Archive for November, 2007

Dallas Soon: PDN On The Road This Monday/Tuesday!

I’ve had a very interesting but short trip to NYC, attending the launch of American Photography 23 (you can still view the 300+ images from last year’s AP22 by clicking here) and will catch exhibitions by friends Beth Dow (at jen bekman) and John Chervinsky and Alison Carey (at Peer) before I head out early tomorrow for our next stop on the PDN On The Road tour:

DALLAS. Photojournalist Ed Kashi will be joining us for the Multimedia segment, and Vincent Dixon will be our featured commercial photographer. If you haven’t heard yet about how much there is to learn at these seminars, you can read what participants have shared here. I hope to see many of you there!

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In/Out/Of: Photography, Performance, and Contemporary Art – You Didn’t Have To Be There” Panel in NYC Wednesday, November 14th

From the Aperture website:

“IN/OUT/OF: Photography, Performance, and Contemporary Art—You didn’t have to be there
Panel Discussion

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
7:00 p.m.

Free Admission

The New School, Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th Street
New York, New York
(212) 229-5353

RoseLee Goldberg, founder/director of PERFORMA, a non-profit interdisciplinary arts organization, is moderating this panel discussion with three internationally acclaimed performance artists: Marina Abramovic, a pioneer in the medium since the 1970s; Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft, who is best known for her “living pictures” of naked women and whose work is currently featured in a group show at PS1; and New York based photographer Babette Mangolte, renowned for her documentations of live performances. The panelists will explore photography that has been utilized in, performance, evolved out of performance, and has been of performance since the 1960s.

PERFORMA is a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Part of PERFORMA’s mission is to present a biennial of visual art performance in New York City that illuminates the critical role of performance in the history of art as well as its enormous significance in the international world of contemporary art. The PERFORMA05 biennial offered an exciting program of performances, exhibitions, symposia, and film screenings organized in collaboration with a consortium of leading museums, galleries, alternative spaces, and independent curators in New York. The first of its kind, PERFORMA05 was an enormous critical and popular success and set a new standard for the positioning of live performance in the international contemporary art world. Over 25,000 people attended sold-out and filled-to-capacity events at more than 20 venues across the city, activating and animating all of New York, from Harlem to Wall Street. PERFORMA was founded in 2004 by RoseLee Goldberg, founder/director of PERFORMA, a non-profit interdisciplinary arts organization, is moderating this panel discussion with three internationally acclaimed performance artists: Marina Abramovic, a pioneer in the medium since the 1970s; Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft, who is best known for her “living pictures” of naked women and whose work is currently featured in a group show at PS1; and New York based photographer Babette Mangolte, renowned for her documentations of live performances. The panelists will explore photography that has been utilized in performance, evolved out of performance, and has been of performance since the 1960s.

PERFORMA is a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Part of PERFORMA’s mission is to present a biennial of visual art performance in New York City that illuminates the critical role of performance in the history of art as well as its enormous significance in the international world of contemporary art. The PERFORMA05 biennial offered an exciting program of performances, exhibitions, symposia, and film screenings organized in collaboration with a consortium of leading museums, galleries, alternative spaces, and independent curators in New York. The first of its kind, PERFORMA05 was an enormous critical and popular success and set a new standard for the positioning of live performance in the international contemporary art world. Over 25,000 people attended sold-out and filled-to-capacity events at more than 20 venues across the city, activating and animating all of New York, from Harlem to Wall Street. PERFORMA was founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg. PERFORMA07, the second biennial of new visual art performance, will take place in New York City from October 27-November 20, 2007. http://www.performa-arts.org art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg. PERFORMA07, the second biennial of new visual art performance, will take place in New York City from October 27-November 20, 2007. www.performa-arts.org

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Yerba Buena “Arts and Culture Free 4 All” on November 10th

From a recent email from San Francisco Camerawork:
“Visit the Yerba Buena Neighborhood for the first-ever Arts and Culture Free 4 All when 12 cultural institutions, located within 3 blocks, are open for free on Saturday, November 10th from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.”

