Libraryholic

One of the advantages of living in New York is the accessibility to art that you can reach anytime. Besides the galleries and museums there are fabulous art libraries where you have access to extraordinary archives.

Library_mapMoMA, Frick Collection, The Metropolitan, Brooklyn Museum and New York Public Library are some of the libraries that I am enjoying while doing my research for my essay about the international Thai artist Araya Rasdjamrearsook for my class “From Critique to Rehabilitation Documentary Today” .

MoMA

MoMA Library. Museum of Modern Art. New York

Membership to these libraries is free, and you also have access to an incredible electronic database. I can’t resist the pleasure of going these places and looking into their old publications. There is something special about reading in a location that contains so much art history.

library cards That’s something that you can certainly experience with the publications and the large collection of books of photography at ICP’s library. This is the largest space dedicated solely to photography that you can find in this 2.6 miles of art. And it is not only a library. This is a special space run by Deirdre, Liz, Matthew, Natalia and Bernard with more than 25.000 references. Don’t worry, they will help you find what you may (or may not know) you need. In additon, they organize photobooks exhibitions, talks, signings and events such as the Annual Benefit Book Sale coming up this weekend April 11-12. Over 2,000 rare, used, and new books are priced $1 and up. All proceeds support the ICP Library.

Bernard and Liz

Bernard and Liz. ICP Library. New York

Next weekend Saturday, April 18th, the International Center of Photography Library is also supporting 10×10’s Shashin Zine Fest. Organized by 10×10 Photobooks in association with Shashin: Photography from Japan, 10×10’s Shashin Zine Fest is an outgrowth of 10×10 Photobooks’ ongoing commitment to projects that bring together diverse photobook communities. 18-26 April 2015 at Resobox Gallery in LIC

For info about the ICP library you can check the catalogue here

“Party” by Cristina de Middel

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Cristina de Middel is a Spanish documentary photographer. To show the work she did in China, she decided to create a book that revisits the Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (widely known as the little red book). Similar to Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin‘s Holy Bible, she takes the book as is, with the original design and binding, and reproduces it with modifications. The intervention consists of erasing words with liquid paper to create new sentences; these new texts interact with photographs which are inserted between the pages in a different size and paper rather than printed over the text.

The book is a juxtaposition of Mao’s twisted words from the book that encapsulates the ideas that changed China to images of the actual present life of the country. The object is gorgeous and the images are magnificent; even the paper is seductive. As a book lover, I’m enticed by it; as an artists I’m repelled. The photographs, although beautiful, feel like they are taken by an outsider who is not really engaged with the people but rather making them exotic. As much as some spreads feel like she’s celebrating the Chinese population, others seem like she is making a judgment. I love how brilliant, funny and smart it is, but I question what it means for an outsider to make such a powerful statement about a political ideology so foreign to her.

NY Art Book Fair Preview

provoked.

Ame Curtiss

Ame Curtiss

Something Like Being Semi-Conscious, Ame Curtiss

Stephen Schuster

Kelly, Stephen Schuster

Kelly, Stephen Schuster

Time Of Your Life, Stephen Schuster

Time Of Your Life, Stephen Schuster

Alejandra Ugarte Bedwell (ICP-Bard 2010)

Finding Grandma Bear, Alejandra Ugarte Bedwell

Finding Grandma Bear, Alejandra Ugarte Bedwell

Finding Grandma Bear, Alejandra Ugarte Bedwell

Silence is a Virtual, Alejandra Ugarte Bedwell

Silence is a Virtual, Alejandra Ugarte Bedwell

 

Pierre Le Hors (ICP-Bard 2010)

RGB Transferences, Pierre Le Hors

RGB Transferences, Pierre Le Hors

RGB Transferences, Pierre Le Hors

 

Curtis Hamilton

Washington Roundabout, Curtis Hamilton

Washington Roundabout, Curtis Hamilton

Washington Roundabout, Curtis Hamilton

 

 

 

 

Inspirations: A Memoir of Disintegration

The following is an excerpt from Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration by David Wojnarowicz.   It’s what I’ve been reading.  Slowly.   Savoring as Nayland Blake would call it.  The text is my ‘Inspiration’ of the week and included are a couple of related photographs I shot and posted on my own blog:

“In the art world, photography is one of the most misunderstood mediums because the camera is accessible to almost everybody. A good portion of the population in america owns cameras. Last year Burger King was giving away a tiny plastic camera FREE WITH A PURCHASE OF TWO WHOPPERS. This camera was no larger than the roll of film that fit into it. After five rolls of film the camera fell apart. By that time you were conceivably hungry again and would go back to buy more Whoppers.

The nature of the camera’s mechanisms makes it possible to never take a “bad” photograph. You can always get something on film and if it is blurry and out of focus or “badly” lit you only have to claim INTENT and the art world will consider it. Photography is one of the most misunderstood mediums because no one can really explain in a rational way what makes a good or bad photograph other than the artist’s intent. This is why the art world will not throw billions of dollars at photography the way it has at painting; and that’s what makes it an exciting medium. You can do anything or everything you want and there is no precise criteria with which the art world can dismiss it or kill it.

I used to wonder where the urge to photograph came from. I mean, there are literally billions of photographs of the eiffel tower spread all over the world by tourists with cameras. I imagine people sleep better at night having there tiny proofs of the existence of the eiffel tower in boxes underneath their beds.”

-David Wojnarowicz