Archives

September 2010

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Sep 30

Peter Freitag’s “collages of ‘Private Stages’ take amateur photographs of nudes from the Internet and undermine the original intention of the images through a simple process of interference.” Brilliant! And the rest of his work is as good as this. (via)
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Sep 30

My friend Christopher Anderson now has his own website, featuring images from, for example, Capitolio, plus some beautiful new work I had never seen before.
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Sep 29

“In the Rainbow series, I digitally overlaid rainbows on photographs to include a new visual and possibly conceptual dimension.” - Andrey Bogush
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Sep 29

Duckrabbit are right: This interview with Martin Parr is “cracking”. My favourite quote: “I think my first mission is to do more about the photographic book. I feel so excited and convinced that we’re just beginning to start to appreciate how important this is in terms of our photographic culture.”
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Sep 28

Chances are you have heard of the the AFP vs. Morel case. If you have not (and even if you have this excellent summary of the latest developments is well worth the read.
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Sep 28

“Well-known artists David Govedare and Rachel Dolezal collaborated with the natural elements during the month of February 2008 to create an environmentally-friendly outdoor installation at the Cougar Bay Preserve that resonates with Andy Goldsworthy’s nature-installation art. […] Captured on film by photographer, Shawn Gust, and set to original music by finger-style guitarist, Charles Miller, this beautiful exhibit speaks directly to water and land issues in our region, pointing to the ‘rights’ of both the environment and humans while emphasizing a spirit of cooperation and collaboration between humankind and the earth.”
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Sep 28

Fabio Barile’s Among studies the effects of erosion due to overdevelopment along the Italian coastline.
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Sep 27

You occasionally see people sleeping in public, but usually not quite how some of the people in Adrian Storey’s Let the poets cry themselves to sleep decided to approach the idea of a little nap.
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Sep 25

The Griffin Museum awarded this year’s Rising Star award to David Bram of Fraction Magazine fame. Congratulations, David!
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Sep 24

A little while ago, Dorothea Hahn, a German journalist whose blog I have been following, moved from Paris to Washington, DC. In her last post from Paris, she reflected upon her time in France, noting that the one thing that had always struck her was how there was basically no French debate whatsoever about the use of nuclear power to generate electricity. If that doesn’t strike you as particularly noteworthy, you have to realize that nuclear power is a highly contentious topic in Germany; in fact a few years back, the German government decided to phase out all nuclear power plants (the current government is trying to walk back from that decision, which has resulted in the Green Party currently polling at around 25%). Whether or not German concerns about nuclear power are justified is a matter of debate. What seems clear, though, is when you look at a nuclear power station, it feels different from looking at pretty much any other industrial site. (more)
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Sep 23

Felipe Russo’s na borda do campo no limite da cidade portrays a region in Brazili. (also don’t miss his guard booth typology)
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Sep 22

“Amber Milner is a 24-year old mother of three. To afford a life on her own Amber moved into low-income housing off Hope Drive in Athens, Ohio.” - Dania Maxwell
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Sep 21

By now you’ve probably seen Richard Mosse’s Infra, photography of what we tend to casually refer to as the conflict in Congo. Why was he using those strange colours? I asked him. Find the conversation here.
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Sep 21

The people you meet on the beach! Or rather the people Lluis Artus met on the beach.
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Sep 21

I recently introduced Meier und Müller, the new publishing business I’m part of. There is good news, and there is bad news. Here’s the good news: Our first book, Conditions, can now be bought - our online store is open! Now for the bad news… (more)
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Sep 20

“‘The Mathematician’ is an unscripted look into the life of my thirty-four year old cousin, Slawek Kosmala. Slawek, a Polish émigré, is developmentally delayed and has lived with schizophrenia for over sixteen years. His misperception of time however, causes him to believe that he has been ill for only a year.” - Julia Cybularz
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Sep 17

The first thing that struck me about From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America was the cover. That’s a great cover. You probably can’t see it very well, but it is filled with all this information (or maybe rather “information”) about the contents (for example, “[page] 177 - Learn how to repel women” or “[page] 137 - caves: Buy or rent?”). You don’t see such covers very often on photobooks, the majority of which, as I noted ad nauseam before, tend to be rather conservative affairs. Needless to say, to talk about the cover is a bad way to start a photobook review, but bear with me, hopefully we’ll be getting somewhere. (more)
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Sep 16

“During one of my visits [to Richmond, CA], a middle-aged African-American woman asked me why I was taking pictures in her neighborhood. I answered that it was beautiful. She responded, ‘There is nothing beautiful around here.’” - Paccarik Orue
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Sep 15

