Jimmy Baker, Artist and Associate Professor and Head of the Painting & Drawing Department of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, OH
Exhibition: Wide Angle: Photography Out of Bounds
Panel: Wide Angle

Jimmy Baker is an Associate Professor, and Head of the Painting & Drawing Department at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He has exhibited work in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Basel, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, and other American cities. His work has been featured in many publications, private collections, as well as permanent collections at the Zabludowicz Art Trust, London, UK; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Taschen Foundation, Berlin, Germany; Cincinnati Art Museum; Columbus Museum of Art; JP Morgan Chase, Dallas, TX; and Progressive Insurance Collection, Cleveland, OH. (Photo Credit: Niki Nesbit)

Peter Barberie, Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Panel: From Paris to New York

Peter Barberie is the Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Since 2008 he has organized more than twenty-five exhibitions, including WILD: Michael Nichols (2017), a survey of Nichols’ photography of the natural world creatively installed with art on similar themes from across the Museum’s collection; Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography (2014), an in-depth retrospective of Strand’s photography and films that traveled to several European venues; and Zoe Strauss: Ten Years (2012), a mid-career survey of Strauss’s photography and her closely related efforts at public engagement. He is currently working on a survey exhibition and publication about the photographer David Lebe which will open in February 2019. His publications include Looking at Atget (2005); Dreaming in Black and White: Photography at the Julien Levy Gallery (co-authored with Katherine Ware, 2006); and an essay for the exhibition catalogue Charles Marville, Photographer of Paris (ed. Sarah Kennel, published by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, with University of Chicago Press, 2013).

Mr. Barberie is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the history of photography and modern art from Princeton University (Ph.D. 2007). (Photo Credit: Isaac James)

Carissa Barnard, FotoFocus Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programming
Curator: Wide Angle: Photography Out of Bounds and Chris Engman: Prospect and Refuge
Panel: Wide Angle

Carissa Barnard is the Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programming at FotoFocus Cincinnati. She previously served as the Exhibitions Director at the Contemporary Arts Center where she organized exhibitions with leading contemporary artists and curators such as ON! Handcrafted Digital Playgrounds with OFFF Festival founder Hector Ayuso, Spectacle: The Music Video and Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand.

Barnard curates Wide Angle: Photography Out of Bounds and Chris Engman: Prospect and Refuge for the FotoFocus Biennial 2018: Open Archive. She holds an MFA from the University of Cincinnati DAAP, School of Art.

Clément Chéroux, Senior Curator of Photography, SFMOMA
Keynote Lecturer

Since January 2017 Clément Chéroux has served as Senior Curator of the Department of Photography for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Prior to that, he was the Chief Curator of the Department of Photography for the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and joined that museum as Curator of Photography in 2007.

Chéroux has curated or co-curated more than 20 exhibitions on modern and contemporary photography such as The Train: RFK’s Last Journey (2018), Walker Evans (2017), Varda/Cuba (2015), Anna et Bernhard Blume (2015), Valérie Belin, unquiet images (2015), Qu’est-ce que la photographie? (2015), Jacques-André Boiffard (2014), Man Ray, Picabia et la revue “Littérature” (2014), Henri Cartier-Bresson: here and there (2014), Paparazzi! Photographers, stars and artists (2014), Shoot! Existential Photography (2012), Edvard Munch, The Modern Eye (2011), Brancusi, photographie, film (2011), La Subversion des images, surréalisme, photographie, film (2009) and The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult (2004). He is currently preparing an exhibition titled Snap+Share about the transmission of photographs from mail art to social networks. As author or editor, Chéroux has published more than 40 books and catalogs on photography and its history.

Chéroux earned a PhD in Art History from the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, an MA in Aesthetics, Technology and Artistic Creation from the University of Paris VIII and a degree from the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie, Arles. He was a visiting research fellow in the Art History Department at Princeton University and a guest scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum Photography Department. He lectured on the history of photography at the University of Paris I, Paris III and Lausanne, and served as executive editor of the magazine Études Photographiques published by the Société Française de photographie. Chéroux has also served as an independent curator.

Chéroux was awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (Knight) for the exhibition, Edvard Munch, the Modern Eye, the Nadar Award for Photography Book of the Year for La subversion des images, surréalisme, photographie, film, the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire for The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult and the Filaf d’or Award for his book Avant l’avant-garde: du jeu en photographie 1890–1940.

