Howdy folks! Cramer here. And, first of all, let me say that I’m quite honored to be guest-blogging for such a fantastic and artsy blog, DC Style Is Real, and it was quite a pleasure to scope out the DC Foto Week Pecha Kucha and report on it here for you.
The event took place in Foto Week’s main exhibition space at 1800 L Street, the former Barnes & Noble, which was great, because there’s PLENTY of space there for exhibiting and it’s filled to the brim with inspiring and moving images at the moment. Once I pulled myself away from these award-winning pics I meandered on downstairs and found myself really digging DJ Brien Watson’s tunes, a glass of sparkling wine, and a whole handful of nifty presentations. Here’s some of the highlights about that:
Czech photographer Michael Borek‘s presentation of his photo-documentary work entitled Effective Immediately (Scranton Lace Project) totally blew me away. The story there is that he heard about a lace factory in Scranton, PA where the Head Honchos just called all the employees into a meeting one day and said that the factory was closing effective immediately. So this NYC-based photographer sweet-talked his way in to document the abandoned spot and the result is haunting and breathtaking and eerily romantic too. In a way, it reminded me of visiting Pompeii, where everything seems frozen in time – things half-finished being woven on a loom, stuff left haphazardly on desks… And yet there’s a sense of decay – the peeling wallpaper, a toppled-over lamp – that shows that people aren’t just away from their desks on lunch break. They’re never coming back. Basically, Michael’s the kind of photographer who can make the ugly something full of beauty, and he joked that he does just the opposite too: make something beautiful feel like the communist Eastern Europe he grew up in.
Another highlight was Danny Harris‘ Peoples District project. Danny realized one day while shopping at a Whole Foods that even though he’s surrounded by folks all the time in his hood – many of whom are a lot like him – he rarely talked with anyone. So he set out to meet one new stranger every day. He (quite rightly) pointed out that some of the homeless guys on his street are people he sees more than his own fam – so why not get to know them? A simple project and a powerful message.
Pecha Kucha was devised as a way for young designers to meet up and show their work in a public setting. The Tuesday event was #16 in a series. Check here for the next event, to be posted soon.
Written by Caryn Cramer, a local textile designer. See her designs on her brand new website here.