This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – American documentary photographer and educator Susan Dooley’s Retro*Perspective exhibition in Huntington, New York, and the Bronx Documentary Center’s show featuring work by Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington.
Exhibitions: New York State
Susan Dooley – Retro*Perspective: a photographic journey
One of the immensely rewarding aspects of my job as a journalist and photography commentator is that I get to meet amazing people from all over the world and am exposed to photography I may not have otherwise come across.
I first met New York State-based Susan Dooley in Sydney a few years back. We later ran into each other in New Zealand and on another occasion I took her on a tour of the galleries in Melbourne. By the time we caught up in New York last year we had become firm friends.
Dooley began her career as a newspaper photojournalist, later moving into education – she has recently retired as a Full Professor and Chair of the Art Department at Nassau Community College in New York.
Dooley says, ” my photography is an integral part of my life and has been for as long as I can remember…As a result of my teaching, as well as my continued studies, I became much more interested in photography’s role in the Arts and, though my photographic style still reflects my training as a photojournalist…my work has become much more personal”.
This exhibition tracks her visual journey, from those early days spent reporting the news to her documentary practice informed by a sharp eye and inquisitive mind, and also by a searching soul.
“All of my work is now related to the events of my life, but it is more than that. My world becomes real only when seen through the viewfinder. Whether it is a location I am experiencing for the first time, a friend’s battle against breast cancer, a family function or a social event, all things take on an added reality for me when I photograph them…the world is not real until it is photographed.”
Retro*Perspective features her early black and white work as well as more recent colour photography.
While the title of this show is indicative of Dooley’s acknowledgment that it is her perspective that is reflected in these images, taken in the US and on her world travels, this collection reaches beyond one photographer’s experience. In this way photography is transcendent, and while its messaging may be influenced by the photographer’s eye and the viewer’s own experiences, it provides a unique way to engage in conversation.
October 31 to November 24
Opening Reception: Sat., November 3, 5-7 pm
Gallery Talk by Artist: Sun., November 18, 2 pm
fotofoto gallery, 14 W Carver Street, Huntington, New York. All images (C) Susan Dooley
Exhibition: New York
Chris Hondros & Tim Hetherington – War and Peace in Liberia
Caught in a mortar attack while they were photographing dead rebel soldiers in Misrata, Libya, American photographer Chris Hondros (41yo) and British photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington (40yo) were both killed on 20 April, 2011. At the time they were two of the most respected, and awarded conflict photographers and their deaths sent shockwaves through the close knit journalistic community. Since then awards have been named in their honour: the Tim Hetherington Fellowship and the Chris Hondros Fund.
In 2014 I reviewed Chris Hondros’ book observing, “Within the covers of Testament sit the images of a master storyteller. Even though these photographs depict the horrors of war, through the blood, mayhem and destruction are the voices of those who came under the gaze of the late Chris Hondros, an American photojournalist. Here the wounded child, the frantic medic, the weeping father, the fatigued soldier, the displaced and the forgotten, the conquerors and the conquered are given the opportunity to speak…” (Read the full review here).
I haven’t written about Hetherington before, but a quote he made which features on the Tim Hetherington Trust site reveals his ethos: “I want to record world events, big History told in the form of a small history, the personal perspective that gives my life meaning and significance. My work is all about building bridges between myself and the audience.”
Tonight at the Bronx Documentary Center an exhibition opens featuring a selection of works from Hondros and Hetherington.
Until 16 December
Bronx Documentary Center — St Mary’s Annex, 364 E. 151st Street, Bronx