For more information visit www.yerbabuena.org/Free4all

Participating Institutions:
California Academy of Sciences
California Historical Society
Cartoon Art Museum
Contemporary Jewish Museum
GLBT Historical Society
Museum of the African Diaspora
Museum of Craft and Folk Art
SF Camerawork
SFMOMA
The Society of California Pioneers
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Zeum

The Yerba Buena Neighborhood is easily accessible by BART, MUNI, Golden Gate Transit, SamTrans, and Caltrain. Ample parking is also available.

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Andrea Robbins and Max Becher at the PRC in Boston, Thursday November 15

From the PRC Website:

“Andrea Robbins and Max Becher

Thursday, November 15, 7pm
BU’s Photonics Center, Auditorium 206, 8 St. Mary’s Street, Boston
$10 Members/$15 Non-Members/$5 Full-time Students/Free for Students of Institutional Members

This lecture is presented in affiliation with the New Center for Arts and Culture

A married couple, Andrea Robbins and Max Becher work individually as well as collaboratively using photography, film, video, and digital media, to create highly conceptual and critically acclaimed images. The primary focus of their work is, what they call, “the transportation of place” — situations in which one limited or isolated place strongly resembles another distant one. Whether the subject is Germany in Africa, Germans dressing as Native Americans, American towns dressed as Germany, New York in Las Vegas, New York in Cuba, or Cuba in exile, their interest tends to be a place out of place with its various causes and consequences. They will discuss examples of this work from their two recent books Transportation of Place and Brooklyn Abroad .

U.S. born Andrea Robbins and German Max Becher have exhibited their work at numerous prestigious organizations across the globe including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain, and New York; and the Jewish Museum, New York. They are represented by Sonnabend Gallery in New York and teach at the University of Florida.”

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Photographer Michel Tcherevkoff speaking Monday November 12th in Waltham, Massachusetts

CIPNE (Commercial Industrial Photographers of New England) are hosting photographer Michel Tcherevkoff on this coming Monday, November 12th.

From the CIPNE website:

Reality with a Twist
“Find the extraordinary in the ordinary and make others see it”

Michel Tcherevkoff

Monday, November 12th, 7-9 p.m.

Michel Tcherevkoff
Monday, November 12, 2007 (7pm–9pm)

One of the world’s preeminent conceptual photographers, Michel Tcherevkoff made a name for himself creating eye-catching visual metaphors for clients such as AT&T, FedEx, L’Oréal, and Maybelline.
Once Paris-born Michel graduated from law school and came to New York, his interests turned to photography. Fate landed him a job assisting legendary photographer, Pete Turner. That experience helped him develop his own signature way of seeing things and launched his successful 30-plus year career as an editorial and commercial photographer.

In this program you will discover how an upside down photo of a leaf in his studio led to his latest project, Shoe Fleur: A Footwear Fantasy, which has captured the imagination of a new generation of young designers and art directors. Michel will chronicle the genesis of the new book and detail the pitfalls and successes he experienced in the process of bringing it to bookshelves everywhere.
Follow the twisted trail as Michel also recounts his journey through the wild business of advertising and editorial photography. Learn how he continuously thrives in today’s marketplace by combining his imagination and technical virtuosity.

Silent Auction
During the program you can bid on a signed copy of Michel’s new book. Proceeds from the silent auction will benefit CIPNE’s educational activities.

NEW LOCATION!

Hilton Garden Inn
420 Totten Pond Rd.
Waltham, MA 02451

Registration & Networking: 6–7pm
Speaker: 7–9pm

Pre-registration is required for this program.

Cost: CIPNE Members – Free, Non-members – $5, Full-time Students – $5
Click here to register (Non-members may pay by Paypal)
Please note: on-line registration closes November 9th.”

