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March 01, 1978 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-03-01

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People star in

The Michigan Daily-.Wednesday, March 1, 1978-Page 5
local photograp hyshow

Weinstein talks to people before
taking pictures of them, so he usually
establishes eye-contact. He says, "I've
never had trouble photographing
people," and his photographs show it.
His people are as complicated, likeable,
and as real as life itself. Weinstein's,
photographs breathe humanity.
Now through March 25, the Studio B
Gallery of the Art Worlds Institute of
Creative Arts at 213 South Main St. is
exhibiting 25 of Weinstein's often
remarkable photographs of people, in a
show cleverly titled "Photographs of
People by Michael Weinstein."
With only a few . exceptions, the
photographs are 5 inch by 7 inch rec-
tangles, and the subjects are
photographed outside in their own en-
vironment. All are technically very
good, and most sport strong com-
positions as well.
YET THE strength of these
photographs lie in their marvelous
ability to capture the spiritual aspects
of people as well as the more obvious
physical ones. Most of the photographs
are filled with moods that bind the
elements together into an organic
Many of Weinstein's subjects are not
pretty in the standard American con-
formist sense. Some are old, some are
awkward, some are ugly. But he
doesn't make photographs of them to
make fun of them. Rather, Weinstein
wants to show them "just as people." It
works - these photographs are par-
ticularly warm.
Weinstein spent hours arranging the
photographs in a sequence that makes
sense as a whole, as well as showing
relationships between small groups of

photographs. The time spent pays off -
although many of the photographs are
outstanding in their own right,
together, the show becomes a moving
human experience.
THE SERIES opens with a set of
photographs Weinstein made as a
student in Greece last year. An old man
sitting down selling chestnuts seems.
very busy and very content. Next to
him is a photograph of two boys looking
full of energy but without anything to
do. The same fountain is in the
background of both pictures, making
the contrast between them especially
A couple of pictures of old men aren't
especially noteworthy. Weinstein notes,
though, "I though it would be in-
teresting to juxtaposition these old men1
with the ones from our country."
The next photograph, from Chicago,
is a delightful portrait of the ar-
chetypical robust senior citizen, in this
case standing outside of the apartment
building he owns. He's wearing huge
pants held up by suspenders, and with'
his arms akimbo, his smiling face
seems to be saying, "Hi!" "I had to talk
to him for two hours before I could

photograph him," says Weinstein.
THEN COMES a trio of close-ups. All
three use space differently, creating
different effects. One man's dark
glasses reflect Weinstein and
everything around him, showing us
exactly what he's seeing. Most striking
is a face tilted up and looking to the
right. His broad, half-smile and shining
eyes, which peer through reflecting
glasses, make him into an almost
mystical character.
Weinstein made another intriguing
threesome at last September's ethnic
fair in Ann Arbor. Each photograph
shows an old man smiling and ob-
viously quite drunk, yet all are dif-
One of the men seems reluctant to
have his picture taken; this photograph
is filled with an uneasy tension. Another
man, holding a guitar, seems proud to
have his picture taken. This photograph
works especially well, with vertical
lines in the man's jacket contrasting
with a horizontal white line through the
middle of the picture. The shot is a
treasure of grays and textures, broken
into light and dark halves by the white
NEXT UP is one of the show's most
moving photographs. A man who has
seen a lot is standing with his hands in
his pockets, looking sad and tired, yet
hopeful. His hollow eyes seem as beat-
up as his old, worn-out clothes.
Then comes a series of intriguing
pairs. An old woman with a shopping.
bag in one hand and a huge purse in the
other is "dressed for the occasion," in
this case, a shopping excursion. Next to
her is a photograph of a transvestite at
Chicago's gay pride parade last sum-
mer. Like the woman, he's dressed for
the occasion and carries a shopping

bag. "It means something to put these
people together," Weinstein explains.
"I get kind of upset when people
criticize people like this."
Two ,photographs show unusual
twosomes. In the first case, an old
woman is sitting at a table drinking
beer with a dummy. She looks just as
lifeless as the dummy. In the second
one, two women are sitting outside at a
table at a Chicago art fair, one drinking
"Jolly Good Cola," the other something
out of a McDonald's cup.
PARTICULARLY striking together
are two photographs of couples. The
first shows two men at the Chicago gay
parade. They seem very much in love;
a tee-shirt in the background proclaims
"LOVE is GREAT." Figures a few feet
away radiate from the central couple,
making for great composition.
The second photograph shows an
older, more tragic couple. Both are
well-dressed, but neither appears hap-
py. Weinstein explains why: "The wife
had cancer. I knew it, but she didn't.
You have the feeling something is
The last few pictures are from the
gay parade. First up is a woman in a
jeep who, according to Weinstein,
delighted in pulling her blouse down
and sticking her tongue out all day long.
His photograph captures this playful
lunacy perfectly.
THEM COME two pictures of the
same trio. On the left is a transvestite,
in the middle is a fat woman with huge
exposed breasts, on the right is a trans-
sexual, Weinstein believes. In the first
shot, all three stare at the camera
rather blankly. In the second, the man
on the left is squeezing the middle
woman's breast, while the woman on
the right looks on, laughing.

