no strangers: ancient wisdom in a modern world

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© Steve McCurry
no strangers: ancient wisdom in a modern world
Curated by: Wade Davis

2000 Avenue of the Stars
Century Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90067
November 17th, 2012 - February 24th, 2013
Opening: November 17th, 2012 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

santa monica/venice
Wed,Thurs, Fri, Sun 11 - 6; Sat 11-7:30
film, documentary, photography


The Annenberg Space for Photography is pleased to announce its next exhibit – no strangers: ancient wisdom in a modern world, a group show about the wonder of culture and the plight of indigenous people throughout the world.  The exhibit is guest curated by esteemed anthropologist, author and photographer Wade Davis.  

no strangers explores the ways cultures express a shared humanity and navigate the circle of life.  It poses a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive?  When the people of the world answer this question, they do so in 7,000 unique voices.  Tragically, half of these may be silenced within a generation or two.  At risk is our human legacy, a vast archive of knowledge and expertise.

Photographers featured in the exhibit are Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, Wade Davis, Chris Johns, Lynn Johnson, Steve McCurry, Randy Olson, Chris Rainier and Hamid Sardar.  Also included are Timothy Allen, Caroline Bennett, James P. Blair, Edward Burtynsky, David Hiser, Aaron Huey, Thomas Kelly, Mauricio Lima, William Fernando Martinez, James Stanfield, Brent Stirton, Amy Toensing, Jeroen Toirkens, A Yin and Gordon Wiltsie.

The exhibit will feature an original short documentary produced by Arclight Productions for the Annenberg Space for Photography.  Filmed in many locations, from Washington, DC to British Columbia, Canada to London to Mongolia, the documentary will feature additional photographs, interviews and behind the scenes footage with exhibit photographers, indigenous people and experts.  The film will examine indigenous cultures through photography’s lens and encourage viewers to consider ancient traditions in a new context.

The themes explored in the exhibit include: The Circle of Life, Our Shared Origins, Ancient Wisdom, Sacred Geography, Endangered, Globalization, Ritual & Passages, Beauty, Quest for Spirit and Joy of Culture.

Exhibit images present cultures such as the Tibetan Buddhists of Nepal and their 2,500-year-old traditions; the last rainforest nomads who struggle to survive in Borneo; Ethiopian tribes who participate in bull-jumping as a ritual of tribal membership and manhood; and the Lakota in South Dakota who continue their spiritual ceremonies such as Sun Dances and the use of sweat lodges.  no strangers celebrates our diverse and sometimes unfamiliar world.

The Photography Space's successful IRIS Nights lecture series will continue to offer free presentations featuring photographers and guest artists who document rare and indigenous cultures.

The Annenberg Space for Photography will publish an exhibit catalogue showcasing the work of these 24 photographers and their images of rare and distinctive cultures.  Also offered for purchase will be a seminal book on body painting and adornment by photographers of African culture, Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher, Painted Bodies: African Body Painting, Tattoos, and Scarification, Rizzoli, September 2012.  The public will also be able to purchase no strangers street banners from a selection of four stunning images by renowned photographers who have travelled the world.  Proceeds from merchandise will be used for the Annenberg Space for Photography, which is free to the community.

This exhibit opens to the public in Los Angeles on November 17, 2012 and runs through February 24, 2013.