Caleb’s Guide To ICP Library New Acquisitions 2018 part 1

Working at the ICP Library is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only am I surrounded by the canon of photography from past and present, but I’m also exposed to new work every day. I have been blessed to come into contact with the following books this year, the first part of my Favorite Books of 2018 list, and have had the pleasure of cataloging all of them. Not all of them were published this year, but all were added to our catalog in 2018. Caleb’s Guide To ICP Library New Acquisitions begins here and continues in part 2~

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Pu Mapuche is Luis Sergio’s sleek, nuanced, and comprehensive documentary look at the Mapuche people of the Araucania region of Chile. Sergio approaches non-fiction from a variety of angles, and the book is structed as three mini-ethnographies in multiple styles of breathtaking photography. The first section is an impressionistic look at rituals and traditional social customs, the second tackles land and forestry disputes, and is the only section in color, and the third looks at the intersection of Mapuche culture and urban landscapes/contemporary Chile. Includes a detailed index, endnotes, and expository text in three languages. Gronefot Ediciones 2018.

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Xitek’s yearly “New Talent Award” showcases young Chinese photographers working in a broad array of styles. 2015 and 2016, the two most recent anthologies of the competition, are published portfolio style with each artist producing their own miniature publication, which are then housed together in cardboard slipcases. Much of the work in “New Talent Award” focuses on specific, nonfiction content, and I’m always struck by how attentive the photographers included are to the visual idiosyncrasies of their subject matter, setting the bar high for new documentary work. Equally as affecting is the work of the more personal, diary style projects, which often veer into the realm of the conceptual while retaining emotional depth. I’ve included images of two works from each year: 2015’s “Human Brain Project” by Yang Mu and “Wonderful Human” by Sickgirl; 2016’s “Lingering Garden” by Guo Guozhu and “Harmony Southern Xinjiang” by Sun Junbin. Xitek, 2016 & 2016.

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Off-kilter photographs of noise performances in and around American music’s fertile crescent: Detroit, Michigan. “Auditory Deprivation”, Cate’s debut photo book, offers views of a genre known for its impenetrability that are graceful but remain accurate. His detailed index gives the project a formal, documentary feel, even when the photographs are more perplexing than informative. On one page we see a metalhead seated next to a table covered in blood-stained electronics and a woman’s leg about to kick it over, on the next page we see a woman playing a saxophone side by side with a motion-blur abstraction. Cates captures strange meetings and head-scratching performances as charming tableaus, by “depriving us of audio” he makes the often sonically unpalatable enjoyable. Self Published in 2018, Edition of 50

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Last month we were visited by Bilbao based photographer Helena Goni, who was in the States on a Guggenheim fellowship and stopped by to donate a copy of her 2016 book “Behind blue eyes” to the library. Goni uses portrait and interior photography to create a striking narrative about the hopelessness and vitality of youth and counterculture. Her images of young people and their accouterments function as something of an index of contemporary Bilbao. Measured portraits sit montage style within a pastiche of abstractions; the people we meet in this book exist in an impossibly fast chaos. Bookended by pages of instant photographs which function as something of an artist statement or fore/afterword of the main body of work. Self Published in 2016

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Nakashima Yuka’s “FUGU” is a project about pufferfish that when eaten produce a mild high and when improperly prepared can be lethal to the consumer. Nakashima’s subjects are found in murky fishtanks, the glass between the camera and the creature is often dirty and scratched, and the photographs dwell in an uncanny zone between playful documentary and psychedelic abstraction. Depth of field is thrown out the window, and washes of color from neon signs and restaurant ornamentation give a glamorous yet mysterious aura to these dangerous fishes. The edges of the tanks are never included within the frames, so there is no sense of scale. The fish could be any size, floating in a bubbly, eternal abyss ~ a purgatory before they are thrown onto the cutting boards of late night eateries. Each page is a photo print, with the photo on one side and the paper watermark (FUJICOLOR Ever-Beauty Paper for LASER) shown on the back with writing and signature in sharpie by Nakashima. Self Published in 2015. (previously written about in this post)

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Disruptor is Lucas Reif’s dexterous and impeccable ongoing zine series documenting underground punk and hardcore in the United States. Issues contain risograph printed, black and white photographs of bands-in-action, audiences dancing, and the occasional mise-en-scene, alongside interviews with musicians and organizers. Reif is the photographer, editor, interviewer, printer, designer, and publisher, under the name Shelf Shelf. Issue 5 is the cleanest risograph publication I have ever seen, and focuses on Chicago, Illinois. In addition to photographs, 5 features illustrations by Kyle Butler, a lofty and enlightening interview with Behavior, another with the provocative Chicago Musical Development Collective’s Suzy Vogenthaler, and a third with sound engineer Mike Kriebel. Printed in black and red on classic “off manila” paper stock in an edition of 150. Shelf Shelf 2018.

