Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The I.C.P. is Moving, Physically and Conceptually

The International Center for Photography (I.C.P.) in NYC, started by Robert Cornell Capa, is moving.
Museum Queue (not I.C.P.), by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2
iso 400, f2.8, 1/8 sec.
The I.C.P. is one of those places I love to visit when I'm in NYC. Admittedly, I have not been there in a couple of years, but it strongly holds my interest. Started by Cornell Capa, brother of photographer Robert Capa*, the I.C.P. is a home for photographers, and hosts multiple simultaneous exhibits, typically focused on some aspect of photojournalism and reportage. I saw the fabled "Mexican Suitcase" exhibit there.
(Click Here) to read about the Mexican Suitcase and the work by Chim, Capa, and Taro that comprises it. A real look into the lives of these three masters, see it if you get the chance.
The I.C.P. also has a great store filled with all kinds of fun photographic paraphernalia and books.
Well, the I.C.P. is moving. A post in the New York Times' blog Lens describes what this means to Mark Lubell, Executive Director, and where he sees the I.C.P. going in the future.
(Click Here) to read the full article on Lens.
There are a couple of obvious conclusions that I can draw from the article. First, the I.C.P. plans to continue operations. Second, in the longer term, it plans to consolidate all activities, including the exhibition center and education program into a single location. Third, they plan to stay in Manhattan.
Beyond that, it's a little hard for me to really get where they're going conceptually. The interview focuses a lot on recent technological aspects of photojournalism, the use of smart phone cameras and immediate upload to communicate what's going on the world. I can almost detect the hint of virtual displays, with less focus on the physical output and display of prints. On the other hand, Mr. Lubell says that photography should be somewhat independent of technology, and that the Center should be a place for discourse on photography itself. I suppose these ideas can go together.
I was interested to find that Mr. Lubell thinks that Robert Capa would have been an enthusiastic user of Instagram. I'm sure the speed to market of photographic information would have impressed him.
*Thanks to James McKearney for correcting my mistaken assertion that Robert Capa started ICP.