Up Close: Photographs of Candid Intimacy

Up Close: Photographs of Candid Intimacy

Up Close is a collection of photographs on exhibition at Australia’s Heide Museum of Modern Art, featuring the exceptional talent of four photographers whose images capture people, places and events with candid intimacy.  Up Close traces the significant legacy of Australian photographer Carol Jerrems (1949–1980) alongside that of contemporary artists Larry Clark (USA), Nan Goldin (USA) and William Yang (Sydney).  The collection takes its inspiration from the way each artist candidly depicts a social milieu and urban life of the 1970s and early 1980s.  Sharing an interest in sub-cultural groups and individuals on the margins of society, each artist reveals a remarkable capacity to provide an empathetic glimpse into semi-private worlds through intimate depictions of people and their surroundings.

Jerrems’ photography was associated with a feminist and political imperative, a preoccupation with  subcultures, forgotten and dispossessed groups, especially Aboriginal communities of the time.  Larry Clark unflinchingly turned the camera onto himself and his amphetamine-shooting coterie to produce Tulsa (1971), a series of photographs repeatedly cited for its raw depiction of marginalized youth.  With its grainy shot-from-the-hip style, Tulsa exposes a world of sex, death, violence, anxiety and boredom capturing the aimlessness and ennui of teenagers.

Larry Clark’s work influenced Nan Goldin and a whole generation of artists who aspired to break with the more traditional documentary modes.  Mining the emotional depths of her friends, lovers and family, Goldin’s work reveals a riveting intimacy while  uncovering the bohemian life of New York’s Lower East Side.  Goldin says, “I was documenting my life.  It comes directly from the snapshot, which is always about love.”

William Yang’s photographs from the 1970s further the snapshot aesthetic through journeying into the intimate world of his particular social milieu: drag queens, Sydney gay and inner-city culture.  Yang’s direct, unpretentious photographs provide a unique chronicle of marginalised groups especially as he put it: “…people who are gay, who were invisible, who were too scared to come out.  During gay liberation people became visible, people became politicized, and there was a Mardi Gras that was a symbol of the movement.”

Girl in a Mirror: A Portrait of Carol Jerrems

Tulsa: The Photography of Larry Clark

Slide Show: Up Close/Photographs of Candid Intimacy

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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God Expelled from Tulsa Magic Kingdom: Oral Roberts University Saga Continues

Richard Roberts and his ORU Private Jet

ORU’s “Praying Hands”: For God or More Money?

Earlier in the week, I reported here about the scandal that was emerging at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa (OK). In that article, I wrote:

“Twenty years ago, on his widely viewed national televsion program, televangelist Oral Roberts announced to his viewers that he had been reading a spy novel when, all of a sudden, God visited him and ordered him to raise $8 million for Roberts’ university, or else he would be “called home.” Of course, not wanting that to happen, Roberts’ viewers showered him with vast amounts of money for the university.

Last Tuesday, three former professors at Oral Roberts University sued the evangelical institution in Tulsa (OK), filing a petition in state court that accuses the university’s current president, Oral Roberts’ son Richard L. Roberts, of using university resources to back a local mayoral candidate and to bankroll an extravagant lifestyle for his family. The lawsuit also says that university administrators tried to cover up the president’s involvement in the mayoral campaign when the Internal Revenue Service began investigating the nonprofit institution’s interventions into local politics.

The university immediately issued brief a statement regarding the lawsuit on Tuesday that read, in its entirety, “It is important for ORU students and their families, faculty and staff, alumni, partners as well as the general public to understand that this lawsuit is largely premised upon a compilation of incomplete statements, unsubstantiated rumors, and innuendoes. ORU will address these allegations through the legal process.”

Later in the week, Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts, announced that God had recently visited him as well, ordering him to deny all of the lurid allegations that are contained in a lawsuit that threatens to bury this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal. As mentioned before, Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local political campaign and extravagant spending at the university’s donors’ expense, lavish spending that has included numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university’s jet for his daughter’s senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible and Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay. She, in turn, is being accused of squandering tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as ‘underage males.'”

Ralph Blumenthal reports in today’s edition of the New York Times that Mr. Roberts was on “Larry King Live” on Tuesday night with his wife, Lindsay, who is also included in the accusations. He denied having taken any improper political role, saying: “I didn’t ask or coerce anybody. That’s not true.” He and Mrs. Roberts also denied wrongdoing to a list of other accusations in the suit. Denials were also made to reporters who flew to New York with the Robertses in the university’s jet.

The original CNN news report on The Oral Roberts Lawsuit, as well as this Tuesday night’s “Larry King Live” television interviews with Richard and Lindsay Roberts are presented below:

CNN News: The Oral Roberts University Lawsuit

Larry King Live: Richard and Lindsay Roberts Defend Themselves (Pt. 1)

Larry King Live: The Roberts’ Defense (Pt. 2)

UPDATE:

On Thursday (10/11/2007), David Kuo published a detailed response at Belief.net to the statements that were made by the Roberts’ while defending themselves during their television appearance on “Larry King Live.” In general, their statements were characterized as half truths and outright lies, nothing more than an attempt to conceal the facts of what has actually been going on at Oral Roberts University behind a deceptive display of smoke and mirrors. Readers will find the particulars of the rebuttal that David Kuo has published here.

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