Pier 24 Photography opens last show before closing
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Pier 24 Photography opens last show before closing
Rineke Dijkstra, from Beach Portraits, 1992–98 (installation view). Photograph by Josef Jacques.

NEW YORK, NY.- As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. In its more than ten years, Pier 24 Photography has exhibited many thousands of photographs, and thus hundreds of thousands of hypothetical words. Up until now, every show has begun with the Pilara Foundation Collection and expanded from there. Turning the Page is the first exhibition that does not feature works from the collection. Instead, it looks at and celebrates the photobook, a medium that has undergone its own renaissance parallel to Pier 24 Photography's years in operation. Each of the galleries presents works from a distinct photobook, whether an iconic volume or a recent monograph. The content, sequence, and design of each selected book guided the approach to that particular installation, aiming for a thoughtful translation of its overall tone and intent. Ultimately, Turning the Page invites you to consider how the viewing context impacts our understanding of a photographic project.

Among the classic works represented here are Robert Frank’s Les Américains (The Americans, 1958), Masahisa Fukase’s Karasu (Ravens, 1986), Larry Sultan’s Pictures from Home (1992), and Jim Goldberg’s Raised by Wolves (1995)—four photobooks that speak to the breadth of the medium across the second half of the twentieth century. Many consider The Americans so influential that every photobook since has been either in conversation with it or in rebellion against it. Ravens trades Frank’s restless questioning of the American dream for a dark, introspective processing of grief in the aftermath of Fukase’s divorce; both demonstrate how image sequencing can evoke feeling and narrative. Pictures from Home and Raised by Wolves build upon these precedents, combining image sequence, page layout, and text to tell powerful stories and reveal certain truths.

Over the past twenty years, photobooks have become increasingly essential to many photographers, offering a distinctive medium for fully realizing their visions—often pushing the boundaries of the book form along the way. This approach to design and layout extends to how several of the featured photographers have installed works from their projects. Few artists have explored the photobook’s range as extensively as Rinko Kawauchi, whose Ametsuchi (2013) unifies book design with her project’s concept and visual content; her lyrical installation echoes the sequence and design within her book’s pages. Vasantha Yogananthan’s A Myth of Two Souls (2016–21) is a series of seven individual yet related photobooks, one for each chapter of the Hindu epic the Ramayana, upon which the project is loosely based. The design of Rose Marie Cromwell’s El Libro Supremo de la Suerte (2018) is based on Cuban charadas—small photocopied pamphlets that guide people in placing bets in Havana’s underground lottery by assigning numbers to everyday objects; Cromwell’s nonlinear approach to image sequencing is also informed by this random system. And in Wires Crossed (2023), Ed Templeton documents two decades of his life as a professional skateboarder in a dense, frenetic sequence evoking the look and feel of the skate world he helped create. These four photographers have conceived unique installations for Turning the Page that speak to the kind of engaging experi- ences they are known for creating when translating their works from page to wall.

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