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JEG EXHIBITION SUBMISSION DEADLINE EXTENDED to NOVEMBER 12th

This just in from Susan kae Grant:

“This message is to announce that the Deadline for the Joyce Elaine Grant National Juried Photography Exhibition has been Extended to November 12th.

This year’s Juror is Lisa Hostetler, Associate Curator of Photographs at the Milwaukee Art Museum. She came to Milwaukee after four years in the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and several prior years at the Howard Greenberg Gallery. She taught the History of Photography as an adjunct professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and she currently teaches courses in the history of photography and in museum studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.”

For a copy of the prospectus click on the link below:
http://myweb.twu.edu/~ashepler/JoyceElaineGrant/JEG_pg2.pdf

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2007 Individual Photographer’s Fellowship (IFP) from the Aaron Siskind Foundation: Deadline November 15

From the Aaron Siskind Foundation website:

2007 Individual Photographer’s Fellowship
Grant Information and Application Guidelines

Application Period: August 15 to November 15, 2007
Application Deadline: November 15, 2007 at 11:59 pm EST


General Information and Eligibility Requirements

The Aaron Siskind Foundation is offering a limited number of fellowship grants of up to $5,000 each for individual artists working in still photography and photography-based media. Grant recipients and award amounts will be determined by a review panel on the basis of accomplishment to date, and the promise of future achievement in the medium in its widest sense.

There are no restrictions on the subject matter or processes of past or projected work.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens whose primary residence is in the United States. Grant recipients must furnish proof of citizenship and a verifiable social security number.

Students who will be enrolled in a college degree program at any time during the 2008 calendar year are not eligible. Groups and institutions are not eligible. Works in non-photographic media and video/film are not eligible for submission.

Grant recipients will be notified prior to December 31, 2007. The names of grant recipients will be posted to the website by January 15, 2008.

The decisions of the Aaron Siskind Foundation and its designated judging panel as to who receives fellowship support and in what amounts will be final, private, and without appeal. As required by law, award funds must be used to further the artist’s creative endeavors. At the end of 2007, recipients will be required to provide a summary of the specific uses to which award funds were put. Funds will be personally taxable to recipients in Tax Year 2007.

Online Application Information

Internet access and a working email address are needed to apply using the CueRate online application system. You must apply online. Mailed applications are no longer being accepted. You may apply at any time between August 15, 2007 and the deadline on November 15, 2007 at 11:59 pm EST.

Once you have registered online, you can work on your application in multiple sessions, saving as you go, until you are ready to submit your completed application. A completed application consists of the following information and files:

Applicant Profile: Name and contact information

Work Samples: A portfolio of eight (8) image files showing representative works

Text descriptors for each image: Title, Year Completed, Medium, Dimensions

Career summary, resume or bio (1000 words maximum)

Optional: Statement of Plans for Future Work (1000 words maximum). If no statement is submitted, we assume that “to continue working” is an adequate description of your plans. You may also use this space to provide explanatory or supporting information about your work.

About your Images

Exactly eight (8) images must be submitted, no more and no less.

All images must be formatted as .jpg files. The maximum file size for uploading is 2 MB. Image size can be no larger than 1240 x 1240 pixels, but it can be less than 1240 x 1240 (a smaller image will be shown against a 1240 x1240 black background). Images should be 72 DPI, any higher will unnecessarily increase your file size. File names may only include characters: a-z, 0-9 and _ are allowed. The system will not accept filenames with blank spaces.

If your work is best communicated visually by showing its physical or installed nature, or aspects of detail, use one or more of the eight images for that purpose.

With regard to the order of your images, please consider that they will be projected for the jury in groups of 4 (Images # 1-4 followed by Images # 5-8).

Problems and Questions

If you experience a technical (software) problem, use the “Report a Bug” link at the top of the online application to report the problem to technical staff. If you have a question about the application process, click on the Help link at the top of the page for some common questions and answers. If you have additional questions, you can email an administrator. First, click “Save Your Work” on the page you are working on. Then go to the Main Menu and click on the black “Email” button. Your default email program should open with a contact email address.

