In the kick-off program of The Rules are Broken: A Year in Imagemaking, photographers Rania Matar, Philip Montgomery, Haruka Sakaguchi, and Black Shutter Podcast founder and photographer Idris Talib Solomon share recent projects from this past year made during and in response to the global pandemic. In a conversation moderated by Yukiko Yamagata, curatorial and deputy director for Culture and Art at Open Society Foundation, the photographers will consider the challenges imagemakers encountered in 2020, from depicting a virus and the impact and isolation experienced by many, to the changes in literal ways of making and experiencing photographs.

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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 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.

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Speaker Bios

Haruka Sakaguchi is a Japanese documentary photographer currently residing in New York City. She was born in Osaka, Japan and immigrated to the US with her parents when she was three months old. Haruka's documentary work focuses on cultural identity and sense of place, and has been published on The New York Times, National Geographic, TIME, The New Yorker, Smithsonian Magazine, Newsweek, PDN, and The Washington Post among other publications. Her project 1945 was on display at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo from November 2017 thru November 2018.

Idris Talib Solomon is an award-winning photojournalist and art director. Mr. Solomon has a versatile background in graphic design, photography, video, and art direction. He has several years of experience in advertising and is currently on contract at HBO as an art director.

He has photographed for The New York Times, Amazon Prime TV, HBO, ESPN, Reuters and The Drone Racing League.

He is the host and Creative Director of The Black Shutter Podcast.

Rania Matar was born and raised in Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 1984. As a Lebanese-born American artist and mother, her cross-cultural experience and personal narrative inform her photography.

Matar’s work has been widely exhibited in museums worldwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Carnegie Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and more.  It is part of the permanent collections of several museums, institutions, and private collections. A mid-career retrospective of her work was recently on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and at the American University of Beirut Museum.  Matar received a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2017 Mellon Foundation artist-in-residency grant, 2011 Legacy Award at the Griffin Museum of Photography, 2011 and 2007 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist fellowships. In 2008 she was a finalist for the Foster Award at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, with an accompanying solo exhibition.

She has published three books: L’Enfant-Femme, 2016; A Girl and Her Room, 2012; Ordinary Lives, 2009. She is currently working on her fourth book, SHE, 2021, published by Radius Books.  She is currently associate professor of photographer at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and regularly offers workshops, talks, class visits and lectures at museums, galleries, schools, and colleges in the US and abroad.

Philip Montgomery (b. 1988) is a photographer whose current work chronicles the fractured state of America. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. In 2018, he was awarded the National Magazine Award for feature photography for his work chronicling the opioid epidemic. He has also received awards from World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, American Photography, the National Press Photographers Association, and Photo District News. Philip’s work has been exhibited at Foam Museum in Amsterdam, the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, Aperture Gallery in New York, the International Center of Photography in New York, and the Deichtorhallen House of Photography in Germany. His work is part of the permanent collection at Duetsche Börse Photography Foundation. Montgomery’s monograph, American Mirror, will be published by Aperture in fall 2021. He lives and works in New York City.

Yukiko Yamagata is curatorial and deputy director for Culture and Art at the Open Society Foundations, where she supports artists, cultural activists, cultural spaces, and their leaders who are working to advance justice and human rights throughout the world. Prior to working with the Culture and Art program, she was the acting director for the Open Society Documentary Photography Project. She has over two decades of experience working at the intersection of culture, art, photography, and social justice. Prior to joining Open Society in 2005, she worked at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Whitney Museum.

Image: Rania Matar, Cyrus, Brookline, Massachusetts, 2020.