PDN Photo of the Day

Known for Looking into the Lives of Others, Sixteen Magnum Photographers Search for Home

Sixteen members of Magnum Photos, in collaboration with Fujifilm, explore the notion of  home in a new project aptly called “Home.” An exhibition of the work will make stops in nine major cities after its premier in New York and a book will be published.

Pauline Vermare, the curator of “Home,” says in a video that the theme was chosen because it is a “delicate subject and also very universal.” Each of the photographers reflected on the concept of home in their own style, creating images that range from lighthearted to dark. This range, believes Vermare, is what makes the project powerful. “You realize looking at this work,” she says, “that home is a very complex subject to document.”

Indeed, for the past 7 decades, Magnum photographers have mostly been looking into the lives of others and are not known for showing intimacy in their own lives. “Many chose photography precisely because the needed to venture away from a home in which they felt they didn’t quite belong,” writes Vermare in the introduction to the book. And for some, “the difficulty of this project was rooted in a lingering feeling of dislocation: that fact of having more than one home,” she continues.

A few of the photographers made images where they currently live, others returned to childhood memories and some focused on the past and future generations of their own families.

Although Vermare is moved by all 16 distinct explorations of home, she told PDN she is drawn to Alessandra Sanguinetti’s photographs of her aging parents in Buenos Aries for the way the images “delve into their skin and the way their skin is rendered, at once raw and tender in so much depth and detail.” The images, she said, speak to “an unconditional and forgiving love and the melancholy of time going by.”

The road trip that Moises Saman chronicled on his way to Peru, the place where he was born but never knew, also resonates visually and psychologically with Vermare. The trip “was a very emotional experience for him,” she told PDN, adding, “his work is a striking combination of portraits and landscape that feels like a quest for self-identification.”

The full roster of participating photographers is Antoine d’Agata, Olivia Arthur, Jonas Bendiksen, Chien-Chi Chang, Thomas Dworzak, Elliott Erwitt, David Alan Harvey, Hiroji Kubota, Alex Majoli, Trent Parke, Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Mark Power, Moises Saman, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Alec Soth and Alex Webb.

To learn more about the exhibition, book and public programming for “Home” visit its dedicated website.

-Sarah Stacke

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