ArtNews on History/Her Stories: Photographs by Women at the AIPAD Photography Show #celebratephotography
Great read from ArtNews. This panel sounds like it was fantastic!
“One of the great things about working for 40 years and being 190 years old is you get to see history,” the photographer Tina Barney, who is 72 years old, told a rapt audience last week. She paused for a bit, then continued, “You see so much in 40 years, and yet not much has happened at all.”
Barney was referring to the size of her colorful photographs, which, back in their day, were printed at large sizes rarely seen in the art world, but it was a statement that also could’ve applied to the whole of the panel at which she was speaking: “History/Her Stories: Photographs by Women” at the AIPAD Photography Show in New York, a talk about how female photographers can grapple with—and change—history through their work. Her fellow panelists—Sofia Borges, Sam Contis, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Liz Deschenes, as well as Museum of Modern Art photography curator Sarah Herman Meister—were more optimistic that women photographers have come a long way. All of them seemed to agree on one point: being a woman in a field dominated by men isn’t easy.
Frazier kicked off the talk by discussing her black-and-white photographs of Flint, Michigan, where a crisis caused by a polluted water supply continues to impact the everyday lives of its citizens. (These semi-journalistic works, made in the tradition of Gordon Parks and Lisette Model, were recently on view at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in Harlem.) She asked the audience how many people were aware that the crisis was still ongoing, and most people raised their hands. “I’m glad to see that,” she said. But how many knew that it wasn’t expected to be fixed until 2020? Almost no hands went up. “I believe my photographs are a platform [not only] for social justice, but also for equity,” she said, adding that she hopes her work, which has been published in Elle and the Atlantic, will illuminate what Flint residents are dealing with. “Photography,” she said, “has the power to change the way we think.”
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