Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Great Unreal.

The Great Unreal. Photographs by Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs. Editions Patrick Frey, 2009. 148 pp., colour and black & white illustrations, 9x13".

Photographers Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs studied photography at the School of Art and Design in Zurich and have worked together since 2003. They've had numerous solo and group exhibitions. This is their first artist book.

In 'The Great Unreal' "the photographic work deals with reality and the fabrication of reality. The geography of America serves as both setting and fertile ground for the examination.

Mysticism and demystification are important aspects in this process, as is working with a rich inventory of visual icons that can be continually deconstructed and manipulated.

The working method of both photographers is based on interventions prescribed mostly by happenstance and change. Through repetition and associative placement, the sometimes crude, sometimes subtle interventions begin to link to one another, establishing an exciting transformation of reality that only hesitatingly reveals itself to the viewer.

Together with book designers Megi Zumstein and Claudio Barandun, what emerged is an unmitigated picture book that makes a visual journey possible without any instructions.

It comprises narrative image sequences that approximate the curiosity and restlessness of being on the move and, at the same time, depict associative connections with the American landscape."

-- part of the publisher's description.

'The Great Unreal' was included in the Best Books of 2009 selection at photo-eye.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fluidy by Andrzej Kondratiuk

Fluidy (1967) by Andrzej Kondratiuk.

I came across this wonderful little experimental animated short film by Polish writer/directer Andrzej Kondratiuk, and just thought it was pretty great.

As I don't speak any Polish I've had great problems in finding any information at all on Andrzej Kondratiuk or this film (please enlighten me if you can).

This is however how Fluidy, made in 1967, is described on imdb:

"Very simple and minimal Polish animation about, as much as I can tell, confrontation. And the uselessness of it.

The two only characters, drawn in plain lines over a dull green paper background face each other for no apparent reason.

They fire lines, colors and shapes from their eyes, each responding to the other's provocations.

In the end, they seem to loose this power, respectfully bow to each other and walk away in opposite directions.
The contrast between the dull characters and background and their hectic, geometric and colorful 'eye-fire' is the visual side of it. But the conclusion of their pointless confrontation has an existential feel to it."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lay Flat 02: Meta.

Lay Flat 02: Meta. Edited by Shane Lavalette with guest editor Michael Bühler-Rose. Lay Flat, 2010. 104 pp., illustrated throughout, 7¾x10".

'Lay Flat 02: Meta' is described by the publisher as bringing together "a selection of contemporary artists whose photographs are conceptually engaged with the history, conventions and materiality of the medium itself".

The photographs in this book are accompanied by texts by Adam Bell, Lesley A. Martin, Alex Klein, artists Noel Rodo-Vankeulen and Arthur Ou, as well a conversation between Lyle Rexer and artist James Welling.

Photographs included are by Claudia Angelmaier, Semâ Bekirovic, Charles Benton, Walead Beshty, Lucas Blalock, Talia Chetrit, Anne Collier, Natalie Czech, Jessica Eaton, Roe Ethridge, Sam Falls, Stephen Gill, Daniel Gordon, David Haxton, Matt Keegan, Elad Lassry, Katja Mater, Laurel Nakadate, Lisa Oppenheim, Torbjørn Rødland, Noel Rodo-Vankeulen, Joachim Schmid, Penelope Umbrico, Useful Photography, Charlie White, Ann Woo and Mark Wyse.

: View inside this book here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

F. Holland Day: Suffering the Ideal.

F. Holland Day: Suffering the Ideal. Photographs by F. Holland Day. Text by James Crump. Twin Palms Publishers, Santa Fe, 1995. 144 pp., 96 four-colour illustrations, 11x14". Cover image from here.

F. Holland Day
was an American photographer and publisher living in the nineteenth century. He's considered to be the first person in the US to advocate that photography should be viewed as fine art

Day is probably best known for his self-portraits as Jesus Christ on the cross, as well as his mythological series featuring images of male nudes.

The monograph 'F. Holland Day: Suffering the Ideal' is described by the publisher as:

"The short-lived career of nineteenth-century photographer F. Holland Day is the basis for this important historical monograph.

Though he is perhaps best known for his controversial 'sacred subjects' in which he posed himself as Jesus Christ, Day quickly moved to the forefront of American photography with his portraiture and his later mythological series.

Day was probably the first great photographer of the male nude. A friend of Oscar Wilde and an early proponent of gay rights, women's rights, and racial equality, scandal surrounded him and caused his marginalization."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Horst Interview: Anna-Sara Dåvik.

