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Aperture In Person

John Berger: Understanding a Photograph

Wednesday, November 13

6:30 pm

Aperture Gallery and Bookstore 547 West 27th Street New York, NY

$5 DONATION

This event is free for students with ID and Members of Aperture at the $50 level and above.

Join Aperture and Geoff Dyer for a conversation on John Berger and his writings on photography, with panelists Christophe Agou, Wendy Lesser, and Lawrence Weschler. The panel is presented in conjunction with Aperture’s new book Understanding a Photograph, the first collection of Berger’s writings on the subject. Edited and with an introduction by Dyer, the book includes previously uncollected pieces written for exhibitions or catalogs, discussing a wide range of artists—from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Jitka Hanzlová.

This panel is part of the Aperture In Person series.

Geoff Dyer is the author of Ways of Telling, a critical study of John Berger, and a critically acclaimed book on photography titled The Ongoing Moment. He also has written four novels and five genre-defying books, including But Beautiful, awarded the Somerset Maugham Award.

Christophe Agou (born in Montbrison, France, 1969) settled in New York in 1992. This early voluntary exile, an urge to immerse himself in a completely different world, is typical of the work that Agou has been developing over the last twenty years. Working with equal ease in black-and-white and color, from landscapes to portraits, he first gained notoriety with the publication of Life Below (2004). His other monographs include the critically acclaimed Face au Silence (2011, winner of the 2010 European Publishers Award for Photography) and, most recently, Les Faits Secondaires (2013). His work has been widely exhibited at major institutions and festivals across the world. He splits his time between the United States and France, and is working on a documentary film (Sans Adieu) and a collection of short stories (Je De Hasard).

Wendy Lesser is a critic, novelist, and founding editor of The Threepenny Review. Her tenth book, Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books, will be out in January from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. She has received awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, American Academy in Berlin, National Endowment for the Humanities, Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, Dedalus Foundation, and many other institutions. She is a current fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as of the New York Institute for the Humanities. Her journalistic writing about literature, dance, film, and music has appeared in a number of periodicals in the United States and abroad. Born in California and educated at Harvard and UC Berkeley, Lesser now divides her time between Berkeley and New York.

Lawrence Weschler was for over twenty years (1981–2001) a staff writer at the New Yorker, where his work shuttled between political tragedies and cultural comedies, and was for the past twelve years the director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. He is artistic director emeritus of the Chicago Humanities Festival and curator of the annual Live Ideas Festival at Bill T. Jones’s New York Live Arts. He is the author of over fifteen books, including Seeing is Forgetting the Thing One Sees, True to Life (counterpunctal biographies of Robert Irwin and David Hockney), and most recently, Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative.

John Berger: Understanding a Photograph