New exhibition showcasing social activism photography, based on the book by Fred Ritchin, on view at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Gulf + Western Gallery.

Photo of "Smoke Break, Camp America," by Debi Cornwall
"Smoke Break, Camp America," by Debi Cornwall

Examining how photography and imaging can drive social action and change is the theme behind Bending the Frame, a new exhibition opening at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Gulf + Western Gallery, September 12, 2017.

Based upon a book of the same name by Fred Ritchin, dean emeritus of the International Center of Photography, Bending the Frame presents photography, video, film, books, and internet-based projects by a variety of U.S.-based and international photographers and visual artists. As with the book that inspired it, the exhibition presents strategies within visual art, documentary, and journalistic photography that, when combined with contemporary art practices, “bend the frame” with the intention of creating greater social impact and a wider discussion that may then lead to social change.

Featured artists include Debi Cornwall, on torture at Guantánamo; the French-based collective #Dysturb, on contemporary events; Tim Hetherington's video "Diary" on the idiosyncratic life of the war correspondent; Dutch photographer Jan Hoek on “New Ways of Photographing the New Masai”; Chris Jordan on the pollution of the Pacific; Jennifer Karady on US veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan; Gideon Mendel on worldwide flooding and climate change; Celia A. Shapiro on the last meals of U.S. prisoners before their execution; Taryn Simon and Aaron Swartz on the vagaries of Internet imagery; Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross-Smith and Kamal Sinclair on building a dialogue among African-American men with Question Bridge; and Sumeja Tulic's “Travel Guide for Mama” on Muslim women in New York City.

The exhibition is curated by Fred Ritchin, assistant curated by Perri Hofman, and includes both archival and contemporary works. The Gulf + Western Gallery is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. Photo ID is required for access to the building. For more information, visit the Tisch Photography and Imaging website or call 212.998.1930.

The Department of Photography and 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.


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Shonna Keogan
Shonna Keogan
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