We are excited to welcome back Esther Horvath, Stacy Mehrfar, and Todd Darling—all alumni of ICP’s One-Year Certificate Programs—to show and discuss their recent photobooks in a conversation moderated by ICP’s Managing Director of Programs David Campany.. The conversation will highlight their experience of making and releasing publications during a pandemic, how the past year has influenced new trends and explorations in photo making, and the changing role of photobooks. 

Purchase photobooks from these artists as well as other speakers from The Rules are Broken: A Year In Imagemaking series at ICP's shop.

Ticketing Information

ICP members receive free and expanded access to The Rules are Broken: A Year in Imagemaking, in addition to many other exclusive benefits. Become a member today: icp.org/membership.​

Current members will receive an email to register. For questions, contact [email protected]

About the Photobooks

Into the Arctic Ice: The Largest Polar Expedition of all Time (Esther Horvath)

Follow the expedition of the Polarstern, an Arctic icebreaker that is making exploration history and taking climate research to the next level, through this photographic journey.

In September 2019, a team of 600 researchers from 19 countries united in a common mission known as MOSAiC–the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate–whose mission is to chart conditions in the Arctic for one continuous year. This illustrated account of that incredible voyage features amazing images from acclaimed photographer Esther Horvath, who documents every step of the expedition. Learn how researchers prepare for the journey with survival training. Watch as they plow through the ice and set up a network of research stations that drift along on a floe across the North Pole. See them take ice samples, measure wind and temperature, and study every element of the atmosphere, terrain, and ocean to obtain data that will help shape the course of climate science for generations to come. Horvath’s camera captures life on board the vessel, visits by curious polar bears, the wonders of the Arctic sky, the endless waves of wind-blown snow and ice, and the beauty and ferocity of some of the most brutal conditions on earth. Accompanying these pictures are texts and commentary by researchers taking part in the expedition. This stunning book offers a front-row seat to the most important climate research project in recent history and helps readers grasp why studying the Arctic is essential to our survival on this planet.

The Moon Belongs to Everyone (Stacy Mehrfar)

The Moon Belongs to Everyone by Stacy Mehrfar, is a response to the contemporary experience of migration—of shifting continents and mindsets. A multi-layered visual narrative set in a non-locatable landscape, the book reflects upon the loss of roots, and search for belonging in the wake of immigration. "I emigrated just after my 30th birthday. In Australia, the color of the flowers, the warm yellow of the sun, the oddly shaped trees were enchanting at first. But as time passed, I felt lost, in limbo. As an immigrant, my understanding of place, my sense of personal identity, even the impressions of my memories had shifted. Home became a place between here and there. I began to visually explore this sensation, making photographs in Australia and the United States. The Moon Belongs to Everyone, is an allegory for the in-between; for identity suspended between origin and destination, located in the crosshairs between the dissonant and the lyrical; a space I personally found myself in after leaving my homeland and migrating to a new country." The book progresses through an alternating landscape of both time and perspective. In photographs of portraits, still lifes, architecture, landscape, and nature, patterns and sites converge and return later in seemingly different positions. The solitary subjects of the portraits are unknown to each other and come from different parts of the world—yet they are caught in a similar liminal space—hovering somewhere between "there" and "here." When viewed together they are experienced as a collective, sharing common grounds.

American Idyll (Todd R. Darling)

Todd R. Darling’s, American Idyll, is a lyrical interrogation of the American Dream that unfolds in Paterson, New Jersey. For many Americans who live in small cities like Paterson, the dream is fading. The country is divided by those who have power and those who don’t.

Darling’s work is inspired by legendary local poets, William Carlos Williams and Allen Ginsberg. Like Williams and Ginsberg, he chose Paterson as his subject because it was the prototype for the American industrial city and represented the myth of America.  Founded in 1792 by Alexander Hamilton as a corporation, Paterson was a kingdom that masqueraded as a city where industrialists paid no taxes. Its location was chosen for the potential energy the Great Falls on the Passaic River contained within its torrent water to power industry. The consequences of its corrupted origins ripple through it today. Growing up near Paterson, Darling saw the desperation on the streets as his friends turned to using and dealing harder drugs like heroin and crack.  Darling almost went over the edge with them. Years later, in creating the pictures for American Idyll he found a broken city that mirrors American society.

