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Cover Image: Richard Misrach, Border Patrol target #51, near Gulf of Mexico, Texas, 2014. Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, Pace/MacGill, New York and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles.

























































































EDITOR’S LETTER b y A ndrea B la nch Humanity is not individualistic. It represents everything that we share fundamentally as humans, stripped of the myriad of boundaries and idiosyncrasies that divide us. At NeueHouse a few months ago, Magnum had a small exhibition called 70 at 70. There was one photograph in particular that caught my eye. Ian Berry’s “young black girl scarcely more then a child herself looks after a baby girl for a white family” shot in 1969 reminded me of the power of images, their capacity to move people, to tell a story, to change perceptions, to change the world. As the editorial director at Musée I look at images from 6 am to 6 pm daily. I must admit that the images that have inspired me lately are conceptual. For the first time in a while, the Magnum image by Ian Berry filled me with emotion. At that moment, the theme of this issue was determined and my appreciation for photojournalism was reinvigorated. These images have the capacity to advance society, to awaken us, to challenge justice, to provide new perspectives, to fight for human rights. They help us to see the humanity in our world and encourage us to fill the gaps in which it is lacking. All of the artists in this issue are humanists in different ways. Their different approaches to representing humans --- human suffering, human joy, and human nature --- help us to recognize our fundamental sameness, a recognition that leads inevitably to outrage at the gross inequality between our lives, environments, and experiences. Bruce Gilden takes pictures of societal outcasts from the perspective of an insider. Due to his own turbulent past, he has the unique capacity to photograph --- intimately and with consent --- some of the most dehumanized and misunderstood groups of people. Gilden takes close-up and well-lit photographs of the street people that most of us side-step on a daily basis. He forces us to look at the faces and into the eyes that we evade, to acknowledge the humanity of the individuals who are most often stripped of it. Letizia Battaglia --- a human rights, women’s rights, and environmental activists --- is featured in this edition for her photojournalistic documentation of the barbarous effects of the Sicilian mafia on her hometown. Battaglia put her life on the line for this work, valuing the safety and justice of her community over her own security. Her work documents the senseless violence that humans enact on one another in the name of power and greed. Taryn Simon’s work takes a different approach to the fight against human injustice. Unlike many of the artists featured in this magazine, Simon’s work is not photojournalistic, but rather, conceptual and posed. However, her portraits of the recently exonerated and wrongly convicted, taken at the actual sites of their alleged crimes, are exceedingly raw and authentic. This work represents the vulnerability of the human lives that are manipulated and extinguished by a biased criminal justice system. Harriet Logan --- an award winning photojournalist and now a curator, collector, and patron of photojournalistic works --- documented the women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule from beneath the shroud of a burka. She is yet another example of a photographer who risked her life in order to show the world a necessary perspective, to educate the world with her images of human endurance and suffering. Logan has attempted to memorialize the works of photojournalists who have similarly risked their lives in order to bring necessary humanitarian discourses into the global awareness. Today, in her collaboration with Tristan Lund, she focuses on purchasing and patronizing the work of emerging, humanitarian artists, acting as a benefactor to their work. In a similar vein, Aiden Sullivan works as a facilitator and patron of humanist photojournalism. He has created a logistics platform that links humanist photographers with corporations doing humanist work. Sullivan is one of many who recognized the significant role that photography plays in generating intercultural compassion, as well as interest in and funding for global human aid. Starting a nuclear war is not in the interest of humanity. In our current political climate humanitarian artists have a renewed relevance. We owe these photographers a great amount of gratitude for the work they have done, the risks they have taken, and the eyes they have opened. Their images change and save human lives.

Megan Jacobs, Hidden Mothers: Emily, 2016.


RICHARD MISRACH co ntra f lo w

ANDREA BLANCH: Your collaboration with Guillermo Galindo, Border Cantos, was recently exhibited at Pace Gallery as well as being published in a book by Aperture. Can you tell me the story behind this project? RICHARD MISRACH: I’ve been doing these things I call Desert Cantos. They’re basically chapters of a

long poem. They’re portraits of the American desert and American culture that I started in 1979 and that I’ve been working on periodically ever since. I would wander around in my Volkswagen and just see what I discovered. I never really had any predetermined ideas. And one day, in 2004, I was wandering and I saw what’s called a water station; it’s a big blue barrel sitting in the middle of nowhere in the desert. It was summer, when it’s a hundred and ten or a hundred and fifteen degrees, really hot, and there was a blue flag coming out of it. At the time I didn’t know what it was. It was so surreal to find that in the middle of nowhere. I photographed it with my 8x10 camera and just put it away, put it in my archive of mysteries to be solved later. Then, in 2009, wandering around the desert working on my projects, I started noticing that the border wall along California and Mexico was being militarized and expanded. There was construction, drones, and new technology. Surveillance cameras were being put in and it peaked my interest. So I started photographing the border wall and I began making more Cantos. I just wandered from the Pacific Ocean in California all the way to the Gulf Coast of Mexico. It’s about three thousand miles of border. I started exploring different areas of the border to see what I could find. ANDREA: Were you doing these Desert Cantos before you met Guillermo? RICHARD: Yes, this is before I even met Guillermo. I met Guillermo, I think in 2011, in San Francisco. He had been collecting things along the Texas border and building instruments out of them. He was performing on these instruments at the pop-up magazine where we met. I was making a different presentation, but I was really interested in the fact that I had found and photographed these human effigies---sculptures made from migrant clothing that I found along the border---and he had made musical instruments out of migrants’ objects and clothing as well. I thought, “Wow, this could be a really interesting collaboration.” So I invited him to my studio and, you know, he hadn’t heard of my work Portrait by Guillermo Galindo, original color, converted to black and white. All images ©Richard Misrach, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles.




and I hadn’t heard of his-- we didn’t know each other-- but I had these big prints of the effigies around the studio that really resonated with him, and we’ve been collaborating ever since. ANDREA: The book is deeply thoughtful. The whole project is awe-inspiring but I feel sad when I look

at the book. The photos are at once beautiful and disturbing. I’m wondering how you felt after going out with your camera for a day. What was your average day like? Did it affect you emotionally in any way? Because, for me, it usually doesn’t when I’m out photographing, but then when I come home I’m left with something. Do you agree? RICHARD: Right, and it’s interesting. I wonder about this all the time; about war photojournalists or

people who are photographing people dying. I think it’s like being a brain surgeon. You’re doing a job. You’re not thinking, “Oh, I’m opening up this person’s brain and their guts are spilling out.” No, you think, “I’m doing a job,” and you stay focused. But when I’m out there photographing it’s disturbing for sure. I see a lot of things that are disturbing, but I put that aside so I can get the job done. This is something that human beings can do. People sometimes have to set aside their emotions and do the job at hand. And then I come back and think about it. A lot of stuff has haunted me and disturbed me and, you know, you try to reconcile the work that you do and make it positive. When I sell work I try to give money back to these organizations. We do fundraisers and things like that because the work isn’t detached from the reality. ANDREA: You have agreed in the past with Roland Barthes’ statement that, “the camera is a clock.”

How, if at all, does Border Cantos function as a timepiece? RICHARD: For me, after almost 50 years of being a photographer, the images I’ve made really do

measure particular moments in time. Every photograph in a sense corresponds to a specific instance in my life. So the camera functions as an existential clock, if you will. And my pictures at the border, standing in front of a particular wall, a particular human effigy, a particular slashed water bottle, do the same: they call forth an exact moment. We all have that experience with family snapshots and albums, I think. On another level, the border project itself, and all of the photographs cumulatively, reflect this historical moment. They are another measure of time, another kind of clock. ANDREA: Guillermo is an artist who finds music in both objects and images. In your opinion, do your

photographs possess a sound, or are they inherently silent? RICHARD: Definitely silent. They are a foil for Guillermo’s sound pieces, and vice versa. ANDREA: How did you like collaborating with Guillermo? RICHARD: I had only collaborated with another artist once before, Kate Orff for Petrochemical Amer-

ica which was a great experience, and obviously a very different project. The thing is, and I was talking to Guillermo the other night about this, you can decide you want to do something collaboratively, but if it’s not the right match it’s just not going to work. So you’ve got to be lucky. The fact that Guillermo and I met at that event and it all came together is kind of remarkable. I mean, again, I knock on wood. Now the project is over. The last show just came down in New York at Pace last week, so that part of our relationship is over and we’ll go do our different things. I cannot help but reflect upon how lucky I was to collaborate with Guillermo. We were like two jazz musicians riffing off each other for four years. ANDREA: Do you truly believe that objects contain the “animus” of the humans that once possessed

and used them, or is this a purely metaphorical aspect of your and Guillermo’s work? RICHARD: I think for Guillermo this is a more literal experience going back to his Meso-American

roots. You’d have to ask him. For me, I do not literally experience the animus of each object per se,

Previous spread: Richard Misrach, Wall (post and wire mesh), Douglas, Arizona, 2014.


Richard Misrach, Above: Wire mesh drag, west of Presidio, Texas,, 2014. Following spread: Wall (with boot and El Doctor Jivago), San Diego, 2013.




Richard Misrach, Top: Protest sign, Brownsville, Texas,, 2014; Bottom: Agua #10, near Calexico, California, 2014.


but every single object I find is valuable. Every object holds a mystery, suggesting a journey and an ordeal. Some people refer to these belongings as “trash.” I find them precious and heartbreaking. I think both Guillermo and I have felt a responsibility to present, and represent, each object with respect and careful consideration. ANDREA: You’ve photographed so much. Was there ever a time, or were there a few times, that you

thought okay, enough. I have hundreds of pictures now. RICHARD: Actually, at least with the border project, I know that I could keep going. It could go on for

years because it’s inexhaustible. There are so many layers and dimensions. You’re an image-maker too so you know this experience, when you go out you see people experience very different things. You get ten people who go out to the border and come back with really different pictures, really different ideas of what they’ve seen. I ended up making about eight cantos for the Desert Cantos project, but I probably could spend another ten years doing it because there’s just so much more. And most of the work I did was on the U.S. side of the border. I did go on the other side and explore. I thought about photographing it for a while, and then I felt like it just wasn’t right for me, as an American, to be representing the Mexican side. So I decided I’d just represent what I understood about America on this side of the border. There’s a whole other story on the other side. ANDREA: Can you say more about that decision? Was it a matter of being respectful? I think if it were

me, I’d be curious enough that I’d want to show it. RICHARD: Yeah, good question. And it’s a little complicated, but it would be like if I was doing a book

on women’s perspectives on the planet and just called it, a woman’s view, and then signed it Richard Misrach. You’d go, “What? That doesn’t make any sense.” On the other side of the border, the poverty is so dramatic. I’m not Mexican so I didn’t feel that it was my place to speak for that culture. There are a couple images in the book, of course, because I just thought they were so important, but I purposely didn’t spend another three to five years there, which I could have done. I just felt like it was not my place to represent that. It was a kind of a moral, ethical decision that was hard to make as a photographer because being a photographer gives you license to do a certain amount, but there are always limits. And I felt that was a limit. ANDREA: How do you define those limits? Has that definition changed over time for you? RICHARD: Definitely. I have some thoughts about American privilege and white privilege and male

privilege. I try to be conscious of those things and if I’m having qualms I back off. But there’s definitely been a change over time. I’m sure that I angered a lot of people with my first book, Telegraph 3 A.M. In this project I did Bruce Davidson and Dorothy Lang-like portraiture on the street in Berkeley, California when I was very young. I loved the project, but I was putting people on display and it wasn’t right. At the time I thought I was going to bring social change. I was very innocent and idealistic. I thought, “I’m going to show people how people are living on the street and that’s going to create social change.” It didn’t. I ended up with a coffee table book, a two-person show at ICP in New York and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship grant, but it didn’t change a thing. I realized that there is a disconnect between what photographers want to be doing, and what their work actually does in the world. I think photography is a really important contribution to our society and the world is a much better place for having it, but it does have issues embedded in it. ANDREA: What effect would you like your work to have in the world? RICHARD: I hope the work brings home humanitarian issues; and I think the collaboration with Guillermo really helps. The policy issues are clearly complicated. The Trumpian idea of building a wall and making Mexico pay for it: that’s just stupid. Wendy Brown has written a really interesting book arguing that we’re building a wall as a political spectacle because the old model of national sovereignty is

Following spread: Richard Misrach, John Doe, pauper’s grave, Holtville, California, 2013.




being threatened by global capitalism, the internet, viruses, and many other things. Things are happening in this country that we can’t control so there’s this impulse to put up a wall like that’s going to stop it. And it wastes taxpayer money that could easily go towards education, towards infrastructure, towards helping to create jobs along the border on both the Mexican side and the American side. I hope the book makes people think about that. I’m presenting the artifacts for people to contemplate in a really straightforward way. ANDREA: I want to hear more about why it’s difficult for you to photograph people. RICHARD: Again, I’m a little bit of a hypocrite here because my first book had portraits. And in

the work I’ve been doing lately in Hawaii, you can see some faces very clearly when you make large prints. And I don’t get permission, so that contradicts what I was saying before. But after my first experience with Telegraph 3 A.M., I just felt like, inadvertently, the photographer has the power and the person being photographed does not, unless it’s a conceptual piece in your studio where the subjects are really involved. But in ninety-nine percent of cases, the photographer is laying a narrative over a person, and I don’t feel comfortable with that. There’s a lot of work out there that I take issue with even if I think it’s really important work and I’m glad that they’re doing it. Nonetheless, I feel like there are ethical questions about the way photographers use people in their portraits. If I were to photograph people along the border it would raise those issues, especially in places where people are suffering. It just didn’t feel right to me. So what I didn’t do was photograph immigrants coming over the border suffering. That’s one kind of portrait. The Hawaii portraits are showing people at ease in nature. I think most of them would not be embarrassed or unhappy with the way they’ve been portrayed. In addition, I think that often the implication of people, their absence as presence, can be a more effective way to contemplate an issue. Even on the border I took pictures of people, but the wall often obscured them, so you get the feeling of a person being there that is unidentifiable. ANDREA: Can you say more about your work in Hawaii? RICHARD: I go back and forth between the desert and Hawaii because it kind of cleanses the palate,

if that makes sense. It helps me see fresh when I come back. And, again, the pictures are more about humanity in the bigger sense than the individuals. The ocean to me is a really amazing place. I took my first pictures of people floating in the ocean after 9/11 and after looking at those people falling from the towers. I saw this place in Hawaii and thought, “Oh my God, it’s the same thing.” On a larger spiritual or conceptual level, it’s the same feeling. It’s the idea that in this vast sea we’re so small. ANDREA: Your series On the Beach and The Mysterious Opacity of Other Beings, which were both

taken in Hawaii, frequently depict individuals floating on the water. From the aerial perspective that you take, the humans appear minute, insignificant, and delicate. Their arms are open and their bellies are exposed, so they seem submissive to the force and vastness of the water below them and the air above them. I’m wondering what effect you think the ocean has on human presence and, in general, what draws you to photographing this “landscape.” RICHARD: What I first started noticing when I started The Mysterious Opacity of Other Beings was that

one person would just throw themselves into the sea and start floating. It looked like they were giving themselves over to something and it was a beautiful gesture. And then I realized that it’s a universal gesture. Sometimes you’ll notice one person jump in and then you’ll see down the beach that more and more people are doing the same. It’s nonverbal. They don’t know each other, and yet they throw themselves into the sea together. I see these pictures cumulatively as an expression of both a universal, joyful submission to the elements, and an expression of the larger sublime: our small presence in the vast nature of things. The original On the Beach book was done at a farther distance so that it would be very hard to recognize anyone because they’re just little figures at sea. It’s an unusual, revealing perspective to watch people engage the natural world from this height. Richard Misrach, Above: Effigy #11, near Jacumba, California, 2012; Following spread: Home using border fence as fourth wall in Colonia Libertad, Tijuana, Mexico, 2014.






Larry Torno, Still Life: Night Cap.



Larry Torno, Still Life: Neighborhood Watch.





Matthew Kraus, Man with Cigarette at 401, Lower Manhattan, New York City, 2017.


THOMAS HIRSCHHORN c o n s t r ucted deco nstr uctio n

MUSÉE MAGAZINE: In Pixel Collage you juxtapose abstract images with the stark reality of death

and violence. Can you tell us about the evolution of this project? THOMAS HIRSCHHORN: Nothing is un-showable. The only thing that cannot be shown is that which

has no form. Everything in our world that has form is able to be shown and viewed. In order to confront the world, to struggle with it, with its chaos, its hyper-complexity, its incommensurability, I need to confront reality without distance. I wanted to do an artwork today, in contact with complexity, in contact with reality, in contact with the time we are living in and in contact with the world. This has always been my engagement and my position. MUSÉE MAGAZINE: Images of destructed human bodies are a recurring theme in your work. We saw them in Abstract Resistance (2006) as well as in your more recent Pixel Collage. How has your relationship with these images changed and developed over the last decade? THOMAS: More than ever - as an artist - I need to face the world in it’s reality, step into the hardcore reality. I don’t think in terms of ‘decades’ - I think in terms of the ‘here’ and the ‘now.’ This is the case in the Pixel-Collage, as well as in all of my work. The exhibition at Gladstone Gallery will mark the ending of the Pixel-Collage series that I have been working on for the past two years. My engagement with the problematic nature of “pixilation” and “de-pixilation” comes from the decision to see and look at the world as it is, and to insist upon this. Pixilation, blurring, or masking, and furthermore censorship or self-censorship, is a growing and insidious issue, especially in social media today. I don’t accept that, under the claim of protecting---protecting me, protecting the other---the world is pixelated in my place. De-pixilation is the term I use to manifest that pixelating no longer makes sense. Pixels, blurring, masking, and censorship in general can no longer conceal fake-news, facts, opinions, or comments. These all entirely take part in the “Post-Truth.” We have definitely entered the post-truth world. Pixilation stands for the form of agreement in this post-truth world. MUSÉE MAGAZINE: Can you tell us about your process in creating these collages? The protective

