ABOUT THE BOOK
“Time, my twin, take me by the hand through the streets of your city” — Ilya Kaminsky
Photographers Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb take an elegiac look at Rochester, New York, a city that was for 125 years the home of Eastman Kodak, which declared bankruptcy in 2012. These images, taken during what may be the last days of film as we know it, are a meditation on film, memory, time, and the city itself.
For this project, Alex took images with his last rolls of Kodachrome, a formerly vibrant color film that can now only be processed as black-and white. The resulting photos have a weathered quality akin to a fading memory. Alex also took to the streets of Rochester and shot in digital color – work that punctuates the black and white work with images from his signature style. Rebecca, who still uses film for all her work, responded to the medium’s uncertain future by creating an elegiac refrain of color still lifes and portraits of Rochester women past and present.
Woven into the book are quotes by many of the famous writers and thinkers who have been connected to Rochester, including women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and poets John Ashbery and Ilya Kaminsky. And the authors have also created a timeline on the cultural history of the city that traces the evolution of a once-vibrant and now complex city.
The design of the book includes a separate booklet and special tipped-in images throughout. As both previous RADIUS books with these artists have sold out quickly – this is sure to be a collector’s item.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Alex Webb is best known for his vibrant and complex color work, especially from Latin America and the Caribbean. He has published nine books, including Istanbul: City of a Hundred Names and Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba (with Rebecca Norris Webb), the latter exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2011. His ninth book, The Suffering of Light, is a collection of 30 years of his color work (1st ed., 2011; 2nd ed. spring 2013). Alex has exhibited at museums worldwide including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y., and the Guggenheim Museum, N.Y. Alex became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1979. His work has appeared in National Geographic, the New York Times Magazine, Geo, and other magazines. He has received numerous awards and grants including a Hasselblad Foundation Grant in 1998 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007. Alex’s tenth book — the joint book with Rebecca Norris Webb, Memory City, a photographic meditation on Rochester (NY), film, and time — will be published in spring 2014 from Radius Books.
Originally a poet, Rebecca Norris Webb has published three photography books that explore the complicated relationship between people and the natural world — The Glass Between Us, Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba (with Alex Webb), and My Dakota, selected as one of best photography books of 2012 by PDN, Photo-Eye, and Time. Her work is in the permanent collection of the MFA, Boston, George Eastman House, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, North Dakota Museum of Art, among other museums. My Dakota and Violet Isle have been exhibited at the Ricco/Maresca Gallery, NYC, North Dakota Museum of Art, and the Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Time, National Geographic, and Le Monde Magazine. For the past 15 years, she’s been teaching photography workshops with Alex Webb for universities, arts organizations, museums, and photography festivals around the world. Rebecca’s fourth book, Memory City — her second collaborative project with Alex — will be exhibited first at the Visual Studies Center in Rochester, NY, in late spring 2014, and then travel to other venues after that.