In this conversation, Willis speaks with Brendan Wattenberg, managing editor of Aperture Magazine, about the iconic images central to Willis’s career, tracing themes of representation and beauty in historic archives, photojournalism, fashion, and fine art photography from the nineteenth century to the present.
A Conversation with Deb Willis & Brendan Wattenberg
Featuring: Deborah Willis & Brendan Wattenberg
Friday, September 15 | 5:00PM – 5:45PM
Location: St. Ann’s Warehouse – 45 Water St DUMBO Brooklyn
Deb Willis is a celebrated photographer, acclaimed historian of photography, MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, and University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. As an author and curator, her pioneering research has focused on cultural histories envisioning the black body, women, and gender. In this conversation, Willis speaks with Brendan Wattenberg, managing editor of Aperture Magazine, about the iconic images central to Willis’s career, tracing themes of representation and beauty in historic archives, photojournalism, fashion, and fine art photography from the nineteenth century to the present.
Deb Willis, Ph.D, is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has an affiliated appointment with NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences in the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis’ Africana Studies program. She teaches courses on photography and imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories visualizing the black body, women, and gender. Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, the photographic history of slavery and emancipation, contemporary women photographers and beauty. She received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and was a Richard D. Cohen Fellow in African and African American Art at Harvarrd University’s Hutchins Center and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Professor Willis received the NAACP Image Award in 2014 for her co-authored book (with Barbara Krauthamer) “Envisioning Emancipation”. Other notable projects include “The Black Female Body A Photographic History,” “Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers – 1840 to the Present,” “Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present,” “Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs” (an NAACP Image Award Literature Winner), and “Black Venus 2010: They Called Her ‘Hottentot’”.
Brendan Wattenberg is the managing editor of Aperture magazine and is the former director of exhibitions at The Walther Collection in New York. He has contributed essays and interviews to NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Another Africa, Contemporary And, and Aperture’s PhotoBook Review, and is the editor of the photobooks “François-Xavier Gbré: The Past is a Foreign Country” and “Samuel Fosso: The Spectacle of the Body”. Wattenberg holds a BA in English from Haverford College and an MA in Africana Studies from New York University. He has served on the jury for the Addis Foto Fest in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2016) and the Changjiang International Photography and Video Art Biennale in Chongqing, China (2017).