Alexander Bikbov. Thomas Hirschhorn at “Flamme éternelle”, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2014. All images: Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York. All artwork photographed by Romain Lopez. Following spread: Thomas Hirschhorn, Pixel-Collage n°97




plastic covering each piece is striking. Is this a statement about the futility of “protection”— be it of art, the self, or our eyes? THOMAS: Pixel-Collage is a series of collages. A collage means pasting together at least two existing elements to create something new, a new world, a new image, a new light. Doing this means giving a response through Form: Form is not just an idea, Form is the core. I want to give Form, because giving Form is the most important thing. The plastic covering is part of this form. The plastic is not a protection, but the will to frame my work myself - I do not want someone else to frame my work, I want to keep it thin, fragile, two-dimensional. This is a decision and an affirmation. The plastic sheets I use are the same as those that florists use to wrap flower bouquets. To me, this material seems appropriate in the context of collages made with photocopies and transparent tape, enlarged from magazines and standard-sized paper. The plastic, as well, is the form I have found that enables me to include the empty spaces that appear as part of a real collage. MUSÉE MAGAZINE: In a recent interview you mentioned the “stupidity, the easiness, the velocity” of

doing collages. Your choice of words intrigues me, especially the word “stupid”— what do you mean by this? And what are some of the materials you like to work with, other than images and pixels? THOMAS: “Stupidity” is - to me - an absolutely positive term. It’s not antagonistic with intelligence,

sensitivity, or being awake. I am for stupidity, for energy, for non-economization, for generosity, for expenditure, for exaggeration, for blindness, for restlessness, for acceleration, for precipitation, for excess, for self-transgression, for headlessness. Therefore “stupidity” is a form against security, quietism, economization, good quality, capitalization, harmony, consumption, obedience, correctness, anxiety, naiveté. MUSÉE MAGAZINE: I read a little about your time with the Communist group, Grapus. It sounds very

punk rock— and you’ve clearly maintained your desire to create public and non-exclusionary works to this day. Was moving from graphic design into collage a natural transition for you? How does the medium help you tell your story? THOMAS: Thank you for giving me the occasion to clarify something: I never worked with Grapus, not one single day! Because they simply did not want me! To work with Grapus was one of the reasons why I went to Paris in 1983. But I quickly understood that there was no common work possible - on an equal level - and because I did not want to work for them as an executor, I had to confront my first failure. I don’t know why people think they are informed with the idea that I worked with Grapus. Actually, I found myself even more isolated in my lonely arrival to Paris on my own. The love to do collages and to work with existing elements, such as blind texts and found images, helped me establish my own path away from what I thought, wrongly, to be graphic design. It’s not that my way was a transition from graphic design to art. It was - to me who wanted to do graphic design “coming from my own” as I called it then - the cruel understanding that graphic design is not possible without an order, or on a commission. I understood that with art I had to agree, and was happy to encounter the only possibility to emancipate my own understanding of form, what form should be and what importance it should have. I had to emancipate myself from the limitation or self-limitation, of graphic design. Art opened the welcoming field for confronting my ideas, my artistic will, and my understanding of form. Suddenly, critical questions arose: What work of art can I do? What work of art should I do? What work of art makes sense to me - what work has to be done? MUSÉE MAGAZINE: In your press release for Pixel Collage you state that, “Pixelating a part of a picture might imply and indicate that there is worse, much worse, and that there is something incommensurable that is concealed.” Would you say that by placing pixelated fashion images next to images

Thomas Hirschhorn, Opposite: Pixel-Collage n°105; Following spread: Pixel-Collage n°106.






of death, you’re not only making a statement about the reality of war, violence, and censorship but also of advertising? Or are you drawing connections between distinct and disparate realities? THOMAS: Pixels stand for different meanings. I identified nine meanings and “the worse is concealed” is one of them. It means that by pixelating a picture or a part of a picture, there are commensurable and incommensurable parts of the picture pointed out. But to me nothing is commensurable, or noncommensurable, everything is important, everything can have its importance, nothing is unimportant. To pixelate is always an authoritarian act. What interests me is that pixelating - as an aesthetic - meets the demand for authority, for protection, for the loss of responsibility, and for de-emancipation. What interests me about this aesthetic is that, through pixels, abstraction can engage me in today’s world, time, and reality. How can I redefine my idea of abstraction today? What interests me is that I can understand abstraction as thinking, as political thinking. What interests me is that pixels build up a new form opening towards a dynamic and a desire for truth, truth as such, truth as something reaching beyond information, non-information, or counter-information. Paradoxically, the authoritarian will use pixilation in order to hide, to “protect,” not show, or make something not visible, it has become an invitation to touch truth. MUSÉE MAGAZINE: In an interview with The Louisiana Channel you said that we are living in a time

of “facelessness.” This is a fascinating topic— could you expand on what this concept means to you and your work? THOMAS: Living in the time of facelessness means to be busy with hiding the face, my face - com-

pletely occupied with myself and entirely narcissistic - instead of being occupied by how to get in touch with the world. I want to get in touch with the world, in conflict or in agreement, but in touch nevertheless. I must show what I see, what I understand, what comes from myself without explanation or argumentation. It is necessary to distinguish “sensitivity,” which to me means being awake and attentive, from “hypersensitivity,” which means self-enclosure and exclusion. MUSÉE MAGAZINE: “Facelessness” is a complex issue and it calls into question an age-old dilemma

within photography: do you think individuals own the rights to their image? THOMAS: Before I want to discuss the right of the face, of the image of my face, I want to understand

the face, my face - as the first and the direct contact with the other, with the world. If I do not offer my face - what else will establish the contact with the other? With the world? The question of the right of my image is hysterical. What matters and is essential is the question of how to be in contact with the world. MUSÉE MAGAZINE: Who are some of your artistic influences (ex. Emma Kunz)? THOMAS: Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Méret Oppenheim, Elena Guro, Hélio Oiticica, Paul Thek, Emma Kunz, Otto Freundlich, Anna Viebrock. MUSÉE MAGAZINE: Censorship is a thread that runs through your work, understandably so, as an

artist and citizen of the world. Are there some other themes you’d like to navigate in future projects? THOMAS: I am working on the Robert Walser-Sculpture for next year, a work in Public Space in Bienne/ Biel Switzerland, the hometown of a Swiss writer that I am a fan of. With this work my ambition is to give an answer to the question: Why does non-permanency persist? I am also working on a series of collages called A Ruin is a Ruin with different new works and future exhibitions. One of the challenges to me with this body of work will be to combine Destruction with Creation in one work. Thomas Hirschhorn, Opposite: Pixel-Collage n°108; Following spread: Installation image from Picture Industry, June 24 - December 15, 2017. Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Photo: Chris Kendall.



Shirin Neshat, Untitled, 1996. photo taken by Larry Barns. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.



Shirin Neshat, Speechless, 1996. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.



Shirin Neshat, Top: Rapture Series, 1999; Bottom: Soliloquy Series, 1999. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.



Shirin Neshat, Bahram (Villains), from The Book of Kings series, 2012. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.


MATTHEW PILLSBURY t h e u r ba n ba ckdro p

MUSÉE MAGAZINE: How did you first come to experiment with long exposures? Did you know right away that this was something you wanted to pursue further? MATTHEW PILLSBURY: I started taking long exposures in grad school for my Screen Lives series, which

was partly inspired by Sugimoto’s movie theatre photographs. I realized immediately that the long exposure method enabled me to tell stories within my images, which was not possible with standard exposure times. In the same way that very short exposures reveal truths about our world that we cannot see, my use of long exposures allows me to reveal our every day world in surprising ways.

MUSÉE: Are there certain times of the day or types of light that you prefer to photograph with? MATTHEW: I used to only photograph in the dark, using exposures that ran over an hour or more in some cases,

but as my work has progressed I have been photographing more and more during daylight hours. Nearly all of Sanctuary was shot during the day using a variety of neutral density filters to lengthen exposures a bit more. In the end, what interests me most is the dialogue between people, their activity and the environment they inhabit. MUSÉE: How do you plan ahead for a shoot? Can you take me through your process in producing photos? MATTHEW: It really depends. Some shoots are commissioned, some are assignments, some are fine art ideas,

and some are a combination of all of these routes to a completed image. Permission is needed for many of my shoots that aren’t in public areas and that can require a bit of groundwork beforehand. Those images tend to be conceived ahead of time with a clear approach to making them. Other times, I find myself like a street photographer on the prowl for something interesting. Some of those images come together very quickly. MUSÉE: How many happy accidents have happened in your work that ended up being used as final images? MATTHEW: Lots. Rarely does a photo turn out exactly as imagined. It’s one of the things I love most about taking long exposures. For instance, when I photographed the rush hour crowd at Grand Central Station I was hoping to get a sea of people much like the famous Salgado photograph of Church Station. However, over the course of my four-minute exposure the majority of the crowd vanished from my image and the only people left visible were those that had stopped for some reason. This echoes the Daguerre photo of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris in which the only visible person is one getting his shoes polished. Initially, I thought that I would go and reshoot using shorter exposures, but then I realized there was something more interesting about the image that I got in its initial form. MUSÉE: You have always photographed cities. Even your portraits of people in private spaces exhibit

some portion of the skyline outside. What is it about cities that inspire you? MATTHEW: It is mainly because I spend most of my time in cities, I think. My work has reflected that to this

point. I love the energy and possibilities of capturing unique situations in urban areas. However, I’m currently

Portrait by Lois Conner.



Matthew Pillsbury, Coney Island Boardwalk, 2015.



working on a new body of work that is almost entirely set in remote regions and national parks within America. MUSÉE: Because the crowds in your photographs are so ephemeral, the focus is drawn instead to the

spaces that these humans inhabit. Why do you think place is important to pay attention to? MATTHEW: My interest lies in the dialogue between setting and human activity. The setting, it is the one sharp element in my photographs, helps to tell the story. For instance, the Women’s March photo would not have stood stood out, or driven the story behind it framed in front of the Washington Monument. In some of the Screen Lives photos you can’t see my subjects but you can make out their personal belongings, such as photographs they have on their walls and books on their shelves. MUSÉE: As a child of Americans that was raised in France, do you think your unique childhood af-

fected your sense of place and identity? How has this influenced your work? MATTHEW: Absolutely. For instance, Screen Lives wouldn’t have happened if I would have been allowed

to watch television as a child. Because I wasn’t; there wasn’t a TV in the house at all. When I went to Yale, I obsessed over watching television, and gleefully watched Melrose Place and other trashy TV shows of the early 1990s with friends, and still do to this day. Screen Lives came about because of my own obsession with screens, which is my parent’s doing. I also grew up looking at a lot of art, having been dragged into churches and museums as a child. Today, I am grateful for the cultural education my parents gave me. I also think that growing up bilingual and bicultural made me more attuned to cultural differences. I think it’s given me a way to examine our world in a more alert and critical way. MUSÉE: Technological determinism is rampant today— a lot of people are quick to blame the technol-

ogy rather than human nature for our addiction to television and phone screens. Can you tell us about your personal relationship with technology? MATTHEW: My current relationship with technology has evolved, much like everyone else’s. I now use

smart phones and iPads much more than televisions to gather information and watch shows. My use of these technologies have definitely increased, and my work reflects the constant presence of these devices and screens everywhere in our lives. Many people want to know if I think of these shifts positively or critically, but I don’t think is entirely relevant. Like most people, I see good and bad things that have come about as this technology has entered our lives. The genie is out and there’s no going back. However, I think art plays a very important part in holding a mirror up to our lives and allowing us the space with which to consider these changes. I think the awareness and ensuing conversation are what is most important. MUSÉE: How do you think our lives’ constant mediation by technology has changed our relationship to, and experience of, the city? MATTHEW: It has definitely made people less aware of their surroundings and has presented most of us an inability to live in the moment without holding up our phones to capture something and immediately share it online. This has been good for my work, but perhaps not great for our society as a whole. We don’t know how to spend time alone anymore. A few years ago a person who showed up to dinner before their dining companions, might have started a conversation at the bar. Today, we use that time to get up to date with the news, Facebook, or Instagram. MUSÉE: Your photographs straddle the line between realism and abstraction. In your interview with

the Aperture Foundation, you stated that, “The photograph is as much of a construction as any painting.” In what ways do you manipulate reality with your camera? MATTHEW: The minute you take a photograph and choose what goes in your frame and what does not,

you have edited the story. A scientist would tell you that the mere act of observing something alters its behavior. I’m often waiting for the right moment in which the movement of people becomes interesting

Matthew Pillsbury, Top: Hanami 14, Inokashira Park, Saturday April 5, 2014; Bottom: Unisphere, Queens, NY, 2016.




Matthew Pillsbury, Subway Therapy 2, Union Square, New York City, December 3, 2016.



in contrast with the space that they occupy. I have alternate takes for some of my images, images that were taken moments before or after that are drastically different from the one I end up using. In my show, Sanctuary, we have three images from Edgewater Beach taken moments apart from each other. As the light changed and the people moved, the images became very different from each other. In other images, I love incorporating reflections because they show the same exact moment from a different perspective. For example, in my picture of the Ombriere taken in Marseille, the reflection captured in the Norman Foster canopy shows the same crowd as it would have appeared from above. It makes for an interesting comparison with the way that crowd was captured directly in front of my camera at ground level. MUSÉE: I am curious to know how you would define “sanctuary” as a term, knowing that the images

in your current exhibition by this name depict scenes of protest as well as leisure. MATTHEW: These photographs capture the odd duality of my life since the election. I have protested more in the past nine months than I have in the past decade. But life also goes on. I could be protesting on a Saturday and spending time at the beach on Sunday. I have found that duality to be very interesting. Also, those of us that live in big cities often talk of the need to escape them. We all have places and experiences that allow us to escape. They provide sanctuary to us from the rigors of living in hectic environments. At the same time, American cities have come to the forefront of protesting the Trump administration and have made a point of protecting their residents as much as they can. The term obviously leads topics of immigration, health care, the environment, and many other policies of this administration. MUSÉE: New York is one of the most diverse places in the world and yet, in your work, humans blur

together into an indistinguishable haze. Do you believe that there is a specifically “urban” identity that unites all city dwellers? MATTHEW: I think one of the magical things about NYC, maybe more than any other city, is that it still for the most part represents a true melting pot of cultures, races, and beliefs. People from all walks of life live closely together. My neighborhood in Brooklyn alone is a mix of Muslims, blacks, whites and Asians, and that’s one of the reasons why I love living and working here. The urban backdrop is just a stage we all pass through, regardless of where we come from. I also find it interesting that, in the American psyche, “real America” is considered the rural good folk of Iowa. Politicians refer to this all the time. However, any examination of the census data shows us that the majority of Americans live in urban environments and are increasingly multi-cultural, not Caucasian. MUSÉE: Because New York’s status as a sanctuary city is under threat by the current administration, I can’t help but see the wispy figures in Sanctuary as if they are wavering between presence and absence. Does your work respond to this current state of uncertainty? MATTHEW: I think my work has always dealt with the fleeting nature of the human condition. Our lives are presences awaiting absence. Many photographs assert human presence (I am here, I am alive), whereas my long exposures highlight the fragile, evanescent nature of our time here. I think that fear and uncertainty are felt more strongly since the election. They are certainly feelings that are highlighted in the protest photos. MUSÉE: In a talk about your City Stages exhibition in Atlanta you mentioned “the magical realm of

the everyday” captured in your photos. This is a lovely concept—could you expand upon it? MATTHEW: I love capturing everyday moments - whether it’s someone watching a movie in their home, going to the park or beach, or texting friends while sitting on the High Line in Manhattan. I like capturing scenes that are immediately familiar and yet, in the final image, surprising to my viewers. That is why I love photographing places like Coney Island that most people know and have seen countless photographs of. The challenge of taking that familiar moment and still finding something new within it is what drives me. Making a photograph of the familiar that speaks to our experience of it and reveals it to us in surprising ways, is more interesting to me than photographing some place that no one has ever seen before. Matthew Pillsbury, Top: The Rainbow Room, 2016; Bottom: Hillary Clinton Becomes the Presumptive Democratic Nominee for the President of the United States, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Tuesday June 7th, 2016





Alina Fedorenko, Footprint - Athar al Nabi, Cairo, 2017.



Megan Jacobs, Hidden Mothers: Lisa, 2016.



Megan Jacobs, Top: Hidden Mothers: Eileen, 2016; Bottom: Hidden Mothers: Diane, 2016.





Michael Bach, My father assisting my mother from the car and into the house, Albany, New York, July, 2016.


LETIZIA BATTAGLIA the f ro nt ro w

MUSÉE MAGAZINE: A news review of your developing photography museum in Palermo reports that,

“the project is dedicated to the study and promotion of photography.” How do you plan to promote photography by means of this institution? Do you plan to incorporate community programs with educational exhibitions? LETIZIA BATTAGLIA: My center will be wonderful. Photography will be promoted, explicitly studied with passion and discipline. There will be exhibitions, encounters, workshops, and screenings. Talent will find a place to grow, learn, give and receive. It will be an international venue where knowledge is exchanged; a place where photography will often be seen alongside music, poetry, theater performances, and cinema. A strong social commitment will be fundamental to all of this. In addition, there will be a photographic archive of the city of Palermo, something entirely new. I am asking photographers from around the world who have photographed Sicily to each donate at least one photograph made in Palermo. I am asking citizens to give the center their old family archives, to reconstruct the life of our community, to reconstruct the memory of my complex and fascinating Palermo. MUSÉE: Why do you believe that your community would benefit from learning about photography?

What do you think the medium has to offer humanity? LETIZIA: I was saved by photography. I was a young, intelligent, desperate woman. My encounter with photography allowed me to express my thoughts, my rebellion, my social and political commitment. People both young and old who visit the center will experience beauty, based, very simply, on commitment and knowledge. I already know that the people of Palermo are anxiously waiting for the International Center of Photography to get started. Many people are already working on programming, communications, and the search for talent. It will be so damned complicated and laden with beauty, they are almost terrified. Truthfully, my enthusiasm frightens me to no small degree. But I am courageous, and I will overcome my limitations. Photography as documentation, but also as artistic creation, is culture; and culture is fundamental to the growth of a community. A culture that is free from outside influences, one that is revolutionary, is as important as bread that nourishes the body. MUSÉE: Can you describe the current state of photographic culture in Palermo? Do you perceive that your museum will have immediate interest and clientele, or is this something that you hope to develop in the community yourself?

Portrait by Shobha.


LETIZIA: Throughout the world there have been, and there are, wonderful photographers who come from Palermo, from Sicily. First among all, is Enzo Sellerio. Then, Thomas Roma in New York, a photographer, university professor and winner of two Guggenheim grants. Then there’s Ferdinando Scianna from Magnum in Milan, and Santi Caleca, the most elegant and highly regarded Italian photographer of interiors and design, as well as Franco Zecchin in Marseille, and Shobha, my daughter, in India. And I too, even while remaining in Palermo, have received great recognition for my work, specifically in the United States: the Eugene Smith Award, the Mother Jones Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Cornell Capa Infinity Award. There are so many well-known and talented photographers and so many others who need to be appreciated and nurtured. MUSÉE: An article describes that your museum opening has been delayed due to “bureaucratic” issues.

What in particular have been the challenges in opening a museum in Palmero? LETIZIA: The mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando, who for years has been battling to free Palermo

from a disease that has afflicted the city for centuries, immediately accepted my proposal to establish a center for photography. I was given a building in the La Zisa cultural district, a pavilion of industrial archeology dating to the early years of the twentieth century-- pavilion 18 to be precise. An amazing architect, lolanda Lima, designed a very modern restoration, and she did it gratis. All this happened five years ago. It took five years to move forward with the work, which at times came to a halt, and sometimes only advanced very slowly. I don’t know why. You never know why. Things are like that in Palermo. But finally we got it done. There are still some small bureaucratic things to attend to, but the center is set to open at the end of October. MUSÉE: Will your center focus on international photography or photography shot in and around Palmero, or both? LETIZIA: I won’t have much money and I still don’t know if I will have sponsors. I dream about it at night because I still don’t know how to accomplish all this. The city will give me a small amount and, with this, I will try to program everything. Even if I live in Palermo, far away from the great cities of the world, I think our culture and our history has international, not just regional, significance. And I am interested in important photographers from all over the world, but especially those who are trying, with difficulty, to grow. The first show, which will inaugurate the opening of the Center, is curated by Giovanna Calvenzi, a Milanese curator and historian of photography. There will be 34 photographers who are engaged with issues of emigration, a very current issue in Europe. The show will have the wonderful title: Io Sono Persona (I am a person). Calvenzi is working so hard on this and she is doing it gratis, out of love for Palermo and for me. Melissa Harris, a curator, historian, and teacher from New York, has worked on a group show called, Women Photograph Women. The exhibition will include eight photographers, including important American female photographers, as well as one Mexican photographer. Melissa is also doing this out of love. The expenses will be limited to the frames, insurance, shipping, and publicity. The photographers have also not asked for any money. I am truly moved by such generosity, and I hope that some day I will be able to have enough money to pay a fee to everyone who works for the Center, which is how it rightfully should be. MUSÉE: Do you intend to exhibit the work of contemporary and emerging artists in your museum, or

to focus exclusively on historical pieces?

