LaToya Ruby Frazier: Notion of Family
LaToya Ruby Frazier’s complex work recounts the social injustice in her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a community pushed to despair after the closing of the steel mills and other vital infrastructure. The socio-political instability that has destroyed the African-American community in Braddock as what she describes “contemporary day redlining”. An on-going documentation in words, still photos, and videos that has covered nearly 10 years so far, she mixes social commentary with an intimate glance into her troubled relationship with her mother, and her connection to her grandmother.
Her photography and video is utterly poetic, distressing and intimate and in a generous Q&A she highlighted the collaboration with her mother, who serves as a subject but also an artist. A powerful end to the series of Master’s talks at Look3 2011: Frazier touched on themes that wove throughout festival – working from anger and to the urgent need to document and share human injustices that news media often steers away from, Frazier’s powerful work left an absolutely searing and gripping impression.
David Liittschwager: One Cubic Foot:
David Liittschwager presented his fascinating wildlife project recording how much life grows or passes through one cubic foot of space either in the water or on the ground. In short: a lot.
The placement of the cube frame was based on the advice of biologists and done in Central Park, Morea, San Francisco Bay and Costa Rica. His cube spaces can hold anywhere from 100 to 2.6 billion specimens and hundreds of species. Liitschwager’s beautiful documentation and close collaboration with scientists has helped illuminate the surprising multitude of life found in fragile ecosystems, and presents viewers a unique way to grasp the scale of life (and lifeforms) in our world.
Steve McCurry: The Last Roll of Kodachrome
A film made legend in song and by the master’s who captured iconic images rendered in its unique tonalities, Eastman Kodak ceased production of Kodachrome in 2009. In a story closely followed by photography enthusiasts around the world – Steve McCurry was given the last roll of Kodachrome produced. He made a circuitous trip to the last lab still processing the film in Parsons, Kansas – via India, Turkey and New York – carefully snapping 36 frames along the way.
During the third and final round of Look3 Masters talks in the Paramount Theater, McCurry discussed the experience of shooting that last roll. Interviewed by Tony Bannon, Director of George Eastman House – he walked the audience through the story of the frames captured on that final cassette and the journey to the lab in Parsons. Despite the romantic ideal of the passing Kodachrome era, McCurry told the audience in response to an audience question: “I don’t look back”. McCurry instead focuses on what he’ll do next.