Part of A-S Dåvik's sketchbook. Images from Lynn & Horst. Found via Agnes B.

"I once stated a monstrous appeal to your creations. The woman's proportions are seemingly exaggerated and enlarged. Could you elaborate on your concept of feminity?

I think it's that type of feminity that attracts me and the feminity I want to express through my work is maybe a part of whom I aspire to be myself. A lot of my view on feminity is also influenced by my mom. The shapes and designs of the garments that you talk about is something I can't really explain. It's just what I think is elegant and strong proportion-wise and enhances my vision of what I like women to wear. It comes from intuition and from what I think looks good.

Your models seem like supernatural creations, almost flying in their wafting robes, very angelic but also very mystic. A romantic version of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Women are warriors.

Little Horsti is the total opposite of your overwhelmingly strong women. He could hide under their skirts and smell their tulip perfume. How can he compete against their power?

Overwhelmingly strong – I think he needs to reflect upon why he is intimidated by strong women."

-- read the entire - and really outstanding - interview with Swedish designer Anna-Sara Dåvik here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Camera Obscura: Modern Primitivism.

Camera Obscura: Modern Primitivism. Photographs by Darius Kuzmickas. KuDa Editions, Las Vegas, 2005. 34 pp., 16 sepia and colour illustrations., 8½x8½".

I'm absolutely in love with cameras and also with the concept and feel of camera obscura, so any book with camera obscura in the title is immediately going to have my attention.

" 'Camera Obscura: Modern Primitivism', published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, features a selection of photographs taken using both large-format and digital pinhole cameras.

The results are warm, intimate images, focusing primarily on landscapes. And while the images shot using traditional film cameras and toned to deep sepias take on the look of immutable antiquities, the digital work is more like a series of hazy memories, providing an interesting counter-point with its fuzzy coloration and off-kilter composition."
-- part of publisher's description.

Lithuanian-born photographer Darius Kuzmickas lives and works in Las Vegas, US. He has exhibited his work mainly in the US, but also in Europe.

The images in 'Camera Obscura: Modern Primitivism' is quiet and meditative - a picture of serenity.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tokyo Untitled.

Tokyo Untitled. Photographs by Renato D'Agostin. MC2 Gallery Edizioni, 2009. 88 pp., 46 duotone illustrations, 9¼x13".

Italian photographer Renato D'Agostin has exhibited his photographs in Italy, Europe and the US and has had a few books with his work published.

The book 'Tokyo Untitled' is described like this by Eikoh Hosoe and Ralph Gibson, who has written its afterwords:

"In 'Tokyo Untitled' D’Agostin isolates himself in the geometries of the Japanese city.

He narrates his journey through his experience of the street, describing with the language of abstract images, charged of deep blacks and sharp edges. Dislocating subjects from their realities, D'Agostin depicts his perception of the space around him, the relationship between the city's architecture and its people, and their interferences.

This is emphasized in Tokyo, according to D'Agostin, where he has no reference or connection with the external world, and his sense of disconnection brings him to a discovery of the unseen.

'Tokyo Untitled' photographs bring me back to the destroyed Tokyo as it appeared right after the war ended. It may be totally impossible for young Renato to imagine that his 'Tokyo Untitled' reminds me of such tragic images as Tokyo's air raid attack which happened 64 years ago."

"These images are the thinnest possible slices of inconceivable urban density. Slices so thin that they must be measured in fractions of light, tiny microscopic moments of DNA in time taken from the huge archeology of a true metropolis."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nothing But Home.

Nothing But Home. Photographs by Sebastien Girard. Sebastian Girard, 2009. 48 pp., illustrated throughout, 11x9".

Sébastien Girard's book 'Nothing But Home' "takes the unity of a place as its starting point: the photographer's house, his first house.

From this inaugural sign, a first book emerges.

Based on minute details detected under the rubble and within the mutating building site, Sébastien Girard builds a singular language, rescuing everyday life, where a single tool or entangled ordinary materials organize themselves into an intimate account of events."

Girard described his book "as a metaphor for beginnings and for creation. And when asked what ‘home’ means, he responded simply, 'The place where I start all of my journeys'."

'Nothing But Home' was selected as one of the Best Books of 2009 at photo-eye. You can also read a review of this book in the photo-eye magazine.

Main quote is part of the publisher's description. The quote in the last paragraph, but one, is from the photo-eye magazine review by Shane Lavalette.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bird Watching.

Bird Watching. Photographs by Paula McCartney. Texts by Darium Himes and Karen Irvine. Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2010. 120 pp., 40 colour illustrations, 8x10". Images from photo-eye.

