Critical review of a gallery exhibition

the task set by my lecturer is to give a critical analysis and review of a photography exhibition.

Other Americas is a presentation of an award winning body of work by acclaimed photographer Sebastiao Salgado (b. 1944, Brazil). Taken between 1977 and 1984 this collection of black-and-white photographs focus on Latin America, exploring it as a concept rather than a physical place. if anyone has already been to this could you please leave me a comment or a link to some other reviews you have seen

Family of men

“There is only one man in the world and his name is All Men.There is only one women in the world and her name is All Women.There is only one child in the world and the child’s name is All Children.”

narative of family and men , from Carl Sandberg, exhibition commentary.

fom

Fred Turner—Ezra Stoller, installation view of the exhibition The Family of Man. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY

we were looking into gallery reviews about other artists exhibit’s. when discussing photography exhibition one you cannot bypass is Edward Steichen’s family of men. this was ground breaking and controversial in more than one way this exhibit the most viewed exhibit of all time. having been viewed by over 9 million people in 36 different countries over the span of 8 years it now resides in its permanent home in a chateu in Luxembourg. it certainly says something for the power of a particular exhibition when it will have a permanent resting place so to speak.

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http://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/place/museum/the-family-of-man

To truly understand why this exhibit was and still is so pivitol in the art world you have to take a step back to 1955 when the exhibit was first put on at the museum of modern art. Photography at this time was not regarded highly as the likes of sculpture or fine art, it was somewhat a lower form of visual arts. it had never been displayed or put along side some of the famous “painters and sculptors” of the time. so for this body of 503 photogrphs by 273 artists from 68 different countries to be displayed together all stood true about the similarity of all makind irrelevant of colour or creed or geographical standing.

“a mirror of the essential oneness of mankind throughout the world. Photographs made in all parts of the world, of the gamut of life from birth to death.”

Edward Stiechen

http://publicculture.org/articles/view/24/1/the-family-of-man-and-the-politics-of-attention-in-cold-war-america

this was a celebration of life in all forms from birth to death displayed in these images. individual works within this exhibit had good photographic standing with the work of Ansel Adams to Henri Cartier Bresson but to name a few but when these work were displayed in the innovative way steichen wanted it caused something almost magical. this one exhibition had the magic to divide a people. millions said it was the greatest collection of art the world has ever seem and will ever see and alot referred to the exhibit as racist, colonialist and imperialist. what was supposed to be a body of work to bring mankind together to show the likeness of every living person was twisted by critics.

so it just goes to show no matter what you do in life you will always have negative points of view heading your way. even if you have just put together and displayed the greatest collection of photographs the world will ever see.

PJ

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