On display in New York through January 9, the showcase weaves together the visual explorations of 12 female Magnum Photos image-makers, from Alessandra Sanguinetti to Sabiha Çimen
The world-renowned International Center of Photography has spoken loud and clear: the future of image-making is female, or at least so are the perspectives explored by its ongoing exhibition, Close Enough, which spotlights some of the most inspiring women photographers on the contemporary photography scene.
Borrowing its title from Magnum co-founder Robert Capa’s quote “if your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”, the exhibition allows each participating photographer a platform where to “narrate their creative journey, providing vantage points into the extraordinary relationships they create within global situations, communities and individual subjects”.
Curated by Charlotte Cotton, a curator, writer and creative consultant who has made photographic culture the main focus of her professional career, having scrutinised and written about its visual language and forms for over 25 years, Close Enough presents pivotal works from a diverse, intergenerational roster of Magnum female photographers. According to ICP executive director David E. Little, each project featured in the show “points to the contemporary evolution of concerned photography around the globe and reflects on the complexity of politics and representation today”.
From the long-term projects of Alessandra Sanguinetti and Bieke Depoorter to Sabiha Çimen’s exploration of young Turkish women of Islamic background – passing through Myriam Boulos’ raw, powerful documentation of youth, queerness and protest in Lebanon – the exhibition immerses viewers in a multifaceted dimension where contrasting stories and diverging realities unite, bound together by an all-encompassing photographic narrative.
Through a collection of more than 150 images lensed by 12 different photographers, Close Enough succeeds in shifting attention from a male-dominated world to bring to the fore the unique, countless idiosyncrasies of the female gaze.
It does so by voicing the (otherwise silenced) experiences of those living on the margins of society through Bieke Depoorter’s multiyear series Agata, which dives into the life of a young club performer in Paris, and in Susan Meiselas’ project on women seeking refuge from domestic violence in the Midlands, UK; in Nanna Heitmann’s complex investigation of the Russo-Ukrainian war as well as in the female-inspired photo series of Hannah Price, Carolyn Drake and Newsha Tavakolian – all tackling, in one way or another, what it is like to be a woman today.
“Collectively, the 12 photographers’ work in Close Enough presents inspirational narratives
about the practice of photography, with surprising turns in each artist’s deliberations and
actions in response to the challenges they navigate,” said exhibition curator Charlotte Cotton.
“Through the combination of newly made work, reflections on previous projects, and works-in-progress, in this exhibition we gain insight into this group’s determination, urgency, and resourcefulness, with each photographer taking account of her practice, inviting us to get close enough.”
Close Enough is open at the International Center of Photography, New York, until January 9.