Archives

January 2007

SELECT A MONTH:

Jan 31

Matthew Pillsbury’s “Screen Lives” is an homage to Hiroshi Sugimoto’s movie theater photos. As is often the case with homages, I am a bit torn, and I find the idea of investigating how much we depend on TV or computer screens a bit thin (isn’t it obvious?).
Read more »

Jan 26

Roberta Ruocco’s work is quite interesting. In the words of my friend Amy, she’s “dealing with girlhood and that […] pre-pubescent/adolescent age of longing to be more of a woman and less of a girl.”
Read more »

Jan 26

“The World Press Photo of the Year has followed some predictable patterns. Typically, the judges choose an image that symbolizes a crisis or disaster by showing a lone suffering individual. A look at the World Press Photo 50-year gallery of winners shows that certain motifs have won numerous times. Child (in distress, in danger or dead): 11 prizes; Mother with child: 7; Grieving woman: 6” - story
Read more »

Jan 26

“From the Holocaust to 9/11, from Berlin to New York, the world is now studded with memorials to human suffering. But does this really mean we care more than we used to? And does our obsession with terrible events make it any less likely that we will repeat them?” - story
Read more »

Jan 26

When I got tagged a few days ago, I ignored it (see below, point 1). Now I got tagged again, and I can’t ignore it any longer (see below, point 1). This is how this works: You blog about 5 things that people wouldn’t necessarily know about you, and then in turn tag 5 other people. So it’s like a chain letter for adults. Alright then…
Read more »

Jan 25

Edward Burtynsky’s photography is all about the destruction of our natural enviroment for our own well-being, or, as he phrases it “Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction.”
Read more »

Jan 25

Paula Muhr’s portfolio contains a series of quite interesting projects, each of which is nicely introduced. Check it out.
Read more »

Jan 24

I really like Paul Plews’s photography. I just wish the images were a bit bigger, looking at this website is almost like looking at someone’s stamp collection.
Read more »

Jan 24

The only thing I knew about Andres Serrano wasn’t even his name, it was one of his art works, and I didn’t even know it was a photograph (I thought it had been an actual installation - mixed media, as the art world would probably have called it). His work is quite interesting, albeit of somewhat mixed quality. While I think that some of his works is quite fascinating (for example, his photos of corpses possess a very terrible beauty; also check out this interview about him taking portraits of Ku-Klux Klan), while others are just, well… you know the kind of stuff you’d expect from a toddler who has just entered the phase where he or she is saying “dirty” words to get reactions out of people and for some reason knows how to take photos. The infamous Piss Christ might or might not belong to that category. Find a couple of background articles here and here.
Read more »

Jan 24

Chris Jordan invited people to comment on his new work “Running the Numbers” over at the Large Format Photography Forum. You should probably look at the ensuing errr… “discussion” yourself (and if you want to comment, do it over there); for me, it was interesting (and sad at the same time) to see how many people would either write “fantastic” or something like “just predictable liberal dogma”. Are there any nuanced opinions left?
Read more »

Jan 23

If you want to find out how you can ruin a modern democracy, look at the advice spinmeister Frank Luntz has to offer: He’ll help you sell anything, you just have to use the right words. Read this interview.
Read more »

Jan 23

“‘This Is All So Temporary’ is a personal photographic journey, through a rapidly changing community and the lives of people who offer new visions of what it means to be young and queer today.” - Molly Landreth
Read more »

Jan 22

Agnieszka Rayss is a Polish photojournalist who has been covering some of the cultural imports into (mostly) Poland since the end of Communism. For her cheerleaders project (on her site under “Cheers”), also see this page for a bit more text.
Read more »

Jan 22

“‘HD [high definition TV] is great because people want to see how people really look,’ Ms. Price [some porn star] said. ‘People just want to see whatÂ’s real.’” (my emphasis, quoted from a New York Times article, which discusses yet another very pressing issue: In Raw World of Sex Movies, High Definition Could Be a View Too Real; and you can just imagine the kind of smirk they must have had at the Times for the oh-so clever first sentence “The XXX industry has gotten too graphic, even for its own tastes.” How witty!)
Read more »

