Summer 2007: In This Issue

The previous issue of SPOT, our SILVER 25th Anniversary Issue looked to the past. In it we asked photographers who had shown their work at HCP over the course of our history to curate a page of work. The idea was to bring the past up to the present.

In this issue we look to the future and in this, to the wider world. Our own Antennae show is highlighted with an essay by our curator and new Executive Director, Madeline Yale. We are very pleased that Madeline has joined our staff. She comes to us from Portland, Maine, where prior to joining HCP, she was the manager for the photographic estate of Todd Webb, served as a photographic archivist, and organized exhibitions on photography and contemporary art in the US and Europe. She has a MA in Photographic Studies from the Norwich School of Art & Design in England, a post-graduate certificate in Western Art History from Sotheby's, and a BA in Sociology from Skidmore College. Madeline has quickly established herself within the Houston community. We are excited that she is leading HCP, and if you have not done so already, we invite you to drop by to meet her.

Her show, Antennae examines the work of ten artists and collaborative teams from around the world, artists who have pushed the boundaries of photography in new ways. They confront established photographic thought through the use of various media - video, sculpture, newsprint, as well as conventional materials put to new use.

We look internationally to a broad possible future for photography, first through a review of Ecotopia by David Crossley. Ecotopia was an exhibition staged at the International Center for Photography this fall in New York, a show that examined the world ecologically from personal and global perspectives. Like Antennae, a wide variety of lens-based materials were used.

Wendy Watriss sets a context for the next Houston FotoFest in spring 2008 (themed 'China'), with compelling descriptions of the things that she and other FotoFest reviewers encountered in Beijing last year - a photographic state of affairs which is astonishing in its depth and passion.
Peter Yenne's remarkable exhibition on the Vargas Brothers, a Peruvian photographic duo who dealt with a wide variety of activities in Arequipa at the turn of the twentieth century is brilliantly described and glossed by Fernando Castro in an essay worthy of Borges.

6-Pack: from Mexico City, a traveling exhibition curated by the group of photographers and organized by HCP, is reviewed by Estela Revino. Acting as spectators and creators of an emerging generation, the 6-Pack artists stage an atmosphere in flux, attempting to preserve Mexico's history while engaging in a globalized ideological context.

In this issue, we included two artist-curated sections. Krista Leigh Steinke and Nathan Baker, both of whom are members of HCP and are exhibiting in this year's Fellowship and Membership exhibitions, tell stories through images - Steinke reworks fairytales in clever ways, while Baker presents the moment when inanimate objects come to life.

Houstonian Patsy Cravens' wonderful book Leavin' a Testimony: Portraits from Rural Texas, is reviewed by Ebony Porter of HCP. Porter's review describes Cravens' process of looking in depth at the people and environs of Columbus, Texas - Cravens goes below the political surface of things with passion and courage.

And also locally, Collaborations, an annual outreach project at HCP that culminates in an exhibition of work from Houston high school students, is described by HCP's Education Coordinator Rachel Hewlett. This is our fourth Collaborations exhibit and we look forward to many more.
Many thanks once again to our Designer, Antonio Manega, whose spectacular work won SPOT a "First Place Award" in Magazine Design from the American Association of Museums last year and whose inspired eye and thought continue on here.

-Peter Brown
Publications Chair
Houston Center for Photography