Category: Photography

Location, Location, Location at the Ildiko Butler Gallery ?>

Location, Location, Location at the Ildiko Butler Gallery


Location, Location, Location
Featuring photographs by: Roei Greenberg, Brian McClave, Sergio Purtell
Curators: Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock & Joseph Lawton
Exhibition Dates: June 27—October 2
Reception: September 13, 6–8 pm

The Ildiko Butler Gallery
Fordham University at Lincoln Center
113 West 60th Street at Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10023
The galleries are open from 9am to 9pm everyday except on university holidays

Fordham University is proud to present Location, Location, Location, twenty landscape photographs pulled from larger investigations made by three photographers from Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Their work represents a range of years, different photographic styles, and interests; however, despite the differences in their individual focus, each photographer is engaged in the process of carefully studying the world and representing it in a straightforward, descriptive manner. Fidelity to what is framed is of paramount importance. Regardless of the photographers’ chosen subjects, the participants in this exhibition are deeply engaged in the process of looking at what is in front of them. Their images embrace a long tradition in the medium of photography that celebrates the revelatory power of direct representation.

Artist Statements:
Roei Greenberg, b. Israel (left wall)
The name of this project, Along the Break, is taken from the Hebrew translation of the geographic phenomena: “The Syrian-African Break” (The Great Rift Valley) which crosses Israel from its northernmost point to its southernmost tip. This geography also plays a key role in the way physical borders have been placed. It shapes the borders with Lebanon and Syria in the north and the border with Jordan and Egypt in the south. My work is an exploration along the natural, as well as political boundaries in the landscape.

Brian McClave, b. United Kingdom (right wall)
Early in my career I returned to the house I grew up in and made large format photographs. The pictures were an attempt to recapture my intimate connection to that place. The photographs were as much about fleeting recollections as they were about the actual landscape. Thirty years later, when revisiting these photographs, it became apparent that my perception today of the world that I once occupied is thoroughly shaped by these images.

Sergio Purtell, b. Chile, American (center wall)
In Real, Sergio Purtell documents the architecture, landscape, and ongoing changes in and around the area where he lives and works in Brooklyn. Utilizing a custom made hand held large format camera, he shows his subject in all its quotidian detail and beauty.




7:30-9 PM May 5, 2017
Whitney Museum of American Art, 5th floor

Please join us for this autonomous event

What does commencement mean for artists in the billionaire feeding frenzy of the Trump era? Commencement symbolizes the entry of studied, curious individuals into a world that they have been prepared to influence and impact. But what is this world into which graduates are entering today, and what impact can they have amid a reactionary crackdown on art and cultural difference, saddled with backbreaking amounts of debt? These are the questions that tens of thousands of new art school graduates and hundreds of thousands of American artists are asking this spring. We cannot accept what appears to be offered: A mass competition for the few available court painter positions as democracy unravels and less privileged citizens come under threat.

This is a painful moment. We are caught between the clubs of budding Fascism and the nearly inescapable glass grip of Financialization. For most artists, echoing much of the US workforce, the price of entry into the Art World is massive debt. That means an intimate and legally disempowered relationship with financial corporations like JP Morgan Chase, Banco Popular, and Navient Corporation that work against their borrowers while enriching the 1%.

In this moment, as this system reaches a fever pitch, we propose a Counter-Commencement Debtors Ceremony at the Whitney Museum. A community of artists usually invisible to the museum will step out of the shadows and attempt to claim their place in and democratize the museum. This is an unsanctioned action related to a platform called Debtfair, which is currently installed in the museum.

The economic contrasts stemming from class division among artists in the US will be on full display on May 5. May 5 is the first day of Frieze Art Fair: the pop-up luxury enclave on Randall’s Island that is Bloomberg’s vision for New York come-to-life as a million dollar minute of the city’s cultural clock. The work in Frieze is supposed to be valuable. We say that this value is predicated on the majority of art being framed as surplus.

Debt manifestos at the Counter-Commencement Ceremony will include representatives of students currently on strike in Puerto Rico, artists caught in debt spirals promoted by Chase Bank and Navient Corporation, and a manifesto from the 2018 class of Columbia University––one of the schools most heavily represented among artists of the Biennial and a pipeline into the Art World. The current cost of obtaining an MFA at Columbia University is nearly $60,000 per year for tuition alone.

