The city known for being behind the camera, with its rich photographic culture and history, will instead be the subject as 10 world-renowned photographers from Magnum Photos make a comprehensive photographic survey of the area.
Photographers Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Paolo Pellegrin, Alec Soth, Bruce Gilden, Martin Parr, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Larry Towell, Alex Webb and Donovan Wylie will live, work and exhibit together as part of an ongoing series of collaborative attempts to investigate a fragmented and often anxious American landscape. Filmmaker Chien-Chi Chang will document the project. Rochester, with its deep connection to the history of photography, provides a particularly resonant and meaningful setting.
The project, titled House of Pictures, will offer several events at Rochester Institute of Technology, Visual Studies Workshop and George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film April 18–28.
The week kicks off at RIT’s School for Photographic Arts and Sciences with a panel discussion featuring all of the photographers at 8 p.m. April 18 in Webb Auditorium, James E. Booth Hall.
Sanguinetti will present her work at 8 p.m. April 21 and Rebecca Norris Webb and Alex Webb will lecture at 8 p.m. April 26. All events at RIT are in Webb Auditorium and are free and open the public.
The project will culminate with another group discussion moderated by Alison Nordstom at 2 p.m. April 28 in Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House. Cost of admission applies to attendees, which is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for students and free for children 12 and under.
A variety of additional interactions, installations and events will be announced by social media throughout the project’s run, including on the Postcards Tumblr, postcardsfromamerica.tumblr.com and Twitter, @magnumpostcards, as well as Magnum Photos’ website, magnumphotos.com; @magnumphotos on Twitter; and Magnum Photos’ Facebook page.
Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester will serve as the photographers’ home base and an open studio.
Community interaction and engagement will play a particularly important role. The photographers intend to make open calls for personal stories and photographic materials that can be incorporated in the work in different ways. In addition to vernacular and historic pictures, the photographers encourage people to post their own photographs of Rochester in the Postcards flickr group, http://www.flickr.com/groups/postcardsfromamerica.
Magnum Photos is the home of documentary photography. Founded in 1947 by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and David “Chim” Seymour, it remains owned and cooperatively managed by its independent photographer-members. For more information, go to www.magnumphotos.com.