Photography News

Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Sniper
Bedwetter Books, 2011
Hardcover, 208 pages, $40

Sniper takes a loose and imaginary look at the Baltimore Snipers, examining the relationships of paired serial killers as an ultimate expression of repressed desire. Christopher Russell (Photography 1998) writes a perverse version of the classic American love story told through the narrative chaos of nameless characters, past-life flashbacks, false recollection, and parental and bureaucratic influences that define the psychological space of the outsider. The text’s 200 full-color pages are heavily illustrated, reproducing Russell’s drawings scratched into photographic emulsion. The release of Sniper revives the Bedwetter brand, which achieved notoriety during its 12-issue existence with a destroy-to-enjoy design strategy and an embrace of difficult literary and visual material.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Gregory Halpern: A
J&L Books, 2011
Hardcover, 96 pages, $40

In A, American photographer Gregory Halpern (MFA 2004) leads us on a ramble through the beautiful and ruined streets of the American Rust Belt. The cast of characters, both human and animal, are portrayed with compassion and respect by this native son of Buffalo (now a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology). The cities he is drawn to -- Baltimore, Cincinnati, Omaha, Detroit -- share similar histories with his hometown, and in this postapocalyptic springtime all forms of life emerge and run riot. Halpern's two previous books, Harvard Works Because We Do (a portrait of Harvard University through the eyes of the school's service employees) and Omaha Sketchbook (a lyrical artist's book portrait of the titular city), were also investigations of locations and persons that fly under the radar.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Nymph Daughters
Super Labo, 2010
Paperback, 32 pages, $20

This new book by Todd Hido (MFA 1996 and Photography faculty) is a departure that brings him back to some of the narrative sequencing experiments he explored in graduate school while studying with the late Larry Sultan (Photography faculty). Hido's series started with two photos: a found studio portrait of a mother made in the 1950s, and a found archival newspaper photograph of the aftermath of an auto accident. Hido put the portrait at the front of the book and the car crash at the back and worked to narratively connect the two using his own archive of portraits, landscapes, and photographs of houses.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 by Allison Byers

Filming Question Bridge: Black Males

On any given day we encounter dozens, even hundreds, of people who are different from us: a different race, a different gender, a different class, a different age . . . We intellectually understand that our own identity is multifaceted, yet sometimes we cannot help grouping people into stereotypes, even within what others would consider a diverse demographic.

A team of four artists—CCA Photography faculty Chris Johnson, two CCA alumni, Hank Willis Thomas (MFA and MA Visual Criticism 2004) and Bayeté Ross Smith (MFA 2004), and Kamal Sinclair—have begun a far-reaching conversation on this topic, engaging a diverse group of African American males in a question-and-answer exchange. Their innovative trans-media project is entitled Question Bridge: Black Males, and it seeks to represent and redefine black male identity in America.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by Clay Walsh

Sally Mann [courtesy of City Arts & Lectures]

Sally Mann

In Conversation with Steven Jenkins
Wednesday, March 21, 8 p.m.
Venue: Herbst Theatre
401 Van Ness Avenue (at McAllister)
San Francisco

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Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 by Clay Walsh

First Place: "Exciting Times with the JET Mill" by Santiago Portilla

Congratulations to all the student finalists in CCA’s second annual R.A.W. Photo (real artists @ work) contest, which had as its theme “A Day in the Life at CCA.”

Contestants were challenged to submit up to five standalone images that depict a project, moment, mood, memory, or other quality of CCA life taken from the student perspective. As expected, the results were as varying as the students themselves!

The Winners

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Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 by Jim Norrena

"A Great Day in San Francisco" [photo: Chris Nickel]

"'A Great Day in San Francisco' is a picture of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and families and friends of the LGBT community at California College of the Arts," explains Painting/Drawing chair Kim Anno in reference to her latest project, a tribute to Art Kane's 1958 masterful photograph, "A Great Day in Harlem" (1958), that captured the historic gathering of 57 of the century's most influential jazz musicians on the steps of a Harlem brownstone.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Simon Hodgson

Lisa Mishima and Yvonne Mouser turn food into art at Sam's Movie Night

From painter to pastry chef, ceramicist to wine cellar owner, innovative CCA alumni are shaping creative niches across the world of food and drink.

Twenty people stand around a long butcher-block table. The lights above cast a pale glow on its surface, illuminating the ingredients piled in its recessed trough -- lemons, lettuce, flour, eggplants, bell peppers -- without lighting the faces of the diners. They are here for Hands On, a food-making experience in which they use their hands rather than utensils to create a three-course meal.

"Cooking is very much a form of art," says Lisa Mishima (Graphic Design 2005), who concocted Hands On together with her boss, Randall Stowell of the creative production company Autofuss, and friend Yvonne Mouser (Furniture 2006). "Both cooking and art involve concepting, crafting, and presenting a piece. But there is something about consuming one's creation that feels even more personal, immediate, and honest."

Initially, the guests are nervous, even clumsy. Flour falls to the floor. Slowly, the experimental chefs grow more confident. There are giggles around the room, then nods of approval as the dishes take shape. The menu features Caesar salad, handmade pasta with pesto sauce, and tiramisu. Some diners shape vegetables into utensils and use those instead of spoons or spatulas. Maybe there will be a meal at the end of this.

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Posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 by Allison Byers

The beds in the photographs are like any other unmade beds — messes of rumpled sheets and dented pillows occasionally punctuated by a stray article of clothing or a curious pet. Except that they are not like other beds: they are, as the title of Tammy Rae Carland's 2002 series of depopulated portraits informs the viewer, "lesbian beds."

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Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Jens Hoffmann leads CCA Curator's Forum tour of Istanbul Biennial (Kris Martin's work in foreground) (photo: George Jewett)

The Istanbul Biennial is a key event in the international contemporary art scene -- a highly visible, highly respected exhibition that draws more than 100,000 visitors to the city and exposes them to some of the most engaged and relevant art being made today. In its opening week, the 12th Istanbul Biennial (which remains open through November 13) was attended by almost 4,000 guests, including critics, curators, museum and gallery administrators, and approximately 400 members of the press from 50 different countries. Everything they saw (whether they realized it or not) bore the marks of a CCA affiliate's hand -- specifically two CCA curators, one CCA graphic designer, and one CCA editor. They also saw the work of one faculty member and three alumni; all three alumni had entire galleries devoted to their work.

CCA President Stephen Beal, chair of the Board of Trustees F. Noel Perry, other trustees, and several members of the CCA Curator's Forum (a dedicated group of Wattis Institute supporters) flew to Istanbul for the opening weekend. Stephen Beal remarked, standing at the biennial entrance, "It is very gratifying to see the college so prominently represented here. It is evidence of the major relevance, at the international level, of what we are doing, and the kinds of experiences and access that CCA makes available to its community."

The Curators

It was almost two years ago that Wattis Institute director Jens Hoffmann accepted the invitation to co-curate the 12th Istanbul Biennial. Beginning with that moment, what began as a single thread of connection between the college and the city of Istanbul expanded into a densely packed web involving multiple individuals.

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