Monday, December 26, 2005

Picturing Some Shocks That Flesh Is Heir To

By GRACE GLUECK @ New York Times

With war photographs confronting us daily, do we need an exhibition to remind us of the body's vulnerability? But the havoc caused by war is only one aspect of it. There is disease, domestic violence, environmental pollution, the enfeeblement of old age, starvation, drug addiction and more - much more. It's a gloomy picture and "The Body at Risk: Photography of Disorder, Illness and Healing" at the International Center of Photography is not for the squeamish. But the show is not all downbeat.

"The Body at Risk" is a collaboration between the photography center and the Milbank Memorial Fund, a New York-based foundation that since 1905 has sought to improve public health through research and advocacy. The show was assembled by Carol Squiers, a curator at the center, from the work of 16 documentary photographers, among them Lewis Hine, W. Eugene Smith, Dorothea Lange, Donna Ferrato, SebastiĆ£o Salgado and Marion Post Wolcott. Ms. Squiers has also written a substantial catalog.

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