Archives

February 2007

SELECT A MONTH:

Feb 28

“The World Press Photo of the Year 2006 shows upscale young Lebanese men and women visiting a bombed-out Beirut neighborhood like disaster tourists - or at least that’s what everyone thought. Bissan Maroun, one of those featured in the photograph, told Spiegel Online the true story.”
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Feb 28

I have lately spent a lot of time listening to classical music, with Dmitri Shostakovich (and others) on heavy rotation, especially his Symphony No. 13.
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Feb 28

Since I first linked to his work, Finnish photographer Ville Lenkkeri has subjected his website to a makeover, and he has added the excellent project “Reality in the Making”. (updated entry)
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Feb 27

There is a lot of very interesting photography coming out of China. Unfortunately, we do not get to see much of it in the West. What we do get get to see is photography produced by Westerners who go to China to cover what we like to refer to as the “economic miracle” and , thus, our view of China is skewed towards images of production, of vast urban development, of ecological disasters. While there is no doubt that there has been some quite amazing work by visitors to China (see, for example, my review of Edward Burtynsky’s ‘China’), living with such an incomplete picture is not very satisfactory - especially in the light of Chinese photography itself.
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Feb 26

Since I first linked to him, Anthony Goicolea has added a lot of new (and interesting) work to his website. (updated entry)
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Feb 26

Time and again I’ve come across someone saying that there was something wrong if a photographer was spending a lot of time and effort on a single, staged photo. I’m sure you’ve seen this kind of criticism, it’s typically brought up when people talk about Gregory Crewdson’s work, and it’s bound to come up again now that there’s a big Jeff Wall show at MoMA (see this most recent article to get some background about Jeff Wall).
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Feb 26

Nancy Davenport presents us with a carefully manipulated world where at first the unusual (or unsettling) often is not obvious at all.
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Feb 24

There’s a long article about Jeff Wall in this Sunday’s edition of The New York Times Magazine.
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Feb 24

“When little green men from Mars eventually descend on our planet and unearth America’s time capsule dating back to the beginning of the year 2007, it could skewer their whole view of our great civilisation.” - story
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Feb 22

If someone had shown me Michele Abeles’ portraits not telling me anything about them I would have guessed they were shot by a group of photographers and not by a single person - very interesting work.
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Feb 22

Franck Juery’s personal work is quite interesting, and there are quite a few very nice photos to be found in the various projects (for example in Barfleur).
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Feb 22

The interesting thing about Daniel Gustav Cramer’s trilogy of images is that while the basic idea is very simple, the photos work very, very well.
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Feb 21

I never watch music videos, and I don’t even care much about them. But this is too good to pass it over. It’s not a music video, but the review of one, and a pretty funny one at that. Oh, and don’t miss the archives…
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Feb 21

Seems like psychologists have come up with a term that describes such effects as rude emails, flaming, and virtual shouting matches at online forums: It’s the “online disinhibition effect” at work. “In a 2004 article in the journal CyberPsychology & Behavior, John Suler, a psychologist at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., suggested that several psychological factors lead to online disinhibition: the anonymity of a Web pseudonym; invisibility to others; the time lag between sending an e-mail message and getting feedback; the exaggerated sense of self from being alone; and the lack of any online authority figure. Dr. Suler notes that disinhibition can be either benign — when a shy person feels free to open up online — or toxic, as in flaming.” (source; my thanks to Jen for pointing this out to me)
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Feb 21

In his personal work, Juho Kova, a most recent winner of the Hey, Hot Shot! photo competition, mixes extremely stark Nordic landscapes with portraiture.
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Feb 20

Gilbert and George have been amongst my favourite artists for quite a while, and I am thrilled, of course, about the Tate Modern’s major retrospective (watch the movies on that site!). Here another nice feature where they talk about some of their art works.
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Feb 20

Have a look at the excellent photography of Grant Willing. Grant also has a fairly extensive Flickr page.
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Feb 19

I can’t quite decide what to make of Rachelle Mozman’s photography. Probably inevitably, many people will compare her work with Loretta Lux’s. I think a much more interesting comparison would be with Sally Mann’s photos of children, because, after all, the photos are interesting because of what they are supposed to convey (see Rachelle Mozman’s statement).
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Feb 19

