Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Slava Veder's “Burst of Joy,” 1974: part of the Pulitzer Prize Photos traveling exhibit at Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
"This is no boring dusty traveling exhibit. The Museum has transformed the round middle part of the museum into a venue to put on this huge exhibit. The large prints and beautifully written stories behind each image cover the dioramas and other glass cabinets. In other words, they have created a massive expanse of temporary wall space to show this exhibit making it unlike any other local exhibit in memory."
"The exhibit presents every award winner from 1942 through 2004; there are so MANY icons of photography on there, along with their dramatic stories: the flag-raising at Iwo Jima, the shooting of Oswald in Dallas, the napalmed running girl in Viet Nam, the firefighter cradling the burned child after the Oklahoma City bombing, the flames of the World Trade Center towers. But there are so many, many more that stop you and move you and stay with you long afterwards, right up to the most recent powerful image of the American soldier with his Iraqi prisoner. World-changing, heart-changing, mind-boggling, awe-inspiring. Give yourself at least two hours to see it. It is virtually impossible to breeze through it."
"On a personal note: The Pulitzer Prizes for Photography, as per the rules set forth by Joseph Pulitzer, go only to newspaper photographers. Magazine photographers (a large number of legendary shooters and their legendary iconic images) are left out even though they are out there putting their careers and even lives on the line for the exact same reasons as the newspaper photographers. So many have died doing their jobs. Hopefully, as newspapers continue to change along with the rest of the news media in this digital age, the prize will evolve and eventually go to any news photographer for their still images that record and reveal deep truths about this confusing fast-paced world."
"The photo exhibit is up through May 1 at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum at the Fairgrounds on Greenwood Road. It is $5 per visit unless you go on the first Sunday of March or April when it is free, but the fee is well worth the visit. The Museum spent $50,000 to mount it and is to be highly commended. After several years of touring, the curator came down from New York and said this is the best mounting of the exhibit she has experienced. It is scheduled to continue touring the world until 2009. We are not "lucky" to get it. The Museum worked long and hard to get it. The Museum and the Friends of the Museum have given a great gift to this community."
Neil Johnson Photography