Alan B. Stone and the Senses of Place is a historical exhibition that examines the social and cultural conditions affecting the life and work of Alan B. Stone, a gay photographer who worked prolifically in Montreal, Canada from the 1950s to the 1970s. Celebrated historian and curator David Deitcher, who also grew up in Montreal, presents Stone's work as a means of exploring some of the ways in which Deitcher himself subjectively experiences, uses and is affected by photographs.
Alan B. Stone (1928-1992) was a commercial photographer who photographed the city of Montreal during the postwar period that historians often refer to as les annes noirs (the dark years) due to the dismal and repressive economic, political, cultural and homophobic atmosphere. This repressive environment is clearly exhibited at SF Camerawork via the display of old news clips related to events such as the arrests of homosexuals in the 1950s and 1960s.
Many of the photographs in the exhibition depict Stones sense of place through his images of Old Montreal and its then bustling port; of suburban neighborhoods where seasonal hockey rinks attracted young people during the long winter months; and of youth at a bucolic Boy Scouts summer camp. Stones discrete point of view suggests surveillance, pictures taken on the sly, as if collecting evidence of some unidentified crime. He identified the nature of that offense in the early 1950s when he took a picture of a metal sign bolted to the trunk of a tree in suburban Lachine Park. In French and English, the sign on the tree reads: PERSONS OF GOOD EDUCATION AND MORALS ARE INVITED TO THIS PARK.
Despite this suffocating atmosphere, Stone set up the Mark One Studio in the basement of the home he shared with his mother and created and marketed male physique photographs throughout the 1950s and 60s, a time that became known as the golden age of beefcake photography. The photographs made under the Mark One name portray how, in a pre-Stonewall era, the experience of the closet not only shaped homosexual artists lives, it also determined the aesthetic forms of their work.
Alan B. Stone and the Senses of Place includes photographs printed from the original negatives held by Archives Gaies de Qubec, photographs on loan from comuse du Fier Monde, Montreal, photographs on loan from The Magazine in San Francisco as well as a series of ephemeral objects lent to the exhibition by private collectors.
David Deitcher is the author of Dear Friends: American Photographs of Men Together, 1840-1918 and curator of the exhibition by the same name that appeared at the International Center of Photography in New York. He also was the editor of The Question of Equality: Lesbian and Gay Politics in America Since Stonewall. As an accomplished writer and critic, David Deitchers essays have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Parkett, the Village Voice, and other periodicals, as well as in numerous anthologies and monographs. Since 2003 he has been on the faculty of the International Center of Photography/Bard College Program in Advanced Photographic Studies.
WHEN: June 5 August 23, 2008
Opening reception: Thursday, June 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.
Tuesdays Saturdays 12 - 5 p.m.
SF Camerawork, 657 Mission St., Second Floor, San Francisco 94105
$5.00; $2.00 for students and seniors; free to Camerawork members
Event submitted by Eventful.com on behalf of nina911.
Added by suemking on May 14, 2008