Archives

December 2006

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Dec 31

I received many requests for comments to be enabled. I have had a whole set of reasons why there were no comments, some of which technical, others non-technical. This blog is using a somewhat outdated version of Movable Type, and - unlike most other people - I am not willing to replace something that is working very well with something else that might (or might not) be working very well, especially since it would take too much of my time. So commenting on posts will be done in a somewhat different way - namely at Yeah But No. For many - but not all - posts there will be a link to a comment post at Yeah But No like this one: Comments…
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Dec 31

Carla van de Puttelaar creates very interesting nudes and portraits. Her models have normal bodies - something we hardly see any more in a world obsessed with breast implants and anorexic models - and the light often is not flattering. However, the final results show an astonishing and somewhat surprising beauty. Especially note the use and types of colour. You can find an insightful interview with Carla van de Puttelaar here. (updated entry)
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Dec 28

Kalpesh Lathigra’s photojournalistic folios are worth the visit, especially those that don’t cover the usual subject matter. (updated entry)
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Dec 27

If you think the statement ‘public art can be fun’ is weird have a look at this.
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Dec 27

I really like Robert van der Hilst’s “Chinese interiors”.
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Dec 22

Ian Baguskas’ portfolio contains a series of very nice projects, amongst them the quite wonderful “Search For The American Landscape”.
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Dec 21

“Ruth Bernhard, who photographed nude models in graceful compositions evoking sand dunes and sculpted shapes, died Monday. She was 101.” - full story
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Dec 21

Parking looked never as appealing as in Carsten Meier’s photography (but then all his parking lots are empty).
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Dec 20

The reason why I wanted to link to Céline van Balen is because I saw her portraits of young Islamic girls. Unfortunately, the quality of the images on the web does not convey the radiant beauty of the photos (which I saw in a book on Dutch portrait photography).
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Dec 20

No, this is not an entry about the conference I went to last week (even though that was about Cosmic Voids). Instead, this is something that I have come across quite frequently, unfortunately way too often. For example, today I was looking for links to the work of Corinne Noordenbos, a Dutch photographer whose portraits of Alzheimer patient deserve wider exposure. I did my usual Google search and came back empty-handed (and lest I get emails, yes, I do look at more than just the first page of results). Maybe I should add another category here, namely the category of people I’d link to if there actually was at least a single web page to link to.
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Dec 20

“So thatÂ’s the big change: In 1962, there were a lot of civilized and cultured people who would accept the notion of photography being a kind of an art. But it was not part of the art market, not at all.” - an interview with John Szarkowski
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Dec 19

About ten years ago, I studied philosophy on the side, and when a friend of mine recommended the book Nietzsche and Philosophy. I started reading it and just couldn’t get rid off the impression that what was in front of me was maybe the most elaborate bullshit I had ever come across. (You might object to me calling it like that, but right now, I’m under the influence of Bullshit and Philosophy, a book that I can only heartily recommend.) Fast forward to here and now. You might remember that a while ago, I wrote something about the use and contents of “statements” in photography. I have to admit that the reaction to that was quite unusual, since it ranged from enthusiastic emails to what comes close to character assassinations on various forums (it has forever escaped me why the internet for some people seems to remove any inhibitions as far as civilized discourse is concerned), with, I have to say, many people only selectively reading the piece. Given this experience I have been a bit reluctant to write about the twin brother of overly pretentious “statements”, but now I don’t have to worry any longer. Over at the excellent BLDBLOG, Geoff Manaugh has just written something about The crisis of unspecified specificity, and there’s really nothing I could add to his discussion.
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Dec 19

“Vienna, Cafe Bräunerhof, early on the morning of July 15, 1986. Thomas Bernhard had set a rather vague rendezvous for an interview. He was having his apartment redecorated, he said, ‘naturally’ in white. He could not stand the presence of the workers in his home, causing him to flee to the coffeehouse in the early morning. When I arrive, he has already settled down, near the entrance, ‘where the air is better.’ He is walled in by mounds of newspapers whose pages he skims hastily, almost tearing them as he flips through. An interview? Yes, he says, he’s in the mood today. But short and to the point. Thomas Bernhard: So, I’ll just keep reading the paper, you don’t mind, do you? Werner Wögerbauer: Well, no, by all means. [Thomas Bernhard:] You’ll have to ask something and then you’ll get an answer.” (full interview)
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Dec 19

“I was so drunk I could barely stand up […] My organs were so messed up from drinking I was in physical pain. I couldn’t zip up my pants because my stomach was killing me. I didnÂ’t even realize I wasn’t wearing underwear until the magazine came out. […] I had to explain to my grandmother that this was the definitive photographer of the 20th century.” - Chan Marshall about that infamous photo by Richard Avedon.
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Dec 19

Much like Rineke Dijkstra, Hellen van Meene is more well known outside of the Netherlands than many of the other Dutch photographers I linked to recently. (updated entry)
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Dec 19

Photography that contains a high amount of visual high-fructose corn syrup (kitschy, over-the-top colours, models and sets photoshopped to rememble androids in a Lord of the Rings movie) dominates those glossy magazines where 30 pages of actual content is packed into 300 pages of ads, with the next effect of a shiny and often smelly (perfume samples!) brick of paper. The world of fashion photography is infinitely larger than the fine-art one, and I typically refrain from linking to it (it’s not like this kind of stuff is hard to find anyway). Occasionally, I do make an exception, though, and here is one, the work of Miles Aldridge. I saw some of his work printed big in Amsterdam, and it is visually quite compelling.
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Dec 15

Hendrik Kerstens’s work has strong connections to classic Dutch painting. The girl/woman in the photos is his daughter. (updated entry - since it’s Dutch week at Conscientious)
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Dec 15