American photographer Paula McCartney has for years been making 'unique and limited edition artist books'. To her the book is a medium in itself and she 'visualizes much of her photographic work in book form' - to the extent that many of her photographs only exists in artist book format.

'Bird Watching' is her first monograph and wider-release book (published by the excellent Princeton Architectural Press). It's an 'expanded version of her artist book 'Bird Watching' and includes every image from the series'.

"At first glance, conceptual artist Paula McCartney's 'Bird Watching' seems to be a most exemplary specimen of a bird-watching journal. Handwritten notations recording species, location, size, and markings describe well-rendered and flawlessly composed photographs of a wide variety of passerines, or perching birds, in their natural settings in locations across the United States. Page after page of the most wonderfully diverse species of birds are perfectly posed in picturesque natural settings - a bird-watcher's dream.

On second glance, however, the birds appear a bit too carefully arranged amid the tangle of brush and branches. An even closer look reveals stiff wire protrusions mounting each bird to its perch, matted tufts of overdyed faux feathers forming wings and splashes of paint creating eyes and beaks.

McCartney has activated her atmospheric landscapes by adding synthetic decorative birds purchased at craft stores. This startling revelation has you wondering if the artificial might ultimately be more satisfying than the natural."

For interest: there is also a review of this book in photo-eye magazine.

UPDATE: Please note that all quotes in the first two paragraphs are from the photo-eye magazine review (by Larissa Leclair). The lengthy quote at the end is part of the publisher's description.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tada Sorega Aru.

Tada Sorega Aru. Photographs by Hiroshi Taniguchi. Foil, Tokyo, 2008. 84 pp., 42 colour illustrations., 12¼x6¾".

Japanese photographer Hiroshi Taniguchi has exhibited his work on a small scale and had a few awards for his photography work. 'Tada sorega aru' (meaning 'There it is') is his first book.

In 'Tada sorega aru' every-day objects are cut off from their surroundings, picked out and highlighted in a subtle way.

Absent of all text the dreamlike, calm photographs of 'Tada sorega aru' capture 'a treasury of little moments, that are both subtle and at times almost transcendent'.

The 'white, long, sideways, mysterious world' of Taniguchi's photographs 'somehow reflects the feelings of contemporary society'.

'Tada sorega aru' is a lovely debut book in a similar vein to Rinko Kawauchi's work (who's photographs has been described as depicting 'the beauty of ordinary moments which we often ignore').

Quotes are from the publisher's description - except the last quote, which is from designboom.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hans Richter: Filmstudie

Hans Richter: Filmstudie (1926).

The German modernist Hans Richter (1888 - 1976) was a painter, graphic artist and experimental filmmaker.

He initially painted in a cubist style, but moved into film - being best known for his experiments in avantgarde cinema. He was also a founding member of the Dada movement.

He is quoted as saying:

"Influenced by cubism and its search for structure, but not satisfied with what it offered, I found myself between 1913-1918 increasingly faced with the conflict of suppressing spontaneous expression in order to gain an objective understanding of a fundamental principle with which I could control the ‘heap of fragments’ inherited from the cubists.

Thus I gradually lost interest in the subject – in any subject – and focused instead on the positive-negative (white-black) opposition, which at least gave me a working hypothesis whereby I could organize the relationship of one part of a painting to the other."

His film Filmstudie (1926) is by some seen as a move into Surrealism. It was the first film in which Richter started integrating photographs into his film experiments.

'Filmstudie' (or 'Film Study' as was its English language title) is a "highly evocative non-narrative film that connects human faces, floating eyeballs, and abstract forms through a series of poetic visual associations.

Observing that 'as a painter as well as a film maker, [he doesn’t] see any contradiction between natural and abstract forms', Richter claimed that 'Film Study' 'develops abstract forms as part of the world we live in, as its nearest expression underlying the unending manifoldness of appearances'.

Running for approximately four minutes, the film is composed of 45 'shots' lasting for between two and six seconds, each of which is bridged by a cut that either connects a geometric shape to rays of varying intensity or analogizes a photographic object to an abstract form. To cite just two examples, brief shots of birds on a pier alternate with dots in the same positions while an image of a man smashing the ground with a hammer is intercut with swaths of light whose orientation resembles that of his legs."

Suggested further reading: here, here and here for example. Hans Richter's film 'Rhythm 23' has previously been featured on Rare Autumn.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Minimarket short film

Minimarket Film SS10. Direction: Sandberg & Timonen (adamsky), DOP: Peter Gehrke (adamsky), Stylist: Ingela Klemetz (adamsky). Via Lisa C at Rodeo.

