Archives

December 2005

SELECT A MONTH:

Dec 30

Sophy Rickett’s work explores the boundaries of what we might be expecting from photography. More samples here.
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Dec 30

“In her works over the past few years, Jemima Stehli (b. 1961, London) appears in the work herself, as subject or object, most often as both. In After Helmut NewtonÂ’s ‘Here They ComeÂ’, 1999, [image 1, image 2] Stehli has recreated Helmut NewtonÂ’s iconic image Sie Kommen, with herself as the stiletto-ed, naked Amazon striding towards the camera. NewtonÂ’s original is so accurately and minutely reproduced, StehliÂ’s hair and stance resemble almost exactly that of the original model, that on the surface Stehli is as objectified as NewtonÂ’s original.” For another Newton reshoot click here. More samples from the “Strip” series here, and click here to see her recreation of yet another infamous art piece.
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Dec 29

I’m filing this under architecture even though strictly speaking it’s “just” a car factory. But then have a look at VW’s new Gläserne Manufaktur (Transparent Factory), where the workers wear white overalls. Larger photos can be found here.
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Dec 29

It has become a bit of a tradition for me to list the photographers whose work impressed or inspired me the most over the past twelve months. As usual, the fine print first. This is not some kind of competition, but a simple reflection of my own personal interests. In addition, the only element of time is when I came across somebody’s work and not when it was taken. In any case, here they are, in alphabetical order: Edward Burtynsky has just expanded his work to covering China. When I walked through his big show in New York the other day, I thought there wasn’t a single weak photo in it - quite the feat for such a large show. Wang Qingsong is one of the many Chinese photographers whose work are now getting more exposure in the West. I have the feeling that many Westerners are still quite baffled by Chinese photography; and I certainly hope that we will be able to see more of it in galleries and museums outside of China. Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places continues to fascinate me, and it’s probably one of the finest photo books in my little collection. There isn’t much that I can say about Brian Ulrich’s work other than that it’s utterly fascinating. While our consumerist society has almost become a cliché in itself, Brian manages to show us its weird and sometimes insane aspects in his photos taken in malls and thrift stores - two end of the the same spectrum.
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Dec 28

Ori Gersht’s portfolio contains a curious mix of projects, some of which are very interesting, whereas others aren’t. There’s an interesting article about Ori Gersht’s most recent work in The Guardian, with some very relevant points about whether the images “work” or not.
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Dec 19

It’s really not all that obvious any longer whether Christine Erhard’s work is photography or not. I think this is what makes it all the more interesting - even though I’m sure all the purists will vehemently disagree with me. In any case, if I understand this page correctly, Christine Erhard assembles architectural dioramas (if I may call them that) and she then takes photos of those.
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Dec 19

I like Karen Knorr’s older work better than her more recent stuff. For example, check out the “Belgravia” series.
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Dec 19

When describing his photos, Geert Goiris apparently speaks of “traumatic realism”. I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, but the photos are very neat (also see this and this page).
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Dec 18

It’s interesting to look at Hugo Tillman’s fine-art portfolio, since we have come to believe in a class-less society - obviously one of those many illusions that prevent us from losing our democratic sanity.
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Dec 16

I am certain that the work of Paul Cava (who is also very active as photography dealer) is going to cause a stir here and there. After all is it really photography when you used mixed media (and even [GASP!] digital technologies)? And what’s with the use of what looks like vintage pornography in some of the images? But it never hurts to throw one or two prejudices over board and have a peek, doesn’t it? After all, if, after having looked at the images, you still don’t like them, at least you got exposed to something that’s not your run-of-the-mill stuff. Here is another site with lots of samples. In any case, I actually like quite a few of those images.
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Dec 15

Miao Xiaochun comments on the changes China is undergoing by appearing as a spectator, dressed up in an ancient costume, in his images. See more samples here and here.
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Dec 14

All those who’ve always wanted to argue for or against digital photography and whether or not one is allowed to use digital manipulations etc. can go nuts over at Edward Winkleman’s blog. Edward posed the question: “are digitally manipulated photographs equal in quality/stature to ‘pure’ photography in the fine art context?”
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Dec 14

“Beate Gütschow explores the tradition of the pastoral idyll by photographic means. It is not from pen-and-ink sketches, but from twenty or thirty photographs taken by the artist when she is out walking that she generates on the computer each composite image of a seemingly coherent landscape.” (source)
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Dec 14

Jeffrey Milstein’s portfolio contains a pretty interesting variety of series.
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Dec 13

I look at a lot of photography every day, and sometimes I can’t help but think that some people are trying a little bit too hard. I don’t want to single out any photographer, because it would be unfair; and I will not give away whose work I was just looking at (the person has not been linked to here). But some people are trying so hard to find a shot, which has not been done before, that it’s almost painful to see the contrived, unnatural and, contrary to what people want to believe, completely uncool poses (we have been lead to believe that what we get to see as new stuff is cool, regardless of how utterly stupid it really is). At some stage, though, we will arrive at a moment where every single pose has already been put on film, and every single cliché has been beaten to death by advertizing - assuming we haven’t passed that stage already. Then what? Try even harder to be original? PS: And this is the reason why I am sick and tired of “fashion photography”.
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Dec 13