Teju Cole, Writer, Art Historian, and Photographer
Performance: Blind Spot
Conversation: Conversation with Artist Teju Cole and Drew Klein, FotoFocus Guest Curator

Teju Cole is a writer, art historian, and photographer. He is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College and photography critic of the New York Times Magazine. He was born in the US in 1975 to Nigerian parents, and raised in Nigeria. He currently lives in Brooklyn. He is the author of four books.

His novella, Every Day is for the Thief, was named a book of the year by the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, NPR, and the Telegraph, and shortlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award. His novel, Open City, also featured on numerous book of the year lists, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York City Book Award for Fiction, the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Internationaler Literaturpreis, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature. His essay collection, Known and Strange Things, was shortlisted for both the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and the inaugural PEN/Jean Stein Award for “a book that has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.” Known and Strange Things was named a book of the year by the Guardian, the Financial Times, Time Magazine, and many others. His most recent book, Blind Spot (June 2017), a genre-crossing work of photography and texts, was shortlisted for the Aperture/Paris Photo Photobook Award and named one of the best books of the year by Time Magazine. He was commissioned by the 2017 Performa Biennial to present a multimedia solo performance piece, Black Paper, which the New York Times acclaimed as “quietly grave” and “thoroughly devastating.”

Teju Cole has contributed to the New York Times, the New Yorker, Granta, Brick, and many other magazines. His photography column at the New York Times Magazine, “On Photography,” was a finalist for a 2016 National Magazine Award. His photography has been exhibited in India, Iceland, Italy, and the US. He has lectured widely, from the Harvard Graduate School of Design to Twitter Headquarters. He gave the 2014 Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics at Duke University, the 2015 Susan D. Gubar Lecture at Indiana University, and the 2016 Spui25 Lecture at the University of Amsterdam. He was awarded the 2015 Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction, and a 2015 US Artists award. He serves as a board member for several periodicals and arts organizations, and has participated in many literary and photography juries. (Photo Credit: Martin Lengemann)

Chris Engman, Artist, Los Angeles, CA
Exhibition: Chris Engman: Prospect and Refuge
Panel: Wide Angle

Chris Engman lives and works in Los Angeles.  He earned an MFA from the University of Southern California in 2013, and a BFA from the University of Washington in 2003. His work has shown widely in the United States and Europe including at Henry Art Gallery, The Seattle Art Museum, Institute for Contemporary Art in San Jose, Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Clair Gallerie in Munich, 68 Projects in Berlin, Project B in Milan, and Flowers Gallery in London. His work is featured in numerous public and private collections including The Henry Gallery, Seattle Art Museum, Houston Fine Arts Museum, Covington Library, Microsoft and Orange County Art Museum, and the Elton John Collection. Engman is represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles and in Seattle by Greg Kucera Gallery.

Kelly Gallagher, Filmmaker, Curator, and Assistant Professor of Film at Syracuse University, New Jersey
Conversation: Conversation with Miranda July and Kelly Gallagher

Kelly Gallagher is an experimental filmmaker, animator, and Assistant Professor of Film at Syracuse University. Her theoretical and scholarly work investigates the radical and feminist possibilities of experimental animation. Her animations, experimental films and documentaries have screened internationally at venues including: The National Gallery of Art, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, London ICA Artists’ Biennial, LA Film Forum, the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry, and NYC’s Anthology Film Archives. She is the recipient of the Ivan Kaljević Award from Alternative Film/Video Festival Belgrade, the Helen Hill Award from Indie Grits, the Audience Award from Brazil’s Fronteira Film Festival, and the Jury’s Choice Award from Black Maria Film Festival.

INTERMEDIO

(Photo Credit: Ryan Back)

Miranda July, Acclaimed Filmmaker, Artist and Writer

Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. Her videos, performances, and web-based projects have been presented at sites such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and in two Whitney Biennials. July wrote, directed and starred in her first feature-length film, Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005), which won a special jury prize at Sundance Film Festival and four prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Camera d’Or. Miranda July also wrote, directed and starred in The Future (2011).

Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, and The New Yorker; her collection of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You (Scribner, 2007), won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and has been published in twenty countries. Her latest book is It Chooses You (McSweeney’s, 2011). Her novel, The First Bad Man, became an immediate bestseller and was named one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2015.

July’s participatory art works include the website Learning to Love You More (with artist Harrell Fletcher), Eleven Heavy Things (a sculpture garden created for the 2009 Venice Biennale), New Society (a performance), and Somebody (a messaging app created with Miu Miu.) Most recently she made an interfaith charity shop in Selfridges department store in London, presented by Artangel. She is currently working on a new feature film. Raised in Berkeley, California, July lives in Los Angeles.

About Miranda July’s Joanie 4 Jackie Archive:

In 1995, Miranda July dropped out of college, moved to Portland, Oregon, and typed up a pamphlet that she imagined would be the start of a revolution of girls and women making movies and sharing them with each other. The pamphlet said: “A challenge and a promise: Lady, you send me your movie and I’ll send you the latest Big Miss Moviola Chainletter Tape.”

Joanie 4 Jackie (aka Big Miss Moviola) was an underground film network for girls and women, formed in 1995. For more than ten years women sent their movies to Joanie 4 Jackie and received a “Chainletter” tape in return — their movie compiled with nine others. In a pre-YouTube world, this was one-way women could see each other’s work and know they weren’t alone.  The project inspired girls to make movies for the first time, circulated work by seasoned artists and connected women across the country through screenings and booklets of letters that arrived with each videotape. By the time the project had run its course the work of over 200 filmmakers was distributed through 22 compilation tapes, and Joanie 4 Jackie had exhibited movies all over the world, from punk clubs to the Museum of Modern Art.

In January 2017 The Getty Research Institute announced the acquisition of the complete Joanie 4 Jackie archives. Twenty-seven boxes of tapes, posters, letters, embarrassing notes, to-do lists, and grandiose plans will be made available to researchers and preserved for all time in a feminist and queer context, alongside the archives of artists such as Yvonne Rainer, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Carolee Schneemann.   The Getty Trust is a non-profit organization devoted to arts research, education, philanthropy, and the conservation and preservation of world heritage. (Photo Credit: Todd Cole)

Drew Klein, FotoFocus Guest Curator and Performing Arts Director at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Conversation: Conversation with Artist Teju Cole and Drew Klein
Curator: Blind Spot Performance with Teju Cole and Vijay Iyer

Drew Klein is Performing Arts Director at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he curates and oversees the Black Box Performing Arts Series, an eight month season of interdisciplinary performances.

Working with revered figures like Mark Mothersbaugh and Saul Williams, to emerging makers like Dana Michel and Ligia Lewis, Klein’s curation centers on championing the adventurous within a context that honors the community within which he is working. Creating a prominent platform for international work in the Midwest, he has provided US premieres for international artists including Ingri Fiksdal, Kate McIntosh, and Mithkal Alzghair. Exclusive and co-commissioned performance works include Brian Harnetty’s Shawnee, Ohio, Kaneza Schaal’s JACK&, and Jens Lekman’s storytelling project Ghostwriting. Investing in the careers of Cincinnati’s own artists, he has produced and commissioned projects by artists including Eddy Kwon, Napoleon Maddox, and Sheida Soleimani. Travelling extensively to festivals and conferences around the world, Klein has served as a visiting curator and lecturer at institutions such as Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Fusebox Festival (Austin), and DiverseWorks (Houston), among others.

Prior to joining the CAC, Klein worked in the New York independent film world with sister companies Cinetic Media and Sloss Eckhouse LawCo LLP, as well as with Barcelona-based production company Garage Films. He holds a BFA in Electronic Media from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music.

Vijay Iyer, Composer and Pianist
Performance: Blind Spot

Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2017 and Artist of the Year in Jazz Times’ Critics’ Poll and Readers’ Poll for 2017. He received a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. He has released twenty-one albums, including Far From Over (ECM, 2017), with the Vijay Iyer Sextet, which ranked #1 in US National Public Radio’s annual Jazz Critics’ Poll, surveying 157 critics. Far From Over was named among the best jazz albums of the year in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Slate, and The New York Times, and the was the only “jazz” release in Rolling Stone’s list of the 50 best records of 2017, which cited it as “2017’s jazz album to beat”.

