|Written by Andrew Hetherington|
|13 May 2008|
All going well the whole thing should be a bit of a mob scene so plan ahead. I have noticed that some of the timing between events leaves little time for lolly gagging especially if a change in location is required. There are of course multiple attractions at given times and there maybe some access issues as the venues all have limited capacity. As far as I am aware admittance is on a first come first served basis for non VIP's and I am sure festival curators Kathy Ryan, Martin Parr, Lesley A. Martin and Tim Barber won't have any difficulties, but you never know.
Wednesday night see’s the official launch party at the powerHouse arena kicking off NYPH 08 at 8.00pm although there appears to a little something called the Vernissage aka the Extra Secret Sneak Peak scheduled for 6.00pm. Either ways expect these happenings to be a who’s who of all the main festival players. In the meantime the opening party for the Tim Barber curated Various Photographs pavilion is happening up the street in and around the same time. This one runs from 7.00pm to 10.00pm and is free and open to the public. Expect a zoo with some 160 photographers taking part; so I fancy lining up for this one on the early side, cause this will be where all the cool kids will be hanging out and then taking my chances with the grown ups after.
Thursday see’s the festival get into gear proper with a full schedule of programming along side the curated pavilions. The featured artist talks run pretty short either an hour or 45 minutes. Highlight for me here is the opening act Roger Ballen. Aperture has teamed up as a festival partner and are presenting a special series of events running each evening from 5.00pm - 6.00pm. First up is In Conversation: with Martin Parr and Erik Kessels. It will be interesting to see how visible the prolific Mr. Parr is during the festival. This man has got his hand in just about everything photo, it's a wonder that he has any time left to go take pictures.
I am pleased to say I will have one picture in the festival as part of Portraiture: An Exhibition by Getty Images one of the many satellite shows that will circumvent the main pavilions. There will is an artists reception at 81 Front Street from 6.00pm - 8.00pm. Again check main site for full listing of satellite shows and events.
Then if we are up for it it will be a quick sprint to Book Soup: a panel discussion led by festival co-founder and powerHouse books CEO Daniel Power. Tonight's topic the future of photography book publishing with with five of powerHouse Books’ most acclaimed authors:
Harry Benson, author of R.F.K.: A Photographer’s Journal, discussing the future of photography and classic canons.
Leora Kahn, author of the Lucie Award-winning collection Darfur: Twenty Years of War and Genocide in Sudan and the forthcoming fall 2008 release Child Soldiers, discussing the power of photojournalism to affect sentiment.
Joseph Rodriguez, author of East Side Stories: Gang Life in East L.A., Juvenile, Flesh Life: Sex in Mexico, and the upcoming fall 2008 release Still Here: Stories After Katrina, speaking on the power of documentary photography to change attitudes.
Slava Mogutin, author of Lost Boys and NYC Go-Go, revealing how improvised situations can document an imaginary reality.
Brian Finke, author of Flight Attendants, discussing how improvised situations can document a reality.
Jamel Shabazz, author of Back in the Days, Seconds of My Life, A Time Before Crack, and The Last Sunday in June, speaking on how street photography can document a time and place.
Although we might end up skipping this one to catch our breath and stake a place on line at the giant book signing extravaganza which follows over at the powerHouse arena from 9.00pm - 10.00pm. An hour seems like a ludicrously short amount of time considering the line up: Lili Almog, Roger Ballen, Juliana Beasley, Harry Benson, Kevin Bubriski, Julia Calfee, Vivian Cherry, Livia Corona, Valdir Cruz, Lalla Essaydi, Larry Fink, Brian Finke, Ron Galella, Stephen Gill, Arlene Gottfried, Christopher Griffith, John Gruen, Alice Harris, David Alan Harvey, Henry Horenstein, Ellen Jong, Leora Kahn, Seth Kushner & Anthony LaSala, Christopher LaMarca, Wassink Lundgren, Jeff Mermelstein, Slava Mogutin, Rachel Papo, Martin Parr, Nigel Parry, Mark Peterson, Thomas Roma, Steve Schapiro, Joachim Schmid, Jamel Shabazz, The Snorri Bros., Michael Spano, Peter Sutherland, Linda Troeller, Victor Vazquez, Veronique Vial, Nathaniel Welch, and David Yellen.
My pick of the litter among the featured artists on Friday are Donovan Wylie and Stephen Gill. Then at 5.00pm its Aperture presents: Curating 2.0 a panel featuring that man again Tim Barber of Tiny Vices, Laurel Ptak of I Heart Photo and Jen Bekman of the Jen Bekman gallery.
8.00pm sees the glitzy New York Photo Awards Ceremony. The entries have all ready been whittled down to a manageable list of nominees and the illustrious jury chosen to pick the winners includes Tim Barber: Tiny Vices, Elisabeth Biondi: visuals editor The New Yorker, Frank Evers: the managing director VII Photo Agency / festival co-founder and his wife Lauren Greenfield; photographer VII Agency, William ‘Bill’ Hunt; curator and co-owner Hasted Hunt gallery, Daniel Power: CEO powerHouse books and festival co-founder, Jody Quon: photo director New York Magazine and Meagan Ziegler-Haynes: director of photography at Photoshelter. Canon powerShot G9’s for the winners and maybe some sort of trophy or silverware and you will have to give an acceptance speech so be prepared. Not sure what the dress code for this is but smart casual should see you right. Then its back to party central aka the powerHouse arena for the after bash.
Friday also see's the start of the VII Photo Agency's 3 day seminar being held in conjunction with the main festival. This event is off site but its only a short stroll to the New York City Technical College where it is being staged. This is another pay to play but $ 50 will get you full access although a portfolio review with two VII photographers will set you back a further $ 200. There are only a few slots left for the reviews and advance booking for the seminar has been popular so if photojournalism is your thing this may be worth your while. We will drop by at some stage and report on some of the offerings.
Things calm down a little on the party front over the weekend with Simon Norfolk the highlight of the artists talks for me on the Saturday. There’s an interesting Photo/Film presentation showcasing photographers moving into film at 8.00pm. This will include short films by Rineke Dijkstra, Lauren Greenfield, Roger Ballen and Carter Smith. If that doesn't do it for you there is always Rum-bamba a salute to the New York Photo Festival by the Rums of Puerto Rico which will be the evenings main sanctioned social event from 7.00pm – 10.00pm at 81 Front Street.
Sunday is wind down day and we have our eye on the Future of Photography panel and are looking forward to hearing what predictions festival curator and The New York Times magazine photo director Kathy Ryan has to make.
The festival wraps up that evening at 8.00pm. So far no big send off hoopla or firework display on the calendar but we will keep our ear to the ground during the week and do our best to keep you posted on all the happenings and any extra cool goings on away from the festival schedule proper. Stay tuned.
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Andrew Hetherington is a freelance editorial and commercial photographer. Originally from Dublin, Ireland he has lived in New York City for the past 13 years. A Photo District News emerging photographer to watch in 2003 he has also won awards for his work from American Photography, Communication Arts and American Photo. A contributing photographer to Wired and ESPN the Magazine he also works for GQ, Details, Esquire, Conde Nast Portfolio, Mens Health and Fortune. He is the author of the popular photo blog ‘Whats the jackanory ? ’.