Graciela Iturbide wins Infinity Award

Speaking of Mexican female photographers, Graciela Iturbide was announced as the recipient of the Cornell Capa Lifetime Achievement at the Infinity Awards

These are all the other recipients of International Center of Photography’s Infinity Awards this year:
Art: Larry Fink
New Media: Question Bridge: Black Males (Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith, Kamal Sinclair & Jesse Williams)
Photojournalism: Tomas van Houtryve
Publication: The Notion of Family by LaToya Ruby Frazier
Trustee: The Lean In Collection, by Getty Images & LeanIn.Org
Young Photographer: Evgenia Arbugaeva
Special presentation to Mario Testino

Relief Starts Here

Interview with Laura A. González

Laura’s thesis show, We Are Pleased to Announce, references placeholders for displays and announcements, flattens the space with fluorescent lights -akin to the ones in which we find ourselves when at office spaces and subway stations alike- and recreates an empty waiting room, filled with flyers for psychic readings. She combines these extreme situations to create a somber and beautiful space that simultaneously instills peace, moments of pause and desolation.

I had the opportunity to talk with Laura about her solo show at ICP studios in Long Island City.

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Joseph Desler Costa: First off, where are you from?

 Laura A González: Excellent question! I’ve lived in New York for the past 7 years now. I came here after spending time in Paris studying photography and eating bread, and I got there because I left a program in Communications in Caracas, Venezuela, which is where I’m from. I lived in Seattle as a kid, and I still think of the green and blue crystal buildings downtown a lot, and the Space Needle, and a mall called “The Bon” which was just one big block of glass. At 17 I left Caracas again and studied in the UK for two years. I was left unsupervised. It was great! I still feel dumbstruck when I smell someone in New York that smells like one of my friends from school there. Now everyone is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I personally can be found in Greenpoint, Brooklyn now. (156 Freeman. Are you listening Capital One?)

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 JDC: How has living in NYC affected you, your process, and your work?

 LAG: Well, as mentioned above, I seem to be sniffing people a lot. Most of the times everyone’s cool about it.

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 JDC: Your show is coinciding with the arrival of spring. I personally am feeling positive after a long, long winter. Is your process at all affected or complimented by the weather?

LAG: Funny that you ask this, on the day of my final critique I jumped on the subway and –not unlike any other day– I scouted my iPod for the right tune(s). I have a lot of music and I work off songs, lyrics, and repetition a great deal. When I find the song I want (I prefer it when it comes from The Shuffle Fate) I listen to it on repeat, sometimes replaying a part many times before the song ends and starts again. Anyway, the day of my final critique –funny that you ask – the shuffle spouted a song that goes warm in the winter, sunny on the inside warm in the winter, sunny on the inside. I kept repeating it until I got to the studio, and it worked. I did feel warm in the winter and sunny on the inside.

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 JDC: What is your favorite color and why?

 LAG: Purple. I actually included the approximate wavelength of purple (380-420 nanometers) as a “phone number” in a flyer I made for my show; a flyer from the certified authenticated psychic Moira Harrison. Purple and I go way back. It was the color that most complimented my grandmother when she wore it, and somehow growing up, I was complimented every time I wore purple too. It relates to psychic practices and mysticism too, so it fits Moira Harrison well. I think of purple and I think of opals –my birthstone– and the number 5. I was born on October 5th, 1985 (10/05/85): all the numbers there are multiples of five. For some unreasonable reason, I have actually caught myself doing things, marking things, and choosing dates based on the number 5 or multiples of 5.

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 JDC: Are you afraid of anything?

 LAG: Well. When I was young, I had this “trick” or “game” I would play. I’d sit on the edge of my bed, and put my hand on my lap, look at it, and repeat over and over again “you know that hand is not there, it’s not real. It’s not there. Laura that’s not a hand. It’s not made of anything. This is not real and beyond real there’s blank.” I am unsure about how to explain it, but both my hands and the world around them seemed –still do– really unbelievable, and kind of made out of nothing to me. Back then, I knew where my breaking point was: I knew how it felt to actually start losing control of the situation, and wonder “shit I’m gonna lose it, I’m gonna to go crazy, and crazy is blank and once I’m blank I won’t even know it’s blank so I will never come back.” Anyways, when I felt that –that specific fear– I would jump off my bed, straight to the bathroom to wash my hands, because the activity of washing my hands made me think of –precisely– an activity or an action, and not just BLANK. I don’t do that anymore, but I still wash my hands often (maybe too much, they’re always dry). And I carry moist hand towelettes everywhere I go. Actually scratch that, that’s not true. But my boyfriend does because he knows I’m gonna need them. It’s like keeping crackers in your pocket for the friend you know who gets hangry (hungry, and angry).

Please visit www.lagonzalez.com to see more of Laura A. González

My dad & Capa

October 22nd is my dad’s birthday.

He was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on October 22nd 1954. Marco Antonio González, but everyone just calls him Marco, to not confuse him with my brother (who is named Marco Antonio as well).

October 22nd is also Robert Capa’s birthday.

