Monday, November 24, 2008
Laura Marling singing the song "New Romantic" on Later with Jools Holland - for those of you who haven't seen this fantastic and also kind of heartbreaking performance yet.
(Bonus: Jools obviously completely smitten with Siouxsie Sioux).
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Original image from underbaraclara.
Winter's arrived a bit earlier this year than previous years (although about as early as I remember it from my childhood).
I must say that if I have to have winter I prefer the snow as it gives the illusion that we have more light than we do.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I am a big fan of the Selby, but an even bigger fan of the videos they posts of artists showcasing and talking through their (or sometimes others) books / work. I'll most probably be adding more of these to the blog, but I wanted to start of with this one as I especially liked it - and of course you can't go wrong with a book format that reminds you of ones from when you're little.
Link for the book and video of the book via the Selby.
See more of the artist at the Selby post or see more of the Selby's videos here (mostly book showings!).
Friday, November 14, 2008
Walls of Aran. Photographs by Sean Scully. Texts by Colm Toibin and Sean Scully. Thames & Hudson, London, 2007. 128 pp., 75 duotone illustrations, 10¼x9½".
"Sean Scully is one of today's most esteemed painters, whose familiar signature style of lines or bands of color is instantly recognizable. Scully is also an accomplished photographer, his eye drawn in particular to architectural shapes that have clear affinities with his painted work.
During the summer of 2005, he spent time on the remote Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland, photographing the ancient dry-stone walls that criss-cross the stark and barren landscape. This book brings together for the first time his sensitive images, revealing the unexpected yet monumental beauty of these centuries-old structures that meander across the windswept and rocky islands. In their form and spirit, the photographs shed light on Scully's own sensibilities as an artist. They also capture the stillness and serenity of this rugged, timeless place on the edge of Europe.
An evocative text by the award-winning Irish writer Colm Tóibín conveys the mysterious beauty of the three Aran Islands. 75 duotone photographs."
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Half Awake and Half Asleep in the Water. Photographs by Asako Narahashi. Introduction by Martin Parr. Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2007. 80 pp., 59 four-color plates., 12x13".
"Half Awake and Half Asleep in the Water is the second title in the "Parr/Nazraeli Edition of Ten," and the first monograph on the work of Asako Narahashi. This series has been exhibited in Japan to wide acclaim, but never published in book form until now. The photographs were made while the artist stood chest-deep in the ocean facing the shoreline; through them, she manages to extract the viewer's mind from its surroundings, and one finally succumbs to the hallucinatory power of the ocean. In the words of esteemed photographic historian Kotaro Iizawa, "the feeling of being stranded, however, is strangely comforting." "
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
26 Different Endings. Photographs by Mark Power. Text by David Chandler. PhotoWorks, Brighton, 2007. 64 pp., 28 colour illustrations, 14¼x11¼".
"In this new Photoworks publication, British photographer Mark Power returns to the dialogue between real and imaginary space that characterised his most successful book to date, The Shipping Forecast (1996). Once again the premise for this work has been a map and a sense of those invisible boundaries that help to form a strong and durable idea of place. In this case that place is the great sprawl of London, whose outer limits are, for most of us, defined by the extent of the A to Z road atlas. It is these outer zones – where, as the map suggests, the city thins out and then falls away into nothingness – that are the subject of Power’s photographs.
Taking each page of the atlas as his guide Power has embarked on an epic quest into a kind of local unknown, a voyage into a form of melancholy emptiness where the energies of the city evaporate into a strange kind of inertia. Like The Shipping Forecast before it, 26 Different Endings is a project still deeply concerned with the weather, with the everyday drabness of places resigned to their climate of indistinction, where a condition of greyness has become the condition of life.
26 Different Endings is a report about what appears to be a deeply traumatised place. It is also about a state of mind that Power has become entranced by, one conditioned by flat white skies and a generous expanse of pebble dash, an overbuilt environment where all buildings, new and old, look something like ruins. David Chandler’s autobiographical short story, written in response to Power’s pictures, delves deeper into this state of mind, drawing on a vivid picture of both the emotional and physical landscape of his childhood.
