Under starry skies, we took our recorders and headphones to a collection of shipping containers in Brooklyn, known as Photoville 2018 and Photoville did not disappoint—what a wonderful collection of photo exhibits. The exhibits span the breadth photography, but with an overarching theme rooted firmly in documentary and social justice photography. Many shows were sponsored—by the U.S. Marines, by magazines, universities, or collectives; others were curated by New York Public School children, and another by the New York Municipal Archives. As in years past, it was a wonderful, perspective-expanding experience run by people who love photography. We chatted with organizers and photographers from a handful of the exhibitions.
First on today’s B&H Photography Podcast, we speak with Michael Lorenzini, from the Municipal Archives of the NYC Department of Records. Lorenzini, along with co-curator Matthew Minor, organized the exhibit “NYC Work and Working,” a beautiful selection of images from the collection of the WPA Federal Writer's Project. In addition to discussing the current exhibition, Lorenzini offers details on the Municipal Archive itself, its mission and the multitude of historical collections it houses.
Staying in the New York groove, we met with the instructors and students from the High School of Art and Design and the High School of Fashion Industries. These photography programs, taught by Brenna McLaughlin and Ben Russell, respectively, have been a part of these high schools for decades and embrace traditional darkroom and digital techniques, offering work experience in photography, as well. The students were kind enough to wait for us to arrive after a long day of discussing their work with fellow students during New York Public School day at Photoville. Next, we speak with Pablo Farias, Isaac Guzman, and Vanessa Crowley of the exhibit, "conSEQUENCIAS/conSEQUENCES" presented by Bats'i LAB. This exhibit and its organizers are invested in creating a photographic community in Chiapas, Mexico.
After a short break, we continue with photojournalist Ron Haviv and Dr. Lauren Walsh of The VII Foundation exhibit. The focus of our chat is their upcoming film “Biography of a Photo," which traces the impact of two photographs Haviv took earlier in his career, which have left indelible marks on the countries in which they were taken. Both photographs capture isolated acts of cruelty within societies in conflict, and do so with such resonance that they have become iconic images within those societies.
Our next stop is the container curated by the Authority Collective and their exhibit “The Lit List: 30 Under-the-Radar Photographers," a show presenting thirty interesting photographers whose work deserves attention. We speak with one of the photographers, Arlene Mejorada, and organizers of the Authority Collective, which describes itself as a group of womxn, femmes, trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people of color reclaiming their authority in the photography, film and VR/AR industries. Finally, we speak with Crista Dix of wall space creative, and artist Deborah Bay about their exhibit, “Internal Ballistics.” The work here is more accurately categorized as “art” photography, but its beautiful cross-section depictions of bullets and the abstract damage they create fosters an interesting debate about gun violence. Join us for this interesting set of conversations.
Guests: Ben Russell, Brenna McLaughlin, Erika Perez, Yaqueline Garcia-Hernandez, Sumona Islam, Tais Rivera, Michael Lorenzini, Pablo Farias, Isaac Guzman, Vanessa Crowley, Ron Haviv, Dr. Lauren Walsh, Arlene Mejorada, Mary Kang, Elaine Cromie, Deborah Bay, and Crista Dix
Photograph © John Harris