Letizia Battaglia, Ucciso mentre andava in garage, 1976.



Letizia Battaglia, Top: Il giudice Cesare Terranova, 1979; Bottom: Omicidio in macchina.


Letizia Battaglia, Top: Michele Reina segretario Provinciale della Democrazia Cristiana, assassinato da due killers davanti alla moglie, 1979; Bottom: Il Presidente della Regione Siciliana, Piersanti MattarellaI copia, 1980.



LETIZIA: I am doing it all! I am also trying to bring to the Center, in 2018, wonderful work by Nan

Goldin, Isaak Julien, Richard Billingham, Francesca Woodman, and others. I am trying to devise systems that don’t require massive amounts of money. A very distinguished curator, Paolo Falcone, who loves art passionately, is supporting me in this very difficult battle. But I intend to welcome, discover, and promote young artists who are talented and not yet famous, including Nerina Toc and Roberto Tempieri from Rome. Eleonora Orlando and my daughter, Marta, are also helping me with visual communications. I plan to collaborate with other galleries and museums. I sleep very little with all of these projects. I am always pushing myself toward an infinite world of possibilities that I would like to bring to fruition. It is fantastic that there are already so many people ready to provide support, even without my having any money to offer. MUSÉE: Most of your previous work has had a social and political focus, and you have worked exten-

sively in politics yourself. You have used your images to address issues of corrupt authority, women’s rights, and the environment. Will your museum have a political focus as well? LETIZIA: I am directing the International Center of Photography and I have already received recognition for my stance against the Mafia and racism. There will be various initiatives promoting those who are marginalized in society, initiatives promoting gays and lesbians, the mentally ill, and dreamers. No one can stop us. We are all too committed to moving these projects forward. MUSÉE: During your years documenting organized violence in Sicily you received many threats on

your life from the mafia but you did not stop photographing them. Were you willing to die for these images? If yes, why? LETIZIA: I am only inclined to live. My entire vital inclination is predisposed to joy, to the construction of beauty, to the victory of justice. It is precisely because I am so immersed in life that I don’t want to limit myself. They will do whatever they want if I annoy them. MUSÉE: What effect, if any, do you think your documentation of the mafia’s brutality had at the time? LETIZIA: I don’t think my photos have helped to upset or destroy the Mafia. It is still there, even if hidden - the Mafia clearly is not involved with the mayor of Palermo. It is waiting for the right moment. Meanwhile, a serious and very threatening judge, Nino Di Matteo, working in solitude, has moved ahead with his case against negotiations that took place between a representative of the Italian state and the Mafia itself. Many Sicilians love this judge and are fighting against corruption. Here in Sicily, everyone has do to his or her part. Maybe, together, we can get it done. MUSÉE: What effect do you think these images have today? LETIZIA: I see a lot of feelings being stirred up, a lot of attention being given to my work and to what

we Sicilians have endured over the years. Many young people write to me, wanting to attend my workshops, to meet me and show their love for me. I believe this is very important, it has nothing to do with success or vanity. My center will open its doors. And it will be wonderful to experience this entire exchange of cultures and commitments. Yes! Letizia Battaglia, Opposite: Top: Vincenzo Battaglia, era uscito per comprare i cannoli. Lo hanno ucciso al buio, tra la spazzatura. Sua moglie aveva cercato invano di aiutarlo, 1976; Bottom: Donna crede che le abbiano ucciso il figlio copia, 1980. Following spread: Il deputato democristiano Rosario Nicoletti, suicida, 1984.





Adam McEwen, Untitled (Bill), 2004. Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York.



Adam McEwen, Untitled (Kate), 2006. Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York.



Adam McEwen, Untitled (Macaulay), 2004. Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York.



Adam McEwen, Untitled (Nicole), 2004. Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York.



Adam McEwen, Untitled (Jeff), 2004. Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York.



Adam McEwen, Untitled (Richard), 2007. Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York.


RENEE COX g r it

ANDREA BLANCH: So, do you read the papers everyday? RENEE COX: No, not everyday, but I certainly look at news sources to see what’s going on in this crazy world we live in nowadays, which has just gotten madder. ANDREA: Well, in the paper today, there was a story about Rudy Giuliani walking on the beach. He

fell and hurt his knee and he had to go to the hospital right away to have surgery. When I mention the name Giuliani, what comes to mind for you? RENEE: Oh God. In a nutshell, not intelligent, ignorant, bad taste, no sense of aesthetic, crude, back-

ward thinking, and perhaps downright evil. ANDREA: In coverage of your work, people talk about you being a controversial artist. Why do you

think people label you that way? Do you still feel that you deserve that label? Do you think your work has changed so as not to warrant this label? RENEE: People are going to label things how they want to label things, and I don’t have any control over that. I prefer to be controversial over being a victim. Perhaps they’re trying to say that I speak my mind and I say what I actually believe, so I can work with that title. It doesn’t offend me at all. I’d rather be that than whatever is the opposite of controversial, like mealy-mouthed. A lot of times I think people want artists to be that dysfunctional person who is going to sit in the corner and cower, like, “Boo hoo, I need more Prozac,” or something. That’s not me. I’m going to take on whatever issue it is head on and go into it with complete passion and vigor and make my point, and hopefully there will be people who agree. Even if they don’t agree, that’s ok. I’ll say, “Let’s have a discussion at least. Let’s have a discourse, a conversation. You don’t have to agree with everything I say but we should open it up so that we can expand together, and not be living in this narrow world that we never left.” It was nice for eight years, Obama was there, it was like a vacation, and now we’re back to reality. In regards to African Americans, nothing has changed. Racism is just rearing its ugly little head up again. It never went away. Black Americans have been around since the roots of America, for hundreds of years. It’s crazy to me. ANDREA: Does the work that you’re doing today send the same message as your early work? RENEE: In terms of my own trajectory, I would say that my current work has definitely changed because I’ve changed. I don’t want to sound like hippy dippy or anything, but once I understood how to be happy, that whatever negative thinking I had was only emanating from my ego, it was

Portrait by Andrea Blanch. All following images from the series, The Discreet Charm of the Bougies.




a lot easier for me. You just have a moment of enlightenment. Once you understand this from your heart, the transition happens overnight. It’s not an intellectual thing that you understand and just write it down in a book, you really have to feel it, or as Eckhart Tolle said: once you suffer enough, you can kind of get to that point, because you’re like, “Why are you feeling so bad? Why do I feel so inadequate? Why do I have all these negative feelings about myself? What’s stopping me from reaching my greatest goal?” And then you realize, “Oh my God, it’s my egoistic mind saying that I’m not enough.” All of us in our society right now are suffering from this illness and a lot of people are making money off it. That’s why the shrinks and pharmaceutical companies want to prescribe drugs to you. When I lived in Chappaqua all the women were taking anti-depressants and then peeing them into the sewer, now we find traces of anti-depressants in the drinking water. ANDREA: How did you segue from being a fashion photographer to fine art? How did that fit into your

enlightenment and aspiring ego death? RENEE: It goes back to having a dinner at Jerry’s in SoHo on Prince Street around 1989. I was having dinner with the people from the New York Times, because at that moment I was shooting advertisements for Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. The conversation was pretty superficial, as it often is in fashion. They were talking about shoes or some crap, and at one point I said to them, “Oh my God, today is the day that Nelson Mandela got released from prison. The guy was in jail for 27 years…” And they all looked at me kind of dumbfounded. There was a pause and then somebody said, “Oh, also Donald and Ivana are getting a divorce.” I was like, “Are you fucking kidding me? Who cares?” Because at that point Donald Trump was on my shit list because he had put that full page ad in the New York Times asking for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, which was basically like calling out a lynch mob. Plus, I knew people at the time who used to work for him, and I knew his whole cheating scheme. This persons’ a sleazebag and now you guys, here at my table, are telling me I should be concerned that Trump is getting a divorce! Mandela wanted to make serious changes for people, he got released from prison, and you don’t care. That was the moment I said, “I don’t want to do fashion anymore.” I’d just had my first kid and I thought, “What’s my legacy? Magazines that are crumbling because they’re getting yellow?” I thought, “I don’t want to do that. I want something that’s lasting, that has some longevity to it. I like my work and I have things to say with it.” I decided to go to the School of Visual Art. I graduated from there in ’92, and then after that the icing on the cake was the Whitney independent study program. Then I started doing work that I thought was pertinent to the greater good. ANDREA: I felt similarly working at Vogue, and getting similar assignments. You worked for Essence

a lot, right? RENEE: I worked for Essence, yes. I also worked for Seventeen Magazine. I did covers for Seventeen, in fact. ANDREA: What was your experience at Essence like? Did they assume because you’re black, that you

should be shooting black people? RENEE: No, I mean, at Essence I had a little reign of terror so to speak. I got to do what I wanted

to do and every month it was a bit of an argument with Susan Taylor as to what we were doing, but I had the art director and the fashion editor on my side. We, as black people, bring so much to fashion. We create so much. And at that time, Times Square was this little huba huba, and it was connected to the South Bronx and the beginning of hip-hop. People were wearing the belts with their name on it and all this wild stuff, and Essence was just sitting there ignoring this. Like, “Oh, that’s what they’re doing in the ghetto.” In the meantime Mademoiselle was all over it. But it’s our style. Why wasn’t Essence doing this kind of thing? So I said, “Let’s make this fun. Why can’t black women have fun? Why do they always have to wear the same horribly cut polyester business suit? What is the point?” We should be setting our own trends, our own pace, because that’s what we do. We need to love ourselves and stop waiting for other people to show love to us first. One of the

Renee Cox, Opposite: Top: Pool Table, 2008; Bottom: Black Housewife, 2008; Following spread: Missy and Afro by Pool. 2008.


interesting things is that, when I started out, my first job was Fiorucci, and then I went to Glamour magazine and worked as an assistant fashion editor. I have to give credit to Deborah Turbeville, because she basically gave me the game plan, because at that time they wouldn’t hire females as assistants. Deborah worked at Mademoiselle, and one day the photographer couldn’t do the front of the book. So they said, “Go ahead, do the front of the book,” and they liked it, and it grew from there. Each time I wanted to bring more. I enjoyed my fashion photographs. I resented the fact that they only had a 28 day lifespan, or less. ANDREA: So going back to when you went through this epiphany. A lot of things have been written about your work. You talk a lot about self-love, and people have written that you’re narcissistic. Roberta Smith said that your work is simplistically self-aggrandizing. Would you talk about the difference between narcissism and self-love? RENEE: First of all, let’s be really clear. When you have black people who express self-love it becomes

revolutionary for white society. They have perpetuated over the past 400 years that you, the African American, are a victim. You’re starving. You don’t know which way is up. You’re a mess, basically. I think once you have a black person who steps up and says, “No, I’m not going to be your victim, I’m not interested in being a victim,” now suddenly it’s like, “Oh my God, this one is full of herself, how dare she think she can be a superhero or anything for that matter except some slave-like person.” If you look at art over the years, what has been rewarded, for the most part, is black people doing art in which they are depicted as victims. They get MacArthurs and I’ll leave it at that. At whose expense, though? Am I going to do an Aunt Jemima in sugar, with a big ass and her pussy sticking out in the back? What am I trying to say? That’s great, but you haven’t told anyone what it’s like to be a slave on a sugar plantation. When I go to see this shit, I see a bunch of white tourists standing in front of the pussy and trying to take a selfie, or even asking Anne Pasternak to take the picture for them. I actually saw that. ANDREA: Hottentot Venus, do you have multiples or was that a one-off? RENEE: No, it was a one-off. ANDREA: I think it’s a beautiful picture of you. There’s a vulnerability in your eyes that is absorbing. RENEE: The gaze is important to me, because it turns its back on the person that’s looking at it, the spectator. People say, “Oh, you’re doing the same thing as Cindy Sherman.” I say, “No, Cindy Sherman never looks at the camera.” She always looks off. It’s more lucrative to look off. ANDREA: That’s true. I always had people look into the camera and people always thought my work

was confrontational, not me. RENEE: If you look off they can transpose whatever they’re about onto the image, but if you’re looking back at the viewer, then they’re like, “Oh, what’s going on? She’s owning this? They don’t own anything!” And I’m like, “Yes, I own it. I will continue to own it. I’ll always look back at you. I’ll have my subjects look back at you.” I don’t find photographs of people looking up that compelling. I want to know what they’re thinking. ANDREA: In Hot en Tot, even though you’re looking back, there’s something different in your eyes. RENEE: Yo Mama has that too, where I’m holding my then 18-month-old child. It’s the same sort of look but turned back. The difference between the Yo Mama and the Hot en Tot is simply the stance. With Hot en Tot, my body is in profile. With the Yo Mama it’s flat, it’s straight on. ANDREA: You also say that looking at the viewer creates freedom. Can you say more about that?

Renee Cox, Opposite: Top: Supermarche, 2008; Bottom: School Bus, 2008.




RENEE: There are no limitations. I’m not afraid of anybody. I don’t live in a state of fear. Our society wants us to live in a state of fear because when people live in a state of fear you can control people more easily. But I don’t live like that; I didn’t grow up like that. ANDREA: I’m curious, you’re married. How many years? RENEE: I’ve been married since 1980. I got married in college, like my mom always said I should. I rejected the idea at the time, but that’s how it worked out. Whenever I want to shock a feminist crowd I tell them that. They are like, “Oh, no,” but I say, “You know what, girls, if you want to get married and have a family, and you’re here in college, this is the time to be looking around for your possibilities, because once you get out everyone scatters. So now is the time,” and if you’re in the arts, I suggest you go to the business school and see who’s over there. ANDREA: How has your husband enabled your work? RENEE: He’s enabled my work by providing a roof and food on the table. Honestly if I was depending

on my work to support myself then I’d probably be living under a bridge by now. We got married as students. My husband is a banker. I didn’t get married to a banker, I got married to a student who was studying international relations and then became a banker. It’s not some gold digging situation, but I have to be honest with people: if you want to be in the arts you have to have some sort of support system because we’re not in Denmark. The government isn’t going to do it for you. In Denmark artists get studios and stipends. Here you get a kick in the ass. ANDREA: What art do you like? RENEE: I like art that’s real. I love Kehinde Wiley stuff, because there’s an uplift in terms of how we see

African Americans. I appreciate that wholeheartedly. I like things that are real. There may not be words to express it, but you know it when you see it. Not like Damien Hirst, where he cuts a shark in half and puts it in formaldehyde. That’s evil and sensational and then I’m like, “Why?” There’s something evil about that even though it generates all that money. I don’t get it. ANDREA: Monty Williams of the New York Times asked you if you believe that there is any image so offensive that it should not be distributed publically, and you said no. Does this stance remain firm with regards to images that are racially offensive and exploitative such as Dana Schutz’s painting of Emmett Till in the recent Whitney Biennial? How do you feel about that? RENEE: I’m not here to judge. Any artist should do what they need to do and put it out there. The only line that I draw is that if you’re gonna do that, you have to give a bit of an explanation as to why you’re doing that. And there wasn’t that explanation. Especially when it comes to the Emmett Till image of a man in a coffin, which was the big kick off to the civil rights movement. So just a little text, something giving a little bit of that history as to where you’re taking this source material from. That’s really my only criticism on that. I feel like if you don’t do that, it becomes irresponsible. Art is about creating a discourse. ANDREA: I’ll ask the famous question: do women have to be naked to get into the Met? How do you

think your work avoids perpetrating this stereotype of female nudity? RENEE: I think there’s female nudity, and then there’s female nudity. It goes back to the gaze. With my nudity, I’m always looking right at you. For me, that’s different. Maybe there are people jerking off to it, but I don’t I create jerk-offable photographs. There’s an exchange. I’m not just making wide open “fuck me” images. I mean you can fuck me, but first we have to talk about whether or not I want to fuck you. I think it’s about owning the image, so to speak. Owning the gesture, the look of the thing. When I was in grad school I did this piece called Liberty in the South Bronx, and I was totally nude in this field

Renee Cox, Opposite: Top: Missy By the Pool, 2008; Bottom: Missy’s Jumpoff, 2008.


in the South Bronx where these crack addicts were around. Being there and being nude, I realized it was really powerful. I went with five people from my class because I was afraid of being attacked, and I had this crowd watching and all of a sudden there was a car that passed by with four black guys and the beats blaring. They saw me in this field naked, and they backed up at 60 miles an hour and ran onto the field. I thought, thank god, I have my converses on, at least I can run, and they came over and they talked to the people who were there with me and I explained to them that I was doing a shoot about how we’re breaking the chains of slavery but we’re still living in these impoverished areas. These guys came up to me after and said, “Hey, respect, you’re brave.” They said it sincerely. At that moment I realized the power nudity can have without giving you some sort of sexual sliminess. You can’t get more real than that. I just wanted the pureness. Just how you come out of your mother’s womb. The slates are clean and open; they can be what you want them to be. ANDREA: What are the challenges you face today with your art? RENEE: There’s always challenges. The hustle never stops. I would have liked to think 30 years ago that I’d be chilling now, but as you get older you realize that if you want to stay relevant the hustle never stops. Take a note from Madonna. Reinvent and keep it going. ANDREA: Who are the icons today in your mind? In the past, you have photographed icons in your work. Who would you photograph today if you were still doing that? RENEE: The classic would be Obama. Who are

the icons? I’d like to know. Right now there’s nobody who has any balls or ovaries that is saying anything pertinent. ANDREA: What advice would you give a young

artist today? RENEE: To do what they feel is their truth without having that corrupted. If you work from the heart you don’t have regrets. You’re not lamenting, because that’s what it is. Free yourself. Be free. Do as you see fit. Even if it’s some fucked up white supremacist thing, do it. But we’re going to have a discussion about it.

Renee Cox, Pill Popper, 2008.




Aneta Bartos, Top: Chicken, 2016; Bottom left: Lolling, 2016; Bottom right: Mirror, 2015. From the series, Family Portrait.



Aneta Bartos, Top Left: Lady, 2017; Top right: The Bottle, 2017; Bottom: Mostek, 2017. From the series, Family Portrait.



Jasmine de Vries, Provocation, 2016. From the series, Rebel ‘n’ Saint.



Jasmine de Vries, Top: Nearby, 2016; Bottom: Oppressively, 2016. From the series, Rebel ‘n’ Saint.


JACK PIERSON g uest cura to r

You pick up photographs along the way. It used to be books, magazines (not necessarily in that order), postcards maybe... Now it’s probably more Instagram. If you have the privilege of encountering young artists at institutions of higher learning as I have been lately, you may get lucky that way. I love photographs especially of people, and I love the people who make them. This portfolio is dedicated to Tracey Baran, a young photographer gone too quickly from our midst, who is represented here by the one photograph not of a person.

Self portrait by Jack Pierson.



