The official word: Western Reserve Public Media goes behind the scenes of a new Akron Art Museum exhibition when it premieres Who Shot Rock & Roll: Akron Art Museum on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 9 p.m. on Western Reserve PBS (WNEO.1/WEAO.1). The program will repeat the same night at 9:30 p.m. and also on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 18, at 4:30 a.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 21, at 1:30 p.m. It also will air on Fusion (WNEO.2/WEAO.2) on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 14, at 1:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 28, at 4:30 p.m.
The Akron Art Museum exhibition, Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present, tells the story of the photographers whose works helped to define the musical genre of rock ‘n’ roll. It is a photographic history of the past 55 years, presenting more than 160 photographs and videos by 100 artists who have been called the unsung heroes of rock music.
The Western Reserve Public Media production enhances the photographers’ stories by talking with photography historian Gail Buckland. In addition, Barbara Tannenbaum, the museum’s director of curatorial affairs, discusses how photography and rock ‘n’ roll came of age and grew up together. Who Shot Rock & Roll: Akron Art Museum also includes interviews with some of the photographers in the exhibition, plus it explores local ties to rock ‘n’ roll and rock history and the opening festivities for the exhibition.
On the station’s companion website for the program, youshotrock.com, the public can post their own photographs related to rock ‘n’ roll. The site also includes extended interviews with Buckland and the featured photographers, plus the full-length program available for viewing on demand.
“Rock ‘n’ roll is sound and image, but we never investigated the image of rock,” said Buckland. “Who were these people who took the pictures and made the posters? Many of them have not been recognized.” The Akron Art Museum exhibition, organized by the Brooklyn Museum with guest curator Buckland, recognizes the photographers as it documents behind-the-scenes images of established as well as young musicians just starting out. It captures the power of performance and celebrity, memorializes the near idolatry of fans and audiences and explores the collaboration between the rock stars and the artists behind the cameras.
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