Close Enough is the ICP exhibition capturing the world through the eyes of women photographers

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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”.

Bieke Depoorter, Agata, from Agata, a collaboration with Agata Kay, Paris, France, November 2, 2017. © Bieke Depoorter / Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter, Agata, from Agata, a collaboration with Agata Kay, Paris, France, November 2, 2017. © Bieke Depoorter / Magnum Photos

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.

Myriam Boulos, Jasmine and Laura-Joy kissing in the grand theater, Beirut, Lebanon, October 20, 2019. © Myriam Boulos / Magnum Photos
Myriam Boulos, Jasmine and Laura-Joy kissing in the grand theater, Beirut, Lebanon, October 20, 2019. © Myriam Boulos / Magnum Photos

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.

Carolyn Drake, Lucy with Azaleas, from Knit Club, 2018. © Carolyn Drake / Magnum Photos
Carolyn Drake, Lucy with Azaleas, from Knit Club, 2018. © Carolyn Drake / Magnum Photos

“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.

Olivia Arthur, Thea’s Double Tooth, 2022. © Olivia Arthur / Magnum Photos
Olivia Arthur, Thea’s Double Tooth, 2022. © Olivia Arthur / Magnum Photos
Alessandra Sanguinetti, The Necklace, from The Adventures of Guille and Belinda, 1999. © Alessandra Sanguinetti / Magnum Photos
Alessandra Sanguinetti, The Necklace, from The Adventures of Guille and Belinda, 1999. © Alessandra Sanguinetti / Magnum Photos
Lua Ribeira, Almeria, Spain, from Agony in the Garden, 2021. © Lua Ribeira / Magnum Photos
Lua Ribeira, Almeria, Spain, from Agony in the Garden, 2021. © Lua Ribeira / Magnum Photos
Sabiha Çimen, A plane flies low over students riding a train at a funfair over the weekend, from Hafiz, 2018 © Sabiha Çimen / Magnum Photos
Sabiha Çimen, Students playing with a color smoke bomb during a picnic event, from Hafiz, 2017. © Sabiha Çimen / Magnum Photos
Sabiha Çimen, A plane flies low over students riding a train at a funfair over the weekend, from Hafiz, 2018 © Sabiha Çimen / Magnum Photos

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