International Center of Photography
1133 Sixth Ave. at 43rd St.
Tuesday - Sunday through September 22, $10-$14 (pay what you wish Fridays 5:00 - 8:00)
For the International Center of Photography’s fourth triennial, curators Kristen Lubben, Christopher Phillips, Carol Squiers, and Joanna Lehan have organized “A Different Kind of Order,” a powerful survey of sociopolitical and environmentally conscious work from around the world with a focus on digital technology and manipulation and the widespread reuse of internet images. In “Touch Parade,” A. K. Burns re-creates five odd fetish videos she found on YouTube. Mishka Henner’s “Dutch Landscapes” series at first appear to be aerial shots of the countryside overlaid with abstract splotches but turn out to be actual Google images that the Dutch government has censored. Thomas Hirschhorn’s “Touching Reality” video depicts a hand scrolling through photos of victims of war, from bloody corpses to bodies missing limbs, occasionally stopping to pinch the shot into close-up, not usually the kind of images people look at on their phones. Gideon Mendel’s “Drowning World” photos and video (in the gallery as well as in a window display) show people in communities that have been devastated by massive flooding, as men, women, and children, each of whom she specifically identifies, wade through environmental calamities in England, India, Nigeria, Thailand, and other locations.
For his “Blow Up” project, Rabih Mroué narrates frightening scenes of Syrians risking their lives taking camera-phone pictures of the military firing on its citizens, and them, found images that might or might not be real. Mikhael Subotzky captures contemporary Johannesburg in a trio of lightboxes (“Windows,” “Doors,” “Televisions”) that examines the psyche of the city that reveal what is going on in each room of the fifty-four-floor Ponte City building, which Subotzky and collaborator Patrick Waterhouse explain “has always been a place of myth, illusion, and aspiration. Sohei Nishino creates maps of New York and Jerusalem by combining thousands of photographs he takes while making his way through those cities. Meanwhile, Lucas Foglia’s photographs of people living off the land harken back to a time pre-internet. The exhibition also includes intriguing works by Luis Molina-Pantin, Andrea Longacre-White, Oliver Laric, Elliott Hundley, Jim Goldberg, Wangechi Mutu, Trevor Paglen, Walid Raad, and others that explore the nature of images — both how they are made and how they are viewed — in a technology-obsessed world.