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The Criminal Type
Public Program - NYC
MUGSHOT (2014): Screening and Discussion with Dennis Mohr, Luc Sante and Arne Svenson

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location to be Announced

Originally a law enforcement tool, the mugshot has deviated from its fundamental purpose as a tool for criminal identification. It has been sensationalized through celebritydom, exploited by the leniency of freedom of information, and has captivated the attention of the art world. The film critically compares the United States’ cultural and legal approach to mugshots and questions of privacy and criminality with that of Canada, tracing how these images are valued and represented within historical archives, art and tabloid culture.

Bringing together artists, scholars, collectors, publishers and gallery owners from Canada and the United States, MUGSHOT explores the cultural significance of the mugshot alongside the personal stories of those whose lives have been transformed by these powerful and pervasive photographs. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Dennis Mohr, artist Arne Svenson and critic Luc Sante.



Dennis Mohr is an award-winning documentary film producer and director, and founder of Public Pictures. His documentary MUGSHOT premiered at Hot Docs in 2014, was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Writing in a Documentary Program or Series, and received a Yorkton Film Festival Golden Sheaf Award for Best Arts and Culture Documentary. Mohr produced the acclaimed feature documentary Remembering Arthur about filmmaker Arthur Lipsett, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (2006), and the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2007). In 2011, Dennis produced Disfarmer: A Portrait of America, and his latest project with Filmsight Productions is The Ravenite: A Very Antisocial Social Club (dist. Journeyman Pictures), a documentary short about the neighbours who lived across the street from the Gambino crime family headquarters.

Arne Svenson (American, b. 1952) is an artist whose diverse practice consistently seeks out the inner life, the essence, of his subjects, whether they be human, inanimate, or something in between. He is a self-taught photographer with an educational and vocational background in special education. Svenson’s photographs have been shown extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia and his work is included in numerous public and private collections including SFMOMA, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Carnegie Museum of Art. In 2016, he received the prestigious Nannen Prize for his project The Neighbors. Svenson is the author/photographer of numerous books, including Unspeaking Likeness, The Neighbors, Prisoners and Sock Monkeys. Recent exhibitions include The Neighbors at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2016) and Andre Kertesz/Arne Svenson: À ma fenêtre at Galerie Miranda, Paris (2019).

Luc Sante is a writer and critic. A frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, he is also the author of numerous books including Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (1991), Evidence (1992), the autobiographical The Factory of Facts (1998), Walker Evans (1999), Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990-2005 (2007), Folk Photography (2009), and The Other Paris (2015). Sante teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard.

apexart’s program supporters past and present include The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Buhl Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, Spencer Brownstone, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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