Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Richard Mosse's Air Disaster

Richard Mosse's series Air Disaster examines air disaster simulations and on-the-ground training exercises for airport firefighters. When asked in an interview, Mosse had this to say about his motivation for photographically exploring catastrophe:

"The actual disaster is a moment of contingency and confusion. It's all over in milliseconds. It's hidden in a thick cloud of black smoke and you cannot even see it. Battles, ambushes, hijackings, air strikes, terrorism: it's the same with all of these, too. But the catastrophe lives on before the fact and after the fact, as this spectacle. That's why I wanted to photograph the air disaster simulators; they are the air disaster more than the thing itself. We have built in our airports these enormous, absurd, phallic structures with kerosene jets and water sprinklers. They are monuments to our own fear, made within the pared down, hyper-functional, green and black and grey symbolic order of militarized space."

You can read the entire interview here.

All photographs from the series Air Disaster
All Images © Richard Mosse

Monday, September 29, 2008

An Image A Week: Graham Miller

Thanks to Flak Photo's Hijacked feature, I discovered Australian photographer Graham Miller's project Suburban Splendor. Influenced by the films of Paul Thomas Anderson, the stories of Raymond Carver and the paintings of Edward Hopper, this series delves into the "contemporary isolation" faced by many on a day-to-day basis. In his statement, Miller asserts:

"Like Carver's stories and Hopper's paintings, these images depict everyday struggle and ordinary tragedy. They touch upon the areas of experience simmering just below the surface, and explore the notion that the lives of others, no matter how close we are to them, will always remain fundamentally unknowable to us. That, in essence, we all exist as unitary individuals."

Photograph from the series Suburban Splendor

Image © Graham Miller

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Work In Progress: New Photographs By Ben Alper

Here are a few new photographs from a project I am currently working on that explores the often eerie dislocation of the domestic experience.

All Images © Ben Alper

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thomas Damgaard's Figures and Cityscapes

I found Danish photographer Thomas Damgaard's work today via the Asian Photography Blog. His series Figures and Cityscapes couples introspective portraits of young Bangkok residents with images depicting the explosiveness of metropolitan sprawl. Although I find some of his portraiture to be too artificially controlled, giving the images a forced narrative quality, Damgaard's counterbalancing landscapes photographs give the project more relatability. In the statement, he explains:

"I wanted to make some figure studies of the young urban class in this city, people in between actions - the pause in the everyday where we have a change to reflect on our lifes. I liked the idea of describing this personal space and time that people can have during a short absence and set this in contrast to the dynamic Asian metropolis that is in a state of constant flux and growth."

All photographs from the series Figures and Cityscapes

All Images © Thomas Damgaard

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hasted Hunt Supports Obama

The photo community has shown some serious support for Barack Obama in the last couple of weeks. In the latest manifestation, Hasted Hunt has just announced a limited edition print of Martin Schoeller's portrait of Obama taken in 2004.

It is an 11" by 14" archival pigment print, edition of 500, signed and numbered by Martin Schoeller, $250 (plus shipping and handling). Additionally, 100 % of the proceeds will go directly to the Obama Campaign, so show some support by investing in the future.

For further information, contact the gallery at 212.627.0006 or info@hastedhunt.com

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lay Flat

Shane Lavalette got in touch yesterday with an update regarding Remain In Light, which, "after much deliberation" is being taken a new direction.  The first issue of the publication, now titled Lay Flat, will retain the "Remain In Light" moniker and will feature the same 20 photographers as originally curated.  The artists included are:

Andreas Weinand, Anne Lass, Coley Brown, Debora Mittelstaedt, Ed Panar, Estelle Hanania, Gustav Almestål, Hiroyo Kaneko, Kamden Vencill, Mark McKnight, Michel Campeau, Nicolai Howalt & Trine Søndergaard, Nicola Kast, Nicholas Haggard, Shawn Records, Raimond Wouda, Richard Barnes, Thobias Fäldt, Whitney Hubbs & Yann Orhan

In addition, issue 1 will feature the following writings: One Credo After Another by Tim Davis, The Secessionists Revisited: Artist Collectives in the Age of the Blog by Cara Phillips, Castaways vs. Utopians by Jason Fulford, A Telephone Conversation with Mike Mandel by Shane Lavalette & Close Readings by Darius Himes.

Shane is projecting a November release date, so refer to the website for further information and updates.

