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Wounds: Art & the Syrian Revolution

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013
Jaber Al Azmeh
Syrian Photographer's View

In the early days of the Syrian revolution photographer Jaber Al Azmeh approached trusted sources and asked them to reenact their experience in the protest. The images are black and red, they are out of focus, and strong with the sense of motion. Hazy figures gather in mobs, throw hands in the air, carry compatriots, are thrown to the ground, and sometimes seem frighteningly alone. These works are powerful and immediate and though born of specific memories represent universal struggle.

As Al Azmeh reveals in a post he authored "People must remember lessons learned throughout history as they unite to create movements committed to freedom. As long as Bashar al-Assad, other dictators, and their financial and political supporters hold onto power, we must hold onto "revolution" as a word that inspires: It is our best hope" (Creative Time Reports).

In a world where we wonder if and how news corporations form global opinion, at times leaning on distractions of politics and religion, it is critical not to forget the human story of revolution. All the little moments reinacted and photographed by Al Azmeh are shards of untainted truth. Al Azmeh leaves no space in his work for political or religious "sides," rather leaves us with a frame of oppression against the masses. These works are indeed loaded with force, gravity, desperation, fear and hope- all the raw emotions of the human experience of revolution.

Full article and interview with the artist at Mutual Art

CreativeTimeReports Syria; This is not "Civil War" by Jaber Al Azmeh

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The Met Announces Shifts in Photography Department

Posted By Administration, Friday, July 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013

Curatorial shifts should promise greater depth of study


The Metropolitan Museum announced that starting September 1st two of their current Curatorial Staff to move into new roles. The current Curator in Charge, Malcolm Daniel,to become Senior Curator and Jeff Rosenheim to become Curator in Charge. Daniel's position has been newly created; his time will be dedicated to the early history of photography. Once again Daniel will focus research and scholarship on the 19th and 20th centuries of the medium. To balance study Rosenheim will focus on the Modern and Contemporary aspect of the medium, especially the American contribution. This division of labor should prove effective from both ends- from the history to the cutting edge of future developments.

For more on this story and the accomplishments on both DAniel and Rosenheim please visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Fallout Continues at MOCA

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013

Artists Resign from the Board


A gaping hole has been left on the MOCA Board now that all member artists have stepped down. The move continues in a wave of debate over the firing of Chief Curator Paul Schimmel by Director Jeffrey Deitch lat last month. As we weigh the news it is apparent that there were differing opinions on the future direction of the museum and how to get there. In a letter of resignation from the Board artists Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie raise points from the artist's standpoint that perhaps best highlight reasons or at least grounds for friction between different leading voices at MOCA.

The artists point to the struggle for survival of our arts institutions saying that rather than the debate being rooted in a question of "good actors and bad" this is about a "crisis in cultural funding." The questions raised by this West Coast Cultural Crisis must ripple through the international waters of the museum world. There is a reality to the dilemma that exploded with such drama in LA, and we can only imagine that MOCA is not the only institution to face these struggles. The letter goes onto ask about "the role of museums in a culture where visual art is marginalized except for the buzz around secondary market sales . . . the not so subtle recalibration of the meaning of ""philanthropy,"' and . . . the morphing of the so-called "art world" into the only speculative bubble still left floating." What will save our cultural institutions? We must all wonder if this was the root of the rif between Schimmel and Deitch. We can see the field playing out between decisions that balance on critical -vs- accessible, attendee enrichment -vs- attendance numbers, visual indulgence -vs- popular gathering. We are left to balance and answer for ourselves where these problems begin and end, and if the real root of the trouble is a lack of appreciation not performance of art. Do we as a society need to remember that the intrinsic value of art is cultural, social, and political, not economic? Art is capsule of and mirror on our time and therefore future relic; should this cause us to invest in our own cultural capital for the sake of future generations? It is the role of the Museums, yes, but certainly the whole of us to celebrate our cultural heritage and demand protection for the institutions that provide it platform.

Full copy of the Kruger/Opie letter in the LA Times

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Jessica S. McDonald: New Chief Curator of Photography

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013
Ransom Center

Austin, TX


The Ransom Center Collection is home to more than 5 million images and negatives. The Helmut and Allison Gernsheim collection, a massive collection of work that traces the history of photography, are also within the Ransom Center's holdings as are a host of photographic texts, manuscripts, journals, and memorabilia. Beyond the historic timeline of the media provided through the Gernsheim collection is a focus on photojournalism and documentary photography.

The Ransom Center's holdings will be put to effective use with McDonald as Chief Curator, and as the Director, Thomas F. Staley states, "The possibilities under her guidance are exciting" (Ransom Center Release). McDonald is currently with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Her experience is far-reaching, from teaching to curatorial, as are her ties. McDonald has affiliations with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Visual Studies Workshop, and George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

For more information on the appointment, please visit the Ransom Center

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Halt: Artnet

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 16, 2013

In a memo from the Editor we learn that Artnet.com shall cease publication.


According to Art In America a memo received from Artnet.com Editor, Walter Robinson, announces that all of its sites will cease operation. The sites had reached readers in America, Germany, and France. The company's editorial team of three full-time writers are leaving, as is the CEO of the company, Hans Neuendorf. Neuendorf resigned, but his son, Jacob Pabst is stepping into fill his shoes.

Full Story in Art in America

Artnet Announcement to Readers

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