Tag Archives: international


Black Portraitures II_Save the Date_Mailchimp Header WITH Corners

The ‘BLACK PORTRAITURE{S} II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging Histories’ conference took place earlier this summer at Villa La Pietra, home of the NYU Florence program. This was the 6th conference in 6 years organized in large part by DPI Chair Deborah Willis, exploring perspectives on the historical and contemporary role played by photography, art, film, literature, and music in referencing the image of the black body in the West. The conference was hugely successful with more than 580 people in attendance including New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray.

Hat tip to DPI administrators Edgar Castillo, Brandy Dyess, Patricia McKelvin, Abi Roucka for their hard work on the front, middle and backend of this endeavor. Other DPI community members in attendance included Dean Allyson Green, Shelley Rice, Ulrich Baer, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Zalika Abdul-Azim, Claudia Mann, Nicole Motta, Kalia Brooks, Hank Willis Thomas and former DPI admin M. Liz Andrews.

Click through for more details, videos of the presentations and performances, and for links to photos and discussions inspired by and included in BLACK PORTRAITURE{S} II >>>



Image by Deborah Willis

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DPI Professor Wafaa Bilal to Show at the Venice Biennale and More!



DPI is excited to announce that professor Wafaa Bilal will be showing his new work “Canto III” as part of The Armory Show in New York this March and at the Venice Biennale opening in May. “Canto III” takes its name from Lord Byron’s ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ in which the main character travels from Dover to Waterloo considering the formerly war-torn land, its heroes, and his own personal losses. Wafaa’s project is inspired by an unrealized dream of Sadaam Hussein’s Ba’athist cadre to launch into orbit a golden statue of the despot himself. “Canto III” will see veterans of the United States’ most recent war in Iraq paid minimum to wage to assist in the fabrication of the artwork.

“This project is intended as an inquiry into homelands and frontiers, from my homeland of Iraq, to my new home here in the United States, to our peoples’ forays into outer space. Through explorations of subjects such as the treatment of veterans returning home across the globe, the egomania of a dictator, and the mundane brutality of the systems we construct, I hope to shed light on how borders and political exigencies can impact the people that give the most support to their homelands.” (Wafaa via Lawrie Shabibi)

Additionally, opening February 26th at Driscoll Babcock in New York is Wafaa’s “Lovely Pink.” “Lovely Pink” features “miniature reproductions of ancient Western iconography in cold cast resin and bonded marble are destabilized by veils of heavy black enamel and the trappings of industrial heated shrink-wrap” (via Driscoll Babcock)

Bilal_LOVELY_PINK_ARES_GOD_OF_WAR3Images: top via Lawrie Shabibi, bottom via Driscoll Babcock

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Black Portraiture{s} II. May 28th-31st Florence, Italy

Black Portraitures II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging Histories is the sixth in a series of highly successful conferences staged by New York University (NYU) in collaboration with Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.  This conference will bring together artists and scholars from an assortment of disciplines and practices, including art history, fashion, performance, and fine art, in wide-ranging conversations about the historical and contemporary ways in which the black body has been imagined in the West.

The art and politics of representing blackness have generated global sites of examination and contestation. This year’s conference will strike an innovative note by including a focus on depictions of the black body within the art collections of NYU’s Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy. These assets include a collection of sculptures and paintings representing ornamental black images that have come to be known as “Blackamoors.” These images present an opportunity to deconstruct, compare, and contextualize the myriad portrayals of the black body in western societies from multidisciplinary angles. The more recent universality of black culture and its global presence have heightened the visibility of the black body in international sports, music, fashion, and the visual arts, with implications worthy of much critique. In this context,Black Portraitures II: Imaging the Black Body and Re-Staging “Ornamental Blackness” in History, explores the impulses, ideas, and techniques undergirding the production of images of desire and self-representation, and the exchange of the gaze from the 18th century to the present day.

For more information, please visit the NYU Tisch Department of Photography & Imaging website.

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DPI Faculty Update

Lots of great stuff being produced inside and outside of Tisch by the DPI faculty. Here’s a bit of what’s been happening lately:

Mark Bussell has a piece on Mashable about portraits of Andy Warhol shot by Ken Heyman now on view in Berlin. Read it here. Mark is also featured at the Lens Blog along with DPI alum Alex Arbuckle, with an ongoing project covering the history of NYC’s Little Italy through photos then and now. Details once and twice.

Kalia Brooks has been published as part of BOMB’s Oral History Project, with a piece about trailblazing photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe. Read it here.

Matthew Baum’s piece “Center of the Confederate Line” is included in a group show at the North Carolina Museum of Art as part of the “Private Eye” exhibition. Details

Deborah Willis has written a piece featured at Time LightBox titled ‘How the Past Shapes Modern Photography’ as part of Lightbox’s curators series in which she highlights the performative aspects of new contemporary photographers with an eye towards portraiture. Read it here.

Lorie Novak’s ‘Random Interference project is in an exhibition,“Mobilizing Memory: Women Witnessing”  at DEPO in Istanbul, Turkey. Details here and download the catalog here.

Joseph Rodriguez was a part of a group exhibition “A Story To Tell” in Berlin with his gallery HARDHITTA GALLERY. Details


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Alumnus Monique Jaques On The Ground in Gaza

On The Ground in Gaza – Esquire Magazine
by Elizabeth Griffin
Photographs by Alumnus Monique Jaques

Amidst the landscape of war, civilian lives are thrust into chaos. Homes are destroyed, lives are lost, families are fractured. And then there are the things—the things you keep, the things you cannot carry, and the things you have no choice but to leave behind. Some seem trivial—a pillow, a piece of paper, a box of vitamins—but they tell a story of a life. They tell of the small and big parts.

