The Producer’s picks for this week’s news relevant to the photography, art, design and production industries:
1) Bigger Is Not Always Better at New York's Photography Show
The 39th edition of The Photography Show, put on by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (Aipad), [was] back at Manhattan's Pier 94 this year with a few less exhibitors this year, but no less punch. The market for photography remains new, in many ways, but AIPAD proves its anchor consistently, with several significant highlights at the show this year, which [ran] through 7 April.
2) Mijoo Kim Documents Korean Fisherwomen’s Centuries Old Traditions
How people all over the world make a living everyday remains one of the most fascinating topics that documentary photography explores and puts on the spotlight. The latest on our list of favorite documentary projects is The Mother of the Sea. Here, New York-based Korean photographer Mijoo Kim introduces us to the haenyo of the Korean province of Jeju and their unique, centuries-old tradition of freediving to make a living. If you’re looking for more outstanding works in the genre to get inspired with and learn from, we highly recommend checking out this series.
The Haenyo, which literally means “sea women” in Korean, free dive and hold their breaths for over two minutes to catch oysters, sea cucumbers, abalones, sea urchins, and squids. They go as deep as twenty meters without any diving equipment, making the job unbelievably perilous especially for women their age. Kim, however, stresses that they are anything but weak. As a saying in Korea goes, “Haenyos do the work of the dead in the land of the living.”
3) Does a Woman Have to Be Invincible?
In the contemporary geopolitical West, we are taught that the body should be made invincible. Despite the fact that women’s bodies and women’s psyches remain locations on which patriarchal, political, and economic violence are projected, we rarely hear narratives that are not solely about strength and resilience, negating moments of vulnerability. Fashioning the self as anything less than “strong” is seen as weakness—a personal and moral failing. But what happens if we find such mythologizing, of being so masterfully in command of our bodies, an impossible task—a nontruth that we no longer wish to support?
Kenyan British artist Phoebe Boswell’s recent multimedia exhibition, The Space Between Things, curated by Renée Mussai and organized by Autograph ABP in London, uses a variety of photographic technologies to meditate on that question.
4) How Migrants New to Paris Express Themselves Through Style
One night, in the winter of 2017, a young Afghan man named Zaman arrived at a reception center for migrants near the Porte de la Chapelle, on the outskirts of Paris, in the Eighteenth Arrondissement. Despite the cold weather, he was wearing Bermuda shorts and flip-flops. Zaman had travelled on foot and by bus from Kabul, more than four thousand miles away, to Paris, a gruelling journey that lasted sixteen months. He had lost most of his belongings along the way. In particular, he now needed new shoes. He made his way through the center, searching for a space that the volunteers had termed “the store”: a cavernous room packed with metal shelving and buckets full of donated clothes, where refugees could select new trousers, sweaters, and winter jackets. Staring at a jumble of sneakers packed in clear plastic containers, Zaman addressed a volunteer named Valerie Larrondot. Did the pile contain any “sneakers that weren’t ugly or dirty?” he asked, in French. “Sneakers like Jay-Z’s?”
This exchange was the starting point for “Sneakers Like Jay-Z,” a collaborative project that explores the meaning of clothing for newly arrived refugees. Larrondot recruited two French photographers, Ambroise Tézenas and Frédéric Delangle, to take portraits of young men wearing outfits that they’d selected at the store, which are presented along with interviews with the men, conducted by center volunteers, about the items they’d selected. The resulting series pairs pictures and interviews to create a portrait of how refugees see themselves, and how they wish to be seen.
5) How to Get Photo Assisting Work
Photo assisting is a common, time-tested pathway to a career as a professional photographer. While some photographers manage to launch their careers right out of school, many assist other photographers as a form of apprenticeship. Photo assisting offers an opportunity to learn essential real-world skills including lighting and technique, production, business management and client relations. Assisting also provides aspiring photographers with the chance to start building professional relationships that are essential to a successful career.
So, how to get started as an assistant?
6) Photographers Working with Opposing Visions, from Holographs to Cyanotypes
Checking in at the front desk of The Photography Show, presented by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD), the loud bark of a sweet Labrador, doubling as a security dog, set the room noticeably on edge. “You never know, it’s a crazy world,” a good-natured attendant remarked. In such divisive times, one thing we can agree on seems to be that the world has, in fact, gone crazy.
At this year’s show — running through [last] weekend at Pier 94 — you’ll find a diverse range of unusually young photographers reflecting on the reality of creating images in a world of extremes. Hyper-digital processes compete with techniques popularized in the 19th century, and caught between these opposing visions are a handful of photographers taking solace in timeless expressions of everyday life.