Opposite: Dana Scruggs, Sand and Melanin, 2017. Above: Nan Goldin, The blue boy with the chip on his shoulder, NY, August 2016. 2016. Š Nan Goldin, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.


Above: Tommy Kha, Kings (XI), Audubon Drive, 2017. Opposite: Patrick Lee, Reference Image, 2014.


Matthew Leifheit, Bonfire Reenactment V, 2017.


Opposite: Matthew Leifheit, Reenactment III, 2017. Above: Dana Scruggs, Men, Nearly #2, 2018. Following spread: Tommy Kha, Headtown (V), Whitehaven, 2017.


Tommy Kha, Kings (XV), Memphis, 2017.



Opposite: Dana Scruggs, Self Portrait, 2017. Above: Nan Goldin, Solome with the young saint (Felicide), Berlin / New York, November 2016, 2016. Š Nan Goldin, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.


Stephen Barker, Jay Funk (1958-Feb/1994), ACT UP Surrender Dorothy!, 8/13/93.


Stephen Barker, Jay Funk (1958-Feb/1994) ACT UP Surrender Dorothy, 8/1993.


Abovet: Patric Lee, Refernce Image, 2015. Opposite: Bryson Rand, Vincent (Brooklyn), 2016. Following spread: Tommy Kha, Travis, Brooklyn, NY, 2013.



Above: Moyra Davey, Eric, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin / Cologne / New York. Opposite: Dana Scruggs, Men, Nearly #1, 2018.



Clement PJ Schneider, Pierre Painchaud, Paris, 2017.


Clement PJ Schneider, Guillaume Chaleon, Paris, 2017.


Above: Nan Goldin, Withdrawl / Quicksand, Berlin / NY, February 2016, 2016. © Nan Goldin, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery. Opposite: Sam Shahid, Harold’s Birthday Present, New York City, 1970. Following spread: Tracey Baran, Somewhere, Over There, 2004. Copyright Estate of Tracey Baran, courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York.





Ruth Kaplan, Clockwise from top Left: Mud Bath, California, U.S.A., 1991; Mineral Pool, Baile Herculaine, Romania, 1995; Light Treatment, Bad Sulza, Germany, 1997; Thermal Lake Caves, Miskolctapolca, Hungary, 1994



Ruth Kaplan, Top: Water Flotation Massage, California, U.S.A., 1992; Bottom: Mineral Pool, Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic, 1994



Max Ballatore, Amsterdam Soul View, 2004.



Max Ballatore, Amsterdam Soul View, 2004.



b y I sa b e l l a We i ss Taryn Simon is a multidisciplinary artist with significant works in mediums as disparate as photography, sculpture, performance, and sound. Her work is research-based and often includes historical objects and documents, thus functioning as both art and archive. Many of her photographic projects have confronted distortions in truth, meaning, and memory that stem from numerous sources: translations between language and vision, sovereign oversight and manipulation, and modes of organization and representation. Her most recent installation at the Park Avenue Armory, a multi-disciplinary performance piece, explores the interstices between dichotomous entities, and specifically how grief mediates human systems of life and death. Her work is conceptual, broad, and exceptionally human. In her earliest series The Innocents (2002) Taryn Simon’s photographs are portraits of exonerees, individuals just released from prison after years of wrongful conviction. The settings of these portraits are always significant to the case of “the innocents” depicted, such as the locus of their misidentification, the scene of the crime, or the place of their arrest. In this way, Simon’s photographs enact the beginning of a fictional narrative surrounding the convicts’ supposed actions, a fiction that altered each of their realities indelibly. The Innocents divulges yet another example of the misleading nature of the photograph, its capacity to hide distortion behind a guise of realism and veracity. Eyewitness misidentification is the primary cause of wrongful conviction, and this misidentification is furthered by the use of photographs, mugshots, and lineups in the investigatory process because these images have the capacity to alter the visual memory of the eyewitness or victim. Using the medium of photography itself, Taryn Simon exposes the hand that photography has had in the wrongful conviction of innocent individuals and in the confusion between representation and reality that photographs induce in general. The themes explored in The Innocents have only increased in relevance since the series’ first exhibition in 2003. A study in 2014 revealed that one in twenty-five recipients of capital punishment in the United States are later proven innocent. Such a statistic regarding the number of wrongful convictions in the US is more difficult to produce, but considering the fact that there are over two million incarcerated individuals in the United States alone, only one percent of this group would amount to thousands of errors. Simon’s work takes a stand against our justice system’s continued aesthetic biases, racial profiling and partiality in particular. In The Innocents, the camera is accused of deception. While the camera is a mechanical invention designed to produce images extraneous from the distortion of the human mind, Simon exposes the technology as the mind’s accomplice. Her informed practice and keen eye produce an exemplary critique of the power of images. One notices particularly now in these historical times the importance of re-presenting the works when the lines between truth and falsehood are being continuously manipulated and redrawn.

Portrait by Rineke Dijkstra., Taryn Simon, 2011. All images ©Taryn Simon. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.


Frederick Daye Alibi location, American Legion Post 310 San Diego, California, where 13 witnesses placed Daye at the time of the crime Served 10 years of a Life sentence for Rape, Kidnapping and Vehicle Theft Taryn Simon, The Innocents, 2002




Charles Irvin Fain Scene of the crime, the Snake River, Melba, Idaho Served 18 years of a Death sentence for Murder, Rape and Kidnapping Taryn Simon, The Innocents, 2002


Taryn Simon, Film stills. The Innocents, single channel video (30:20 minutes), 2002




Larry Mayes Scene of arrest, The Royal Inn, Gary, Indiana Police found Mayes hiding beneath a mattress in this room Served 18.5 years of an 80-year sentence for Rape, Robbery and Unlawful Deviate Conduct Taryn Simon, The Innocents, 2002



Troy Webb Scene of the crime, The Pines, Virginia Beach, Virginia Served 7 years of a 47-year sentence for Rape, Kidnapping and Robbery Taryn Simon, The Innocents, 2002



Robert Cohen, Pattipat, Muay Thai FIghter, 13 Years Old, 25 Fights, 201X



Robert Cohen, Petchsailung, Muay Thai Fighter, 11 Years Old, 90 Fights, 201X



Robert Cohen, Jozef, Muay Thai Fighter, 10 Years Old, 75 Fights, 201X



Robert Cohen, Moo-Sua-Dam, Muay Thai Fighter, 13 Years Old, 270 Fights, 201X



Robert Cohen, Pupa, Muay Thai Fighter, 7 Years Old, 95 Fights, 201X



Robert Cohen, Dtee-Lek, Muay Thai Fighter, 7 Years Old, 10 Fights, 201X


RAGHUBIR SINGH welcome home

by Le v Fe i g i n

Raghubir Singh, whose name in the world of photography is inseparable from India, was born to an aristocratic family in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Singh lived in Hong Kong and continuously returned to his native land – the inexhaustible muse of his 35 mm color photography – until his untimely death in 1999 at the age of 56. A pioneer colorist, Singh discovered the ecstasy of color during his countless journeys across the Indian subcontinent: on the banks of the Ganges – he travelled the river from its source in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal – in the Kashmir mountains, in remote villages, in the bustle of city crowds. In Singh’s images, the rich, seductive hues of India, the vermillion of women’s saris, the saffron of sadhus’ robes, the ruby of turbans, mingle with the tawny browns of earth after a monsoon and the kaleidoscopic, eye-popping colors of Westernization: omnibuses, plastic bags, television sets, posters, storefronts, cars. Singh turned to photography after high school, having failed to find work as a tea planter in Calcutta. The city’s tea companies would not hire an upper-class young man whose family lost its fortune after India’s independence. Instead, Singh took his camera to Calcutta’s streets. Within a decade he would work for National Geographic. One of his early influences was Henri Cartier-Bresson whose pictures of India from the 40s were, according to Singh, some of the first “to show Indians as individuals” – in contrast to earlier British photographers whose work trafficked in Orientalist fantasies and colonialist clichés. Years later, when Singh met Cartier-Bresson and showed him his own books, the Frenchman flipped through a few pages and set the books aside. For Cartier-Bresson, as for the era itself, the real turned art only in shades of gray. Ram Rahman, Raghubir Singh, Delhi, 1982. All photographs ©2017 Succession Raghubir Singh.




What makes Singh’s images art – and thrusts them well beyond the borders of the best of travel photography – is their exhilarating plunge into the polyphonies of Indian life, their search for communion among its contrasts and contradictions, their capacious density where surprises await in every inch of the composition. An electric fan keeps six-handed deities cool in a museum; a man washes his bicycle in the city while behind him an elephant crosses a dusty bus terminal; a lorry lies toppled in a cow pasture as if a fallen Icarus. Surrealism undercuts the exotic. The quotidian and the enchanting braid. What sets Singh apart from the canon of Western photography is a visual vernacular that seems to lack a syntax for alienation, for the estrangement of the figure against its historical ground. Lee Friedlander, upon his visit to India, would repeatedly ask Singh: “What would Atget have done here?” For Friedlander the modernist inflection, born on the boulevards of Baudelaire’s Paris, was no less valid on the streets of Calcutta. As Singh wrote in the introduction to his River of Colour, the American photographer looked for “the abject as subject.” To what then did Singh’s gaze turn instead? In his images, Singh sought intimacy with his own civilization. He loved photographing dense crowds of worshipers at festivals: panoramas of thousands of dark heads and light robes of pilgrims bathing in the Ganges. He took pictures of village bus stops, weddings, funerary pyres, bullocks, dogs, goats, elephants, street performers, solitary yogis in the mountains, taxi drivers, dock workers, water sellers, devotees to Shiva, Christians and Muslims, women holding children in their arms or caught in the monsoon rain, kids swinging on a tree trapeze, about to fly away over the village roofs. Often compared to the Rajput and Mughal miniaturist paintings, Singh’s photographs radiate the bliss of being in the presence of humanity. Each is a condensation of life in all of its forms, distilled to extract its rush and cyclic transformations. Together they unite into a flow that from one photograph to the next enacts in silver halides India’s cosmic order.

Ram Rahman, Opposite: Monsoon Rains, Monghyr, Bihar, 1967. Above: On Vivekananda Rock, Kanya Kumari, Tamil Nadu, 1994.


Ram Rahman, Top: Ganapati Immersion, Chowpatty, Bombay, Maharashtra, 989. Bottom: Slum Dweller, Dharavi, Bombay, Maharashtra, 1990.


Ram Rahman, Top: Catching the Breeze, Hathod Village, Jaipur, Rajasthan, 1975. Bottom: Barber and Goddess Kali, Calcutta, West Bengal, 1987. Following spread: Vendor and Clients, Bundi, Rajasthan, 1997.





Ashley Middleton, blonde, white top, shorts, pony tail, stretching at Locust St entrance, 2014.



Ashley Middleton, I helped you take your jacket out of the train door, 2013.



Tanyth Berkeley, Lady Baby, 2009.



Tanyth Berkeley, The Stars are Beautiful, 2009.





Gérard Staron, Lost, The radiations, 2016.


AIDAN SULLIVAN the m issing link

ANDREA BLANCH: Tell me about Verbatim. Is it under the umbrella of Getty? AIDAN SULLIVAN: Verbatim is a startup that has been running successfully for twelve years. I’ve taken

everything I was doing, and built, at Getty Images and moved it into its own autonomous entity. Getty is our parent company and key financial investor. They own the majority of the company. Getty Images’ business model for licensing imagery is incredibly successful. When Getty Images was founded, Mark Getty famously said to his family that, “Intellectual property is the oil of the 21 century,” and he was absolutely right. Getty is still the industry leader now. If you have an image and somebody wants it, you can charge them for usage. Verbatim’s business plan is completely different in that we pitch for bespoke, original photography, shot by very high-end photographers. ANDREA: How did this digital and mobile turnover affect business? AIDAN: In 2012, the revenues from editorial business, both in terms of assignment and syndicating work, fell off at a cliff. Fifty percent of revenues disappeared in one year. The editorial industry pretty much collapsed. There was no way to make any money. It was that tipping point when digital and mobile completely disrupted the business model of most media outlets. News became free. Social media became the new news. It took a while for big media outlets to understand how to monetize their content. Content will always be king. Suddenly nobody had any budgets. There were very few organizations that had any money to put into that kind of work. The budgets of huge magazines like National Geographic and Time magazine were reduced drastically. I was suddenly faced with a dilemma as the photographer’s representative: do I close down or rethink it all? ANDREA: Did you need to change your business plan? AIDAN: It became apparent that the millennial generation required companies to do good things in order for them to be successful. This was the first time that a demand like this had ever been made. Companies had to think about what they were projecting to the generation because millennials were going to be the biggest client-base within only a few years. Interestingly enough, the reaction to Donald Trump’s ideals has accentuated this need from a liberal public to want to see that good things are being done. They are all involved in the environment and sustainability; they want to see that people are being cared for and looked after. We started to approach some foundations with the idea to tell the story of their social responsibility projects using our signature photographers and filmmakers. We knew it was going to have an enormous impact. We started working with foundations like Nike, Hewlett, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and even smaller NGOs. By the end of 2013, revenue had come back and I thought, “This is the future.”

Portrait by Andrea Blanch.



Brent Stirton / The Verbatim Agency


ANDREA: Does your focus on helping companies with their outreach bring into question the motiva-

tions behind the photographer’s projects? How connected are the sponsors to the artists’ projects that represent them? AIDAN: For example, Kira Pollock, the Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise at Time magazine has been working on various projects with us. In January (2017), Lynsey Addario followed the lives of four pregnant Syrian refugees. She documented their journey from arriving at the camps in Greece to giving birth and where they ended up after that. I put the money up for those initial four assignments. Time magazine ran four separate covers on the four babies that were born, and Kira went out to the marketplace and found a client, pharmaceutical giant, Merck, to sponsor the project and associate with the great work. People are a little wary of it because it does cross boundaries and people question if it is ethical. My point is, if the companies have no editorial sway and they have no input-- they are merely there as a financial backer-- I see no reason why it’s unethical. ANDREA: Why do some view it as unethical? AIDAN: There has always been this church and state of editorial and advertorial, but I think those days are gone. For example, National Geographic is no longer a non-profit organization, it’s now owned by News Corp. Why is that money better than Nike or BMW? Business is good. We are getting out in front of the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) market, which is huge. It’s basically big companies doing good things. We scan the news as journalists, as we would have done if we were working for a magazine, and try to see where the story is. We want to be able to create real, journalistically driven stories. ANDREA: How do you get ahead of the upcoming news about companies’ agendas? AIDAN: The first priority is announcements from big brands about what they are doing. Then we pitch them an idea, as any creative agency would, about how we could help them amplify their message. With the millennial generation, everything needs to be visual because the international language---the new lexicon---is imagery. It crosses all boundaries, all language differences. Everything has to be front-loading, putting the ending first, putting your best foot forward. If you don’t catch attention in the first few seconds, it’s gone. You can’t just have stock imagery. It has to be unique, impactful and authentic. From 2013 to now, what started as an idea has become one of the key drivers to advertising and communication. To show how horribly wrong it can go if you choose the wrong approach, look at the Pepsi Cola ad with Kendall Jenner, which resulted in rioting. You’ve got to make it authentic; you’ve got to make it real. ANDREA: Why do you think it backfired like that? AIDAN: As I understand it, Pepsi’s internal team put that together, rather than an external team. But we know that big advertising companies, the “big giants,” are setting up all of these internal teams to look up how to promote their clients, and that’s where we come in. We’ve always been very reactive. We used to have clients come to us and tell us what they needed, but now we are being more proactive. We are sitting down as a team with the photographers and figuring out who to approach and what to pitch. We are building a representation with our creative ideas. We are quite happy with creative agencies. We come in and help them with resources and connections. At the same time, we can go directly to the companies if we come up with an idea that is brand-directed. Though we don’t want to alienate the agencies that would normally be the ones assigning us. We work with both. ANDREA: You might have to make a choice down the road. AIDAN: We know that we are in a transitionary period where we are moving from a resource as visual communication into a more creative agency. ANDREA: Who are your photographers?

Opposite top and bottom: Brent Stirton / The Verbatim Agency




Brent Stirton / The Verbatim Agency


Above top and bottom: Shaul Schwarz / The Verbatim Agency


Above top and bottom: Shaul Schwarz / The Verbatim Agency



AIDAN: We are the exclusive agent for our ten core photographers: Lynsey Addario, Brent Stirton, Shaul Schwarz, Gillian Laub, Veronique de Viguerie, Tom Stoddart, Toby Smith, Peter Dench, Marco Di Lauro, and Jonathan Torgovnik. Many of them are friends and we’ve worked together for a long time, so they are the photographers we use first. In some cases, companies may want to shoot in different countries and that’s not a problem because we have seven to eight hundred non-exclusively contracted videographers and photographers in seventy-two countries. We have spent the last decade building up our international roster. It’s not just a list of names. These are photographers we have handpicked. We are the exclusive agent to ten core photographers, and then we have non-exclusive contracts with other photographers, so they can go off and do other work as well. ANDREA: What is the percentage that you give them? Is it per job? AIDAN: It differs a great deal and depends on the scale of the project. On some assignments we reverse engineer it. We look at how much money there is and work it out by day rates. That eventually builds up to our creative fee. I wanted to stop representing the photographers editorially, unless they wanted us to. I felt awkward charging them money for it, so the photographers keep their editorials and the money they earn, because generally it is something they can do by themselves. Though sometimes we financially support them in the work they need to continue. I’m happy to help fund them because they are all working on important projects. It’s an investment. A percentage of Verbatim’s profit will be made available to fund the core photographers’ projects. I’ve created this internal fund that they can access so that we can continue to help promote their editorial work. ANDREA: What do you think of video versus photography? AIDAN: There is no differential. Most clients want both. Either we send a second crew to shoot videography with the photographers, or the photographers will shoot it themselves, depending on what the client requires and depending on the skillsets of the photographer. For example, Shaul Schwarz was originally one of our key photographers and is now an established filmmaker. He has this wonderful skill of putting together a visual narrative both in short and long form. This will give you a sense of where our importance as a company comes in. I was working with a public relations firm to help a massive pharmaceutical company market a new drug. The PR company approached us wanting to use one of our photographers to shoot a series of portraits of subjects with mental health issues that are aligned with the drug; in this case it was bipolar disorder. So Shaul met these subjects and he said, “This is a film. This isn’t a set of stills. I have interviewed these people, and this is a film.” So we persuaded the client to extend the budget to shoot a film, which premiered in Hollywood. Demi Lovato, a spokesperson for this cause, hosted a big screening in LA and they got millions and millions of hits. Research showed that the most susceptible demographic for bipolar disorder is college students, due to the stresses of college life and the academic process. So now, the pharmaceutical company knows their target group and the video is pushed out to colleges and associations. It goes out on social platforms and the results have been extraordinary. It is called Be Vocal. ANDREA: Because there are fewer print outlets, where does a lot of this content go? AIDAN: Online, mobile, and microsites. With Be Vocal, it didn’t go up on the pharmaceutical com-

pany’s website, we created its own website. ANDREA: How did everyone first find out about it? AIDAN: Social media. Demi Lovato posted about the documentary on her Twitter or Facebook account with thirteen million followers and suddenly you get thirteen million views. Put it in a magazine and you might get only a couple hundred thousand. I met some “influencers” over the last year, one of them being a fourteen-year-old girl that has something like eighteen million followers. We asked her

