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Peter van Agtmael USA. Des Moines, Iowa. 2010. The Iowa GOP Ronald Reagan dinner headlined by Sarah Palin. © Peter van Agtmael | Magnum Photos

Join Magnum photographers Peter van Agtmael and Donovan Wylie as they discuss documenting contemporary America. Chaired by writer and curator Ossian Ward, this discussion will present Van Agtmael and Wylie’s new bodies of photographic work created in America, and address what it means to document American culture in today’s political landscape.

Donovan Wylie New Haven, Connecticut. USA. 2016. © Donovan Wylie | Magnum Photos

Peter van Agtmael‘s newly published book, Buzzing at the Sill is an extensive exploration of America, an attempt to under his experiences and his country after coming home from years of covering war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The work is a stew of reflections on war, memory, militarism, identity, race, class, family, surrealism, and the landscape. It is a sequel to Disco Night Sept. 11.

Donovan Wylie’s A Good and Spacious Land explores the concept of the “model city” through the lens of New Haven, Connecticut. Wylie chronicles the changes to New Haven’s topography during the construction of a massive highway interchange, offering connections between a contemporary American interpretation of the “Promised Land” and the underlying biblical narrative.

Ossian Ward is Head of Content at Lisson Gallery and a writer on contemporary art. Previously, he worked as the Chief Art Critic and Visual Arts Editor at Time Out London and wrote for numerous art magazines and newspapers, such as Art in America, The News Statesman, Wallpaper, The Guardian, The Observer and The Times. His latest book Ways of Looking: How to Experience Contemporary Art, was published by Laurence King Publishing in 2014.

This event is part of the Magnum Photos Now talks programme at the Barbican Centre. Tickets can be purchased from the Barbican Centre here.

February 22, 2017
Frobisher Auditorium 2
Barbican Centre, London

Join us in celebrating Magnum’s 70th anniversary throughout 2017. Bookmark our anniversary hub to find seminal stories, new work, and discover what Magnum events are happening near you.