Take a look at the great interactive portfolio of portraits by Platon of world leaders, with commentary by the photographer.

– via The New Yorker


Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle: Juggernaut

Williams College Museum of Art
Williamstown, Massachusetts
November 28, 2009 – May 16, 2010

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, is a great artists and my professor from graduate school. I am excited to see his latest work. He will be featured at the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts from November 28, 2009, through May 16, 2010. On exhibition is Manglano-Ovalle’s video, Juggernaut, filmed in the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in Baja Sur, Mexico.

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle is interested in linking the enormity of our modern industrial presence with our surroundings. In this new video, the pristine, gleaming white salt flats of the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve are disturbed by the menacing and thundering sounds of human intervention.

Manglano-Ovalle, is currently creating a newly commissioned work at MASS MoCA, opening December 12, 2009.

Earth Days


Chicago premiere!
Earth Days
2009, Robert Stone, USA, 102 min.

“A beautifully composed tribute to visionary thinking and political ingenuity.”—Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

A look back at the transformative history of the environmental movement combined with a cautionary look ahead, Earth Days revolves around nine gurus of green whose groundbreaking work is largely responsible for creating present-day consciousness of the earth’s consumption-induced plight. Director Stone’s key innovators include: former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall; Denis Hayes, organizer of the original 1970 Earth Day; and Stewart Brand, editor of the Whole Earth Catalogue. A colorfully engaging use of archival footage pinpoints the public mindset and environmental challenges of each era from the 50s through the 80s, through vintage PSAs, TV commercials, and news footage. 35mm. (BS)

Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North State Street

November 27th—December 3rd
Fri—3:15pm, 5:15pm, 7:30pm
Sat—3:15pm, 5:15pm, 7:30pm
Mon—6:00pm, 8:00pm
Tue—6:00pm, 8:00pm
Wed—6:00pm, 8:00pm
Thu—6:00pm, 8:00pm

– via Gene Siskel Film Center

If you are like me and living in Chicago far from family obligations, then Thanksgiving can become a great day for watching films. This Thursday I will be thankful for a day to enjoy Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman at Facets Multimedia.

Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, Visual Acoustics celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the world’s greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. Shulman, who passed away this year, captured the work of modern architects since the 1930’s, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Pierre Koenig. His images epitomized the singular beauty of Southern California’s modernist movement and brought its iconic structures to the attention of the general public. This unique film is both a testament to the evolution of modern architecture and a joyful portrait of a talented artist who chronicled it with his unforgettable images. Featuring: Julius Shulman, Frank Gehry, Tom Ford.

Directed by Eric Bricker, U.S.A., 2009, 84 mins.

About Julius Shulman, 1910-2009
(NPR, Art in America)
Photographer of architecture, naturalist, educator, and commentator on urban form. One of the leading architectural photographers of the 20th century, Shulman developed close association with the modernist architects, principally those active in Southern California such as Gregory Ain, John Lautner, Richard Neutra, and R.M. Schindler. Shulman’s images played a major role in crafting the image of the Los Angeles and “Southern California lifestyle” to the rest of the nation and world during the 1950s and 1960s. A prolific author, consultant, lecturer, exhibitor, and editor of his own vast archive, Shulman remained active up until his passing away in July of 2009.

Fri., Nov. 20 at 7 & 9 pm
Sat.-Sun., Nov. 21-22 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
Mon.-Thurs.. Nov. 23-26 at 7 & 9 pm

$9 general admission
FREE for Facets Members!

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at
773.281.9075 or charles@facets.org

– via Facets Multimedia

For those who missed it, Documenting the Face of America: Roy Stryker and the FSA/OWI Photographers was on PBS again. This is a great documentary film that first premiered in 2008 and well worth checking your local listings to see when it will air again.

“Roy Stryker proved to me that you cannot photograph a bigot and say ‘this is a bigot’ because they have a way of looking just like everybody else. What the camera had to do was expose the evils of racism, the evils of poverty, the discrimination and the bigotry by showing the people who suffered most under it.”
– Gordon Parks

It was the first time Americans saw each other’s faces and witnessed what life was like across the nation: north to south, east to west, rich and poor, black and white. Ordinary people. Extraordinary times.

Documenting the Face of America: Roy Stryker and the FSA/OWI Photographers brings to life the remarkable stories behind the legendary group of New Deal-sponsored photographers who traversed the country in the 1930s and early 1940s and created what has become a national treasure.

– via PBS

On Wednesday, October 28, Governor Quinn placed an additional 3% reserve on the budgets of state agencies, including the Illinois Arts Council (IAC). This action reduces our budget from $7.8 million to about $7.5 million. Given the continual decline of state revenues, this may well be the harbinger of more cuts to come before the end of this fiscal year. And FY2011 will be worse.

First, Governor Blagojevich arbitrarily cut the Arts Council budget by 30% in FY2008 and 2009.  As the state’s fiscal crisis worsened, the legislature reduced IAC programs support for FY2010 by 50%. The Governor then reduced the agency’s budget by another 9% in late summer and now has placed an additional 3% reserve on the remaining funds. The agency’s programs have been decimated and the staff has been reduced by 10%. The Arts Council budget has plummeted from $19.8 million (90% of which was awarded as grants) to $7.5 million in just three years – an almost 63% decrease.

Of all times, the people need the arts now. The arts buoy the soul and cheer the mind. They provide momentary respite from the crushing realities of the ongoing recession. They are a vital part of the economy; no community can be vibrant without them.

We are told small business is the backbone of our nation’s economy – and small business will anchor the recovery.  Most arts organizations and many artists are small businesses. They provide jobs and spend money in their communities for supplies, rent, utilities, and for other goods and services. They must be supported.

It is hard to know at this point the long-term consequences of this precipitous drop in support for the arts.  We do know, however, this defunding of the arts will have devastating and lasting effects on the life of the people of Illinois and, ultimately, the economic and community life of the state.


Shirley R. Madigan

Chairman, Illinois Arts Council

Means Without End, 2009, installation detail

Means Without End: Artist Talk
Friday, November 13, 7:00 pm
Chicago Photography Center (CPC)
3301 N Lincoln Ave

I will be speaking about my new multimedia solo exhibition, Means Without End, at The Chicago Photographer Center this Friday, November 13 at 7 pm. There will be a short talk in the gallery followed by a Q+A.

Read the latest review by Martha Sarno on Art Talk Chicago.