International Center of Photography (ICP) Presents Immersion: Gregory Halpern, Raymond Meeks, and Vasantha Yogananthan Fall 2023

Jul 10, 2023

International Center of Photography (ICP) Presents Immersion: Gregory Halpern, Raymond Meeks, and Vasantha Yogananthan Fall 2023


On View 
September 29, 2023–January 8, 2024 
79 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002 

NEW YORK, NY (July 10, 2023)—This fall, the International Center of Photography (ICP) will present Immersion: Gregory Halpern, Raymond Meeks, and Vasantha Yogananthan, an exhibition showcasing three projects created by the artists during their respective residencies—Halpern’s in Guadeloupe, Yogananthan’s in New Orleans, and Meeks’s in France, first near the Spanish border and then along the coast of the English Channel. On view September 29, 2023, through January 8, 2024, the projects are part of Immersion, a French-American Photography Commission created by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and presented in collaboration with ICP and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris. Consisting of alternating residencies between France and the United States, the Immersion program supports contemporary photography. Each laureate creates an original series to be shared with a wide audience through exhibitions at ICP and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, as well as through publications. Gregory Halpern’s book Let the Sun Beheaded Be (2020) is published by Aperture; Vasantha Yogananthan’s Mystery Street (2023) is published by Chose Commune; and Raymond Meek’s The Inhabitants (2023) is published by MACK. The exhibition marks the debut presentation of The Inhabitants

“We are so pleased to collaborate with Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson on this project, in which three contemporary photographers further the understanding of socially and politically engaged images that is at the core of ICP's mission,” said ICP Executive Director David E. Little. “This presentation not only introduces new photographic work but is also strengthened by the publication of each project as a photobook, allowing for further insight into the artists’ processes.”
The Projects 
Let the Sun Beheaded Be by Gregory Halpern (USA) is an ensemble of photographs taken during his 2019 residency in the archipelago of Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France with a violent colonial past. Guided by the region’s rich diversity and vernacular culture, Halpern’s images embrace and develop the Caribbean Surrealism of Martinican writer Aimé Césaire (1913–2008), from whose work the project’s title is borrowed. Slow and intimate, Halpern’s photographs pick out small details in which the tremors of history can be felt. 
Vasantha Yogananthan (France) made Mystery Street in New Orleans during the spring and summer of 2022. Following a group of children as they play and explore together, Yogananthan’s images are alert to the subtleties of place, friendship, and growth. Replete with the artist’s celebrated attention to light and sumptuous use of color, Mystery Street is a visual poem told in fragments, full of life, light, and the possibilities of youth. 
Raymond Meeks (USA), an artist renowned for the unhurried nuance and contemplative intelligence of his photographs, spent much of 2022 in two regions of France—the southern border with Spain and the northern coast along the English Channel—that are important crossings for asylum seekers making their way to the United Kingdom. The Inhabitants, infused with care and deep empathy, looks to the land itself—its traces and pathways—as a silent witness to uncertain futures. What are the effects of this type of migrant life, when one is forced to leave behind one’s culture, to feel unseen and voiceless, to not feel at home in the world? This debut presentation of The Inhabitants features photographs interspersed with fragmentary texts by George Weld, in a deeply empathetic exploration of the terrain that bears witness to the spaces of temporary dwelling and fraught transit of so many who are seeking better lives. 
Immersion: Gregory Halpern, Raymond Meeks, and Vasantha Yogananthan is curated by David Campany, Curator-at-Large at ICP. Campany has worked all over the world, with cultural institutions including Tate Modern and the Whitechapel Gallery, in London; the Centre Pompidou and Le Bal, in Paris; and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. He has also collaborated with leading photographic institutions and publishers such as Aperture, Steidl, MIT Press, Thames & Hudson, MACK, and Frieze. 

“All artists want to be able push themselves, to work in new situations, to take risks,” said David Campany, Curator-at-Large at ICP. “Immersion allows this to happen with full support, mentorship and feedback. Being able to make exhibitions in the USA and France, as well as publishing a book of their project, grants the Immersion artists important new levels of exposure and expression.”

About the Artists 
With work rooted in the real and the sublime, Gregory Halpern (American, b. 1977) is known for rich color photography that draws attention to harsh social realities and the strangeness of everyday life. His subjects include postindustrial towns of the American Rust Belt, the people and places of Los Angeles, and the communal experience of a total solar eclipse. Halpern received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014 and became a member of Magnum Photos in 2018. Among his books are A (J&L Books, 2011); ZZYZX (MACK, 2016); Omaha Sketchbook (MACK, 2019); Confederate Moons (TBW Books, 2019); and Let the Sun Beheaded Be (Aperture, 2020). He teaches photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His work has been seen in the New York Times Magazine, Vogue, M Le magazine du Monde, Bloomberg Businessweek, Sports Illustrated, and Vice

Raymond Meeks (American, b. 1963) is recognized for his books and pictures centered on memory and place, the way in which a landscape can shape an individual and, in the abstract, how a place possesses you in its absence. His books have been described as a field or vertical plane for examining interior coexistences, as life moves in circles and moments and events—often years apart—unravel and overlap, informing new meanings. His work is represented in private and public collections including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; and the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Casemore Kirkeby, San Francisco, and Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam. Meeks is a recipient of a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography and a 2022 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. 

Vasantha Yogananthan (French, b. 1985) produces personal projects that carefully respond to subject and place. He developed his artistic process while working on the projects Piémanson (2009–13) and A Myth of Two Souls (2013–21), which have been published, exhibited, and awarded internationally. Yogananthan has received several awards, including the Prix Levallois in 2016 and the ICP Infinity Award for Emerging Photographer in 2017. His work is included in private and public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and Foam, Amsterdam. 

Launched in 2014, Immersion, a French-American Photography Commission program created by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, supports photography in France and the United States through the making, exhibition, and publication of contemporary photography. Each year, within the framework of a partnership between the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the International Center of Photography, an artist residency results in an exhibition at each of the two latter institutions, accompanied by a bilingual photobook of the artist’s work in English and French. 

Immersion is open to either photographers based in France, who are mentored by a French professional as they create a new photographic work in the United States, or to photographers based in the United States, who are mentored by an Anglophone professional as they create a new photographic work in France. Through this original photographic commission, the Foundation enables artists to pursue significant new projects that articulate their visions of the geographical and cultural territory they explore during their residencies.

Also on view at ICP this fall are Muriel Hasbun: Tracing Terruño and Play the Part: Marlene Dietrich. Tracing Terruño is the first comprehensive career survey in New York City of Muriel Hasbun (b. 1961), a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and advocate for Central American culture and history. Featuring nearly 80 works from throughout her career from the 1980s to the present, the exhibition explores how Hasbun has developed a uniquely poetic and abstracted sensibility that she employs to explore identity and memory, using her personal story of migration from El Salvador to the United States to examine collective histories through photography, video, and installation. Play the Part features approximately 200 photographs of Marlene Dietrich made between 1906 to 1978, examining the multifaceted evolution of her public persona. The exhibition includes photographs by Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, and Edward Steichen, as well as the noted Hollywood photographers George Hurrell, Eugene Robert Richee, and William Walling Jr. Assembled by collector Pierre Passebon, this exhibition marks the first time his noted collection will be shown in the United States. 

Exhibition Access

ICP is open every day except Tuesday from 11 AM to 7 PM, and until 9 PM on Thursdays. Admission: $18 for adults; $14 for seniors (62 and over), military, and visitors with disabilities (caregivers are free); $12 for students (with valid ID); $3 for SNAP/EBT card holders; free for ICP members, ICP students, and all visitors 14 years and under. Admission is by suggested donation on Thursdays from 6 to 9 PM. Tickets can be reserved online at Visitors are asked to arrive during the 30-minute window of their timed ticket to help ensure a safe flow in the lobby. For more information, read ICP’s updated Visitor Information and Accessibility guidelines and policies.  

Exhibition Support

Immersion is made possible thanks to the support of Fondation d’entreprise Hermès.

Exhibitions at ICP are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

About the International Center of Photography  

The International Center of Photography (ICP) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture. Cornell Capa founded ICP in 1974 to champion “concerned photography”—socially and politically minded images that can educate and change the world. Through exhibitions, education programs, community outreach, and public programs, ICP offers an open forum for dialogue about the power of the image. Since its inception, ICP has presented more than 700 exhibitions, provided thousands of classes, and hosted a wide variety of public programs. ICP launched its new integrated center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in January 2020. Located at 79 Essex Street, ICP is the cultural anchor of Essex Crossing, one of the most highly anticipated and expansive mixed-use developments in New York City. ICP pays respect to the original stewards of this land, the Lenape people, and other Indigenous communities. 

About the Fondation Henri Cartier Bresson
In 2018, the Fondation HCB moved to a new space in the heart of Paris, in which to expand its mission to conserve and disseminate its exceptional heritage collection, and to encourage new thinking and discussion around the medium of photography.

About the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès 
Created in 2008, presided by Olivier Fournier since 2016 and directed by Laurent Pejoux since 2021, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès is currently in its fourth mandate, with funding of €61 million for the period 2023–2028. The Foundation’s work is centered around four core themes – Transmit, Create, Protect, Encourage – and implemented through nine dedicated programs. In addition to its four exhibitions spaces in Europe and Asia, the Foundation offers committed support to beneficiaries and partners in situ. Since its inception, the Foundation has supported more than 900 projects across all its spheres of activity.


Press Contacts

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Image: Gregory Halpern, Untitled, from the series Let the Sun Beheaded Be, 2019. © Gregory Halpern, courtesy the artist 
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