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Five exhibitions
dal 17/5/2012 al 6/1/2013

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Weegee
Christer Stromholm



 
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17/5/2012

Five exhibitions

International Center of Photography ICP, New York

'Weegee: Murder Is My Business' features over 100 original photographs as well as period newspapers, magazines, and films. 'Christer Stromholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche' presents 40 photographs, historical publications, and ephemera documenting young transgender males in the heart of Paris' red-light district in the 1960s. 'President in Petticoats!' presents over 40 examples of photography used in early political propaganda. 'A Short History of Photography': 100 images by Atget, Sherman, Evans and many more. 'Gordon Parks: 100 Years' is a window installation encompassing a large-scale photo mural and slideshow.


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Weegee:
Murder Is My Business
May 18–September 2, 2012

Gangland murders, gruesome car crashes, and perilous tenement fires were, for the photographer Weegee (1899—1968), the staples of his flashlit black-and-white work as a freelance photojournalist in the mid- 1930s. Such graphically dramatic and sometimes sensationalistic photographs of New York crimes and news events set the standard for what has since become known as tabloid journalism. In fact, for one intense decade, between 1935 and 1946, Weegee was perhaps the most relentlessly inventive figure in American photography. Organized by ICP Chief Curator Brian Wallis, this exhibition presents some rare examples of Weegee’s most famous and iconic images, and considers his early work in the context of its original presentation in historical newspapers and exhibitions, as well as Weegee’s own books and films.

Taking its title from Weegee’s self-curated exhibition at the Photo League in 1941, Murder Is My Business looks at the urban violence and mayhem that was the focus of his early work. As a freelance photographer at a time when New York City had at least eight daily newspapers and when wire services were just beginning to handle photos, Weegee was challenged to capture unique images of newsworthy events and distribute them quickly. He worked almost exclusively at night, setting out from his small apartment across from police headquarters when news of a new crime came chattering across his police-band radio receiver. Often arriving before the police themselves, Weegee carefully cased each scene to discover the best angle. Murders, he claimed, were the easiest to photograph because the subjects never moved or got temperamental.

Weegee’s rising career as a news photographer in the 1930s coincided with the heyday of Murder Inc., the Jewish gang from Brownsville who served as paid hitmen for The Syndicate, a confederation of mostly Italian crime bosses in New York. As a wave of governmental and legal crackdowns swept the city between 1935 and 1941, the rate of organized murders of small-time wiseguys and potential stool pigeons increased dramatically. Weegee often worked closely with the police but also befriended high-profile criminals like Bugsy Siegel, Lucky Luciano, and Legs Diamond. Weegee called himself the “staff photographer for Murder Inc.” and claimed to have covered 5,000 murders, a count that is perhaps only slightly exaggerated. In asserting the true nature of his business, Weegee proudly displayed his check stub from LIFE magazine that paid him $35 for two murders, slightly more, he said, for the one that used more bullets.

Selling his photographs to a variety of New York newspapers in the 1930s, and later working as a stringer for the short-lived daily newspaper PM (1940—48), Weegee established a highly subjective approach to both photographs and texts that was distinctly different from that promoted in most dailies and picture magazines. Utilizing other distribution venues, Weegee also wrote extensively (including his autobiographical Naked City, published in 1946) and organized his own exhibitions at the Photo League, the influential photographic organization that promoted politically committed pictures, particularly of the working classes. In 1941, Weegee installed two back-to-back exhibitions in the League’s headquarters. This visibility helped promote Weegee’s growing reputation as a news photographer, and he began stamping his prints “Weegee the Famous.” The general acceptance of his punchy photographic style, which did not shy away from lower-class subjects and humanistic narratives, led to the acquisition of his work by the Museum of Modern Art and inclusion in two group shows there, in 1943 and 1945.

“Weegee has often been dismissed as an aberration or as a naive photographer, but he was in fact one of the most original and enterprising photojournalists of the 1930s and ‘40s. His best photographs combine wit, daring, and surprisingly original points of view, particularly when considered in light of contemporaneous press photos and documentary photography. He favored unabashedly low-culture or tabloid subjects and approaches, but his Depression-era New York photographs need to be considered seriously alongside other key documentarians of the thirties, such as Dorothea Lange, Robert Capa, Walker Evans, and Berenice Abbott,” said Wallis.

The exhibition features over 100 original photographs, drawn primarily from the comprehensive Weegee Archive of over 20,000 prints at ICP, as well as period newspapers, magazines, and films. It also includes partial reconstructions of Weegee’s studio and his Photo League exhibition. The four galleries each feature a touch-screen monitor allowing visitors to explore further details regarding the images and artifacts in that room.