Jan 19

Stop whatever it is you’re doing, watch this film about Stephen Shore, and then go back to whatever it was you interrupted (if you can).
Read more »

Jan 18

Well, almost. I’m just south of the “K” (which is just south if the “T”, the eye of the low-pressure system). So, yes, the wind here is quite impressive.
Read more »

Jan 18

“Growing up as a woman in a conservative Southern Baptist family and school system has affected my work tremendously, especially as I continue to revisit and collaborate with a specific group of young women from my hometown. Over the past two years, my photography has focused on this group of women with whom I attended church and private Christian school.” - Sarah Martin. Excellent work, make sure read the statements to get the full backgrounds of the individual projects.
Read more »

Jan 17

Arun Kuplas says his projects “examine aspects of layered traces of objects and people”.
Read more »

Jan 16

Stephen Miller’s website contains a series of interesting projects, including the very personal an remarkable Dad.
Read more »

Jan 16

I am quite deeply fascinated by the art of Edith Derdyk. The only thing that, for me, takes away some of the beauty, is being given a description like “15.000 meters of black cotton line, 9.000 stapples [sic!] and 3 days of setting up”. I do believe that these pieces are quite intricate, and providing this kind of information is a bit like telling people that they also have to admire it, because it’s a lot of work (note how this appears to cater to the quintessential modern confusion about art and craft: Since we’re all so lazy, we are led to believe that something that is a lot of work must be a piece of art; but the amount of time the production of an art piece takes is not what makes it art).
Read more »

Jan 16

There’s nothing that embodies the kind of hotel I’m in better than the smallish TV set, which is made to hover in a corner of the room by means of this kind of suspension. Since the last photo I took of one of these already disappeared in what one might imagine to be the depths of the internet (reality is much too mundane for modern man or woman), I had to take a new photo, somewhat fittingly this time a digital one. I still have the old Polaroid, though, somewhere at home, and I have the nagging feeling that it will continue to exist, physically, beyond the digital life time of this new photo, and I’m not saying that because I’m old-fashioned or a cynic (even though, deep down, I might be a bit of both).
Read more »

Jan 15

“Motivated by the death of our mother on January 25, 2005, my fifteen-year-old brother David and I decided to leave our home in Moncton, New Brunswick, and drive across Canada in the hope of discovering ourselves and getting some perspective on our new family dynamic while exploring the history the country. We wondered if this road trip could heal us in some way.” - Jaret Belliveau
Read more »

Jan 14

On his blog, Todd Deutsch discusses photography books, especially self-published one. Check it out!
Read more »

Jan 14

It’s quite easy to find articles about Luisa Lambri’s work than actual photos. Here are more sample photos (plus a lot of text), and if you’re really up for a lot of text check out this or this review.
Read more »

Jan 14

“Karin Apollonia Müller was born in Heidelberg in 1963, and grew up as the daughter of a sea captain.” Elsewhere, it says about her that she “grew up on a Rhine river barge. Her father, the captain, built her a swing and she remembers swinging high above the boat, flying and floating above the landscape. This experience, of being in a place out of a place, is echoed in her work.”
Read more »

Jan 14

One of the many clearly somewhat irrelevant facts about me is that while I am working as an astrophysicist now, I started out as an experimental high-energy physicist, back at what used to be LEP. More precisely, I got my undergrad degree in that stuff and then went on to get a Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics. The only thing that I remember fondly from the LEP days is when I got the chance to actually see the underground structures that housed the experiment and that now are used for the next generation particle accelerator, called LHC. There’s a brief and somewhat unspectacular article in the NY Times about LHC today, but the photos that accompany the article are quite nice - even though standing in the gigantic underground dome, 100 m (300 feet) below the surface, is an experience that no photograph can convey. To get a better feeling for the scales, have a look at this photo (which shows this detector under construction), and this shows the tunnel with the “beam pipe” - if you stand in the tunnel it’s really quite impressive; it’s so big that it curves only very gently.
Read more »

