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Artist Reception is on September 27th.
Proceeds are being donated to St Kizito Orphanage in DR Congo.
However painful it may be for us delicate souls, and however intractable the Congo’s ills may appear, and however drained of compassion we may feel in the face of Darfur and other hells, we must never turn away our gaze. Indeed, we have a moral duty to look, which is what these images are telling us. To observe pain only through the prisms of the boardroom and the computer screen is to sever the vital artery between compassion and action.
The continuing human tragedy of Congo is not a statistic. It is a continuing human tragedy. It is fourteen hundred and fifty tragedies every day. It is countless more than that if you include the orphaned, the bereaved, the widowed, and all the ripples of truncated lives that spread from a single death. It is you and me and our children and our parents, if we had had the bad luck to be born into the world this work portrays.
But Congo has one secret that is hard to pass on if you haven’t learned it at first hand. Look carefully and you will find it in these images: a gaiety of spirit and a love of life that, even in the worst of times, leave the pampered Westerner moved and humbled beyond words.
Marcus Bleasdale is one of the world’s leading documentary photographers. He increasingly uses his work to influence decision makers and policy makers around the world.
His work on human rights and conflict have been shown at the U.S. Senate, The United Nations and the Houses of Parliament in the UK. Bleasdale’s work also appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Telegraph Magazine, Stern, Le Monde, TIME Magazine, Newsweek and National Geographic.
What should we be looking at? The extraordinary number of photographs taken on September 11 made it the most photographed event in history and may have signaled the birth of citizen journalism. However in our impulse to record, we have not formulated new strategies to gain a better understanding of today’s pressing issues of a globalized world.
As traditional print journalism was threatened, and the number of images published online has exploded into the billions (sixty billion on Facebook alone), we have been left with few common sources of news and analysis. There is no longer a “front page” to act as a societal filter through which, we can learn about important events and trends. Even the role that the physical café once played in our communities—the place we went to discuss and digest what’s going on around us — has become fragmented across a myriad of virtual spaces.
Where should we turn for our information? How can we function as a society with so few common reference points? How can we intelligently sort through all the images and information available to us? In terms of photography and visual information, what should we be looking at?
Ten years post-9/11, at a time when we are more overloaded with information than ever but cannot access it in a coherent manner, Aperture will create a visual café for collective social engagement with the question: What Matter’s Now? and turn it into an evolving exhibition space. During a two-week period Aperture will turn itself “inside out,” letting participants engage in the editorial process of weighing questions, ideas, and images, and proposing conceptual and curatorial solutions. Both invited guests and gallery visitors will be asked to participate. The exhibition What Matters Now? Proposals for a New Front Page will combine the crowd sourcing of images and ideas with the curatorial engagement of six experienced individuals, each hosting a table and a conversation within the space, where on corresponding walls each group will present its proposals for the contents of a ‘New Front Page’. Hosts include a variety of visual image specialists: Wafaa Bilal, Melissa Harris, Stephen Mayes, Joel Meyerowitz, Fred Ritchin (who conceptualized this project) andDeborah Willis.
As the exhibition opens, each of the hosts will have a designated space, but the walls will be empty. Progressively throughout the first two weeks of the “exhibition,” the walls will be filled in whatever manner each table decides. As the exhibition emerges, its contents will be posted online, daily, via a dedicated blog, as well as via Facebook and Twitter, at aperture.org/whatmattersnow and#whatmattersnow; allowing remote participants to respond and to create a seventh wall dedicated to ideas from the public. This website will go live prior to the opening of the exhibition.
Computers, printers, phones and iPads will be used by hosts and audience members for the duration of the exhibition. Materials may be printed, projected, hung and even destroyed as the exhibition progresses. Hosts might decide that what we should all be looking at is a particular Renaissance painting, or the work of particular photojournalists, or a thousand mini print-outs of images sourced online—or nothing at all. Contributions will be solicited from people around the world who are not able to visit in person. By sending files to dedicated email addresses set up for each table, as well as a general account, remote participants will be able to add their suggestions of imagery, multimedia projects and websites as part of the exhibition in-process.
Printed work in this exhibition will be made onsite, made possible by the generous support of Canon, using Canon image PROGRAF iPF6350 large format printers.
Exhibition in progress:
September 7–September 17, 2011
Monday-Saturday, 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Saturday, September 17, 4:00–7:00 pm
Exhibition on view:
September 17-September 24
Monday, September 12, 6:00 pm – Melissa Harris and Deborah Willis
Tuesday, September 13, 6:00 pm – Wafaa Bilal and Fred Ritchin
Wednesday, September 14, 6:00 pm– Stephen Mayes and Joel Meyerowitz
Aperture Gallery Hours: Monday–Saturday, 10:00 am–6:00 pm
Aperture Gallery Address: 547 West 27th Street, 4th floor, New York, N.Y. 10001;
(212) 505-5555, www.aperture.org
Wafaa Bilal is an Iraqi-born artist and an Assistant Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He specializes in online performative and interactive works. His current project, the 3rdi, features a camera surgically implanted on the back of his head transmitting images to the web.