In the spirit of my previous Friday posts about the weirdness of reality I give you the story of how the World’s Tallest Man Saves Two Dolphins.
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Dec 15

I plan to update this one entry as regularly as I can - apart from (hopefully) doing regular posts - about my trip to Amsterdam, so in case you’re interested in what I’m doing here, there’s this post (and if you really don’t care about it, there’s just this one post to ignore). This all depends on whether they have internet at my conference, since at my hotel, they’re charging a pound of flesh for internet access.
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Dec 14

American Photo’s list of Photography Innovators of 2006 features bloggers (including this one) - it really looks like photo blogs (like this one) have finally become a part of the photo world that is accepted. I am quite pleased about this, since one of the things that has made me spend lots and lots of hours compiling this blog was/is my belief that the internet can contribute a lot to making cutting-edge contemporary photography more widely known.
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Dec 14

If I had to pick my favourite work from Willeke Duyvekam’s work, it would probably be the portraits (many of which were taken at a school for blind/visually impaired people).
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Dec 12

Frank van der Salm’s architectural photography is quite impressive, and it’s great to see he has been updating his website. (updated entry)
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Dec 11

Bert Teunissen’s Domestic Landscapes was shot over the range of ten years, portraying people in their homes, using just natural light (or more precisely, in old houses where people rely on natural light). The immense beauty of the photos hardly comes across online, there’ll be a book out (I was told) in early 2007.
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Dec 9

I managed to find an old (and somewhat tattered) copy of the famous August Sander Du magazine from 1959 (99 cents on Ebay! if you’re wondering about some of the odd colours of the image above, that’s mostly me taking a quick photo of the magazine). Looking through the magazine I realized yet again the genius behind those portraits, it’s quite amazing. I think I personally need to see contemporary work being put into perspective, I need to see older work, to make connections, and to be able to appreciate both that older work (for what it achieved already) and the new work (for what it built on the older foundations).
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Dec 8

“The trucks arrived weeks ago, hauling away scores of the abstract sculptures and contemporary paintings Kenneth L. Freed had bought through the years. The time had come. Freed, one of the city’s most passionate contemporary collectors during the 1990s, was ready to sell.” (Story; found here)
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Dec 8

In the spirit of scraping the bottom of the barrel labeled “culture” every Friday, here is this week’s post: Lindsay Lohan loses it (which boldly assumes that there was something to be lost in the first place).
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Dec 7

People who like grainy, stark b/w photojournalism will enjoy Alessandro Franzetti’s work (unfortunately, the text appears to be in Italian only).
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Dec 6

“From the mid 1950s through the early 1980s, William Gedney (1932-1989) photographed throughout the United States, in India, and in Europe. From the commerce of the street outside his Brooklyn apartment to the daily chores of unemployed coal miners, from the indolent lifestyle of hippies in Haight-Ashbury to the sacred rituals of Hindu worshippers, Gedney was able to record the lives of others with remarkable clarity and poignancy. These photographs, along with his notebooks and writings, illuminate the rare vision of an intensely private man who, as a writer and photographer, was able to reveal the lives of others with striking sensitivity.” - The collection of work is nothing but amazing (and the sheer number of photos is quite overwhelming).
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Dec 5

This interview with Henri Cartier-Bresson is worth watching, and, I’m sure, every viewer will find his or her own reasons why (this is, of course, taken from Alec’s blog, but I wouldn’t have watched it (I have little - if any - patience with the medium of TV - if Alec hadn’t mentioned it again, in an email - thank you!).
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Dec 5

“The painter’s hands have grown clumsy and heavy, too heavy to hold a brush. They lie placidly on his thighs, two tools that broke one after the other. But the artist Jörg Immendorff still paints on, working on several paintings at a time. He paints on without his hands, as if the illness that paralyses his muscles could not harm him. He paints for his life, against time, the time he has left.” - story
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Dec 4

“There are up to 4.2m CCTV cameras in Britain - about one for every 14 people.” - story
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Dec 4

In a recent post, Alec Soth discusses why he prefers to see people in photos, instead of looking at deserted land= or cityscapes or architectural interiors (Alec, there are people in Gursky’s 99 Cent, though!). The reason why I personally disagree is neatly summarized by Simon Norfolk in the interview that I linked to just a couple of days ago, while discussing photos of radar installations: “I think people kind of gobble up the photograph. They become what the photograph is. For me, people just aren’t that important; it’s about this panoptic process, it’s about this kind of eavesdropping, it’s about this ability to look into every aspect of our lives. And I think if you put people into these pictures, I don’t know – it would draw viewers away. It would draw viewers into the story of the people.” (emphases from the original, not mine)
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Dec 4

Patti Hallock’s portfolio contains a few quite interesting projects. I especially like “Basements”.
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Dec 4

There’s an excellent interview with Simon Norfolk over at bldgblog: “The thing that pisses me off about so much modern art is that it carries no politics – it has nothing that it wants to say about the world. Without that passion, that political drive, to a piece of work – and I mean politics here very broadly – how can you ever really evaluate it? At the end of the day, I don’t think my politics are very popular right now, but what I would like to hear is what are your politics? Because if you’re not going to tell me, how can we ever possibly have an argument about whether you’re a clever person, your work is great, your work is crap, your art is profound, your art is trivial…?” Also check out the feature over at lensculture, which also contains samples of a conversation with Simon. (updated entry)
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Dec 4

Picking a representative photo for Jules Spinatsch is quite an impossible task, with the interesting variety (and techniques!) of his work. Make sure to check out all the different projects, in particular the ones on the top that employ interesting uses of digital technologies.
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Dec 1

Ben Murphy shoots mostly interiors, amongst them the UN Building in New York.
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