Exhibition “Eminent Domain: Contemporary Photography and the City” at the NY Public Library through August 29

EMINENT DOMAIN: CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY and the CITY will be on view in the main floor exhibition space at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library (branch of the New York Public Libraries), 5th Avenue at 42nd Street in Manhattan, through the summer.

From the website:

“The exhibition Eminent Domain: Contemporary Photography and the City features the work of five contemporary New York–based photographers drawn primarily from new acquisitions in the Photography Collection. Thomas Holton’s The Lams of Ludlow Street is an empathetic account of one family’s daily life in Chinatown and a photographer’s personal quest to better understand his own heritage. Bettina Johae’s borough edges,nyc is a digital project exploring the edges of the city’s five boroughs, which the photographer physically traversed as a way of “remapping” the supposedly well-known city. In Window, Reiner Leist used a 19th-century camera to photograph the view from his 26th-floor apartment on Eighth Avenue overlooking downtown Manhattan. At different times on almost every day during the past decade, Leist captured a slice of Manhattan that includes One Penn Plaza, Madison Square Garden, and, until September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center towers. Over the same period of time, Zoe Leonard tracked changes and disappearances occurring on the Lower East Side as a result of the city’s economic transformation; her Analogue also serves as both elegy and homage to a long-standing tradition of documentary photography. In his series Untitled/This is just to say, Ethan Levitas photographs individual train cars and their passengers along the elevated lines of the New York City subway, capturing unexpected moments of connection and contradiction in the most obvious and overlooked of public spaces. Levitas’s project, like all of the works in Eminent Domain, deals with the life of the city in terms of passage (of seasons and time, people and place) and exchange (between individual and collective, interior and exterior). Turning on the nature of photography itself (which always complicates the relationship between private and public property), the works in the exhibition intersect and resonate with current concerns about the reorganization of urban space, and its public use, in New York City.

A publication accompanying the exhibition will include written meditations on these themes by the Bronx-born artist Glenn Ligon, who is known for his multi-media explorations of critical issues in contemporary culture. “


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