Substantial exhibitions of the work of Nan Goldin, Massimo Vitali and Antonin Kratochvil are the major highlights, and the three artists will also talk about their work, with Goldin appearing in a unique conversation with Sally Mann. In addition the festival will feature “Master’s Talks” and exhibitions by Christopher Anderson, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ashley Gilbertson, David Liitschwager, Steve McCurry, Mary Ellen Mark and Martin Bell, as well as a special exhibition of George Steinmetz photographs hung from trees in downtown Charlottesville.
Lyon is a journalist, but not by the usual '90s definition. Whether he was photographing the Civil Rights Movement in the American South in the '60s or the guerrilla uprising in Mexico in the '90s, his journalism is not about the surface, the sensational, the soundbite; it is imbued with his respect for the people he photographs, and with the commitment and responsibility this respect entails. Now, in his collages, Lyon has come up with an emotional kind of journalism exploring classes and cultures and the options that people are allowed. Claiming the same credibility for his personal images as for his more conventional documentary pictures, he has made some of his most political and most moving work to date.
On 2 May, the first of the 2009 Awards Days, Nan Goldin delivered the World Press Photo Sem Presser Lecture. Art and documentary photographer Goldin, who became known for her participatory work on subcultures and gender, broke new ground in photography and inspired a generation of artists.