Melissa Harris is the Editor-in-Chief of Aperture magazine and also editor/curator of select special projects for the Aperture Foundation. She is also a Contributing Editor to Interview Magazine, and occasionally guest-curates, and writes for numerous arts publications.
Stephen Mayes has worked with photography, art and journalism for 25 years. He is currently Managing Director of VII Photo, representing some of the world’s leading photojournalists, and continues to maintain his assignment as co-Secretary to the World Press Photo competition. Stephen regularly writes and broadcasts on the ethics and realities of photographic practice.
Joel Meyerowitz is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in over 350 international exhibitions. He is a two-time Guggenheim fellow, a recipient of both NEA and NEH awards, as well as a recipient of the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis. He has published over fifteen books, including Cape Light (1978), Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks (Aperture, October 2009) and Aftermath: The World Trade Center Archive (2006). He lives in New York and is represented by Edwynn Houk Gallery.
Creator of What Matters Now? Fred Ritchin is the author of After Photography (W. W. Norton, 2009) and In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography (Aperture 1990/2010). He is professor of Photography & Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, as well as director of PixelPress, creating web sites, books and exhibitions investigating new documentary and promoting human rights. For the New York Times Ritchin created a multimedia version of the daily newspaper in 1994-95, and was nominated by them for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in 1997 for “Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace,” by Gilles Peress. He has curated numerous shows and writes the blog afterphotography.org.
Deborah Willis is a photographer, writer and curator. Willis is the Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has an affiliated appointment as a University Professor with the College of Arts and Sciences in Africana Studies. She has been named 2005 Guggenheim Fellow and Fletcher Fellow, 2000 MacArthur Fellow, and is the recipient of the 1996 Anonymous Was A Woman Foundation Award; the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography.
Rawiya is a photography collective founded by five female photographers from across the Middle East.
Rawiya presents an insider’s view of a region in flux balancing its contradictions while reflecting on social and political issues and stereotypes.
As a collective, Rawiya’s photographers respect the human dignity of the stories they tell, pooling resources and vision to produce in-depth photo-essays and long-term projects.
Rawiya, meaning “she who tells a story”, brings together the experiences and photographic styles of Tamara Abdul Hadi, Laura Boushnak, Tanya Habjouwa, Dalia Khamissy and Newsha Tavakolian.
Or click on a photo below to see that photographer’s website:
The possible contradictions of the war photograph now become apparent. It is generally assumed that its purpose is to awaken concern. The most extreme examples – as in McCullin’s work – show moments of agony in order to extort maximum concern. Such moments, whether photographed or not, are discontinuous with all other moments. They exist by themselves. But the reader who has been arrested by the photograph may tend to feel this discontinuity as his own personal moral inadequacy…
Read the rest of Berger’s “Photographs of Agony” here, along with a few other chapters from About Looking which you should buy if you don’t already own.
If you’re a photographer with a new body of work to show or if you’re a photography fan who has a new photo crush, you’re always welcome to submit it for posting on Aphotostudent. The majority of the posts on here for the past two years have showcased the work of world-renowned photographers. I’d like to devote more time to showcasing new work from emerging artists, but I need your help to do it.
Ways to reach me:
1: Feel free to email me at [email protected] but please write “aphotostudent submission” or something similar in the subject line so I don’t confuse it with the many requests for help I receive from Nigerian Royalty with millions of dollars stuck in limbo.
Please include a little bit about yourself and the body of work in the email. A bit of context always helps.
2: Head over to my Facebook page and post a comment on the most recent call for work.
Thank you in advance for any submissions you send. And, my apologies if I don’t reply to your submission right away. Sometimes emails stack up. It’s nothing personal.
I look forward to seeing lots of amazing work! – James Pomerantz
The Atlantic has a great selection of color photos of the United States during World War II. The photos were shot by Alfred Palmer and Howard Hollem for the Office of War Information – an agency created by Franklin Roosevelt. The Office of War Information which existed from June 1942 to September 1945 “coordinated the release of war news for domestic use, and, using posters and radio broadcasts, worked to promote patriotism, warned about foreign spies and attempted to recruit women into war work. The office also established an overseas branch which launched a large scale information and propaganda campaign abroad.”(Office of War Information at Wikipedia)