Friday, January 15, 2010

Peace & Noise

. In this morning's New York Times Martha Schwendener reviews Downtown Pix: Mining the Fales Archives, 1961-1991, the new show at NYU's Grey Art Gallery. Curated by Philip Gefter, a former NYT pictures editor and author of the excellent anthology Photography After Frank, the exhibition features over 300 photos, all from NYU's massive archive, documenting a period that spans from the social protests of the '60s to the years when gentrification hit its stride.

Above, photography by David Wojnarowicz from Rimbaud in New York (1977-1979), his series of portraits (taken with a stolen 35mm camera) of young men posing with a mask of the 19th-century poet Arthur Rimbaud. From the gallery's website:

According to Wojnarowicz, he was “playing with ideas of compression of ‘historical time and activity’ and fusing the French poet’s identity with modern New York urban activities, mostly illegal in nature.” From Times Square to the abandoned Hudson River piers, the Rimbaud figure’s wanderings mirrored Wojnarowicz’s own transient life in the city. Published in the Soho Weekly News in June 1980, this series marks Wojnarowicz’s first serious effort in photography and his first publicly exhibited artwork.
Downtown Pix is up through April 3rd – click here to read the review and see a slideshow, and visit the Grey Art Gallery's website for more images and info.

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