The Visual Voice: New Photo Book Narratives at RayKo Photo Center

The Visual Voice: New Photo Book Narratives at RayKo Photo Center 

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 5th, 6-8pm

Exhibition dates: February 5th - March 3rd, 2015

FEATURED ARTISTS: Stephen Albair, Luis Delgado, Jose Diniz, McNair Evans, Brad Freeman, Lydia Goldblatt, Toni Greaves, Lorena Guillen Vaschetti, Patricia Lagarde, Marcus Lyon, Diana Matar, Clifton Meador, Carlos Javier Ortiz, David Pace, Darcy Padilla, Luis Palacios Kaim, Jana Romanova, Tate Shaw, Liz Steketee, Imrich Veber, Wenxin Zhang, and Philip Zimmerman

I met Jana Romanova at a café in St. Petersburg, Russia. She handed me an unwieldy accordion book containing portraits of her family. As I unfolded the book, spellbound, Jana revealed her story. Simply recounting, "Shvilishvili" is Georgian for “grandchild,” literally it could be translated as “a child of a child”. In this project, presented as a book-object, the author questions the value of family photography and family ties themselves in modern society through an attempt to unite her relatives from one bloodline by photography. The family is divided between two countries — Russia and Georgia, — and the problems of its members on both sides of the border arise from the post-war political situation as well as the tragic story of a murder committed inside the family. As I turned page after page, staring into the intense gazes of her family members, the secret of her grandparents’ murder is revealed. As quietly as the turning of a page. I began to think about narrativesand how the photo book is a vehicle for more than pictures, but for the story itself. A journey. A revelation. I’ve been collecting photography books since I was 20 and had been spending copious amounts of time absorbing novels, big and small, in literature classes. I recognized then that in the photography books that moved me, it wasn’t just the images, but the tale told.

In this ambitious exhibition at RayKo Photo Center, gallery director, Ann Jastrab collaborated with Steve Woodall, the director at the Center for Book and Paper in Chicago, to select a variety of narrative photo books.. We’ve chosen not only multiple books from 22 different artists from around the world, but we’ve also selected photographs from the books to be displayed and will have videos of each book for viewing. Since some of these books are one-of-a-kind, they can’t be handled. There are other books, like Carlos Javier Ortiz’s “We All We Got” and McNair Evans’ “Confessions for a Son” which will have trade editions available. Many of the artists will be in attendance from as far away as Brazil and the Czech Republic. Come and experience the book as object and art piece and see how these photographers tell their stories. Exhibition opening Thursday, February 5th, 6-8pm. Exhibition on view until March 3rd, 2015. 

About RayKo

RayKo Photo Center & Gallery is a comprehensive photographic facility, located near the Yerba Buena Arts District, with resources for anyone with a passion for photography. Established in the early 1990’s, RayKo Photo Center has grown to become one of San Francisco’s most beloved photography darkroom spaces; it includes traditional b&w, color and alternative process labs as well as a state-of-the-art digital department, a professional rental studio, galleries, and the Photographer’s Marketplace - a retail space promoting the work of regional artists. RayKo also has San Francisco’s 1st Art*O*Mat vending machine and a vintage 1947 black & white Auto-Photo Booth and a retail store that sells all types of used film cameras, from view cameras to Leicas to a build-your-own Nikon station. Everything you need to make any type of photograph!

RayKo Gallery serves to advance public appreciation of photography and create opportunities for regional, national and international artists to create and present their work. RayKo Gallery offers 1600 square feet of exhibition space and the Photographer’s Marketplace, which encourages the collection of artwork by making it accessible to collectors of all levels. RayKo also has an artist-in-residence program to further support artists in the development of their photographic projects and ideas.

RayKo Photo Center & Gallery

428 Third Street

San Francisco, CA 94107

415-495-3773 (ph)

Tuesday-Thursday: 10-10 pm

Friday-Sunday: 10-8 pm

Monday: closed

*RayKo is located in the SOMA arts district of San Francisco within walking distance of SFMOMA, the Moscone Center, Yerba Buena Gardens, as well as AT&T Ballpark.

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