Previous key releases of Iyer’s include A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) in duo with legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff(ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio, winner of the German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year; the live score to the film Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi (ECM, 2014) by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013), his third politically searing collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.

Iyer’s compositions have been commissioned and premiered by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Matt Haimowitz, and Jennifer Koh.

Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University, and the director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. (Photo Credit: Martin Lengemann)

Mike Jacobs, Phoenix, AZ

Ed Juler, Writer and Lecture in Art History, Newcastle University, UK

Steven Matijcio, FotoFocus Guest Curator and Curator of the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Curator: The Fold: Space, time and the image

Steven Matijcio is the curator of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. Prior to this he served as Curator of Contemporary Art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, NC, from 2008-2013. Matijcio is a graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and has held positions in a number of galleries and museums, including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada. Matijcio was honored in 2010 with a prestigious Tremaine Exhibition Award for the project paperless.

Anne McCauley, David Hunter McAlpin Professor of the History of Photography and Modern Art in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, New Jersey.
Panel: No Two Alike

Anne McCauley is the David Hunter McAlpin Professor of the History of Photography and Modern Art in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Her work has addressed the economic, scientific and political contexts for the invention and commercial development of photography as a mass medium in the nineteenth century; the institutional frameworks for photographic exhibition and collecting; and the rise of American modernist photography in the Progressive Era, among other topics. She received her B.A. in art history from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. from Yale University.

She is the author of numerous publications, including A.A.E. Disdéri and the Carte de Visite Portrait Photograph (1985); Industrial Madness: Commercial Photography in Paris, 1848-1871 (1994); The Museum and the Photograph (co-authored with Mark Haworth-Booth. 1998); Gondola Days: Isabella Stewart Gardner and the Palazzo Barbaro Circle (2004); and Alfred Stieglitz and ‘The Steerage’ (co-authored with Jason Francisco, 2012). Most recently she was the curator and main catalogue author for the Princeton University Art Museum exhibition, Clarence H. White and His World: The Art and Craft of Photography (2017), which closes at the Portland Museum of Art on September 16, 2018, before opening at the Cleveland Museum of Art on October 21, 2018.

Kevin Moore, Artistic Director and Curator
Curator: Paris to New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott and Mamma Andersson: Memory Banks
Conversation: Memory Banks and Panel: From Paris to New York

Kevin Moore is a curator and writer based in New York. His work focuses on the history of photography, film/video, and contemporary art. He earned a Ph.D. in art history in 2002 from Princeton University and has worked in curatorial departments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University. He is the Curator of the McEvoy Collection, San Francisco, and, since 2013, the Artistic Director and Curator of FotoFocus, Cincinnati.

Moore has written extensively on modern and contemporary art. He is the author of Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of an Artist (2004; French version, 2012; Polish version, 2015), Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980 (2010), and a contributing author to Photography at MoMA 1920-1960 (2016), Robert Heinecken: Copywork (2012), Words Without Pictures (2009), and More Than One: Photographs in Sequence (2008). He has also written for Aperture, The Guardian, Foam Magazine, and Else.

Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the ICA/Boston, Massachusetts
Conversation: Conversation with Artist Akram Zaatari

Eva Respini is the Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the ICA/Boston. At the ICA she has organized exhibitions of a variety of leading contemporary artists, including Liz Deschenes, Nalini Malani, Dana Schutz as well as the forthcoming exhibitions of William Forsythe and Huma Bhabha. Recent exhibitions include Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today and Diana Thater.

Respini previously served as Curator at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where she organized the critically acclaimed retrospectives of Cindy Sherman, Walid Raad, and Robert Heinecken, and exhibitions with artists Klara Liden, Anne Collier, Leslie Hewitt, and Akram Zaatari. Over the course of her 15-year tenure at MoMA, Respini also organized important thematic exhibitions such as Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography and Staging Action: Performance in Photography since 1960. She is the author of Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today (2018), Liz Deschenes (2016), Walid Raad (2015); Cindy Sherman (2012); Robert Heinecken: Object Matter (2014); and the thematic books Into the Sunset: Photography’s Image of the American West (2008) and Fashioning Fiction in Photography since 1990 (2004). She is a frequent contributor to magazines and journals on contemporary art and photography. (Photo Credit: Liza Voll Photography)

