International Center of Photography Presents - Immersion: Gregory Halpern, Raymon Meeks, and Vasantha Yogananthan
On View: September 29, 2023–January 8, 2024
Location: 79 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002
This fall, the International Center of Photography presents an exhibition showcasing three projects created by artists during their respective residencies— Halpern’s in Guadeloupe, Yogananthan’s in New Orleans, and Meeks’s in France, first near the Spanish border and then along the coast of the English Channel.
On view September 29, 2023, through January 8, 2024, the projects are part of Immersion, a French-American Photography Commission created by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and presented in collaboration with ICP and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris. Consisting of alternating residencies between France and the United States, the Immersion program supports contemporary photography.
Each laureate creates an original series to be shared with a wide audience through exhibitions at ICP and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, as well as through publications. Gregory Halpern’s book Let the Sun Beheaded Be (2020) is published by Aperture; Vasantha Yogananthan’s Mystery Street (2023) is published by Chose Commune; and Raymond Meek’s The Inhabitants (2023) is published by MACK. The exhibition marks the debut presentation of The Inhabitants.
Gregory Halpern (USA) created 'Let the Sun Beheaded Be,' an ensemble of photographs taken during his 2019 residency in the archipelago of Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France with a violent colonial past. Guided by the region’s rich diversity and vernacular culture, Halpern’s images embrace and develop the Caribbean Surrealism of Martinican writer Aimé Césaire (1913–2008), from whose work the project’s title is borrowed. Slow and intimate, Halpern’s photographs pick out small details in which the tremors of history can be felt.
Vasantha Yogananthan (France) made Mystery Street in New Orleans during the spring and summer of 2022. Following a group of children as they play and explore together, Yogananthan’s images are alert to the subtleties of place, friendship, and growth. Replete with the artist’s celebrated attention to light and sumptuous use of color, Mystery Street is a visual poem told in fragments, full of life, light, and the possibilities of youth.
Raymond Meeks (USA), an artist renowned for the unhurried nuance and contemplative intelligence of his photographs, spent much of 2022 in two regions of France—the southern border with Spain and the northern coast along the English Channel—that are important crossings for asylum seekers making their way to the United Kingdom. The Inhabitants, infused with care and deep empathy, looks to the land itself—its traces and pathways—as a silent witness to uncertain futures. What are the effects of this type of migrant life, when one is forced to leave behind one’s culture, to feel unseen and voiceless, to not feel at home in the world? This debut presentation of The Inhabitants features photographs interspersed with fragmentary texts by George Weld, in a deeply empathetic exploration of the terrain that bears witness to the spaces of temporary dwelling and fraught transit of so many who are seeking better lives.
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