In conjunction with The Criminal Type
MUGSHOT Screening and Discussion with Dennis Mohr, Luc Sante and Arne Svenson
Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 7:00 pm
291 Church Street, NYC
This event is co-presented by apexart and UnionDocs.
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, critic Luc Sante, artist Arne Svenson, moderated by curator Elizabeth Breiner.
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.