Sunday, June 29, 2008

Look At Me: A Collection of Found Photographs

Look At Me is an online archive of found photographs that attempts to preserve a legion forgotten photographic moments. Comprised largely of family portraiture, the photographs amassed here capture everyday people in commonplace situations. The utter normalcy and familiarity of found photographs is what I have always found so appealing about them. They speak a language we all understand and convey the human impulse to document and remember the important people and places that have impacted our lives.

In the statement about the project, it declares:

"Some of the photos were found on the street. Some were stacked in a box, bought cheap at a flea market. Showing off or embarrassed, smug, sometimes happy, the people in these photos are strangers to us. They can't help but be interesting, as stories with only an introduction."

I highly reccomend taking a few minutes to browse through the archive, which now contains an impressive 634 images.

Photographers Unknown

Popel Coumou

I happened upon the work of Dutch photographer Popel Coumou today and I'm really glad that I did. There is something striking and surreal about her images, which I admittedly did not recognize as photographs when I first saw them. In an effort to discover something about her process, I found this helpful description on the I Heart Photograph blog:

She starts by building in two dimensions with paper and clay and then aptly lights and photographs things to add the appearance of a third dimension.


Images © Popel Coumou

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Luis Mallo's In Camera

I am often biased towards photographs that rely on a visual device, or cliche to unify a body of work. This is frequently how I feel about images shot through fences and other foreground obstructions. However, the images of Luis Mallo transcend this bias for me. There is a certain visual democracy at play in Mallo's work, one where equal emphasis is placed on the items in the foreground and background. Instead of becoming aesthetic barriers, the foreground obstructions become portals to what lie behind them. The fragmented, layered compositions create intriguing images that give compressed details of two obviously different focal planes.

For anyone who enjoys this series, you should also check out the work of Nathan Ian Anderson.

All photographs from the series In Camera

Images © Luis Mallo

Monday, June 23, 2008

TV Books Exhibtion and Catalog Viewing

Tim Barber's new publishing project TV Books is having a special two day exhibition and catalog viewing at Partners & Spade on June 28th & 29th. The event will feature new books, posters and artwork by: Aurel Schmidt, Chris Dorland, Gordon Hull, Jason Lee, Jason Nocito, Julia Burlingham, Kim Krans, Mark Delong, Michael Schmelling, Patrick Griffin and Tim Barber.

For anyone interested in attending, you can find all the specifics below.

TV Books Exhibition
Partners & Spade
40 Great Jones Street
(Between Bowery & Lafayette)
New York, NY

Saturday June 28th, noon-8pm
Sunday June 29th, noon-6pm

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Brandon Pavan

I got an e-mail from Brandon Pavan yesterday with a link to his website. His series Breakfast At Grandma's is quite nice and deserves a more thorough examination.

Photographs from the series Breakfast at Grandma's

All Images © Brandon Pavan

Saturday, June 21, 2008

An Image A Week: Vik Muniz

Of all the projects that Vik Muniz has done over the years, his series Pictures Of Chocolate is one of my favorites. The images are a wonderful fusion of cultural referentiality and painstaking craftsmanship. There is often a pronounced sense of transience in Muniz's work, an instability that only becomes tangible when frozen by the photographic process.

Also, Muniz's most recent project Gordian Puzzles is well worth checking out, and shares some distinct similarities with the images from Pictures Of Chocolate.


Image © Vik Muniz

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hank Willis Thomas' Unbranded

Last month at the New York Photo Festival I had a chance to see some images from Hank Willis Thomas' project Unbranded. Using appropriated and subsequently manipulated advertisements targeted at African American culture, the images from Unbranded address the broad generalizations surrounding race and gender that are unfortunately quite common in advertising. In the statement on his website, Willis Thomas asserts:

"By unbranding advertisements I can literally expose what Roland Barthes refers to as what-goes-without-saying in ads, and hopefully encourage viewers to look harder and think deeper about the empire of signs that have become second nature to our experience of life in the modern world."

From Top To Bottom:

"Smokin Joe Ain't Je'mama", 1978/2006

Who Can Say No to a Gorgeous Brunette?, 1970/2007

"It's the Real Thing", 1978/2006

All Images © Hank Willis Thomas

Mark Power's The Sound Of Two Songs

I came across the work of Mark Power today via a showcase he had in an older issue of Seesaw Magazine. His project The Sound Of Two Songs examines the conditions of modern day Poland and the lingering historical, political and ideological instability that left the country devastated and depressed. Power's project also investigates Poland's steady push toward Western ideals. As Power asserts:

"This region, one of the bleakest places I have ever seen, is now home to one of Europe's largest shopping malls, as Poland continues it's inexorable rollercoaster ride West. Quite who this mall is targeted at I have no idea. Most people only to be using it to shelter from the incessant rain."

Images From The Series The Sound Of Two Songs

All Images © Mark Power

Saturday, June 14, 2008

One Year On The Planet...

The Exposure Project blog turned a year old today. So with that being said, I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and thank all of the people who stopped by. We received an overwhelming amount of support, help and encouragement from all sorts of different people in the photo world. All of your comments, suggestions and submissions contributed greatly to the vitality of this venture. We look forward to another of stimulating photographic discourse.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dave Coon

I received an e-mail from Dave Coon yesterday with a link to his website. It is hard to not make immediate stylistic parallels with the photographers of the New Topographics movement. The stark, detached vision of the American landscape is a theme common to photography, and despite its relative saturation Coon has found something unique in these familiar places.