Thank u for reading, stay tuned for part 2 !!!!!

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Photo books, exhibitions & related events 2018 edition, part 1 – Peter Hujar, Oliver Wasow

  1. Peter Hujar (1934-1987)

The exhibition and catalog Peter Hujar – Speed of Life at the Morgan Library & Museum (January 26 – May 20, 2018) is an auspicious way to begin a review of the past year. The acquisition of Hujar’s prints, contact sheets, and related materials by the Morgan represents the most extensive institutional presence of his work extant, which was beautifully presented at the Morgan by the assiduous and sensitive curator Joel Smith. While Hujar’s work has circulated widely since his early death, this is a leap into the mausoleum/museum world of culture, ostensibly for eternity, where it can exist and be found undisturbed. The constellation of presences in Hujar’s portraits move from their downtown neighborhood to a marble palace, among them: Edwin Denby, Lotte Eisner, David Wojnarowicz, Susan Sontag, and Vince Aletti. The East Village of cheap rents, sex, and creativity was erased long ago at this point by a juggernaut of AIDS and gentrification. Hujar’s immaculate portraits are now a ghostly reminder of what we are missing in New York City.

One of the great ironies of Hujar’s presence in the New York art and photo worlds is that, despite the many accounts of Hujar’s temperamental behavior, an artist who successfully scuttled a “career” in the gallery system in his lifetime, who shunned its shallowness, Hujar nevertheless left a legacy to be articulated by brilliant friends, including the writer Fran Lebowitz and photographer Gary Schneider. Thanks the gods for that! Likewise, his estate has been handled by a series of blue-chip galleries, leading up to its eventual perch in the collection of the Morgan. Hujar died in 1987. I met him once, in 1984. That doesn’t seem so long ago, but will another 31 years need to pass before there is a new perspective to contemplate? Who would have expected our local history to be so slow?

Peter Hujar – Speed of Life,  with texts by Philip Gefter, Joel Smith, and Steve Turtell, Edition FM/Aperture, 2018

Peggy Lee

Peter Hujar, Peggy Lee, gelatin silver print, 1974

Gary Indiana.jpg

Peter Hujar, Gary Indiana, gelatin silver print, 1981

boy on a park bench Stuyvesant Square 1981

Peter Hujar, Boy on a park bench, Stuyvesant Square, gelatin silver print, 1981

2. Oliver Wasow (b. 1960)

When did I first become aware of Oliver Wasow’s work, and why was I so slow to notice it? We shall assume the first piece I saw, recognizing it as his, was a grid of inkjet prints of UFOs at the Met, in the exhibition Dream States: Contemporary Photographs and Video, in 2016, curated by Mia Fineman. That’s not that long ago. We never crossed paths in the East Village in the 1980s, when we were both there.

Where I really took notice of Wasow was on Facebook, where I became aware of him through the painter Carl Ostendarp and their voluminous and humorous shared posts. Wasow also “debuted” a series of electronically manipulated portraits of current political figures titled the “Rogues Gallery.” These were exhibited at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects with the proceeds directed to either the ACLU or Planned Parenthood. Wasow wrote about his frustrations and anger with the administration (and the mediascape of the administration, which is how we see it/them). Working from existing images Wasow transformed these mundane examples of photographic “objectivity” into opaque caricature, akin to the political cartoons of Daumier, or a gesture like Marcel Duchamp’s Mona Lisa titled L.H.O.O.Q. (a pun in French “she has good ass“).

Seeing Wasow “through” Carl Ostendarp, and getting a sense of their ongoing, deep irreverence towards images, including photography,  through extensive visual references and juxtapositions, animates what is otherwise an endgame of psychically dead mass media, cluttering our minds with the inert ether of the world wide web.