Jan 12

Tania Fernandez’s Academia de Refinamiento shows what looks like a training school for aspiring models somewhere in Latin America.
Read more »

Jan 11

Vera Hartmann’s projects “Mars Society”, “SFU Porn”, and “Gun Club” are quite nice.
Read more »

Jan 10

Last month, I went to a photography show at the Netherlands Architecture Institute with dozens of contemporary photographers’ works shown (unfortunately, weirdly omitting many North American photographer who should have been in there, but that’s another issue). With a few exceptions, the prints were all huge (and by huge I mean literally huge), and I noticed how we’ve almost come to expect something like this from shows now. However, I also noticed that many of the photos did not work very well because they were too large (just for the record, Hester Keijser and Norman Beierle, who were with me, agreed; btw, Hester is the fabulous Mrs Deane).
Read more »

Jan 10

The genius of Yvonne Todd’s portraits is that there’s always something that’s not quite right. Excellent!
Read more »

Jan 9

You know, Mrs Deane’s name isn’t really Mrs Deane. But regardless, the Mrs Deane blog is quite a fabulous blog, and since it’s now being written in English, everybody (and not just the Dutch) can enjoy it!
Read more »

Jan 9

For some people, the internet has the same effect as beer: The higher the consumption, the lower the inhibitions and the higher the wish for a cheap spectacle. Needless to say, this is not all that different from TV, with the notable exception that while no one really cares if you yell at your TV set, on the internet you can tell everyone what you think. And this is exactly where it sometimes gets a bit iffy (see, for example, this article that I just linked to yesterday). Another current example is provided by what has now been inflated into a “Trump versus Rosie” spectacle (if you don’t know one - or maybe even both - of those people don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything important). A while ago, on his blog Alec Soth commented on the photography coming out of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, asking Where are the people?. This caused a flurry of comments, eventually leading to Robert Polidori leaving a comment (which frankly left me somewhat startled) and Alec posting another entry with a clarification. Here’s the key quote from it: “Just to be clear, I never said that Polidori (or the others) did anything wrong. I didn’t criticize the use of beauty and certainly did not suggest a moral failure. My point was quite simple. ‘While it is worthwhile to see the architectural devastation of New Orleans,’ I wrote, ‘I also want to see the people - the lives actually living in this mess.’” How is this not absolutely clear? How does this look like there is some sort of “skirmish” going on? How does this justify turning a discussion about a very interesting topic into a “Trump versus Rosie”? What is being gained from turning this into the kind of freak show that we now appear to be mistaking for “culture”? PS: Also see another article from a Guardian blogger.
Read more »

Jan 9

While it seems that a large fraction of Wout Berger’s work is impossible to find online, I am glad I managed to track down a few pages about his project Ruigoord. More images (and some French text) here.
Read more »

Jan 9

Just like in Oliver Boberg’s or Thomas Demand’s work, Edwin Zwakman’s photography shows us artificial worlds.
Read more »

Jan 8

“More than 60 years after the end of World War II, the Germans seem ready to laugh about Hitler. But there’s doubt about whether they will be splitting their sides if they go to see the country’s first film comedy about the dictator which opens this week. It just isn’t funny enough, say reviewers.” - story
Read more »

Jan 8

In his series “Favela”, Dionisio González mixes shanty towns and modern architecture to achieve a startling effect. Also see this page.
Read more »

Jan 8

“I’m not convinced, though, that what might politely be described as ‘robust’ debate on the blog generates light as well as heat. The internet has always licensed people to be far ruder than they would in a face-to-face encounter. […] Many of the people who post on blogs appear to be annoyed not by what the writers say so much as the fact that they’re in a position to say it. […] The most belligerent voices on the blogs speak with either a weary, condescending sneer or a florid pomposity redolent of Ignatius J Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces. If, as they imply, their taste is flawless and their intellect mighty, then perhaps they could find a better use for these prodigious gifts than taking potshots on websites.” writes Guardian critic and blogger Dorian Lynskey
Read more »

