Looking Through A New Lens: Paris Photo Debuts in LA
©Fred Herzog, Curtains, 1972. Courtesy of Paris Photo
Paris Photo has been annually celebrating the crossing of boundaries since 1997, and now, the French art fair is taking it a step further: by coming to the iconic Paramount Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. Because Paris Photo explores and exhibits the construction and evolution of still and moving images, Los Angeles is the logical and ideal site choice. The event is huge, hosting 71 international galleries and publishers from 14 countries. Of the 59 participating galleries, many are also exhibiting solo artist shows. Last year, the event took place at the Grand Palais, and attracted 54,000. Starting today, April 26, there will be exhibitions, screenings, conversations with and between artists, and more through the weekend.
©Danny Lyon, Crossing the Ohio, 1966. Courtesy of Paris Photo
Paris Photo's director, Julien Frydman, reached out to independent curator Douglas Fogle to conceptualize and coordinate a new section of the fair: Sound and Vision. The new program is a series of screenings, presentations, and dialogues between artists. There will be six conversations in the three days, each with a pair of artists. The 12 artists include Catherine Opie, Phil Collins, and Doug Aitken, and the conversations take place at 2:00 and 4:30 each afternoon. Some of the pairings will feature artists who do very similar work to each other’s, while others utilize images very differently; illustrating the depth and versatility of the photographic medium is the point of the program, and indeed, the point of the entire fair. Fogle explains:
“I love that [the artists] are coming from different places. And I want to have a conversation to see what they have in common, their differences, their career arcs, how they've approached the media. I hope what comes out of that is a cumulative discussion of the expanded notion of photography and moving image work.”
Fogle calls LA “the home of the moving image world”, and so it is “an historic and symbolic gesture to come to Paramount.” Whether a child born in the States grows up in Los Angeles or not, the child knows Hollywood’s language of images from a very young age. Whether we were born in the 20th or 21st century, we have passed in front of more cameras and seen more images than we can ever know or calculate. Fogle in part looks forward to the artists’ conversations because they are a change of pace:
“It's a strange antidote to the sea of images washing over us. They really slow us down, some of them to really get us to see deeper. Because we see a lot now, we see volume, but we don't always look."
©Tierney Gearon, Untitled (Plate 5), From the Shapes Series, 2012 Courtesy of the artist, Jackson Fine Art (Atlanta), and Paris Photo
Fogle goes on to say that “LA is defined by the artists who live here.” The fair will have selections from a plethora of international galleries, but LA will be well-represented from 13 galleries across LA, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica, as well as one bookseller-publisher. Additionally, those interested are invited to check online for meetings with the photographers and book signing sessions at www.parisphoto.com. Full rate entry is $28, students $20, and free admission to children under 12. The fair is open 12-7PM Friday 4/26 and Saturday 4/27, and Sunday 4/28, 12-6PM.
Listen as Douglas Fogle shares his thoughts on the ubiquity of photographs, thanks to smart phones and other camera devices: