Exhibition: Gordon Parks: Centennial at the Jenkins Johnsons, San Francisco. February 21 - April 27, 2013
In celebration of the 100th birthday of Gordon Parks, one of the most influential African American photographers of the 20th century, Jenkins Johnson Gallery in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation presents Gordon Parks: Centennial, on view from February 21 through April 27, 2013. Gordon Parks, an iconic photographer, writer, composer, and filmmaker, would have turned 100 on November 30, 2012. This will be the first solo exhibition for Parks on the West Coast in thirteen years. The exhibition will survey works spanning six decades of the artist’s career starting in 1940. The exhibition consists of more than seventy-five gelatin silver and pigment prints, including selections from Life magazine photo essays: Invisible Man, 1952; Segregation Story, 1956; The Black Panthers, 1970; and Flavio, 1960, about favelas in Brazil. Also included in the exhibition is his reinterpretation of American Gothic and his elegant depictions of artists like Alexander Calder, fashion models, and movie stars.
by Pamela August Russell and apparently the whole book is just on google for some reason???
that last one is the strongest
shit goddamn These are so powerful
Last weekend was rainy and I abandoned the cherry blossoms for Fukushima prefecture…yes that Fukushima prefecture. I’m sure many will be surprised to find that it is more than the name of a troubling nuclear reactor—it is also the name of a city and of the prefecture that contains the city. The particular part I went to was 100 km due west of the infamous hotspot, a city called Aizu Wakamatsu, which is famous for its castle (Tsuruga-jo) and a squad of teenager soldiers who famously committed suicide during the Boshin War (essentially a civil war) in the mid-1860s.
Unbeknownst to us, the area drew in-country tourists’ attention due to a recent NHK drama, which features the true story of a young samurai girl who fought during this rebellion due to her skill in gunnery and later went on to have a rather fascinating modern sort of life for a Japanese woman of the time.
We dutifully toured the castle and the site of the suicide, which was on the top of a nearby hill. The area was bare of grass due to the passage of many many feet over the years and there lay the sad line of graves for boys who wouldn’t even be old enough to drive or marry or even remember to do their homework. What was more upsetting was both Hitler and Mussolini chose to send monuments to honor their sacrifice. It left one with an odd feeling.
However, climbing down the hill from this area, we literally stumbled across the structure above—it is called Sanzaedo, which means Temple of the Turban Shell. If the architecture looks a bit odd, it is—a rickety wooden building from 1796, that somehow survived fires and earthquakes and all kinds of turmoil. It was quite literally the most fascinating temple I have ever seen—there is nothing in the interior except a pair of ramps, one going up and one going down, which meet at the top. The walls house funny little enclosures of pictures of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, and the core features, at regular intervals, an impossibly narrow pass-through, which could take one from the up ramp to the down ramp or vice versa. You can get something of an idea of it here.
The rain, the rickety wooden ramp, the marvel of a building…it made the entire trip worth it.
I might also add a few words about the ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) that we stayed at. While we have stayed at ryokan before, this one was befuddling, and I fear, somewhat typical. First of all, they are nothing at all like Western hotels because one must eat and bathe and sleep and wake up all at prescribed times. We wanted to wash up before dinner which confounded the ryokan ladies. It probably did not help I slipped and fell on the slippery tile in the bathroom managing to smash my back on a faucet and bruise my arm. Thus limping, I had the traditional Japanese meal in a sort of hearth around a fire, with a well for one’s feet to be tucked away in. The food was beautiful, well-prepared and mostly delicious—save for the ayu, a kind of river fish that used to be nearly extinct. For some reason, Japanese love it, and insist upon consuming it, head and all, while it stares at you balefully like an angry sardine…I am definitely an adventurous eater but this was nearly too much for me. In addition, I accidentally knocked some of my pickles off the tray into the ashes of the fire, where I then tried desperately to cover them up with the fire tongs before any of the ladies could see. I had a feeling a terrible punishment would follow.
After dessert, which turned out to be a non-sweet pudding of…pumpkin…we went back to our room to pretty much fall asleep. Upon waking, K. discovered the door to the ryokan was locked and our shoes were no where to be found—there would be no escape and no morning stroll, just a breakfast of more fishes. I almost never find myself in these kind of awkward situations in Japan anymore, so it sort of refreshing to be reminded of how strange it all once seemed.
“Kayo dressed in winter clothes ready for a snowy day. This type of headscarf is called an Okoso-zukin.
Era Kayo 江良加代 was a popular Geiko (Geisha) in Gion, Kyoto during the early Meiji period (1870s). At one time she became the mistress of Saionji Kinmochi (1849 – 1940), who was a politician, statesman and twice Prime Minister of Japan. Although, Kido Takayoshi (1833 – 1877), a statesman during the Meiji Restoration, pursued her and promised to pay for her stage costumes, he died before he kept his word. After Kido’s death, Ito Hirobumi (1841 – 1909), four times Prime Minister of Japan, paid for her costumes in his stead, but she jilted Ito to become the mistress of Mitsui Gen’emon (1867 -1945), a noted businessman.
Her name is written on the reverse in hiragana.”
We leave you with a still from the final scene in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. In 1984, Roger Ebert told Terry Gross that the film was a touchstone for him since seeing it for the first time in 1960 — and he made sure to watch it every ten years. Ebert had this to say about the film’s protagonist, a journalist named Marcello, played by Marcello Mastroianni:
“There was this 30 year-old journalist in Rome leading this unbelievably glamorous life, with all these celebrities, and staying up all night, and going to orgies, and having all of his philosophical friends around him, and his wives, and mistresses, and miracles and stories to cover. When I saw it again…in 1970, it was somebody about my age, only he was leading a more interesting life than I was - I thought. And then when I saw it again in 1980, it was somebody ten years younger than I was and he had a lot of problems that I had outgrown. So Marcello, the character in the movie, stays the same and I can kind of measure my thoughts about the character as time goes by.”
Have a great weekend, everyone. We’ll catch you Monday.
Still from La Dolce Vita
The Most Gorgeous Book Ever Has No Words Or Pictures, Just Color
This is the RGB Colorspace Atlas by Tauba Auerbach. The 8”x8” hardcover tome is pretty much an encyclopedia of every color in the RGB index. It’s huge, it’s gorgeous, and I want one.
I KNOW WHAT THIS NEEDS
It’s like they were made for each other.
i swear to fucking hell if you fuckers start shipping a book and i pen i will forcibly shove you back into the pits of hell you came from
Sensors alight, the pen trailed itself sensually down the gradient shift from yellow to blue along ample curve of paper, dipping closer and closer to the book’s spine.
“Can you imagine it?” the pen whispered, whirring and selecting #00563F with practiced intimacy. “Just picture it. With your collection and my potential…we can color the world.”
HAHAHAHAHA IM CRYING
YES FINALLY THIS POST IS BACK.
omg the picture.
My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer
one of the saddest and most beautiful photo essays I’ve ever seen
Girls pose by a jail that recalls the witch trials of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. Photo taken in 1945.
A New Perspective of the Day: From the Top of the Egyptian Pyramid
A group of Russians took this photograph after illegally climbing the Great Pyramid of Giza during their trip to Egypt last week. Climbing the pyramid is strictly prohibited under the Egyptian law and may result in a punishment of one to three years in Egyptian prison.