Words Against Photographs: Teju Cole in Conversation
Friday, May 01, 2015
Event hosted by: SVA's MFA Art Criticism & Writing department
MFA Art Criticism and WritingÂ presents novelist, photographer and critic Teju Cole and writer Emmanuel Iduma in conversation with department chair David Levi Strauss.
This wide-ranging discussion, among three generations of writers, will focus on the curious and conflicted relation between words and photographs. Topics include Coleâ€™s attraction to pairing images with words in his novelÂ Every Day Is For the ThiefÂ (Random House, 2014), on Twitter and in his new role as the photography critic for theÂ New York Times Magazine; David Levi Straussâ€™s new book,Â Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow: Essays on the Present and Future of Photography(Aperture, 2014); and the larger questions about how photographic images are operating today, online and in print.
This event is free & open to the public — no RSVP is required.
Teju ColeÂ is the author of two works of fiction that radically expand our understanding of diaspora and dislocation in the twenty-first century. Cole was born in the US to Nigerian parents, raised in Lagos, and currently resides in New York City, which serves as both setting and subject ofÂ Open CityÂ (Random House, 2011). The novel, which documents the roaming thoughts and encounters of a Nigerian-German psychiatrist, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and earned Cole a PEN/Hemingway Award, the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and frequent comparisons to W.G. Sebald. InÂ Every Day Is for the Thief, published in 2007 in Nigeria and in 2014 in the US, a dual American and Nigerian citizen travels from his home in New York to Lagos and finds himself a stranger.Â Every DayÂ features original photographs by the author, and was named a Book of the Year by theÂ New York Times, theÂ Telegraph, theÂ Globe and Mail, andÂ NPR. Cole is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College, photography critic of theÂ New York Times Magazine, and is currently at work on a nonfiction book about contemporary Lagos.
Emmanuel IdumaÂ is the author of the novelÂ FaradÂ (Parresia, 2012), and the co-editor ofÂ Gambit: Newer African WritingÂ (The Mantle, 2014). He has worked as director and co-publisher ofÂ Saraba Magazine, and with Invisible Borders, a group of traveling photographers and writers that will be included in the 2015 Venice Biennale. He is currently an MFA Art Criticism and Writing student.
David Levi StraussÂ is the author ofÂ Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow,Â From Head to Hand: Art and the ManualÂ (Oxford University Press, 2010),Â Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics, with an introduction by John Berger (Aperture 2003, and in a new edition, 2012), andÂ Between Dog & Wolf: Essays on Art and Politics(Autonomedia 1999, and a new edition with a prolegomenon by Hakim Bey, 2010). Strauss was a Guggenheim fellow in 2003 and received the Infinity Award for Writing from the International Center of Photography in 2007.