Archives

August 2010

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Aug 31

I decided to compile my thoughts about Kikuji Kawada’s The Map into a post and share them. You can find the piece here.
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Aug 31

“Invisible borders is a photographic project that is organised and executed annually by as many as 10 Nigerian photographers. The project is trans African in its orientation, and sees participating artists collectively taking road trips across Africa to explore and participate in various photographic events , festivals and exhibitions. The emphasis is primarily on the individual and collective journey of the participating artists who during, the momentary stops in capital cities; create photographic works that often reflect their individual approach to engaging with the populace as well as local artists and art practioners.”
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Aug 31

There are quite a few images in Jonathan Levitt’s wake to songbirds wake to crows, which might make things a bit overwhelming. Regardless, the project is well worth the visit.
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Aug 30

The multiple exposures in Phillip Maisel’s A More Open Place were produced by flipping through Facebook photo albums, with a camera pointed at the computer screen. The results are often intriguing.
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Aug 27

First things first: That’s not the cover of Saskia Schüler’s Es hat sich alles einfach so ergeben [Things just happened that way]. Turns out finding the actual cover larger than postage-stamp size online is… errrr… impossible - as is finding a website for the artist other than this one, which in terms of making the work look terrible is a resounding success. Oh, and this isn’t even photography. Given I got that out of the way, I might as well talk about the book. (more)
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Aug 27

Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Almost 2,000 people lost their lives, with an estimated property damage of the order of 90 billion US$ (this is where I found these numbers - just so you have an idea how much money that is, it ‘s about ten billion US$ less than what is currently being spent every year in Afghanistan to prop up that country’s corrupt regime, see this news report). While most Americans were lucky enough to be outside of the hurricane’s zone of impact, it still managed to send powerful shock waves across the country. During the first days people watched in horror - on live TV - as New Orleans was flooded, people were fighting for their lives, and no help was in sight. Later, scores of books with images from the immediate aftermath were published, to try to reveal the extent of what had happened. (more)
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Aug 26

Donna J. Wan’s recent photography is centered on landscapes, with Promised Lands being my favourite.
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Aug 25

The story of Detroit is well known, the story of East German cities hemorrhaging people less so. Nico Baumgarten’s the time has come, get me out of here portrays Dessau, in the 1920s the city of the Bauhaus.
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Aug 24

Last December, I talked a bit about photobooks. As much as I love photobooks, what bothers me is that they’re all so similar: “You have an intro […] plus a bunch of images, usually one per page, so as you flip the pages you get one photo after the other […]. That’s it!” Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, especially if you look at how sequencing the images is used to create a narrative. But does it really have to be that way? (more)
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Aug 24

“Once a deserted land and traditionally an impoverished territory, today the Almeria, Dalías and Níjar fields represent the largest concentration of plastic greenhouses in the world. This photo essay documents how the mass-production of vegetables for northern European markets has dramatically shaped the landscape of the region. Southeast Spain is still one of the main arrival points of migrants from Africa into the European Union and more than 20,000 undocumented workers are systematically employed in this labour-intensive industry. Many have to endure extreme living and working conditions; most have set sail across a murderous sea only to become trapped in the red tape of immigration rules in this imposing maze of white plastic.” - Reinaldo Loureiro, in his introduction of Hothouse.
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Aug 24

What I like about Michelle Kloehn’s images is that the use of the tintype or ambrotype process is part of what makes each image.
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Aug 23

It’s quite surprising that you don’t see church services held in actual malls more often - like those shown by Estan Cabigas in The New Cathedrals.
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Aug 20

Maybe there is something new to be said about the lives of young people. For a while, I didn’t think anything worthwhile could still be added. After all, with our culture being centered on and catering to youth, what else is there to say? Of course, it would take just the right person to point out something new - or if we want to stay away from “new”, something different - and Tobias Zielony seems to be that person. Showcasing work shot between 2000 and 2010, Zielony’s Story, No Story tells what at first glance appears to be the familiar story of young people, “hanging out” at various places at night, in different countries. (more)
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Aug 20

“The first image I saw of the Terezin camp, formerly known as Theresienstadt, an hour’s drive away from Prague, was in a book by the German author W.G. Sebald.” This first sentence in Daniel Blaufuks’ Terezin sets the tone for what is to follow, in more ways than just one. If you are familiar with Sebald’s work, you realize that the book in question is Austerlitz, and you will also remember that author’s use of photographs and other images. The photograph in question (“It portrays a space that seems to be an office.” - D.B.) set off a process in Blaufuks’ mind, which had him research Terezin. (more)
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Aug 19

When Time Magazine published the cover that showed the face of a mutilated Afghan woman (for an in-depth take on it read this article) I immediately thought of Ernst Friedrich, who published a book entitled War Against War a few years after the end of World War I (1924). Friedrich used previously censored images from the war to make his case against war - showing what war looked like. Just like in the case of the Time Magazine cover, the most shocking images are those of people with terribly mutilated faces. (more)
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Aug 19