The Rogues Gallery can be found in a fantastic array of portraits, Friends, Enemies and Strangers, published by Saint-Lucy, the imprint of artist and writer Mark Alice Durant. Wasow mixes his own portraits with found images, blurring distinctions of authorship, effect, and intent. Portraits hover between the suspension of disbelief seen in the UFO images, and the neurotic villainy of the Rogues Gallery. The relentless probing of Wasow in regards to form, genre, and authorship, the mix of public and private, questions of ownership and worthlessness, the overt sense of drives shaping aesthetic choices in the electronic free-for-all of the web is generative and generous in its simultaneous cynicism and ardor. I can laugh my ass off in a forum that is also thoughtful and considered. This is like finding a flea market in the sterile, mall-like “global village” of the internet – what a relief!

Oliver Wasow, Friends, Enemies and Strangers, with texts by Matthew Weinstein and Rabih Alameddine, Saint-Lucy Books, 2018


Oliver Wasow, page spread from Friends, Enemies and Strangers, 2018


Oliver Wasow, Kellyanne Conway, inkjet print, 2016


Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q., mixed media, 1919


Honoré Daumier, The Legislative Belly, lithograph, 1834






Posted in artists' books, caricature, collections, color photography, Exhibitions, gelatin silver print, global village, Honoré Daumier, inkjet print, internet art, Marcel Duchamp, memory, Morgan Library & Museum, nostalgia, Oliver Wasow, parataxis, Peter Hujar, portraits, publishing, Saint Lucy Books, self-publishing, vernacular photography, Visual Research, web browsing | Leave a comment

Some Photobooks I liked in 2018 (Part Two)



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  1. Aleksey Kondratyev’s Ice Fishers (London: Loose Joints, 2018) is a slim and quiet edition of only fifty two pages with a one page insert of colophon and text. The images are placed on such a perfect whiteness that it is hard to know what we are looking at first. The narrative is that for generations Kazakh fisherman have set out on to the frozen Ishim River in the hope of catching fish beneath the ice often in temperatures of forty below zero.  What we are seeing is the fisherman wrapped in plastic to keep warm from the biting icy winds. Kondratyev’s images are a beautiful commentary on the impact of global capitalism, with the repurposing of plastic packaging of Russian and Chinese goods, on the local people. 

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    7. Studio Volta photo by Sanlé Sory (Co-published by the Yossi Milo Gallery New York & Tezeta (Edition of 400, plus a special edition of 100) 2018) was produced in conjunction with an exhibition at the Yossi Milo Gallery April 26th to June 23rd 2018. The studio photographs of Sory Sanlé are brilliant depictions of his participation in the vibrant music scene in Bobo-Dioulasso in the 1960s through to the 1980s. This beautiful book features never seen before images from the photographer’s archive of vintage negatives. This really is a special body of work and it is always great to see an exhibition catalogue that is also an artists’ book.  The publisher and designer Sébastien Girard, and also an accomplished artist himself, has been making some great books this year and experimenting with the risograph to produce some engaging works. The reason I selected this photobook, is that Sanlé Sory’s work is visually stunning and also his personal story is an amazing one that needs to be recognized.  Sory attended his exhibition at the Yossi Milo gallery and not only was it his first time in New York, it was also the first time that the artist had been on a plane!



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    8. Taco Hidde Bakker’s The Photograph That Took the Place of a Mountain (Amsterdam: Fw:Books, 2018) contains very few photographs. It is a book featuring twenty of Bakker’s miscellaneous writings, originally published in art and photography magazines and on two blogs between 2007 and 2016. The Photograph That Took the Place of a Mountaincontains writings on the work of theorists and artists such as Vilém Flusser, Ariella Azoulay, Witho Worms, Onorato & Krebs, Renato D’Agostin, Stephan Keppel, Marie-José Jongerius, Paul Kooiker, Tom Callemin, Dirk Braeckman, Francesca Woodman, and Mariken Wessels. There is also a lovely interview with Ken Schles. Taco’s writing on images and text is a very enjoyable read. The Short and subtle writings produced here, which include poetry, song lyrics, a few careful images and intense visual philosophy, are really a window into to some of the most profound contemporary photographic artists and their processes. The photobook has come a long way and now it is ready to enter the next phase of its evolution. In the recent past, to DIY and independently publish and get your book out there seemed to be the only goal and once the book was published that was enough, mission accomplished. I now feel we are really ready for a more serious critique of the photobook and for that we need more skilled writers like Taco.



