Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ojode Pez

On a recent trip to P.S.1, I stopped by the bookstore and discovered the documentary photography magazine Ojode Pez. Although new to me, the magazine is ten issues deep and hosts a blog of its own. Ojode Pez impressed me with its in-depth full color and bilingual coverage of emerging and contemporary international documentary photographers. I was introduced to quite a few new figures in the documentary genre, as well as reminded of currently better known work. I purchased Issue number eight, edited by Tina Ahrens, which concerns the world's urbanization. I found the work of Edward Burtynsky, Erika Larsen, Thomas Kern, and Olivier Culmann to be very interesting. Already familiar with Burtynsky's work, I was happy to see further exposure of it. Unfamiliar to me, Larsen's work investigates the relationship that hunters have with the environment. She states about 'The Hunt':

"...The death brought by man to animals reveals our lives to be one small, yet important link in an ongoing cycle of life and death. Nature, animal and man are all intertwined components of a larger force. For me, this was realized in The Hunt."

Olivier Cullman photographs the often vacant stares of people actively watching television and weighs the effect that this numbing process has on our psyches. He states:

"...The viewers' eyes are glued to the screen, hypnotized by the images that flicker by. Capturing that instant during which attention subsides and consciousness slumbers, rocked to sleep by the phosphorescence of the cathode ray tubes. At that instant, their bodies often become comfortable, they curl up on the couch and then collapse. Nothing could be more banal. And nothing is more unsettling, because that is how, when the brain goes numb, that we television viewers receive the world in its entirety. Not the real world, but an image of that world, a ghostly version of reality..."

I found it hard to find information on the group, but was aided by their myspace page which states:

"OjodePez is a photography magazine which aims to fill an important gap in the present editing market of documentary image world wide. OjodePez publishes photographic features that have not been published in other media. For every issue of OjodePez,a professional of working in the field of graphic arts is invited to select and edit a group of photographical works. Each feature is accompained by a text reflecting on the reality brought up by the pictures."

The magazine also includes photographers bios, and scholarly essays to accompany the work. I highly recommend checking out the magazine, although I don't know how easy it will be to track down, as even their website jokes about poor distribution. Hopefully this can be cleared up, and Ojode Pez will soon be more readily available.

From Top to Bottom:

Erika Larsen, Untitled photographs from the series 'The Hunt"

Olivier Culmann, Simon Ore watching a DVD of the Simpsons

All Images Copyright the Artists