Happy Friday! Hope you enjoy this short film from the Swedish brand Minimarket.

The inspiration for the film is 'a world under water', giving a feeling of being in an aquarium looking at creatures on the other side of the glass (something that ties in with their SS 10 collection).

Thursday, March 11, 2010


True. Photographs by Thomas Joshua Cooper. Haunch of Venison, 2010. 178 pp., 80 tritone illustrations, 11¾x9".

American photographer Thomas Joshua Cooper is viewed as one of the foremost contemporary landscape photographers.

His first exhibition was in 1971 and he has since had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the US and Europe (with his work being included at the Tate Gallery for example), as well as having his work included in a great number of publications. Alongside this he is currently also professor and senior researcher at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art (Scotland, UK).

'True' details a two year journey to the polar regions, and represents new works from the series 'The World's Edge' - an ongoing work that 'seeks to map the extremities of the land and islands that surround the Atlantic Ocean'.

Cooper's project 'The World's Edge' started in 1990, with the premises being: "Each work begins as a location found on a map, researched and tracked down, and after often difficult journeys by air, sea and land, only one photograph is made per location on Cooper's arrival."

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Silent Aftermath of Space.

The Silent Aftermath of Space. Photographs by Caleb Cain Marcus. Foreword by Robert Frank. Damiani, 2010. 48 pp., 20 duotone illustrations, 16¼x13".

Photographer Caleb Cain Marcus originally trained as a poet and this language is evident in his photographic work.

'The Silent Aftermath of Space' is made up of black and white photographs exploring 'the silent and haunting experience' of walking alone on the streets of New York City at night.

The images are exposed from direct light sources, making them 'grainy and enigmatic nocturnal gems'.

In this book Caleb Cain Marcus "savors the strange solitude that follows the familiar crowded confinement of the city’s daylight life; amid vacated construction sites, empty pews in churches, parking lots, basketball courts and subway tunnels, an eerily placid beauty resounds, consuming spaces that were once filled with bustle and chaos.

As each shot marks the passing of another night, the collection accumulates a quiet, consistent resonance.

Cain Marcus’ work urges the viewer to slow down, to look at and breathe in the mute magic of night-time New York."

Monday, March 08, 2010

Life Is Good... New York! Books on Books #5.

Life Is Good... New York! Books on Books #5. Photographs by William Klein. Essays by William Klein, Max Kozloff, Jeffrey Ladd. errata editions, 2010. 160 pp., 120 duotone illustrations, 9½x7".

Errata Editions’ Books on Books series is a continuous publishing project concerned with making rare and out-of-print photography books accessible again.

The books in this series are not reprints or copies, but rather 'complete studies' of the originals. They contain 'illustrations of every page in the original photobook being featured', new essays on photography composed specially for the series, production notes about the making of the original book and a biography and bibliographic information about the artist(s).

"Through a mix of classic and contemporary titles, this series spans the breadth of photographic practice as it has appeared on the printed page and allows further study into the creation and meanings of these great works of art."

William Klein: Life is Good & Good for You in New York Trance Witness Revels is regarded as one of the most influential and groundbreaking photo books there are.

It was published in 1956, capturing the rough streets of New York with a visual energy unlike any art book before.

'Life Is Good... New York! Books on Books #5' "reproduces in its entirety Klein’s brilliantly photographed and designed magnum opus. The American Art historian, Max Kozloff, contributes an essay called William Klein and the Radioactive Fifties."

Friday, March 05, 2010

Coo by Rose Blake.

Coo. By Rose Blake. Nobrow Small Press, 2010. Unpaged, four-colour illustrations throughout, 14,8×21cm. Limited edition of 50, hand-numbered and signed by the artist.

Illustrator Rose Blake's book 'Coo' is a tale of her phobia of pigeons and its origin (one I share I must add).

This book from the excellent Nobrow Small Press is printed in four colours on Rives printmakers paper, and in a limited edition of 50 copies, all signed and numbered by the artist.

To view more images from inside 'Coo' go here and click the thumbnail, for more of Rose Blake's work (including some really fantastic sketchbooks) go here.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

30 Americans.

30 Americans. Text by Franklin Sirmans, Glenn Ligon, Robert Hobbs, Michele Wallace. Rubell Family Collection, 2009. 232 pp., Illustrated throughout, 9x12¼".

The Rubell Family Collection was started in 1964 as a private collection of art work, collected by Don and Mera Rubell.