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    9. The New Colonists by Monica Alcazar-Duarte (Bemojake 2018) comes in a space age silver bag, complete with a cloth patch and the promise of being a highly ‘tricked out’ publication. Alcazar-Duarte’s The New Colonists is a project split into three distinct parts. Part one consists of the twilight images of the suburban town of Mars in Pennsylvania, USA.; Part two begins to include space travel technology from the European Space Agency, images from the terrestrial ‘Mars Yards’, robotic rovers, would be-cosmonauts and astronauts, polar deserts and Hawaiian lava fields, and; Part three consists of an “Augmented Reality Portal”.  The portal is accessed through an app, designed by Paul Ferragut, brings the viewer/reader into contact with 3-D animations of spy satellites and space colonies by Levan Tozashvili as well as narration from Dr. Ian Crawford, Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology at Birkbeck. Dr.Crawford presents his ideas on Space colonisation exploring the notions of “space law” and “space ethics”.  Perhaps the “Augmented Reality Portal” and the use of QR codes in photography books will be the CD-ROM of the future? The future is un-written after all. Alcazar-Duarte’s The New Colonistsis a strong photobook of exciting possibilities and dynamic graphic design and imagery. The all American images from Mars, Pennsylvania, connect us back to the sublime life on earth, a world of gas stations and fast food places, but somehow it will never be the same again.



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    10. The Castle by Richard Mosse (London Mack 2018, with 28 double gatefolds, printed with silver inks on black paper, with texts in the booklet by Judith Butler, Paul K Saint Amour, Behrouz Boochani and Richard Mosse). Silver ink on black paper is always a delight to see in a book. This is a very haunting, beautiful and meaningful body of work. The Castle is formed from a selection of photographs from Mosse’s series Heat Maps that show temporary encampments and border crossings along migration routes to Europe from the Middle East and Africa. Using a military grade thermographic camera the “Heat Map” is constructed from hundreds of frames. This camera was primarily designed for border surveillance, search and rescue missions, and for identifying and tracking targets when used as part of a weapons system. The images are not made from light, but are recordings of heat. This is a sinister series of images in book form, disturbing as an idea and concept and equally disturbing and jarring visually.


Dear friends, While you are here

The ICP library is home to over 25,000 books, periodicals, archives, artist files, films and more. Each week ICP staff, students, members and scholars utilize the library as a space for both leisure and education, creating a community of collaboration and engagement. As we look ahead to an exciting future, and our new home at Essex Crossing, I look to you to help fund all of the ICP Library’s ongoing efforts.

Plans are currently underway to open our newest library exhibition old space/new space which will take place at both our old space in mid-town and our new space in Essex. Synchronizing the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with the opening of our new home, we will be exploring photobooks and hosting events around all things astral and include such themes as NASA, astrology, UFOs, psycho-geography and more! We are also working on our first full time exhibition at Essex, Poetry and Photography – watch this Space!

 The ICP Library is supported exclusively through the generosity of our donors. I hope you will consider making a gift to the Friends of the ICP Library Fund to directly impact and grow our collections, collaborative space, and programming.

My sincerest thanks for your support,

Matthew Carson

Head Librarian & Archivist

 P.S. All donors who make a $100 or more gift will be invited for a private walkthrough of our new space at Essex in 2019.


Posted in artists' books, Book events, Friends of the Library Committee, ICP Library, International, publishing, Unpacking the collection | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Photobooks I liked in 2018 (Part One)


I haven’t produced one of these types of list for a few years now and this year. . . This year it just seemed right to do so again and so I have selected some of my personal favourites for your perusal. My selections are my own and I share them here with you, in no particular order and without any hierarchy. Firstly, I must make mention that the ICP Library operates in accordance with S.R. Ranganathan’s Five laws of library science:

  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every person his or her book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the reader.
  5. The library is a growing organism.


