Please note that this event is now sold out.

How do photographs help shape the legacies of those whose who have died? How do photographs help the living envision, cope with, and understand loss?

Photographer Geoffrey Biddle joins curator/writer Marvin Heiferman for a conversation moderated by curator Marina Chao examining intimacy, illness, family and loss through writing and photography.

Biddle will discuss his current exhibition, curated by Chao, and accompanying photo/text memoir, Rock in a Landslide. They present an intimate and candid portrait of life with his late wife, sculptor Mary Ann Unger. Biddle traces their charged partnership and parallel creative practice through falling in love, parenting their daughter Eve, and Unger’s thirteen-year battle with cancer, which ended with her death in 1998.

Heiferman will present and discuss his ongoing Instagram project (@whywelook) about the sudden, COVID-related death of his husband—curator and cultural historian Maurice Berger—in March 2020 and its aftershocks. Heiferman represents and explores both the vulnerable state and continually recalibrated experience of mourning in the personal photographs and captions he posts daily on Instagram which have sparked a communal dialogue about dealing with and picturing love and loss.

This program is being offered both in person at ICP, located on NYC's Lower East Side, and online. Tickets to attend the conversation in person are free and do not include access to ICP’s galleries. Online tickets are available for free.

Geoffrey Biddle started taking photographs when he was a senior in high school, in 1967. He has been a location photographer, working for a wide variety of editorial and corporate clients, and he has taught photography extensively, including at Parsons School of Design, where he served as Assistant Chair of the Photography Department from 1994 to 2000. He collaborated with his wife, Jane Gottesman, on Game Face: What Does A Female Athlete Look Like? and Showing (work x family). His books include Alphabet City (University of California Press, 1992), Sydney and Flora (Turtle Point Press, 2009), and God Bless America (2007), for which he also collaborated with Gottesman. His work is in multiple collections, including the Museum of Modern Art. The Alphabet City photographs and papers were acquired by The New York Public Library in 2017. In 2023 Working Assumptions published a pair of memoirs titled Rock in a Landslide and Eve and Me which recount his life with his late wife, Mary Ann Unger, in his roles as partner, parent, and caregiver.
Marvin Heiferman organizes exhibitions, online projects, and publications about photography and visual culture for institutions that have included the Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institution, International Center of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, P.S. 1 Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, and the New Museum. Earlier in his career and as a gallerist and artist representative, Heiferman worked closely with a wide range of artists and photographers including Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Nan Goldin, Peter Hujar, and Richard Prince. He has written for museums, galleries, monographs, blogs, and magazines including The New York Times, Gagosian Gallery, CNN, Artforum, Design Observer, Aperture, Art in America, and BOMB. The author of 15 books including Photography Changes Everything (2012), Heiferman’s recent publication, Seeing Science (2019) explores the intertwining of science, photography, and visual culture. New entries to Heiferman’s multiple social media projects – a personal Instagram project and, on Facebook, Threads, and Twitter, an ongoing inquiry into the ways photography transforms our lives – are uploaded daily.
Marina Chao is curator at the Center for Photography at Woodstock. She previously held curatorial positions at the International Center of Photography—where she organized Multiply, Identify, Her (2018) and contributed to the publication Public, Private, Secret: On Photography and the Configuration of Self (Aperture and ICP, 2018)—and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Image: Geoffrey Biddle, from A Rock in a Landslide