The aesthetic of today, December 8th, 2010 are Black & White prints, featuring the work of Dudley M. Brooks and Maurizio Frullani at the National Theatre Gallery. Dudley M. Brooks installation is called “We were going to see God”, which was on the main floor of the gallery. Upstairs the work of Maurizo Frullani was also displayed. Both photographers’ work complimented each other quite well, and was well received by the onlookers.
Curator Aida Muluneh, who had nothing but praises for the talent displayed on this day, conducted the formal introduction of the artists. To her left stood the modest Dudley M. Brooks, whose showcase of work of the Haitian Earthquake was breathtaking and also intense. Mr. Brooks definitely captured this disastrous incident in many folds, depicting the horror of the civilians captured in his collection of photographs.
Watching this photographer prance around the room talking to his spectators was a pleasure to watch. Being the host of this gallery, you would think Mr. Brooks would relax and enjoy the spectacle, not quite! His hands were clenched to his camera waiting for an unexpected shot, with shifting eyes, as he continues to converse attentively. I would love to be in his portal, figuring out his visual acuity, as he watches potential images.
We later spoke about his experience in Haiti, and how he was so looking forward to the experience. This is not a task for every photographer, due to the gruesome state of this poverty stricken environment filled with despair. Mr. Brooks explains his initial motive of wanting to be in Haiti, after watching the news on television. He confronts his staff by saying, “We need to be in Haiti to show our readers how pertinent it is to give aid to these people”. He volunteers his services without hesitation, and tries to get the next flight out to Haiti. Although this won’t be an easy feat, he attempts to venture off to Port-au- Prince, trying to cross the border, knowing that they’ll be roadblocks within the vicinity. Once he gets there he needs to track down colleagues who are on assignment as photographers. The mission will take a lot of convincing to the Haitian authorities, in terms of getting accreditation in the heart of the city. Gratefully Mr.Brooks gets a ride and makes it across the border, and also finds accommodation with a friend whose hotel room becomes a rooming house for journalists and photographers. Many honor his determination, and without a doubt the collection of photographs captures the pure essence of this disaster.
Meanwhile upstairs Maurizo Frullani’s work is overshadowed by the intensity and beauty of Mr.Brook’s work, however his absence seemed very mysterious as his work, but his compositions are very strong. Frullani’s subject matter Massawa, which covers the years from 1993 to 2000 in Eritrea, begs to differ from the everyday poverty stricken pictures we usually see at galleries. The models are comfortable in a profound way, exuding pure bliss, without having some unexpected shot be the highlight of their character.
File Under: Non-judgmental and Euphemistic
Text by Andy Williams
Photos © Pierrot Men