Art Out: 35th Annual ICP Infinity Awards
The 35th Annual ICP Infinity Awards kicked off with ICP Board Chair Caryl Englander and Board President Jeffrey Rosen, sharing their personal perspectives about the International Center of Photography and its mission, as well as their excitement for ICP’s upcoming move to Essex Crossing on the Lower East Side in New York City. ICP Executive Director Mark Lubell then took the stage, welcoming the audience of artists, photographers, gallerists, publishers, editors and philanthropists before turning the program over to the evening’s host, journalist and TV personality Meredith Vieira.
More than 400 people were in attendance at the event, including Infinity Co-Chairs Marjorie Rosen, Michael A. Clinton, and Judith Bookbinder; media and entertainment industry leaders Sade Baderinwa (anchor, WABC-TV), Stefano Tonchi (editor-in-chief, W), Anne Fulenwider (editor-in-chief, Marie Claire), Stellene Vollandes (editor-in-chief, Town & Country), Kira Pollack (deputy editor, Vanity Fair), Maurice Berger (professor, curator and New York Times writer), Ben Goldberger (assistant managing editor, TIME Magazine), David Furst (international photo editor, New York Times), Lucy Kaylin (editor-in chief, O Magazine), Susan Taylor (former editor-in-chief, Essence); Santiago Lyon (director of editorial content, Adobe), Ligaya Mishan (New York Times writer), Catherine Kellner (actress), Kristin Joy Watts (Instagram art and fashion lead), Quil Lemons (photographer and Instagram influencer), and Kimberly Drew (independent curator and writer and Instagram influencer); artists and photographers Elliott Erwitt, Steve McCurry, Larry Fink, Alexandra Bell, Ara Starck, Jodi Cobb, Jonno Rattman, Tomas Van Houtryve and Deborah Willis; philanthropists/ICP supporters Peggy Anderson, Heather and Bill Vrattos, Bicky and George Kellner, Almudena Legorreta, Dominique and Samuel L. Milbank, Sylvia and Jan W. Mulder, Fabian Onetti, Pat Schoenfeld, Merryl and James Tisch, Jennifer and Robert James, Elyse Benenson, Corice Arman, Ahrin Mishan, Richard and Cricket Burns; curators Erin Barnett (ICP) and Sarah Meister (MoMA); and gallerists Bruce Silverstein, Howard Greenberg, Dominique Lévy, Blanca Berlin, Jane Corkin, and James Danziger, and more.
Throughout the evening, this year’s Infinity Award winners Rosalind Fox Solomon (Lifetime Achievement), Dawoud Bey (Art), Zadie Smith (Critical Writing and Research), Jess T. Dugan (Emerging Photographer), and Shahidul Alam (Special Presentation) were introduced by films of their work, executive produced by Harbers Studios and created by MediaStorm for the event.
Closing this year’s Infinity Awards on a high note – literally – attendees serenaded Solomon in celebration of her 89th birthday which, coincidentally, was also on Tuesday.
ROSALIND FOX SOLOMON:
Solomon received a standing ovation and shared she continues making images, adding: “The journey has been long… The journey has been risky. But the journey has been rewarding. Frame by frame…year by year, I have seen, I have engaged and I have grown.”
A stunning Smith – a writer in a sea of imagemakers – humbly confided to the crowd: “I’m an interloper here…I don’t actually have a camera, or even a phone with a camera.” Adding, “I love photography and love to think about it and but I know that that both thinking about it and doing it are a very different experience in 2019 than it was 20 years ago…even 10 years ago.”
Alam received the first standing ovation of the evening, following his moving film about his activism and arrest in his native Bangladesh. He shared that he was happy to be there – that he could be there – and acknowledged those who stood up and took huge risks to fight for his release. He took a moment to remind the audience of the power of photography to “release people from bondage,” explaining that ability is the reason why people in power fear the medium. He stated, “It is not merely the governments in countries like Bangladesh which are repressive, but every nation – whether be it in the north or the south – that tolerates that repression or is prepared to work with a repressive government is as guilty (as the ones doing the repressing).” He concluded, “We as concerned citizens need to remind our governments that they are accountable and they need to respond to our needs. And we need to remind the powerful, wherever they are, that they cannot get away with things like this...” and added that media and culture are powerful tools to continue to challenge authority.
ABOUT THE ICP INFINITY AWARDS
Since 1985, the Infinity Awards have recognized significant contributions and emerging talent in a wide range of fields that now encompass photojournalism, art, fashion photography, publishing, critical writing, and new media. Past recipients include Berenice Abbott; Lynsey Addario; Richard Avedon; Ariella Azoulay; David Bailey; Alexandra Bell; Harry Benson; Maurice Berger; Amber Bracken; Henri Cartier-Bresson; Sophie Calle; Edmund Clark; Bruce Davidson; Roy DeCarava; Elliott Erwitt; Sir Harold Evans; Larry Fink; For Freedoms; Samuel Fosso; Robert Frank; LaToya Ruby Frazier; Adam Fuss; David Goldblatt; Paul Graham; David Guttenfelder; Mishka Henner; André Kertész; Natalie Keyssar; Steven Klein; William Klein; Karl Lagerfeld; Annie Leibovitz; Helen Levitt; Mary Ellen Mark; Ryan McGinley; Susan Meiselas; Duane Michals; Daidō Moriyama; Zanele Muholi; Shirin Neshat; Gordon Parks; Gilles Peress; Walid Raad; Eugene Richards; Sebastião Salgado; Malick Sidibé; Lorna Simpson; Cindy Sherman; Dayanita Singh; Juergen Teller; Peter Van Atgmael; and Ai Weiwei, among others.
The International Center of Photography (ICP) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture. Cornell Capa founded ICP in 1974 to preserve the legacy of “concerned photography”—the creation of socially and politically-minded images that have the potential to educate and change the world— and the center’s mission endures today, even as the photographic medium and imagemaking practices have evolved. Through its exhibitions, school, public programs, and community outreach, ICP offers an open forum for dialogue about the role that photographs, videos, and new media play in our society. To date, it has presented more than 700 exhibitions and offered thousands of classes at every level. ICP brings together photographers, artists, students, and scholars to create and interpret the realm of the image. Here, members of this unique community are encouraged to explore photography and visual culture as mediums of empowerment and as catalysts for wide-reaching social change. Visit icp.org to learn more. www.icp.org