Feature: Steidl x Strand Week
By Frances Molina
Next week, everyone’s favorite book depot The Strand will host a week of events to shake you out of your Thanksgiving food-coma. International publisher Steidl teams up with the Strand to provide a week-long celebration of some of Steidl’s most prolific published artists. On Monday, November 27th photographer and founder Gerhard Steidl kicks off the week with a discussion on the lasting importance of physical media in a world rocked by overwhelming technological changes. Steidl will be joined by photographer Peter Badge, author of Nobel Heroes, and Marc Pachter, former director of the National Portrait Gallery and the American Museum of Natural History.
The rest of the Steidl X Strand week promises three full nights of author talks and book signings from various published photographers. On Tuesday evening, Henry Wessel stops in to present and sign three independent bodies of work Traffic/Sunset Park/Continental Divide, each a study of the seemingly monotonous moments and scenes of daily life uplifted with Wessel’s keen and compassionate eye. Photographer Betsy Karel will discuss her upcoming book America’s Stage: Time Square, a work that presents those famous five blocks as a stage for modern American culture and depicts Times Square as a living space, a multi-headed hydra of globalism, consumerism, narcissism, and sex. The night continues with a presentation by Mitch Epstein for his new book Rocks and Clouds, which explores the concept of time and environmental control by juxtaposing photographs of ancient rock formations and ephemeral collections of clouds above the city skyline.
Wednesday evening the Strand presents photographers Hank O’Neal and Jongwood Park. O’Neal will present a 40th anniversary re-release of arguably one of the most important collections of photographic work and storytelling, A Vision Shared. Next, joined by New York-based journalist Sara Rosen, photo-documentarian Park shares his new book DMZ: Demilitarized Zone of Korea. Park's book documents the DMZ between North and South Korea, a meager strip of land that is considered, despite its name, one of the most militarized borders in the world. DMZ captures a strange and horrendous landscape of natural beauty cut with barbed wire fences and patrolled by crews of armed guards.
To close the week, Thursday evening features signings and talks with Tod Papageorge and Mona Kuhn. After more than 50 years, Papageorge presents his stunning collection of color photographs Dr. Blankman’s New York. At a time when black-and-white photography was considered the serious “medium” while color reserved for commercial work, Papageorge took a creative risk in order to work with a new medium – Kodachrome – in a time of change and revolution that was ready to be captured in full scale and rich, saturated color. Finally, the Strand will host Mona Kuhn to discuss her lifetime of work as well as a few pieces from an upcoming, unreleased collection She Disappeared in Complete Silence. Kuhn is acclaimed for her intimate nude portraits and Silence takes her technique a step further, fusing figures, light, and modernist architecture to create a sense of the surreal.
For more information on these artists as well as dates and times, please visit the Strand’s Event Page.