Julia Fullerton-Batten is a professional photographer with a pretty interesting set of personal work.
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Dec 12

Laura Hughes has moved beyond taking Polaroid photographs to use other similarly low-quality ways of producing images.
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Dec 12

When you look at the photos by Vincent Debanne you can’t help but ask: Is this really how we live our lives? And then the answer, inevitably is yes. Sad, isn’t it? Turns out that I actually was one of those suits in La Défense for four months in early 1999, and it’s still nightmarish to think back to that.
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Dec 11

“Since Sept. 11, the CIA has played a vital role in the war on terror. But what role is it? Operating in the shadows, American secret services have been given wide-ranging powers by the Bush Administration.” - full story
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Dec 10

Liza Nguyen’s main photographic projects explore what you could call her history, one (“My father”) exploring the life of her father and the other one (“Souvenirs of Vietnam”) trying to trace the Vietnam War. I haven’t been this impressed by a photographer’s work in quite a while.
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Dec 9

Hye-Mi Kim, originally from South Korea, attended Düsseldorf’s art academy. Her photography, especially her colour work, is quite fascinating.
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Dec 9

“Vik Muniz takes well known images remembered from endless reproductions and recreates them from memory, using household materials like sugar, chocolate, and thread. He then uses the camera to record them. Muniz creates a witty and uncanny effect by translating well-known images into strange visual puzzles.” (source) Find more images and/or information here, here, and here.
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Dec 8

This is already a few days old, but it’s still interesting, and it will continue to be interesting: “Slate, the award-winning online magazine, announced […] that it will partner with Magnum Photos to launch Today’s Pictures, a daily feature offering readers a look at the best of past and current photographs from the internationally acclaimed photo agency.” (When modest people meet other modest people…)
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Dec 8

There can be no doubt that the “digital era” is upon us. While most people seem to think they know what that means for photography, when you look a little bit closer you come to the following conclusion. If you are willing to accept that the main - or maybe even the only - impact is that photographic work is getting so much easier and so much more convenient, then there isn’t really all that much to do other than to fawningly admire all the latest digital gizmoes. However, if you are interested in the actual changes and new possibilities that digital photography might offer technology is really just a footnote. When I bought Photography Reborn by Jonathan Lipkin what I was hoping for was a book on the latter. What I got was a book on the former.
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Dec 7

Matthew Georgeson’s photography of locations like London or Sicily isn’t exactly what you’d naively would expect to find, and this is what makes it very interesting.
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Dec 7

Have a look at Luke Stephenson’s photography, especially his portraits.
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Dec 7

It’s probably not a good sign that a summary of what German newspapers were writing about Condoleezza Rice visit to Berlin is entitled Does Anyone Believe Condoleezza Rice?. Interesting (or ironic?) how it seems Germans have internalized what they were taught about democracy and the law after World War II to such an extent that now they feel confident to lecture their former mentors, writing “The message [of Mrs Rice] can also be translated thus: The end justifies the means, terrorism can be fought with borderline methods on the outer edges of legality.” and “It remains unclear exactly what definition Washington uses for torture.” PS: It’s interesting to see how the Washington Post’s “media blog” almost exclusively focuses on what “the outnumbered online commentators of the European Right” write. Needless to say, if you only look at what your sycophants write, you’re not going to gain much.
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Dec 5

What do you call the art of Cédric Tanguy? The images look like paintings mixed with photography mixed with digital art. Quite interesting actually - are these visual remixes? (thru ashley b)
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Dec 5

Christian Wolter is a student of Peter Bialobrzeski. His series Blühende Landschaften (“flourishing landscapes”) shows “postindustrial” decay in East Germany. “Blühende Landschaften” was what former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl had promised (and later not delivered). Parts of Kohl’s failed economic policies still bog down the German economy to this day.
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Dec 2

It’s time for me to say thank you to all those people who have sent in links to interesting work that I wasn’t aware of. I shouldn’t try to give a complete list here - lest I omit someone, but I still want to single out one contributor who keeps showering me with links to cool photography, only to find that I don’t like everything (hey, I am picky!). Believe me, the selection of his suggestions shown here is but a smallish part of what he actually sent - and my choice of what to pick only reflects my somewhat limited taste (even though I wish people would finally get over that dreadful b/w “street photography”). In any case, a big “thank you” goes out to Tobias (Toby) Hegele.
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Dec 1

“A survey comparing mental health and the number of sexual partners among the general population, artists and schizophrenics found that artists are more likely to share key behavioural traits with schizophrenics, and that they have on average twice as many sexual partners as the rest of the population.” - article “What a pile of crap. Those responsible should be shot. Better still, they should be forced to have several thousand sexual partners. Preferably schizoid artists, bad, ugly, psychotic ones. Then shot.” - riposte
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Dec 1

Ken Rosenthal’s photography has a somewhat unsettling, dream-like look and feel. No surprise then that one of the series is actually called A Dream Half Remembered.
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