Blog

Leica Akademie Workshops in London and in Lucca Italy, Developing a Personal Project, November 2019

I’ll be teaching two workshops about developing your personal project in November in partnership with the Leica Akademie:   • LONDON, UK Workshop Dates: Saturday & Sunday, 2-3 November 2019 Location: Leica Store Mayfair – 64-66 Duke Street, Mayfair, W1K 6JD United Kingdom Reserve a spot »   • LUCCA, ITALY Workshop Dates: Saturday & Sunday, 16-17 November 2019 In…  read more.

Group Show

Lines and Lineage exhibition in Berlin for the Oskar Barnack Awards

Selected as a finalist for the 2019 Leica Oskar Barnack Award, seventeen prints of Lines and Lineage will be exhibited in Berlin with the other finalists from 25 September to 25 October 2019

 

Neue Schule für Fotografie
Brunnenstraße 188-190
10119 Berlin

 

About the work

Lines and Lineage takes aim at America’s collective amnesia of history. The work addresses the missing photographic record of the period when Mexico ruled what we now know as the American West. To visualize the people and places from the remarkable yet unseen Mexican era, I chose to photograph the region with glass plates and a 19th-century wooden camera. Portraits of direct descendants of early inhabitants of the West—mestizo, Afro-Latin, indigenous, Crypto-Jewish—are paired with photographs of landscapes inside the original border and architecture from the Mexican period. Lines and Lineage lifts the pervasive fog of dominant Western mythology and makes us question the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West. The work will be published as a monograph by Radius Books in Autumn 2019.

 

About the Award

The Leica Oskar Barnack Award honors “professional photographers whose unerring powers of observation capture and express the relationship between man and the environment in the most graphic form.” It is named after Oskar Barnack, the inventor of the Leica camera, and it has been awarded since 1979. Previous winners include Martin Kollar, Guy Tillim, Andrea Hoyer, Luc Delahaye, Claudine Doury, Larry Towell, Eugene Richards and Sebastiao Salgado. My series, Behind the Curtains, was also chosen as LOBA finalist in 2011. For the 2019 award, the members of the jury were Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Max Pinckers, Milena Carstens, Enrico Stefanelli and Steve McCurry.

 

Reviews and praise for Lines and Lineage

“…Using a North American map from 1839 (the same year that photography is thought to have made its debut in Europe), Mr. van Houtryve traveled along Mexico’s old northern border to meet families who have lived in the region for centuries.

His equipment in the Instagram age? A 19th-century camera he found in a Paris antique shop. He stocked up on the glass plates and pungent potions needed for the wet-collodion process, a technique invented in 1851. Doing so, Mr. van Houtryve conjures what the West may have looked like in the Mexican era…”

— Simon Romero in The New York Times

 

“His portraits are carefully researched and historically relevant – all of his subjects are descendants of the area’s original Mexican inhabitants. Quiet and dignified, the images pay tribute to Nadar, whose powerful portraits Van Houtryve admires. He focuses on his subjects’ eyes, conveying a sense of their interior life. He presents the work in diptychs that juxtapose portraits with romantic landscapes, reflecting an intimate connection between humans and nature…”

— Elisabeth Biondi in Photograph Magazine

 

“…Photographing the descendants of families who live on the once-Mexican territory, Van Houtryve proves their existence within a dominant narrative that often ignores them. Using traditional nineteenth century photographic techniques, like wet plate glass negatives, the artist taps into the aesthetic of the 1800s…”

— Zachary Small in Hyperallergic

 

Artist interview video

 

Screening

Projection in Arles of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award Finalists, featuring Lines and Lineage

Lines and Lineage will be among the finalists of the 2019 Leica Oskar Barnack Award that will be projected in Arles.

July 2nd, 3rd and 4th at 10:00pm

Cour de l’Archevêché
Arles 13200
France

 

Lines and Lineage selected as finalist for the 2019 Leica Oskar Barnack Award

My Lines and Lineage series of photos about the missing photographic history of the American West was selected as a finalist for the 2019 Leica Oskar Barnack Award.   About the Award The Leica Oskar Barnack Award honors “professional photographers whose unerring powers of observation capture and express the relationship between man and the environment in the most graphic form.”…  read more.

