Archives

March 2011

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Mar 31

This is an image from Beso Uznadze’s series Tbilisi Portraits. (via)
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Mar 30

Some of Max de Estaban’s portraiture comes with heavy theory, but the images work tremendously well. My favourite body of work might be On the Uncertainty of Being.
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Mar 29

If you want to get your own photobook printed, one of the biggest questions usually is who can/will/might print it for you. This is where this huge list of printer resources might come in handy (via).
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Mar 29

Lovely portraits in Vivi Abelson’s Infantes. (via)
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Mar 28

A few days ago, US District Judge Deborah A. Batts ruled that Richard Prince had violated Patrick Cariou’s copyright when using some of the images from the Yes Rasta book to produce Canal Zone. Much has since been written about this ruling, here are a few of the reactions/takes: Rob Haggart/A Photo Editor, Ed Winkleman, Donn Zaretsky, Paddy Johnson. In a nutshell, photographers for the most parts are giddy that Prince lost, whereas the non-photo art world is appalled by the ruling. (more)
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Mar 28

More collage art: Masha Rumyantseva’s work.
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Mar 28

This is an image from Dylan Chatain’s Detroit, an impressive body of work.
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Mar 28

Fred Ritchin makes the case for a meta-newspaper: “Given the growing desire to see what is important in a more coherent manner among busy readers, perhaps now is the time to begin charging for a subscription to such a meta-newspaper-and distribute some of the income to those working in the field and, where appropriate, those paying for them to be there. The world is changing at too fast a pace for us not to consider such a strategy-going beyond a list of what is out there to a presentation site where each piece complements the next and leaves us with a greater understanding of how our world is evolving.”
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Mar 27

The other day, I was speaking with Brian Ulrich, doing a new interview for an upcoming book of interviews. As is widely know, Brian has spent about a decade on what is to become a book later this year, photographing - to sum it up in a somewhat simplified manner - the landscape of consumption in the US. I first met Brian about five or six years ago, and from talking with him I know a little bit about the evolution of all that work, with all its many complex elements. (more)
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Mar 26

Benjamin (Duckrabbit) sent me the link to this recent piece, which transforms regular images into a scary story (c.f. Jens Liebchen’s Stereotypes of War).
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Mar 26

After a short break, it’s round 6 of my ongoing series of conversations with Michael Itkoff, this time about art fairs and art bubbles. Find the full piece here.
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Mar 26

With DL07 stereotypes of war, a photographic investigation, Jens Liebchen investigates the visual language of photojournalism covering war.
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Mar 26

Some of the presentations from the FOAM - What’s Next? symposium I attended last weekend have been made available online. If you have half an hour to spare, start off - just like the audience members themselves - with the following two. (more)
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Mar 25

There’s a curious photograph in Charles Brittin: West and South. It shows a dilapidated shack, with a sign next to the entrance that says “Exhibition Charles Brittin”. The index identifies it as a photograph of a “one-day exhibition at Wallace Berman’s Semina Gallery, Larkspur, 1961.” Photographers don’t show their work in semi-destroyed wooden shacks any longer. Pretty much everything depicted in the book, photography covering the period from the mid 1950s to the late 1960s, has changed, too. Brittin died earlier this year, and from the essay he contributed to the book, I am not so sure what he made of our world now, a world that looks and feels to different from the one depicted in the book. (more)
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Mar 24

Slightly hit or miss: Fernando Maquieira’s Out of Mind. The good images are very good, though.
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Mar 23

Abstract and conceptual: Paul Rousteau’s the book of the holy face (bible in facebook).
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Mar 22

Amsterdam photography museum FOAM is celebrating their ten-year anniversary in style, asking What’s Next? Aside from the website where everybody is invited to contribute answers to some of the questions that might be in people’s minds (you can also submit a question) there was an expert meeting, a one-day conference, bringing together artists, journalists, writers/bloggers, editors, and other experts to talk about and discuss what could be next. (more)
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Mar 22

The other day, the New York Times announced its model to charge frequent readers of their website (prices here). As could be expected, the move caused a lot of chatter. I’m with Rob who called this The End of Free, writing “I believe this marks the end of an era where everyone scrambled to make something free and marveled at all the people who used it. Increasingly I’ve found myself looking at all the free options and then going for the higher quality paid option. That doesn’t mean that free will no longer exist, just that products you use heavily or want more quality/reliability out of will be paid.” (my emphasis) One of the Times’ own writers makes a very compelling case for the principle itself here.
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Mar 22

Adrian Tyler’s Corridors is a typology of power, exploring power in all its forms.
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Mar 21

After fifteen years Elisabeth Biondi is leaving New Yorker Magazine. On its blog, the magazine published a couple of very interesting posts that you might want to check out (if you haven’t done so already): Elisabeth showcasing selected highlights and photographers talking about an image done for the magazine. Alles Gute für die Zukunft, Elisabeth!
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Mar 21