Twenty eighteen has been a good year for the photobook and this year I have a renewed feeling towards the photobook and I am again excited by the possibilities it has to offer. It is a democratic art form, with a lot of potential and each book can be a successful realization of a project. Each book is a mini-portable gallery and an exhibition unfolding with the turn of the page and that is tremendously exciting. In the past decade or more we have seen the rise of the self-published and the independently published photobook. Characteristics of this independence include smaller edition sizes, creative and unusual design and often more esoteric content. We are in a world where the photographic artist has greater control over the finished product. It is almost easier to define them as what they are not: They are not coffee table books. This is not your Grandfathers library. For me the books that I find the most engaging are artists’ photography books as they are like immersive theatre. I like the books that burn with intensity. They are the books that compel you to interact with them. Good photography always helps too!


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  1. Antony Cairns CTY published by Morel books (London: 2018, Edition of 750) with text by Simon Baker (Director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris). CTY is a photobook exquisitely printed duo tone on very beautiful and rare pearl paper. I am a long-time fan and admirer of the work of Antony Cairns; he has created some amazing book works over the years including a hacked e-reader and another printed on old IBM punch cards. CTY also does not disappoint. This publication brings together a selection of Antony Cairns’ previous projects in London, Las Vegas, Tokyo and Osaka, (LDN3, LDN4, LPT and OSC) and is interspersed with six texts by Simon Baker who introduces his excellent writing pieces with quotes by JG Ballard, William Gibson, HP Lovecraft and Benjamin Péret. Antony Cairns work is about experimental processes, obsolete technologies and the investigation of the aesthetics of abstraction and alienation. This photography is dark and haunting, sensual science fiction and we as readers/viewers get to experience this directly.


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  1. Sohrab Hura’s Look It’s Getting Sunny Outside!!! (New Delhi, India: Self Published (Ugly Dog); 2018. Edition of 600) is a book of colour photographs and the title seems to suggest that life is getting better. In 2015 Sohrab Hura published Life is Elsewhere, which was a photographic journal, with some text, of his life, family, work, love, friends and travels. It was a book of dark doubts and contradictions; A book about a young man in India as he tried to deal with life and how to experience life while also coping with his schizophrenic mother. He desperately trying to connect with the world around him and we as readers/viewers (voyeurs) all went along for the ride. In Look It’s Getting Sunny Outside!!! We are informed that his Mother’s condition was improving and that Sohrab was comfortably photographing at home more. His mother and her dog Elsa are the main protagonists in the book. Although, this new work is in colour and the title appears optimistic this is a book that in many ways goes to much darker places. The death of the dog Elsa, the separation of his parents and the trigger of his mother’s illness all come into play and are documented here. Don’t be too fooled by the spring blossoms on the cover.


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  1. Mongrelism: The mighty mongrel mob nation of Aotearoa New Zealand by Jono Rotman together with 16 Barks, Two Hakas and A Waiata (Co-published by Here Press London & Vevey Switzerland 2018 (edition of 1500)). The publication takes the form of a gang handbook. Photo artist Jono Rotman spent eight years documenting the Mongrel Mob of Aotearoa New Zealand who are a gang notorious for extreme violence. Here Jono depicts their members, mostly indigenous Maori, with the most stunning portraits, complete with their iconic patch of a British bulldog wearing a nazi helmet. The symbolism of the Mongrel Mob is a response to Colonialism and also a proclamation of war against the state and society. The identity of the Mongrel Mob is further explored through artefact studies and brutal first person narratives (much of which is produced in its redacted form). The order and grouping of images is the result of consultation with members and hews to their geographic, familial and hierarchical relationships and the overall feel is one of an unholy alliance and collaboration with the Mob themselves.


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  1. Radial Grammar by Batia Suter (Amsterdam: Roma Publications, 2018. Roma volume 323) was created on the occasion of her eponymous exhibition at Le Bal in Paris, from May 25 till August 26, 2018. This is a large book of 292 pages with an accordion-folded supplement inserted. This book is derived from Batia Suter’s collection of second hand tomes, which have been scanned and reproduced here under the themes of natural science, precision machinery and art history. This tome really is a condensed exhibition in book form where selected visual phenomena, strange objects creating an odd pattern, are manipulated with a rhythm that is both curiously engaging and overwhelming.  Produced with a text by Henri Michaux from 1968 and expertly designed by Roger Willems.


