Best of 2017, Documentary, Exhibitions, Fine Art, Photobooks, Projects, Uncategorized

Charlotte Cotton’s Best of 2017

Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel photographed at the Newsroom in 1983, courtesy Berkeley Art Museum

The curator, writer, and creative consultant picks out her top five of 2017 - including Jason Fulford's Fake Newsroom, a contemporary spin on Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel's 1983 performance

Jason Fulford’s Fake Newsroom
Timed to coincide with the exhibitions Larry Sultan: Here and Home, and Mike Mandel: Good 70s at SFMOMA, Jason Fulford was invited to re-animate Sultan and Mandel’s 1983 performance, Newsroom. The original Newsroom had Mike and Larry using electronic news and wire photo machines to download and curate the daily news, staged at Berkeley Art Museum. The Fake Newsroom saw Jason, Jim Goldberg and Dru Donovan taking on the mantle of Editor in Chief, curating Associated Press’s image feed and arranging all manner of bizarre and spontaneous actions at the Fake Newsroom offices at the Minnesota Street Project over the course of three weeks.  Each editor was fired or just disappeared after one week’s tenure, accompanied by fake press releases that I gleefully wrote, speculating on their downfall.

Jason Fulford and Lindsey White photographed at the Fake Newsroom © Jennifer O’Keeffe

John Edmonds
I first met John in his graduating year at Yale School of Art, where I was a Visiting Critic in 2015/16. His capacity to rise to the interest and timeliness of his work this year has been a joy to behold, with his solo exhibition – Anonymous – opening at the Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery at the historic Light Work, Syracuse, NY in late 2017.

The Anamorphosis Prize
In its third year, The Anamorphosis Prize conceived by artist Anouk Kruithof has already become the photo-based artists’ book prize worth following. Open to artists who have created small editions of a photobook, it has real gravitational pull and creates a great summary of self-published books from around the world. A set of the submitted books join the Franklin Furnace library, NY, and the shortlist are acquired for the MoMA Library, NY, – the winner receives a $10,000 prize with no strings attached.

Pats Valdez at Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
American Chicana artist Patssi Valdez was a founding member of the ASCO collective, creating grand and beautiful photographic works. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know about her photographs until this year, and I’m grateful to have encountered her work in the brilliant exhibition Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. at MoCA PDC in Los Angeles, curated by David Evans Frantz, curator at ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, and C. Ondine Chavoya, Professor of Art and Latina/o studies at Williams College. Axis Mundo was the most joyous, intelligent exhibition experience for me in 2017.

Caroline Rumley
I saw Caroline’s impactful storytelling through her entry to the Houston Center for Photography’s 2017 Fellowship awards. Using spoken word, video and photography, her work packs a powerful and timely punch as it reflects and extrapolates on current events.  Her work has been shown at “filmpoem” and underground film festivals in Europe and the US this year.