“Perhaps part of the reason why so much of mainstream photography is so derivative and repetitive is because photographers prefer to mimic rather than explore. Perhaps there is a fear that a new idea, a new thought may have to be transformed into a new approach and a new eye. All this is not easy to do. But certainly there are regions which after so many decades of shallow and repetitive coverage could do well with a new approach and some new stories.” - Asim Rafiqui
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Sep 15

Jonathan Saunders’ One Man Standing Alone shows just that: Photographs of a single man, standing somewhere. Interestingly enough, while being literally being street photography, One Man Standing Alone in fact looks like a mix between conceptual and staged photography.
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Sep 14

It is time to reveal the winners of the Conscientious Portfolio Competition 2010. This year, the jury consisted of Elisabeth Biondi (New Yorker Magazine), Susanna Brown (Victoria and Albert Museum), and myself (find more information about Elisabeth and Susanna here). Without further ado, here they are… (more)
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Sep 14

Tomoyuki Sakaguchi’s Mado uses the windows of trains as a frame for portraiture.
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Sep 14

All you need to turn the world into theater is a stage, some clever lighting, people willing to act, and at least one person able to look. Enters Bobby Davidsons’s It’s you we’re after.
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Sep 14

Round five of the ping-pong chats with Michael Itkoff centers on whether/how we can understand art/photography produced in different cultures. (more)
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Sep 13

Frank Robert’s Endstation Sehnsucht [final stop longing] depicts Vienna’s Prater amusement park.
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Sep 13

In early August, I was teaching two classes on the history of the photobook. During one of these classes, I made a brief comment on German photography. I don’t remember the context any longer, and it doesn’t even matter. What did - and still does - matter is the reaction of one of my students (herself a German). She noted that when I said “German” I was really only talking about the so-called Düsseldorf School (the Bechers and their various students), and while prominent the school hardly represents a fair sample of German photography. That’s correct, and I would write “of course” if it wasn’t for the fact that usually, the Düsseldorf School is taken as German photography. (more)
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Sep 9

There is a slight sense of drama in many of Eri Morita’s images.
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Sep 8

“After four years of photographing in its 500 acre expanse, I am beginning to bring Grassland into focus. These images are a type of fiction; a story of a place told through the traces of its inhabitants—a tire mark here, a bird house or a puddle of broken glass there. Signs of its past, present, and future mark its rationalized topography like small-scale reenactments of the dramas playing out in the world around it.” - Phil Underdown
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Sep 7

Andrew Querner’s Kosovo for the most part portrays the region’s people, as a result of “a story that was not to be.”
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Sep 6

I rarely link to still lifes, simply because most of them aren’t very interesting at all. But I was glad to come across Heidi Norton’s, which I really like.
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Sep 3

I’ve always thought that it was unfortunate that “Evidence,” produced by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, is considered to be so important. This is not because I think “Evidence” is a bad book - it’s because I feel that it casts too big a shadow on the work Sultan did afterwards: his own photography. It goes without saying that “Evidence” is great and influential and “a watershed in the history of art photography” (source). But I’m not going to remember Larry Sultan as the photographer who assembled “Evidence” - I’m going to remember Larry Sultan as the the photographer who produced truly amazing photography about life in California. (more)
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Sep 2

A little while ago, I wrote a post entitled We Need Better Critical Writing about Photography, in which I voiced my frustration about… well, I suppose I don’t need to spell it out again. I stand by what I wrote. But I am also happy to report that there is hope, and quite a bit of it, in the form of Gerry Badger’s The Pleasures of Good Photographs, released just a little while ago by Aperture. (more)
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Sep 2

Jörn Vanhöfen’s Detroit (pdf) is still work in progress, and I’m looking forward to seeing the final result. I do like the presentation in the pdf quite a bit.
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Sep 1

“Last year I began a series of paint-by-numbers entitled Southern Sensations. Each of the images began as a photograph, from which I removed all color, shading, and most of the intricate detail in favor of black lines, negative space and numbers which correspond to the colors that were present. It was a long and drawn out process that basically reduced my original photographs into line drawings on watercolor paper, which would have taken me years to make otherwise.” - Kristen Sykes
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Sep 1

Earlier this year, MAS Studio’s Iker Gil emailed me to ask whether I would be willing to write an essay about photography and information for an issue of MAS Context. You’d imagine that’s straightforward, but the more I thought about it the fuzzier it got. In the end, I decided to try to throw a curveball, writing mostly about photography and meaning - meaning, of course, being directly related to the information in a photograph (or so we think). The issue of MAS Context is now online, beautifully designed, and you can download a pdf copy here.
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