Archive for November 3rd, 2011

03
Nov
11

Exhibition: ‘Joel Meyerowitz – Aftermath’ at the Miami Art Museum

Exhibition dates: 19th August – 6th November 2011

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Searchers in Rubble' 2001

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Searchers in Rubble
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross

 

 

And do you know what “the world” is to me? Shall I show it to you in my mirror? This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, without end; a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of unalterable size, a household without expenses or losses, but likewise without increase or income; enclosed by “nothingness” as by a boundary; not something blurry or wasted, not something endlessly extended, but set in a definite space as a definite force, and not a space that might be “empty” here or there, but rather a force throughout, as a play of forces and waves of forces, at the same time one and many, increasing here and at the same time decreasing there …

.
Frederick Nietzsche, ‘The Will to Power’

 

 

Sadness. And light. Hope. Amidst the inferno. Study the masterpiece Finding More Fireman (below) in the enlarged version and you cannot fail to be moved. It is all there: monumental, intimate, hellish, redemptive – a modern, “disastrous” form of the Rembrandt’s The Night Watch.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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Many thanxk to the Miami Art Museum for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Flower Offering' 2001

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Flower Offering
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Pit Looking North' 2002

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Pit Looking North
2002
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Smoke and Spray' 2001

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Smoke and Spray
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Jeffrey Hugh Newman

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Moving the Monument' 2001

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Moving the Monument
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Jeffrey Hugh Newman

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Finding More Fireman' 2001

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Finding More Fireman
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Charles S. and Elynne B. Zucker

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Searchers' 2002

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Searchers
2002
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Charles S. and Elynne B. Zucker

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Welders in South Tower' 2001

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Welders in South Tower
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Charles S. and Elynne B. Zucker

 

 

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Miami Art Museum presents Focus Gallery: Joel Meyerowitz – Aftermath, an exhibition of photographs taken by the only photographer granted right of entry into Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. For nine months during the day and night, Meyerowitz photographed “the pile,” as the World Trade Center came to be known, and the over 800 people a day that were working in it. The exhibition consists of 24, recently-donated photographs, presented in the Focus Gallery section of the Museum’s Permanent Collection installation. Admission to Miami Art Museum will be free to all emergency personnel, including police and firefighters, and their guests throughout the exhibition’s run, August 19 – November 6, 2011. A special preview for emergency personnel will be held on Thursday, August 18, 2011, 4-7pm. Author and photography critic Vicki Goldberg will give a lecture entitled “What Remains” on Thursday, September 8, 2011, beginning at 6:30pm.

After September 11, 2001, the Ground Zero site in New York City was classified as a crime scene and only those directly involved in the recovery efforts were allowed inside. The press was prohibited from the site. Influenced by Walker Evans’s and Dorothea Lange’s work for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression, Meyerowitz, long recognised as one of the pioneers of colour photography, was convinced that if a photographic record of the unprecedented recovery efforts was not made, “there would be no history.” With the help of sympathetic officials, he managed to become the only photographer granted right of entry into Ground Zero.

“I was making photographs for everyone who didn’t have access to the site,” says Meyerowitz, “I wanted to communicate what it felt like to be in there as well as what it looked like: to show the pile’s incredible intricacy and visceral power. I could provide a window for everyone else who wanted to be there, too, to help, or to grieve, or simply to try to understand what had happened to our city.”

Armed with a large-format wooden camera, Meyerowitz spent nine months photographing the site. In the first few weeks, he was chased off the site repeatedly, but over time, with the help of officials on and off site, the use of forged workers’ passes, and by assuming the “uniform” of hard hat, goggles, respirator, gloves, boots and duct taped pants, Meyerowitz became “woven into the fabric of the site.”

About the experience, Meyerowitz has written, “The nine months I worked at Ground Zero were among the most rewarding of my life. I came in as an outsider, a witness bent on keeping the record, but over time I began to feel a part of the very project I’d been intent on recording… the intense camaraderie I experienced at Ground Zero inspired me, changing both my sense of myself and my sense of responsibility to the world around me. September 11th was a tragedy of almost unfathomable proportions. But living for nine months in the midst of those individuals who faced that tragedy head-on, day after day, and did what they could to set things right, was an immense privilege.”

The photographs in MAM’s collection are from a unique set of contact prints (photographs printed on a 1:1 scale from the negatives) issued by the artist in 2006. As a group, they span the entire nine month period that Meyerowitz was on site, presenting a poignant, condensed view of the clean up effort, including portraits of the workers involved. The set is introduced by a single image of the World Trade Center towers taken by the artist in the 1980s from his apartment window.

The entire set of more than 8,000 photographs taken by Meyerowitz form an archive at the Museum of the City of New York. The Aftermath series was the focus of a 2006 book, Aftermath: World Trade Center Archives published by Phaidon (reissued this year in a special 10th anniversary edition) and an exhibition organised by the US Department of State that traveled worldwide from 2002 to 2005.

