January 29, 2016

Friday Round Up - 29 January, 2016

This week on Friday Round Up -  a photo essay on Tijuana's AIDS crisis, plus three very different exhibitions - PM New York Daily: 1940-48 (New York), Francesa Woodman (Amsterdam) and Martin Parr (Sydney).

Photo Essay & Book:

Tomorrow Is a Long Time

Sergio Borrego, who helps run Tijuana's Albergue Las Memorias HIV/AIDS hospice, puts a net over the face of Pedro Robles, 51, to prevent flies bothering him as he dies of AIDS. Pedro arrived at Las Memorias with full-blown AIDS six days earlier, but because of bureaucratic delays in Tijuana's medical system he received no HIV medication and died without having seen a doctor. Malcolm Linton/Polaris

In Tijuana AIDS afflicts many of the city’s poorest who live along the Tijuana River Canal in slum conditions. Photographer Malcolm Linton and writer Jon Cohen spent two years documenting the impact of HIV/AIDS and their work appears in the book Tomorrow Is a Long Time.

In an interview with Mother Jones, Cohen said, "Our aim was to describe people's lives in enough detail to make you care about them, and these are people who for the most part live in the shadows of communities and are ignored or outright despised".

Linton said when the opportunity to do the book came up he had just retrained as a nurse and was about to give up photography as "the market had gotten so bad...I went to Tijuana (and) began by working as a volunteer nurse there for the UCSD project that was looking at the link between injection and HIV in Tijuana. So I got to know the people living in the canal because I would run the HIV tests on them much of the time. They'd come to the research office, and they'd meet me. Pretty soon I told them that I was also a photographer and that I was interested in doing this project.

"The canal is foul. The ground is covered in used syringes, human excrement, bits of food, rats, and cockroaches. So I bought myself a small folding stool... I'd simply go down there and unfold my stool beside a group of people who were sitting around shooting up. And sit there, for maybe 20 minutes, half an hour, exchange the odd comment, and that was about it. There wasn't a need to say a whole lot. It was as much simply being there, and spending time, that earned me some sort of credibility."

These images are visceral and the story equally difficult to read knowing that with proper medical care many of these people would have a good chance at survival. But as Cohen said that may be the case in wealthy countries; it is the most vulnerable who “slip through the cracks”. And the figures are startling. Less than half the world’s 37 million HIV positive people receive treatment and live in countries where medical care is not readily available. And that's the recorded cases. How many others are under the radar is unknown.

Cohen has been covering the AIDS epidemic since 1990. He said, "I used to visit AIDS wards that had hundreds of people dying from HIV untreated. I never see that anymore. But things improved so dramatically because people the world over made noise about what was going wrong. Tomorrow Is a Long Time is in that same tradition".

To read the full interview visit Mother Jones
Outside her makeshift shelter in a section of the Tijuana River Canal known as El Bordo, Reyna Ortiz holds a heroin syringe in her mouth. Reyna was in one of the highest risk groups for HIV: a female who injected drugs and had regular unprotected sex with a male addict who was also injecting. Malcolm Linton/Polaris

Dr. Patricia González presses on a patient's neck at a Friday first-aid clinic that she began in July 2014 in the Tijuana River Canal. Malcolm Linton/Polaris

Villareal smokes crystal meth one evening in his room at a boardinghouse in downtown Tijuana. Malcolm Linton/Polaris

Transgender sex worker Fernanda Sánchez waits for clients at night on a street in Tijuana's red-light district. Transgender women and gay men have the highest HIV infection rates of any group in Tijuana. Malcolm Linton/Polaris

New York - Stephen Kasher Gallery

PM New York Daily: 1940-48


First published in June 1940, the richly illustrated PM New York Daily and the Sunday version PM Weekly were vehicles for socially progressive thought. Its mandate was clear - “PM is against people who push other people around. PM accepts no advertising. PM belongs to no political party. PM is absolutely free and uncensored. PM’s sole source of income is its readers — to whom it alone is responsible. PM is one newspaper that can and dares to tell the truth.” 

"PM considered photography a foremost instrument for communicating truth as opposed to objectivity, in the same vein as leftist illustrated periodicals from interwar Europe, such as Arbeiten Illustrierte Zeitung, Vu, and Ce Soir. PM declared that photographers are a vital and integral part of the very idea of PM — that they would write stories with photographs, as report­ers wrote them in words." 

Despite attracting renowned photographers including Margaret Bourke-White, Ralph Steiner and Weegee, and writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker and Tip O’Neill, founder Ralph Ingersoll, the former managing editor of Time-Life Publications couldn’t make PM pay. With a mandate to accept no advertising, PM’s loyal readership wasn’t enough to cover costs and in 1948 PM closed its doors. 

But its legacy lives on and PM New York Daily: 1940-48 features more than 75 black and white photographs from PM staff and freelancers showing the breadth of coverage that appeared within the pages of this groundbreaking publication. 

Bernie Aumuller

Gene Badger

Helen Levitt

Irving Haberman

Margaret Bourke-White

Morris Engel


Photographers on show: Weegee, Helen Levitt, Morris Engel, Margaret Bourke-White, Lisette Model, Mary Morris, Irving Haberman, and Arthur Leipzig.

PM New York Daily: 1940-48
Until 20 February
Steven Kasher Gallery
515 W. 26th St.
New York

FOAM - Amsterdam

Francesca Woodman - On Being An Angel 
Francesa Woodman Untitled MacDowell Colony Peterborough New Hampshire 1980 
(C) George and Betty Woodman

During her short life, American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958-1981) used self-portraiture to explore gender, representation, sexuality and corporality inserting herself as the subject in each image or on occasion using stand-ins. At the age of 22 she committed suicide leaving several hundred silver gelatine prints of which 102 photographs including several large-format diazotype prints and six short videos are on show at Foam. Since her death her work has been exhibited widely and she is said to have inspired artists around the world. 

Francesc Woodman Self-portrait talking to Vince Providence Rhode Island 1977 
(C) George and Betty Woodman

Francesca Woodman From Space2 providence Rhode Island 1976
(C) George and Betty Woodman

Francesca Woodman Self deceit 1 Rome Italy 1978 
(C) George and Betty Woodman

Francesca Woodman Untitled Rome Italy 1977-78
(C) George and Betty Woodman
Until 9 March
Foam Fotografiemuseum
Keizersgracht 609, Amsterdam
Sydney - ACP

Martin Parr - Life’s a Beach 

It is fitting that Magnum photographer Martin Parr’s exhibition 'Life’s a Beach' is housed at the Bondi Pavilion Gallery on the shore of one of Australia’s most iconic beaches. Taken over a number of years on beaches around the world from Italy, China, Japan, the US and the UK, 'Life’s a Beach' is Parr at his irreverent best. Loud, kaleidoscopic, banal, bizarre.

Until 27 March
Bondi Pavilion Gallery
Queen Elizabeth Drive
Bondi Beach

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