The Weegee Archive was bequeathed to ICP in 1993 by Wilma Wilcox, Weegee’s long-term partner. The touch screen content was produced by Documentary Arts in association with Octothorp Studio. This exhibition was made possible with support from the ICP Exhibitions Committee, The David Berg Foundation, an Anonymous donor, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

NEW SPECIAL EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

MAY

Discovering Weegee Twitter Contest
Every Monday in May, running from May 21 to August 27
Users can follow @ICPMuseum to receive hints on how to win two tickets to the exhibition. Every Monday a new question will post about Weegee or his work. Followers can find the correct answer on icp.org and will need to mention @ICPmuseum and #DiscoverWeegee in their responses to be eligible to win tickets.

Thursday Night Tour & Films
6 pm on May 24 and 31
Each week ICP will present a Weegee film or related “film noir” movie. The evening begins with a guided tour of the exhibition.

JUNE/JULY

Thursday Night Tour & Films
6 pm on June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 5, 12, 19, 26
Each week ICP will present a Weegee film or related “film noir” movie. The evening begins with a guided tour of the exhibition.

Weegee’s Birthday Celebration
June 12
ICP will celebrate Weegee’s 113th birthday by offering additional museum tours throughout the day. Visitors who dress like Weegee—dusting off their fedoras or creating their very own “official” press badges—will receive free admission to the museum all day.

Sunday Mornings with Weegee: Breakfast and Guided Walking Tour
9 to 11 am on June 17, 24, July 8, and July 22
$30 – General Admission; $25 – ICP Members
Join ICP on select Sundays for bagels, schmeer, and coffee, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Weegee: Murder Is My Business exhibition, and a guided walking tour of Weegee haunts in the Times Square area. The tour begins at the ICP museum.

AUGUST

Thursday Night Tour & Films
6 pm on August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Each week ICP will present a Weegee film or related “film noir” movie. The evening begins with a guided tour of the exhibition.

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Christer Strömholm:
Les Amies de Place Blanche
May 18–September 2, 2012

Raising profound issues about identity, sexuality, and gender, Christer Strömholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche, on view at the International Center of Photography (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street) May 18—September 2, 2012, presents 40 photographs, historical publications, and ephemera documenting young transgender males in the heart of Paris’ red-light district in the 1960s.

Arriving in Paris in the late 1950s, Christer Strömholm (Stockholm, 1918–2002) settled in Place Blanche, home of the famous Moulin Rouge. There, he befriended and photographed young transsexuals—“ladies of the night”’—struggling to live as women and to raise money for sex-change operations. In General Charles de Gaulle’s ultra-conservative France, transvestites were outlaws, regularly abused and arrested by the police for being “men dressed as women outside the period of carnival.” Some of these women had tragic fates. Others, like “Nana” and “Jacky,” eventually fulfilled their destiny and led happy lives as women. Living alongside them for 10 years, Strömholm photographed his subjects in their hotel rooms, in bars, and in the streets of Paris.

“These intimate portraits and Brassaï-like lush night scenes form a magnificent, dark, and moving photo album, a vibrant tribute to these girls,” said ICP Curatorial Assistant Pauline Vermare, who organized the exhibition. These photographs were first published in Sweden in 1983, and the book Vännerna från Place Blanche (“The Girlfriends of Place Blanche”)—which will be reissued this year in French and English—quickly sold out, becoming a cult classic and solidifying Strömholm as one of the great photographers of the 20th century. The work for this exhibition is provided by the Strömholm Estate in Stockholm, the Marvelli Gallery in New York, and from the collection of Alice Zimet.

As Strömholm wrote in 1983: “These are images of people whose lives I shared and whom I think I understood. These are images of women—biologically born as men—that we call ‘transsexuals.’ As for me, I call them ‘my friends of Place Blanche.’ It was then—and still is—about obtaining the freedom to choose one’s own life and identity.”

Christer Strömholm is a lesser known artist, but may well be the father figure of Scandinavian photography. A prominent artist and winner of the prestigious Hasselblad Award in 1997, he was also an influential teacher and the mentor to some of today’s leading Swedish photographers including J.H. Engström, Anders Petersen, and Lars Tunbjörk. Highly revered in his native Sweden since the 1980s, he is still little known outside of Europe. This exhibition is the first presentation of Strömholm’s work in an American museum, and features his most powerful and acclaimed body of work.

This exhibition was made possible with support from Peggy and Keith Anderson and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. W magazine is the official media partner for this presentation.

