Tonight in Brooklyn: 'Under Construction – New Positions in American Photography'

<i>Under Construction – New Positions in American Photography</i>, opening at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn tonight, features the work of ten young American and Canadian photographers who share an investigative attitude.

Mar 13 2015, 2:43pm


, 2010 © Daniel Gordon

There is a lot of talk these days about how much the photographic medium has changed thanks to developments in digital, mobile, and social technologies. But sometimes it seems like what we're really trying to get at with those conversations is how much the "barrier to entry" has changed.

It's just so goddamn easy to make an image today. If someone asks, "How's the party?" It's both faster and more descriptively accurate to send them a photo of the scene rather than explain the vibe, who is there, etc. If we want to relate a complex emotion, we could dive deep into our selves, unpack the feeling, and search the finite pool of words in our native tongues for the right ones, or we could take a selfie.

(L)cfaal 379, 2013 © Jessica Eaton / Courtesy M+B gallery, Los Angeles.
(R) This is Tomorrow, 2013 © Matthew Porter / Courtesy M+B gallery, Los Angeles

Under Construction – New Positions in American Photography, opening at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn tonight, features the work of ten young American and Canadian photographers who share an "investigative attitude [...] in looking at the photographic image and its representation." The methodologies and presentations are diverse, but all seem concerned with how we can reconcile photography as storied artistic medium and photography as hyper-ubiquitous communicative tool. How can that blurry snap of the party and those pieces of fine art exist, in some sense, under the same umbrella term?

Heads, 2010 © Matt Lipps / Courtesy Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco

With this in mind, it seemed appropriate (maybe a little too much so?) to do something different and attempt to interview several photographers from Under Construction using only images, no text. Below are the correspondences.

Gold - NYT April 22, 1979 (Alphabet Stickers) © Sara Cwynar, Courtesy Foxy Production, New York

Under Construction—New Positions in American Photography is organized by Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam. Featuring works by Joshua Citarella, Jessica Eaton, Daniel Gordon, Matthew Leifheit & Cynthia Talmadge, Matt Lipps, Matthew Porter, Sara Cwynar, Kate Steciw and Sara VanDerBeek, it opens tonight from 6-9pm at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. Opening remarks will be delivered at 6:30 by Kathy Ryan, Director of Photography, The New York Times Magazine.

Ancient Solstice, 2014 © Sara VanDerBeek / Courtesy of the Artist, Metro Pictures NY and The Approach Londo

Photo interview with Sara VanDerBeek

Body Anointed with Nitroglycerin Awaits Transfiguration, 2013 © Joshua Citarella

Photo interview with Joshua Citarella


2014 © Matthew Leifheit & Cynthia Talmadge

Photo interview with Cynthia Talmadge & Matthew Leifheit

Gideon Jacobs is the creative director of Magnum Photos, New York. He was an actor and is now a writer, soon to publish a book called Letters to My Imaginary Friends. Follow him on Twitter.