Contact 2010 Photo a Day: Subjective at O'Born Contemoporary
Six young photographers under 30, some thriving on the the adrenal surge of conflict, others more interested in the revelations of the everyday, are showing this month at O'Born. There's a broad range of work here, sharing only a documentary thread; Simon Hayter's images of the conflict that arose around First Nations' land claims in Caledonia a few years ago shoulder up against Ryan Carter's pictures of the thriving UAE boomtowns; Eamon McMahon captures the day-to-day grind of workers in northern Alberta's oil sands, while Liz Rubincam shoots female truck drivers in South Africa. But the real eye-catcher in this field is the work of Dominic Nahr, one of those adrenal types, whose work in Kenya, Congo and Somalia for publications like the New York Times, contains that chilly sense of dread -- of disaster just waiting to happen. Here, he shows photos from the Haitian earthquake, a field so plentiful, in this jump-to-it news cycle, that the danger of minimizing serious tragedy into the churn of news-cycle cliche is ever-present; Nahr evades that trap completely with pictures that are at once human, tragic, unique and hopeful. The image above, submitted for the Contact site, bizarrely -- and the only one I have access to -- is perhaps the least exemplary of his work, so you'll just have to trust me. It's good.