From Top To Bottom:

Dodge City, Kansas

Tucumcari, New Mexico

Kinsley, Kansas

Espanola, New Mexico

All Images © Dave Coon

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An Image A Week: James Welling

About a month ago I saw some work from James Welling's series Torsos at the Whitney Biennial. Consisting of unique photograms, the images from this series are meditative explorations of the formal, perhaps even classical, qualities of photographic representation-- texture, light, contour and tonal range. Intended "to follow bodily contours", Welling's photograms strike a successful balance between the figurative and the abstract. Above all, the images from Torsos are wonderfully tactile, often seeming to transcend the limitations of a two dimensional medium. Unfortunately, viewing them online doesn't do them the justice they deserve.

Torso 3, 2008

Image © James Welling

The Hole Truth: An Interview With Jeff Wall

I stumbled upon this interview with Jeff Wall that appeared in a 2001 issue of Artforum. Entitled The Hole Truth, the interview in large part discusses the impact of Wall's iconic image The Flooded Grave (pictured below). The excerpt I have included really highlights Wall's ability to eloquently and articulately discuss not only his own work, but the cultural and historical contexts that affect the medium as a whole.

You can read the entire interview here.

Jan Tumlir: Thomas Crow described your use of digital technology as opening up the "occult potential" of, I suppose, representation. How do you understand that word, "occult," in regard to what you're doing here?

Jeff Wall: I think it has to do with the fact that, before photography, the coexistence of separate domains in pictures was taken for granted. Paintings showed angels or demons interacting with humans, for example, as a routine matter, because it is routine within the nature of the medium. Painting and drawing make no demand as to the ontological consistency of the things being depicted; they don't have any means to do so, and that's one of the main reasons they've been so significant in the history of the imagination. Photography seemed to be something quite different, at the beginning; it seemed to prove that there was only one world, not many-one visible world, anyway. But I think that is only a suggestion made by photography, not a conclusion. And the suggestion can be taken in so many different ways. I think photography, by nature, does have artistically legitimate routes of access into the aesthetic of "multiple worlds," of "imaginary ontologies."

Jan Tumlir: In the late '80s, the questioning of the veracity of the photograph was still the main thing. But in the '90s, we became more aware of the fact that the camera actively creates certain realities, it promotes behaviors, the building of things, the changing of things. It as a real impact on the world.

Jeff Wall: I think the process of deconstructing photography as a rhetoric has reached a point of exhaustion. This line of inquiry did not succeed in providing an alternative to our acceptance of a physical basis for the photographic image. We haven't progressed beyond where we were when the medium was new, and we won't. Photography is what its first practitioners said it was--pictures created by the controlled actions of nature, of light reflected from surfaces. Nevertheless, we have only been able to suggest what that means for the actual practice of photography. In the 1970S and '80s, people attempted to develop theories of photography, maybe because the process of deconstruction encouraged them to feel that we understood what photography was. Now I feel there's are treat from that, not in the sense of a defeat or a reaction, but in the sense of increased respect for photography as a medium, a process, even an institution.

Flooded Grave, 1998-2000

Image © Jeff Wall

Photographic Typologies: Jason Oddy

Jason Oddy's project Seats of Power examines the furniture arrangements of powerful, often rarely seen interiors. When viewed collectively, the chairs in these photographs begin to take on human characteristics. They mimic the people who typically occupy them; and like people seem to express both individuality and conformity in different situations. The anthropomorphic transformation of inanimate objects in Jason Oddy's photographs breaths new life into the visual rigidity of places like the Pentagon, or The United Nations.

From Top To Bottom:

Untitled, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., 2003

Untitled, UN Building, New York, 2001

Untitled, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., 2003

Untitled, Moldova Sanatorium, Odessa, Ukraine, 1999

All Images © Jason Oddy

Saturday, June 7, 2008

OjodePez Issue # 13: America. This Land Was Made For You and Me

I got an e-mail from Aaron Schuman the other day regarding the new issue of OjodePez (previously mentioned on this blog here) which he was recently given the chance to curate. The new issue entitled America. This Land Was Made For You and Me, contains photographs by Tim Davis, Todd Hido, Jessica Ingram, Colby Katz, Kalpesh Lathigra, Ryan McGinley, Richard Mosse, Stephen Shore & Alec Soth, as well as essays by Schuman, Geoff Dyer and Joerg Colberg.

OjodePez is easily one of the most thought-provoking and beautifully presented photography publications currently in existence. The issues can be rather hard to find and a little expensive, but they're absolutely worth it. If you're having trouble finding the magazine in bookstores, you can conveniently purchase the current issue, as well as all of the back issues from their website.

From Top To Bottom:

Tim Davis, Shell 2, Kearny

Richard Mosse, El Cenizo, near Laredo, Texas

Alec Soth, Dock #2 2005

Colby Katz, Image from the series Rabbit Hunting

All Images © The Artists

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Griffin Museum's 14th Juried Exhbition

Thursday evening marks opening of the Griffin Museum's 14th Juried Exhibition in Winchester. The exhibit, juried by Katherine Ware of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Alfred Stieglitz Center for Photography, has brought together the work of over 50 artists. Among them are The Exposure Project's own Anastasia Cazabon, and our friend Fran Osborn-Blaschke.

There will be an opening reception at the Museum tomorrow evening from 7-8:30.

14th Juried Exhibition
Griffin Museum of Photography
67 Shore Road
Winchester, MA

June 5-August 31, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday June 5 from 7-8:30

Image © Andrea Land

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bas Princen

Bas Princen's beautifully stark landscape photographs remind me of Josef Schulz's images of commercial and industrial parks, posted on this blog here. As it happens, both of these photographers were just recently exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago as part of an exhibition entitled Building Pictures.

From Top To Bottom:

Train Depot (B. Fuller)

Whilshire Blvrd

Ring Road (Houston)

Ring Road (Tirana)

Future Olympic Park

All Images © Bas Princen