Oppoiste top and bottom: Toby Smith / The Verbatim Agency


how she makes revenue from this, and she said that companies ask her if she will show their product in her next video, but she only does it if she likes the product. These influencers are exactly the same as their followers. It’s not some advertising company thinking about how a fourteen-year-old might think. It’s a fourteen-year-old thinking about how a fourteen-year-old might think. You get authenticity and reality. That is what people are going to be impacted by and influenced by. ANDREA: There is always a double-edged sword. On one side it’s all about authenticity and reality,

but on the other it’s all about likes, and that, I feel, warps people’s thinking. AIDAN: The connection is associating yourself with something, aligning yourself with something and being vocal about it and saying, “I like this, this is something I support.” ANDREA: Do viewers like it? Or are they following what their role models and other people like? AIDAN: Both, but there is no difference in any other generation. People will always want to associate

themselves with something they like. Fashion is a perfect example, which is a multi-billion dollar industry. People want to align themselves with a viewpoint visually, politically, and literally. That’s always been the case, but now with mobile technology, the audience is enormous. It’s about being able to create visual narratives and impactful visual amplification of what’s going on in the world. Two iPhone pictures done by a member of a company’s staff on the ground are not the same as sending in Brent Stirton or Shaul Schwarz. The photographers that I represent are ethical journalists, and they are delighted because they are doing ethical work. They are working with real stories, and they are getting paid to do it. ANDREA: From the moment you told me what you are doing, I thought it was so necessary in our world, a very thoughtful, supportive, and timely vision. AIDAN: It’s a win-win. It’s a win for the photographers because they are doing ethical work and getting paid. For the agency, if we can create a niche for ourselves as someone companies want to go to when they want to communicate their social impact strategy, then that’s a win for us, too. ANDREA: Kudos to you. I’ve been going to a lot of the venues for the celebrations of Magnum’s 70th birthday. What do you think of their new facet, Magnum Global Ventures? AIDAN: Their announcement was a major step forward for Magnum. Here’s what I get from it: The reason Magnum was created was to allow photographers to create their own destiny and create their own work. It was formidable and it set the pace for everybody else. That was seventy years ago, but as the co-op grew, it became harder and harder to manage it as a business. So they are setting up this new entity that is more commercial and receives outside investment so that they don’t have to keep selling stuff off for revenue. As I understand it, some of the more established Magnum members have their own commercial agents, whether that’s going to have to come to an end and they have to work with Magnum internally, time will tell, but I think it’s a major step forward for them. Magnum will never give up the co-op, but setting up a new entity under the Magnum umbrella is a smart way of doing it. That’s the commercial side, but Magnum is continuing to be the great photography cooperative it has always been. ANDREA: It will be interesting to see because they all seem to have very strong opinions as to how it should be done. Well, I love what you’re doing with Verbatim. I think it’s a brilliant idea. AIDAN: In all honesty, someone asked me what my end game was; I’ve been in this industry for some time now as a photojournalist, as a director of photography and now as a representative for photographers. My job is to try and get them work. I wasn’t able to sustain myself in the industry I love, which is photojournalism. I couldn’t do it working editorially, so I had to think of other ways to do it. Right now there is a window of opportunity where I can actually work for the photographers I represent, and that’s what I want to do.

Oppoiste top and bottom: Toby Smith / The Verbatim Agency



Above top and bottom: Lynsey Addario / The Verbatim Agency


Above top and bottom: Lynsey Addario / The Verbatim Agency



Susan Lipper, Untitled (Grapevine), 1991.



Susan Lipper, Untitled (Grapevine), 1991.



Susan Lipper, Untitled (Grapevine), 1991.



Susan Lipper, Untitled (Grapevine), 1991.



Susan Lipper, Untitled (Grapevine), 1991.



Susan Lipper, Untitled (Grapevine), 1991.


ELIZABETH HUEY t h e hum a n to uch

STEVE MILLER: What prompted the move from New York to LA? ELIZABETH HUEY: When I finished grad school in 2002, I moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There was a palpable creative energy in that neighborhood. As the years went by it seems that pulse shifted, as it always does. The art world here in LA is reminiscent of that time of metamorphosis in New York. Galleries are opening every week. Yet, there are differences that impact this scene. LA is the holistic health capital of the world. People casually talk about sound baths and meditation at openings. Even the Hammer Museum has a Mindfulness Meeting once a week. Perhaps the sunlight and sprawling space here encourages a supportive and inclusive atmosphere. STEVE: Okay, you’re telling me there’s an energy shift and a healthy lifestyle that you like in LA? ELIZABETH: I don’t know if I would say it that way. I would say that there’s a sort of

dogged optimism and untiring humor, even in the face of this political and environmental mess we are in. California is the capital of communication, with new technologies and entertainment, and I feel the affect of that underlying openness on the art world. STEVE: That’s a good segue to mention that this issue of Musée is entitled Humanity. That’s a large

container that can include a lot of artists but, in your case, your work strikes me as deeply human in its portrayal of relationships, sexuality, and narrative. You also studied psychology. I see a deep connection between the psychologically charged internal world you portray and its coexistence with external reality. ELIZABETH: In the 90’s, as a student majoring in Psychology, I was conscious of the continual debate

- nature vs. nurture; genetic predisposition or life experience - which one determines our behavior? Initially, my representation of interiors-- both architectural and psychological-- arose as a question and a visual metaphor. This relationship between the world of emotion and our external surroundings has remained a preoccupation of mine since then. STEVE: Can you offer us an example? ELIZABETH: Well, research has proven that both nature and nurture are determinant. Humans are

Portrait by Samantha Marble. Following spread: Elizabeth Huey, Night is Deaf and the Morning Remembers (Alexander Graham Bell), 2017.




diverse and complex and it’s absurd for us to imagine pointing the finger at any one factor to justify motivations. Yet, there are events - people and places - that alter the course of our lives. Recently, I’ve been considering how pain is an undervalued resource, particularly the role it plays in driving invention. My painting “Night is Deaf and the Morning Remembers” alludes to Alexander Graham Bell’s discoveries. The home fractures and the living room spills into the grass. Isn’t it profound that the man who invented the telephone and dramatically improved global communication was unable to be heard by his own deaf mother? STEVE: So back to school.... you were studying psychology? ELIZABETH: Let me clarify: I was making art. I had the equivalent of a double major. I was painting

and drawing while I was studying psychology. I’ve always been interested in both. STEVE: Of course, they’re not mutually exclusive. So, what directs you to the location that seems specific to each painting? ELIZABETH: When I attended the Marchutz School in Aix-en-Provence, France, my painting class

toured a host of post-impressionist landmarks, such as the hospital in Arles that treated Van Gogh’s ear and Cezanne’s beloved Mount St. Victoire. My teacher held over-sized laminated copies of paintings adjacent to the original location and invited us to imagine the artist’s vantage point. At the time, I didn’t realize how influential that would prove to be. It offered a first-hand glimpse into their symbolic color and dynamic composition. Weather, light, and location can set the mood. Painting allows me to take liberties with nature. STEVE: For a decade, you were focused on the history of psychiatry. How did you make the transition from painting asylums to pools?


ELIZABETH: In 2009, I had an artist residency at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. It’s

labyrinth of information was mind-boggling—both in its accuracy and imperfections. It is curious to recognize how aspects of the past get magnified and misconstrued, and sometimes simply lost. It’s easy for me to see a correlation in psychoanalysis...the similarities in the phenomenon of remembering, exaggerating, and forgetting. This intensive research also led me to mine imagery from a stockpile of early medical trade cards. Water as a curative substance began to emerge. For centuries, water has been used as a medicinal salve and a symbol for the intangible. The pool is a realm of therapeutic cleansing and I think living with an image of water encourages a feeling of freedom and restoration. STEVE: Any other influences? ELIZABETH: In the mid 90s, I moved to the East Village to attend the New York Studio School. I had

the good fortune to study with Mercedes Matter, Esteban Vicente and other abstract expressionists who shared so many stories from their own experiences in the New York art scene …waltzes with Calder, Mondrian painting trees just to pay the bills, and Giacometti known for being ornery at the bar. Those early years in New York were so pivotal. My best friend at the time was Allen Ginsburg’s young boyfriend and he introduced me to the beat poets. I’ve been thinking lately how much their way of compiling phrases has impacted my process in constructing a painting. STEVE: Well, let’s talk about piecing together a painting. What’s the draw of photography for you

in your painting practice? For example, when I interviewed Eric Fischl, photography and Photoshop were useful tools to compose his images. How do you bring diverse material together in one canvas? What is the process of composing narratives? ELIZABETH: Collage is a way of cobbling together images to forge a new construction. This has been

a thread in my work since I began making art. I make a lot of drawings and paper collages as well as digital photo montages. I frequently shift between mediums; I am now working in sculptural collage and digital prints. There has always been an inclination and a desire to mash-up disparate elements together. However, when I am making a painting I allow the painting to dictate what it wants to be. If there is any sort of preliminary draft before I am halfway through, I let go of it. I’m aware that the painting has its own ideas, and paying attention to this is imperative. I’m always humbled by this practice because I always see things I wouldn’t have anticipated. Painting, to me, is really a conversation. I’m talking to the painting, and the painting talks back. I listen. STEVE: Instagram is a platform you use effectively (37K followers) to communicate visual images.

Some photos you take and some photos you collect. How do you “discover” photos? ELIZABETH: I started taking photos exclusively as a way to gather source images for paintings. When I needed a lake view, I would visit Central park. If I was depicting a patterned blouse, I would find one on the street. Around the same time, I started collecting photographs from estate sales and thrift stores. Ebay and Etsy are now 24-hour flea markets. Every “found” image I upload to Instagram is an actual print in my ever-expanding archive. Naturally, through this process of searching, I have discovered movement, color, forms, and compositions as I do while making a painting. The photographs began to take on a similar resonance while becoming their own entity. When I started on Instagram in 2012, it was the perfect venue for presenting this material together. I began to see the source images operating as artworks in and of themselves. STEVE: In relation to your art, is there a difference between found photos and what you shoot on

the street? ELIZABETH: Photos that I collect from the past inevitably carry a certain wistful nostalgia. I’m aware

many of the people are no longer alive. There is a certain resuscitation--breathing life into the past--

Elizabeth Huey, Opposite: Soon Means Soon (Eames), 2017. Following spread: Waiting Room, 2014,




and a reimagining of history that occurs when I work from those images. Frequently, they are black and white and I’m infusing them with color. With the ones I take, there is an element of surprise, an unexpected intimacy. There is a division I’m attracted to, an idiosyncrasy that highlights the fleeting nature of life. STEVE: There is reoccurring iconography in both the paintings and photographs. One thing I’ve noticed is your use of windows. ELIZABETH: Should I talk about this? Um, well, when I was a teenager I was placed in a “tough love”

treatment facility. In this windowless warehouse, there was no music, books or television and when rules were broken harsh punishments were administered. Isolation, food and sleep deprivation, and verbal attacks were all used to persuade change. Therapeutic environments, like other institutions, have the capacity to manipulate and coerce, for better and for worse. When there are no windows the mind develops alternate portals for seeing. It’s similar to prisoner’s cinema where the mind gets in a heightened state of imagination after being isolated from society. That complete withdrawal from visual stimuli might have been my initial motivation to create windows. STEVE: Makes a lot of sense. I’m glad you added that because it gives the notion of how a window

can offer greater meaning. ELIZABETH: The window is perception […] the link between the mind and its perceived realty. A win-

dow is also a passage, a shift in space and perspective; a morphing of time […] the painting itself is a window. So, it is a frame within another frame. Maybe all art is a window… STEVE: I had the good fortune to see your last exhibition at Harper’s Books and eavesdrop on a discussion about one of your paintings. You were describing a story about a sexual initiation that added content to a particular painting. Where did you find this story and do you consciously search out these strange rituals? ELIZABETH: These people and places seem to naturally find me. The painting you are referring to, titled “Of Duty and Desire,” references the 19th-Century Oneida community from upstate New York. An NPR segment on Ellen Wayland-Smith’s book From Free Love Utopia to the Well-Set Table initially piqued my interest. STEVE: In your paintings and photographs there are groups of people having conversations with each

other. What are these figures talking about? ELIZABETH: It really depends. They are talking, but I don’t consider the work to be an exact or literal

depiction. They are more a reflection of mood and feelings. These conversations supersede language. I feel like I’m painting things that are beyond words. It’s a challenge answering questions; having to put visuals into vocabularies. I think great paintings defy words. STEVE: A great artist friend of mine said making art is an accumulation of fitting; it’s all about how

it fits. ELIZABETH: I relate to that. I may be using figures, landscapes and interiors, but it’s the same. There’s something that happens late at night in the studio, when my mind, heart, and vision align, when everything seems connected, and it’s an indescribable joy. It seems to surpass being human. Guston talked about how there’s a moment when you’re painting— I’m not going to quote this verbatim—when your teachers leave the room, and then your friends leave the room, and your family leaves the room, and you actually leave the room, too. There’s that space of ... it’s an incomparable space of connection.

Elizabeth Huey, Top: Century’s Swim, 2014; Bottom: Chemistry, 2015; Following spread: Duty and Desire, 2017.






Marco Arguello, Top and bottom: Untitled, 2015.



Marco Arguello, Untitled, 2015.



Fabian Muir, Top: Urban Burqa #4, 2017; Bottom: Urban Burqa #3, 2017.



Fabian Muir, Top: Urban Burqa #1, 2017; Bottom: Urban Burqa #2, 2017.



CASA SUSANNA w eekend hidea wa y

b y Joh n H u tt Casa Suzanna (Powerhouse Publishers, New York, NY 2005) is a collection of found photographs of drag queens from the late 50s to early 60s. Casa Suzanna depicts a group of cross-dressers lounging around the eponymous house, having lunch, gardening, playing with cameras, having tea, and other normal, everyday activities. Casa Suzanna was a type of resort ran by Susanna Velenti (nÊe Tito, the court translator) and her wife Marie. The Casa would take in guests, mostly self-identified heterosexual men who enjoyed cross dressing. The guests would receive makeup lessons and spend their time there in elegant, elegant 50’s-style dresses. Robert Swope found the material for Casa Suzanna when he was picking through boxes of old photographs of drag queens at a flea market in 2004. This is a worthwhile if not laborious pursuit, for every brilliant picture, there are hundreds of rightfully forgotten and discarded ones. Drag was around in the early 60s, indeed drag has been around forever, but documented cases of drag at parties or within communities is nothing particularly new or exciting; beyond generally being fun. Drag photos are normally a vessel for performance, part of the get up, part of the dress and the party. Its great to peacock in 8 inch thigh high stilettos, and this is the drag we are more familiar with because its purposefully more visible, purposefully in your face. Casa Suzanna is unique because it depicts a community of cross-dressers in conservative 50s housewife attire doing typical housewife actions. The first picture Swope came across was simply one of the girls knitting on a couch. What is remarkable about Casa Suzanna is the intimate happiness of these pictures. The collection includes sexy shots, candid shots, casual shots, group shots and even holiday cards. The sense of community shines through in a way that makes the viewer feel welcome. We assume that the house was probably secret and these pictures were only seen by the people in them. The house certainly seems to be a ranch away from society, a kind of country get away up in the catskills. Casa Suzanna seems to be an ultimate safe space. The joy of home shines through in each photograph. One gets the sense that these pictures were poured over during the get togethers with the girls, memories were shared and stories retold. It is important to remember that during the early 60s cross-dressing was a crime, transvestism was a medical disorder, and a safe space was more than somewhere people could be comfortable. A safe space was a place where people could come and be themselves without being imprisoned or murdered.


Photography for cross-dressers can be incredibly affirming, a memento of looking your best, a permanent document that shows you how you are, at once both liberating and scary. However, photography could also be very dangerous. Negatives could not be sent away to a printer because the act in the photograph was illegal. To get around this Susanna employed her own in-house photographer, Andrea Susan, who shot and developed most of the photographs found in the book. We can build a romantic story of a house where a group of friends gather to get away from the world and finally be themselves. A place where everyone is totally comfortable with themselves and one another. The men in the book are the same besuited squares that conform to the masculine gender roles that were so strict in the 50s and 60s. Gender roles were so stringent then that there had to be secret clubs just to get together and do normal activities, like have a cup of tea or paddle in a pond. What makes Casa Suzanna important is its existence as a proto-transgender group. People in Casa Suzanna included Virginia Prince; the transgender activist, editor of Transvestia, and indeed one of the popularizers of the very term transgender. The house gave people an escape and a community in a time where it was not only uncommon to be transgender, a cross-dresser, or even homosexual, it was absolutly dangerous. In this light, Susanna shines as the hero behind the smiling, happy faces of Casa Suzanna’s depicted guests.










Lauren Greenfield, Ilona, a photographer and former model originally from Latvia, in the mezzanine library of her home, which so far contains only copies of a self-published book of her fashion photographs, Moscow, 2012.



Lauren Greenfield, Crenshaw High School girls selected by a magazine to receive “Oscar treatment” for a prom photo shoot take a limo to the event with their dates, Culver City, California, 2001.







Lauren Greenfield, Film director and producer Brett Ratner (right), 29, and Russell Simmons, 41, a businessman and cofounder of hip-hop label Def Jam, at L’Iguane restaurant, St. Barts, 1998.



Lauren Greenfield, Xue Qiwen, 43, in her Shanghai apartment, decorated with furniture from her favorite brand, Versace, 2005.







Lauren Greenfield, Jackie and friends with Versace handbags at a private opening at the Versace store, Beverly Hills, California, 2007.



HARRIET LOGAN & TRISTAN LUND y ou co m plete m e

HARRIET LOGAN is a multi-award-winning photographer who spent the first half of her career working on international assignments in places such as Chechnya, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Somalia for a range of international newspapers and magazines. She subsequently turned her attention to working commercially on advertising campaigns for clients such as Crayola, Cheerios, Waitrose, Pictet, and Canon alongside some of the world’s largest agencies. Today she curates the Incite Project, an issue-driven collection of photographs broadly based around the subject of world events and conflict. TRISTAN LUND is an art consultant and curator of The Incite Project, a collection of photojournalism,

documentary photography, and photographic art. For the 2017 edition of Photo London, Tristan was curator of the Discovery section dedicated to young galleries. He is a trusted advisor to collectors of photography internationally, sourcing works from artists, galleries, and auction houses, and helping navigate the art market on their behalf. With experience in the field of vintage photography, he is a member of the Frieze Masters vetting committee, and as the Director of Michael Hoppen Contemporary from 2010-2014, he is in a position to advise and support emerging and established photographic artists. ANDREA BLANCH: Many artists, philosophers and cultural theorists, have stated their concern regarding the numbing effect of the proliferation of brutal imagery in the media. For example, Andy Warhol famously stated that when you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn’t really have any affect. It is clear you hold a different opinion. How do you defend the value of disseminating difficult imagery in the light of the prevalent argument? HARRIET LOGAN: I completely disagree with that. We all see the same images over and over again in the press, on the web, and on television and they never stop shocking us. They SHOULD never stop shocking. I think the alternative of not looking at these images is completely irresponsible. It’s almost turning your back on the atrocities that are going on in the world. I couldn’t personally do that, you can’t ignore the reality of what is happening in the world. ANDREA: I am in complete agreement with your point of view. TRISTAN LUND: I think in Andy Warhol’s quote, he as an artist is not recognizing the value of the

Top: Self portrait by Harriet Logan; Bottom: Portrait by Dominic Bell.