Link to online application:

http://asf.cuerate.org

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This Is DYA: A Do It Yourself Panel Discussion SVA, November 15

This is DIY: A Do It Yourself Panel Discussion
School of Visual Arts, New York City

Thursday, November 15, 7pm

From the press release:
“YouTube and Flickr are just two of the latest incarnations of the Do It Yourself ethic, which has shaken up markets and created new communities. Arts and media leaders at the forefront offer some perspective: Vanessa Bertozzi, editor in chief and director of communications, Etsy, the online retailer of handmade goods; Steve Englander, director, ABC No Rio a community-based arts center; David Reinfurt/Stuart Bailey of Dexter Sinister: Just-in-Time Workshop & Occasional Bookstore; and John Strausbaugh, a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post and Cabinet.

Moderated by SVA students Michaela Murphy and Tarah Rhoda; organized by faculty member Amy Wilson.
Sponsored by the Honors Program at School of the Visual Arts.

SVA Amphitheater
209 East 23rd Street, 3rd floor
Free and open to the public.

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November issue of The Digital Journalist is ONLINE NOW

From Dirck Halstead, founder, editor and publisher of The Digital Journalist:

“Over the course of his career, photographer Steve Schapiro has been privileged to turn his lens onto some of the great figures of contemporary American history. Later this month, his new book “Schapiro’s Heroes” arrives in bookstores. It is an affectionate and compelling in-depth look at Martin Luther King Jr., Truman Capote, Robert F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, James Baldwin, Barbra Streisand, Samuel Beckett and Ray Charles. These are “heroes” in Schapiro’s view, who shaped our history and culture in the last half of the 20th century. Our David Friend introduces our cover feature.

Meanwhile, in our second feature, Les Stone has documented the mysterious world of voodoo in Haiti. Over countless trips, Les was admitted into a bizarre culture that has rarely been photographed. PF Bentley has provided a video documentary on Les’ “Voodoo” work.

In November four Dispatches look at current events: Sandy Huffaker and Sean Masterson take us into the flames and acrid smoke of the California wildfires; Paul Taggart was on the scene before and after the suicide explosion that rocked Karachi, Pakistan, when Benazir Bhutto returned from exile. In addition, he presents a down-to-earth look at the life of a photojournalist. And Will Baxter ducked bullets and sheltered with residents while covering the recent aborted freedom marches of Buddhist monks in Burma (Myanmar).

Managing Editor Ron Steinman recently attended the annual conference of the Online News Association in Toronto. He reports on what Web editors are discussing as new technology continues to revolutionize the way we receive information.

Ron, who was a senior producer for both NBC and ABC before he came to The Digital Journalist, has been watching CNN’s “Situation Room” on his iPod – a program that he says makes him “dizzy.” In his monthly column, Ron examines the trend in TV news to “break” news — any news as long as it seems fresh — before anyone at CNN or elsewhere understands what it is.

In their Ethics column, Mark Doremus and Karen Slattery report on the escalating conflict of interest between editorial and advertising. In a recent memo leaked to the Memphis Flyer, the editor of The Commercial Appeal, Chris Peck, and the VP of Sales and Strategic Planning, Rob Jiranek, told The Commercial Appeal employees that the traditional firewall between the news, advertising and circulation departments was no longer necessary in the “new world” of media economics. They observed that news, marketing and advertising departments needed to “work cooperatively to develop products that can generate revenue.” Employees at the Memphis newspaper revolted against the decision, and it was rescinded, but this disturbing incident sounds a cautionary note to everyone in journalism.

Last month, photographer Ernest C. Withers, a pioneering figure in documenting black culture, died at the age of 86 in his native Memphis. Eric Meola writes a moving tribute to a man he considered one of his own “heroes.”

