 

© Rosalind Fox Solomon

 

© Sarah Meister

 

© Shawn Michelle Smith

 

© Mark Klett

 

© Paul Mpegi Sepuya

 

© John Lehr

 

© Phil Chang

 

© Dru Donovan

 

© Alec Soth

 

© John Houck

 

© Kristine Potter

 


Keeper of the Hearth: Picturing Roland Barthes’ Unseen Photograph
By Odette England, Design by Cara Buzzell
ISBN 9789053309377
24 x 28.5 cm
Hardback, 320 pages with approx. 200 photos
Published by Schilt Publishing, 2020

Odette England is an Australia/British artist, writer, and curator. Her work has shown in more than 90 solo, two-person and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, and Asia. Keeper of the Hearth is England’s first edited volume. She lives and works in Rhode Island and New York.

Essayists include Douglas Nickel, Andrea V. Rosenthal Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Brown University; Lucy Gallun, Associate Curator, Department of Photography, the Museum of Modern Art; and Phillip Prodger, Senior Research Scholar, Yale Center for British Art. Foreword by Charlotte Cotton, independent curator and writer.


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Book Review: Kingdom of Sand and Cement by Peter Bogaczewicz

© Peter Bogaczewicz

Saudi Arabia, and the Saudis, have experienced profound change in less than a century as they transitioned from living in traditional mud buildings to commencing work on the world’s tallest skyscraper. Kingdom of Sand and Cement by Peter Bogaczewicz explores the challenges Saudi Arabia faces today as it rapidly transforms from a conservative and tribal desert culture to an influential world power.

Examining this legacy through beautiful large-format color photographs, Bogaczewicz documents a country and a society in the midst of an unprecedented change; and the clash of its traditional and modern values reveals a society precariously balancing at a crossroads of old and new. His images of the contemporary landscape are contrasted against Saudi traditional buildings, homes, and culture. Bogaczewicz examines the traces of an ancient culture right up to the point of intersection between the built and the natural environment. He presents the question: does this rapid and often careless pace of change run the chance to  lose a sense of cultural identity –  and a lasting and damaging consequence to the environment?

Concrete is an amazingly versatile and useful material. It’s very easy to work with. It’s cheap. The ancient Mayans used a form of it for roads. The Romans really perfected it and used it to build important structures like the concrete roof of the Pantheon in Rome. But after the fall of the Roman Empire, the world largely forgot about using concrete as a building material for over a thousand years. Fast forward to the 20th and 21st Century – and the exponential growth of the developed world is critically dependent on concrete and sand. It’s everywhere. No matter what kind of building or office or room you’re sitting in, some part of it is probably made out of concrete. Just like every shopping mall, every apartment building, every office tower and every window, everywhere in the world, from Syracuse to Saudi Arabia, is made out of concrete and sand. The process of extracting millions of tons of sand from the bottom of a lake or the bottom of a river (it turns out you can’t practically use just any sand for strong building materials), in turn creates tremendous environmental damage. Sources of drinking water are disrupted or ruined, ecological systems are spoiled for endangered animals and plants. Cultural changes can be irreversibly damaging as well.

This brings me back to Bogaczewicz’s question – certainly lives are being disrupted or ruined by losses of both natural resources and cultural sources. He captures evocative images of children and families eating and stitting next to an ancient city wall, camel trails switchback across a steep hillside, ancient islamic buildings crumble before our eyes – and structures of glass, concrete and steel rise high above their humble earthen origins. We see the roads carved into, or completely through, previously untouched landscapes. He also shows us images of people living in traditional ways, as well as modern ways: Burqas and bicycles, mosques and motorbikes, a family enjoying their midday meal, sitting on rugs spread out in the shade of a concrete overpass. The current era of globalization has a homogenizing influence on local cultures, which in turn can lead to loss of identity, exclusion and even conflict. Bogaczewicz’s insightful work explores and ultimately highlights the impact made in Saudi Arabia when people don’t fully consider placing culture and the environment at the heart of development.


