Photographically speaking, this has been a busy month.
Streetfoto San Francisco
For the second year, Ken Walton did another job of organizing Streetfoto San Francisco, a weeklong, multi venue festival of street photography that included workshops, contests, photowalks, lectures, and other activities. I wasn’t chosen as a contest finalist again this year, but I viewed the exhibits, and attended a few presentations, and to my eye, Ken has refined the event, and hit another home run. The speakers that I saw were engaging, and there was a peppy three person panel who did a “speed dating” critique of projected images, that was brutal in its criticism, but stimulating and thought provoking just the same.
I am looking forward to next year’s event.
Oakland Museum of California
I have always had a soft spot for local, or regional museums, and The Oakland Museum of California* is no exception. They are currently exhibiting “Dorthea Lange: The Politics of Seeing”, a powerful and moving exhibit that presents the work of this pioneering 20th Century photographer. Her work during the Great Depression is pretty well known, and “Migrant Mother has been on everything from postage stamps to T shirts.
Lange’s social conscience didn’t stop when the Depression ended.. After the Japanese Bombing of Pearl Harbor, the US Government targeted people of Japanese (along with others) descent, rounded them up, and put them into Internment Camps, or “Relocation Camps”.
Dorthea Lange was there, documenting this injustice, and the photos present another sad chapter in our County’s history. In display, there are documents and pictures that tell of grade school children who recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the US, and were then sent off to the Camps. The irony of this dehumanization is heartbreaking.
As I read the daily news, I can’t help thinking about how reactionary we are getting here in 2017.
Yesterday, on what was forecast to be the hottest day of the year so far, we went into San Francisco to visit Pier 24**.
How hot was it? Well, as we left the BART subway station, we followed this guy across The Embarcadero to The Ferry Building, the centerpiece of the row of Piers that make up San Francisco’s Historic Waterfront-
He must have used a bucket of sunscreen.
The Pier 24 show, titled “Grain of the Present”, exhibited some of the mid (20th) Century photographers whose work was descriptive of the world as they saw it-neither Documentary nor Journalism, but more expressionistic in nature. The show was complemented by a handful of contemporary photogs who continue working in this style.
Latoya Ruby Frazier
For notetaking purposes, I took some snaps of both the Lange and Pier 24 exhibits with my phone- None of these images are mine (except the naked guy), and I don’t mean for them to be anything more than visual reminders.