International Center of Photography (ICP) Museum

Venue  |  Exhibitions  |  Reviews

Violent Impact

by Charlie Schultz
It’s an open secret that in China creative liberties are extended at the behest of the government. In the confines of the studio anything goes, but outside those sacred walls it’s a different story. For many artists the trick to avoiding the authority’s paranoid scrutiny is to simply keep a low profile. Freedom of the unseen. Wang Qingsong (pronounced: Wong Ching-song) can’t stay out of sight. Wang works like a film director, creating elaborate stages and employing dozens of actors. On sight he tends to employ his own lookouts. When Worlds Collide is not only Wang Qingsong’s first major solo exhib... [more]
Posted by Charlie Schultz on 1/23/11

Commonly Surreal

by Kirsten Bengtson-Lykoudis
  In contrast to Tichy’s raw radicalism, the French Surrealism exhibition downstairs feels unexpectedly tame, like stepping into a showroom at Tiffany’s. Embedded with photographic jewels by Brassaï, Ilse Bing, Dora Maar, Man Ray, Hans Bellmer, Ubu and others and studded with Surrealist publications and films by Breton, Renoir and Buñuel, underlying sexual impulses are more subtly explored. Although considered ground breaking in its day, from a jaded 21st century perspective, it’s difficult to realize how revolutionary this work really was at the time. However, after a few minutes of Buñuel a... [more]
Posted by Kirsten Bengtson-Lykoudis on 2/14/10

19th Century Social Networking

America and the Tintype, now on view at the International Center of Photography, reinforces that, despite the rampant proliferation of arm’s-length self-portraits on today’s social networking sites, photography as a populist medium of self-expression and representation is nothing new. To say that the 1870s, when tintypes peaked in popularity, was far less saturated with images is a tremendous understatement. Yet somehow the people posing in these tiny, gem-like pictures had an innate savvy for photography’s ability to not just record, but also manipulate, reality. These subjects of 130 year... [more]
Posted by Trong Gia Nguyen on 10/5/08

Heavy Light from Japan

by Farrah Karapetian
More instructive than inspired, ICP's exhibition of recent photography and video from Japan takes as its burden several themes including the "the relationship of nature and the manmade world, the reexamination of Japanese tradition, personal identity as a form of costume play, and the role of the child as a cultural icon." These are honorable themes and the photographers have eyes that are by turns poetic, ironic, and frank. The show, though, exposes more the problematic of curatorial projects that seek too easily to describe culture than it reveals much in depth as far as the command of... [more]
Posted by Farrah Karapetian on 6/22/08