“The most enjoyable afternoon of stories both personal and professional—he will delve into the photography world in the most unusual way. Learning should always be this fun.”
—Elaine Goldman, collector of photography and past workshop participant
W. M. (Bill) Hunt led a one-day workshop at Aperture Foundation, intended for people who look at photographs and who want to challenge and heighten both their sense of seeing and their ability to talk about what they see.
The workshop offered photography lovers an insight into Hunt’s personal collection and how he came into collecting. During the first half of the workshop, Hunt discussed the challenges of finding a great photograph in a world filled with good photographs. He shared personal stories and encouraged the workshop participants to “find what excites you, and pursue it.” Hunt explained to participants that a great photograph will do three things: make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, make your heart beat faster, and keep your feet planted in front of it. In his lecture, Hunt showcased a wide variety of photographers including Richard Misrach, Bill Brandt, Sally Mann, and Nathan Lerner.
Participants had the pleasure of meeting Chris Boot, executive director of Aperture, and debated the role of photography in today’s current economic, political, and social state. During the second half of the workshop participants discussed photographs that they thought were great and why they felt that way. Hunt challenged the participants to find photographs that were not necessarily their favorites but ones they thought were extraordinary. Peggy Roalf, former editor and curator at Aperture, joined the conversation and gave her opinion about what makes a photograph great, using Josef Koudelka’s work as an example. Gwyneth Degraf, former workshop participant, was also asked to speak with the group and shared photographs made by Damon Winter.
W. M. Hunt is a champion of photography and frequent presenter both in the U.S. and internationally, from Shanghai to São Paulo. He is a longtime adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts, New York, and organizer of the W. Eugene Smith Talks at Aperture and the Your Picture . . . series for PDN’s PhotoPlus. Hunt’s Three Ring Circus: American Groups Before 1950 was exhibited in New York last year in collaboration with the ICP after traveling to Arles, Bologna, and Houston. His book The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious (Aperture, 2011) was the basis for a large show that debuted at the Rencontres d’Arles, France, then toured to the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; FOAM, Amsterdam; and the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York.
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