Friday, June 29, 2007

City May Seek Permit and Insurance for Public Photography

© Helen Levitt
What in the hell are they thinking? From the New York Times:
Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.

New rules being considered by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance.

The same requirements would apply to any group of five or more people who plan to use a tripod in a public location for more than 10 minutes, including the time it takes to set up the equipment.

Julianne Cho, assistant commissioner of the film office, said the rules were not intended to apply to families on vacation or amateur filmmakers or photographers.

Nevertheless, the New York Civil Liberties Union says the proposed rules, as strictly interpreted, could have that effect. The group also warns that the rules set the stage for selective and perhaps discriminatory enforcement by police.
New York City cops being selective and discriminatory? That would never happen. I suggest sending a strongly worded message to Katherine Oliver, the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, telling her you think this is an asinine idea.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hot Dog!

© Susana Raab
As I've mentioned before, I am a member of the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) and had dreams of joining the gurgitation circuit back in the day. So, you can imagine my shock when the reigning superstar of competitive eating, Takeru Kobayashi, recently announced on his blog that he'd injured his jaw while training for the Super Bowl of the sport, Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

A darkness fell over my world. Was Kobayashi mortal? Had the gods of cruel irony conspired to rob me of the opportunity to witness my hero defend his crown against upstart Joey "Jaws" Chestnut?

Hell no!

Just like Willis Reed, Kobayashi will be sucking it up and rising to the moment. Would you expect anything less from a champion?

Be sure to watch this footage of Kobayashi battling a grizzly bear for hot dog eating supremacy. This is perhaps the most surreal TV moment ever. Naturally, it was on Fox.

New Work from Pieter Hugo

Solomon Kholopha of St Martin’s Undertakers © Pieter Hugo
The folks at Michael Stevenson Gallery just notified me about Pieter Hugo's new series, Messina/Musina. Pieter is a prolific photographer and one of my favorites. I have one of his pieces hanging in my front room and everyday I fall in love with it all over again.

Pieter's new series documents a town on the northernmost border of South Africa. The town exist as a sort of wild west environment with all manner of sketchy opportunists sharing an uncomfortable existence in a frontier no man's land. Here's an excerpt from Pieter's statement:
Musina is the northern-most town in South Africa. It lies on the Limpopo River on the border of Zimbabwe. The town was formerly known as Messina, and in 2002 its name was changed to correct a colonial misspelling of the name of the Musina people who previously lived in the region.

Located in the heart of the bushveld with its hunting farms and diamond mine, on the major trucking route north, it attracts a conglomeration of disparate peoples. They are drawn to this town by the opportunities it offers, be it working in the mines or on the farms, policing the porous border, smuggling contraband and alien immigrants, or prostitution.

In his photographs of individuals, families, interiors, landscapes and incidental details, Hugo reflects on the wounds and scars of race, class and nationality that persist here, on the border of Zimbabwe, a country in the process of self-destructing. The circumstances of Musina can also be seen as broadly reflective of any community that is confronted by transition.
You can read more about the new work in an interview Pieter did with Joanna Lehan.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sarah Sudhoff in T'what?

© Sarah Sudhoff
I am a big fan of double entendres and the work of my good friend, Sarah Sudhoff. This looks like the perfect show for me.
Gallery NuLu
Louisville, Kentucky
Exhibition Dates: June 29-July 30
Opening Reception: June 29

A group photography show exploring the issues of femininity, womanhood, and gender. The three curatorial themes are focused on women’s roles, bodies, and power. There are works by 15 artists from Kentucky, New York, Missouri, Texas, and California.
If you are anywhere within 100 miles of Louisville--I'm looking at you Cincinnati and Indianapolis--you should make the trek to see this show.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Natural Disaster as Visual Metaphor

On Gallery Hopper, Todd Walker points to an award winning anti-smoking campaign that uses Robert Polidari's Katrina photos to make a visual metaphor to the body of a smoker. As Todd mentions, the whole idea of tragedy as art is off-putting to begin with, but this campaign takes it down a rung on the good taste-ladder.

The effectiveness of this campaign relies on the target audiences' lack of knowledge about the origin of the photos. They are merely photos of dirty and upturned homes, not controversial images from ground zero of the greatest natural disaster in the history of the US. In making the choice to compare the flood ravaged homes of the working poor to the body of smokers, the creatives made the choice to negate the experience of the individual homeowners and all the residents of the Gulf Coast affected by Katrina.

Don't get me wrong. Cigarettes are a major public health problem and I am a fan of innovative campaigns that manage to break through the clutter to address individual use and expose the evil nature of the industry. But, this campaign trades a disaster for a problem and in the process manages to devalue both.

Am I overreacting or does this rub you the wrong way, too?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Love Gifts in the Mail: Justin Visnesky

© Justin Visnesky
This is getting good. Another wonderful gift in the mail from a kind stranger. This time photographer, Justin Visnesky, sent me a book of his series Sometimes You Just Know. Thanks, Justin.

