Entry Title: "Strangely Familiar"
Yseult Chehata ,
This book features richly detailed, internally charged portraits of small town performers in circuses and other traveling troupes taken over a period of six years in the Ukraine, Russia, Israel and England. Chelbins most frequent subjects are children and adolescents, yet her work encompasses a mix of generations. As Leah Ollman notes in the books text, The atmosphere falls somewhere between public and private. Theres a slight titillation of having personal access to performers who, typically, are experienced only remotely. Most immediate, though, are the visual contrasts between young and old, large and small, innocence and experience. Often captured in performance costumes, Chelbins palette is intense, with a distinctive use of saturated pinks, blues, and greens. Her black-and-white images, which are intermingled throughout the book, have an almost Pictorialist richness. Though her influences are evidentmost notably August Sander and Diane Arbusthe photographs in Strangely Familiar have a unique visual and emotional impact.
Aperturelocated in New Yorks Chelsea art districtis a world-renowned non-profit publisher and exhibition space dedicated to promoting photography in all its forms. Aperture was founded in 1952 by photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, and Minor White; historian Beaumont Newhall; and writer/curator Nancy Newhall, among others. These visionaries created a new quarterly periodical, Aperture magazine, to foster both the development and the appreciation of the photographic medium and its practitioners. In the 1960s, Aperture expanded to include the publication of books (over five hundred to date) that comprise one of the most comprehensive and innovative libraries in the history of photography and art. Apertures programs now include artist lectures and panel discussions, limited-edition photographs, and traveling exhibitions that show at major museums and arts institutions in the U.S. and internationally.