The Historic New Orleans Collection
Williams Research Center
410 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70130
December 3, 2010
Following our Focus On Publishing symposium, The Historic New Orleans Collection hosts a group book signing event, featuring local authors and special festival guests from elsewhere. Presented in partnership with Octavia Books, this event immediately precedes the Michael Kenna keynote lecture in the same location.
Dave Anderson – One Block
Michelle Bates – Toying with Creativity
Julie Blackmon – Domestic Vacations
Jackie Brenner – Friday Night Grind
Mario Tama – Coming Back: New Orleans Resurgent
Ashley Merlin – Statuesque New Orleans
Sylvia Plachy – Self Portrait with Cows Going Home
Christopher Porché West – New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost
Multiple Artists – Before (During) After
Dave Anderson: One Block: A New Orleans Neighborhood Rebuilds
Dave Anderson’s One Block follows the reconstruction of a single New Orleans block in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, delivering a powerful portrait of the storm’s ongoing physical and psychological impact on the city and its residents. Using portraiture, still lifes and abstract images, Anderson documents the evolution of both the street and its houses as residents literally rebuild their lives, exploring the very nature of community while testing its resilience. Anderson’s compassionate treatment of the neighborhood’s straitened financial circumstances and its courageous reconstruction has drawn comparisons to coverage of the Great Depression by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and other Farm Security Administration-funded photographers. Seventy years later, between the devastation left by Katrina and the current housing crisis, the stability and permanence of the American home are once again in jeopardy, lending Anderson’s record a heightened, timely pertinence. One Block is an extension of Anderson’s optimistic belief that the good within each of us is what unites us, as well as his hope that this commonality will afford us the grace to both endure and emerge from our current turmoil. Includes a foreword by Chris Rose.
Sylvia Plachy: Self Portrait With Cows Going Home
Sylvia Plachy proves you can go home again and again in this stunning photographic voyage to her native Hungary. Plachy weaves together contemporary and vintage photographs, mementos and pictures of movie sets (including several from her son Adrien Brody’s Oscar-winning turn in Roman Polanski’s The Pianist). Together, these pieces come together like a puzzle, recreating an Eastern Europe that has weathered dictatorships, two world wars and is now opening up, confusedly, to democracy. The images of stray shadows, apartment buildings studded with bullet holes, and eerie reflections are as evocative as they are subtle. They remind us that great photographs don’t have to rely on shock value to move or disturb. Plachy accents her work with memorable vignettes of her childhood in Communist Hungary as well as of her repeated journeys back east as an adult and an American citizen. One of the most touching of these small stories involves the photographer’s grief-stricken mother, inconsolable after the deaths of her parents in Auschwitz. One day, while her mother stared at a framed photo of her deceased parents, she saw a gold moth land on the glass. “From then on golden butterflies and moths were sacred,” writes Plachy. As the book goes on, relative after relative surrounds herself with images to bring back lost loved ones. By the book’s end, we see Plachy herself doing the same thing and realize that through this book she has invited us on a private tour of a lost world, a journey that’s as poignant as it is unforgettable. 22 four-color and 98 duotone images.
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Christopher Porché West: New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost
The eighty-eight stories and traditions in New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost are the piano keys in a love song to the city. Playing alongside the alluring black-and-white photographs of Christopher Porché West note by note, New Orleans’ culture bearers pay tribute to the city they call home. From Storyville to the Super Bowl, from cover to cover you’ll read from those who win our Pulitzer Prizes–four of them gathered on these pages; cook our Creole food; design our floats and costumes; flip forward over tourists lying on the pavement like matchsticks across from Jackson Square; protect our historic landmarks; teach our children; write our poems and articles and novels and plays; and pass down our traditions in the performance of New Orleans culture. The proceeds will be donated to Sweet Home New Orleans, a local nonprofit supporting the individuals and organizations that will perpetuate New Orleans’ unique musical and cultural traditions.
Michelle Bates: Plastic Cameras: Toying With Creativity
Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity takes photographers on a tour of the fun, creative world of toy cameras and low-tech photography. Learn about the burgeoning world of plastic cameras in this fun and funky guide to creating the most artistic pictures of your life. Whether you’re an experienced enthusiast or toy camera neophyte, you’ll find this book full of tantalizing tips, fun facts, and absolutely striking photographs. You’ll learn how to prep your plastic camera, their advantages and quirks, and what film to feed it. You’ll also explore what makes a good subject, vignetting, multiple exposures, panoramas, close-ups, night photography, color, flash, problems and solutions, and so much more. Bates also takes you from a negative to either prints or pixels so that you can show off your photos and jump on the toy-camera revolution.
