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Martha Rosler at the New York Public Library

A New York Public Library Art Book Series Event
Unfamiliar Streets

Martha Rosler and Philip-Lorca diCorcia
in conversation with Katherine Bussard

Wednesday March 19, 2014
6:00 p.m.

Margaret Liebman Berger Forum
Room 227 (2nd Floor)

The New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
5th Avenue at 42nd Street
New York, NY 10016

Room 227 opens to public at 5:30 p.m. All events are FREE and subject to last minute change or cancellation.

City scenes have been chronicled in photographs since the early 1800s, but street photography as traditionally defined has captured a relatively narrow field of these images. Revolutionizing the history of street photography, Unfamiliar Streets explores the work of Richard Avedon (1923–2004), Charles Moore (1931–2010), Martha Rosler (b. 1943), and Philip-Lorca diCorcia (b. 1951), four American photographers whose careers in fashion, photojournalism, conceptual art, and contemporary art are not usually associated with the genre.

Bussard’s lively and engaging text, a timely response to a growing interest in urban photography, challenges the traditional understanding of street photography and makes original and important connections among urban culture, social history, and the visual arts, constructing a new historical model for understanding street photography. Illustrated with more than one hundred images, this book provides an interpretation of a compelling genre that is as fresh as its consideration of the city streets themselves, sites of commerce, dispossession, desire, demonstration, power, and spectacle.

Copies of the book are available for purchase and signing at the event after the audience Q&A.

Katherine Bussard was appointed Peter C. Bunnell Curator of Photography at the Princeton University Art Museum in 2013. Previously, she served as associate curator of photography at the Art Institute Chicago. Bussard is co-author of Color Rush: American Color Photography from Stieglitz to Sherman (2013). Her doctoral research on street photography at the City University of New York is the subject of her latest book, Unfamiliar Streets from Yale University Press (2014). Bussard is currently co-authoring a publication exploring the intersection of photography, architecture, and urban studies in New York,
Chicago, and Los Angeles during the 1960s and 1970s, for which there will be an accompanying exhibition.

One of the most influential and innovative photographers working today, Philip-Lorca diCorcia is known for creating images that are poised between documentary and theatrically staged photography. His practice takes everyday occurrences beyond the realm of banality, infusing what would otherwise appear to be insignificant gestures with psychology and emotion. DiCorcia employs photography as a fictive medium capable of creating uncanny, complex realities out of seemingly straightforward compositions. As such, his work is based on the dichotomy between fact and fiction and asks the viewer to question the assumed truths that the photographic image offers. DiCorcia was named one of Martell’s 2012 Artists of the Year, which was accompanied by a touring exhibition in China. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. In 2013, a large European survey of his work was held at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt in Germany and Museum De Pont in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Martha Rosler is an artist whose work often focuses on the public sphere and landscapes of everyday life, especially as they affect women. Her photographic series on places of passage and systems of transportation— airports, roads, subways, streets—have been widely exhibited. She publishes often on art and culture; her book Culture Class was published in 2013.Rosler has for many years produced works on war and the “national security climate,” connecting everyday experiences at home with the conduct of war abroad. In 2004 and 2008 she reinstituted her now well-known series of photomontages “House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home,” originally made as a response to the war in Vietnam. In 2013 Rosler’s series of public banners on drone warfare and surveillance was shown at the Look3 Photo Festival in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her performance and installation Meta-Monumental Garage Sale was held at MoMA, New York, in December 2012.

In its sixth year the program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world renowned artists, critics, curators, gallerists, historians and writers.