This is an image from Carlos Chavarria’s Dreamtown, a compelling series of photographs taken in American cities.
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Mar 21

There’s a war of images going on - along with the actual war. You probably already noticed. “Operation Odyssey Dawn” - the bombing of Libya - started with the now almost obligatory photographs of cruise missiles launched from US warships far away. Here is a gallery of the first images. Have a look at the credits - many of the images are courtesy of the military (as far as I could tell - sampling whatever was on display at Detroit airport yesterday - most US newspapers featured one of those images on the front page). In addition, you got the photojournalists on the ground, taking the usual photographs: Burning tanks, fighters striking poses, etc. And then you have the photography amateurs, meaning civilians and soldiers alike. Everybody is taking photographs, everybody is trying to shape the message. (more)
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Mar 21

Mitch Epstein was announced the winner of the 2011 Prix Pictet: Growth for his American Power project (find my review of the book here). Congratulations, Mitch!
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Mar 18

Contemporary photography often offers very little obvious solace. It is cold and unforgiving, at least at first sight. If there is beauty it has to be discovered. If there is a message or even some form of truth, it has to be found, discovered. Contemporary photography is thus a child of its, our, time. It reflects the world we’ve built for ourselves, whether we like it or not. (more)
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Mar 17

I love the series Stages, done by Shen Chao-Liang (via).
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Mar 16

“Through the use of subtle lighting, I attempt to transport the viewer’s mind to unsettling scenes, beyond the boundaries of the photograph,towards a series of previous and subsequent imaginary moments.” - Lourdes Cabrera
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Mar 15

I really like Clara Mata’s often very minimalist collages.
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Mar 15

Christian Tiefensee’s Refugium (pdf download) mixes photography from different sources - his own images plus found ones - to create a body of work that centers on the idea of, well, refuge.
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Mar 14

The various photographs in Arno Roncada’s Peaceful Mountains of Desire show imaginary landscapes (which, at least on my computer screen, seem to suffer from unfortunate compression artifacts).
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Mar 13

If you want to support relief efforts for Japan and buy a piece of art at the same time, you can do so by picking up one of the photos available at Wall Space Gallery’s life support japan. The prints are $50 each (editions of ten), and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Direct Relief and Habitat for Humanity Japan. The image above, by Emily Shur, is one of the photographs for sale.
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Mar 12

“Rape is horrifyingly widespread in conflicts all around the world,” writes The Economist, with a focus on Congo. Besieged is a collaborative project by photographers Ying Ang, Agnes Dherbeys, Sarah Elliott, and Benedicte Kurzen, intended to put a spotlight onto this situation. Find the whole pitch here.
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Mar 11

Here we are, in 2011, and most of the photography in 60 Fotos by László Moholy-Nagy will strike us as incredibly old-fashioned and/or dated. Over the course of the 80 years since the book’s original publication, photography has evolved a lot (our thinking about it a bit less so, of course). But there is something, actually a lot to be gained from going back to the book and from looking at photography with the eyes of and guided by this well-known Bauhaus artist. (more)
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Mar 11

Over at Here’s blog (I know this looks like a typo, but it isn’t), there are a few short interviews with independent photobook makers: Fw:, Lasermagazin, and Böhm/Kobayashi.
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Mar 11

On March 27th, Annalisa Durante, a fourteen year old teenager, was shot in the head during a Camorra related shoot-out. Two days later, she died from her wounds. Depending on where we live, we are used to these kinds of news. Murder just keeps happening. It becomes background noise, and it takes more than just some news report to alert us to what is going on. Putting a name and face to a death might help, but often, even that is not enough. In the media, there typically are two kinds of responses: The first focuses exclusively on the victim, while ignoring everything about the environment. The other response only focuses on the environment, treating victims in a statistical fashion. (more)
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Mar 10

I really like the mini-series Urban Landscapes by Ignasi Cunill.
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Mar 9

Sam Lubicz’s collages tend to be visually complex, reminding me at times of Monty Python animations.
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Mar 9

A Dutch friend send me the link to a speech given my Pim Milo, a Dutch writer (Dutch language only). In his speech, Milo argues forcefully against photographer donating prints to charity auctions. His reasoning is simple and quite interesting: It’s not that he has any problems with charity auctions (quite on the contrary). He has problems with photographers doing themselves a disservice. (more)
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Mar 9

“Since some thirty years ago, with the coming of the commercial television and the loss of the neo-pedagogical one, we are witnessing a specific phenomenon on Italian screens: the codification of a single female model that schedules the annulment of the personality, the plastic surgery of the body, the must of appearing young and healthy.” - Emanuele Cremaschi, introducing Casta Diva, Beauty Pageant in Italy
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Mar 8

