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August Issue 2010

701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC, Features Works by Jan Banning

701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC, will present the exhibit, Jan Banning - The Bureaucratics, on view from Aug. 5 through Sept. 19, 2010.

The exhibition and book Bureaucratics has dramatically enhanced the already stellar international reputation of Dutch photographer Jan Banning, who will also begin a six-week residency at 701 CCA in September as well.

The 50 color photographs in the exhibition, each 30 x 30 inches in size, present civil servants at different levels of government in Bolivia, France, Yemen, Russia, Liberia, India, the USA (Texas) and China. The subjects are photographed behind their desk in their natural habitat. For the India series, Banning won the World Press Photo 2004, Documentary Portrait Series; World Press Photo is the most prestigious award in photo journalism.

Bureaucratics the book was published in 2008 by Nazraeli Press as Number 3 of the Parr/Nazraeli Edition. The book includes an introduction by Dutch author Will Tinnemans and a foreword by Martin Parr, both in English.

The photographs have been praised widely. Mary Panzer in the Wall Street Journal writes that her favorite series in the recent New York Photo Festival came from Banning, adding that "from his careful record of men and women behind desks adorned with telephones, nameplates and personal stuff emerged a surprisingly compassionate view of the ways in which individuals inevitably resist all efforts to impose one single standard of behavior."

"The project is the product of an anarchist's heart, a historian's mind and an artist's eye," Banning says. "It's a comparative photographic study of the culture, rituals and symbols of government administrations and its servants in eight countries. In each country, I visited the offices of dozens to hundreds of officials at different levels of government. In most cases, the visits were unannounced, and the subjects were not given the opportunity to tidy up their office or even desk. As a result, the photos show what citizens would encounter when entering these offices."

Bureaucratics is traveling widely through Europe, South America and the United States, making stops among others in New York City, Washington, DC, Chicago, Berlin, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Havana, Buenos Aires, St. Petersburg, Innsbruck (Austria) and Tromso (Norway).

Banning, who was nominated for the coveted 2009 Santa Fe Prize for Photography, is among Europe's most prominent photographers. Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum last year commissioned him for the book Bouwwerk ("Construction Work") about the museum's renovation and recently also purchased two of his series.

In addition to many exhibitions and a dozen books, Banning's work has been published widely in magazines and newspapers in the USA, Germany, France, the UK, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Russia, Indonesia, South Korea and elsewhere. Among them are The New Yorker, Newsweek, Time, Der Spiegel, The Guardian Weekend, L'Espresso, Le Monde, Liberation, Esquire (Russia) and Geo Korea.

701 CCA is a non-profit visual arts center that promotes understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of contemporary art, the creative process and the role of art and artists in the community. The center also encourages interaction between visual and other art forms.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Center at 803/779-4571 or visit (www.701cca.org).

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