David Husom Photographer
Getty Center Opening for Where We Live 
Friday, November 17, 2006, 09:46 PM

In the November 3rd article from the online version of the Economist magazine the author writes on the Getty opening for Where We Live. It was a very posh event - certainly the best opening I have ever been to - and I have been to LOTS of them. But I did not think it was excessively off the charts when it comes to an opening of a major exhibition.

The writer raises the question if most of those in attendance that night had ever seen much of what was depicted on the walls. He may be correct, however is that so much a question of ignoring large portions of society, or is it more a question of geography? Most of the exhibit, and indeed much of where America lives, is after all, in fly-over land. Unlike most of human history, Americans now have the freedom to travel beyond 25 miles from where they were born. Yet how many people really do so on a regular basis outside of visiting other places just like home, or tidy safe vacation hot spots?

Although a good portion of the images in the show were made in close vicinity to where the photographers lived, I suspect that most of us travel rather extensively. (In fact that was one of the discussions amongst some of the photographers at the opening). I suspect that like the author we have a curiosity about life beyond our own back yards and have seen these places (or at least ones like them) first hand. But I am afraid for most people, they would rather experience life vicariously.

So called "reality" TV may be the current network programing du jour - but let's not forget that Marie Antoinette went so far as to create a faux "peasant play-village" at Versailles when real peasants were starving all over France. (I am reminded of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where a TV "Survivor" meets a Holocaust survivor and tries to argue how difficult life on the island really was!)

True, the art world sometimes goes a bit overboard in embracing art and artists that celebrate the underbelly of life. But I do not see this exhibition doing that. What I personally have problems with are photographers who demean their subjects for their own ends. Unfortunately it is all too common today; but fortunately that is not something I sensed in the work in this exhibit.

My only complaint about those in attendance is that I hope they actually return to see the show. An opening (particularly one that was that good) is not the time to look seriously at art work.

On Leaving Los Angeles from the Economist.com

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It is about looking 
Monday, November 13, 2006, 09:49 PM
Learning to look and see is what it is all about. Seeing Where We Live at the Getty here is someone who did what the photographers in the show hoped viewers would do - begin looking at the world a little closer. See HadashiWorld Blog.

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More praise for the Getty Center for Photographs and Where We Live.  
Sunday, November 5, 2006, 01:13 PM
The Getty Museum has taken a lot of heat lately, especially from the LA media. But what has often been overlooked in the past year is that it is a fabulous museum and it has a superlative staff of very dedicated professionals. Thus it is good to see yet another article like Fridays LA Daily News give a rave review to the new exhibition space and the photography curators.

LA Daily News- Image Conscious

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Duluth and America the Desolate (?) 
Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 11:32 AM
I brought work up to Duluth to the Arrowhead Biennial at the Duluth Art Institute this past weekend. I now know what Gordon Lightfoot meant with the line "When the gales of November come early" in his song on the sinking of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald ore boat. Here is the Duluth Harbor with 45mph wind blowing in.

Across from Duluth is Superior Wisconsin. If your looking for a place to eat there you can't go wrong with a burger at Gronks or the ribs at Eddies. Both are off of Hwy 2 on the east end of town,

America the Desolate (?)
Peter Clothier, author of the Bush Diaries book and blog wrote about the Where We Live show at the Getty that I have photos in (see previous entry). Bush Diaries

Whoever gave him the quick lesson in photo history was on the mark. The only problem is I think most of us in the show see this not as desolate America, but disappearing America. If it is crumbling down it is because it is being ignored in the rush to suburbanize and homogenize the landscape, not because it is a repeat of depression era poverty. Nor are most of us drawn to depressing subjects; I actually like the places I photograph.

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Where We Live: Photographs of America from the Berman Collection at the Getty 
Saturday, October 28, 2006, 06:21 PM
I am just back from the opening at the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA for the exhibit Where We Live: Photographs of America from the Berman Collection. I have 10 prints in the exhibition. What a treat to be a part of such a wonderful exhibition with great photographers and to deal with such a top notch professionally run institution.

Installation photo

The exhibition is drawn from photographs gifted or loaned to the Getty by LA collector Bruce Berman, CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures and Executive Producer of dozens of wonderful Hollywood movies, including the Matrix series, Mystic River and the soon to be released Happy Feet (Already getting rave reviews for its computer animation).

The show has gotten good press from the LA Times Oct 8th

The Oct 25th LA Times

The New York Times Oct 15th

As well as basically the same article in the International Herald Tribune Oct 13th

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