The collection became open to the public in 1996, and can be viewed at the RFC museum in Miami (US). It features rotating exhibitions of work by artists such as Maurizio Cattelan, Marlene Dumas, David Hammons, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Anselm Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Kerry James Marshall, Paul McCarthy, Takashi Murakami, Neo Rauch, Charles Ray, Gregor Schneider, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Luc Tuymans, Kara Walker and Lisa Yuskavage. Amongst other the museum also has an extensive research library.

In an interesting approach the RFC museum only exhibit artworks that are owned by the Rubell Family Collection.

30 Americans is a book that was published to coincide with the exhibition 30 Americans.

The exhibition put together "the best possible portrait of contemporary African-American art that our physical, financial and intellectual limitations allow.

The result is a show of more than 200 works of art, exhibited in 27 galleries occupying the entire 45,000-square-foot exhibition space of the Rubell Family Collection.

As the show evolved, we decided to call it '30 Americans'. 'Americans', rather than 'African Americans' or 'Black Americans' because nationality is a statement of fact, while racial identity is a question each artist answers in his or her own way, or not at all.

And the number 30 because we acknowledge, even as it is happening, that this show does not include everyone who could be in it. The truth is, because we do collect right up to the last minute before a show, there are actually 31 artists in '30 Americans'.

-- read more from the exhibition statement here.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Rewind. The Photographs.

Rewind. The Photographs. Photographs by Nina Korhonen. Fotohof Editions, 2009. 96 pp., 46 color illustrations, 8¾x11".

Finnish born photograher Nina Korhonen has lived and worked in Stockholm, Sweden since 1981. She has exhibited all over the world and published her work in book form.

'Rewind. The Photographs' is the third book in her personal, self-discovering trilogy, which also includes the books 'Minne. Muisto. Memory' and 'Anna' ('Anna, American mummu').

In this third volume Korhonen "examines issues of identity and self-discovery, continuing and uniting the tales she has been telling of her life and her family, especially about her childhood, and the lives of her mother, grandmother and other female role models.

The selfportraits and the family scenes, all beautiful color images, blend once again into an emotionally charged work which draws its strength from subtle feelings of love, death, joy and pain."

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

a photo a day - month two

a photo a day (set). Month two (31 Jan-1 Mar).

So now I've reached the end of month two of my photo project 'a photo a day' (month two is above, you can see the first month here).

For you who don't know 'a photo a day' is an incidental look at what I see out the window or on my way to places everyday. Even if I live in an urban environment most of the time I'm primarily focusing on landscape or the sky, as I find the intense impact nature has on us even in a city-setting very interesting indeed (spending the winter mainly in Stockholm this is even more poignant, and thus interesting to document).

It will hopefully be an interesting capture of the seasons changing, random captures of immediate or unexpected loveliness, as well as some beautiful photographs.

You can see the result so far above and here (full set here) or view the individual images, today's photograph and continue to follow the project going forward by clicking here or here.

Monday, March 01, 2010

William Kentridge: Five Themes.

William Kentridge: Five Themes. William Kentridge, edited by Mark Rosenthal. Yale University Press / San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2009. 264pp., numerous illustrations, 10.3x9.9". Images from Pentagram.

Contemporary South African artist William Kentridge's work encompasses drawings, film, prints, books, installations, performance and sculptures, and in his work he creates 'layered, complex narratives that connect the personal and the political' giving a view of the daily lives of South Africans - both during the apartheid regime and after its collapse.

The catalogue 'William Kentridge: Five Themes' was produced in close collaboration with the artist to accompany an exhibition at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art spanning three decades of Kentridge's work (this exhibition is currently showing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York).

'William Kentridge: Five Themes' explores the five primary themes that have occupied Kentridge's work:

Soho and Felix: "works featuring Kentridge's best-known characters, the businessman Soho Eckstein and his alter ego, the anxiety-ridden Felix Teitlebaum".

Ubu and the Procession: "inspired by Ubu Roi, these projects reflect the excitement, conflict, and rapid social changes in post-apartheid South Africa".

Artist in the Studio: "an examination of Kentridge's practice and his emergence as an installation artist".

The Magic Flute: "work related to the artist's set designs for Mozart's opera".

The Nose: "Kentridge's most recent production, including work inspired by his staging of the Shostakovich opera for New York's Metropolitan Opera in spring 2010".

A DVD accompanies 'William Kentridge: Five Themes'. Kentridge created this DVD especially for the book and it includes pieces from film projects (both from previous and newly completed work) as well as 'commentary that sheds further light on the artist's work'.

You can view more images from inside the book at Pentagram (click on links above for the exhibition pages).