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  1. Strokes by Tiane Doan na Champassak (Paris: Siam’s Guy Books, (Edition of 350) 2018) is a lovely tactile experience that deals with our most intimate possession our mobile phones. This book is reminiscent of a self-published publication Digit by Christian Erroi (2013) although this instance of parallel thinking results in two very different books. Strokes is the work of dirty finger smudges on a screen and it is an experience of the pure tactile pleasure of scrolling, fondling and stroking the pixels. Naked female forms are obscured by the touching. This is a very sensual and appealing book hidden beneath a black velvet cover in which the viewer can create their own strokes on the fabric.Part Two of this 2018 list to follow shortly. 

    But while you are here, Our very Dear friends, 

    The ICP library is home to over 25,000 books, periodicals, archives, artist files, films and more. Each week ICP staff, students, members and scholars utilize the library as a space for both leisure and education, creating a community of collaboration and engagement. As we look ahead to an exciting future, and our new home at Essex Crossing, I look to you to help fund all of the ICP Library’s ongoing efforts.

    Plans are currently underway to open our newest library exhibition old space/new space which will take place at both our old space in mid-town and our new space in Essex. Synchronizing the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with the opening of our new home, we will be exploring photobooks and hosting events around all things astral and include such themes as NASA, astrology, UFOs, psycho-geography and more! We are also working on our first full time exhibition at Essex, Poetry and Photography – watch this Space!

     The ICP Library is supported exclusively through the generosity of our donors. I hope you will consider making a gift to the Friends of the ICP Library Fund to directly impact and grow our collections, collaborative space, and programming.

    My sincerest thanks for your support,

    Matthew Carson

    Head Librarian & Archivist

     P.S. All donors who make a $100 or more gift will be invited for a private walkthrough of our new space at Essex in 2019.


Posted in artists' books, publishing, Unpacking the collection | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Temporary Autonomous Installations in All Used Up: Dismantling the Gaze x Queering the Collection, October 17, 2018 at ICP Museum


To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize “how it really was.” It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger. For historical materialism it is a question of holding fast to a picture of the past, just as if it had unexpectedly thrust itself, in a moment of danger, on the historical subject. The danger threatens the stock of tradition as much as its recipients. For both it is one and the same: handing itself over as the tool of the ruling classes. In every epoch, the attempt must be made to deliver tradition anew from the conformism which is on the point of overwhelming it. For the Messiah arrives not merely as the Redeemer; he also arrives as the vanquisher of the Anti-Christ. The only writer of history with the gift of setting alight the sparks of hope in the past, is the one who is convinced of this: that not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.

– Walter Benjamin Theses VI, On the Concept of History (1940)

Prior to a panel discussion led by ICP/Bard MFA Chair Nayland Blake at the ICP Museum on October 17, with Christopher Clary, shawné michaelain holloway, William E. Jones, and Allison Parrish, it was possible to see two temporary installations in the galleries:

Christopher Clary staged a re-enactment of 1979 Robert Mapplethorpe photograph Larry and Bobby Kissing, which was live streamed in real time on Cam4 with the models Paloma Gil and shawné michaelain holloway. Clary has performed a variation of this previously at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, with himself. As Clary termed it, “I was Bobby and the public was Larry. Anyone could kiss me.” Recasting the image with other performers opens a potential for inclusion outside the ken of the Mapplethorpe image, which was part of the early “X Portfolio” series that christened, as it were, Mapplethorpe’s artistic ascendance to a beau monde of society portraits and floral still lives. Along with varying the subjects in the in the image, it is also reformatted into a streaming  video on Cam4, a website most often associated with on line sexual performance and voyeurism, far from any non-profit cultural institution. Movement, real time, switching models: qualities outside the Getty Museum description of the photographic print itself as: Close-up of two men kissing. Both are wearing leather jackets.


