New York-based photographer and videographer Richard Mosse is well known for his work in dangerous, war-torn areas such as the Congo, Afghanistan and Palestine. For Fraternity, his contribution to the exhibit "B-Sides: A Dialogue with Contemporary U.S. Photography," Mosse chose a decidedly different environment. He approached the DKE fraternity at Yale University. (The extremely prestigious DKE was founded in 1844 and has five former U.S. presidents, including both Bushes, and a slew of Supreme Court justices among its former members.) "He went to them, these future leaders of America," says Vinod Hopson of FotoFest, "and he told them he would give them a keg of beer if they would perform in a screaming contest for a video. It's something straight out of Animal House. They're just screaming, for beer, literally until they're red in the face, until they can't breathe anymore. This one guy looks like he's going to have a heart attack, but that's how much he wants the beer."
Other artists in the exhibit include Mexico's Emilio Chapela, who contributed his Ask Google series, in which he typed the beginnings of questions into the search engine - such as "Why are Americans..." and "Why are Mexicans..." - letting Google suggest the most likely searches. "Why are Americans so fat?" and "Why are Mexicans so short?" were among the suggestions he got. There's also David Oresick, who uses YouTube video clips of people discussing death interspersed with clips of animals and nature scenes for the surprisingly tranquil contribution The Dream Songs.
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Oh, and if you're wondering about the exhibit's title, it comes from an old music-industry term. B-sides were the less popular sides of hit singles. Hopson explains that "B-Sides" is just lesser-known work from artists viewers are already familiar with. "It's not necessarily the hits, but it's still work of very fine quality." 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Vine Street Studios, 1113 Vine Street. For information, call 713-223-5522 or visit www.fotofest.org. Free.
Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: Oct. 21. Continues through Dec. 11, 2010