From its inception in 1925, The New Yorker’s cartoons have provided a steady supply of American cultural satire for close to a century. Commenting at times directly and sometimes more obliquely on cultural mores, trends, and current events, the cartoons offer both an ironic punch and a concise articulation of complex, contradictory, and often ridiculous moments that make up contemporary life.
Exhibited concurrently with the seventh version of Social Photography, "One More - Billy Wasn’t Crying." brings together some of the regular contributors to The New Yorker with the wide range of participants in Social Photography. Revealing a common interest in commiserating over the absurdities which present themselves within our everyday routines, the sharpness of a cartoonist’s wit is sometimes reflected in a chance moment captured on a cell phone.
While the New Yorker cartoons investigate the broader societal phenomenon of social media and cell phone camera use, the open-ended selection of photographs included in Social Photography VII represent to varying degrees the current trends expressed by the medium. Where the cartoonist’s imagination tacks towards the far-fetched example that proves the rule, cell phone photographs, largely rooted in reality, often engage in visual quotation or the documenting of an unlikely circumstance.
Presenting the humor, irony, and insight of New Yorker cartoons on the subjects of social media and cell phone camera use alongside an eclectic array of images in the 200 plus cell phone pictures in Social Photography VII, viewers are invited to draw parallels between two exhibitions which, in their own ways, reveal aspects of cell phone technology’s impact on relationships, family, and the public and private rituals that make up everyday life.
Special thanks to Cartoon Collections for their assistance in organizing this exhibition.