Photo: Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Photo by Joel Sartore, 2008 National Geographic.
Organized in collaboration with National Geographic magazine, The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years celebrates the iconic publication’s 125 year anniversary. National Geographic magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. Long renowned for its stunning images, the magazine will celebrate its 125th anniversary with a special commemorative October 2013 issue, highlighting its ongoing dedication towards using the power of photography to explore, educate, inspire, document and preserve the world around us. In conjunction with the October issue, the Annenberg Space for Photography presents The Power of Photography, a special print and digital exhibition, as well as two documentaries. From iconic images to portraits; landscapes to natural history, the exhibit offers a wide range of photographic genres and themes free to the public for six months, beginning October 26, 2013 through April 27, 2014.
“For 125 years now, National Geographic has been a place where art and insight and a deep cultural understanding come together – a place where we can be astonished and inspired by the world all around us. I can’t think of a greater partner for the Annenberg Space for Photography – or a greater model of what photojournalism can achieve. Especially at a time when print journalism is under siege, I’m thrilled that we’ll be able to showcase so many powerful, profound images from the pages of National Geographic. I’m delighted that the exhibit will be as cutting-edge and as multi-media-savvy as both of our institutions strive to be. Above all, I’m proud to join with National Geographic in celebrating this simple principle: that we are all stewards of this remarkable planet,” says Wallis Annenberg, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation.
The curation and installation of The Power of Photography departs from previous Photography Space exhibit designs. Mosaics of more than 400 images documenting the history of National Geographic photography from 1888 to the present time adorn the walls. In addition, an extensive digital installation showcases 500-plus images. Thirty professional-grade large format LED monitors are arranged to create video walls throughout the Photography Space galleries. These six video walls, ranging from 12 to 14 feet in width, present both individual images and photographic essays. Given the volume of photographs on the screens, and a format in which the images loop at different times throughout the galleries, the viewing experience is unique to each visitor and each visit.
“National Geographic's photographic archive spans 125 years and includes more than 11.5 million images,” said Sarah Leen, Director of Photography for National Geographic Magazine. “In order to truly capture the breadth and depth of the collection we decided to create a show with 501 images alternating on screens, along with a selection of prints and print mosaics. The result not only reflects the general move in photography and the magazine toward digital imagery, but allows for a dynamic, immersive and richer experience of our archive of photographs. The Annenberg Space for Photography has been a wonderfully collaborative and creative partner in breathing life into this idea, which has been a labor of love for all of us.”
The exhibit features an original documentary commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography and produced by Arclight Productions that profiles six renowned photographers whose work appears in the October National Geographic issue: Lynsey Addario, Marcus Bleasdale, David Guttenfelder, Abelardo Morell, Joel Sartore and Martin Schoeller. Through interviews, images and behind-the-scenes footage along with commentary from National Geographic editors, the film offers insights into the creation of inspiring images that reveal the unseen, unknown and unexpected layers of our world. In addition, the Photography Space screens a short compilation video comprised of photographers talking about the power of photography and what inspires their work. This compilation will be complemented by a series of longer video interviews with 20 photographers represented in the exhibit and a loop of milestone content videos created over the past several years for the magazine’s digital edition.
The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years will run October 26, 2013 through April 27, 2014.