New York University’s Department of Photography & Imaging in the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts will feature an exhibition of 33 color photographs by National Geographic photographer and author Alexandra Avakian. Entitled Windows of the Soul: My Journeys in the Muslim World, the exhibition includes images and insights, as curated by Mark Bussell, based on Avakian’s photographic memoir of the same title, published by Focal Point/National Geographic.
Windows of the Soul will be on view from September 7 through October 9, 2010 in the Gulf+Western Gallery in the rear lobby of 721 Broadway. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. The exhibition is open to the public and admission is free. Photo identification is required for access to the building. For further information, call 212.998.1930.
Photojournalist Alexandra Avakian has covered many of the most important issues and historic events of her time. Her photographs have been published in National Geographic, Time, LIFE, The New York Times Magazine, and many others in the U.S. and throughout Europe. She has photographed conflict, daily life, and culture in the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe, Africa, Caribbean, and the United States for the past 25 years.
For many years, Avakian "felt the need to photograph refugees, uprisings, fights for freedom,” she writes. “I longed to learn more about the lengths to which people go to change their living conditions and achieve basic human rights. I was less interested in ideology than in the human capacity for bravery in the fight for freedom.”
Yet her photographs have evolved to convey an intimacy and complexity beyond conflict and upheaval. Avakian goes on to note, “I began distancing myself from death and funerals. The violent conflicts that had fascinated me were taking their toll. I felt lucky to be alive and in one piece—and ready to celebrate the beauty of life in the subjects I chose.” In a time of increased misunderstandings between East and West, Windows of the Soul: My Journeys in the Muslim World should be considered a timely and passionate visual exploration to promote dialogue.
Windows of the Soul is made possible by the Department of Photography & Imaging, John Fahey Jr. & the National Geographic Society, Nina Hoffman, Leah Ben David & National Geographic Books, Robert Pledge & Contact Press Images, Jean-Francois Leroy & Visa Pour L'Image.
Mark Bussell is the former Picture Editor of The New York Times and of The New York Times Magazine. He worked with the Museum of Modern Art to produce the book and exhibit Pictures of the Times: A Century of Photography from The New York Times, and conceived and edited the book Without Sanctuary. Bussell is currently documenting Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts redevelopment project. His images and videos have recently appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, PBS, The Smithsonian and other media.
The Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts is a four-year B.F.A. program centered on the making and understanding of images. Students explore photo-based imagery as personal and cultural expression. Situated within New York University, the program offers students both the intensive focus of an arts curriculum and a serious and broad grounding in the liberal arts.