Top-Notch Photography Arrives in Berkeley

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Area photophiles should be salivating in anticipation of the Berkeley Art Museum’s two new photography exhibitions, which will open on Sunday. The South African documentarian David Goldblatt will headline with his large show, Intersections. BAM will also feature Image Maker, a small gallery of photographs by Iran’s Abbas Kiarostami.
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Intersections features Goldblatt’s observations of the “crosscurrents of values, ideas, spaces, and people that make up South African society” during and after apartheid. Don’t be fooled by the vague description – Goldblatt’s color photographs are some of the most incisive around. On Sunday at the museum, Goldblatt will be in conversation with curatorial superstar (and SF Art Institute academic dean) Okwui Enwezor.

Kiarostami is better known for his films, for which he has earned international acclaim, but he also has a talent for the motionless stuff. His landscapes are a restrained species of moody, and more than make up in composition what they lack in content. Kiraostami’s photographs are meant as a side dish to the corresponding Pacific Film Archive series, but they easily stand on their own.

With Hiroshi Sugimoto’s unparalleled photographs opening at the DeYoung tomorrow, it sure is a good time to like photography. — Jeremy Singer-Vine

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