On his website, Nobuhiro Fukui presents grids of a Tokyo seemingly deserted at night.
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Feb 16

“A network of artificial nerves is growing in a Swiss supercomputer — meant to simulate a natural brain, cell-for-cell. The researchers at work on ‘Blue Brain’ promise new insights into the sources of human consciousness.” - story
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Feb 16

Unfortunately, David Steets’ work is a bit hard to find on the web. Images from his series “Tschernobyl – Living in the nuclear age” can be found here. Actually, as someone just emailed me, he does have his own website.
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Feb 15

“A federal appeals court affirmed a decision in favor of artist Jeff Koons, saying he did not violate copyright law when he made a painting that incorporated part of a photograph. Photographer Andrea Blanch sued for copyright infringement after seeing Koons’s painting ‘Niagara,’ which shows a pair of women’s legs similar to a photograph Blanch shot for Allure magazine for a 2000 feature on nail polish.” (story) For this very relevant topic (which, I believe, will get ever more important) also see the article “On the Rights of Molotov Man” in the February 2007 edition of Harper’s Magazine, sadly enough not available online. However, available online, a comment on this case by art guru Edward Winkleman, who himself points to this excellent article (I hope I got all my linking bases covered now - and then, in a few months, Slate.com will produce another feature about this, which, needless to say, will ignore all online activity).
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Feb 15

Most of the beautiful images in Bianca Gutberlet serve to illustrate serious subject matters, such as homelessness in Paris in “Paname”.
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Feb 15

It is a somewhat curious statement to claim that “it is left to high fashion to take up the role that fine art has all but abandoned. While much of fine art has succumbed to the ‘passion for the realÂ’, high fashion remains the last redoubt of Appearance and Fantasy.” But still, this article about a photo spread entitled “State of Emergency” in the Italian edition of Vogue (from some time last year) is quite interesting (even though I don’t necessarily agree with aspects of it; and despite sentences like “The Atrocity Exhibition, like ‘State of EmergencyÂ’, is devoid of any decipherable intent; the oneiric juxtapositions in BallardÂ’s and MeiselÂ’s work seemed to be conceived of as neutral re-presentations of the substitutions and elisions made by the mediatised unconscious.”). It might be enlightening to read this article after or before a recent article in New Yorker magazine about the TV show ‘24’, which, of course, runs on Fox, the network for the reptile brain. I certainly would not have imagined ten years ago to live in times, where large parts of the population in a democratic country believes that there really is nothing wrong with torture.
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Feb 15

I found Aitor Ortiz’ work through Mrs. Deane’s blog, and will have to agree with her regarding the setup and use of “Flash”. I’m not sure what fraction of his work I was able to look at (the navigation is somewhat arcane, the tiny grey fonts on the dark grey background certainly don’t help, and in addition everything is too slow for me - it’s almost like whoever programmed the site really doesn’t want people to find their way through easily); what I did manage to see I found quite interesting.
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Feb 14

Sze Tsung Leong’s photography might be compared with that of some of today’s “hottest” photographers. His mix makes it very interesting, and the effect he achieves in Horizons is quite amazing. Also see this page, and if you feel intellectual you might want to read this article. Update: There’s an excellent interview with Sze Tsung Leong here.
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Feb 14

Misty Keasler’s portfolio contains a set of very nice projects, incl. “Love Hotels”, which I just saw in New York. (updated entry)
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Feb 14

This time, the World Press Photo award didn’t go to a photo of a crying mother (see this post). When I saw the winner, I thought “Wait, I’ve seen that somewhere”, and in fact I have. Have a look at this photo by Lauren Greenfield. Funny similarity.
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Feb 14

Sarah Sudhoff’s two projects “Sorority Rush” and “Repository” are both quite interesting, with the latter probably containing a bit more substance (no pun intended).
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Feb 13

I’m just back from a short trip to New York City, and - as always - it was a lot of fun.
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Feb 13

