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More American Photographs

The new More American Photographs exhibition at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco has a terrific premise. During the President Roosevelt’s New Deal Program during the Great Depression, the Farm Security Administration commissioned photographers to document the nature and quality of American life. The images they came back with are ingrained in our national consciousness.

If the US’s current economic woes are the worst since the Great Depression, what would its visual record look like? If photographers were given the same commission, what would they come back with? With More American Photographers, Wattis hopes to answer these questions, by commissioning twelve contemporary photographers to go out and produce visual documents of life in America.

Hidden among the usual suspects – Alec Soth, Stephen Shore - are some unexpected choices, like Walead Beshty and Collier Schorr, artists who work outside the traditional documentary vein and produce thought-provoking work. For anyone interested in the lives of the 99%, this show seems worth a look.

More American Photographs

Walead Beshty
Larry Clark
Roe Ethridge
Katy Grannan
William E. Jones
Sharon Lockhart
Catherine Opie
Martha Rosler
Collier Schorr
Stephen Shore
Alec Soth
Hank Willis Thomas
Esther Bubley
Sheldon Dick
Walker Evans
Dorothea Lange
Russell Lee
Gordon Parks
Marion Post Wolcott
Louise Rosskam
Ben Shahn

October 4–December 17, 2011
The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco CA 94107

Photography, top to bottom, by Roe Ethridge, Sharon Lockhart, and Collier Schorr