Ridderkerk II, 2003 by Raimond Wouda

Image © Raimond Wouda

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ron Jude's Alpine Star

The current Solo Show exhibition over at Humble Arts features Ron Jude's project Alpine Star, which narratively juxtaposes unrelated and appropriated photographs from the artist's hometown newspaper. In his statement, Jude proclaims:

"The poetic element of these images—the abstract subtext of slippery, shifting narrative found in every photograph—is inflated here through the process of subtle manipulation and nuanced sequencing. While offering a world of loss and isolation, the pictures in Alpine Star also suggest the cross-pollination of personal history and collective memory."

Below is an excerpt from an interview with Jude that appears on the Humble Arts website in correlation with the exhibition. You can read this interview in its entirety here.

Julie Fishkin: Does the suspension of narrative that occurs interest you because of the powerful scenes that the re-contextualized images tend to conjure up?

Ron Jude: The suspension of narrative is at the heart of what I love about photography. It occurs naturally most of the time in any photograph, and my job is to finesse these ambiguous narratives, whether they’re in found images or my own, into something that’s coherent, yet still a moving target in terms of meaning. I think this is what you’re describing as the “powerful scenes” that are aroused through this finessing process. However, I’m equally interested in the images that hover right at the edge of utter banality and flatness. Those are the risky pictures, the ones that are operating without the safety net of punch line, irony, or any sort of obvious pictorial device, yet they still find a way to draw you in and hold your attention.

All photographs from the series Alpine Star

All Images © Ron Jude

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Just A Reminder...

that there are only 10 days left to submit to the Graphic Intersections project. We have received quite a few submissions so far and would like to thank everyone who has shown support for the concept. Anyone interested in submitting, or who's just plain curious for that matter, can read more about the project here.

We will notify everyone who submitted to Graphic Intersections in early October in regards to whether you've been chosen to participate.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tammy Mercure's Big Rock Candy Mountain

Tammy Mercure got in touch to share some images from her new series Big Rock Candy Mountain, a project exploring the American tourism industry. In her statement, Mercure asserts:

"I am photographing the tourist towns that accompany the natural beauty of The Great Smoky Mountains. The most notable of the towns are Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in Tennessee and Cherokee in North Carolina. The pure spectacle of the towns brimming with shopping, all-you-can-eat buffets, and pure entertainment, stop some visitors from even seeing the nature up close and unmediated. The attractions fascinate me as they speak to our deepest desires, like being close to wild animals and being transported to new fantastic places for escape. I am also interested in capturing the symbols of the area, like Dolly Parton, bears, and Indians."

All photographs from the series Big Rock Candy Mountain

All Images © Tammy Mercure

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Camera Vacua

I just finished reading David Giles' essay Camera Vacua which appears in the new issue of Paper Monument. The essay addresses the proliferation of, as Giles calls them, "end-of- the-world photographs", the trend in contemporary photography that focuses on the depiction of formless institutional spaces. Primarily, he highlights the work of Taryn Simon, Richard Ross and Thomas Demand as the leading practitioners on this relatively new post-apocalyptic aesthetic. Giles discusses how the absence of human presence coupled with the amorphousness of these spaces creates the allusion of a world where time and history have been utterly negated. Historically, photography has been ontologically rooted in the isolation of a singularly significant moment, producing photographs with a more pronounced autonomy in time and space. With the emergence of this new trend, photography's relationship to tradition has been invariably altered. What "the-end-world-photographers" have supplanted tradition with is a vacuous and indistinguishable vision of the world, one which raises many questions about the functions of these spaces. Photographically, this trend is neither good nor bad. It is simply a manifestation of the world we live in. As Giles states:

"By selecting especially generic spaces and relegating historical cues to the perceptual and emotional perimeter, the photographer constructs an image that obviates this usual act of remembering. In this way, the viewer is prevented from entering into a subjective relationship with the picture, and the memento mori function of the photograph is itself generalized and made impersonal: without the invitation to recall a specific event in the past, we're not likely to consider our own personal march toward death, as is the case with many photographs. Rather, we contemplate these spaces and their implied practices, we recognize that historical time-or civilizational time-as a whole is coming to an end.

In the tradition of fairytales, then, which often achieve uncanny effects by exaggerating our conventional narrative experience of scale (e.g. a shoe blown up to an incredible size), these photos produce unease by hyperbolizing our conventional photographic experience of time. Like all photos they stop time; it's just time at the end of time."

Below are some of the images that Giles uses as examples of "end-of-the-world-photographs."

