Christer Stromholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche - International Center of Photography
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Date: 05/18/12 through 09/02/12
Ages: All
Address: 1114 Avenue of the Americas - 212-857-0000
icp.org

Description: Christer Stromholm (1918-2002) was one of the great photographers of the twentieth century, but he is little known outside of his native Sweden. This exhibition presents his most powerful and acclaimed body of work: Les Amies de la Place Blanche, a documentation of transsexual street hustlers in Paris in the 1960s. Arriving in Paris in the late 1950s, Stromholm settled in Place Blanche in the heart of the city's red-light district. There, he befriended and photographed young transsexuals struggling to live as women and to raise money for sex-change operations. Str?mholm's surprisingly intimate portraits and lush Brassa-like night scenes form a magnificent, dark, and at times quite moving photo album, a vibrant tribute to these girls, the "girlfriends of La Place Blanche." The photographs were first published in Sweden in 1983, and the book quickly sold out, becoming a cult classic; it is being reissued in French and English this year. Stromholm's photo-essay raises profound issues about sexuality and gender; as he wrote in 1983, "It was thenoand still is-about obtaining the freedom to choose one's own life and identity." This exhibition, the first presentation of Stromholm's work in an American museum, is organized by ICP Curatorial Assistant Pauline Vermare.

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