Press release from the Miami Art Museum website

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Explosion Squad Detective' 2001

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Explosion Squad Detective
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Steps Down to Plaza' 2001

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Steps Down to Plaza
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Jeffrey Hugh Newman

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Fireman at Last Column' 2002

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Fireman at Last Column
2002
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Charles S. and Elynne B. Zucker

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Building #5 and Woolworth' 2001

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Building #5 and Woolworth
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Simon and Bonnie Levin

 

Joel Meyerowitz. 'Welder and Rubble' 2001

 

Joel Meyerowitz (American, b. 1938)
Welder and Rubble
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross

 

 

Miami Art Museum
101 W Flagler St., Miami, FL 33130

Opening hours:
Monday – Tuesday 10am – 6pm
Wednesday closed
Thursday 10am – 9pm
Friday – Sunday 10pm – 6pm

Miami Art Museum website

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03
Nov
11

Exhibition: ‘A Perfect Price For Donny’ by Martin Smith at Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane

Exhibition dates: 12th October – 12th November 2011

 

Martin Smith. 'My Father Doesn't Relate Well With Other Men' 2011

 

Martin Smith (Australian, b. 1971)
My Father Doesn’t Relate Well With Other Men
2011

 

 

Martin Smith is one of my favourite photo artists working in Australia at the moment. Smith produces consistently intriguing, stimulating art. Having had a particularly fractious relationship with my own father I appreciate the pathos and humour that Smith achieves in his work. Fantastic!

Marcus

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Many thankx to Ryan Renshaw gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Martin Smith. 'My Father is a Deeply Flawed Human Being' 2011

 

Martin Smith (Australian, b. 1971)
My Father is a Deeply Flawed Human Being
2011

 

 

Martin Smith’s artwork focuses on those small moments that glance into a life. Tending to gather photographs as opposed to taking them, his works offer wry observations rather than grand statements. The loss or absence inherent in photographic images, which are suggestive of another time and place, is echoed in the physical loss of the words cut into the surface of the works. One story is inscribed on another; just like one memory is laid upon another or one version of a story embellishes another. The resulting works are replete with the same ambiguity, melancholy and richness as one’s memory.

‘The storytelling came from when I started looking at my old family photos and thinking about what goes with them,’ Smith explains. ‘You know when you’re looking at family photos, there are particular stories that go with them – that’s that person, that’s the time when your uncle turned up for Christmas, and so on.’

Smith’s stories that are painstakingly hand-cut into the photographic image give a whimsical and highly personal account of his life, like his ill-fated attempt to become an actor with the Sandgate Amateur Theatre Group or the time he worked in the cutlery crew at Australian Airlines, combining the text of these stories with photographs. The scarring of the photographic image with Smith’s scalpel blade ensures a unique artwork, a notion at odds with the reproducible aspects of photography.

Martin’s exhibition stems from his reflection of his experiences as an actor in Roger Fagan’s play A Perfect Price For Donny and questions the legacy of what we ‘leave behind’ for others to read.

‘Tanya was from the past of my amateur theatre days when I was 17 years old and possessed with deluded dreams of being an actor. We were both new members of the Sacred Heart Players and we both landed the leads in the production of A Perfect Price for Donny written by Roger Fagan. Roger was an elderly member of the group and had joined years earlier to gain practical experience so he could finish his play. The Perfect Price for Donny was his first and only play. Roger had worked at the Railways for 32 years and had been writing A Perfect Price for Donny on and off over the 32 years. He had not started another play, he hadn’t written any short stories, prose or even a Haiku. Since he had retired two years ago he was finally able to realise his dream of finishing A Perfect Price for Donny at the age of 68′.

‘The memories are left behind and then reconstituted and turned into other things, it’s a language constantly getting churned up. Memories are things that inform taking the photo,’ Smith says ‘and I’m bringing some of the intrinsic aspects of the photograph with me. Photography captures the classic moments of life, like your first day at school,’ he continues, ‘but it doesn’t capture the other parts of your life that are sometimes way more significant.’

People spend a lot of time in a Martin Smith exhibition reading the works and then laughing or sighing in recognition. The photographs are all of fairly impersonal exteriors, almost crime scenes, not postcards, not picturesque snaps but odd disregarded corners of the world. In some way they are reminiscent of album covers or slightly lame posters but are brought into the present by Smith’s honest and often very funny tales of modern living.

Press release from the Ryan Renshaw Gallery website

 

Martin Smith. 'My Father's Talents Will Never Make Me Wealthy' 2011

 

Martin Smith (Australian, b. 1971)
My Father’s Talents Will Never Make Me Wealthy
2011

 

Martin Smith. 'My Father Fails' 2011

 

Martin Smith (Australian, b. 1971)
My Father Fails
2011

 

 

Ryan Renshaw Gallery

This gallery has now closed.

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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