elin Ohara slavick

elin o'Hara slavick: After Hiroshima

South African Sugar Cane Worker, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Sugar Cane (2003-2007)

Zwelethu Mthethwa
SUGAR CANE (2003-2007)
Curated by Diego Cortez
John Hope Franklin Center, 2204 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27708
January 17 - extended to Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012

Link to John Hope Franklin Center information on the exhibit:

This small but powerful exhibition of seven chromogenic photographs of sugar cane workers in South Africa by Zwelethu Mthethwa is a must see. The show has been extended to Easter Sunday, April 8.


Hank Willis Thomas
A collaborative, multi-site exhibition, curated by Diego Cortez, January 20 – March 4, 2011, John Hope Franklin Center and Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Burning Room, Fresson color print


Bernard Faucon delivered an unforgettable lecture November 15, 2010 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His lecture was introduced by Diego Cortez who curated Faucon's current exhibition, "The Most Beautiful Day of My Youth," at the New Orleans Museum of Art (November 14, 2010 - March 13, 2011). Faucon also has another major solo exhibition at the Kobe Fashion Museum in Japan (October 21, 2010 - January 1, 2011) in which, for the first time, Faucon's mannequins are exhibited alongside the photographs of them. Two of the photographs of staged mannequins are actually reconstructed utilizing the same mannequins that are in the photographs.



Consumption is a small but spectacular show of color photographs by Kelsey Zyvoloski within the larger group exhibition HOLY MOLY: The Spirit of Food and the People Behind It at Golden Belt's Room 100 Gallery in Durham, NC. Zyvoloski is motivated by the fact that many people are oblivious to the origin of their food. Her Consumption series focuses on the distance food travels to reach our local Food Lion, Harris Teeter, or Whole Foods. In one series she buys fruits and vegetables and then draws their country or state of origin with molasses to represent the amount of oil it took to transport it to NC. Even though she utilizes molasses instead of oil because it is non-toxic, I thought it was oil when I looked at the photographs. One tablespoon of molasses represents 100 miles the produce had to travel to North Carolina. In another series of photographs, she chews produce, spits it out, and forms the mush into the shape of its country of origin.

Miyako Ishiuchi, Sweet Home Yokosuka

If you are in New York City, go see this current exhibition, Sweet Home Yokosuka 1976-1980, of one of Japan's best photographers, Ishiuchi Miyako at Andrew Roth Gallery, May 13 - June 25, 2010. In conjunction with the exhibition PPP Editions has published Sweet Home Yokosuka 1976-1980 - printing over 200 tri-tone photographs with a bilingual essay by the contemporary Japanese writer and filmmaker Nishikawa Miwa.


From the Andrew Roth Gallery website: Roth gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of vintage black-and-white photographs by the Japanese artist Ishiuchi Miyako. The images on view were selected from Ishiuchi’s three earliest series published as: Apartment (1978), Yokosuka Story (1979) and Endless Nights (1981). In conjunction with the exhibition PPP Editions has published Sweet Home Yokosuka 1976-1980 printing over 200 tri-tone photographs with a bilingual essay by the contemporary Japanese writer and filmmaker Nishikawa Miwa.

What I Keep, photo of Fred Albreight, a homeless carpenter, by Susan Mullally

A New Amazing Book of Photographs: WHAT I KEEP, Susan Mullally, Baylor University Press, 2010, with an introduction by elin o'Hara slavick

You can pre-order this book now, due out at the end of summer. Here is the introduction I wrote for the book:

What I Keep So You Can See Me

Susan Mullally's unforgettable color photographs of people who gather together in their "Church under the Bridge of I-35" make visible something we usually choose not to see. There is a young woman holding a photograph of her sweet baby girl with whom she cannot live because she does not have a place to live. There is a picture of an African-American woman holding her Junior High School diploma. This is the first time the woman has ever shown it to anyone. There is an unemployed carpenter who collects any stuffed animal that he finds so he can give them to the children he encounters during his homeless days. Most of us do not relate to these people because we have jobs, homes, families with whom we live and a comfortable routine. If we practice a faith with others, we probably worship in a temperature controlled interior environment that provides shelter, warmth and a refreshing respite from the natural elements and a welcome and deliberate pause in our daily patterns of behavior, usually with people who fall into similar ethnic, financial and political categories. According to their website, the Church under the Bridge is “an ordinary church made holy by His presence – black, white, brown, rich and poor, educated in the streets and the university, all worshipping the living God, who makes us one.”

Ben Vautier throws God into a river; performance photograph

Ben Vautier, Musse d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, France

until July 11, 2010

I wrote a review for Art Papers years ago of an exhibition by Ben Vautier at the much-missed partobject gallery in Carrboro, North Carolina. Partobject, a gallery for conceptual photography, was where I discovered Ben Vautier and could spend as much time as I wanted with photographs by Cathy Opie, Man Ray, Ari Marcopolous and others and talk about them with Kathy Hudson and Diego Cortez, the sister and brother dynamic duo who ran this incredible space. That Vautier show included relatively small constructed works that incorporated photographs, text and collage elements. While small, they were still formally and poetically powerful.