Jan 5

The “Photographers of the Year” part of this blog has become a bit of a tradition here. Even though it is quite popular to compile lists like this one, I have never thought of them as something that people should take too seriously, because - I’m sure - someone else’s list will look quite different. But since this blog is quite biased towards what I like or, at least, find interesting, I think there is nothing wrong with me picking the photographers whose work has impressed me the most over the past year (oh, and that’s really it: one juror, you can’t submit work, no prize - what kind of lousy competition is this?). So without further ado, here they are, in alphabetical order. As you will see, if you want to find out more about the photographers, there is an interview with each and every one of them (and that tells you something how I look for people to interview and not how I compile the list).
Read more »

Jan 5

I seem to be one of the few people who dislikes the design used my Apple - it might be the German in me who prefer shiny (or better still: brushed) metallic things over cheap looking plastic (so I actually kind of like the design of the second-generation iPod shuffle that I was given this past Christmas). In any case, if you want to find out about the person behind all that design click here.
Read more »

Jan 4

Sometimes, I have to piece together links from all over the place, because there is no single, central website, and this is the case for Philip-Lorca diCorcia (also see this page), who, a little while ago, was sued by one of the people whose photo he had taken candidly (the case was dismissed). While I’m not all that psyched about the pole “dancers”, his other work is quite excellent.
Read more »

Jan 4

I love going to modern/contemporary-art museums (actually I enjoy modern/contemporary art much more than “old masters”), and I am especially fond of what photo-realistic plaster cast art (there might be an actual art-world term for it, but I’m not aware of it). Since I came across another nice example of such art this morning, I thought I’d point out some of the artists that I’m aware of. Shown above is a piece of work by Patricia Piccinini, who has produced installations (such as the absolutely fantastic “We Are Family”) and photography (for example “Nature’s Little Helpers”), using her creatures in staged photography. My favourite is probably Thunderdome with its subtitle “It is possible that these two females are attracted to the noise and smell of the drag racing.”
Read more »

Jan 4

More on blogs by photographers from American Photo’s blog.
Read more »

Jan 3

Frederik Marsh’s website contains plenty of images for those people who like to look at photos of deserted apartments. Makes me wonder, though, how many of those photos you can really look at…
Read more »

Jan 3

Around this past Christmas, the Boston Globe featured a story about ailing veterans (bug me not) on its front page, and I found the image they used quite remarkable. Unfortunately, the version online is a bit small, and in print, the colours looked somewhat different, too. In print, the room has a reddish glow from the lights inside the room, and both the TV and the open door are brightly offset from that. The interesting thing about the image - at least for me - is that it is a confluence of individual images, with the veteran in his wheelchair, whose pose and obvious suffering strikingly resemble those seen in classic religious paintings, in the center, and left and right, almost like panels used in the past, you see a decorated Christmas tree, whose colourful cheerfulness feels out of place, and a TV showing an still that uncannily evokes the images produced by Richard Prince from cigarette ads (like, for example, this one). I couldn’t stop staring at the photo.
Read more »

Jan 3

I think someone alerted me to Jean-Christian Bourcart’s collateral a little while ago. I’m quite torn about the project, because ultimately, I think, it only shows the artist’s desperation about people’s indifference concerning the suffering of others - but then maybe this is why we need art like this. - Also don’t miss traffic. Comments…
Read more »

Jan 2

Originally from Iran, Soody Sharifi hopes to “undo the images of Islamic stereotypes represented through the narrow focus of the daily media.” With our image of Islam shaped by people who at best are too lazy to bother with necessarily details, it’s an uphill struggle, and I am very glad to see photography like this.
Read more »

Jan 2

Michelle Sank’s photography mostly deals with adolescence, and there are some wonderful series there. Unfortunately, some of the photos are marred by image compression artifacts.
Read more »

Jan 1

Robert Wright’s website contains large sections of photos taken in and around US shopping malls. Well worth the time needed to look through all the photos.
Read more »