This program brings together an intergenerational group of Magnum photographers whose work underscores the role and mutability of technology. TV Shots is comprised of Harry Gruyaert's manipulated photographs of his television set in the 1970s, capturing world events such as the Munich Olympic Games and Apollo space flights along with British television programs and advertisements. Envisioned in the period as a photojournalistic exploration of mass culture—albeit one that doubled as a chance operation—the recent video adaptation gives the images new voice in today's media-saturated environment. The Peruvian Equation, French photojournalist Gilles Peress's 1992 study of a Quechua community on the outskirts of Lima, is notable for its inventive use of on-screen text that places his subjects' plight in juxtaposition with state policies and violence. Taiwanese artist Chien-Chi Chang carries forward Magnum's photojournalistic tradition in the cine-essay Bongo Fever, which centers on the HIV and drug crises in Tanzania. His exposé is bolstered by subtle pacing and transitions between still images. In two works filmed in the Republic of Congo, the Italian Alex Majoli brings formal experimentation into nonfiction by using cinematography to create the sense that his subjects are actors in their own lives: Kimbuangists is a vibrant urban scene playing on the choreography of everyday movement, while Mermaids is a compact melding of sound and image at a seaside restaurant. The program closes with two newer Magnum members who mine the rich territory between narrative and abstraction. Olivia Arthur's immersive, avant-garde Stranger, an uncanny vision of Dubai through the eyes of shipwreck survivors returning 50 years later, reflects on the city’s breakneck speed of development. Bieke Depoorter's Sète#15, the Belgian photographer's first foray into moving images, seeks to evoke a filmic atmosphere through still images. A second project, the Dvalemodus, draws on Depoorter's portraits of strangers, but recasts the observation of a subject to emit a sense of mystery.
Program 61 min.
TV Shots. 1972/2015. Great Britain. Directed by Harry Gruyaert. No dialogue. 10 min.
The Peruvian Equation. 1991. Peru. Directed by Gilles Peress. From The Magnum Eye. In Spanish; English subtitles. 11 min.
Bongo Fever. 2011. Tanzania. Directed by Chien-Chi Chang. From Magnum in Motion. In English and Swahili. 11 min.
Kimbuangists. 2013. Republic of Congo. Directed by Alex Majoli. 3 min.
Mermaids. 2013. Republic of Congo. Directed by Alex Majoli. No dialogue. 4 min.
Stranger. 2015. Great Britain/United Arab Emirates. Directed by Olivia Arthur. English text; no dialogue. 9 min.
Sète#15. 2015. Belgium/France. Directed by Bieke Depoorter. No dialogue. 4 min.
Dvalemodus. 2017. Belgium/Norway/Germany. Directed by Bieke Depoorter, Mattias De Craene. In Norwegian; English subtitles. 9 min.
Thursday, June 29,4:00 p.m.T2, Theater 2The Museum of Modern Art
Saturday, June 24,6:00 p.m.T2, Theater 2The Museum of Modern ArtFollowed by a Q&A with selected filmmakers