Ulrich Gebert, Penelope Umbrico, and Zoe Crosher Sail Through A Sea of Photography

Three shows try to sort through it all

So, how does photography contribute to archiving and controlling the world with beautiful, rational systems? You sense a shift. The Bechers went for objects isolated from their contexts and rigorously standardized. Their famous students—Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky, and Candida Höfer (a/k/a "Stuffsky")—turned that organizing aesthetic into a Technicolor exegesis on globalization and late capitalism. Now, randomness and subjectivity rule. It's like returning to the era of Goya and The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (1799), or Géricault's frenzied Mounted Officer of the Imperial Guard (1812).

Pig and a poke: Gebert's Life among beasts G (2009)
Courtesy Winkleman Gallery and the artist
Pig and a poke: Gebert's Life among beasts G (2009)


Ulrich Gebert: 'This Much Is Certain'
Winkleman Gallery
621 West 27th Street, 212-643-3152
Through February 13

Penelope Umbrico: 'Leonards for Leonard & 5,537,594 Suns From Flickr'
Brooklyn Academy of Music
30 Lafayette Street, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100
Through March 14

Zoe Crosher: 'The Unraveling of Michelle duBois'
195 Bowery, 212-741-9955
Through February 14

Photography, like art in general, is a decent barometer. Powerful enough to have created a global crisis? Probably not. But it's pretty good at reading the weather.

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