New York Photo Festival 09

DUMBO Brooklyn
powerHouse Books, 2009

All over the Place!

What could possibly connect Edward Steichen’s spectacular – and to this day, controversial – exhibition, The Family of Man (here represented by a virtual visit,  thanks to 3D-modeling software), with Jacob Holdt’s unsparing view of southern American life in the 70s? Or with Robert Walker’s brilliant flowers, which outclass anything else the genre has seen in recent decades? What are early Ernst Haas photographs, taken thirty or forty years ago, going here, in a festival of “the new and never seen before?” And why (at the other end of the spectrum), have I include “The Flow” – this “live,” unedited, ceaseless river of images (thanks to special software developed by Switzerland’s high-tech university, the EPFL) – sent via Internet by amateurs and professionals from around the globe? Finally, add a dozen contemporary photographers with disparate subject matter and styles. Where’s the connective tissue?
All over the place! Is where photography is at the moment, and it suits me fine.

William A. Ewing