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President in Petticoats!
Civil War Propaganda in Photographs
May 18–September 2, 2012

President in Petticoats! Civil War Propaganda in Photographs, on view at the International Center of Photography (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street) May 18–September 2, 2012, presents over 40 extraordinary examples of photography used in early political propaganda targeted at Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.

Slightly less than 150 years ago, the American Civil War was grinding to a dispiriting and unheroic end. After the surrender of General Robert E. Lee’s rebel forces and the shocking assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in mid-April 1865, Davis was a political fugitive—accused of plotting Lincoln’s assassination as well as committing treason—and the future of the Union remained uncertain.

At dawn on May 10, 1865, a contingent of Michigan cavalry captured Davis in a makeshift camp just outside Irwinville, Georgia. In trying to flee, Davis grabbed his wife’s overcoat rather than his own and his wife threw her shawl over his shoulders. Instantly, news reports circulated that Davis had been apprehended in women’s clothes and that he was attempting to disguise himself as a woman.

Northern artists and caricaturists seized upon these rumors of cowardly escape and created wildly inventive images, some using photomontage, to sensationalize the political story by emasculating Davis. Photographers circulated and even pirated dozens of fanciful photographic cards. Many used a photographic portrait of Davis by Mathew Brady on a hand-drawn body in a woman’s dress, hat, and crinoline, but wearing his own boots, the detail that supposedly betrayed him to his captors.

“These images are excellent examples of political propaganda. Visitors will recognize many of the same elements of contemporary political propaganda: manipulated images paired with statements fabricated or taken out of context and disseminated as truth,” said Erin Barnett, Assistant Curator of Collections. “The country was bitterly divided during the Civil War. Davis’s capture was an inglorious (and, from the perspective of many Northerners, a fitting) end to the Confederacy. These caricatures further damaged Davis’ reputation just as Lincoln was being revered as a martyr, especially in the North.”

The work in this exhibition was recently donated to ICP by its compiler, collector Charles Schwartz, with support from the ICP Acquisitions Committee. The collection contains more than 90 works on the theme of Davis’ capture, including photographs, lithographs, newspapers, and illustrated sheet music. This exhibition was made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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A Short History of Photography:
From the ICP Collection Honoring Willis E. Hartshorn, Ehrenkranz Director
May 18–September 2, 2012

In honor of Ehrenkranz Director Willis E. “Buzz” Hartshorn, the International Center of Photography presents an engaging survey of its vast and unique collection of photographs in the exhibition A Short History of Photography on view at ICP (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street) May 18—September 2, 2012. This wide-ranging exhibition of 100 images includes the work of Eugène Atget, W. Eugene Smith, Cindy Sherman, Walker Evans, and André Kertész, among many others.

During his 18-year tenure as Director of ICP (1994-2012), Hartshorn oversaw a substantial growth of the Collection. Under his leadership, the size of the Photography Collection has more than doubled and the breadth has expanded from an original focus on documentary photography and photojournalism to embrace myriad alternative histories of photography. The Collection was established by ICP Founder Cornell Capa in 1975 as part of the original concept for ICP, and now includes more than 120,000 objects ranging from 19th century daguerreotypes to contemporary digital prints. Among the substantial holdings of individual prints, the Collection includes the archives of Robert Capa, Cornell Capa, Roman Vishniac, Weegee, Martin Munkacsi, Gerda Taro, and others. Major acquisitions under Hartshorn’s tenure include the Mexican Suitcase, a collection of negatives by Robert Capa, Taro, and Chim acquired in 2008; the LIFE Magazine Collection, a group of 1,000 vintage prints donated by Time-Life in 2006; and the Roman Vishniac Archive, donated in 2007, which will provide the basis for a major retrospective exhibition in 2013.

As A Short History of Photography demonstrates, the ICP Collection now emphasizes a global approach to contemporary photography, an interest in the uses of photography in reproduction in various printed media, and an attention to historical forms of vernacular and commercial photography.

“One of the hallmarks of the ICP Collection is a focus on alternative histories of photography, including marginalized social practices of photography as well as popular and nonart approaches to the medium,” said Chief Curator Brian Wallis, who selected the work shown in this exhibition.

Hartshorn, who is himself a photographer and who studied under Nathan Lyons at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, has emphasized the need to deploy the Collection to teach visual literacy. “In a world now largely governed by images,” he has said, “we need to develop visual literacy, to understand how pictures create meaning and shape our understanding of our everyday lives.”

The exhibition’s title alludes to German critic Walter Benjamin’s classic 1931 essay “A Short History of Photography,” an early and incisive investigation of the aesthetics and uses of photographic images.