Opposite: Justyna Mielnikiewicz / MAPSimages; Following spread: Edmund Clark, From the Mountains of Majeed. Photograph: Flowers Gallery.



maker of these images, the photojournalists. What is really important about the Incite Project collection from the photojournalistic perspective is that it is taking these photographs, which were created as illustrations of text in newspapers and magazines, and elevating them to the same regard as we view works of art. On the wall, framed, and behind glass, they take on this reverence and that makes you slow down as a viewer. But, most importantly, the maker is emphasized. ANDREA: How long has it been since you’ve been a photojournalist? HARRIET: Quite a long time now. The last major story I did was in Afghanistan just after 9/11. At the

time, I was working as a photojournalist completely and mostly with The Sunday Times Magazine. It was a wonderful time in terms of being a photographer because I had a great picture editor, Aidan Sullivan. He was sending me on incredible stories and the magazine itself had a strong backbone and felt as if it had a moral obligation to tell stories that we may find hard to deal with. I don’t believe that there are many magazines out there that do this today. In a way, I find that this is a difficult conversation because I think one of the things that is really testing for photojournalists working today is that the magazine market is almost gone and most of what remains seems obsessed with celebrities and fashion. So what do photojournalists do with their pictures of serious issues and how do they get people to look at them? I mean, obviously social media is one method that is being increasingly used. But I just feel... and this may well be my age… but I just feel that this medium is transient and fast moving and therefore it’s hard to get someone to really concentrate on a single image. The beauty of print and the beauty of having pictures framed on a wall, is that the images challenge you to look at them. It’s important for people to look at them, not only as a recognition of what happened in the world, historically, but also as a recognition of the photographers that went out and risked their lives, in many situations, to take those pictures. These pictures deserve to be looked at. ANDREA: In counterpoint to that, Theodore Adorno argued that artists’ representations of war aes-

theticize it, allowing the ugly to be enjoyed in a way that he found sadistic. Can you talk about the paradox of “liking” and “wanting” a violent image. Very few collections are interested in purchasing such images, and photographers are often surprised by a request to print them for The Incite Project. What makes your collection different in this regard? How do you moderate aesthetic pleasure and intellectual interest with a regard for malevolent content? HARRIET: As much as I say it is important for people to look at them, I am really conscious that this

isn’t an exercise in voyeurism, or for shock value. When some photographers are surprised when The Incite Project has an interest in their pictures, I think this is partly more to do with the fact that we live in a climate where photojournalists are not used to selling their images as prints. Remember, they are working digitally most of the time. In many cases, these pictures never exist outside of a hard drive. The collection is, in some way, a physical reflection of what is happening in the world. As events take place it is our job to identify the key images, trying to think about which ones really define the event and how these images are going to look in fifteen to twenty years’ time. ANDREA: Harriet, are you less interested in the art side of photography than Tristan? HARRIET: It’s not that so much. I think what works very well in our working relationship as curators is

that we come at it from completely different backgrounds. I think if we both came from a photojournalist background, the collection would be fairly one-dimensional. Tristan has taught me a vast amount about photography and photographers. He is really good at getting me to appreciate work that I never would have looked at before. For example, with Tristan’s guidance, Incite recognized the work of Richard Mosse at the early stages of the collection. It felt like a very leftfield idea at the time because it didn’t fall into the traditional parameters of photojournalism. So the collection has definitely benefitted from Tristan’s art gallery experience, without a doubt. We are very collaborative in the way we work and Opposite: Matt Black/Magnum Photos, Top: USA. Tulare, California, 2014; Bottom: El Paso, Texas. Following spread: Seamus Murphy, Shamali Plain, Afghanistan,12 November, 2001. Taliban fighter who died defending the final front before Kabul.





make recommendations. More than anything, we have a fantastic mutual respect for each other and our very different professional backgrounds. TRISTAN: I feel like our role as curators is almost like one of a newspaper photo editor. We believe in

the possibility of the single image to affect change, as it did in newspapers, and as it still does in the media, for example, the Alan Kurdi picture from the refugee crisis in Europe. We really look carefully at an artist’s entire body of work and then edit it down very tightly to select the key images, considering composition as well as the event being documented. ANDREA: So what are you looking for in newer works? Is it the aesthetic, emotional impact, or his-

torical value you think it might have? Is it a gut feeling you have when you see an image? Or all of the above? HARRIET: Yes, kind of. TRISTAN: As curators we are definitely very visually driven. There are collections of photographic

artists in which the aesthetics of the images are secondary to their concept. The Incite Project feels very much driven by the power of the image and its immediate impact. I think, if you boil it down, what you get to at the end is the strength of the image and the desire to understand the story behind it. We have come to realize in this image-saturated world, where “everyone is a photographer,” that professionals still take better photographs than amateurs. ANDREA: You have said previously that “it’s about telling other people’s stories and not just about

trying to make an art form.” Is a motivation behind this collection of photojournalistic pieces to maintain public access to these stories? If so, what effort have you made to increase the accessibility to the collection? HARRIET: Well, one hundred prints have just recently been shown in Bath for three months and around

twenty-four thousand people saw them. The collection will increasingly look for exhibition opportunities. We feel strongly about that and would welcome suggestions. In fact, we regularly show the collection to senior curators from many acclaimed museums and galleries. ANDREA: Have you considered digitalizing the collection to improve public access? TRISTAN: I think in time it may move in that direction. ANDREA: Some people have the opinion that the adrenaline rush pushes photojournalists to re-

turn to war zones and difficult environments to photograph. In regards to you, Harriet, does looking at these type of pictures keep this adrenaline alive in you, since you no longer participate in photojournalism? HARRIET: I have always struggled with the adrenaline junkie idea. There is another side to it. If you stood

like I have and watched children dying in front of you from malnutrition, or you’ve seen graves where there are women and children’s bodies being run over by bulldozers, it changes something in you and it challenges the things that make us human. It really affects how normal you feel about the world. When I came back from stories like that, I found it very hard to adjust to normal life. It shocked me to my core, so maybe part of looking at these images is kind of a stabilizing thing, to know that it is real and it really did happen. I think that photographers go back because they need to, because it’s part of their normality. ANDREA: Would you say that having a camera in front of you, when you photograph these atrocities,

creates a barrier, a sense of distance? When you’re not photographing you have time to reflect on what

Previous spread: Eugene Richards, Mariella, Brooklyn, New York, 1992. © Courtesy of the artist.


has happened. Do you think that the camera generates an emotional distance? HARRIET: What you’re saying is completely right. Although, remember that when you’re in a war you

are surrounded by this twenty-four/seven. Atrocity becomes your normality. The times when I was really upset about things I had seen was when I couldn’t have the camera as a barrier, because the camera was not in my hands. When you are taking pictures, a different part of your brain kicks in and you’re thinking about f-stop, composition, framing, and a lot of practical things. I’m one of those people that is quite good in a high stress environment. I become very practical, and that’s what you do when you are working. But you are absolutely right, for instance, I witnessed something really tragic in Somalia when I didn’t have a camera in my hand. I wasn’t working, and we went for a walk along the beach, and we wandered into this house on the beach. When we went into a room in the house, there was an entire family completely butchered and hacked apart on the floor. I can still remember exactly how it looked. I was even more shocked seeing it because I wasn’t in a work mindset. I didn’t have a camera, there was no way I could separate myself from it. It traumatized me. ANDREA: Later in your career you transitioned the focus of your work from photojournalism to com-

mercial photography. Can you talk about the difference between these two fields, between a photographic genre that attempts to capture reality and another that attempts to curate it? HARRIET: I went into commercial photography partly because I’d had children and partly because

The Sunday Times Magazine started going downhill. It also got to the point where I was on a plane going somewhere on an assignment and I was thinking, “I can’t keep doing this.” At that moment, I decided I shouldn’t continue because I was very lucky to be going and I knew there were many other photographers who would have done anything to be on that assignment. I wanted to be at home more. I started doing commercial photography, and it was fantastic. I did some really creative adverts and worked with some great art directors that had a huge amount of respect for the way photojournalists saw the world and treated me with more respect than I would get from the newspapers I worked with as an editorial photographer. For a long time, I found working commercially really fulfilling and it meant I didn’t have to go and stay in difficult parts of the world or see things that hurt me emotionally. I was also a mother to two children, and I couldn’t be away from them. It was a lifestyle choice I really had to make. ANDREA: Do you find that commercial photography is as under-appreciated as photojournalism? HARRIET: Yes. The beauty of film was that you had complete control over what you did. With digital

photography you don’t have control. You are immediately looking at the screen on the back of your camera to see what you just shot, which is a really insecure way of working. You can’t just trust yourself and make pictures. You often work with a team of people behind you looking at the images as they appear on a computer screen and they end up having way more creative control over you than if you were working on film. ANDREA: I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve seen a photograph of you sitting in front of a portion

of The Incite Project’s collection. The wall behind you is crowded with framed images from floor to ceiling. Can you talk about this curatorial decision and explain how you organize the photographs in the collection more broadly? HARRIET: Hanging that wall was a great indication of how different Tristan and I are. When we were

looking at the walls where we store some of the prints I said to Tristan, “I’m going to hang this wall and you can hang that wall.” Tristan is a very thoughtful man, he thinks about things before he does them, whereas I blunder through life yelling and screaming, making a lot of fuss. So, I put basically everything that I could get my hands on up on the wall I was hanging. Tristan’s wall was a beautiful,

Following spread: Edward Burtynsky, Xiaolangdi Dam #3, Yellow River, Henan Province, China, 2011.



clean wall, very sorted with only a few prints. That really sums us up. ANDREA: Do you consider the images in your collection art or artifact? Do you consider the collection

in your home an art collection or a visual library of history? HARRIET: If you asked someone like Don McCullin, he would be appalled by the idea that he is consid-

ered an “artist.” There is a lot of his work in the collection and he would say, “What a lot of nonsense, you’re a photographer, you’re not a bloody artist.” ANDREA: The disparity is interesting. The distinction that is made between the two, depending on

who you ask. What does Don McCullin think an artist is, that he doesn’t subscribe to? TRISTAN: I’ve got one untested idea about this. Older photographers such as Don McCullin, in my

experience, don’t like that label “artist.” I wonder if specifically British photographers dislike the label “artist” because when they started their careers, photography was still quite a bourgeois pass-time. They considered what they were doing as a worthwhile job done by someone who was earning a living. I use it because I think it gives more freedom to the maker of the images. HARRIET: I think you’re right. Definitely in this country, some people identify very much with McCul-

lin having come, as he does, from a working-class background, one that they are proud of. I think those ideals are very important to McCullin. He isn’t, as Tristan said, a member of the ‘aristocracy’ where the “artist” label comes from. ANDREA: Today, everyone wants to be called an artist, so it’s interesting that you make that observation. Harriet, can you tell me about your experience wearing a burka in Afghanistan while photographing women who were attending school under the Taliban rule? HARRIET: The first time I went to Afghanistan was in 1997, under the Taliban. I was working with a

very small women’s group comprised of war-widows and I had to wear a burka. It was the only way I could travel with them because I could be anonymous. I even had to borrow their shoes in case the Taliban saw my own. I hid my cameras underneath my burka. I remember, we were in the back of a taxi at a road block when the Taliban stopped us and the women with me were holding my hands under my burka as if to say “Do not say anything, do not say anything.” Luckily they didn’t ask me any questions, directly. I wore the burka to protect both myself and them. ANDREA: I remember the publicity surrounding that and I was so envious. I would have given anything to do something like that. What you did was so courageous and awe-inspiring. Brava! Where do you see The Incite Project collection five years from now? HARRIET: The collection is taking on a life of its own at this point. As professionals, we just need to

keep feeding it with ideas and making the right suggestions about the direction it’s going in. It would be fantastic if the collection had it’s own permanent public space, and it would be great for it to have some sort of legacy where it continues to play an important role in helping these photographers’ careers. A really important thing for me is that photographers and artists, not just photojournalists, want their work to be in The Incite Project collection. TRISTAN: When the collection first began, it was focused upon the iconic images of the twentieth cen-

tury. These photographs have transcended the medium of photography and become visual markers of the twentieth century, moments of history that everyone knows about. Three years ago it felt like a very natural decision to stop buying the work of dead photographers and to focus on photographers and artists who are alive and out there making work now. Previous Spread: Takashi Arai, A Maquette for a Monument for Global Hawk, 2014; Opposite: Trevor Paglen, LACROSSE/ONYX II Passing Through Draco (Radar Imaging Reconnaissance Satellite; USA 69), 2007. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


Opposite: Simon Roberts/courtesy Flowers Gallery London & New York, Gordon Brown, Labour, Rochdale, 28th April 2010 from The Election Project; Following spread: Tom Stoddart, SARAJEVO, 1993: In the dangerous suburb of Dobrinja Meliha Varashanovic walks proudly and defiantly to work during the siege of Sarajevo. Her message to the watching gunmen who surround her city is simple, “you will never defeat us.�


Svetlana Makoveeva, Top and Bottom: History of Russia, IX Century, 2017.



Svetlana Makoveeva, Top and Bottom: History of Russia, IX Century, 2017.



Nina Korhonen, Halloween, Lake Worth, FL, 1998.



Nina Korhonen, On the Roof, New York, 1993.


SEAN BAKER p. o . v.

ANDREA BLANCH: The Thomas Laffey Film Journal has called you one of the most humanist filmmakers working today. What do you think it means to be a humanist filmmaker? Do you personally identify as such? SEAN BAKER: I’m interested in universal stories through which we can all connect as human beings. I think it’s important to have a little more empathy in storytelling these days. I see it as, perhaps, my own personal ethical responsibility. ANDREA: Well, you’re not a millennial so, kudos to you. You said at one point, when you started

film school at NYU, that you were thinking of doing Die Hard-type films. What changed your course? SEAN: It’s funny because the last two films I have made have been presented to the audience as pieces

of entertainment. Cinema can do many things, but I think it began as an entertainment medium and people still consider it that. I think that’s why I fell in love with cinema. While going to NYU, I was interested in the Hollywood fare, but as soon as I started learning more about international cinema, I fell in love with, and was influenced by, Italian Neo-Realism, British Social Realism, American Independence, and alternative ways of storytelling. I started to gravitate towards those because their focus is on characters instead of cars flipping and buildings exploding. I can’t discard the fact that cinema is entertainment, so if there’s a happy medium for my films to deliver on both, that’s where I eventually go with my work. ANDREA: Can you name some of the filmmakers that have influenced you the most? SEAN: It changes a lot. I do my best to continue to be inspired. Career-wise, Kevin Loach, Mike Leigh,

Cassavetes, Hal Ashby. These days I’m looking at more contemporary filmmakers and the people who are working in the sort of hybrid ground where narrative fiction meets documentary. We’re telling pretty much the same stories again and again and agai; but it’s how they’re being told, and I’m looking for fresh perspectives.

Portrait by Andrea Blanch, make up by Sarah Hill.


ANDREA: Well, you seem to go for the outliers. I think that’s one of the threads, if I might be presumptuous, that go throughout your work. I’m curious to learn what your upbringing was to know what attracts you to these stories. SEAN: I get asked that a lot these days because of the fact that I have six films under my belt and

people are starting to see that. Quite honestly, all I can say about that is I think it’s a response to what I’m not seeing in film and television. There’s that lack of diversity in storytelling and who’s voices are out there. There’s so many communities, so many neighborhoods, so many subcultures that I feel have been ignored because simply, they’re not the ones who are making the films. My film, Tangerine, was a direct response to that, saying there’s a lot more to Los Angeles than what we see. ANDREA: Do you think people paid attention to Tangerine more because you shot it with an iPhone than the story you told? SEAN: I think it’s about fifty-fifty. The medium we shot it on complemented the content, and vice versa. The whole process came from a very organic place. We were just trying to make a film with the means that we had. Where it went and what people paid attention to, well, that’s all gravy. An article was written about the film in The Verge, a tech magazine, which introduced the film to a million tech geeks who never would have paid attention to the film if it weren’t for that. They then saw this film, and hopefully connected with characters they never thought they would connect with. We never meant it to be a stunt or anything like that but, in hindsight, I am really happy it worked out that way.At the time, I have to tell you, it was a kick to the ego. I had already made a film on 35mm, this was like a jump back in budget and the whole time we were shooting we were like, “Is this going to kill our careers?” Instead, our methods ended up becoming a talking point and that helped the film a lot. ANDREA: Jeff Wall, a Neo-Realist photographer, once stated that the spontaneous is the most beautiful thing that can appear in a picture. You have encouraged spontaneity and improvisation in your work, as well. Are there any particular scenes in The Florida Project that exemplify Jeff Wall’s opinion on the unplanned and impulsive? SEAN: Oh yes. Conrad Hall is the wonderful cinematographer who supposedly coined the term “happy accident.” I’m always striving for a certain amount of spontaneity on set, with improvisation in front of, and behind, the camera so that about seventy percent is structured and thirty percent is left up to serendipity. Now, of course, that sometimes leads to absolutely nothing, but then sometimes it leads to something that you couldn’t even imagine, something that seems too good to be true. In The Florida Project I had our schedule loose enough so that we were able to grab things in the moment if we needed to. It’s not about being so rigid that you can’t see the wonderful moments that are happening around you and take advantage of them. ANDREA: How much rehearsal did you have, especially with the children? I have to tell you that last

scene in the movie, when Brooklynn was crying, reminded me of when I used to cry. I mean, it was so heartfelt. SEAN: Brooklynn Prince is an amazing actress and we didn’t even know the scene was going to be taken to that level. That last scene was written where she would cry, and we knew that she was going to attempt tears. I don’t like rehearsing those types of scenes because, if you don’t get it when you’re actually rolling the camera, your actor’s spending it during a rehearsal. So we were hoping for the best, and when we got into that scene, we were shooting over the shoulder of little Jancey (Valeria Cotto) at Brooklynn, and little Valeria was having small talk with Brooklynn, out of character, then Brooklynn goes, “Um, Valeria, I’m going to have to focus right now because I’m about to cry and I have to go to another place.” Then she started crying. We couldn’t even look at her because we were all being so moved. I had never shed a tear on set, because it’s all artifice to me, but this performance took everyone

Bria Vinaite and Brooklynn Prince, photo courtesy of A24.


to another place. Afterwards, I called “cut,” and we jumped and hugged her for ten minutes. We were so proud of her work. Later, I was getting a wide-shot of the scene, and she did it again. We didn’t even ask for it. She’s a born actress. It’s really incredible. ANDREA: Valeria Cotta’s response to it was wonderful because she was frozen, unable to handle it. I

thought it was incredibly moving. Was your cast made of only professional actors? SEAN: No, Valeria was a total street casting; I found her at Target one night with her mom. Christopher Rive-

ra came to one of the open casting calls we put out in two or three counties. What I was looking for was three extroverts. Hollywood has a tendency to go with the introverted underdog, sort of the blossoming, coming of age persona, but I wanted these three kids to be right out of the gate, just three over-the-top extroverts. ANDREA: You have commented on, and benefitted from the incessant fluctuations in the film industry’s finances. How do you think the film industry is doing today and how does it affect your choices, if it does? SEAN: It’s very hard to analyze the current state because it’s changing so much. I remember everyone

saying that independent film was in such a bad place in the nineties, and looking back now, that was the most amazing time. People who broke in the nineties are still going strong: Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, all of those guys were able to have, what looks like will be, life-long careers because of the time they broke. Breaking now is a very different time. There’s so much content out there. There are so many different platforms. The money is not in feature film making, it’s in television. But that goes directly against everything I ever learned. I went to school to learn feature film making, which is telling a story with a running time between ninety minutes and two and a half hours. Unless you make a sequel, that’s the most you’ll ever know about this group of people, these characters, this world, the story that you’re telling—that’s it. Yet the industry just expects you to make a television series after you’ve made one independent film. That’s the first question I get all the time.


