Found Photos from the Collection of Gillian McCain
Curated by Gillian McCain & Megan Cump
Camera Club of New York Gallery

November 4 – December 18, 2010

Forgotten, discarded, orphaned, lost; stolen, bought, discovered or found; the vernacular images in HELP ME are culled from Gillian McCain’s extensive collection of photographs in formats including tin-types, cabinet cards, Polaroids, and snapshots. With an eye for the peculiar, McCain and co-curator Megan Cump, present a selection of images that bring together criminals, patients, ghosts and other assorted misfits. In and out of touch with their surroundings, often performing human experiments, usually on the brink of disaster—these images frequently leave viewers scratching their heads and asking: exactly who is it that needs help? Is it the subject, the photographer, the viewer themselves, or some poor soul off-camera? Shot in cheap hotel rooms, prisons, asylums, war-zones and ordinary homes, these images are often inexplicable and foreboding, but not without humor. Whether it’s a girl about to be swallowed by an amusement park whale, convicts posturing for a Polaroid to send to the folks back home, or an accident waiting to happen, these often private and always anonymous photographs haunt us with their alluring beauty and the strange poetry of the “found.”

HELP ME was accompanied by a limited edition book
available at Printed Matter and Clic Gallery.

HELP ME Panel Presentation 
Tuesday, December 14, 7pm at the School of Visual Arts Amphitheater 

In conjunction with HELP ME, CCNY presents a lecture and panel discussion about found photography at School of Visual Arts. Panelists include Luc Sante, W.M. Hunt, and Leslie Grant, and will be moderated by Megan Cump. Each will present excerpts from their collections of found photographs and related projects while addressing the resonance, subversive possibilities, and relevance of found and vernacular photography, including themes from the HELP ME exhibition. The panel will also discuss and explore the desire to uncover, comprehend, repurpose, and accumulate “orphan” images. 

Camera Club of New York Gallery
336 West 37th Street, Suite 206 
New York, NY 10018-4212