Emile – Blog takeover #5 This Place

This Place at the Brooklyn Museum just opened… A good plan for your weekend!

“This Place explores the complexity of Israel and the West Bank, as place and metaphor, through the eyes of twelve internationally acclaimed photographers.

Featuring more than 600 photographs by Frédéric Brenner, Wendy Ewald, Martin Kollar, Josef Koudelka, Jungjin Lee, Gilles Peress, Fazal Sheikh, Stephen Shore, Rosalind Fox Solomon, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall, and Nick Waplington, This Place offers not a single, monolithic vision, but rather an intricate and fragmented portrait, alive to all the rifts and paradoxes of this important and much contested place.



Between 2009 and 2012, the twelve artists spent extended periods in Israel and the West Bank, free to approach their subjects as they chose. They travelled throughout the region and engaged with a remarkable variety of individuals and communities. While the exhibition presents twelve distinct perspectives, several key themes emerged, such as family, identity, home, and landscape and the environment. At the same time, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is impossible to ignore and leaves its mark on many of the images, often in ways that are not immediately apparent.

The exhibition challenges viewers to go beyond the polarizing narratives and familiar images of the region found in mainstream media. The result is a deeply humanistic and nuanced examination that reminds us of the place of art, not as an illustration of conflict, but as a platform for raising questions and engaging viewers in a conversation.

An illustrated catalogue, published by MACK, accompanies the exhibition.”


Emile – Blog takeover #4 Ugo Mulas

If you happen to be in Paris, the foundation Henri Cartier Bresson currently has a great exhibition of the work of Ugo Mulas. The show will be running until April 24, 2016.

“Ugo Mulas (1928-1973) was a major figure of twentieth century Italian photography. Nevertheless, his work remains little known. This solo exhibition is the first of its kind and pays homage to this great observer and interpreter of the novelty that appeared in the art world in Italy and in the United States in the 1960s. It brings together, for the most part, the photographs selected by Mulas for publication in La Fotografia (Einaudi, 1973), his last, now mythical, book, an essential testimony of his work and his reflections.”



Emile – Blog takeover #3 David Deitcher Stone’s Throw

Our professor David Deitcher just recently launched his latest book, Stone’s Throw. Published by Secretary Press: “this multi-layered text describes the social, political and personal context that framed the emergence of one of the most critically acclaimed artists of the late-20th century, Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Stone’s Throw attests to the importance of relationships forged throughout the most challenging years of the North American AIDS crisis, as Deitcher recounts his friendships with Gonzalez-Torres, with the activist curator Bill Olander, and the milieu to which they belonged.”




Born in Montreal, Canada, David Deitcher is a writer, art historian, and critic whose essays have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Parkett, the Village Voice, and other periodicals, as well as in numerous anthologies and monographs on such artists as Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Isaac Julien, and Wolfgang Tillmans. He is the author of Dear Friends: American Photographs of Men Together, 1840-1918 (Abrams, 2001) and curator of its accompanying exhibition at the International Center of Photography in New York. Since 2003, he has been core faculty at the International Center of Photography/Bard College Program in Advanced Photographic Studies. He lives in New York City.

David Deitcher will be in conversation with Nayland Blake this evening @7pm at the ICP school (1114 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036). See you there…

Emile – Blog takeover #2 Bartleby Review

Today I thought I’d post a review I wrote almost a year ago about a work by my good friend Isaac Thomas. The review was published in Bartleby Review, a free and occasional leaflet of criticism and other writing published in Vanoucver, Canada, edited by Steffanie Ling. Last October the second book collecting issues 21-40 was published. Here is a link to Bartleby Review’s website. Have a look!




Awkwardly located high on the narrow wall facing the front entrance of Gallery 295, the 4 x 6 ft lightbox project space exhibits a rotation of transparencies presented independently of the gallery’s program- ming. For the most part, the works presented here have avoided dealing with the local and influential legacy of that particular mode of presentation through a variety of subterfuges. From the wide array of abstract looking images to the numerous colorful arrangements of squiggles, without forgetting the occasional anecdotal play on the devices’ nature, featured artists have forgone, or abstained from, the inevitable implications of the backlit frame. In this context of willful amnesia, Isaac Thomas’s Sara’s Bat Mitzvah (2015) could mark a turning point in the short history of 295’s lightbox project space.

