On the occasion of Larry Sultan’s retrospective, Larry Sultan: Here & Home and Mike Mandel’s Good 70’s exhibition at SFMOMA, Mike Mandel and The Estate of Larry Sultan have invited artists Jason Fulford, Jim Goldberg and Dru Donovan to respond to Sultan and Mandel’s groundbreaking 1983 exhibition Newsroom, originally curated by Constance Lewallen for the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.
Following a similar structure to Newsroom (1983), this 2017 iteration, titled Fake Newsroom, will be active for three weeks at Minnesota Street Project, with Fulford, Goldberg and Donovan acting as editors of a working newsroom inside the gallery. Utilizing images from the Associated Press feed, the editors will create a daily edition posted at fakenewsroom.org and within the newsroom exhibition.
Throughout the course of the exhibition, additional guests, including many of Sultan and Mandel’s former students and colleagues, will participate as deputy editors and foreign correspondents. Breaking news of special guests and other programming events will post to the newsroom website, and on Instagram and Twitter @fake_newsroom.
About the original Newsroom (1983): Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel took up residency at the Berkeley Art Museum for five weeks, recreating a version of a working newsroom as an evolving installation. AP and UPI machines were installed in the gallery and everyday the two artists went to work in the museum, editing the daily news and image feed. Trends and patterns were re-photographed and re-printed for weekly installations in the gallery. When removed from their original context, the subtexts and ambiguities of daily news feeds were illuminated in their evolving graphs, murals and installations.
“Newsroom (1983) was the culmination of Mandel and Sultan’s collaborative projects dealing with mass media imagery. They approached it as a workshop, an evolving exhibition, in which they hoped to learn as well as present facts about the methods of news media and create awareness of the mutability of photographic meaning. However, as artists, they were freed from journalistic restraints.” [Excerpt from an essay by Constance M. Lewallen written in 2009.]
Minnesota Street Project is thrilled to offer its premiere exhibition space for this experimental project, allowing for a contemporary exploration of Sultan and Mandel’s groundbreaking conceptual installation. Continuing the celebration of San Francisco’s ‘Sultan Spring’, Minnesota Street Project will also feature Sultan and Mandel’s Billboards series (1974–1989), including the original Oranges on Fire billboard, 1975, a series of photographs of Billboard works in situ and a slide show of the billboards in production.
For more information about Fake Newsroom and Billboards visit FakeNewsroom.org and @fake_newsroom on Instagram and Twitter.
About Jason Fulford: Jason Fulford is a photographer and co-founder of J&L Books. Fulford’s monographs include Sunbird (2000), Crushed (2003), Raising Frogs for $$$ (2006), The Mushroom Collector (2010), and Hotel Oracle (2013). He is co- author with Tamara Shopsin of the photobook for children This Equals That and co-editor with Gregory Halpern of The Photographer’s Playbook. In 2014, Fulford’s work also was included in Fraenkel Gallery’s exhibition Where There’s Smoke. His most recent publication, Contains: 3 Books (The Soon Institute, 2016), is a product of Fulford’s travel to 15 countries as a Guggenheim Fellow, and is available for sale at FraenkelLAB. Fulford co-edited Mike Mandel: Good 70s (2015), published by J&L Books and D.A.P.
About Dru Donovan: Dru Donovan is a photographer and educator. Her work has shown in both group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. Donovan’s photographs have been published in Aperture Magazine, Blind Spot, and Picture Magazine. In 2011 TBW Books published her book, Lifting Water. In 2011-2012 she participated in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace studio residency. Donovan is a recipient of the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship in 2015 and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2016. She has taught at many institutions and was most recently a visiting Lecturer Harvard University. Donovan, formerly Larry Sultan’s student and assistant, has continued to work with the estate on Sultan’s archive, book projects including Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel (2012), Konig/D.A.P., Pictures from Home (2017), MACK, and exhibitions including Larry Sultan: Here and Home.
About Jim Goldberg: Jim Goldberg’s innovative use of image and text make him a landmark photographer of our times. He has been working with experimental storytelling for over thirty-five years, and his major projects and books include Rich and Poor (1977-85), Raised by Wolves (1985-95), Nursing Home (1986), Coming and Going (1996-present), Open See (2003-2009), The Last Son (2016), Ruby Every Fall (2016), and Candy (2013-2017). His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is the recipient of numerous awards including three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship (1985), the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award (2007), and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2011). Goldberg is Professor Emeritus at the California College of the Arts and is a member of Magnum Photos. Goldberg was a close friend and colleague of Larry’s at California College of the Arts, as well as his former student at the San Francisco Art Institute. He also assisted Mike and Larry with Newsroom (1983). He is represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York and Casemore Kirkeby Gallery in San Francisco.
About Larry Sultan: Larry Sultan grew up steeped in the post-war popular culture of California’s San Fernando Valley. His work, a hybrid of documentary and staged photography, reveals the psychological nuances found in the everyday suburban landscape and family life. Sultan’s pioneering book Pictures from Home (1992), a decade-long project featuring his parents’ interviews, family archive, and his own images, explores photography’s role in creating familial mythologies. In 2004, Sultan published The Valley, which examined this same suburban setting as the backdrop frequently used by the adult-film industry. His project Homeland, (2006–2009) further explored the intersection between the longing for home and fulfillment against the promise of suburban life by staging day laborers in domestic dramas. Sultan’s first major U.S. retrospective, Here and Home, hosted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, opened in 2014 and traveled to Milwaukee Art Museum and will open at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on April 15, 2017. Katherine Avenue, (2010) the exhibition and book, explored Sultan’s three main series. In 2012, the monograph, Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel was published to examine in depth the thirty plus year collaboration between these artists as they tackled numerous conceptual projects together that includes Billboards, How to Read Music In One Evening, Newsroom, and the seminal photography book Evidence, a collection of found institutional photographs, first published in 1977.
Larry Sultan’s work is widely exhibited, published and is in the permanent collections of multiple international institutions including the Tate Modern; Stedelijk Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Sultan was a beloved educator and taught at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1978 to 1988 and served as a Distinguished Professor of Photography at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, from 1989 to 2009. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1946, Sultan passed away at his home in Greenbrae, California, in 2009.
About Mike Mandel: Since the 1970s, Mike Mandel has been deeply engaged with photography, using its changing tools to pursue projects that question the nature and uses of a medium too often taken at face value. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he worked with found photographs and film-based cameras to produce a highly conceptual series of books and exhibitions that revealed the inherent ambiguity of photographic images. Among these projects is Evidence (1977), a book of found photographs from government, scientific, military, and police archives, created in collaboration with Larry Sultan. A seminal work, it demonstrated that the meaning of a photograph is conditioned by its context. In the 1980s, Mandel expanded his interest in public art and began producing photo-based, mosaic murals. Composed of thousands of colored tiles, which he compares to pixels, his murals adorn public spaces and buildings across America. American, b. 1950, Los Angeles, California.