Keep 'em coming, people!

Battle Photo: Red Logo, White Wall, Sky!

© Keld Helmer-Petersen

© Andreas Gursky

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Viernes Gigante!

This Friday will henceforth be referred to as Viernes Gigante! Big Friday! A big opening in SoHo and a big closing in Chelsea and me without my roller skates to zip between the two.

First up, the opening for a great show with some top notch photographers curated by two fabulous people.

© Shen Wei
A New American Portrait
Curated by jen bekman + Jörg Colberg
Opening: Friday, June 22, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
jen bekman gallery
Featuring photographs by Christine Collins, Jen Davis, Benjamin Donaldson, Amy Elkins, Peter Haakon Thompson, Todd Hido, Alec Soth, Brian Ulrich, and Shen Wei
© Zoe Strauss
From there it's across town to Chelsea and Silverstein to celebrate the closing of If You Reading This with Philadelphia's third greatest export ever, Zoe Strauss. (Number one is the US Constitution and number two is Dr. J, naturally.)
Zoe Strauss: If You Reading This Closing Party
Silverstein Photography
Friday, June 22, 8:30 p.m.
Should be a great evening with great friends.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Don't Miss This Show

© Dan Halm
Dan Halm is a wonderful friend, a big sweetie, and has done more than just about anyone to help me get my career off the ground. He is also a fabulous artist and currently has a wonderful piece in the Jon Arsenault show, Filthy Gorgeous, at Clamp Art. The show closes this Saturday, so if you haven't seen it, do stop by.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Newly Released

© Dina Kantor
'Twas but a year ago I was scrambling to get my prints ready for the 2006 thesis show. Time does fly. The 2007 version of the School of Visual Arts MFA thesis show promises to deliver more hot photo talent.
2007 SVA MFA Thesis Show
Opening Reception: Tuesday, June 19, 6 - 8 p.m.
Visual Arts Gallery
601 West 26th Street, 15th floor
New York, NY
See you at the opening.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

School of Visual Arts MFA Football Rules!

Photo illustration by Suellen Parker for The New York Times
10 a.m. on a Saturday morning usually finds me stumbling to the front door with coffee in hand to pick up the Saturday edition of the New York Times. The ritual is that by now I have already read the headlines online, so the actual paper is more about looking at the photos in the New York Times Magazine.

This morning I was pleased to see Suellen Parker's work on the cover and a photo by Matthew Pillsbury displayed on the inside. Now, I'm not a big school spirit person—I never went to any of the SVA's football games or pep rallies—but I immediately welled up with something approximating pride. I thought to myself, Suellen and Matthew are from the same MFA year. At the SVA. How perfectly awesome is that? Our little school tucked away in the tiny hamlet of New Amsterdam continues to turn out the big time talent.

Hey Yalies! Where ya at?

© Robbie Cooper
Also in this week's NYT Magazine is a great portraiture series, Alter Ego, by Robbie Cooper that juxtaposes photos of gamers with their avatars. Robbie's take on the subject of online/offline duality reminded me a little of Stephen Miller's Internet & Identity series, only taken to the next level.

UPDATE: Interesting video piece of Suellen Parker discussing her process.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I Love Gifts in the Mail: Jason Polan

The other day I received a lovely package of goodies in the mail from artist, Jason Polan. Among the contents were two books of Jason's great drawings and this found photo of some elderly folks stranded on the side of the road in the mid-eighties. (I like to imagine they have "You Give Love a Bad Name" rockin' out of the Ford speakers as they change the tire.)

Sending me gifts in the mail is a fabulous precedent and I encourage others to follow Jason's lead.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Documenting Atrocity

Must read article in the latest edition of Washington Post Magazine detailing Amnesty International's use of high resolution satellite imagery to document the ongoing genocide in Darfur and eastern Chad.

You can read more about this innovative Amnesty project, see more stunning satellite evidence, and get the latest information about the ongoing genocide at Oh, and then do something, dammit!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Basque'ing in a Post Vacation Glow

We just returned to NYC yesterday after ten fabulously lazy days in Spain and the beautiful Basque Coast. I am happy to report that one can subsist on a steady diet of wine and ham for over a week without much incident. I will post some travel pictures later, but right now I am getting ready for the Road Trip show at Mixed Greens. I have a great idea for the presentation of the Stranded images and I am busy working out the details. More on that later.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Hola from Madrid

We just got to Madrid yesterday morning and hit the ground running with photo openings and delicious wines and cheeses. Most of the time when travel I suffer from serious jetlag that throws me off for most of the trip. This time I decided to take some Ambien to get my clock right, right off the bat. Voila! It´s like my husband says, America is great at two things these days: making bombs to blow things up and making pills to slow things down.

By the way, just got word that I was selected for the Critical Mass book prize and will have a monograph of my Domesticated work published some time in the next year or so. So awesome!

Alright. Off to my first Photo España review.
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