From Top To Bottom:

Thomas Demand, Copyshop 1999

Richard Ross, Toddler classroom, Montessori Center School, Goleta, California

Taryn Simon, Cryopreservation Unit, Cryonics Institute, Clinton Township, Michigan

All Images © The Artists

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chris Verene's The Galesburg Series

Chris Verene's work came up in a class of mine today and I felt compelled to share some of the images from The Galesburg Series, a documentary project that examines his family's rural Illinois town. There is uncompromising frankness to Verene's imagery that has garnered him a certain amount of critical controversy. Critics have questioned whether his photographs cross the line of respectful representation into the realm of photographic exploitation. Although I believe that Verene's intentions are of a considerate, albeit sometimes unyielding nature, the passage below begins to address the other side of this argument. In an excerpt from the press release for an exhibition of The Galesburg Series, it states:

"Poignant, empathetic, touching, and humorous, The Galesburg Series is also frequently challenging. Verene has been compared to Walker Evans, William Eggleston, and Nan Goldin. An indication of the dynamic complexity of The Galesburg Series is the oft-debated potentially-exploitative aspect of these candid pictures. Depicting a “...semi-rural underclass that is seldom represented elsewhere, these images participate in the tradition of socially-conscious documentary-photography as well as the offbeat regionalism associated with William Eggelston,” asserts Philip Auslander, writing in ArtForum in 2004. Auslander goes on to ponder the fine line between representation and exploitation, as each viewer is also left to reach his own conclusion."

All photographs from The Galesburg Series

All Images © Chris Verene

Chris Mottalini's Leif Eriksson Day

Chris Mottalini e-mailed me today with a handful of images from his new series Leif Eriksson Day. This project explores what has remained of Leif Eriksson's Viking settlement in Northern Newfoundland. As Mottalini states:

"In August I traveled to northern Newfoundland with the aim of undertaking a photographic interpretation of the settlement and the surrounding landscape. The resulting images exist as photographic companions to the heroic, supernatural and violent events of The Vinland Sagas (a classical narrative of Viking exploration). They construct a portrait of the deserted camp as Norse ghost town, situated out of time and out of place in the modern North American wilderness."

You should also look Mottalini's projects Mistake By The Lake: Buffalo, NY and Winter City, which both contain some nice work.

All photographs from the series Leif Eriksson Day

All Images © Chris Mottalini

Friday, September 12, 2008

Work In Progress: New Photographs By Adam Marcinek

A continuation of a project I am currently working on.

All Images © Adam Marcinek

Photography Book Now Winners Announced

The winners for Blurb's Photography Book Now competition were just announced. So, without further ado:

Grand Prize

Beth Dow, In The Garden

Top Category Winners

Talia Chetrit, Reading

Jonathan Smith, The Bridge Project

1st Runner Up

John Lehr, Something Is Happening

Cara Phillips, Singular Beauty
(not available for purchase in the Blurb.com bookstore)

2nd Runner Up

Michael Corridore, Roadworks -(Dreamend, Nowhere, Whitesville) and other stories

Benjamin Lowy - Iraq|Perspectives

Ed Panar, Johnstown

Congratulations to all those who were selected!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Women In Photography: Alessandra Sanguinetti

The new Women In Photography showcase is now up and features new work from Alessandra Sanguinetti's project The Life That Came. A continuation of The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of their Dreams, the images from this series revisit Guillermina and Belinda as they grow up on their family's farm outside Buenos Aires. In the press release for Sanguinetti's current exhibition at Yossi Milo, it states:

"Sanguinetti has collaborated with the girls since 1999, capturing images inspired by the expectations, fantasies, and fears that accompany the psychological and physical transition from childhood to adulthood.

This sequel to the gallery’s exhibition of the series in 2004 carries the project forward to a new period in the lives of Guille and Belinda as they enter the adult world they once imagined. The fantastical tableaux of personal dreams and lively imagination of the early images give way to more meditative moments as the two cousins shape their own realities, encounter the fragility of changing relationships, and confront early motherhood."

If you're in New York, make sure to stop by the gallery and see the show. You can find the details below.

The Life That Came
Yossi Milo Gallery
525 West 25th St.
New York, NY
September 4 - October 18
Artist's Reception: Friday, September 12 from 6 - 8 pm

From Top To Bottom:

The wedding bed, 2007

Beli and Pablo, 2006

The real thing, 2007

Three o'clock soap opera, 2004

Still waters, 2005

All Images © Alessandra Sanguinetti