Paris Photo debuts in LA tomorrow but why is this news? The city has art fairs and photography fairs a few times each year. Here is the difference. Director Julien Frydman, who became director of Paris Photo two years ago, is embracing images made by a camera and trying to avoid historic distinctions between artists and photographers and their respective dealers. To make the point clear, he has staged the fair at Paramount Studios, on the sound stages and in the store fronts of the New York City facades, where so many films have been made that influence artists. When bringing the fair to LA, Frydman thought of all the well-known artists in the city known for using photography. Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, for instance. He says it is time to forget about the boundaries between being specialized in photography or art. "I'm trying to make a market place that makes sense," he told me.
JR, "The Wrinkles of the City, Los Angeles - Carl in Silverlake – USA," 2011
Colour photograph, mat plexiglas, aluminium, wood
© ADAGP, Paris, 2013 & Ars, New York, 2013
Courtesy Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong & Paris
To be sure, there are plenty of highly respected dealers known for representing photographers: Howard Greenberg from New York, Fraenkel from San Francisco, K.O.N.G. from Seoul, Magnin-A from Paris. But there is a healthy gathering of contemporary art galleries who represent both photographers and artists using photography: Daniel Blau from London, Perrotin who is sharing a space with 1900-2000 Paris, who shows a dizzying selection of Man Ray prints, Karsten Greve from St. Moritz.
Possibly addressing this collapse of boundaries is a first rate series of presentations organized by curator Douglas Fogle called Sound and Vision. Doug Aitken and Thomas Demand introduced by Whitney curator Chrissie Iles, Gregory Crewdson with Mad Men's Matthew Weiner introduced by Marc Oliver Wahler, former director of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, (who has organized some of the Ceci N'est Pas shows in L.A.) John Divola and Richard Misrach, traditionally trained photographers introduced by Erin O'Toole, photography curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This is not your usual photo fair.
The fair is open from 12 to 7 on Friday and Saturday, 12 to 6 on Sunday. For tickets and information, go to http://losangeles.parisphoto.com.
Banner image: Paramount Pictures backlot. Photo Courtesy Paramount Pictures Studios