ANDREA: You used 35mm film in The Florida Project and have commented on the impending danger of this medium’s obsolescence. What do you think your industry will loose with the disappearance of film? What made this medium the necessary choice for this project? SEAN: I was looking for a certain organic quality that I really feel only exists in celluloid. No matter what filters you want to throw on your digital project, you will never achieve that, no matter what anyone says. There is also the preservation side of it. It makes my film easier to preserve and archive, but also it plays against what people were expecting of me. I think I was becoming the ‘iPhone Guy.’ I wanted to go one hundred and eighty degrees the other way. This is the part where it gets tricky with defending the aesthetic of film. There’s beauty in digital. I’m so happy I shot Tangerine on the iPhone, it works for that movie, we were able to find beauty in that digital medium and it was appropriate for that story. But then again, there’s a lot of digital out there that’s not exactly aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Films are less cinematic these days, and that’s why I think a lot of audiences are okay with


watching their stuff at home, on Netflix. Watching a movie like Dunkirk at home is going to be a very different experience than watching Dunkirk on your IMAX screen. It’s a different experience altogether and I feel like it’s a lot more aesthetically pleasing to see that on the big screen where you can see the organic nature, the grain, and all the other wonderful characteristics of celluloid. ANDREA: Unfortunately, I don’t think the general public is educated in film enough, to be able to see

the differences. SEAN: Right. The differences are on a subconscious level, which is difficult when you’re dealing with an art which is obviously so linked to commerce. It’s hard to persuade financiers and studio heads that what you’re doing is actually worth anything. ANDREA: You have said that you are nervous about how the proposed budget cuts of the current

Willem Dafoe and Brooklynn Prince, photo courtesy of A24.


administration will affect the individuals you have worked with in Florida. Have you maintained contact with any of these individuals amidst the current political environmental turmoil? SEAN: Yes, I’m in touch with everybody, but the one’s who have provided me feedback on this are the agencies. Like the nonprofits who are working in the area to help and provide social services, they’ve told me they are very nervous about the proposed budget cuts. Right now, they’re relying on local government and philanthropists. ANDREA: It’s even more difficult now with Florida being affected by the hurricane. SEAN: We were showing our film at the Toronto International Film Festival the day the hurricane hit

Miami. Many of our crew members working the festival were from Miami. It was really difficult for us to get up on stage and show our film in a celebratory way while we had no idea what was happening. Thank god everybody was okay, and no one that we know had substantial property damage. ANDREA: You have attempted to evoke universally relatable topics in your more recent work and you have said that in order to present the universal, you must disguise it. Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? SEAN: I think what I meant by that is we’re making a political film. An issue-based film, but we cer-

tainly don’t want to present it to the general audiences that way because then they won’t see it. If I was going to do something like that then I would’ve made a documentary with full statistics. I’m a dramatist, so I want to present the story in a way that, as I said earlier, also provides a little bit of entertainment. My hope is that the film leaves the audience thinking about something, aware of something that they weren’t aware of before.


ANDREA: I want to talk about the ending to your film. What were you going for there? SEAN: I left it loose enough for the audience to interpret it as they want. I know what I think of the

movie, and my co-screenwriter has a slightly different look on it, which is actually very interesting. Even the creators can differ on opinions, and some of the actors feel differently about the ending as well. Some people see it as a very literal ending, but I don’t. I see it as a completely abstract, surreal moment from a child’s point of view. For me the film ends with her saying goodbye to her friend. Then everything after that is just allowing the audience to live in the imagination that Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) had up to that point in the movie. ANDREA: That makes sense. That last scene was a very adult moment. There was so much sophisti-

cation to those kids. When I look at the characters I see so many complexities to their personalities. Take the mother for example, Halley (Bria Vinaite). She was very loving towards her daughter, but she was incapable of being present for her. Because your characters have these conflicting sides, viewers viewers see them as human rather than simply judging them. SEAN: That’s important to me. When a film takes a character and makes them a saint, you don’t see them as human, You can no longer connect with them and then there’s no more empathy. When people make movies like that, it’s so condescending to me because they aren’t looking at their characters as human. I want the audience to be conflicted. Everybody has flaws no matter what income level, where you are, what circumstances; everybody has flaws and I think if you show that, you’re actually doing the character justice. ANDREA: Do you ever see yourself doing anything on the 1%? SEAN: It’s funny because I’ve been asked that question before. I look at the films of Whit Stillman, who I like a lot, but I don’t know that world, and I feel further from that world than just the everyday. ANDREA: How do you know this world? SEAN: Well, there’s time spent. You have to do your research and you have to collaborate. You have

to get the blessings of the subjects and community you’re focusing on. Some people think that certain communities will be inaccessible, but it’s really just about being respectful and collaborating. ANDREA: Well, what I find interesting is that you make choices that demonstrate this sense of com-

munity. Your characters could be very isolated and they’re not. You put them in context, within a community, which I find very interesting. SEAN: I didn’t even think about that. It’s true, when you have a community or a group of people, who

have been shunned by society and are so isolated, they have to rely on one another. I saw this with Tangerine; the girls only had one another. ANDREA: Throughout the arch of your career, did you ever have any doubts? SEAN: I have doubts every day because, this is not exactly a stable lifestyle or livelihood. It’s not stable in any way, shape or form. So yes, I always have doubts. It’s not just about supporting myself. I also have doubts regarding whose story I should be telling. Especially right now, we are in a very sensitive time in terms of who’s being represented -- how and by whom. These questions are being asked every single day, multiple times a day. Doubts and doubting, I think that might just be the life of artists. You would know as well. It’s constant doubt. I am proud of my work, but I wonder whether that confidence is real. I’m just not sure. You’re spending three years on one project and, of course, there’s going to be doubt because you’re putting everything you have into one product. What happens if audiences don’t like it? Valeria Cotto and Brooklynn Prince. Photo by Marc Schmidt, courtesy of A24.



Christophe D Rihet, Top: Crossroads, Grace Kelly, 13 September 1982, Route de la Turbie – Cap-d’Ail (Alpes-Maritimes), France.; Bottom: Crossroads, Albert Camus, 4 January 1960, Nationale 5 – Villeblevin (Yonne), France.



Christophe D Rihet, Crossroads, Marc Bolan, 16 September 1977, Queen Ride, Barnes – London, United Kingdom.



Christophe D Rihet, Top: Crossroads, Helmut Newton, 23 January 2004, Marmont Lane – Los Angeles, CA; Bottom: Crossroads, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 22 November 1963, Dealy Plaza – Dallas, TX.



Christophe D Rihet, Top: Crossroads, Porfirio Rubirosa, 5 July 1965, Allée de la Reine-Marguerite, Bois de Boulogne – Paris 16e, France.; Bottom: Crossroads, Jean Seberg, 30 August 1979, Rue du Général-Appert – Paris 16e, France.



Christophe D Rihet, Crossroads, Jayne Mansfield, 29 June 1967, Highway 90 – Slidell, LA.



Christophe D Rihet, Top: Crossroads, Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow, 23 May 1934, Highway 154 – Sailes (Louisiane).; Bottom: Crossroads, Jackson Pollock, 11 August 1956, Springs, NY.


ALEX MAJOLI a ng uish bla ze

MUSÉE MAGAZINE: What compels you to document conflicts? ALEX MAJOLI: It is true that I have found myself in conflict zones with a camera, but this is not what

my work is all about. I can say that, in the past, one of the things that pushed me to document conflicts was the exploration of human nature in situations that really push human boundaries. In times of extreme emotions, all the masks that we build for ourselves are gone. However, conflict documentation has only made up a small percent of my work. For the past 10 years I have dedicated my efforts almost exclusively to SKENE. MUSÉE: In your documentation of the Libya aftermath, you frequently photographed photographs

themselves. Why were images particularly important in the representation of this tragedy? ALEX: The Libya aftermath was in conjunction with the Arab Spring, which included Tunisia and Egypt as well. I can say that imagery is part of who we are as individuals and as a society. Photographs spark an idea, a concept, or a memory, and in this vision there lies an understanding of human nature. MUSÉE: While you do photograph individuals who have experienced violence and instances of vio-

lence, you also tend to photograph objects that contain evidence of violence. What role do objects play in your work? ALEX: Traces of violence can be found anywhere if that is what you are looking for; it is all about perception. For example, I would describe the way society tries to determine our lives as violent. Sometimes the state of an object, its position and its purpose, can tell you a lot about the place it was found or the person who owned it. That object has been through a journey and carries every detail of it. Its meaning is far greater than its material reality. MUSÉE: Can you tell us about the experience of shooting in the midst of combat? Do you think the camera serves as armor for you as you put yourself in these physically and emotionally dangerous positions? ALEX: No, unfortunately there is no armor. A camera cannot protect your emotions no matter what meaning you project onto the camera. MUSÉE: Throughout your career you have photographed cadavers, refugee camps, funerals, bombings, and other high intensity experiences. Would you agree that during these moments you become a kind of voyeur of pain and violence? How do you view your position as an onlooker?

Portrait by Daria Birang.


ALEX: Any moment you decide to take a photograph, you are voluntarily taking part in a scene. You cannot be a bystander if you are one of the characters involved. In any given situation, each person plays the role they choose for themselves. MUSÉE: Do you think people pose or behave less candidly when they notice the camera? Given your interest in obscuring the line between reality and theatre, do you think subjects who do perform in the presence of a camera are still enacting reality? ALEX: There is an initial moment of hesitation from some people, which is the reason one photograph might take longer than usual. It takes time for people to accept their surroundings and fall back into their own character. Suddenly unaware of the camera, people are able to re-enact themselves with more conviction, making the scene more real, if not reality itself. MUSÉE: You do both documentary photography and videography. What would you say are the

strengths and weaknesses of each medium? ALEX: I would not compare photography and videography because, while the mediums may be similar in

language, technique, and composition, they are completely different when it comes to how they convey emotion. The choice between using one or the other is heavily influenced by what I am surrounded by at a particular moment, especially sounds, and depends on what I would like to convey in a particular work. MUSÉE: You call your project Libera me “a reflection of the human condition.” It has three chapters,

the first being called “Persona,” which consists of many faces illuminated in chiaroscuro. How do you think that the individual “persona” relates to the broad notions of paradise and hell which you represent, through images of nature and war, in the second and third chapters of Libera me? ALEX: This work is a re-interpretation, or better, a tribute to Dante’s Divine Comedy, an incredible masterpiece of the early Renaissance. The full body of work never achieved its full physical form, having stopped at chapter 1 when my publisher and friend, Gigi Giannuzzi, died in 2012.

Alex Majoli, #6350, São Paulo, Brazil, Training at the “Emperador Do Ipiranga” samba school, June 14, 2014.


MUSテ右: The dynamism and high-contrast black and whites of much of your work brings to mind early

baroque painting. Do you intentionally reference this art historical era in your photography? ALEX: As an art student, I was introduced early on to a lot of incredible art and this is echoed, aestheti-

cally, in all of my photography. The way I select and edit my photographs, however, is heavily influenced by literature. MUSテ右: Can you talk about what the strobe lights add to your imagery? ALEX: The strobe lights serve as a way of blurring the line between reality and fiction. They allow me to stage a play wherever I want by giving the characters a space in which they can perform their own lives. MUSテ右: Do you always have assistants to help light your shots? How does this work? ALEX: One of my assistants helps me with the lights, normally two strobes. One is placed still and the

other moves as the scene evolves. It can be quite difficult to coordinate, especially in situations where it is impossible to communicate verbally. Through experience we have worked out a way to understand each other very quickly. MUSテ右: Would you define your work as documentary, staged, or occupying a liminal space? Is the

effect you create with staged lighting your signature? ALEX: My pictures are not staged. I do not direct my subjects; sometimes there is no communication

between us at all. I have the tendency to avoid defining my work and confining it into a box, because the moment we decide to define something we have inadvertently killed a lot of the creativity behind it. However, my photographs do bring into play an aesthetic, influenced by Caravaggio, which is now something I would call a signature. These lighting techniques highlight the interplay between fiction and reality and the characters that travel back and forth between the two. Alex Majoli, Above: Scene #60410, Lesbos, Greece 2/5, 2015; Following spread: Scene #50032, Lesbos, Greece, Migrants and refugees crowd around the food distribution van inside Moira refugee camp, 2015.




Alex Majoli, Scene #20508, Lesbos, Greece 1/5, 2015.


Alex Majoli, Above: Scene #1095, Pointe Noire, Congo 4/5, 2013. Following spread: Scene #0525, Pointe Noire, Congo 3/5, 2013.





Jinhyun Cha, Top: A woman and Two Portrait Photos, 2014; Bottom: Hats of the North Korean Soldier, 2014.



Jinhyun Cha, Top: Two soldiers Standing Inside and Outside, 2016; Bottom: A Woman Looking at North Korea, 2013.





Ali Rajabi, Untitled, 2017.



ANDREA BLANCH: I’d like to know how you came to this project, specifically closed cropped images

of people with stark lighting? BRUCE GILDEN: Many years ago I wanted to do portraits of people that resembled mug shots because I

always liked mug shots from the LAPD and NYPD, specifically those from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. I love them. I think they are beautiful. I would keep some on my walls if could get some of them. Of course it took me years until I was able to do what I wanted to do because I’m very slow changing. What happened was, Magnum had a project called “Postcards from America.” I was in Miami on the project and I took a picture of this guy, Juan. I say it all started with Juan because it’s the only picture I did in the face series with no flash, just with sunlight. I liked the perspective, and I used a longer lens than normal. Previously, I had been doing portraits in black and white with a 35mm lens so it wasn’t as stark. The concept was the same, the pictures were the same, but they were meant to be seen large. ANDREA: You have said that you see yourself in all the people you photograph and I agree that when

you take a picture it is about you. What is it about these people that you identify with? BRUCE: I find that the people are real and I like real people. I have been married three times and all of my wives have said that nobody reads people like me, and I believe that. There is a lot of work that goes into this. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, and I’ve almost died on drugs. I’ve been around the block. My father was a tough guy and my mother… we won’t get into, but that’s the genesis of this project. I’ve had a tough emotional life. This all comes from inside me and I think the portraits are really strong. In fact, I think it’s among the best portraiture of the twentieth century, and I’m not even saying that with an ego. I started looking for a project about people that are left behind, and in the process I found out these people are invisible and dehumanized. To me, these people are beautiful. ANDREA: What projects did you present to Magnum? BRUCE: I don’t remember but it must have been Haiti and New York, mostly. I’m very good friends with

Martin Parr. We have been very close since 1985, not like a quick love affair. We don’t always agree on everything, but he asked me if I wanted to get into Magnum, and I said “no,” even though I admired Magnum from a distance. He said that they weren’t ready for me. Then one day I got a call from Chris Boot, who was the head of Magnum, and I was very surprised. He told me I should apply to Magnum and that both the journalistic and artistic camps liked me. So I applied, and I did my due diligence. I went to Paris and London and met people and only had one argument. They voted. I sailed through the nominee process. ANDREA: You’ve mentioned before that you have recently been bored by documentary photography

Portrait by Andrea Blanch. All following images taken in Overtown, Florida.


and I agree. I’ve stayed away from it in the magazine for the most part because it hasn’t really moved me in a long time. BRUCE: You’re a romantic ANDREA: Yes I am… but aside from that, I like more contemporary, conceptual work. BRUCE: I can deal with conceptual, however, I’m very picky. Let me express my point with regards to

conceptual photography. As you get older, you think a little differently than when you were younger. A lot of people have a concept, but they have to do it well; that’s the only thing that I care about. I’m really particular. Like Martin Parr says, “Bruce you’re so much more critical than I am.” ANDREA: If you care about your viewer, what would you like them to take away after seeing your work? BRUCE: Look, I do the pictures for me. Anyone who tells you they do photography for the community,

I don’t always buy it. I do the pictures because there is a need to do these pictures, for me. I was hurt a lot as a kid. When you’re a child, you don’t realize that you’re different or that things are different. You’re also brought up with a lot of respect. Respect means you don’t talk about anything to anybody, so it just festers and festers inside. I’ve taken a lot of good photographs in my life; a lot compared to most photographers. Really… and people read this and laugh. I don’t care. I’m secure enough to say it. Photography was my salvation. I found something that I could do and put all my energy into it. ANDREA: Do you consider the people you photograph as your friends? BRUCE: Yes my friends, I have always said that because I identify with them. I come from the same situ-

ation and I think coming from something means a lot, if you can portray that in a real way in your art. I do it well, and it’s real, it’s what I want to do. My father sat around the table in an undershirt reading the Mirror and the Post with diamond rings and a big cigar. He was a mafia type. I come from that; it’s in my soul. I think that’s what separates my pictures from the others. It’s really deep in my guts… I’m not saying it wasn’t deep in Diane Arbus’ guts, because her picture were always dark, there was something lurking there, but she didn’t come from where I come from and that’s where the difference between her and me lies. ANDREA: A lot of people don’t want to deal with real life. BRUCE: Yes, and that’s okay, but then don’t comment on it. I think a lot of people who have trouble

with my pictures are intellectuals who sit in an office all day or read their art history books, and they don’t know anything about real life. ANDREA: When I was first looking at your portraits for this interview, I wanted to turn away, but being a photographer, I was compelled to look at them again. They are very compelling and you become transfixed by them. BRUCE: It’s quite interesting because if you do something well, and it comes from inside you, people

recognize that. ANDREA: I think it’s important that people feel emotion, what’s wrong is that we don’t feel it. BRUCE: I agree with you. I am also very concerned about that on many levels. First, I’m a photographer. I spent a whole lifetime on photographs that have emotion. A good photograph is one that works well across the frame with a strong emotional content. I don’t want see a kid dying in the frame; I’ve seen that so many times it has become a cliché. But I do want to see something that moves me. ANDREA: You’ve taken the same type of picture for a while now, and you’re about to go and do more

Bruce Gilden, Trish (B&W), 2015.


of the same. I’m curious how people can take the same photograph for their entire lives. BRUCE: You do it because it’s in your soul. You can never take the perfect photograph, so you still try

to take the perfect photograph. I am a street photographer, and I’ve learned how to do it differently as I’ve gotten older. I went from mostly candids to mostly portraits. I also went from black and white to color. It’s amazing to me how I can maintain my passion. You have to be an animal. I have people write me and stop me on the street saying I’m their inspiration, that I gave them courage. ANDREA: What are your fears?



