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International Motion Art Awards: Ron Haviv

By David Schonauer   Friday November 1, 2013


Ron Haviv, the co-founder of the VII photo agency, is one of the best-known photojournalists in the world, having compiled an unflinching record of conflict and social injustices for publications like the New Yorker, Paris Match, Time, Stern, and Vanity Fair. (Starting today, New York City’s Anastasia Gallery features a retrospective of Haviv’s 23-year career.) In recent years, Haviv has also moved into motion documentary and other video work that has taken him in surprising directions. An example is his International Motion Art Awards-winning music video for singer-songwriter Luthea Salom's single “Blank Piece of Paper,” a musing on love shot with a single camera, natural light, and distinctive overexposure to create what Haviv calls a “dreamy bright feeling.” The video’s live action is mirrored by animation that adds graphic depth to the song’s meaning.
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International Motion Art Awards

Blank Piece of Paper
By Ron Haviv

“I believe and have dedicated my life to witnessing history in an attempt to create a body of evidence that holds people accountable,” says photojournalist Ron Haviv, who over the course of a remarkable 23-year career has documented three genocides and over 30 conflicts around the world. A retrospective of his photography, “Testimony,” opens on today at New York City’s Anastasia Gallery, which will coincide with “War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath,” a major traveling exhibition including Haviv’s images opening at the Brooklyn Museum this fall.

Haviv has also turned to motion to expand his capacity for telling stories, creating video pieces for ABC World News and NBC Nightly News. “I began by creating mixed media pieces with video/audio and stills for my editorial clients. In the last few years I've started to explore more in the world of dedicated video,” he says. His motion work on the documentary projectStarved for Attention, a co-production of Haviv’s VII agency and Médecins Sans Frontières, received an Emmy nomination for News and Documentary work.

In recent years, Haviv has also taken his video work in directions that may at first seem surprising, but which in fact make all the sense in the world considering what he has witnessed in places like Bosnia and Afghanistan. His music video for singer-songwriter Luthea Salom's single “Blank Piece of Paper,” is a musing on love, not war.

Shot in New York, the video, which aired on television in 2010, is a pared-down production that underscores the song’s meaning. “It was a low-key production with one camera and natural light,” says Haviv. “I decided to overexpose the footage to create a dreamy bright feeling. This was enhanced in post.” Integral to the video’s impact are animated sequences that mirror the live action, giving its message graphic depth.

Go here for a “making-of” look at the video’s creation. Go here to see a reel of his work.

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