Robert Mapplethorpe, Larry and Bobby Kissing, gelatin silver print, 1979


Christopher Clary with Paloma Gil and shawné michaelain holloway in the ICP Museum, photo by Jaque Donaldson, courtesy International Center of Photography

The 30 minute video Fall into Ruin (2017) by William E. Jones was projected in the downstairs video gallery before the panel. Fall into Ruin is structured around reminiscences of the late art dealer Alexander Iolas (1907-1887), who Jones met when Jones was a student, and subsequent research into Iolas’s life, which is difficult to trace clearly, but which reflects the extremes of historical flux of the twentieth century: shifting borders, varying modes of survival, and a remarkable panorama of great artists, inflected with rumor, innuendo, and doubt. The video looks backwards from the present day ruins of Villa Iolas, in Athens, and the city itself in its own grueling situation wrought by economic models of austerity and the punishing logic of sustainability.


William E. Jones, Fall into Ruin, high definition video, color, sound, 30 minutes, 2017


Alexander Iolas in William E. Jones, Fall into Ruin, high definition video, color, sound, 30 minutes, 2017

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Posted in Alexander Iolas, archival collections, Cam4, Christopher Clary, collections, critical theory, Events, International, parataxis, queer, Robert Mapplethorpe, Unpacking the collection, vernacular photography, video, Visual Research, Walter Benjamin, William E. Jones | Tagged | Leave a comment

All Used Up: Dismantling the Gaze x Queering the Collection

All Used Up brings together the appropriation practices of William E. Jones, Allison Parrish, and Christopher Clary, with special guests shawné michaelain holloway and Paloma Gil, for a night of screenings, readings, and performances. Followed by a panel discussion with the artists and moderator Nayland Blake.

This is a ticketed event granting access to the ICP Museum galleries for a portion of the program. Please register in advance. ICP Members have access to preferred seating in our reserved members’ section.

Tickets ($7 for Members and $10 for non-members) are only available online when you register for the program. Members, please click on “My Membership” at the top of the ticketing page to receive your discount.

Program Schedule

6:30–8 PM – William E. Jones screens the first New York showing of Fall into Ruin. The film tells the story of Jones’s relationship with Alexander Iolas, a Greek international art dealer. After Iolas’s death from AIDS in 1987, his art collection of antiquities, modern, and contemporary art disappeared and his house was later vandalized extensively. The film includes not only contemporary images of the site in its ruined state, but also photographs Jones took in 1982 of Iolas’s house in its glory.


William E. Jones, Still from Fall into Ruin, 2017, courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery

6:30–7:30 PM – Christopher Clary, featuring special guests, re-performs Robert Mapplethorpe’s photograph Larry and Bobby Kissing in a networked performance entitled The <im>Perfect Moment<s>. The camera-feed live streams to a cam-based sex website and projects back into the museum. Clary invokes Mapplethorpe’s work as a platform to research, question, and further—or “queer”—what has been historically the type of work and identities used to represent the LGBTQ art cannon.



Christopher Clary, The <im>Perfect Moment<s> at the Palais de Tokyo, courtesy of the artist and Guaizine

7:30–8 PM – Allison Parrish will read from her new book, Articulations. The poems are the output of a computer program that extracts linguistic features from over two million lines of public domain poetry, then traces fluid paths between the lines based on their phonetic and syntactic similarities. By turns propulsive and meditative, the poems demonstrate an intuitive coherence found outside the bounds of intentional semantic constraints—representing language not for analysis but poetic output.


Allison Parrish, Cover from Articulations, 2018, courtesy of the author and Counterpath Press


8–9 PM – JonesParrish, Clary, and holloway come together in conversation with Nayland Blake.


William E. Jones is an artist, filmmaker, and writer. He has made the experimental films Massillon (1991) and Finished (1997), and many other works, including the essay film Fall into Ruin(2017), about the Greek art dealer Alexander Iolas (1907–1987) and his abandoned house in Athens. Jones’s films have been the subject of retrospectives at Tate Modern, London (2005); Anthology Film Archives, New York (2010); Austrian Film Museum, Vienna (2011); and Oberhausen Short Film Festival (2011). He has been exhibited at Musée du Louvre, Palais de Tokyo, and Cinémathèque française, Paris; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Jones has published many books, most recently Flesh and the Cosmos (2014) and True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell (2016). Jones’s writing has also appeared in periodicals such as Animal ShelterArea SneaksArtforumBidounButtFriezeLittle JoeMousse, and The White Review. Jones has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, a Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant, a City of Los Angeles (COLA) Grant, two California Community Foundation Fellowships, and a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writer’s Grant.