BRUCE: Everything. That’s a funny question because my whole life has been trying to conquer my

fears. I don’t want to die. If you went for my neck, I think I’d kill you. I have a physical fear of violence and that’s why I always try to hit first. ANDREA: Can you talk a little bit about Miami? Where did you find the people you were photographing? BRUCE: It was in Overtown. I was doing a project for “Postcards From America,” and I didn’t know where to photograph. Overtown was a “colored” town, a very historic district where all the black entertainers stayed because they couldn’t stay in Miami Beach. So, historically, it had class. I just asked where I could go to photograph and the guy who was helping us said to go to Overtown. He dropped me there, with my assistant, and left us. And I said, “You’re gonna leave me here without a car? Are you nuts?” It’s not the type of neighborhood that looks so bad, but if you look under the bridge, where there are homeless crack addicts and heroin addicts, it’s a nasty area. So that’s how I found it. It took me many trips to feel more comfortable. ANDREA: What was the most challenging session you had with somebody? BRUCE: I had no real problems. One girl was under the bridge, sleeping, and I knew her. So I asked the

four people next to her if they minded if I photographed her and they said “no.” Then a guy came over and he said there was a cop on the next block and he didn’t want me to draw attention to them. I took a very aggressive stance and I said, “I’m not dirty, are you dirty?” And he said “no” and I said “what the fuck you worried about. Listen I’ll make you a deal, you keep your eye out, and I’ll take care of you. We can go around the corner and I’ll give you a couple bucks.” So I shut him up. ANDREA: So how are you going to finish this project? BRUCE: I’ll probably have to get some funding. This one, I have to do. This is going to be a major project for me and I have the whole idea on how I’m going to do it. It’s all in my head. I know how I’m going to present it visually. ANDREA: Going back to your personal challenges, I’m curious. You mentioned age, you said having

the motivation to go and do it… BRUCE: Listen, if I sit at home in Beacon, I don’t do a lot. I like staying home with my cats, I take a walk, I take my wife to go swimming. So I get my ass up and go and once I’m there, I’m fine. You have to pressure yourself. I don’t have a problem doing that. I do it, but as you get older it doesn’t get easier. You can send me anywhere and I can walk miles and miles. You can drop me in Mongolia and I’m sure I’d find my way. ANDREA: What are your favorite places to photograph? BRUCE: My favorite two places are Haiti and Japan. Haiti, because it was the first exotic place I ever

went to and I love the people. Japan, because I saw the show in 1972 or 1974 at the MoMA on new Japanese photography. It blew me away, but it took me twenty-two years to get there. I had a grant from the French government and a Japan foundation grant, and I went and spent almost a year of my life there. ANDREA: Are you doing a retrospective? BRUCE: I didn’t go looking for it, but I think I should have one because I have so many pictures. ANDREA: What’s something you hate? BRUCE: I guess what annoys me is people that are full of shit. They take advantage of other people and

people don’t see that they are being conned.

Bruce Gilden, Jesse (sleeping), 2017.


Bruce Gilden, Kat (tattoo on arm), 2015.


Bruce Gilden, Kat (dark hair-face), 2015.


Bruce Gilden, Trish (blond hair), 2015.


Bruce Gilden, Jessica (Only God can judge me), 2017.


Bruce Gilden, Texas (by wall), 2015.


Bruce Gilden, Texas (blonde hair face), 2015.



Marylise Vigneau, On The Other Hand, Lahore Mental Hospital; Top: 2012, Bottom: 2014.



Marylise Vigneau, On The Other Hand, Lahore Mental Hospital; Top: 2012, Bottom: 2014.



Robyn Day, Fierce Femme, 2016.



Robyn Day, Coady, 2016.



b y I sa b e l l a We i ss A wedding is the ceremony of marriage, the performance of the marriage-rite. It represents the (legal, religious, and/or relational) unification of human beings. Marriage has the unique capacity to dissolve familial boundaries. A wedding is the moment that groups of different name and blood merge into a single unit. It is a celebration of societal cohesion in a culture of conflict. However, the conventional wedding today is not merely a celebration of unity and love. It is also a lavish display and a product of capitalist indulgence, a “media event” monitored by and contorted towards the camera’s lens, a series of poses to be documented and then disseminated on social media. Wedding photographs are immensely meaningful, both today and historically, and justifiably so. Regardless, they are more than symbols of love, of the union between humans; the history of this genre and its photographic medium contains a complex commingling of the personal and the commercial, and a wavering confusion of private union and public display. Gallerist Frank Maresca’s personal collection of one hundred late nineteenth-century wedding portraits were recently exhibited in the Ricco/Maresca Gallery titled “I DO, I DO.” Initial inspection of these images reveals the impassive, even absent expressions of the couples depicted, the rigidity of their stances, and the reservation of their closeness. A sidestepping viewer then notes the astounding repetition between the depicted figures in expression and stance. The newlyweds’ poses appear rigid and contrived, the rare clasp of hands seems more contractual than affectionate, as if they documented the commencement of a business partnership, both sets of eyes truant like the frosted glass orbs of an antique doll. A sense of the uncanniness of their context then slowly emerges. Their backdrops are partially natural, partially architectural, and wholly vague. All discernable forms fade into the misty folds of what one eventually identifies as a fabric stage set, the cloth upon which the couple’s illusionistic milieu is printed. These backdrops, found in commercial photography studios, depicted late nineteenth-century aristocratic interiors in which average citizens posed with props of elegant furnishing and dress, appropriating the context, style and posture of a social class that was not their own. These images appear to be irreconcilable with the wedding portraiture we know today, in the organic joy and ease it attempts invariably to capture. Conventional contemporary wedding portraits, however, do find their root in these images. They reveal the complexly intertwined history of photographic technologies and com-

All images; Cabinet Card. Wisconsin, ca. 1885–1900. Courtesy of Ricco/Maresca Gallery.


mercial industries, the commercialization and public emulation of celebrity and royal identity, and the capitalist roots of the wedding industry as we know it. The photographs in Maresca’s collection are the products of a newly emerged era of vernacular photography, enabled by the declining costs of photo printing since the 1860’s. This was the first time in history that it was affordable for average citizens to, on special occasion, commission, print, and own a photograph of themselves. These early proletarian portraits based their design and aesthetic on the centuries-old traditions of aristocratic portraiture in painting, and more recently, in photography. Queen Victoria and King Albert’s dissemination of photographs of family events (including their famous wedding portrait, which is known as the foremost of its genre in the photographic medium) are said to have spurred the commercial market for royal and celebrity photographs. In tandem with this new public proliferation of private celebrity images was the emergence of the portable carte-de-visite photographic format, a pocket-sized and affordable picture which was designed with the commercialization of royal and celebrity images in mind. Visite photography transformed the photograph from a luxury item into a commodity; the proletariat were enticed by this contrived market to collect portraits of celebrities, eventually copying these portraits with their own, allowing the two to intermingle in combined photoalbums. Essentially, Maresca’s photographs demonstrate an instance of class appropriation, in which workingclass individuals imitate the dress and pose of celebrity portraits. In these images, couples inhabit the aesthetics and perspectives of the inaccessible figures they have so often looked upon. However, these photographs are not carte-de-visite, but rather cabinet cards, a larger photographic format which was designed in order to recreate the commercial success of visite photography. Cabinet cards were meant to be displayed rather than tucked away in albums. Their paper frames and backings were conceived as advertising space for photography studios, advertisements that millions would willingly display in their homes. In this way, the photographic economy once again infiltrated the private space of consumers. On the lower margin of Maresca’s cabinet cards, the family name is juxtaposed with, and often even replaced by, the photographer’s signature, or the name and logo of his studio. Early vernacular wedding portraits, although symbols of familial union, are also branded commodities copied from another commodity, the celebrity portrait. The history of the photographic medium in general is ridden with capitalist exploitation. Contemporary commercial and advertising photography descends from the medium’s earliest functions. Along with the representation of products for traveling salesmen, portraiture was one of the first and most enduringly popular photographic markets. Cabinet cards and carte-de-visite fell out of popularity around 1900 when private camera ownership became commonplace, yet the commercial industry for wedding portraiture has only grown since its inception. Today, wedding portraiture is a linchpin in the photography business. Images have been the greatest driving force behind the fifty billion dollar wedding industry, from Queen Victoria’s novel wedding portrait in 1854 to the media’s first public broadcasting of celebrity weddings in the 1920’s in the United States. Both provoked mass mainstream imitation, and led to the development of the intricacies of our current wedding market. As ordinary citizens have attempted to emulate the lavish weddings disseminated in media coverage, photography has provided the means to prove this emulation publicly. Contemporary weddings are based on images and orchestrated as images. In their wedding portraits of magical lighting, conventional costume, commercial editing, Edenic settings, and forced smiles, ordinary couples appear exceptional. However, in this moment of eminent beauty, rather than gaining prominence, the couples blend into a sea of similar images. For a price, humans forego their idiosyncrasies and unite within the image of their shared ideals.



SEAN BAKER is the director of Take Out (2008) and Prince of Broadway (2009), both nominated for the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award, and Starlet (2012), the recipient of the Robert Altman Independent Spirit Award, as well as another Cassavetes nominee. Tangerine premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Magnolia Pictures. The film was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards including Best Feature and Best Director, and four Gotham Awards Including Best Feature (it won the Audience Award). The Florida Project (2017) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and will be released by A24 on October 6th. Baker is a graduate of NYU. He is also the co-creator of the long-running American comedy series Greg the Bunny. LETIZIA BATTAGLIA, was born in Palermo in 1935. She married at 16 and had three daughters. She began photographing in Milan as a freelancer, and for about twenty years has worked as a photojournalist for L’ORA newspaper in Palermo - a publication famous for its battles against the mafia, fascism, and racism. She also engages in politics as a regional legislator, always alongside Leoluca Orlando, mayor of Palermo. She has received many awards. Among them: Eugene Smith Award, Cornel Capa Infinity Award, Eric Salomon Preis ... She has exhibited her photographs in museums and galleries, and has published several monographs, including: Passion JusticeFreedom, Aperture, Chroniques Siciliennes, Paris International Center, Paris, On the Wounds of His Dreams, Mondadori, Diario, Castelvecchi 2014, Anthology, Dragon 2016, Just for Passion, Drago 2017. Today she directs the INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC CENTER in Palermo. Born in Colgate, Jamaica in 1960, RENEE COX creates semi-autobiographical images that focus on representation and oppression. Her work is widely recognized for its bold imagery and has often provoked critical response. In her photographic series Flipping the Script, Cox reinterpreted European religious masterpieces with black figures. Her work “Yo Mama’s Last Supper” precipitated a public statement by then-Mayor of New York, Rudolph Guiliani, who considered implementing “decency standards” in New York’s art museums. Cox strives to deconstruct stereotypes with her work. She writes that, “images of women in the media are distorted and women are imprisoned by those unrealistic representations of the female body.” She holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program. Her work has shown at the Brooklyn Museum, the National Gallery of Jamaica, Two Lines Gallery in Beijing, Galerie Nordine Zidoun in Paris, among others. Born in Brooklyn and based in Beacon, New York, BRUCE GILDEN is a world-famous street photographer known for his close-up shots of passersby. In 2013 Gilden was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, one of many recognitions he’s received. He has published more than 15 monographs, among them: Facing New York, 1992; Bleus, 1994; Haiti, 1996 (European Publishers Award for Photography); After The Off, 1999; Go, 2000; Coney Island, 2002; A Beautiful Catastrophe, 2004; Foreclosures, 2013; A complete Examination of Middlesex, 2014. In 2015, Gilden published Face, and Hey Mister Throw Me Some Beads! In April 2016, Un Nouveau Regard Sur la Mobilité Urbaine a book featuring the commission he did for the French transportation system RATP was released.



THOMAS HIRSCHHORN was born in 1957 in Bern, Switzerland, and currently lives and works in Paris. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including at Kunsthal Aarhus; South London Gallery; Kunsthalle Bremen; Institute of Modern Art Brisbane; Dia Art Foundation, New York; Kunsthalle Mannhei; Museo Tamayo; Musee d’Art contemporain de Montreal; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona; Kunsthaus Zürich; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; and Secession, Vienna. In 2003, he created the Musée Précaire Albinet, a temporary “Presence and Production” project in Aubervilliers, France. Additionally, he has taken part in many international exhibitions, including the 2012 La Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris; the Swiss Pavilion of the 2011 Venice Biennale with his work Crystal of Resistance, Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany, where his large-scale public work, Bataille Monument, was on view; Heart of Darkness at the Walker Art Center; and Life on Mars: the 55th Carnegie International. Hirschhorn was the recipient of the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2000, the Joseph Beuys-Preis in 2004 and the Kurt Schwitters Prize in 2011. Raised in Virginia, ELIZABETH HUEY currently lives and works in Los Angeles, after fifteen years in New York City. She earned her MFA in Painting from Yale University (2002), and holds a BA in Psychology from Mount Vernon College (now George Washington University) in Washington DC. She studied painting at both the Marchutz School in Aix-en-Provence, France and the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture in Manhattan. She is the recipient of the Terra Foundation of American Art Fellowship and Residency in Giverny, France (2001); the John Hopkins University Artist Travel Fellowship to Bologna, Italy (2006); the Artist Research Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution (2008); and most recently, the Alma B.C. Schapiro Artist Residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY (2014). Huey has exhibited both nationally and internationally and her paintings are held in collections such as the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia. HARRIET LOGAN has had two distinct careers in photography. Starting with years in the front line of trouble spots such as Chechnya and Afghanistan, she reported stories of horror and strife. She went undercover in Afghanistan to photograph women and children in secret locations receiving education, forbidden by the then ruling Taliban, taking her pictures through a hole in her parahaan and chaadar. She covered brothels in the U.K., Australia and India, a man in jail for a murder he did not commit, the streets of Chechnya after they were destroyed, all the while putting herself at great risk of physical harm. Then she stopped going to places of devastation and focused on taking pictures of children, and so it has been ever since. She is now the pre-eminent child photographer in Britain, shooting for such clients as Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Crayola, Aviva, Butlins, DFS, British Telecom, Sabic, Talk Talk, The British Heart Foundation, Persil, Heinz, Carex and Channel 4 amongst others. TRISTAN LUND is a London based art consultant and dealer to collectors of photography, most notably The Incite Project, a UK based collection of photojournalism and documentary photography. Previously



Tristan was Director of Michael Hoppen Contemporary, London (2010-2014). He continues to work with established and emerging photographic artists, including the 2015 Magnum nominee Max Pinckers, and recently collaborated with Daniel Shea. He is a member of the Frieze Masters vetting committee. In 2011 he co-curated the Brighton Photo Fringe. ALEX MAJOLI began creating at the tender age of fifteen when he began studying at the Art Institute in Ravenna working alongside Daniele Casadio. He graduated from art school in 1991. Three years later, he made an intimate portrayal of the closing of an asylum for the insane on the island of Leros, Greece, a project that became the subject of his first book, Leros. Majoli had great success in photography working for a number of notable publications in the process including Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Granta and National Geographic. Among other awards, Majoli was the 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, 2009 Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography recipient, and has had several citations at the Picture of the Year International Award. He has shown in galleries all over the world such as Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York (2017), Les Rencontres d’Arles in France (2015), Museum Folkwang in Germany (2012), and Ricoh Gallery in Japan (2009). RICHARD MISRACH is one of the most influential photographers of his generation. In the 1970s, he helped pioneer the renaissance of color photography and large-scale presentation that are in widespread practice today. Misrach has had one-person exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among others. A mid-career traveling survey was organized by the Houston Museum of Fine Arts in 1996. His photographs are held in the collections of most major institutions, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Over a dozen monographs have been published on Misrach’s work, among them Telegraph 3 A.M.: The Street People of Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley; Richard Misrach:1975-1987; Bravo 20: The Bombing of the American West; Crimes and Splendors: The Desert Cantos of Richard Misrach; Violent Legacies: Three Cantos; The Sky Book; Richard Misrach: Golden Gate; Pictures of Paintings; Chronologies; On the Beach; Destroy this Memory; 1991 —The Oakland/Berkeley Fire Aftermath; Petrochemical America; 11.21.11 5:40pm; and Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo | Border Cantos. He is the recipient of numerous awards in the arts including four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2002 he was given the Kulturpreis for Lifetime Achievement in Photography by the German Society for Photography, and in 2008 the Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Fine Art Photography. MATTHEW PILLSBURY was born in Neuilly, France, 1973, received his B.A. in 1995 from Yale University, and his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2004. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Pillsbury specializes in long-exposure photographs made only with available light. Across several series and in many cities, he has focused on the passage of time and people within spaces both public and private. His work has addressed the growing role that technology is playing in our lives and the sense of modern



seclusion that can seem at odds with the constant connectivity being offered by our smartphones and tablets. Pillsbury’s work is regularly featured in The New York Times, among other publications, and is part of more than twenty-five permanent collections throughout the US, Canada and Europe, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Musée du Louvre in Paris, France; and the Tate Modern in London, England. He is the recipient of the 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the 2007 Fondation HSBC prix pour la Photographie. TARYN SIMON is a multidisciplinary artist who has worked in photography, text, sculpture and performance. Her practice involves extensive research, in projects guided by an interest in systems of categorization and classification. Born in 1975 in New York, she received her B.A. in 1997 from Brown University, Rhode Island. Simon’s work has been the subject of several solo and group museum exhibitions. Recent solo museum exhibitions include MoMA PS1, New York (2003); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007); Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2007); Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam (2008); Institute of Modern Art, Australia (2009); Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2010); Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin (2011); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2011); Tate Modern, London (2011, traveled to Neue nationalgalerie, Berlin; among others. Simon was awarded the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Photography, New York, in 2001. Simon currently lives and works in New York. Born in Jaipur, India, RAGHUBIR SINGH has often been regarded as the pioneer of color photography. He was one of the first photographers to make full use of color photography while it was still widely disconsidered as a medium in the 1970s. Singh has shown work in galleries all over the world including, Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, National Gallery of Modern Art in Bombay, National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, Le Bon Marche in Paris, The Art Institute of Chicago, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., and The Gallery at Hermes in New York and Berlin, among others. His self-taught, documentary-style work is grounded in beauty, nature, humanism, and spirituality, which are the cornerstones of Indian culture as well. His work ultimately brought him to New York City (and all over the world) where he worked for magazines such as National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Time. Singh died in New York, NY in 1999 at the age of 56. Yemen-born, AIDAN SULLIVAN began his career as a photojournalist but became a picture editor for The Sunday Times in his early thirties. As the son of a British Air Force pilot, Sullivan got his hands on a Rollei camera (normally attached to his father’s airplane) at a young age. After discovering his interest in photography, Sullivan became a staff photographer with a local newspaper. At eighteen, Sullivan’s photographs of a large fire at an amusement park arcade landed him a job as junior photographer at the Grays and Tilbury Gazette. In the following years, Sullivan published his photos in Fleet Street News Agency, Evening Standard, and The Daily Star, all in London. Sullivan is also the creator of the Ian Parry Scholarship, a grant given to young photojournalists with an impressive body of work, as well as the founder of Reportage by Getty Images, which represents many renowned photojournalists and documentary photographers.




SUBMIT YOUR WORK TO MUSÉE NO. 19: POWER 1. Submit high resolution images. 2. Please do not include watermarks. 3. Use ‘Issue No. 19’ as the email subject. 4. Include name, photo title and contact information that you would like to see published. 5. Deadline for submission is FEBRUARY 14, 2018. 6. To submit, please visit www.museemagazine.com or send your work to submit@museemagazine.com.



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