When I asked Seth Boyd and Richard Renaldi what made a good photobook (as part of my conversation with them), Seth said “Good pictures. Just good pictures. That sounds ludicrously simplistic, but that’s all I want when I look at a book: to see amazing images.” Once you put images on a wall, this becomes even more obvious: A good exhibition features good photographs. Of course, there are OK shows (lots of those) and good shows (fewer, but still a lot), and then there are great shows. Great shows will make you come back (if you can). Great shows are when you think you know what to expect, but once you’re there you know that something is happening that’s hard to describe. It’s almost magical. Great shows are rare. If you want to see a great show right now, see Sze Tsung Leong’s Cities, on view at Yossi Milo Gallery (until April 2, 2011). (more)
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Mar 8

Continuing the journey through the world of collage art: Liam Crockard’s work. This image is Stezakeresque: so stunning. Some more stuff on his Tumblr.
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Mar 8

“In the northern province Friesland in the Netherlands, surrounded by woods and a lake, lies Himmelum. A small village with 579 inhabitants. The land of birth of my parents. Home to my grandparents. Memories from my childhood.” - Kees Muizelaar
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Mar 8

First, there is this interview with Hans-Christian Schink, done by Marc Feustel. Plus, there is an interview with Nina Berman by Jonathan Blaustein, which you definitely don’t want to miss.
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Mar 7

I was going to write something about the recent mini-flurry of photography produced via Google Street View, but Lisa Kereszi just beat me to it, writing on the Daylight blog.
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Mar 7

I’m still finding new blogs to add to my ever growing reading list. The latest edition is Monsters & Madonnas, the ICP Library’s blog. Go and check it out!
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Mar 7

This is an image from Jan-Dirk van der Burg’s series on a small porn cinema called Venus.
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Mar 7

There is a lot of talk about photojournalism. Is it dead? What’s going on? What can be done? I think recent events in the Middle East should have made it very clear even to the naysayers that we need credible photojournalism. Of course, there is much more to photojournalism than going to places where things are happening very visibly. There also is the kind of photojournalism where someone explores a subject that’s not on the front pages, to inform us about something we might want to know about. Needless to say, the big problem is money. Who will actually pay for the it? A new attempt to fund photojournalism has just been launched, in the form of emphas.is, a website dedicated to crowd-funding photojournalism. I do not know whether emphas.is is the - or maybe even just a - solution to fund photojournalism. But I believe it has tremendous promise. I decided to feature some of the projects here on this site to help spread the word. One of the first projects featured is Aaron Huey’s Pine Ridge Billboard Project. Find Aaron’s pitch here.
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Mar 4

The history of the photobook is filled with many absolutely amazing examples, many of which remain only known to experts - or those fortunate enough to have the means to acquire them. The main reason for this is mundane: It’s not because some elitists pick books and decide they are great. It’s because most of those books were printed once and then sold over the course of a few years. To make matters worse, there’s the Velvet-Underground effect: Many of those books didn’t even sell well, while inspiring what ultimately became a real movement. In fact, some books are so hard to get because they sold just a few copies, and the rest were then literally destroyed. The case of Alexey Brodovitch’s Ballet is particularly heart-wrenching: According to the main essay in this reprint, the original print run was five hundred copies, which were not sold through any major bookstores. In 1956, a fire at the artist’s farmhouse destroyed the majority of the negatives, along with most of his library, plus a collection of signed lithographs by Picasso and Matisse. There was another fire, in the next home, too. (more)
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Mar 3

The work of Nadav Kander has always fascinated me. My curiosity only grew when seeing Obama’s People and later working on the review of Yangtze, The Long River. I finally approached Nadav and asked him whether he had a moment to talk about his work. I’m grateful he did. Find our conversation here.
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Mar 3

Thomas Ladd’s Los Paramos portrays a region in the Northern Andes. Beautiful work!
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Mar 2

Blind Spot Conversations 02: Richard Benson and Arthur Ou (via)
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Mar 2

Hannah Modigh’s Hillbilly Heroin, Honey is not unproblematic - see, for example, this post - but it’s well worth the look.
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Mar 2

“This year Foam Amsterdam celebrates its 10th anniversary. For us it is a time to reflect, not about the past, but about the future of photography. To do this we have asked ourselves the question: ‘What’s Next?’” Head right over and contribute your thoughts about the questions already posted. Conscientious is a media partner of What’s Next?, and you can expect to see more about it here.
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Mar 1

Part of my work on writing the review of Zdenek Tmej’s The Alphabet of Spiritual Emptiness involved reading the essay, because ideally, I’d like to know what I’m actually talking about. There was a reference to photographer Jindrich Marco who, I learned, had taken photographs all across Europe and Israel in the years immediately after the war. These photographs, I read, had been published in 1967 as Please Buy My New Song. I figured I might as well see whether I can find that book. (more)
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Mar 1

Mario Wagner’s collage work also includes the use of paint - “mixed media,” suppose. I love the resulting effect.
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Mar 1

More contemporary landscape work: Bepi Ghiotti’s Sources.
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