Photographs in the ICP Collection are utilized for almost every ICP exhibition, for loans to other museums, and for ongoing study and research in the history of photography and visual culture. The entire ICP Collection is accessible to students, scholars, and other interested visitors by appointment. Visitors may view original prints, peruse archival documents, or consult the Collection’s digital catalogue. Much of the Collection is also accessible online via eMuseum, a searchable database of the Collection (www.icp.org), and the Collections blog “Fans In a Flashbulb” (fansinaflashbulb.wordpress.com).

A Short History of Photography was made possible with support from Roberta and Steven Denning, Christian Keesee, and Stephanie and Fred Shuman, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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Gordon Parks:
100 Years
May 18–January 6, 2013

To commemorate the centennial of the birth of photographer, filmmaker, musician, and writer Gordon Parks (1912–2006), the International Center of Photography in conjunction with The Gordon Parks Foundation will present Gordon Parks: 100 Years, a window installation at ICP (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street) encompassing a large-scale photo mural and slideshow of more than 50 photographs he captured throughout his long, illustrious career.

On view from May 18, 2012–January 6, 2013, the 20-foot-by-13-foot photo mural will feature Emerging Man, one of Parks’ iconic images captured in Harlem in 1952. Three video screens will display his stunning images, which explore such issues as urban and rural poverty, racism and prejudice, politics, and the historic Civil Rights Movement.

“As we celebrate Gordon Parks’ life we also celebrate his legacy as a humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice,” said Dr. Maurice Berger, Guest Curator. “The body of work he left behind documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006.”

Parks was truly one of the most seminal figures of 20th century photography. Born in Fort Scott, Kansas, on November 30, 1912, he moved to Minneapolis in 1928 and became a photographer in 1937 after seeing examples of Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographs reproduced in a magazine. He was a fashion photographer in Minneapolis and Chicago, before going to Washington, D.C. and finding work with Roy Stryker at the FSA. He subsequently photographed for the Office of War Information and at the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. Parks worked as a fashion photographer at Vogue beginning in 1944, and when LIFE hired him as a staff photographer in 1948, he accepted assignments both in fashion and photojournalism. He remained at LIFE until 1970, producing many of his most important photo essays, such as those on Harlem gangs, segregation in the South, his own experiences with racism; on Flavio da Silva, a poor child living in Brazil; and on Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Black Panthers.

A multi-talented artist, Parks was the first African-American to direct a Hollywood film—The Learning Tree (1969). His critically acclaimed films also include Diary of a Harlem Family (1968), Shaft (1971), and Leadbelly (1976). He composed music and published novels, memoirs, poetry and book-length photo essays. This versatility made him one of the most respected artists of his time. Parks’ photographs include portraits, landscapes and cityscapes, fashion shots, abstract images, as well as intimate views of communities all over the world.

Parks also had a long association with ICP. A close friend of Founder Cornell Capa, Parks received ICP’s Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1990. He is well represented in the museum’s permanent collection and ICP presented a major retrospective of his work, Moments Without Proper Names: Photographs by Gordon Parks, in 1975.

Gordon Parks: 100 Years was curated by Berger in conjunction with ICP and The Gordon Parks Foundation, a division of the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation.

About The Gordon Parks Foundation
The Foundation permanently preserves the work of Gordon Parks, makes it available to the public through exhibitions, books, and electronic media and supports artistic and educational activities that advance what Parks described as “the common search for a better life and a better world.” The Foundation is a division of the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation. For more on Gordon Parks and the Foundation, go to www. gordonparksfoundation.org

About ICP
The International Center of Photography (ICP) was founded in 1974 by Cornell Capa (1918-2008) as an institution dedicated to photography that occupies a vital and central place in contemporary culture as it reflects and influences social change. Through our museum, school and community programs, we embrace photography’s ability to open new opportunities for personal and aesthetic expression, transform popular culture, and continually evolve to incorporate new technologies. ICP has presented more than 500 exhibitions, bringing the work of more than 3,000 photographers and other artists to the public in one-person and group exhibitions and provided thousands of classes and workshops that have enriched tens of thousands of students. Visit www.icp.org for more information.

Image: Christer Strömholm, Jacky, 1961. © Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate

Contact: Communications Team
212.857.0045 info@icp.org

Media Preview: May 17, 2012 - 11:30 am–1:30 pm

The International Center of Photography (ICP)
1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43 rd Street - New York NY 10036
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Admission
General Admission: $12
Students and Seniors (with valid ID): $8
ICP Members: Free
Children under 12: Free
Voluntary Contribution Fridays 5–8 pm

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