ICP Museum || Good Bye BoBBy

On June 8, 1968, thousands of people lined the train tracks from New York to Washington, DC, paying their last respects and expressing bewilderment and sorrow at the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. The train carrying the senator’s body took eight hours to make the trip toward Kennedy’s final resting place, Arlington National Cemetery. Photographer Paul Fusco documented the funeral train’s journey and his images have become emblematic of the loss of idealism during a period of political upheaval in the United States. Dutch visual artist, photographer, and filmmaker Rein Jelle Terpstra has been tracking down the bystanders’ views of this day. He has collected more than two hundred images, including snapshots and home movies of the train. In RFK Funeral Train: The People’s View, Terpstra combines a multiscreen video projection that stitches together this collection of vernacular photographs and audio and video remembrances of these mourners with prints by Fusco. Through this project, Terpstra adds a new chapter to a collective memory that is slowly disappearing.

ICP Museum, Lower East Side, Manhattan

August 16th, 2018

ICP Museum || The Decisive moment

Sometimes it happens that you stall, delay, wait for something to happen. Sometimes you have the feeling that here are all the makings of a picture – except for just one thing that seems to be missing. But what one thing? Perhaps someone suddenly walks into your range of view. You follow his progress through the viewfinder. You wait and wait, and then finally you press the button – and you depart with the feeling (though you don’t know why) that you’ve really got something. Later, to substantiate this, you can take a print of this picture, trace it on the geometric figures which come up under analysis, and you’ll observe that, if the shutter was released at the decisive moment, you have instinctively fixed a geometric pattern without which the photograph would have been both formless and lifeless. – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Prostitute, Calle Cuauhtemoctzin, Mexico City, 1934

Behind the Gare St. Lazare, Place de  l’Europe, Paris, 1932

Coronation of King George VI, Trafalgar Square, London, May 12, 1937

Dessau, Germany, May-June 1945

Downtown, Manhattan, New York, 1947

Manhattan, New York, 1947

Saul Steinberg, Vermont, 1947

Jean-Paul Sartre, Le Pont des Arts, Paris, 1946

Rangoon, Burma, 1948

The Forbidden City, Beijing, December 1948

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment examined Cartier-Bresson’s influential publication, widely considered to be one of the most important photobooks of the twentieth century. Pioneering for its emphasis on the photograph itself as a unique narrative form, The Decisive Moment was described by Robert Capa as “a Bible for photographers.” Originally titled Images à la Sauvette (“images on the run”) in French, the book was published in English with a new title, The Decisive Moment, which unintentionally imposed the motto which would define Cartier-Bresson’s work. – International Center of Photography (ICP)

August 16th, 2018

ICP Museum || The Fun Moment

Christina Fernandez, Untitled Esposure

Roni Horn
This is Me, This is You (1997-2000) – 48 pairs of photographs the artist took of her niece Georgia Loy between childhood and adolescence (detail)

Roni Horn
This is Me, This is You (1997-2000) – 48 pairs of photographs the artist took of her niece Georgia Loy between childhood and adolescence (detail)

ICP Museum, Lower East Side, Manhattan

August 16th, 2018

The Museum at Eldridge Street

From the posh Fifth Avenue establishments overlooking Central Park on the Upper East Side, the third – and final – leg of our discovery OHNY weekend brought us south, to one of New York’s first neighbourhoods where millions of immigrants from all over the world came to settle and where, by 1900, more than 700 people per acre were living in an area lined with tenements and factories, according to the Library of Congress.

Between 1880 and 1924, 2,5 million mostly impoverished Ashkenazi Jews came to the U.S. and nearly 75 percent took up residence on the Lower East Side. (source)

After years of makeshift gatherings in tenements, a dedicated place of worship had become a necessity. Thus the Eldridge Street Synagogue opened its doors in 1887 to New York City Jews from all walks of life. The crowds on holy days were so great that police on horseback had to impose crowd-control. But then came the 1920s with a series of laws to limit the flow of immigrants, the number of worshipers began to decline, many moved to the suburbs and so the Synagogue fell into disuse – and later in complete disrepair.

A sign inside the Museum reads:

‘On a narrow street in Chinatown, in a bustling and ever-changing neighbourhood, the Eldridge Street Synagogue stands – a vestige of another era. It is among the last remaining markers of a time when the Lower East Side was the largest Jewish community in the world. As the first grand synagogue built in America by immigrants from Eastern Europe, it is a repository of its founders’ pride, traditions and spirit. And it is a testament to the struggles of the generations that followed, as well as to the dedication of a new community that gathered to save and renew it.

In December 2007, the restoration of the Synagogue was completed. It took twenty years to bring it back from the brink of ruin to the awe-inspiring landmark it is today, bathed in a soft light pouring from the rose glass window, on the one side, and Kiki Smith’s starry stained-glass, on the other.

For more about the Synagogue’s painstaking restoration please check the Museum’s webpage (before and after photos). The difference is simply astonishing.

Another sign inside the Museum reads:

I don’t know about my photos but the place is wonderfully photogenic – that much is true:

In this series we revisited three – out of the dozens of – buildings and sites that opened their doors during OHNY weekend, on October 14 & 15th, 2017:

The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York
Cultural Services of the French Embassy & Albertine
The Eldridge Street Synagogue


Open House New York weekend takes place every year in October.
Next series coming up:  October 19-20, 2019.

At Katz’s

Before going to Katz’s make sure you work up a very healthy appetite. That’s what all that flânerie, walking from Hell’s Kitchen down to the East Village,  helped us do and even then we had to share a pastrami sandwich. For Katz’s Delicatessen is renowned not only for their legendary pastrami but also for their sandwiches of gargantuan proportions (ok, and for that orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally which, having tasted said pastrami, it totally makes sense).

August 20th, 2017