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Online Masterclass

Carolyn Drake teaches Documentary Photography


14 May 2021

Friday, 14 May 2021
Milan 6pm / London 5pm / NYC 12 noon / Los Angeles 9am / Shanghai 12 midnight
2-hour masterclass
Live on Zoom

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In this masterclass, Magnum photographer Carolyn Drake will discuss her continually changing relationship with the idea of documentary. She will describe her own creative attitude toward the search for authenticity, while also considering how technological change is constantly altering perceptions of truth.

Reflecting on her experiences working in collaboration with an enigmatic group of women in Mississippi for her most recent celebrated book Knit Club (TBW Books, 2020), as well as her long term work with Uighurs in China, Wild Pigeon, and her latest projects close to home in California, Carolyn will discuss how collapsing the divide between author and subject influences her ever-changing photographic language. Alongside her personal work, Drake will consider how her practice fits into editorial contexts for publications such as Aperture magazine and the New Yorker to ask: what is documentary photography’s role in challenging or perpetuating historical narratives or tropes? How can collaboration and imagination change the trajectory of a project? 

The class will also see Drake analyse the work of figures such as Rosie Lee Tompkins, Wendy Ewald, and James Baldwin in order to discuss how art can intersect with documentary forms and expand them.

Carolyn Drake works on long-term photo-based projects seeking to interrogate dominant historical narratives and creatively reimagine them. Her practice embraces collaboration and has in recent years melded photography with sewing, collage, and sculpture. She is interested in collapsing the traditional divide between author and subject, the real and the imaginary, to challenge entrenched binaries. Her work has been supported by a Guggenheim fellowship, the Anamorphosis Prize, Peter S. Reed Foundation, Lightwork, the Do Good Fund, the Lange Taylor prize, Magnum Foundation, Pulitzer Center, and a Fulbright fellowship. 

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