Encounters: Picturing the Campaign for POTUS

campaign supporters at a political rally

Ted Cruz supporters try to catch a glimpse of the Senator at the Redneck Country Club Victory Rally held in Stafford, Texas on Tuesday, March 2, 2016 (©Mark Davis)

The Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University presents Encounters: Picturing the Campaign for POTUS, an exhibition curated by Deborah Willis, University Professor and chair of the NYU Tisch Department of Photography & Imaging, and photographer Karl Peterson. Encounters: Picturing the Campaign for POTUS includes photographs and video by 19 photographers and photojournalists, all focused on the theme of the 2016 campaign for President of the United States. Set against the backdrop of arguably the most divisive US presidential campaign in recent times, images in the exhibition document the campaign in urban and rural settings and depict the varied desires and hopes for this country.

Photographs include candid and posed images of supporting and opposing factions, reflecting candidates in both the Democratic and Republican fields including Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump.

“The American Dream has been about upward mobility, each generation claiming as its birthright the expectation of having more opportunities than the generation before… And it has been about people, no matter their race, religion, gender, or country of origin, having the right to express an opinion without fear of retribution while acknowledging that compromise sometimes is necessary for the greater good,” said Fred Ritchin, Dean of the School at the International Center of Photography (ICP), whose essay on the exhibition and the nature of political photography is published in the exhibition brochure. “The imagery in Encounters: Picturing the Campaign for POTUS searches for reality in the ongoing spectacle. It tries to peel away the façade so as to see what might be concealed behind. And in doing so, this group of photographs poses a pointed question: What can we, the viewers, do to reframe the discourse so that America, however imperfectly, can be coherent again?”

Contributing photographers for Encounters: Picturing the Campaign for POTUS include Mangue Banzima, Sheila Pree Bright, Mark Bussell, Thomas Drysdale, Brandy Dyess, Mark Davis, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Wyatt Gallery, Maegan Gindi, Mark Kauzlarich, Kieran Kesner, Jackson Krule, Terrence Jennings, Stephen Marc, Philip Montgomery, Lorie Novak, Jonno Rattman, Hank Willis-Thomas, and Deborah Willis.


Opening Reception 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 – 6-8pm
721 Broadway, Lobby and 8th Floor

Panel Discussion: The Image Campaign of President

Saturday, October 22, 2016 – 4-6pm
721 Broadway, Room 804
Free and open to the public. Seating first come, first served.

Moderated by
Dr. Deb Willis, University Professor and Chair, NYU Dept. of Photography & Imaging

Mark Davis, Photo & Imaging '15
Maegan Gindi, artist
Jackson M. Krule, Photo & Imaging '14
Lorie Novak, Professor, NYU Dept. of Photography & Imaging 
Jonno Rattman, Photo & Imaging '13
Fred Ritchin, Dean, School @ International Center for Photography


Panel Discussion @ ICP: The Democratization of the Image

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 – 6-8pm
International Center of Photography Museum | 250 Bowery, New York

This panel seeks to engage the authority of the image in relation to the presidential election, particularly against the backdrop of its “democratization” in the age of social media. One key issue is the status of photojournalistic authority in the face of the rampant visual knowledge production of today’s memic culture. 

Danny Wilcox Frazier, artist
Sheila Pree Bright, artist
Ed Kashi, photojournalist
Fred Ritchin, Dean, School @ International Center for Photography