He was born in Budapest, Hungary, on October 22nd 1913. Endre Friedmann, but everyone just calls him Robert Capa.

Happy birthday Pa, and happy birthday Robert Capa. I asked Magnum for two pics that I think you both would have loved,

xxx

Laura

Robert Capa © ICP/Magnum Photos GREAT BRITAIN. 1942. Royal Air Force firefighters wait for a damaged Blenheim bomber to land after its return from a bombing raid over Occupied France. The bomber lost one propeller and its landing gear when it came under heavy German anti-aircraft fire.

Robert Capa © ICP/Magnum Photos
GREAT BRITAIN. 1942. Royal Air Force firefighters wait for a damaged Blenheim bomber to land after its return from a bombing raid over Occupied France. The bomber lost one propeller and its landing gear when it came under heavy German anti-aircraft fire.

Robert Capa © ICP/Magnum Photos ATLANTIC OCEAN. 1941. A crewman plays with a dog on the bridge of a Cunard freighter that is part of an Allied convoy en route to Great Britain from the U.S. The ship is carrying seven airplanes, two torpedo boats, and twelve passengers who agreed to travel at their own risk. The captain and his crew are Norwegian and have crossed the Atlantic many times during the war.

Robert Capa © ICP/Magnum Photos
ATLANTIC OCEAN. 1941. A crewman plays with a dog on the bridge of a Cunard freighter that is part of an Allied convoy en route to Great Britain from the U.S. The ship is carrying seven airplanes, two torpedo boats, and twelve passengers who agreed to travel at their own risk. The captain and his crew are Norwegian and have crossed the Atlantic many times during the war.

(THE SHOW IS ON) The Other Foot

Video

Here’s a sneak peak of the show. Stop by this weekend!

ICP-Bard MFA Studios, 24–20 Jackson Avenue, 3rd Floor, Long Island City, Queens

Kathy Akey
Laura A. Gonzalez
Kasia Gumpert
Marina Leybishkis
Xavier Lujan
Emilie Lundstrom
Nina Mendez-Marti
Juana Romero
Aline Shkurovich
Kkory Trolio
Kim Weston
and featuring a recreation of Alison Knowles’ 1963 piece “Shoes of Your Choice”

The exhibition is on view during Open Studios on May 4–5 from 2pm to 6pm.

E and M trains to 23rd Street/Ely Avenue; G and 7 trains or the B61 bus to 45th Road/Court House Square.

Reflections upon Slidefest.

 
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Marvin Heiferman has been a great inspiration for all of us this semester. Slidefest has been a collaboration pushing and moving us as a class. We realized that being busy together we would agree much more on decisions and trust one another as colleagues. I feel we have improved in pure process. Each of us has our own unique qualities, others can learn from. My own work has developed during Slidefest and the group show: from at first being set on The Idea on interviewing everybody from ICP on how we today move between Mix Medias. How we do not neccessarily have to do photography to do a MFA. I would have liked to hear voices from everyone on that subject. But moving with the development of my own work I found that it was more relevant to ask myself these questions, digging deeper in my own process of creating. I ended up doing a 5 min.’s video on my current work, filming silkworms in their process from the creation of their cocoons, their transformation. Moving towards questions and ideas such as: how do we live today? – how do we move and how do we live ? How we follow patterns created by others and how we have let ourselves been placed in boxes.

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Instead of placing silkworms in my cell sculptures, I have placed people, almost as a nest of people. We move in sections and all of us are doing the same as animals. We eat- sleep-love-create-transform- build and die like silkworms.Slidefest has giving me a deeper insight of my own work. and made me ready for the summer and the next semester, allowing myself to let my work explore and be free in my process. That i’ts ok to shift and change plans to allow yourself to float with your inner stream, learn and transform.

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Family Business

In the summer of 1999 two teenage boys started a fire in an apartment building in the town of Holyoke, Massachusetts. The fire spread and destroyed an entire city block, including a 19th century Catholic church. The owner of the building was sued for 15 million dollars he did not have, and was forced to liquidate his other once successful but now failing business, a furniture and appliance store, the largest in western New England; and at 82 years old, became at risk of being put out on the street.

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The Artist Files

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This past weekend I was working on my bibliography and outline for my paper on the “Boston School” for David Deitcher’s class, From Critique to Rehabilitation: Documentary Today.  I collected books around the library and checked all the usual databases and online resources. I was coming up short on literature. Most of what I had found amounted to incestuous pandering from those who existed in or just outside of the frame of Nan Goldin’s camera. Not much critical heft there. I knew my paper would be speculative, but not without reference points!

The last place to look was the artist files. Running A to Z along the perimeter of ICP’s subterranean library is a vast archive of press releases, newspaper and magazine articles, exhibition announcements, and other ephemera from the careers of hundreds of photographers. A quick stroll: David Armstrong, check; Nan Goldin, check; Mark Morrisroe, check; Jack Pierson, check, check, check! Attendance is taken, the whole “Boston School” is present—some a bit lean, others meatier, but all accounted for.

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