Resulting from Thomas’s meticulous arrangement, the large format colour photograph is purposefully deployed to overtly recall the compositional methods associated with the “Vancouver School”. Using a large format camera incongruously placed inside a car, the picture shows a man in formal costume standing on high stilts by the side of the road. The man is festively waving his white-gloved hand at the driver in a greeting manner, meanwhile holding a large flashy arrow indicating the direction to “Sara’s Bat Mitzvah”. The unexpected nature of the scene is enhanced by the banal suburban landscape pictured on a bright sunny day. Here, the grass is green, the sky is blue, and the man waving his hand harbors a large smiling face in what appears to be a picture perfect scene. One could linger on deciphering the religious connotations of the event announced by the displayed sign, but what is most striking in Thomas’s photograph remains its composition, which renders the reading of this announcement more complex than merely giving directions to Sara’s coming of age.

The sum of all peripheral and central elements of the composition makes for a photograph in which past, present, and future times are collapsed within the contained space of the picture.The rearview reflection situated at the top right of the picture seems to evoke an idea of the past, whereas the man waving his hand in front of us stands as a marker to announce the event currently unfolding. In the meantime, the two lignes de fuites of the picture, present in the form of a yellow painted line on the road guiding the eye to the right edge of the plane, and a passing airplane on the top left corner, guiding the eye to the other side of the frame, seem to suggest an unknown future; an indefinite elsewhere. This dynamic composition, while making more believable and ambiguous the carefullyarranged photograph, simultaneously operates a discrete yet significant synthesis. By combining large format photography along with the simulation of a snapshot taken from a moving car, Thomas visually encapsulates the conceptual origins of the artists infamously linked to the “return” of pictorial forms in picture making. Wall’s 1969 Landscape Manual comes as a self-evident reference that is further reaffirmed through the presence of a comparable early photograph by Ian Wallace, Untitled, 1970/1995, recently on display at Catriona Jeffries, located across the street from 295. Lucky coincidence!

When contextualized within the rest of Thomas’s work, Sara’s Bat Mitzvah seems to constitute a punctual and rigorously contemporary response to the intricate context of 295’s project space. One could almost use the convoluted word homage to describe this piece which indeed asserts Thomas as one of the few young artists experimenting with photography in Vancouver today, who does not succumb to the prevalent angst towards traditions.

Emile Rubino



Emile – Blog takeover #1 Ian Wallace


Hi everyone, my name is Emile Rubino (1st year MFA) and I will be taking over the blog for this week.


Camera/Editor: Rolf Versteegh

To start off, I thought I’d share this short documentary video on Ian Wallace that I watched for the second time yesterday. I think it is worth watching and gives some good insights into his work..


Bonus for Day 5

This is one of my favorite films of all time…

Danse Serpentine by the Lumière Brothers (Auguste and Louis) (1896)

Courtesy of Ubu

The Serpentine is an evolution of the skirt dance, a form of burlesque that had recently arrived in the United States from England. Skirt dancing was itself a reaction against academic forms of ballet, incorporating tamed-down versions of folk and popular dances like the can-can. The new dance was originated by Loïe Fuller, who gave varying accounts of how she developed it.

The Serpentine Dance was a frequent subject of early motion pictures, as it highlighted the new medium’s ability to portray movement and light. Two particularly well-known versions were Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1894) (shown below), a performance by Broadway dancer Annabelle Whitford from Edison Studios, and a Lumière brothers film made in 1896 (shown above).

-Nechama Winston

Sources within part 2, day 5

Graciela Iturbide – my other anchor.

Some of my favorite pieces:

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México, 1979, Desierto de Sonora

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México, 1979, Desierto de Sonora

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Ostia, Italia, 2008

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Juchitán, México, 1984, Iguanas

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Chalma, Estado de México / Chalma, State of Mexico, 1984, First Communion

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Juchitán, México, 1987, Bull Woman

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Juchitán, México, 1984, Rest

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Juchitán, México, 1988, Cemetery

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Juchitán, México, 1986, El Rapto/The Abduction

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Pájaros, Sin Titulo

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Pájaros 9

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Pájaros 12

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Coyoacán, Ciudad de México, 2006, Frida’s bathroom

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Ojos para volar? Coyoacan Mexico 1991

Here is also a great short film produced by ART21.

SHORT: Graciela Iturbide: Photographing Mexico, From the series “Exclusive”

-Nechama Winston