In spite of the fact that most photojournalists now have moved from film to digital, the video industry in prosumer cameras has been locked into their equivalent of film – tape – despite the move to High Definition. Last month Sony broke away from the pack with the first flash card, hard-drive acquisition system with their new camera, the Sony XDCAM tapeless camcorder. Nigel Cooper reviews the camera in our Camera Corner.

E-Bits editor Beverly Spicer has a passion for the subject of perception. She presents an interesting test to determine which side of your brain dominates, the right or the left. She discusses the workings of the different hemispheres of the brain and how they relate to photography. Lastly, for fun, she presents a two-minute video that promises to take us on a hallucinogenic trip through our own eyes.

Eileen Douglas returns to the November Assignment Sheet with another well thought out journal, “A Reporter’s Life: Good News, Bad News.” The veteran journalist talks about how a “good” news story is usually some person’s or persons’ “bad” news. As she says, “Working in news, in fact, even if one knows the value of his or her work, is more often than not ‘making money at the other man’s skin.'” Assignment Sheet editor Dick Kraus asks, “How many times do you have to click the shutter before you know that you have THE shot, that elusive ‘Magic Moment’?” His “Through a Lens Dimly” journal is called “Click.”

Our regular columnists, Bill Pierce, Mark Loundy, Terry Heaton, PF Bentley and Chuck Westfall are all at their posts again this month, enlightening and entertaining us as usual.

And finally, once again this year, Dan Havlik gives us a tour of the recent “PhotoPlus Expo” show in New York City, and reports on all the “cool” new products discovered at the exhibition.

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue. Please pass on the word to your friends and colleagues.

Dirck Halstead
Editor and Publisher”

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AD | AGENCY Exhibition at PRC, Boston; Opening Reception November 8th

From the PRC website:

“This group exhibition brings together photo-based work that mimics or addresses the language of advertising and product photography as well as work that mines or alters catalogues, print ads, products, stores, or literally the consumer process itself. International, national, and regional artists include Kate Bingaman-Burt, Dean Kessmann, Jonathan Lewis, Michael Mittelman, Diana Shearwood, Matt Siber, Hank Willis Thomas, Brian Ulrich, and Penelope Umbrico.

Below you will find an essay on AD | AGENCY—including images and links—information on an exciting educational panel co-presented with The Ad Club and AIGA/Boston on January 17, 2008, and a related exhibition at Montserrat College.

EXHIBITION ESSAY:

From the December 2007 – February 2008 PRC newsletter, in the loupe
By Leslie K. Brown, PRC Curator

The PRC group exhibition AD | AGENCY brings together photo-based work that mimics or addresses the language of advertising and product photography as well as work that mines or alters catalogues, print ads, products, stores, or literally the consumer process itself. Addressing a spectrum of consumerism issues, the work investigates the life of and power behind the objects, signs, and symbols that are marketed to us and the cycle of consumption—from branding to purchase and beyond. The artists of AD | AGENCY take an active role by borrowing the trappings of advertising and promotion—the look, language, method, and sometimes even manufacturing and marketing avenues—in an effort to initiate an aesthetic and intellectual dialogue about this system of which we are all a part. In order to comment upon such issues, the AD | AGENCY artists appropriately employ such conceptual and aesthetic strategies as appropriation, erasure, or mechanical means of production. Situated somewhere between Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp, many of these artists also address issues of consumer culture aesthetically via pleasing compositions as well as emphasis on the “ready-made” object itself. The exhibition concentrates on artworks that feature products over people; just like in advertising, the consumer/viewer is implied.

