Jim Goldberg in the gallery space
link to short video: https://vimeo.com/22120588
Looking at Goldberg’s work of this particular project it has a certain appeal for me in at the gallery space. I see no direct contradiction, although if it were to be a similar thing to Natchway and his war zone images being visited by wealthy buyers not really moved by what they are seeing, it would become an issues. I wonder if in some way the photographer cannot mediate the passive viewing of the imagery by perhaps being present and giving a lecture on the work to explain it in more detail. Personally that is an approach that I have taken on one occasion with a photography exhibition about a personal issues with a universal meaning.
The danger is that everyone has hackneyed vision and compassion fatigue. Not to say that good imagery cannot have a profound effect, but the tendency I believe is for the public to look superficially.
As an alternative to the gallery space, I was always inspired by the work by Marcus Bleasdale and his work in the Congo diamond mines. This to me seemed a particularly radical and effective way to exhibit documentary work in a very audience specific way that had, as we say, a decisive impact on the situation. It does seem that in Bleasdale’s case he had a very clear intention to make a change. Is that always the case with documentary photographers?
Lastly, in exploring the ICP website:
‘The International Center of Photography offers corporate supporters premier access to our brand new space in the heart of a vibrant community on the Lower East Side. Renewable annually, our Corporate Membership program enriches quality of life for your employees, while also offering opportunities to enhance brand awareness and entertain key clients.
Corporate Members of ICP enjoy a wide range of benefits, including:
- Free admission for employees
- Discount at ICP’s café and bookstore
- Discounts on ICP courses and workshops
- Access to exclusive events, including invitation-only openings, rooftop gatherings, and private tours’
- Without wanting to appear cynical, it does seem that the corporate preferential treatment to photography is rather obviously about funding and monetising the topic. At the same time, does it allow the work to be there for others to appreciate? (open questions).