Ron Haviv Haiti Earthquake Gallery Opening at VII Photo Agency

March 25th, 2010

IMG_3573One of the beauties of working in NY, in the field I am most passionate about, is that I get a chance to go to some of the things I’ve spent years receiving emails about but, being in Seattle, I never attend.

I went to VII gallery on the March First Thursday Art Walk in DUMBO, where Ron Haviv’s recent work from Haiti was showing. It coincided with a release of a book whose proceeds were to support an NGO, I believe it’s Partners in Health, that’s working in Haiti.

The show was curated by Sabine Meyer, who was a past client and photo director at National Geographic Adventure (before it became a victim of the economy). She was assisted by Caroline Hirsch, who also was a photo editor at the same publication. They made it just under the wire; Sabine received the last print that day, while it was still a little wet.

IMG_3572Later in the evening one of my new roommates, a social worker by education, arrived. He found the work troubling, disturbing, and felt conflicted. I found our conversation good; I was reminded of a non-journalistic way of looking at pictures of people’s suffering and vulnerability, something trending toward the feeling that the subjects are being exploited. Though I work with sexual violence and human trafficking, and believe I am sensitive to the issues and ethics, I didn’t feel the subjects in the images were being exploited. But it’s good to be reminded of what the other side of the camera is like. If anything, what disturbed me most was the scene in the gallery, supplemented by some of the overheard conversation. There seemed to be a big disconnect with the images on the walls. But maybe that’s just the way it is at gallery shows. (at right: sabine meyer, just before catching a late train home, stands in front of the print that arrived late and wet).

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