Ernest Cole, and NYU Open Studios

My Melbourne friend and I went designer op-shop shopping, when she was here. She bought these pants, which I coveted immediately, and spent the rest of her stay describing as ridiculous, embarrassing, ill-conceived and impossible to ever contemplate wearing. It didn’t work, and she took them home, then sent me this;

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She left a postcard instead on my fridge, held up by a magnet of a grouse Dutch bike (made by a NYC artist who only paints bikes). The postcard urged me to get to the Ernest Cole exhib, which she’d seen when she was here. I’d been too busy at the time, stressing about something that I’ve forgotten about now…

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Today I did. It’s at New York Uni’s Grey Gallery, opposite Washington Square Park. Ernest Cole planned to be a doctor, but South Africa apartheid became law when he was eight, so his government education focused on how to be a better servent. He had a camera and took street photographs during the 60s, studied photography by correspondence, and then escaped apartheid to New York. He published a book of his work ‘House of Bondage’ in 1967, which was immediately banned in South Africa. He never went back, continued taking photos, and died homeless in New York at 49.

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This is the publicity image for the show. It’s been on my mind since I saw it on a big poster, early on in my stay here. The gloved man I photographed in Union Square one day referred to it, too.

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‘African township is bulldozed out of existence to make way for white expansion. Government trucks will move residents and their possessions to matchbox houses in new locations, usually in remote areas, perhaps not even named on a map.’

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That night I checked out NYUs Open Studio event for their MFAs.

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This is 5pm. It’s completely dark.

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Nice bike though, and shadows. The pink signs are to reserve the street for a film shoot tomorrow. They are everywhere, and continuous, now that I notice them.

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Bonnie Lane’s studio and work. She had a 2 channel pinhole projection going in another room too, which was ace.

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Unknown artist (sorry!) but great work.

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This isn’t a work, it’s a passageway. Nice pic of an orange couch though, over another orange couch, and all centred very well, except for the window…

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Young Min Choi. A work about a mirror. His other works were about mirrors too, so to stand in his studio was to be reflected in about 3 of them at a time.

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Robin Crookall. She builds sets out of paper, and then photographs them. The set is in the foreground (it’s a cardboard box), and the pics on the wall are shots of it.

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Candice Chu. My pic of the night. It’s a huge oil on canvas, leaning against the wall, and in front of about 6 others.

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NYU is a much slicker, neater environment than Parsons. The building is less rambling, and it looks like they did a giant clean up for the Open. There’s not a floor as shiny as this in the Parsons Fine Art building…

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A grid. I found one. Lovely.

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