Group show

Lines and Lineage exhibition in Paris, Galerie de LaSCAM

Lines and Lineage exhibition for the winners of the Roger Pic Award, from 11 June to 25 October, 2019

Galerie de LaSCAM
Société civile des auteurs multimédia
5 avenue Vélasquez
75008 Paris
France

About the work

Lines and Lineage takes aim at America’s collective amnesia of history. The work addresses the missing photographic record of the period when Mexico ruled what we now know as the American West. To visualize the people and places from the remarkable yet unseen Mexican era, I chose to photograph the region with glass plates and a 19th-century wooden camera. Portraits of direct descendants of early inhabitants of the West—mestizo, Afro-Latin, indigenous, Crypto-Jewish—are paired with photographs of landscapes inside the original border and architecture from the Mexican period. Lines and Lineage lifts the pervasive fog of dominant Western mythology and makes us question the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West.

 

About the exhibition and award

Each year, la Société civile des auteurs multimédia (La SCAM), awards a photographic portfolio documenting reality and questioning our humanity with singularity. The award is in memory of Roger Pic, a French photographer, director and defender of copyright. For the 27th edition of the award, there was a tie, and the jury selected two award winners, Tomas van Houtryve for Lines and Lineage and Denis Dailleux for his series ln Ghana – We shall meet again. An honorable mention was also given to Laetitia Vançon for her portolio, At the end of the day. The members of of the jury were Florence Drouhet, Fabienne Pavia, Thierry Ledoux, Gérard Uféras, Bénédicte Van der Maar and Guy Seligmann.

Collaboration

Last Whispers – Oratorio for Vanishing Voices at the LACMA museum and Ford Theatres in Los Angeles (art collaboration with Lena Herzog)

Screening on Friday, June 14, 2019 at 8:00pm
Ford Theatre
2580 Cahuenga Blvd East
Hollywood, CA 90068
USA

VR experience on Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 11:00am to 6:00pm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Art of the Americas Building, Level 2
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
USA

An immersive experience, Last Whispers – Oratorio for Vanishing Voices, Collapsing Universes & a Falling Tree is simultaneously a spatially-designed sound composition and film. Dedicated to the mass extinction of languages, the project was created by Lena Herzog and features sound design by award-winning sound designers Mark Mangini and Marco Capalbo and original aerial drone videography by Tomas van Houtryve.

At an unprecedented speed, faster than the extinction of some species, our linguistic diversity—the very means by which we know ourselves—is eroding. Today, a majority of the world’s population speaks only 30 of the 7,000 languages remaining on earth. It is estimated that at least half of the currently spoken languages will have died by the end of this century. In fact, a language dies every two weeks. By definition, this loss occurs in silence, since silence is the very form of this extinction. Last Whispers is an invocation of that which has gone extinct and an incantation of those that are endangered.

Also on July 15 at 2:00pm at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA CEO Michael Govanwill speak with Lena Herzog about her practice and Last Whispers in LACMA’s Bing Theater.

 

Gallery Interview Video: Lines and Lineage for Baudoin Lebon solo exhibition in Paris

 In conjunction with the Lines and Lineage solo exhibition at the Baudoin Lebon gallery in Paris, I was interviewed about the work on display. In the video, I explain the motivation for the Lines and Lineage, the artistic approach and the 19th-century photographic technique. My Divided video installation is also briefly explained.  The video was filmed by Antoine Mossessian…  read more.

Leica Akademie Masterclass in Arles, Choosing your photographic approach, July 2-3, 2019

  Leica Akademie Masterclass – Choosing your photographic approach (version française en bas) 2-3 July 2019 Arles France Limited to 10 participants. Price 350 Euros Taught by Tomas van Houtryve This two-day workshop will help photographers find a unique artistic approach and apply it to their work. Through a combination of case studies, shooting sessions and editing, participants will cover…  read more.

Review: L’Oeil de la Photographie on Lines and Lineage

Corresponding with the solo exhibition of Lines and Lineage in Paris, L’Œil de la Photographie published a review of the work.  Copied below is the french version. Access the article in english here.   “Dans son dernier ouvrage, Tomas van Houtryve s’est fixé une tâche difficile: créer des photographies qui reflètent une période de l’histoire américaine qui n’existe pas. Il…  read more.