Paul Roth

Sheida Soleimani, Artist and Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Brandeis University, Boston, MA
Exhibition: Wide Angle: Photography Out of Bounds
Panel: Wide Angle

Sheida Soleimani (b.1990) is an Iranian-American artist who lives in Providence, Rhode Island. The daughter of political refugees who were persecuted by the Iranian government in the early 1980s, Soleimani makes work that melds sculpture, collage, film, and photography to highlight her critical perspectives on historical and contemporary socio-political occurrences in Iran and the Greater Middle East. She focuses on media trends and the dissemination of societal occurrences in the news, adapting images from popular press and social media leaks to exist within alternate scenarios. Soleimani’s research and work critically references the Eurocentrism that pervades the study of art and art history. She is specifically interested in the intersections of art and activism, as well as how social media has shaped the landscape in current political affairs and uprisings. Her work has been recognized internationally in both exhibitions and publications such as Artforum, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Interview Magazine, VICE Magazine, amongst many others.

Ulrike Meyer Stump, FotoFocus Guest Curator and Photography Historian and Lecturer in the Knowledge Visualization Program at the Zurich University of the Arts
Curator: No Two Alike: Karl Blossfeldt, Francis Bruguière, Thomas Ruff
Panel: No Two Alike

Ulrike Meyer Stump is a photography historian and lecturer in the Knowledge Visualization program at the Zurich University of the Arts. Born in Switzerland in 1971, Ulrike Meyer Stump received an MA in Museology from Ecole du Louvre in Paris and an MA in Art History and the History of Photography from Princeton University. She completed her Ph.D. dissertation for Princeton University at the Collegium Helveticum, a transdisciplinary Institute of Advanced Studies in Zurich. Her work as a curator, editor, and author focusses on the photographs of Karl Blossfeldt, contemporary photography, and the history of the photobook. As a member of the Photography Commission of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (2004-2011) and an independent photography expert for the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia (since 2012), she is also active in cultural promotion. In 2011 she organized a symposium on 9/11 and the Media for the Musée de L’Elysée in Lausanne and in 2015 on Swiss photobooks for Tokyo Art Book Fair. Ulrike Meyer Stump is the author of Karl Blossfeldt: Working Collages (MIT Press, 2001) and Karl Blossfeldt: Variations (Lars Müller Publishers, forthcoming), co-editor of Karl Blossfeldt: Aus der Werkstatt der Natur (Schirmer Mosel, forthcoming), and co-author of Swiss Photobooks from 1927 to the Present (Lars Müller Publishers, 2011).

C. Jacqueline Wood, FotoFocus Guest Curator and Director, The Mini Microcinema, Cincinnati, Ohio
Guest Curator: Cinema and Archive

C. Jacqueline Wood is a native Cincinnatian. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Film, Video, and New Media from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL) in 2009 and a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) in 2006. In 2015, she received a People’s Liberty Globe Grant to start The Mini Microcinema, a non-profit alternative film and video venue in Over-the-Rhine. In 2012, she established Golden Hour Moving Pictures, a small video production, that has worked with such clients as The Mercantile Library and artist Mark Dejong. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions, screenings, and installations at the Weston Art Gallery; Contemporary Arts Center; Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County; Clifton Cultural Arts Center; Wave Pool Gallery; Brazee Street Studios; The Mockbee (all Cincinnati, OH); the Carnegie Arts Center (Covington, KY); Lexington Art League (Lexington, KY); Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor Film Festival (both Ann Arbor, MI). Wood recently won the Alumnae prize of the 3CS Competition (Third Century Screens) celebrating the University of Michigan’s bicentennial. C. Jacqueline Wood is one of the artists included in Co-Authored Photographs, an upcoming exhibition at Wave Pool Gallery taking place during the 2018 FotoFocus Biennial.

