Sara Christoph is a former Managing Director of the Brooklyn Rail.
AN-MY LÊ with Sara Christoph
Living through the Vietnam War as a child and immigrating to the United States as a teenager, An-My Lês life has been indelibly marked by international conflict. For over two decades, her work as a photographer has engaged the unseen facets within the theater of war.
SHAHZIA SIKANDER with Sara Christoph
Since moving to the U.S. from Pakistan in the mid-’90s, Shahzia Sikander has pushed through boundaries corroded by decades of multiculturalist rhetoric with an artistic practice that reimagines the connections between Eastern experiences and Western perspectives.
THOMAS ROMA and LEO RUBINFIEN with Sara Christoph
For Thomas Roma and Leo Rubinfien, two photographers who came of age when American giants like Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus, and Garry Winogrand were redefining the black-and-white medium, conversations around the practice of photography are fist-shaking discussions of life, tears, vulnerability, and ethics.
GERMAINE RICHIERBy Sara Christoph
Though housed in the impeccable walls of Dominique Lévy uptown, the sculptures of Germaine Richier look to have been unearthed just moments ago, as if pulled from the ground like the cast bodies of Pompeii.
FORREST BESS Seeing Things InvisibleBy Sara Christoph
I feel like a pelican in a church, Forrest Bess wrote to his dealer, Betty Parsons, in 1949. He was staying at a friends house in Woodstock, New York, painting and passing time until the opening of his first show in December of that same year.
CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS The Production Line of HappinessBy Sara Christoph
Stepping through the grand red doorway of The Production Line of Happiness, a single photograph of a finger touching a glowing green button hangs on the wall.
MUNRO GALLOWAY Belief SystemBy Sara Christoph
Munro Galloways recent exhibition at Soloway, entitled Belief System, begins with a Surrealist prompt and ends with pure pigment, rich and untethered.
Personal Correspondents: Photography and Letter Writing in Civil War BrooklynBy Sara Christoph
A boy with a youthful round face, maybe eight or ten years old, stands tall with his arms relaxed at his sides. He wears a dark suit, well-worn boots, and a wrinkled white apron. His clothes swallow his body as if designed for someone taller.
CLEMENT SIATOUS SagrenBy Sara Christoph
In 1968, in coordination with the United States, the British government began to forcibly expel nearly 2,000 inhabitants of Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands chain in the Indian Ocean.
Johan Grimonprez | blue orchids |By Sara Christoph
In describing the indomitable corporations that shape the global arms trade, Riccardo Privitera, star of Johan Grimonprez’s film blue orchids (2017), takes a long draw from his Merit cigarette, and shapes his stout fingers into a claw.
Beatriz Santiago MUÑOZ A Universe of Fragile MirrorsBy Sara Christoph
The films of San Juan-based artist Beatriz Santiago Muñoz are startlingly enchanting. Steeped in the visual traditions of cinéma vérité and postcolonial theory, the filmmaker’s long, intimate shots belie rigorous tactics of destabilization.
William Eggleston The Democratic ForestBy Sara Christoph
Through the lens of Eggleston’s sensuous, radical color, the things that seemed so distant at the time—most poignantly, the fragility of the American Dream—were very close indeed.
GARRY WINOGRANDBy Sara Christoph
I think there isnt a photograph in the world that has any narrative ability, Garry Winogrand told Bill Moyers in 1982. They do not tell storiesthey show you what something looks like. To a camera.
A World of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700 BC - 200 ADBy Sara Christoph
The tragedy of Ajax, a fierce, respected warrior who loses himself within frenzied slaughter, still resounds two thousand years later. “Yet I feel his wretchedness,” Odysseus, his rival, laments. “My enemy, yes, but caught up in a terrible doom.
CLARE GRILL CombBy Sara Christoph
What does it mean, now, in an age of public spectacle and private surveillance, to paint pictures of domestic life? Has that worddomesticalready prodded you to the next review? It is a term so loaded, so heavy with the dueling stones of feminist theory and conservative conformity.
ADRIANA VAREJÃO Kindred SpiritsBy Sara Christoph
In the spring of 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law, erecting a boundarythe Mississippi Riverbetween Americans in the East, and those unwelcome inhabitants, Native Americans, forced to the West.
SARAH PETERSBy Sara Christoph
In the mythological tales of ancient Greece, the power of a seer was her ability to see through timeboth a blessing and a curse.
ARNE SVENSON: The WorkersBy Sara Christoph
Photographer Arne Svenson has garnered much notoriety as of late. The infamy began in 2013, when Svenson was lampooned in the Tribeca Citizen by his neighbors, appalled that he would secretly photograph them within their glass houses (The Neighbors, 2012). He went to court twice to protect his actions as fine art; twice the court ruled in his favor.
FRANCESCA WOODMANBy Sara Christoph
In 1978, when Francesca Woodman was 20 years old and beginning a life as an artist, John Berger wrote “Uses of Photography.” In the essay, Berger distinguishes between two functions of the medium: private and public.
A Sequence of Coherent WordsBy Sara Christoph
In these dark, unshakable, post-election days—when terrible contingencies claw at one’s balance—what is an art writer to do? Language feels imperiled, rhetoric thrown about like confetti and calcifying into a divisive wall of apathy.
Portraits: John Berger on ArtistsBy Sara Christoph
For many of us, John Berger is a marker in time. There is the period before our first exposure to his profound and radical insights, and the period after, when the controlling circuitries of power and class are revealed.
How To See the World: An Introduction to Images, from Self-Portraits to Selfies, Maps to Movies, and MoreBy Sara Christoph
How To See the World is like a set of jumper cables for the eyes, jolting us out of our image glut. Nicholas Mirzoeff, a visual culture theorist and professor of media at NYU, continues the democratizing work of John Berger’s Ways of Seeing (1972) by expanding the scope of image studies to phenomena as diverse as 19th-century battlefield maps and astronaut selfies in space.
Rosemarys Greenpoint TavernBy Sara Christoph
Only four swift, tourist-cluttered blocks from the newly minted Apple store, a veritable oasis lies in wait. Push through Rosemary’s swinging wooden doors and bathe in a ruby-red glow of year-round Christmas lights, throw back a $3 Budweiser, and attempt to slowly out-woo a warm, dreadlocked bartender who calls everyone “honey.”
Marie’s CrisisBy Sara Christoph
To the last evening of freedom—the toast heard with every clinking glass. On the night of Thursday, January 19, Marie’s Crisis, a stronghold of New York life for more than a century, bubbled over with Weimarian revelry.
The Fat Black PussycatBy Sara Christoph
On a recent, unseasonably frigid Saturday night, four friends turned to comedy for an escape from the times. (“If presidents can’t do it to their wives, they do it to their country,” Mel Brooks once said.)