Pack your lunch and head to the Austin History Center for a trip down memory lane on Friday, March 30 from 12 noon to 1 PM!
Former Austin photographer Bill Leissner offers a talk about 1980s Austin, shares some of his favorite photographs and talks about his experiences documenting this period of Austin’s story.
Leissner’s work, numbering well over 100,000 images of the 80s in Austin, covers a range of topics from live music to street scenes/nightlife and from politics to animals (sometimes the same thing).
About Bill Leissner
Bill bought his first SLR in 1980 and began taking classes with Mark Goodman in the University of Texas art department. Goodman steered him away from candid photos and towards “liveshots,” which came to define his style. In the course of the 80s Leissner accumulated an archive of around 3,500 rolls of film. He started out shooting bands and gravitated from there towards other staged performance (theater, dance, improvisation), politics, portraits, street scenes, animals, parties, conventions, and anything or anyone else that caught his eye.
Leissner also began his "bill & ___?___" project, which led his friends to characterize him as the inventor of the “selfie." It includes thousands of self-portraits taken at arm’s length with luminaries, friends, animals, inanimate objects, etc. Leissner had the opportunity to photograph numerous Austin cultural and political icons and venues. He shot 300 rolls of Ann Richards’ campaign, from start to finish. Lots of people, lots of places, and lots of memories of a thrilling time in Austin history.
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