06 June 2010

fictographica005: Wilfred Eng

For much of his life he had operated a commercial portrait studio on Grant Street in San Francisco, which he occasionally closed to indulge his famous wanderlust. Among the Aperture images reprinted from the 1870s was a picture made in that studio of a Chinese woman and her son seated on the same divan as the one in the self-portraits. The pattern of the fabric matched. A small tear appeared in one corner. When I bent over the broken plate with a loupe, I saw the same tear and said, "Holy shit," out loud. The five self-portraits had been made in San Francisco  and must have been brought here some time later. Eng must have brought them himself. Given that they were cumbersome and easily broken, I wondered why he'd bothered. Vanity, maybe. "This man loves his mirrors," Alfred Stieglitz had observed when the two first met. In 1912 he had invited Eng to show at his 291 Gallery, which had marked the beginning of their prickly friendship. "Wherever we walked, even along busy streets," Stieglitz wrote, "he was forever giving bird-like twitches of his head in order to catch glimpses of himself in shop windows."
--The Lost Glass Plates of Wilfred Eng

PRC hires George Slade as new Program Manager/Curator

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May 5, 2010

George Slade Hired as New PRC Program Manager/Curator

The Photographic Resource Center is proud to announce that George Slade will join the PRC on May 17 as the new Program Manager/Curator. He will be replacing Jason Landry, who is leaving the PRC to take ownership of the Panopticon Gallery in Boston.

Slade is a Minnesota native and long-time resident. He has curated and juried exhibitions there for over fifteen years, first as an independent curator and consultant, then as the Artistic Director of the Minnesota Center for Photography in Minneapolis from 2003 to 2008. Among his curatorial projects at MCP were "Three Gorges," surveying work by 22 Chinese, European, and North American photographers recording change along China's Yangtze River caused by the Three Gorges Dam Project, and a retrospective of esteemed Amherst-resident photographer Jerome Liebling.

In 2008, as the Adjunct Assistant Curator of Photographs at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, he coordinated the MIA presentation of "Friedlander," the traveling retrospective of Lee Friedlander's photography originally curated by Peter Galassi for its 2005 appearance at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC).

From 1998 to 2008, Slade was the Director for the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Photographers Program which makes four $25,000 awards to Minnesota-resident photographers each year

Slade received his B.A from Yale in American Studies. His thesis was on 1960s American photography advised by Alan Trachtenberg, and he studied photographic practice while at Yale with Todd Papageorge.

"The PRC is looking forward to working on our programming and exhibitions with such a knowledgeable and accomplished curator, scholar, and writer," said Glenn Ruga, PRC Executive Director. "His wealth of experience and insights in contemporary photography will be a tremendous asset to the organization."

For more information, contact:
Glenn Ruga
Executive Director
617-975-0600 (w)
617-417-5981 (c)

The Photographic Resource Center (PRC) at Boston University is an independent non-profit organization that serves as a vital forum for the exploration and interpretation of new work, ideas, and methods in photography and related media.
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03 June 2010


I'm expanding my base of operations from Minnesota to Massachusetts. Not that it matters much in the virtual world of blogs, but it's of interest that I'm physically spending quite a bit of time in the East these days. In May I started a new job, as the program manager and curator of the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University (PRC), a 35-year-old organization started by Chris Enos, Carl Chiarenza, A. D. Coleman, and others to serve the burgeoning photography community of Boston and the New England states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut for those of you whose geography has gotten a bit weak).

It's great that I'm in the midst of dozens, if not scores or hundreds, of venues interested in photography; it's almost overwhelming to consider how many photographic artists of note are close at hand. I used to measure the neighborhood of MCP with a 525-mile radius circle around Northeast Minneapolis. That measured how far I'd driven in a day. Here, a same-sized circle extends downshore past Nag's Head into North Carolina, upcoast past Maine and New Brunswick to Nova Scotia, and inland to Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and London (Ontario). Not quite to Indianapolis, where my Minnesota-centric circle reached; the two circles don't quite touch.

Since that circle encompasses New York City (among other places), I've got to recalibrate and downsize my appetite and my scope. One thing I'm taking care of, and hoping to invigorate as a space for dialogue and commentary, is the PRC's blog. Check it out via the link below.

Boston Photography Focus (PRC blog)

I look forward to getting oriented in the new space.