Brian Weil, 1979–95: Being in the World
Client—Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
Production—Regal Printing, Hong Kong
Publisher—Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
A4, 164 pages, lay flat binding
From Stamina Gregory and ICA:
[This catalogue for] Brian Weil is the first career retrospective of an extraordinary photographer who staked out an original mode of documenting insular, often invisible communities and subcultures. Working patiently and deliberately, Weil immersed himself in the world of those whose lives he felt compelled to image; his work foregrounds the complex terms of exchange between photographer and subject. A member of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and founder of New York City’s first needle-exchange program, Weil believed that activism and artistic practice were inseparable. Brian Weil, on view in ICA’s second floor gallery space February 6 through March 31, 2013, presents 60 photographs, prints, and videos from five distinct bodies of work, much of it exhibited for the first time: “Hasidim” (insular populations of Hasidim in Brooklyn and the Catskills), “Miami Crime” (homicide scenes investigated by the Miami police department), “Sex” (underground sex and bondage participants, the subjects of which he often found by placing classified ads), “AIDS” (extensive documentation of the emerging local and international politics of AIDS), as well as a long-term project with members of nascent transgender support groups.
This large format catalogue is divided into two parts, easily identified by their differing papers: the white uncoated section for the exhibition plates and installation photography, the grey pages for the curatorial essays. The catalog cover uses a reversed packaging material so the untreated surface faces outwards, suggestive of Weil’s material sensibility.