'Magnum - Contact Sheets' opens at y-stanbul Modern.
Titled "Magnum - Contact Sheets," the exhibition delves into the creative process of a number legendary images by demonstrating the before and after images of a selected scene, allowing the audience to understand the decision-making process of the photographers and editors.
"A contact print is obtained by exposing an image or a set of images against a single sheet of photographic paper of the same size as the negative. Often compared to an artist's sketchbook, contact sheets are the photographer's first look at what he or she has captured on the film roll. Because contact sheets provide raw images of the photographs, without any interventions in the process, they offer the artist an opportunity for self-criticism and making a choice," the show's press release explains.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Lorenza Bravetta -- co-curator of the exhibition and adviser for Magnum Photos -- explained that the show follows a book with the same title published by Thames & Hudson and aims at giving insight into the selection process rather than telling the stories of the photographers' most iconic images.
"The collection of photographic icons presented in the exhibition would not have been possible without a primary process of careful selection by their authors. An intimate journey into a working method that has always been crucial to the Magnum experience, the contact sheets and proofs, an integral part of any photographic practice since the '30s, have always been conceived as a fundamental work tool for the selection and cataloguing of photographic negatives, but also as a source of inspiration. Since the 2000s, with the advent of digital imaging, the contact sheet has been excluded from the photographic process, taking on the role of a historical document. This transition has brought a radical change in the way new generations of photojournalists think, shoot and choose their final images -- often sacrificing the great gift of rediscovery in favor of rash removals -- as well described in the most recent experiences closing the exhibition," Bravetta said.
Sena Ecakyrkaya, head of ystanbul Modern's photography department, elaborated that through the contact sheets and narratives of photographers, visitors can enter the personal archives of these artists and have the opportunity to look at important historical events through their lenses.
"The contact sheets give us hints as to what was experienced beyond the shot, to what extent the selected snapshot reflected reality as well as the work processes of the photographer. While some photographers use an entire roll of film to capture the 'decisive moment,' others use a single shot to seize an entire scene. Contact sheets show the unrefined version of the final photographs and clearly manifest mistakes, lost moments, randomness as well as interventions by the photographer during the printing process. Thus, Magnum photographers' conveyance of the stories behind each and every one of these iconic photographs has documentary value both in terms of the history of photography and our political and social history," Ecakyrkaya noted.
The exhibition includes 60 contact sheets and a video installation presenting a total of 133 works by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Chim (David Seymour), Herbert List, George Rodger, Robert Capa, Philippe Halsman, Werner Bischof, Marc Riboud, Eric Lessing, Inge Morath, Elliott Erwitt, Burt Glinn, Eve Arnold, Cornell Capa, Bruce Davidson, Constantine Manos, Rene Burri, Leonard Freed, David Hurn, Philip Jones Griffiths, Bruno Barbey, Paul Fusco, Josef Koudelka, Dennis Stock, Guy Le Querrec, Susan Meiselas, Micha Bar-Am, Hiroji Kubota, Alex Webb, Abbas, Peter Marlow, Steve McCurry, Ian Berry, Martin Parr, John Vink, Jean Gaumy, Ferdinando Scianna, Stuart Franklin, Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Patrick Zachmann, Nikos Economopoulos, Larry Towell, Eli Reed, Martine Franck, Chris Steele-Perkins, Chien-Chi Chang, Bruce Gilden, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Jacob Aue Sobol, Jonas Bendiksen, Trent Parke, Paolo Pellegrin, Thomas Hoepker, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Alec Soth, Mikhael Subotzky, Jim Goldberg and Alex Majoli.
"Magnum - Contact Sheets," which will run until Aug. 2 at Istanbul Modern's photography gallery, also features close-up details, articles, books and magazine spreads together with the contact sheets and photographs.
Rumeysa Kiger, ystanbul (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN
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