Occupy Museums has asked nearly 9,000 visitors to the Whitney Museum: Are there conditions under which you would support a debt strike to demand better deals from the banks?

Less than 10% have said “no”.

Resistance against Trump depends on a Debt Justice Movement.

Since 2008, the upward mobility of the middle classes, known as the American Dream, has fallen into rubble. But it was already known that the Dream never was close to a universal reality because the slave economy that built this nation did not care about the dreams and financialized the lives of many Americans, and not much has changed today. Today, neoliberalism, slavery’s economic heir, continues the logic of extraction. Union jobs were retooled as precarious work, funneling profits directly into Silicon Valley and Wall Street. This is the world into which students are graduating in 2017.

But now the hour seems almost too late to call out neoliberalism. Recently, we’ve seen a political turn toward hyper capitalistic nationalism that has found an even more cynical use for the American Dream: It is wielded as rhetorical entitlement deserved only by white Americans, an entitlement that can be disbursed only when large populations who are not white are variously forgotten, targeted, ejected, killed. The American Dream today is a wedge used to divide, confuse, and enrage people, obscuring a quiet counter-revolution that is taking shape as a takeover of all levers of power by billionaires. Their usurpation of power depends on the withering away of democratic institutions such as schools and libraries. The Art World is a comfort zone for many of these billionaires. This is the counter-revolution of the Collector Class.

The Collector Class seeks the wholesale annexation of our space and time. They are remaking neighborhoods into branded real estate-culture packages. The high-tech debt-based economy converts people’s time into fixed-income assets. All of this becomes capital whose form can only flow up to the top of the pyramid. In this equation, art that does not perform the function of luxury asset gets weeded out. Yet artists and institutions are beginning to resist.

In 2017, we do not accept the commencement in which educational aspiration is nothing more than bait. We do not accept the normalization of:

·      More than a trillion dollars of student debt––a sum that now largely powers the US economy and a sum that is harvested through banks, hedge funds, and asset managers such as Blackrock, Inc.––a largely unknown firm larger than the World bank––to become dynastic wealth for billionaires extracted from the future time of a new generation.

·      An era of renewed deregulation, wherein many have been and will continue to be led into debt spirals and potential lifelong financial disempowerment by “reputable” corporations, like Navient Corporation, who are securitized by taxpayer money.

·      A re-colonization of territories through economic means as seen in cuts to universities in Puerto Rico as a result of the austerity measures in the Promesa Bill.

Because the 2017 Commencement marks this widening of the class and race gap as the Collector Class counter-revolution proceeds, we must redefine commencement this year. Let it be the commencement of long-term struggle against the extraction instruments of the Collector Class.

On the table are: Debt strikes, a reformulation of institutions …to be given voice at the museum on May 5th.

We define the Class of 2017 in this way:

Class War began long Ago
We are losing—badly
Time to Re-Commence the Struggle.

In Solidarity,
Occupy Museums

Book by Master Photography Printer Gifted to Fordham Libraries ?>

Book by Master Photography Printer Gifted to Fordham Libraries


Susan Kismaric, an adjunct professor of photography, spent 35 years as a curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art before retiring in 2011. Students taking her courses, one on the history of photography and another on books of photography, have long been the beneficiaries from her strong connections in the photography world.

Now, the University is benefitting too; she recently helped procure a book of 200 photo-offset lithographs by master printer Richard Benson, a donation from Yale University that is one of a limited print run.

The weighty book was produced by the Gilman Paper Company under the direction of Howard Gilman, a descendent of the company’s founder and collector of rare photographs. Largely considered one of the world’s premier photography collections, the Gilman trove of 8,500 photographs was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005.

The donated book serves as an album of the collection’s highlights, said Kismaric.

Kismaric’s professional relationship with Benson, the former dean of the Yale School of Art, facilitated the donation of the book by Yale to Fordham Libraries. He is largely considered one of the best printers in the world, said Kismaric.

The lithographs are particularly significant, she said, in that they match not just the tonality and tone of the original prints, but also their finish as well. In fact, the reproductions are so convincing that MoMA mounted an exhibition of the originals beside Benson’s prints in a 2008 exhibition titled The Printed Picture.

View video here.