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September 29, 2006

Robert Polidori's "After the Flood" @ the Met

 3_new_orleans_polidori_048_marigny5417l_1
5417 Marigny Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 2006

reBlogged via NEWSgrist:

via NYTimes:
Art Review
What's Wrong With This Picture? {excerpted}
By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN
Published: September 22, 2006

After Hurricane Katrina, Robert Polidori went to New Orleans, where he lived years ago, to shoot photographs of the devastation for The New Yorker. He stayed longer than first planned, then went back again and again, for weeks, taking hundreds of pictures with a large-format camera that produced wide, superbly detailed color photographs. The camera was awkward to manipulate through the wreckage and in the heat, without electricity and lights. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jeff L. Rosenheim, a photography curator, has selected a couple dozen of these big panoramas and interiors to make a pocket-size lament for a woebegone city.

They are unpeopled scenes: New Orleans as our modern Pompeii. Mr. Polidori stood near the corner of Law and Egania Streets where a plain, single-story cottage with a hole in the roof rests beside a telephone pole. A crisscross of power lines forms a shallow X against the empty blue sky. The house, pale green and white, recedes, diagonally.

Except that — the image can take a second to decipher — there are two cottages, one green, one white. During Katrina, the green one, like Dorothy's house, floated clear across Egania Street from who knows where, stopped perpendicular to its neighbor by those electric lines, which acted like arrestor wires on an aircraft carrier, ripping open the hole in the roof.

If this sounds confusing, that’s the nature of chaos, which can be as hard to photograph as it is to describe. Fortunately, Mr. Polidori is a connoisseur of chaos, and the beauty of his pictures — they have a languid, almost underwater beauty — entails locating order in bedlam. [...]

These are photographs, in other words, without nostalgia, as Mr. Rosenheim writes in a short introduction to Mr. Polidori's book, "After the Flood," but with "something of the air that generations of anonymous New Orleanians had breathed in and out." They make "no attempt to excavate what went wrong in New Orleans or why the state and federal response remains even today predisposed to cronyism, gross fraud and corruption." They simply testify, as Mr. Rosenheim puts it, "to a city that care forgot."

It's good of the Met to remind us.

Learn more about this exhibition

View images from this exhibition

Ecotopia: the future is now

  Epstein
Mitch Epstein, Biloxi, Mississippi, 2005

ReBlogged via NEWSgrist; via Artforum online:

Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video
By Lauren O'Neill-Butler

INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY
1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street
September 14–January 7

The frank sentiment of "A Global Warning," one of the prescriptive taglines for Al Gore's recent documentary An Inconvenient Truth, is at the heart "Ecotopia," the second ICP triennial of photography and video. Yet the descriptive and thorny ideas in this sizable exhibition—from the "nomadic postconsumers" of the future (Mary Mattingly) to the black-market trade in endangered species (Patrick Brown)—save it from moralistic didacticism and fear-inducing value judgments. With an empathetic approach, the one hundred works sustain a broad discourse on the politics and aesthetics of nature. There are several affinities among the works on display here, but they are not to be found in utopian thinking. Depicting the fragile state of the American environment in their photographs, Mitch Epstein and Clifford Ross invigorate the exhausted genre of landscape painting. Diana Thater and Mark Dion, symbolically toeing the line between obsession and conservation, provide surveillance views of wild animals. A digital slideshow of recent ecological disasters is harnessed inside one room, with images of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath by photojournalist Vincent Laforet and of the Inupiat people (the first victims of global warming) by Gilles Mingasson. Marine Hugonnier and Doug Aitken hint at the paranoid isolation of blank space and futuristic "meta-cities." But is it really so strange? In this long-winded ride through the knee-shaking sublimity of flora and fauna and the disastrous exploitation of both, the curators seem to question how far empathy really takes us, and how much longer it will be before the future is now.

September 05, 2006

Hybrid Fields at the Sonoma County Museum

Alexis Rockman
Carol Selter
Christy Rupp
Free Soil
Free Fruit/Fruta Gratis
JohnKo Systems Unlimited/Old World Productions
Laura Parker
Matthew Moore
Rachel Major
Shada/Jahn
Susan Leibovitz Steinman
Temescal Amity Works
Wowhaus

 

Hybrid Fields is a group exhibition of contemporary artists creating socially engaged art that explores philosophies for growing food, distributing food, and consuming food. Their art inhabits a hybrid space where art and life, art and agriculture, converge. Sonoma County is a unique agricultural community supporting small farmers who have raised livestock and a multitude of crops through the years, including apples, hops, prunes, and increasingly, grapes. As new technologies expand our capacity for producing more food, faster, through mechanization, hybridization, and genetic engineering, questions are being raised as to the environmental and social impact of such practices.

For more information CLICK HERE

Contemporary Project Space

In conjunction with Hybrid Fields, artists Marisa Jahn and Steve Shada of Shada/Jahn present Swan Song, a lyrical contemporary art installation with a live fruit tree and constructed xylophone that renders the sound of falling fruit as a metaphor for the disquieting loss of un-harvested foods.


The Mezzanine: Selections From the Permanent Collection

Fields of Change
Agricultural Highlights from the Permanent Collection

Fields of Change will highlight the objects, stories, and images of Sonoma County’s agricultural past from the Museum’s collection, and provide an opportunity to consider important transitions.

CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE: THE LAND
Selections from the Tom Golden Collection

April 22 - December 2006

Sonoma County Museum is home to one of the largest collections in the nation of works by environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The Land features the preparatory drawings for their large-scale, temporary works envisioned to interact with the land and its inhabitants. Projects include Running Fence, Umbrellas, Surrounded Islands, Valley Curtain, and The Gates.