The wonderful CK/CK shared this photograph, taken near London in November of 1942. Breaking between missions flying machines less sophisticated than a contemporary car in a war of annihilation with a nearby and superior enemy, a pilot breaks for a haircut, reading, and a pipe. The insistence on the accouterments of culture, on leisure —the book and pipe, of course, but also the nearly formal attire of the barber and the pattern of the sheet wrapped around his shoulders— seems so British, so laudable, so impossible to imagine today for innumerable reasons one hardly has the energy even to consider.
WEEGEE (aka Arthur Fellig)
1. Body of Dominick Didato, Elizabeth Street, New York, Aug. 7, 1936
2. Hold up man killed, Nov. 24, 1941
3. Police officer and lodge member looking at blanket-covered body of woman trampled to death in excursion-ship stampede, New York, Aug. 18, 1941
4. Murder, ca. 1940
5. Self-Portrait, The Genius of the Camera, ca. 1938
The way our society and the media cover the dead and the dying — the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, the body on a street after a firefight or violent demonstration — these are not new issues.
At the International Center of Photography in New York, there’s a new exhibit of the photographs of Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee. “Murder Is My Business” focuses, in large part, on the decade Weegee spent in the 1930s and ’40s devoted to crime photography.
The ICP has the entire Weegee archive: 16,000 photographs and 7,000 negatives from many periods of his life, including his groundbreaking book of New York life, Naked City. But he started with murder. He followed police reports, freelancing for the tabloids. There are pictures of dead bodies, of the wounded, of car crash victims. Sometimes blood is dripping, although Wallis says the photographs steer away from the gory. In fact, the exhibit contrasts several of Weegee’s photographs with much more graphic police forensic photos of the same scene. (read more here or here)
Exhibition dates: January 20 - September 2, 2012 at ICP, New York
Another Weegee exhibiton:
Weegee - Retrospective 1932-1960 (Auer Ory Photo Collection)’ at Westlicht in Vienna (Nov 22., 2011 - Feb. 2, 2012; more information: see previous post).
NINA LEEN - “Woman’s Dilemma - Housewife Marjorie McWeeney with broom amidst symbolic display of her week’s housework at Bloomingdale’s store including 35 beds to be made, 750 items of glass & china, 400 pieces of silverware to wash, 174 pounds of food to prepare”. 1947. New York, NY, USA. (Life).
BERNARD & HILLA BECHER - Gas Tanks
Bernard “Bernd” Becher and Hilla Becher were German artists working as a collaborative duo. They are best known for their extensive series of photographic images, or typologies, of industrial buildings and structures.
Together, the Bechers went out with a large 8 x 10-inch view camera and photographed these buildings from a number of different angles, but always with a straightforward “objective” point of view. They shot only on overcast days, so as to avoid shadows, and early in the morning during the seasons of spring and fall.
Their systematic photography of functionalist architecture, often organizing their pictures in grids, brought them recognition as conceptual artists as well as photographers. As the founders of what has come to be known as the ‘Becher school’ they have brought their influence in a unique way to bear on generations of documentary photographers and artists. The Becher school has influenced a number of (mainly) German photographers including Andreas Gursky and Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky.
Watch a video about them here.