Much can be said about the art of photographic portraiture, and - as always - it’s probably best to look at photos instead of spending a lot of time on theory (even though there should be - and, time and opportunity allowing, hopefully will be - time for that, too). This past weekend, the New York Times Magazine contained a section entitled Great Performers, which was/is noteworthy because of the photography. When you look at the images, you’ll see quite an interesting mix of portraiture, with some quite amazing work and some that is.. well, gimmicky and thus quite forgettable. Have a look!
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Feb 8

You’ve seen it here first (hey, this is a cutting-edge blog after all!), now at Slate.com: Can Photographers Be Plagiarists?
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Feb 8

If you’ve visited this blog regularly, you might have noted that since the beginning of 2007 especially things got slower and, too often, the site has not been available. I have used my current hosting company for years, and I never had any troubles like this, but enough is enough. As much as I dread moving the blog to new hosting (it’ll be a lot of work), there’s no way around it any longer. So if you know hosting that is affordable and reliable please send me email (jmcolberg AT gmail.com). Thank you! Please note: In order to (hopefully) get a short-term solution to this problem, I’m asking my hosting company to move the site to a different server. I can’t update the blog until they’re done. I’m going to refrain from posting something tomorrow (and there’s usually nothing over the weekend anyway), and then hopefully, by the beginning of next week, things should be more stable. PS: I’ll be in New York this weekend (incl. Monday)…
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Feb 8

Even though his work evokes various other photographers, Patrick Smith’s photography is very interesting.
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Feb 7

“I have attempted to interpret the ending of their childhood by entering their imaginary spaces. The time when their dreams, fantasies, and fears would fuse seamlessly with real day-to-day life are ending, and the photographs I have made intend to crystallize this rapidly disappearing very personal and free space.” - Alessandra Sanguinetti about her series “The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of Their Dreams” (source). See more of her work here. Also don’t miss her photos taken in Palestine.
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Feb 6

The panoramic format is quite difficult to work with - unless you don’t mind of falling into the trap of showy stuff with no deeper appeal. Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Turkey Cinemascope contains some pretty nice examples of what you can do with a panorama - check it out!
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Feb 5

“Nearly two decades after their first collaboration launched a 14-year-old Kate Moss into fashion super stardom, Corrine Day’s challenge was to present a fresh portrait of one of the world’s most photographed women.” - story (It would be quite interesting to discuss what is really meant by “fresh” here, and what misconceptions might have been involved here.)
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Feb 5

Here’s a funny little rant about the British version of Apple’s smug ads, you know the ones with the PC and the MAC guy: “when you see the ads, you think, ‘PCs are a bit rubbish yet ultimately lovable, whereas Macs are just smug, preening tossers.’ In other words, it is a devastatingly accurate campaign.” (full text)
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Feb 5

Matthew Monteith’s book Czech Eden is due to be out in May this year, and I’m really looking forward to it.
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Feb 5

Annet van der Voort’s portfolio contains a series of quite interesting projects. If you want to read a review of Metamorphoses, whose author is a bit more excited about it than I am, click here. I personally find A Lifetime or Oh my baby quite a bit more interesting.
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Feb 2

Philippe Chancel’s photography taken in North Korea is quite nice and interesting.
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Feb 2

“Global climate change is ‘very likely’ to have a human cause, an influential group of scientists has concluded.” - story
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Feb 1

In an extended post, Edward Winkleman discusses what art blogs are, what they are not, and what this means for their relationship with discussions of art in magazines (aka the standard media). It’s an interesting and important read. I personally am a bit weary of those kinds of discussions, though, especially since they often involve bloggers telling the standard media why they are doomed (a curious statement, often based on a combination of wishful thinking and outright delusion) or the standard media taking cheap swipes at what they consider to be flaky journalism (ditto). Much to his credit, Edward steers around this, and quite elegantly so.
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Feb 1

Thomas Bangsted’s landscapes show quite unappealing places (very appealingly photographed).
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Feb 1

“It’s bleak, depressed, run down - and local artists are selling works for a million dollars. Gordon Burn goes to Leipzig to see why the art world is flocking to a mill in the former GDR” - story
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