In many ways, as Chandler suggests, Mark Power has photographed places of exile, and perhaps its psychology, too. 26 Different Endings presents places where the city’s vanquished have retreated to, where those who lived through the Blitz are happy to survive on supermarkets and soap operas, and where subsequent generations have become accustomed to not really knowing where or who they are."
Monday, November 10, 2008
Pictures. Photography by Tim Walker. Te Neues, New York, 2008. 320 pp., 245 color and black & white illustrations., 11¼x14½".
"This book offers us a privileged glimpse into the artistic process used by top fashion photographer Tim Walker. This comprehensive overview of his work brings us deep inside his glamorous world of adventure. Featuring a wide array of sketches, contacts and Polaroids—we share in source materials normally hidden within the photographer's studio. The evocative images are rich with textured nuance and intriguing details. Walker gives full rein to his playful side and intersperses collages among the photographs. The over-sized format showcases some of the most imaginative and exuberant art being produced today."
It's super duper to be a rabbit.
Friday, November 07, 2008
This is New York. By Miroslav Sasek, illustrations by Miroslav Sasek. Re-issued 2008 by Universe. 64pp, numerous colour illustrations, 32.5 x 21.6 x 1.3 cm.
I found this wonderful book over at Book By Its Cover - and as I am also feeling pride in New York and the US at the moment it felt appropriate.
I am ashamed to say I had never heard of this Czech artist, illustrator and author or the "This is"-series of (children's) books.
This will be rectified as I'm planning on having a peek in several of the "This is"-books as soon as possible (and hopefully make purchases!)
To learn more about Miroslav Sasek and the books go here.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Superficial Snapshots, Zine 2. An Issue With Lomos. Photography by Allison V. Smith. Allison V. Smith, 2008. Unpaged, Numerous color illustrations., 7x5".
"Superficial Snapshots. Zine 2. An issue with Lomos. A collection of true stories shot between May 2007-August 2007. These photos were all shot with my recently upgraded Lomo LC+A which is hailed by its makers as 'the finest, most delightfully unexpected, robust, pocketable, vividly colorful, and soundly addictive snapshot camera of all time.'
The Lomo and I traveled to California and Maine in the summer of 2007. We traveled by plane, car and boat. I used it as a visual diary. The photos I took were mental notes and conversations. Sketches of secrets and dreams."
More Allison V. Smith here. More images from inside the zine here for example.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Obama poster by Shepard Fairey.
Barack Obama has won a historic victory in becoming the first black president of the United States.
I have been impressed with the calm, measured and quiet authoritativeness he's display in the course of the campaign.
I - and many many with me - have big hopes of a fundamental change in US policy abroad and at home with a stabilizing effect on the financial crisis, global warming and the humanitarian and security mess that is the Middle East (something that of course also has a massive impact on the rest of the world).
I can only hope that the intention is there and at least some of these will be fulfilled. In his speech Barack Obama said "change has come to America". Please let change and progress come!
I have just listened to John McCain's concession speech and I must say it's the most generous, uniting and honourable one I've heard - I have a new-found respect for him.
Full cover of the US election here for example.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Image courtesy of Anita Elgerot
In Sweden we don't have Thanksgiving, but lately I've been thinking that perhaps our holiday Alla helgona in a way has a similar function (even though of course not the same origin).
Alla helgona is All Saints' Day - a holiday a lot of my friends and family in the UK and US think of as a Catholic holiday. In Sweden however Alla helgona is not necessarily seen as religious, but rather as a day to remember those loved one's we've lost and as a celebration of your family and an occasion to gather everyone for a nice meal.
At dusk clusters of families - often with many small children - go to the cemetery bringing candles, flowers and arrangements made with pine cones and other local and seasonal plants. The graves are visited and tended, its owners' remembered. And the memorial garden overflows with candles and flowers. When you go through the cemetery the candles are so many they glow like stars guiding you. Back home you continue the remembrance, but also just enjoying being together. Stillness.