A caveat: many AD | AGENCY artists—while duly asking us to consider our position as cogs in the global schema of consumption—are quick to remind us that they are not completely condemning of consumer culture. Although they do act as agents of political and social change, most assume agency by holding up a mirror to consumerism as well as their own habits and roles. (Of course, it goes without saying that all of these artworks are for sale.) Quoting a few of the artists will serve to illustrate this fine line that they and this exhibition seeks to walk. In his series “Copia,” Brian Ulrich acknowledges his own role in work that “explores not only the everyday activities of shopping, but the economic, cultural, social, and political implications of commercialism and the roles we play in self-destruction, over-consumption, and as targets of marketing and advertising.” Finally, Kate Bingaman-Burt perhaps puts it best in describing her self-created brand: “Obsessive Consumption is repulsed and grossly fascinated by the branding of consumer culture…It wants to eat the entire bag of candy and enjoy the sickness that it feels an hour later. It doesn’t want to be an outside critical observer. It wants to be an active participant.” Correspondingly, AD | AGENCY seeks to do the same.

ABOUT THE ART AND ARTISTS IN THE EXHIBITION:

Kate Bingaman-Burt (Starkville, MS)
After working as designer and art director for a gifts company , Kate Bingaman-Burt created “Obsessive Consumption”—a brand, company, website, and artistic endeavor. She hand draws her credit card statements (and will do so until they are paid off), draws an item she purchases everyday, and photographed her purchases for two years. On display in the PRC gallery is the latter Herculean effort, which includes some of her favorite purchase photos from 2002–2004 paired with a photograph of the same object in situ made in 2007. Bingaman-Burt holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and teaches at Mississippi State University. Featured in diverse media outlets, publications, and venues, she was a 2006 jen bekman Hey Hot Shot! Winner/Ne Plus Ultra and had her solo debut at the gallery this past fall.

Jonathan Lewis (London, UK)

Jonathan Lewis looks to the trimmings and wrappings of packaging and stores. Known for his abstract line prints derived from candy wrappers featured in Blindspot, Lewis turns to photographing the interiors of European “big box” stores with a low megapixel camera in his newest series “WalmArt.” After pulling the images into Photoshop, he further abstracts the composition by pixelating it; the result emphasizes a pattern of product placement and the overall look recalls Pop Art. Collected and shown internationally, Lewis marries an interest in simplifying and contemplating the essence of things, with a distinct dose of humor. A former artist in residence at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY, Lewis now resides in his native United Kingdom and is represented by the Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York.

Michael Mittelman (Boston, MA)
Holding an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art + Design’s Studio for Interrelated Media, Michael Mittelman is a practicing artist and Founder/ Director of the new media magazine, ASPECT. In his “SkyMall” series, Mittelman returns to his photographic roots. Finding himself traveling a great deal, he bought objects d’art from a SkyMall catalogue . He then took a photograph of the purchased item and had a company (also found in SkyMall ) convert the image into a digital canvas—completing a consumer cycle within a closed and mostly mechanical system. Mittelman’s works reference Duchamp’s readymades and the Warholian “Factory,” weaving ideas and modes of mass and artistic production together with kitsch and humor. A member of the Collision Collective, Mittelman was featured most recently in the MIT List Visual Art Center’s exhibition Son et Lumière.

Diana Shearwood (Montreal, Canada)
Canadian photographer Diana Shearwood has been documenting our food landscape in her series “Behind the Mall.” Inspired in part by what she has called Martin Parr’s “humorous yet damning explorations of global culture,” Shearwood is drawn specifically to the practice of vehicle wrapping. This work is currently featured in a solo show at the Silver Eye Center for Photography and has recently been published in the FOOD book, co-published by Alphabet City, Toronto, and MIT Press (2007). Three of Shearwood’s seductive images of advertising will be installed in the PRC’s storefront windows using the same perforated vinyl that wraps vehicles (the PRC is on a major commercial artery itself). Her series questions ideas of advertising by relocating commercial photographs; it also begins a dialogue about mass production and “food miles,” the amount of miles that food travels from its origin to our plates.

