More than meets the eye

The Re­view Santa Fe Photo Fes­ti­val

Pasatiempo - - NEWS - Michael Abatemarco

South­ern New Jersey, Penn­syl­va­nia, Ohio, In­di­ana, and Illi­nois may not be the first states that spring to mind when dis­cussing Amer­ica’s en­demic racism, but in a sur­real and haunt­ing se­ries of im­ages, pho­tog­ra­pher Wen­del White cap­tures the lin­ger­ing rem­nants of a seg­re­gated past in the north­ern re­gions that bor­dered the south­ern slave states. Schools for the Col­ored, a body of work that de­vel­oped from White’s on­go­ing project

Small Towns, Black Lives, doc­u­ments the build­ings and

land­scapes of the seg­re­gated U.S. ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem in the decades be­fore the civil rights move­ment. In his stark black-and-white im­agery of both long­stand­ing struc­tures and crum­bling and long-since-de­mol­ished build­ings, White ob­scures the de­tails of the sur­round­ings: street scenes, trees, and other el­e­ments near the schools van­ish into a hazy man­tle of white. In cases where the struc­tures no longer stand, White in­serts sil­hou­ettes of the school­houses that for­merly oc­cu­pied the sites. White’s ob­scur­ing of the sur­round­ings in th­ese works was in­spired by so­ci­ol­o­gist W.E.B. Du Bois’ mem­ory of at­tend­ing school as a youth, re­counted in his 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk: “I was dif­fer­ent from the oth­ers; or like, may­hap, in heart and life and long­ing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil.”

Schools for the Col­ored is one of two ex­hi­bi­tions hosted by Photo-eye Book­store (376 Gar­cia St.) in con­junc­tion with Re­view Santa Fe, the an­nual fes­ti­val and con­fer­ence on photography spon­sored by Cen­ter — a non­profit ded­i­cated to the ad­vance­ment of the pho­to­graphic arts and to the pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment of pho­tog­ra­phers — sched­uled for Wed­nes­day, Nov. 2, to Sun­day, Nov. 6.

White is a re­cip­i­ent of Cen­ter’s Project Launch Ju­ror’s Choice award, along with Ál­varo Laiz for his se­ries The Hunter, and Laura Mor­ton for her project Wild West Tech. The Project Launch Grant — awarded for out­stand­ing doc­u­men­tary projects or fine art se­ries, and one of Cen­ter’s most pres­ti­gious awards, — went to Rus­sian pho­tog­ra­pher Elena Anosova for Sec­tion, an in­ti­mate look at the lives of in­car­cer­ated women in Rus­sia. Anosova’s work is on ex­hibit ina Project Grant Win­ners Ex­hi­bi­tion at Photo-eye’s main gallery (541 S. Guadalupe St.). The ex­hibit is a two-per­son show that in­cludes pho­to­graphs from Me­gan E. Do­herty’s black-and-white se­ries Back of the

Yards. Do­herty is the win­ner of Cen­ter’s ma­jor Project De­vel­op­ment Grant, awarded to fund in-progress fine art, doc­u­men­tary, or pho­to­jour­nal­is­tic projects.

Cen­ter, founded in 1994, has tra­di­tion­ally sched­uled Re­view Santa Fe in June, un­til the photo fes­ti­val was moved to Novem­ber this year. Ac­cord­ing to Cen­ter’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Laura Press­ley, the move is in­tended to ease the travel, ac­com­mo­da­tion, and other ex­penses of the par­tic­i­pants. “They’re in­vest­ing a lot in com­ing out here, putting to­gether their port­fo­lios and cre­at­ing mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als,” Press­ley said. The tim­ing gives Cen­ter an op­por­tu­nity to ad­vance the fes­ti­val as a des­ti­na­tion dur­ing the off-sea­son, when it isn’t com­pet­ing with the lo­cal mar­kets, fes­ti­vals, and art fairs that dom­i­nate the sum­mer months. “We wanted to be able to high­light this in­ter­na­tional photo fes­ti­val and get more lo­cals, more Santa Feans, to par­tic­i­pate, to come at­tend the events and the work­shops,” she said. “It also of­fers Santa Fe an­other op­por­tu­nity for tourism, to get more peo­ple stay­ing in the ho­tel rooms and pur­chas­ing art in the off-sea­son. Lastly, it was bet­ter for us ad­min­is­tra­tively in that it cre­ated space so we were able to ini­ti­ate ex­pan­sion of a col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­gram called Pho­toSum­mer.” A joint ef­fort by Cen­ter, 516 Arts in Al­bu­querque, and the Univer­sity of New Mex­ico Art Mu­seum, Pho­toSum­mer high­lights and pro­motes New Mex­ico pho­to­graphic ex­hi­bi­tions and events through­out the sea­son.