© Peter Bogaczewicz

 

© Peter Bogaczewicz

 

© Peter Bogaczewicz

 

© Peter Bogaczewicz

 

© Peter Bogaczewicz

 

© Peter Bogaczewicz

 

© Peter Bogaczewicz

 

© Peter Bogaczewicz


Kingdom of Sand and Cement by Peter Bogaczewicz
ISBN: 9781942084723

Cloth Bound Hardcover
10 x 9 | 144 pp
58 color photographs

Published by Daylight Books


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Book Review: Jumper: Flying in the Heartland by Cooper Dodds

© Cooper Dodds

Jumper is a poignant, transcendent story in an unassuming setting. Athletes train and aspire to the level of olympic champions. They work for years outside the limelight to hone their craft, strap on skis, helmets, and aerodynamic suits to hurl themselves down a ramp at speeds up to 65 mph and jump as far as humanly possible across the sky, attain flight over the Midwestern landscape, and safely land hundreds of yards downhill. The Midwest is the birthplace of American ski jumping – ski jumps in states like Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota give rise to champions who compete on the global stage. In his photographs, Cooper Dodds, a former ski jumper himself, captures vignettes of these aspiring champions and the places where their dreams are crafted in his heartfelt, honest visual narrative of the sport.

Many people have been re-discovering old favorites lately – TV shows from their youth, movies from their halcyon days. The 1979 film Breaking Away is one of my all-time favorites. It’s the story of a young man coming of age in Bloomington, Indiana – home to Indiana University. The main character, Dave, is a local kid who wants to be on a team of champion Italian cyclists; high-performance athletes, winners – ultimately, greater than his humble upbringing. Dave and his four friends just graduated high school, and they mess around for one final summer – hanging out, wasting time, swimming in the abandoned quarries where their fathers had worked – before facing their life-defining choices after high school. Dave decides to emulate his cycling heroes. He dreams of being on the elite racing team, and by proxy he dreams of being Italian. He apes Italian phrases, sings Italian opera, eats Italian food, and re-names the dog ‘Fellini’. Dave exhibits full machismo and even dares to race a semi-truck on his bicycle at highway speeds. He ultimately has the chance to prove himself in the film in a climactic sporting event. Like all great sports movies, that event is not about itself, but about what’s at stake for the competitors.

Dodds captures scenes of jumpers in flight: their form silhouetted against sky and snow, as well as training on the ground. Dodds captures the hyper-focused look of concentration of a jumper preparing to jump. The unpretentious bar or tavern with warm glowing neon lights in the cold night, complete with the ephemera of the sport found either in large photographs adorning the walls, or the naively painted ski jump landscape above a urinal. We see athletes posed for portraits in their high-tech gear, holding their skis which tower over their heads, a Midwestern field and tree line (or mobile trailer) as a backdrop. Some skiers proudly display bruises and signs of the physicality and inherent danger of the sport. These athletes who hurl themselves across the sky are resilient, but not invincible. The athletes we see in Jumper want to feel the exhilarating rush, strive to push their limits, fly through icy crosswinds toward their landing zone. Launch, fly, land, repeat.  The abandoned quarries where the friends in Breaking Away go to escape and swim set a similar stage: they flirt with danger, push limits and suggest the constant possibility of sudden tragedy. We wait for a terrible accident to happen, but none does, but the looming chance makes all of these characters seem curiously vulnerable, and their lives more precious.

Ski jumping is described by Peter Geye, a contributor to the book, as something devout and as close to a religion as he will ever know. Dodds, Geye, and fellow contributor Chris Lamb (a former USA Ski Jumping team member) all make impassioned comments on the subject of ski jumping, and an analogy to it as a type of faith. The three men tell a thoughtful story as insiders to the sport. They note it’s intersection with the crossroads of their youth, and the way it shaped them. Dodds’ insightful images, and their words, give us a look into the high-performance world of these athletes, their dreams, and their years of hard work. Hubris displayed, vulnerability revealed, endeavoring together – enlightenment achieved.


© Cooper Dodds

 

© Cooper Dodds

 

© Cooper Dodds

 

© Cooper Dodds

 

© Cooper Dodds

 

© Cooper Dodds

 

© Cooper Dodds

 

© Cooper Dodds

 

© Cooper Dodds

 


Jumper: Flying in the Heartland
Photographs by Cooper Dodds
Contributions by Peter Geye and Chris Lamb
ISBN-13: 9781942084761
122 pages; 45 Color Photographs
10 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches
Published by Daylight Books


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