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Friday
Aug022013

Chronogram covers 'The Gun Show'

"The Gun Show" Exhibit 

Packing Heat

 A photograph by Erin Trieb from the exhibition "The Gun Show" at Fovea in Beacon. - Don Svetanics, 47, flew in from St. Louis to go with his brother, Jim, 45, to the NRA show held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas on
  • A photograph by Erin Trieb from the exhibition "The Gun Show" at Fovea in Beacon. Don Svetanics, 47, flew in from St. Louis to go with his brother, Jim, 45, to the NRA show held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas on Friday, May 3, 2013.

The annual Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show is a family affair—kids practice handling .22 caliber rifles, and babies pose for photos next to AK-47s. "The people who attend it view it as wholesome recreation," says Pete Muller, who photographed the show in 2012. "They don't view it as aggressive or malicious. They view it as a fun, very controlled fair that revolves around very serious heavy machine guns."

The national conversation about guns has become increasingly complicated in recent years: from the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in February 2012—for which the killer was found not guilty last month on the basis of Florida's stand-your-ground law—to the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last December. Despite such tragedies, there are many people in the US who stand by the Constitution's Second Amendment. After all, the right to bear arms is written into the DNA of our country. And guns don't kill people, people kill people, right?

The polarized debate on gun culture in the US is, of course, much more nuanced and complex than its extremes account for. "Guns seem to provide their owners with a certain sense of security and power," says Neil Harris, associate photo editor at Time magazine and curator of "The Gun Show" exhibit, which features photo-essays on domestic gun culture by seven American photographers. "But ironically, it's the possession and use of firearms that engenders so much fear, causes so much trauma, and actually erodes people's sense of security." The conversation surrounding guns in the US is fraught with such paradoxes, and Fovea's exhibit contributes to the debate in powerful, dynamic, and provocative ways.

Muller's Oklahoma Full Auto Show project explores inconsistencies and divergent viewpoints on the gun issue. "I really wanted to meet these people that had these kinds of love affairs with heavy machine guns," says Muller. "Their views are bound up with the polarized view about gun control on a national level. I wanted to get a more human perspective from their standpoint." The photo of Story Rush, a kindergarten teacher beaming as a fireball explodes out of her M1919 Browning .30 caliber machine gun, reveals different attitudes about guns, depending on who is looking at it. "I sent it to [Rush], and she was thrilled. To people at something like OFAS, they see someone having a great time," Muller says, adding that the photograph frightens others.

While the featured photo-essays explore the topic of domestic gun culture from different angles—Barbara Davidson's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo-essay on the effects of gun violence in Los Angeles; Erin Trieb's coverage of the 2013 annual meeting of the National Rifle Association in Houston; Drew Ludwig's experimental photographs of shooting target posters placed in schools—there's something central to the exhibit that touches on the issue more broadly. "It all seems to come from one instinct or urge that really is a fundamental part of American culture, for better or worse," says Harris, referring to the violent frontier ethos on which the country was founded. Muller adds that guns offer an avenue into the psychology of a group of people. "Through guns, you get at so many existential questions in a population—safety, fear, community, alienation." Men with guns made America. "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery," Thomas Jefferson said. "The Gun Show" asks us to consider our country's complex relationship with guns, and how, in the pursuit of such abstractions as freedom and peace, they continue to shape our national identity.

"The Gun Show" will be on view at Fovea in Beacon through October 6.

Monday
Jul222013

'THE GUN SHOW' featured on TIME's LIGHTBOX

 

On view at Fovea Exhibitions: The Gun Show, curated by TIME’s Neil Harris

Employing distinct visual approaches these seven American photographers have explored the diverse range of America’s close relationships with firearms from hunting to school shootings, from proud NRA members to extremist militias, and from machine guns as entertainment to the murders plaguing American cities. Through the medium of photography this exhibit aims to further public engagement on gun culture and to further prompt dialogue on the subject.

The show will be on view from till October 6, 2013.

Monday
Jul222013

Poughkeepsie Journal-Fovea displays self-portraits by photographer with multiple sclerosis

In the summer of 1988, Patricia Lay-Dorsey was diagnosed with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. It took the marathon runner a long time to accept and understand her diagnosis.

 

Sunday
Mar102013

Help name a Brooklyn Park after Chris Hondros

Friends Campaign to Name Brooklyn Lawn After Chris Hondros 

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Brooklyn Bridge Park wants help naming a new meadow located near Pier 6. And while park officials suggest the community think of a favorite flower or bird, friends of fallen war photographer and former DUMBO resident Christopher Hondros have a different idea.

They hope the lawn will be named "The Christopher Hondros Memorial Meadow" in memory of the photojournalist who lived in and loved Brooklyn.

"Chris was constantly traveling to some of the most remote and dangerous places in the world, but he always loved coming home to Brooklyn," said Stephanie Gaskell, a journalist and friend of Hondros. "I know he would find this a fitting tribute - a place where those who loved him can go and celebrate his life but also take in the amazing views of the city he loved and embodied."

Hondros was killed in a grenade blast while on assignment in Libya on April 20, 2011 alongside his friend and fellow photographer Tim Hetherington. He left behind his family, fiancé, and a community of journalists who valued his friendship and his powerful images.

It was Patrick Whalen's, photo editor at the Wall Street Journal, idea to memorialize Hondro's life and work at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Whalen was struck after seeing an announcement that the park was holding a naming contest for its new lawn.

"It hit me like a bolt of lightning," he said. "I immediately knew this would be the perfect way to pay tribute to Chris and remember the true friend he was to so many of us in the photojournalism community who reside in Brooklyn, and it would also be a nice way of having his name permanently tied to a city he truly loved."

Whalen along with Hondros' loved ones are asking anyone who is moved to write to the Brooklyn Bridge Park at info@brooklynbridgepark.org and request the new lawn, overlooking Lower Manhattan and the East River, be named after the much loved conflict photographer.

"Next month will be the second anniversary of his passing and so many photographers, editors, journalists, and friends need a place to gather and remember him," Whalen said. "We want to take our children there, tell them about Chris, to be inspired to be brave and tell the stories of the world’s needy, victims of war, disasters, be a champion for people who have no voice."

"This is what Chris put his life on the line to do, and the world is no doubt a better place to live thanks to him and his work," he added.

Requests to name the lawn must be emailed to info@brooklynbridgepark.org by March 20, 2013.  The winner will be announced on April 1.

 

Sunday
Feb032013

Chronogram's Parting Shot: Douglas Gayeton "The Lexicon of Sustainability" 

by Ethan Genter, December 2012 for CHRONOGRAM MAGAZINE

Writer and multimedia artist Douglas Gayeton has traveled the US for the past four years with his wife, Laura Howard-Gayeton, chronicling people's stories in an effort to demystify the terminology of the sustainability movement. "People can't be expected to live more sustainable lives if they don't even know the most basic terms and principles that define sustainability," Gayeton says. In "The Lexicon of Sustainability" he overlaps hundreds of photos covered in chalky-white annotations to create collages that look like outtakes from a Wes Anderson film.

Gayeton's curly script narrates the stories of people like Albert Strauss, a dairy farmer who uses a methane digester to turn cow manure into electricity. On his website the images are accompanied by sustainability vocab lists and bios of the subjects. "Lexicon" is also building a social network where people can add their own terms and develop new ideas. To date, 200 food and farming leaders have contributed.

Gayeton makes his images available for anyone to curate pop-up shows in everyday places such as corner stores, supermarkets, and schools. Fovea Exhibitions in Beacon is hosting the photographs until January 20. Portfolio: Lexiconofsustainability.com.