Julia Van Haaften, Writer, Independent Curator and Founding Curator of New York Public Library Photography Collection

Julia Van Haaften is an independent curator and consultant based in New York. She is the author of “Berenice Abbott: A Life in Photography”, published in 2018 by W. W. Norton. Her biography caps a long history, dating back to high school when she discovered Abbott’s science photography in physics class. Decades later, as founding curator of the New York Public Library’s photography collection, she organized a small exhibition of Abbott’s Changing New York. She met the photographer in 1988, the year Aperture published “Masters of Photography” volume on Abbott. The following year she organized a traveling retrospective exhibition Berenice Abbott, A Modern Vision and edited an accompanying anthology of her photographic writings. She continued to visit and interview the photographer at home in Maine. Following nonagenarian Abbott’s death in 1991, she organized Abbott’s memorial service in New York, broadcast by the Voice of America. She was consulting curator for the MIT Museum’s 2012 exhibition on American photographer Berenice Abbott, Photography and Science: An Essential Unity, which subsequently traveled to Moscow’s Multimedia Art Museum. Her revised “Masters of Photography” volume on Abbott appeared in spring 2015.

With a background in art history, Julia Van Haaften has written widely on photography history, from “Egypt and the Holy Land by Francis Frith” (1981) and “From Talbot to Stieglitz” (1982) to “The View From Space: American Astronaut Photography”, 1962-1972 (1988); early photographically illustrated books; stereoscopic views; and street photography, “Vivian Cherry’s New York” (2010) and “Brooklyn Before: Photographs by Larry Racioppo”, 1971-1983 (2018). She has organized more than a dozen photography exhibitions, from 19th-century Japanese albums to LIFE magazine’s Gordon Parks and New York City at the millennium. In addition, she was instrumental in pioneering digital imaging initiatives at NYPL and Museum of the City of New York.

Sigrid Viir, Artist, Tallinn, Estonia
Exhibition: Wide Angle: Photography Out of Bounds
Panel: Wide Angle

Sigrid Viir (b. 1979) works and lives in Tallinn. Viir studied cultural theory at Estonian Humanitarian Institute, after which she acquired both BA and MA in Photography at Estonian Academy of the Arts. Viir began showing her works in Estonia at the end of the last decade. Her practice – both solo as well as a member of Visible Solutions LCC together with Karel Koplimets and Taaniel Raudsepp – is situated between photography, installation and performance practices. With Visible Solutions she explores the relationship between art and economy. Through their mostly performative practice, the trio questions the methods on which the art world operates as well as their own roles within that. Viir’s solo practice evolves around a more private sphere: family and domestic objects. She describes her interest to be focused on “behavioural habits and functioning models”, which she documents, questions and rearranges in her work. Viir is skilled at using people and objects as models in her photo series, which often deal with social models and addresses the functionality of their structure.

Viir’s recent exhibitions include, ”The Archaeology of the Screen”, Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn (2018); ”Tell Me. Contemporary Portraits in Photography”, FUGA, Budapest (2018); ”(Hyper)emotional: YOU”,

Akram Zaatari, Artist and Co-Founder of the Arab Image Foundation
Exhibition: The Fold: Space, time and the image
Conversation: Conversation with Artist Akram Zaatari and Eva Respini

Akram Zaatari has produced more than fifty films and videos, a dozen books, and countless installations of photographic material, all sharing an interest in writing histories, pursuing a range of interconnected themes, subjects, and practices related to excavation, political resistance, the lives of former militants, the legacy of an exhausted left, the circulation of images in times of war, and the play of tenses inherent to various letters that have been lost, found, buried, discovered, or otherwise delayed in reaching their destinations. Zaatari has played a critical role in developing the formal, intellectual, and institutional infrastructure of Beirut’s contemporary art scene. He was one of a handful of young artists who emerged from the delirious but short-lived era of experimentation in Lebanon’s television industry, which was radically reorganized after the country’s civil war. As a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, a groundbreaking, artist-driven organization devoted to the research and study of photography in the Arab world, he has made invaluable and uncompromising contributions to the wider discourse on preservation and archival practice.

Zaatari’s represented Lebanon at the Venice Biennial in 2013 and was a featured artist at Documenta13 in 2012. His films include two features: Twenty-Eight Nights and A Poem (2015) and This Day (2003). His work is part of institutional collections such as the Centre Pompidou, Guggenheim Museum, Hammer Museum, K21, MACBA, MoMA, Serralves Foundation, Tate Modern, and Walker Art Center. Born 1966 in Lebanon, Zaatari lives and works in Beirut. (Photo by: Marco Milan)

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