PhotoJ

Favourite Photogs: Gillian Laub

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I’ve gotten lazy the last few weeks with my Favourite Photogs series. I’ve been trying to organize stuff with leaving, which means seeing people and figuring out what I do/n’t need, the list goes on. But! I’ve got the next few posts prepared, so at least there’s that! (I feel like getting the hang of scheduling posts is kind of like ironing: you find yourself doing it and go, “Oh man. This is a new level.”)  Gillian Laub is intense. By that I mean her photography is intense. She doesn’t hold back and hits you square between the eyes with all that intensity she creates in her photos. Which is good because sometimes, a lot of times, you need more than photos of perfectly lined books and delicious looking dishes. Laub delivers that and through several different series of photographs, from both far away and out of sight and right close to home.

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Laub’s work is exactly the kind of stuff we looked at and discussed at Loyalist. It really fits into that category of photojournalism and going out there and getting those stories. Laub doesn’t hold back, which you can see from the photos on her site. With titles such as ‘Testimony” (a project she worked on when she went to Israel and photographed Israeli Arabs, Israeli Jews, Palestinians and displaced Lebanese families that she paired with journal entries that resulted in a book of the same name), “Southern Rites” (a story about Mt. Vernon where their proms and homecoming were racially segregated until 2009, seven years after she’d started photographing it.), “Tel Aviv Beach” and “Family” (where she photographs her own family and takes a look at the things close to home). Like I said: intense.

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The thing with photography that reaches way out from the world you recognize, is that it makes you stop and analyze how it makes you feel. It’s more complicated. It’s not as easy as swiping through your Instagram feed and double tapping on pictures of shoes and lovely meals. It’s generally not the prettiest. People aren’t made up and presented in their best light, they’re presented as how they really, truly are and I’m glad that there are photographers like Laub who search out those stories, shoot them and then present them to us. It’s not an easy thing to do, but the fact that she’s been doing it all these years (she’s been shooting in Israel for over 10 years) and continues to go back, to  develop those stories, is really something we, the viewers, should be thankful for.

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All good photographers have the ability to see yet remain unseen and Laub does a really wonderful job of this in her non-portrait work. As if she really were a fly on the wall with a really big camera, snapping away.

 

Things I’m Loving:

+ On the Golden Boot – (So funny, so accurate.)
+ 20 quotes from funny women – (To kick off your week.)
+ How to decorate on a budget – (For, well, everyone, really.)
+ Finding time to write – (Something I need to work on.)

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