Christopher Clary is an artist and curator mediating queer images and words. Clary’s porn-novella zip file, a Rhizome commission, was named best individual work of internet art by Hyperallergic and was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Walker Art Center. The poetry collective Troll Thread is publishing a series of books that Clary has performed at the International Center of Photography, Palais de Tokyo, and Brown University. Curatorially, Clary continues to evolve a pavilion produced for The Wrong digital art biennial into a platform on safe space from intersectional trauma to the end of network culture.

shawnè michaelain holloway is a new media artist using sound, video, and performance to shape the rhetorics of technology and sexuality into tools for exposing structures of power. She has spoken and exhibited work internationally in spaces like the New Museum (New York, NY), Sorbus Galleria (Helsinki, FI), The Kitchen (New York, NY) Institute of Contemporary Arts (London, UK), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, IL). Currently, Holloway teaches in the New Arts Journalism department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Allison Parrish is a computer programmer, poet, educator, and game designer whose teaching and practice address the unusual phenomena that blossom when language and computers meet, with a focus on artificial intelligence and computational creativity. She is a member of the full-time faculty at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she earned her master’s degree in 2008. Parrish’s first full-length book of computer-generated poetry, Articulations, was published by Counterpath in 2018.

Nayland Blake is an internationally acclaimed interdisciplinary artist and educator whose work is included in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Des Moines Art Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the University Art Museum, Berkeley. His writing has been published in ArtforumInterviewOutOutlook, and numerous exhibition catalogues. He has been on the faculty of the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts and has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, the California Institute of the Arts, the University of California, Berkeley, Parsons School for Design, New York University, the School of Visual Arts, and Harvard University Department of Visual and Environmental Studies. He is represented by Matthew Marks Gallery in New York.

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Vernacular Photography and Narrative: Fang’s indexes (part 1)


FIFTY FOTOS FOUND BY FANG WITH TEXT BY THE HOUND and help me both contend for the richest index of any photobook. Poet Gillian McCain collaborated with James Marshall and Megan Cump on two books created with images from McCain’s vast collection of found photography. We get a hint of McCain’s process and interests through the alphabetical indexes, which point to a single, or in some cases, several images with that particular subject. McCain’s collection is not only deeply personal in its curation but McCain’s unique classifications both add a structure to the collection and often engage you with the materials in a different way. Thinking of their practice as a poet, their classifications often feel more like short (often a single word) poems paired with the photography.


Some text includes:

  • Anticipatory nostalgia, 32
  • Arthur, Bea, 76
  • Bootie bump panties, 71
  • cops, 87, 90
  • Dexedrine, 81
  • ectoplasm, 54
  • fang marks, 92
  • gang, 34, 48, 81
    • gang sign, 44
    • gang signal, 73
  • hair, 12, 13, 27, 39, 44, 51, 68, 79, 81, 83
  • Ive’s, Burl, 70
  • Josef Stalin Fan Club, 22
  • Korea, 87
  • Lomax, Alan, 38
  • mods, 81
  • Norton Records 29, 35
    • see Bill Miller
    • see Dangerous Games
    • see Mary Weiss
  • Oriental Tea Room, 56
  • phantom limb, 47
  • Quaaludes, 67
  • Rosemary’s Baby, 40
  • Slipnot [sic], 5
  • teen torture, 43
  • unsold pilots, 98
  • Velvet Underground, The, 29
  • Wisconsin Death Trip, 84
  • young, comatose girl, 21
  • Zorba the Greek, 68

In Fifty Fotos… additional text is provided by James Marshall (the hound)  where they originally were posted on The HoundBlog and also features selections from the blog’s comment section. help me features photos exhibited at the camera club of New York, and was curated by Gillian and Megan Cump, careful diptychs are created in the design of the book and relationships and strange parallels emerge between images taken in completely distinct spaces and times.

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Gillian McCain will be speaking for a panel organized by a special ICP librarian to be held this September 22nd for the Contemporary Art Book Conference at the New York Art Book Fair. Please join us at 4:00 at Book Culture, LIC to hear McCain and others speak about their collections of vernacular photographs. More information can be seen here

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