Andrew Spear’s We Felt Alive “is an ongoing essay exploring the lust, the promiscuity, the insecurities that have become as essential to college as books and classes.”
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Aug 18

Chances are that after reading this article you’ll either find yourself in the “Yeah, right!” camp or in the “Well, that’s just how it works” one: “To the extent that art is about appreciating aesthetic objects for their own sake, is it right to put so much stake in the question of who did the drawing or painting or snapping?” Of course, things are slightly more complicated than that. A lot of people who buy an Ansel Adams print don’t buy it for the photography. They buy it for the status that comes along with owning one (just like in the case of an expensive watch, say). Having an original Uncle Earl on the wall just won’t impress your dinner-party guests all that much (or worse, it will impress them in exactly the wrong way).
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Aug 18

As an addendum to my earlier post about Noah Beil’s This Is Not My Sky, here is Noah talking about the details of the production (follow the links at the bottom).
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Aug 18

“Seseña nuevo is a deserted mini-city built some 40km from Madrid, in the middle of nowhere. Also known as “Francisco Hernando residential”, named after its constructor, this phantasmagorical site hosts 13508 flats. Built without any kind of urban planning and previous infrastructures, such as water supply and public transportation, Seseña nuevo started rising from the ground in the year 2000, the same year when a construction boom took place in Spain.” - Pedro Guimaraes
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Aug 17

Remember cassette tapes? Those little plastic shells that protected the two spools? You would usually buy blank ones and produce your own tape, recording from the radio, say, or compiling music from records. I used to love cassette tapes. In fact, I still do. (more)
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Aug 17

Aaron Vincent Elkaim’s Jewish Morocco looks at remnants of the formerly large Jewish community in Morocco.
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Aug 16

Mariam Amurvelashvili’s Dukhobors portrays a Christian sect in Georgia/Russia.
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Aug 13

If I had to pick just one thing that is profoundly satisfying about Trevor Paglen’s Invisible it is this: Here is a book that is willing to look. That which is invisible in fact often is not invisible at all. Or phrased differently, things can be invisible because we agree to ignore them. Invisible is having none of that. Parts of the invisible world are being made visible. (more)
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Aug 12

The kind of photography that Bert Danckaert has been a bit neglected on this blog, so it’s time to spend a little time with it. So have a good look, and let the images sink in.
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Aug 11

Karsten Kronas’ “photo series tells of Beyo?lu, one of the many diverse and contrast-rich urban milieus in the metropolis of Istanbul. […] Kronas’ photo series focuses on the transgender scene in Beyo?lu, mostly showing prostitutes who are part of the transsexual subculture. Their ambiguous bodies are set against the geographic patterns of the city.” (source)
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Aug 10

“The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers, destroyed wildlife, did untold harm to the Gulf coast ecosystem and brought economic hardship to communities […] And as Steven Meisel points out in a new fashion story in Vogue Italia, the oil spill is also super-duper yucky. The new issue contains a 24-page story, ‘Water & Oil,’ showing model Kristen McMenamy covered in thick, crude oil and collapsed on a rocky coast like an oil-drenched shorebird, if a shorebird wore designer clothes.” - story (more)
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Aug 10

Taylor Glenn’s Far Change portrays a Chinese factory producing plastic flowers.
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Aug 9

For those thinking about submitting work to the Conscientious Portfolio Competition 2010, the deadline is approaching: It’s 13 August 2010, 11:59pm ET.
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Aug 9

“Rick Norsigian’s 10-year quest to prove that he turned up a trove of “lost” Ansel Adams photo negatives at a Fresno garage sale now has a rival explanation advanced by Norsigian’s opponents: They were taken by a heretofore unknown photographer from the Fresno area named Earl Brooks. […] conclusive proof could well lie in the negatives themselves. Because all 44,000 Ansel Adams negatives are archived at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, a physical comparison should be made between Norsigian’s negatives and identically sized glass negatives from the archive — with particular attention to clear spots along the negatives’ borders that invariably were caused by the wooden holders and metal clips used to slot the glass plates into old-time cameras.” - story
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Aug 9

Oliver Farrnbacher’s Andacht (here: a mix between prayer and reverence) pairs images taken in churches with images taken in the woods. Notes the photographer: “For this [Andacht - JMC] you need a quiet place that has an atmosphere of solitude and ‘holyness’, and for me there are two such places: churches and forests.” (via)
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Aug 5

I’ve been to Italy three times, but I’ve never seen the parts that look like those portrayed by Alessandro Imbriaco. Beautiful photography. (via)
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Aug 4

Thomas Wieland’s Neuperlach portrays the drab Munich suburb. (via)
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Aug 3

Jessica Auer’s Re-creational Spaces is a series on landscapes, investigating how they have been changed because of tourism.
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Aug 2

The tidal changes in Michael Marten’s Sea Change will be familiar to anyone who grew up or has lived by the sea (that has tides, that is). Needless to say, with global warming raising the water levels, this body of work also touches upon larger issues.
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