Miriam Rosen

  • Chantal Akerman, Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman, 1996, 63 minutes.

    IN HER OWN TIME: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHANTAL AKERMAN

    Static shot, interior, day. Frontal view of an airy, white-walled, white-curtained apartment furnished with worktables and chairs (three each), computers (two). A shaggy dog enters smack in the middle of the frame, tail to the camera. As he takes his place front left, a slight, dark-haired woman in a dark jacket and pants enters and sits down on the chair front right.

    Such is the beginning of Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman (1996), a first in the history of the venerable French public-television series Cinema, of Our Time, each installment of which had been—until then—one filmmaker’s profile

  • Printemps de Septembre

    There aren’t many exhibitions that take you through winding medieval streets, over rivers and canals, or in and out of former monasteries, power stations, water towers, and lockkeeper’s houses. Then again, the annual Printemps de Septembre (September Springtime) is conceived not as an exhibition but as an itinerary of hybrid—and admission-free—encounters with contemporary visual and performing arts in and around the historic center of Toulouse. For its first ten seasons, this one-of-a-kind event was the Printemps de Cahors and really took place in the small southwestern town in springtime. But

  • Le Grand Tour

    Notwithstanding the aristocratic associations of “Le Grand Tour,” this version of the post-Renaissance voyage of discovery might best be described as a postmodern, postcolonial road movie. Produced and directed by François Cheval, curator of the Musée Niépce, it featured three French artist-photographers (in order of appearance: Ange Leccia, Jean-Luc Moulène, and Patrick Tosani) who set out on the trail of their nineteenth-century predecessors in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine with the idea of doing things differently this time around.

    Establishing shot: The latter-day “tours” of Leccia,

  • Carlos Garaicoa

    “Got it!” you say to yourself when you make out the graffitied slogan NI CRISTO NI MARX NI BAKUNIN in the photo of the same title by Cuban artist Carlos Garaicoa. But the catch, for those who take the time to look a little more closely, is that the posters seen above the slogan seem to be written in Catalan—or more precisely, as Garaicoa explains, in the dialect of Valencia (just south of Catalonia, on the Spanish coast), where he took the photo in 1996 as part of a larger series on urban graffiti.

    So much for quick takes on Cuba today. Not a bit of this exhibition of photographs, drawings, and

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, 1949.

    Henri Cartier-Bresson

    This is hardly curator Robert Delpire’s first Cartier-Bresson retrospective, and its singularity undoubtedly lies in the fifty years of friendship and collaboration between the world’s best-known living photographer and the legendary publisher, producer, and founding director of Paris’s Centre National de la Photographie, now director of the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson.

    This is hardly curator Robert Delpire’s first Cartier-Bresson retrospective, and its singularity undoubtedly lies in the fifty years of friendship and collaboration between the world’s best-known living photographer and the legendary publisher, producer, and founding director of Paris’s Centre National de la Photographie, now director of the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson. Intended as a portrait of the man rather than a catalogue of the works, the exhibition includes little-known early photos, proofs, vintage prints, books, paintings, and drawings, and films by and about the photographer.

  • Case History, 1998.

    Boris Mikhailov

    In the USSR of the ’30s, Boris Mikhailov notes, there were no family photo albums because citizens were forbidden to own cameras. For nearly four decades, the self-taught photographer, born in the Ukraine in 1938, has been filling that individual and collective gap with his thinking person’s snapshots of daily life.

    In the USSR of the ’30s, Boris Mikhailov notes, there were no family photo albums because citizens were forbidden to own cameras. For nearly four decades, the self-taught photographer, born in the Ukraine in 1938, has been filling that individual and collective gap with his thinking person’s snapshots of daily life. Which has changed more, Mikhailov’s seemingly eclectic style or the world? If critics have tended to focus on the former, the photographer privileges the latter. This retrospective, curated by FMW director Urs Stahel, gives visitors the opportunity to decide

    for themselves on the

  • Rip Hopkins

    For once, something has been gained in the translation—and there is a lot of translation going on in this remarkable series of images. To begin with, the title: What began in the mind of Sheffield-born, Paris-based photographer Rip Hopkins as “Tajikistan Weaving” became “Tadjikistan Tissages” for the purposes of this exhibition. The scatlike alliteration of the French version is already more compelling to the ear, but it is the subtle transformation of “weaving” into “weavings” (tissages) that serves to alert mind and eye to a multiplicity of possible readings. These emerge from Hopkins’s

  • Margaret Bourke-White, Oliver Chilled Plow: Plow Blades, 1930, black-and-white photograph, 13 3/16 x 9  1/4".

    Margaret Bourke-White

    “I want to become famous, and I want to become wealthy,” wrote Margaret Bourke-White in a 1927 diary entry. Within a decade, she was both. Bourke-White was the first foreigner authorized to shoot scenes of industrialization in the USSR and one of Life magazine’s “Founding Four” photographers. In this show organized by curator Stephen Bennett Phillips, some 140 photos taken during the formative period of 1927–36 trace the evolution of Bourke-White’s signature style, from her earliest industrial subjects and stylized corporate commissions to her apotheosis as a photojournalist—the cover story she

  • Taysir Batniji

    “I am against boys becoming heroes at ten / Against the tree flowering explosives / Against branches becoming scaffolds / Against rose-beds turning into trenches / Against it all / And yet / When fire consumes my friends, my youth, my country / How can I stop a poem from becoming a gun?” Taysir Batniji’s exhibition reminded me of these verses by the Palestinian poet Rashid Hussein. Notwithstanding their timeliness, they date from the mid-’70s, when Hussein was living in exile in New York. Batniji, who was born in Gaza City in 1966, six months before the beginning of the Israeli military occupation,

  • Grete Stern

    Even without knowing the facts of Grete Stern’s long life—she was born in Wuppertal-Eberfeld in 1904 and died in Buenos Aires in 1999—one could discern her itinerary from the photos on view: the composition studies and portraits in the unmistakable Bauhaus style that marked her beginnings in Dessau and Berlin (1927–33); a lone advertising design evoking her three years in London, where she went with fellow student and future husband Horacio Coppola following Hitler’s election; and a more extensive group of portraits, nudes, cityscapes, landscapes, and other works from Argentina where she

  • Des territoires

    The blind men would have had quite a time with this elephant called “Des territoires.” Among its salient features: an iconoclastic interdisciplinary seminar on the impact of globalization, which has been meeting at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris every week for the past seven years; a journal reporting on same (five issues to date);a student photography workshop initiated in 2000 to put the theories of the seminar into practice; and most recently—the tip of the elephant, so to speak—a public exhibition and film program. All of which, cumulatively aimed at exploring

  • “Proximités”

    Over the centuries, the tiny town of Melle (4,000 souls at last count) has accumulated an enormous history, crisscrossed, among others, by Romans, Visigoths, Franks, Vikings, Arabs, countless medieval pilgrims making their way to Santiago de Compostela, English troops (in the wake of the Hundred Years' War), and Protestant Reformers (in the wake of Calvin's visit to nearby Poitiers). This particularly dense per capita past provided not simply the background but the backbone of “Proximités” a summer-long exhibition presented in three of Melle's historic monuments, with works by twenty-one