Author Michelle Bates and several contributors will be available to sign copies, including: Gordon Stettinius, Louviere & Vanessa, Sylvia Plachy, Jennifer Shaw and (after his lecture) Michael Kenna.
Mario Tama: Coming Back: New Orleans Resurgent
Mario Tama’s moving body of award-winning pictures document Hurricane Katrina’s shocking disaster and the resilience of recovery, hope, and change. As a news photographer for Getty Images, Tama’s powerful imagery of events like September 11th, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the funeral of Pope John Paul II, and the earthquake in Haiti have appeared in major magazines and newspapers internationally. His numerous honors include the prestigious Cliff Edom’s New America Award at the NPPA Best of Photojournalism Awards, POY Year International, White House News Photographers Association, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, UNICEF Photo of the Year, and Care International Award for Humanitarian Reportage. In 2008 Tama was nominated for an Emmy Award for his Coney Island series, and his work on Baghdad’s orphans was exhibited at Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan. Features an introduction by Anderson Cooper.
Julie Blackmon: Domestic Vacations
The Dutch saying, “a Jan Steen household,” originated in the 17th century and has come to be used to refer to a home in disarray, full of rowdy children and boisterous family gatherings. The paintings of Steen, along with those of other Dutch and Flemish genre painters, are the direct inspiration behind the layered, domestic scenes of Blackmon’s work. Raised as the oldest of nine children, with three herself, Blackmon takes an approach to her work that is at once autobiographical and fictional. Blackmon sees life’s most poignant moments as a fusion of fantasy and reality, the mythic amidst chaos. Anne Wilkes Tucker of the Houston Museum of Fine Art has said of her work, “she’s taken a subject that is ripe for cliché—mother photographing children— and through the subtle, digital manipulations, the use of color and highly graphic images, she’s given it humor and edge and taken the subject somewhere fresh.”
Julie Blackmon is an award-winning photographer who has amassed several honors since beginning her career just a few years ago. Her work is in the collections of the Kemper Museum of Art in Kansas City, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, among others.
Ashley Merlin: Statuesque New Orleans
Ashley Merlin captures two centuries of beautiful—but at times under appreciated—statues and monuments throughout the Greater New Orleans area in Statuesque New Orleans. Merlin, is a native New Orleanian whose work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including a solo show for the release of Statuesque at the UNO/St Claude Art Gallery.
From Andrew Jackson astride his horse in Jackson Square to Enrique Alferez’s beautiful works, Statuesque features 197 stunning color photographs of works ranging from 1850 to the present.
In addition to the photographs and their accompanying summation (which includes date, sculptor, location and background), the book features indexes of every statue by name and artist. For those inclined to seek out their favorite treasures, Statuesque also features ten neighborhood maps of the Greater New Orleans area.
Jackie Brenner: Friday Night Grind
New Orleans is at once elegant, cultured, and refined, yet dilapidated, boisterous, and vulgar. To document these eccentricities, Jackie Brenner is drawn to subjects that expose the night people of her hometown, with Bourbon Street strip clubs as the perfect tease. Gaining entry into this darkened, shadowy world was difficult. Friday nights were chosen to penetrate the fantasy, harshness, and humanity of the stripper’s world; to become a witness to the reality of their ‘otherwordly’ existence. The project began expecting the strippers to be mere objects and it finished knowing these ladies as human beings. Jackie Brenner’s enigmatic images now serve as historical record of the time before Hurricane Katrina’s devastation created another obstacle in the path for all of us who are addicted to the character of New Orleans.
Before (During) After
Before, During, After is a visual and literary narrative of how Hurricane Katrina has transformed the lives and work of twelve photographers from Southeast Louisiana. Five years after the storm’s wake, we look back to discover Katrina’s imprint on the creative expression of each artist. The book emphasizes not only the effect of Hurricane Katrina but also the way individuals are influenced by their environments, particularly in times of dramatic upheaval. Adding depth to the pictorial representation, each photographer has written an intimate account of how Katrina changed his or her life, work and vision of the future.
Featuring Eric Paul Julian, Elizabeth Kleinveld, Rowan Metzner, David Rae Morris, Thomas Neff, Samuel Portera, Frank Relle, Jennifer Shaw, Mark Sindler, Zack Smith, Jonathan Traviesa and Lori Waselchuk. Multiple contributors will be on hand to sign.
Several titles by Micheal Kenna will also be available for purchase before his lecture, which he will sign after the presentation.