When the latest round of fighting began between Israelis and Palestinians in July, we asked photographer, Monique Jaques, to create a record of those things from where she was stationed. “During the ceasefires, families would go to see their homes, not knowing what remained until they arrived. Their reactions were devastating. Whether it was shock or outcry, no one was without emotion,” she says. “Many were lucky, some weren’t. They searched through the rubble, looking for anything that was intact. I met several families searching for ID cards and official documents—anything proving their identity and place in the world. The smallest toy or shoe would bring cries of excitement. It was one more thing they had, one more thing that survived. Just like them.” read more

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DPI Alum Aaron Shuman is curator of Krakow Photomonth


DPI Alum Aaron Shuman (’99) was selected to curate Krakow Photomonth. Asked to sum up his ideas for this year’s show, Aaron responded:

I’m fascinated by the relationship between photography and knowledge, as well as how photography often inspires a search for knowledge.

I see photographers as people who go out into the world, and though they might not be experts in a particular field or on a certain subject, wrap a camera around their neck and begin to learn, and to search for knowledge. The knowledge that they seek and often find can be personal, philosophical, scientific, abstract, but the whole process becomes one of searching.

This is why the title of the Main Program is split—Re:Search. In a few words, I wanted to examine the photographer as a researcher, the process of searching that photography involves and inspires, and the relationship between photography and knowledge.

Read the full interview at lensculture.com.

Aaron Shuman is a photographer, curator, writer, and Director and Editor of SeeSaw Magazine, an online photography magazine.

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DPI Alum Selected for 2014 Recontres Arles Discovery Award


Will Stacey is one of the ten nominees for the 2014 Recontres Arles Discovery Award. He will be exhibiting nearly 150 photographs from his series DEADLINE in Arles festival this summer. 

Here’s a description from Will:
For the past five years, I have photographed with unrestricted access the newsroom and printing plant of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Through a depiction of The Inquirer’s efforts to prevail despite depleted ad revenue, a steady decline in circulation, lay-offs, buy-outs, and bankruptcy, my intent is to reveal the challenges and harsh realities that face the newspaper industry today. A close examination of the newspaper industry and in-depth story explaining the events that landed newsrooms in their current predicaments has largely gone untold. Since 2000 the newspaper industry has shed 30% of its workforce, making it the fastest shrinking industry in America. Yet 60% of the American public has heard little or nothing about the news industry’s financial struggles. As we find ourselves amidst a massive societal transition into an information technology economy of the future in which technological advances have eroded middle skill, middle class jobs, boosted productivity while reducing the labor force, what has been the human cost of these gains? When we lose reporters, editors, newsbeats and sections of papers, we lose coverage, information, and a connection to our cities and our society, and, in the end, we lose ourselves. Without the human investment to provide news content it becomes a zero sum game on the information highway to nowhere. The fibers of the paper and the clicks of the mouse are worthless unless the words they are presented on have value. The newspaper is much more than a business, it is a civic trust.
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Alumnus Alan Chin on the Tiananmen Square Anniversary

Today on the 25th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, Edward Wong writes in the NY Times about DPI alumnus and documentary photographer Alan Chin and his experience photographing in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Small crowds of civilians confront soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army on Chang’an Avenue on the morning of June 4, 1989, after the night when soldiers had begun firing on civilians. Photo by Alan Chin

Live Blogging the Tiananmen Square Anniversary
by Edward Wong – NYTimes.com Sinosphere blog

As a photojournalist for The New York Times and other publications, Alan Chin has covered wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. We traveled together in 2005 to the city of Basra in southern Iraq, where we worked on articles for the Times about the power of Shiite militias. More recently, we collaborated on stories in southern China.

What makes one choose a career as a war photographer? For Alan, who lives in Brooklyn, it was witnessing the violence of the Tiananmen Square crackdown that began the night of June 3, 1989. At the time, he was an 18-year-old high school student from New York making his first trip to Asia with his parents. They had visited their ancestral village in the Taishan area of Guangdong Province, in southern China, and were touring Beijing in late May and early June. They had already heard about the protests while in Guangdong and Hong Kong. Once in the Chinese capital, Alan walked through Tiananmen Square and shot scenes of the protests on black-and-white film using a Leica M3. [continue reading]

For a more detailed account of Alan’s trip to China in 1989, read his photoessay on the Reuter’s Blog: Eyewitness Views: From hope to horror in Tiananmen Square

more links to see Alan Chin’s work:

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Interview with DPI Alum Hank Willis Thomas


okayafrica has a nice interview with Hank Willis Thomas in which he discusses his past shows in Johannesburg, ‘All Things Being Equal…’ ‘History Doesn’t Laugh,’ and a new show ‘Black Righteous Space.’ The work in the new show “involved remaking the confederate flag in the colors of the negro liberation movement, the Neo Nazi AWB (Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging) flag in iterations of colors based on the post-1994 South African flag, and the German Nazi Flag in iterations of colors of the rainbow.”

Click through for the full interview.

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DPI Alum Bridgette Auger in the Financial Times: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

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DPI alum Bridgette Auger has a great piece in the Financial Times on Syrian Refugees in Lebanon. You have to register with FT to view, but it’s free.

Bridgette Auger is an independent media artist living in the Middle East for over five years and is currently based in Beirut, Lebanon. See more of her work at bridgetteauger.com

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