Category: Photography

Bill Hayes’s Insomniac City: A Beautiful Tribute to New York and Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks. Photograph: Bill Hayes.
Oliver Sacks. Photograph: Bill Hayes.

Started reading Bill Hayes‘s memoir, Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me yesterday afternoon, and didn’t stop until the final page. Through a series of reflections and intimate diary entries, the book offers a revealing account of Hayes’s relationship with the late neurologist Oliver Sacks. The book is also a love letter to New York, and captures “the evanescent, the eavesdropped, the unexpected” nature of the city through brief vignettes and black and white portraits. Björk even makes an appearance. And another one. I laughed and cried at several points. Beautiful style. Wonderful photographs. Truly life affirming. To sum it up, I’m reminded of something Oliver Sacks said which Hayes recorded in his diary:

“4-22-15

O: ‘The most we can do is to write—intelligently, creatively, critically, evocatively—about what it is like living in the world at this time.’”

— Bill Hayes, Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me

Advertisements

Women in Trousers: A Visual Archive 1850-1960

Free public exhibition at Cardiff University on 20 November 2017, 5.30pm

women-trousers-cardiff-university.jpg

Women in Trousers: A Visual Archive, offers a gallery of images from 1850-1960 that together tells part of the story of women in trousers as a history of women’s social, political and cultural protest and change. From Joan of Arc to George Sand, Mary Edwards Walker to Marlene Dietrich and Colette to Coco Chanel, trouser-wearing women have been associated with transgressive acts of protest and play. Linked with periods of social and political upheaval, women’s liberation, radical thought, aesthetic innovation and erotic freedom, trouser-wearing women have historically represented an illegitimate assumption of male authority and power – of ‘wearing the trousers’ – that destabilises fixed notions of sexual difference and threatens the very fabric of the social order.”

Visit the Eventbrite page to book your free ticket.

Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife

8bd91-vivian-maier-6
Vivian Maier

“[Pamela Bannos‘s Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife] braids together three strands: a brisk, rather generic history of American photography; a biography of Maier; and a withering account of how the artist has been represented since her death. ‘My goal was always to recognize and give Maier agency within her own story,’ Bannos writes. She tries to dislodge the portrayal of Maier as a mysterious, freakish figure, and to see a person where others have seen mostly pathology: her hoarding and possible paranoia.”

— Parul Sehgal, The New York Times

Robert Macfarlane: Reading On Location

What is it like to read a literary work in the place where it is set? To read John Steinbeck‘s The Grapes of Wrath in the Oklahoma panhandle? Or Bruce Chatwin‘s In Patagonia in Patagonia? Robert Macfarlane recently asked followers on Twitter for their personal experiences of what he calls “in situ reading”, and has managed to collect all kinds of examples:

“So the thread grew and spread into a glorious scatter of micro-geographies, a many-sited memory map of located readings. I only joined Twitter in March, after a lifetime in social media purdah. I don’t know why I waited so long. The small region of Twitter-terrain into which I’ve wandered is, so far, a place of community spirit, exchange, kindness, good humour and hope.”

— Robert Macfarlane, The Guardian