Matt Siber (Chicago, IL)
An MFA graduate of Columbia College, Matt Siber grew up in Brookline, MA and also holds a degree in History and Geography from the University of Vermont. In his series “The Untitled Project,” Siber creates diptychs that remind us of the ad-laden environment in which we live. In one panel we are presented with a scene from which all logos and text have been digitally removed; in the adjoining panel, the logos and text are placed on a white background in the approximate area from whence they came. In the other series “Compare to..,” he photographed images of “generic” products that mimic brand names in look—from fonts to phrasing, to even the shape of the bottle. These vibrant images, a la Warhol’s soup cans, underscore the power of branding and play off of the palette as well as the look of product photography. Represented by galleries in Spain and Germany , Siber has been shown internationally and is a recipient of an Aaron Siskind Foundation grant.

Hank Willis Thomas (New York, NY)
One of Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies 25 Under 25: New American Photographers, Hank Willis Thomas holds an MFA in photography and an MA in Visual Criticism from California College of the Arts. In his series “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America 1968-2008,” Thomas appropriated and digitally manipulated “magazine advertisements that are marketed towards an African American audience or feature Black subjects.” The resulting “unbranded” images, complete with a combination of his wording and the wording of the ads, Thomas hopes will expose generalizations within advertisements. The series includes two ads from every year from 1968-2008. A comparison of early ads with contemporary ads, Thomas believes, shows the evolution of Roland Barthes’s phrase “what-goes-without-saying.” Currently an artist in residence at California’s Headlands Center for the Arts, Thomas is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.

Brian Ulrich (Chicago, IL)
Holding an MFA from Columbia College, Brian Ulrich had his first monograph published in 2006 by Aperture as part of the MP3: Midwest Photographers Project and was named one of Photo District News magazine’s “ 30 Emerging Photographers ” in 2007. In his series “Copia,” which is subdivided into Retail, Thift, and Backrooms, Ulrich has been documenting the inside of stores, items of consumption, and consumers. Considering notions of “social class, excess, and corporate ideologies,” Ulrich began this series after 9/11, when we were urged to spend patriotically to help the U.S. economy and combat terrorism. The works on display in the PRC showcase the spectrum of commercial outlets—from new American flag chairs in a carnivorous outdoor-themed store to a re-purposed store turned outlet dubbed “Blanket World.” Actively exhibited and collected, Ulrich is represented by Julie Saul Gallery in New York.

Penelope Umbrico (New York, NY)
An MFA graduate from the School of Visual Arts, Penelope Umbrico is the Chair of the MFA Photography program at Bard College. In her series “Mirrors (from Catalogs),” images of mirrors from home improvement catalogues are found, scanned, perspectively corrected, and then printed at the size of the original mirror and face-mounted to laser cut plexi. The final pieces imply the perfect, erased consumer and the idealized, somewhat unrealistic home. In another series, “Instances of Books as Pedestals (Some Extreme),” Umbrico gathered images of stacked books from catalogues, such as Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. Interestingly, the stacks are often comprised of art books upon which are placed wine glasses and mugs. Shown and collected extensively and on the web via Rhizome and Ubu Web, Umbrico is represented locally by Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA.

RELATED EXHIBITION:
The Montserrat College of Art Gallery is presenting an exhibition, Cornucopia: Documentation of Plenty (November 9, 2007 – February 2, 2008), which includes Ulrich, and we are working to cross-promote these consumer-related photography shows.

Brian Ulrich will speak at Montserrat on November 29 (8-10pm) and 30 (11:30am).

Leslie K. Brown will give a guest lecture at Montserrat on November 14 (11:30am).


PANEL DISCUSSION:

“Finding the New Creative”: Convergences in Fine Art and Commercial Photography
Thursday, January 17, 2008, 6pm
FREE, Location and panelists to be announced; Reception at the PRC to follow. This program is co-presented with The Ad Club and AIGA/Boston.

This panel will explore the shifting and dissolving boundary between fine art and commercial photography, as commercial clients strive for a unique “vision” to associate with their products. This is a must for all photographers looking to expand their client base as well as all designers and art and creative directors seeking new approaches for their creative material. More information will be posted soon!”

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