Re­view Santa Fe is a ma­jor ju­ried port­fo­lio re­view that brings the best in in­ter­na­tional photography to the city. On Nov. 2, the photo fes­ti­val be­gins with work­shops de­signed to help pre­pare pho­tog­ra­phers for the re­view process. The port­fo­lio re­views

be­gin in earnest on Fri­day, Nov. 4. For 2016, Cen­ter en­listed more than 40 re­view­ers, pro­fes­sion­als in their fields, to ad­vise emerg­ing and mid-ca­reer pho­tog­ra­phers — a list that in­cludes Christie Davis, the pro­gram di­rec­tor for Con­tem­po­rary Art and Pub­lic Pro­grams at the Lan­nan Foun­da­tion; Mary Anne Red­ding, cu­ra­tor of the Turchin Cen­ter for the Vis­ual Arts in Boone, North Carolina; and UNM Art Mu­seum di­rec­tor Arif Khan. The list of par­tic­i­pat­ing pho­tog­ra­phers, which num­bers one hun­dred, in­cludes Louisville-based Laura Skin­ner, whose Ex­per­i­men­tal se­ries is based on grade-school science ex­per­i­ments; Am­s­ter­dam-based pho­tog­ra­pher Jordi Huis­man, who doc­u­mented the backs of build­ings in cities across Europe for his Rear Win­dow project; Mel­bourne-based Ni­cola Dra­coulis, who is show­ing the por­trait se­ries Rep­re­sent: African Aus­tralia, an emerg­ing gen­er­a­tion; and Bos­ton-based Emily Sh­ef­fer, who is show­ing

The Old World, a se­ries of enig­matic and in­ti­mate do­mes­tic im­ages. The photo pre­sen­ta­tions are free to the pub­lic from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 4 All one hun­dred pho­tog­ra­phers show their projects dur­ing the event, which takes place in the Farm­ers Mar­ket Pav­il­ion (1607 Paseo de Per­alta).

Cen­ter hon­ors Amer­i­can doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­pher Su­san Meise­las — who made a name for her­self cov­er­ing hu­man rights is­sues in Latin Amer­ica in the 1970s — at 7 p.m. Satur­day, Nov. 5, at a din­ner and re­cep­tion that in­cludes a pre­sen­ta­tion by Meise­las. Reser­va­tions are re­quired to at­tend the din­ner; in­di­vid­ual tick­ets ($150) can be pur­chased through Cen­ter’s web­site. A $75 fes­ti­val pass ($55 for stu­dents) in­cludes ac­cess to the open­ing re­cep­tion at the Ho­tel Santa Fe (7 p.m. Thurs­day, Nov. 3), as well as artist talks, VIP port­fo­lio view­ings, and other events. The full sched­ule, din­ner tick­ets, and the fes­ti­val pass are avail­able at www. vis­it­cen­ter.org. All events take place at The Ho­tel Santa Fe, un­less oth­er­wise noted.

Laura Mor­ton: From the Wild West Tech, San Fran­cisco, Cal­i­for­nia, 2015, inkjet print; op­po­site page, Wen­del White: Mar­shall­town School, Man­ning­ton, New Jersey (from the se­ries Schools for the Col­ored), 2008, pig­ment inkjet on paper

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