The last photograph, one of the best,
shows a young family on a picnic
blanket. The husband is kissing his
baby, who stares ahead looking con-
fused, as the wife beams at the camera.
Weinstein has captured another
magical moment.
Weinstein, a University senior
majoring in English, plans after
graduation "to work for nine months
and make a lot of money," and then go
to Paris to photograph. There he'd take

mostly pictures of people he meets on
the street, but he also plans to ex-
periment with the controlled environ-
ment only a studio setting can provide.
He's had a camera for about six
years, and been seriously doing
photography for the last two-and-a-half
years, he says. If you'd like to be
surrounded by fragments of the human
race, then you owe it to yourself to see
Weinstein's exhibit. Judging from the
quality of the photographs, though,
there'll be many more shows to come.

Friars show professionalism, wit

H OW DOES ONE rate a concert by
The Friars? After viewing their
joint concert with the Other Guys from
the University of Illinois, one is forced
to conclude that the alternatives range
from "good" to "great". Their perfor-
mance Saturday night definitely earned
the latter tribute.
The Friars are an octet chosen from
the U-M, Men's Glee Club. They per-
form standard pop ballads, 50's-style
numbers, novelty songs and a variety of
other musical styles a cappella, and
their performances often include
choreography or staged routines. The
Other Guys, from the University of
Illinois Varsity Men's Glee Club, are a
similar group.
I have been fortunate enough to have
seen the Other Guys twice before, and
The Friars on numerous occasions; I
have always been fascinated by this
kind of group. (The most famous of this
genre are Yale's Whiffenpoofs.) They
bring techniques used in choral singing
- techniques too often ignored in
today's music world - and apply them
to popular music.
ADD TO their beautiful voices their
admittedly limited dancing (none of
them are selected on their dancing
ability), jokes, bits, and anything else
they can think up, and the resulting
mixture istalmost invariably pleasing.
The joint-concert format provided an
excellent sample of the wide diversity
this type of ensemble is capabie of.
The first half of the show was devoted

. .

to the Other Guys. The image they
always bring to pind is of a few neigh-
borhood kids who get together and sing
once a week in someone's basement for
fun, and are finally persuaded at a par-
ty to get up and perform. They don't
reach out and grab you - their sense of
humor is relatively quiet and subtle.
When the audience catches a joke or
bit, their faces register their ap-
preciation. They generally sing quite
well: there are minute flaws, but no
real klunkers. Their forte seems to be
mini-vignettes set to barbershop har-
mony. They take, a mediocre but
pleasant tune, give it a barbershop
arrangement, then act it out using
props, bits of mime, and so on. The
result is always wryly amusing.
"The Little Old Lady in Tennis
Shoes" and "I Never See Maggie
Alone" were the best examples of this
genre. The high points of their show,
however (along with "Maggie" and a
ballad called "My Romance"), were
their last two songs: the Mickey Mouse
Theme Song and the old Motown num-
ber, "Have You Seen Her?" There
really isn't much to say about the first
- they simply performed it in its en-
tirety (complete with Days of the
Week!) and let the audience's
imagination and memories do the rest.
The latter tune, however, was marked
by, the best parody of Motown's charac-
teristically inane choreography I've
ever seen.
THE FRIARS, in contrast, come

across essentially as a much more
professional unit. They seemed bigger
and brassier, their choreography was
much more active, their timing more
precise; in short, their act appeared far
more polished. Their set included two
stunning soloes: Doug Sheperdigian in
"Send In the Clowns" and Kevin Doss
in "Operator", plus a credible bass solo
by Neil Hediger in "A Quiet Girl" that
almost redeemed an otherwise in-
credibly dull song.
In fact, most of my criticisms con-
cern their choice of material. Hearing
The Friars sing "By The Time I Get to
Phoenix" is like having yet another jazz
band inflict "MacArthur Park" upon
your ears. To their credit, however,
they were able to take "Long White
Robe", a song that should have been
burned as soon as its creators - may
they rot in hell - realized the monster
they had spawned, and give it an ab-
solutely hilarious rendition.
The thing that impressed me the most
were the sizable improvements in the
area I've always considered them most
lacking in: overall stage.sense, a feel
for comedic timing. Whether this is due
to this year's Friars (particularly
Brian Barrie) or an exceptionally good
night or what, I found their performan-

ce excellent.
The evening closed with both groups
singing four numbers, including a
gorgeous arrangement of "Momma
Look Sharp". One final comment: I
fervently wish they would either re-
stage or abandon "Breaking Up Is Hard
To Do" before this reviewer is driven to
acts of violence.
In sum, the concert was an over-
whelming success, and the ap-
propriately full house at Trueblood
Auditorium made no secret of their ap-
preciation. Hopefully, The Friars will
see fit to make-these concerts a regular' -

Photograph by Michael Weinstein
5o cJthin Corrir I
don4- kn when
bu- fr0sson
catch the mfl
WEST 517 STORY MARCH 6--19 1978

1 and 2 bedroom apartments
includes security lock system, drapes,
dishwasher, lighted tennis courts, and
Buses to and from campus daily
1693 Broadway, Apt. 302
} Reaume and Doddes Management Co.

MON. thru SAT. 10 A.M. tit 1:3b P.M. SUN. & HOLS.12 Noon til 1:30 P.M,
Monday-Saturday 1:30-5:00, Admission $2.50 Adult and Students
Sundays and Holidays 1:30 to Close, $3.50 Adults, $2.50 Students
Sunday-Thursday Evenings Student & Senior Citizen Discounts
Children 12 And Under, Admissions $1.25


nth 1 '
h I
. sP
\ _ e i

1. Tickets sold no sooner than 30 minutes
prior to showtime.
2. No tickets sold later than 15 minutes
after showtime.

South University near Washtenaw " 769-1744

"'"x !10.40
The Mouse and Her Child 10:15
aw& > .....9:15
R =one

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