House of Pictures @ VSW

For two weeks, from April 15th-29th, MAGNUM photographers Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Paolo Pellegrin, Alec Soth, Bruce Gilden, Martin Parr, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Larry Towell, Alex Webb, Donovan Wylie, and Chien-Chi Chang were here in Rochester, NY to photograph and exhibit new work in the hometown of Kodak for their project House of Pictures.

Above are photos from House of Pictures which was installed in the auditorium at Visual Studies Workshop which also served as the home base for the project. It’s been really quiet the last few days now that they’re gone!

Over the two weeks they were here it was interesting to watch the materials accumulate in the auditorium. For me, I kept watching and waiting for the team of photographers to show the beauty of Rochester, NY. Generally, they all tended to focus on the dark side. Now, I know coming in they had their own agenda and their own photographic interests. I know for a fact certain photographers had tunnel vision and wouldn’t take a single photograph unless it was something they were specifically looking for. How do you accurately portray a city if you don’t allow yourself to truly experience it? I realize this is a very generalized statement. There were, of course, some very lovely photographs taken here in the city. LOTS of portraits!

An interesting aspect of the display of House of Pictures were the tables spread out covered in brown paper. They wanted to know what the audience thought of the project and invited a written response. They also asked, “What did we miss??” and “What do you want from a picture?” – both questions receiving a range of responses.

It most certainly was an experience having them here!

read more of my posts about Magnum’s House of Pictures project here, here, here, here, and here!

Magnum at RIT

Last night I drove out to my alma mater, RIT, to attend a lecture by nine* Magnum photographers that are in town for the House of Pictures project I posted about earlier this week. This lecture was part of the Charles Arnold Lecture Series. The auditorium was PACKED (free event!).

Each photographer shared their work – some spoke better than others.

The highlight for me was Alec Soth sharing the treehouse-cave sculpture (seen above) that a friend had made him. This amuses me to no end. He was talking about Broken Manual and his desire to run away; his search for the perfect cave to hide in; the perfect treehouse to sleep in. I am very familiar with Soth’s work, and after hearing him speak at the Everson Museum of Art this past fall, I was already familiar with the story behind this project. Hell, my favorite photograph of Soth’s is from Broken Manual! Anyways, the treehouse-cave sculpture was an unexpected surprise – and really the only surprise of the night.

Overall, I’m glad I attended. Honestly, when is the next time I’ll be in a room with so many Magnum photographers? Oh wait, next week!** Magnum Sees Rochester: Panel Discussion and Book Signing is on April 28th in Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House.

*the 10th photographer, Alex Webb, was unable to attend
** actually, I’m still debating on whether or not I’m trying to escape that weekend


For the next two weeks MAGNUM photographers Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Paolo Pellegrin, Alec Soth, Bruce Gilden, Martin Parr, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Larry Towell, Alex Webb, Donovan Wylie, and Chien-Chi Chang will be here in Rochester, NY to photograph and exhibit new work in the hometown of Kodak for their project House of Pictures.

Visual Studies Workshop is the home base of the project so you can only imagine how CRAZY it has been around here these last few weeks preparing for the arrival of this group. Part of the preparation has been setting up the ARTBOOK Store! You can check out the Recommended Titles for the Magnum House of Pictures online. If you’re in the area, come by VSW and SHOP! We’d love to see you!

You can read more about the project in a recent article on Democrat and Chronicle: Fresh eyes focus on Rochester life: International photographers roam city to create portrait.

I will share more information throughout the next two weeks as events unfold!

image from Little Brown Miscellanea

Photographs Not Taken

I just ordered Photographs Not Taken: A Collection of Photographers’ Essays published by Daylight Magazine. “Editor Will Steacy asked each photographer to abandon the camera and, instead, use words to recreate the image that never made it through their lens.” Over seventy photographers contributed!

Personally I’m excited to read essays by Roger Ballen, Amy Elkins, Gregory Halpern, Todd Hido, Shane Lavalette, Alec Soth, Amy Stein, and Brian Ulrich. Check out Daylight to see the full list of contributors.

Interesting concept right? I can also imagine it being a nice exercise, maybe I will try it tomorrow!

image from Daylight Magazine website


Before I jump right into 2012 I wanted to take a pause and reflect back on 2011. It wasn’t until I started going through the posts from my old blog that it really hit me – damn, I had a pretty incredible year. The last couple of months, around the holidays, are always terribly stressful for me so this was a lot of fun to focus on the GOOD. Here is a list of highlights, but really, you could just re-read my old blog, because 2011 was pretty awesome. Thanks for reading!

> I became a member of the union Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA)!!

> I attended a talk by Todd Hido over at GEH and he signed my copy of his book A Road Divided.

> I went to a screening and Skype-talk with Bill Viola!

> I went to a couple of outdoor screenings. Hot dogs and old movies? Yes, please.

> I watched an artist knock himself out for his art.

> I played BINGO with a bunny and watched films on the side of a bus.

> I really enjoyed learning from and working with Jen Bervin and Jason Fulford.

> I attended the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference. Learned a lot.

> I enjoyed browsing the The NY Art Book Fair.

> I wish I could have spent more time at the Mary Shelley Facsimile Library. Love.

> I fell in love with the BMW Guggenheim Lab while it was in NYC.

> I had the pleasure of participating in fieldwork with spurse!

> I met Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst in person! She’s the sweetest.

> I rode around in a camera! I helped make a test strip. Fun stuff.

> I attended two SPE conferences. Nationals in Atlanta, GA (I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Sherwin – he reviewed my portfolio) and Regionals in Syracuse, NY.

> I stopped by Spark Contemporary Art Space to see two exhibitions curated by Shane Lavalette of Lay Flat: Meta Revisited and Studious. Shane was one of my portfolio reviewers at the Regional SPE conference. It was nice to finally meet him.

> I had the pleasure of meeting Ron Jude of A-Jump Books. He reviewed my portfolio at the Regional SPE Conference. Speaking of A-Jump, I bought a set of all of their titles at the VSW Auction! Score.

> I went to the Everson Museum of Art to see From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America. After viewing the exhibition I attended a talk by Alec Soth himself. Left with a lot to think about!

> I learned to letterpress! …and I’m now obsessed.

> I started working on my first book! I hope to self-publish it this year.

New Year goals? This year I decided to make a birthday list instead! This year is going to be insane and I really cannot stress enough how I want to just take it nice and slow. I’m entering into my last year at Visual Studies Workshop. Where has the time gone? I start Grad Project I in a few weeks and thesis research begins! I’m excited. I’m terrified. All normal emotions right? Those of you who have already earned an MFA – any advice?

Hello 2012.