Sunday, October 14, 2007

"Kids with Cameras" at Soho Photo

SohoPhoto is not in Soho. It is south of Houston, but it’s also in the triangle below Canal. So really it’s Suchitra, 14 "Girl on a Roof"
in Tribeca, I’m splitting hairs. Did make me wonder if they had to move for rent increases in Soho, though. The gallery has been around since the early seventies and has monthly portfolio review for prospective members. They’re most famous for their “Krappy Kamera” competition that only allows for images taken with cameras that have a plastic lens, or pinhole, or a cell phone image, you get the idea. They exhibit and promote members work monthly throughout the year. On display currently on the second floor of gallery is Zana Briski’s “Kids With Cameras”. The children’s pictures are the last things I saw at this gallery. If they were first I may not have bothered with the rest. I found myself being incredibly moved by the free, uninhibited nature of the children’s photographs. I spoke with one patron who stated, “Well, they obviously aren’t thinking, I mean you wouldn’t expect them to”; I didn’t disagree with him then and there. I instead thought to myself how pompous of an ass do you have to be to say something like this. The children that photographed these striking images may not have the education of this man, but they have most likely experienced much more in their lives that would make for some strong photographic expressions. One young photographer, named Gour, was quoted in the flyer as saying “...that’s why I like photography, I want to put across the behavior of man.” This statement doesn’t sound like a statement someone would make that was not thinking about his or her craft. These kids are from the brothels of Calcutta. They see all kinds of despicable behavior. This 13-year-old boy seems to what to show men their behavior in pictures, so that maybe they will step back and see their misdeeds as just that. That’s a pretty lofty goal for such an ‘unthinking’ photographer.

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