About the Rules are Broken: A Year in Imagemaking

The Rules are Broken: A Year in Imagemaking is a weeklong series dedicated to exploring critical issues and their impact on imagemaking. This year’s event focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic, protests against police brutality and marches in support of Black lives, photobooks and place-making, and the impact of 2020 on the future of imagemaking. See the full schedule of events and get your ticket to the event series to attend this talk.

About ICP’s One-Year Certificate Programs

ICP's One-Year Certificate Programs in Creative Practices and Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism provide advanced students with an intensive yearlong course of study to strengthen personal vision, refine skills and technique, and explore the many disciplines informing media and art today.

Now accepting applications for on-site and online programs starting fall 2021. Deadline: Monday, March 29, 2021.

About the Program Format

All programs will take place on Zoom. Those who register to attend will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link located at the bottom of the email under “Important Information.” The Zoom link can be used to join the programs through a computer or mobile device.

We recommend participants download the Zoom app on their device prior to the program. Learn how to download the latest version of Zoom to your computer or mobile device.

If you have questions about the online program or do not receive the confirmation email, please contact: [email protected]

Speaker Bios

Esther Horvath is a documentary photographer, fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers, member of The Photo Society and a science photographer for Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Germany. Since 2015, after her first assignment in the Arctic Ocean with Audubon Magazine, Esther has dedicated her photography to the polar regions, especially to the Arctic Ocean, documenting scientific expeditions and behind the scene science stories. She follows the work of multiple science groups that are working to better understand the changing polar regions. By documenting the work and life of scientists who deliver important data, Horvath hopes to help make a difference in how people understand what is actually occurring and, in collaboration with scientists, help raise public awareness regarding these fragile environments. Begun in 2016, her main long-term documentary project IceBird has followed scientific expeditions investigating the thinning ice cover in the Arctic Ocean.From 2019-2020, she spent almost four months on board the Polarstern icebreaker, documenting the MOSAiC expedition in the Central Arctic Ocean, the largest everArctic Ocean science expedition. Her documentary, during polar nights, under the extreme conditions of the North Pole, is published in the book “nto the Arctic Ice in English and Expedition Arktis in German language. The book, accompanied by essays and contributions by experts, is a testimony to the biggest climatic challenge of our time, and offers insights into this research project as well as the polar landscape worthy of protection.Esther’s work has been featured in National Geographic, The New York Times, Audubon Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, GEO and Stern among others.

Stacy Mehrfar works across photography, video and bookmaking.  She received an MFA by Research from UNSW, School of Art & Design in Sydney, Australia, and a certificate in Creative Practices from the International Center of Photography, New York. Her photographs and video installations have been exhibited at TEDx, Ethan Cohen KuBE, ClampArt, ICP, Australian Centre of Photography, and Obscura Festival, and have been published in British Journal of Photography, Aint Bad, and Der Greif. Her second photobook, The Moon Belongs to Everyone, published by GOST Books, will be released in Spring 2021. Stacy is faculty at ICP and SVA.

Todd R. Darling is an American documentary photographer based in Hong Kong for sixteen years, where he began his career photographing the Umbrella Movement for Polaris Images in 2014.  He studied Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism at the International Centre of Photography and the Eddie Adams workshop XXX in 2017. Todd recently completed work on a documentary project that began in 2016, about Paterson NJ. The project, inspired by local poets William Carlos Williams and Allen Ginsberg, is a lyrical interrogation of the American dream told through the singular experience of America’s first industrial city and its people. He’s currently studying at the Savannah College of Arts and Design.

Image: Esther Horvath