Well, the list is finally out for tomorrow night’s NYC Slideluck show. I just want to say thank you to Alys and Casey, the founders, for including me in this line-up of fantastic artists. My guess is that it is going to be some event, so I highly recommend you RSVP and send your membership money today. What is also exciting about this event is that there has been a lot of discussion about blogging and its ultimate usefulness. Many people have said that no one important reads blogs. But to me that completely defeats the purpose of this kind of community building. Let’s face it, the people at the top are most likely not going to be the people who give you your first chance. I heard a photo editor speak to a group of students, and she basically said to them, send your books to assistants and people near the bottom of the food chain. She went on to say that those people will eventually rise up the food chain and you will go with them. But from her perspective if you send her your book, she is going to say “fuck off” I’ll see you when your famous. While the message was pretty harsh, I think that she had good advice. People who spend their time working with the most seasoned, top of the line artists, probably don’t have the time, patience, or inclination, to give an emerging person the attention they require. But there are plenty of people who are talented and who are successful who do want to see new work. What I love about blogging is that it is a community of people committed to their art and to trying to make a life out of being a photographer. This is not an easy task, so the more help you get the better. For instance, Andrew Hetherington, aka The Jackanory, introduced me to Casey at Erika Larsen’s opening party. And Dawn Roscoe and I have become cyber-buddies through Ground Glass and she very generously attended Slideshow Chicago for me. Now, her work is being featured in tomorrow night’s show.
One of the topics we addressed at the Humble Arts Panel at the 3rd Ward last weekend, is why women do not network with each other more. We considered a lot of things, and I don’t think there is one factor that is the final determiner. But most of us realized that all of our photographer friends were male. Not that there is anything wrong with that;) but at some point it is nice to have someone to talk to who understands the complex challenges that women face in the industry. So thanks to Sarah Small, we are going to all get together again to try and keep the community going. The most meaningful part of being on the panel was having other women email me or come up to me and say that my comments resonated with them, and that something I said was helpful to them. No matter how hard I fight it, I suffer from self-doubt about my work. I look at other people’s work and think, “wow I will never be that good.” Unfortunately, there is definitely a price to be paid for showing your vulnerability in this world. Many people find it to be a turn off or use it against you. My guess is that they probably feel the same if not worse than you do, but are desperate to hide it. But my work is explores self-loathing and self-hatred. Perhaps if you have never suffered from the kind of inner demon that drives you to depression and self-destructive behavior you cannot understand or tolerate it in others. But I feel nothing but compassion for the millions of women who feel some type of body hatred or self-esteem challenge. What I think is the most sad is that people dismiss these disorders as vanity. Or they devalue their significance in the light of other issues. But the pain and self-destruction that comes with the dis-satisfaction with the self, that most American women experience is a serious and devastating problem. And the fact that it is often seen as ‘selfish,’ or not that big of deal, goes to show how little women are valued in our culture. Unless they are given a monetary value, like the women from the Emperor’s Club. The struggle to find balance and a sense of value as a women in our current culture is not easy. But worth exploring.
Alessandra Sanguinetti/ Yossi Milo
CIA DE FOTO
David Burnett/ Contact Press
Jacob Silberberg/ Panos
Michael Muller/ Stockland Martel
Philip Jones Griffiths/Magnum
Serge Leblon/MS Logan