School of Art, Media, and Technology

Confounding Expectations XI: Contemporary Documentary Practices

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Aperture Foundation, The Photography Program at Parsons the New School for Design, and The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School present:
Confounding Expectations XI: Photography in Context
Contemporary Documentary Practices

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

FREE Admission

Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th Street, New York City
Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis

Description: Revisiting Martha Rosler’s seminal critique of documentary photography in the 1981 text “In, Around and Afterthoughts on Documentary Photography”, this panel will explore the viability of documentary practices today, both within the contemporary art realm and in the larger context of visual culture. In the 1981 text, Rosler claimed that documentary photography has yet to be realized in its full potential. Moving from a direct critique of documentary photographic practices, many contemporary photographers are utilizing art strategies to initiate and maintain social and political engagement through the use of the photographic medium. This discussion aims to examine photography’s ability to fostering social change in the contemporary moment and in generating a discussion about the importance of institutional and discursive framing in determining photographic meaning.

Susan Bright
Susan Bright is a curator and writer. She has taught extensively and convened major conferences and seminars internationally. She was formally Assistant Curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery (London) and Acting Director for the MA Photography (Historic and Contemporary) at Sotheby’s Institute (London). Her previous exhibitions include ‘Something out of Nothing’ (Fotogalleriet, Oslo), How We Are: Photographing Britain (co-curated with Val Williams at Tate Britain), and ‘Face of Fashion’ at the National Portrait Gallery. She has published widely and is author of ‘Art Photography Now’ (Thames and Hudson/Aperture) Her latest book ‘Auto Focus: The Self Portrait in Contemporary Photography’ was published this month by Monacelli Press in the US. She is currently pursuing a PhD through Goldsmiths College, University of London.

LaToya Ruby Frazier
LaToya Ruby Frazier earned a BFA in applied media arts at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2004, and an MFA in art photography from Syracuse University in 2007. Frazier’s work has been written about in The New York Times, The New Yorker, ArtForum, Artnet, Art Papers, Art Info, Art in America,The Brooklyn Rail, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Village Voice. Her work has been shown in museums and galleries in New York City including P.S.1 MOMA Greater New York, the New Museum of Contemporary Art Younger Than Jesus, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Higher Pictures Gallery and internationally in Copenhagen Denmark. Frazier’s first solo museum exhibition, Mother May I, was at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit May 2010.

 Currently she is the Associate Curator for the Mason Gross Galleries in the Department for Visual Arts where she also teaches photography in the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ.

Chris Verene
Chris Verene: BA, Emory University; MFA, Georgia State University. Chris Verene grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. He studied with master black and white photographer/printers John McWilliams and Larry Fink. He is also known as a master color photographic printer. He has been photographing three generations of his family since 1984 in Galesburg, Illinois, a small town in the Midwest. Chris is a natural storyteller, focusing on the whole intimate truth of human narratives. Verene’s work is in numerous major museum collections. He has been published in several books, including his 2000 self-titled monograph by Twin Palms Press, and a new Phaidon photography history entitled,Theater of the Face, Portrait Photography Since 1900. Verene is also a filmmaker and musician. He and his wife, Ani Cordero, have a nationally recognized Latin rock band,Cordero. ARTFORUM praised Verene as “depicting people with a combination of respect and clarity.” His new photography book, Family, will accompany a traveling solo museum and gallery exhibition throughout the United States in 2010-2011. At The Tate Modern this summer, and SFMoMA this fall, Verene’s work is featured in a traveling international museum tour, entitled, “EXPOSED: VOYEURISM, SURVEILLANCE, AND THE CAMERA SINCE 1870”

Michael Wolf
In a diverse array of photographic projects Michael Wolf explores the complex cultural identities of China and Hong Kong, where he has lived since 1995. Wolf’s photographs have been exhibited in Asia, Europe and the United States, and are included in the permanent collections of prominent institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Brooklyn Museum, NY; The Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; and the Folkwang Museum in Essen, Germany. The Transparent City was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Photograpy in Chicago in 2008 and at Aperture Gallery, New York from 2009 – 2010, and Wolf’s large-scale installation, “The Real Toy Story”, was on view at the 2008 Shanghai Biennale. Wolf was the first prize recipient of the 2010 World Press Photo Contest, Daily Life category. Wolf’s monographs include The Transparent City (Aperture and MoCP, 2008), Hong Kong: Front Door/Back Door, (Thames & Hudson, 2005), Sitting in China (Steidl, 2002), and Hong Kong Inside Outside (Peperoni Books, 2009).

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