Sunday, January 31, 2010
I've just reached the end of the first month of my photo project 'a photo a day' (above is the first 30 days).
'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 (full set here) or view the individual images, today's photograph and continue to follow the project going forward by clicking here or here. I very much hope you enjoy it!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
'The Catcher in the Rye' (1951) by JD Salinger holds magical qualities in the same way that only a handful of books I've read could possibly do.
The portrayal of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence of the book's main character Holden Caulfield can be seen as one of the first books depicting teenage years, before the concept of the 'teenager' had even entered our dictionaries or collected consciousness.
However rather than being a book for adolescents it deals with complex issues of identity, belonging, connection, and alienation; as well as taking you for an exceptional journey through New York.
The book is written in first person (as if Holden Caulfield had written it himself). "There is [a] flow in the seemingly disjointed ideas and episodes; for example, as Holden sits in a chair in his dorm, minor events such as picking up a book or looking at a table, unfold into discussions about past experiences. Critical reviews agree that the novel accurately reflected the teenage colloquial speech of the time".
'The Catcher in the Rye' was seen as highly controversial upon its release and has continued to be viewed as such. It's still widely read and highly influential (for example in 2005 it was included on Time Magazine's list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923).
Its author JD Salinger (January 1, 1919 - January 27, 2010) was born in New York and raised in Manhattan, and is perhaps best known for 'The Catcher in the Rye'. He also wrote for The New Yorker magazine as well as publishing stories and novellas.
The success of 'The Catcher in the Rye' and the fame it brought its author sat uncomfortably with Salinger and he only published a few works after its release (short story collection 'Nine Stories' (1953), 'Franny and Zooey' (1961), 'Raise High the Roof Beam' (1963) and 'Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction' (1963)).
His last work 'Hapworth 16, 1924' was published in The New Yorker in 1965. He gave his last interview in 1980.
Salinger died on January 27, 2010 at the age of 91 of natural causes at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire. He's literary legacy will live on.
You can read about JD Salinger here for example, 'The Catcher in the Rye' here for example - further here, here and here for example.
Take a walk through Holden Caulfield's New York with this map.
Friday, January 29, 2010
"Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969) was born into a Jewish family in Berlin. In 1941, after being interned in a concentration camp, he left Europe for the United States, where he eventually became a citizen; during the 40s and 50s, he was to make his name [there] as one of the most sought-after fashion photographers in the world. But most people are unfamiliar with Blumenfeld's early work, the often bitingly satiric Dada photomontages and collages he produced between 1916 and 1933.
This book, put together by Helen Adkins, renowned expert on the Berlin Dada movement, is the first to provide a study and a survey of these early works.
Blumenfeld did not intend for these works to be shown publicly, as they were primarily personal gifts to his friends and acquaintance, or were enclosed in love letters to his fiancée. Nonetheless, they were conceived in the Dada spirit (Blumenfeld established the Dutch branch of Dada in 1918) and belong to its story.
Approximately 100 works - including many previously unpublished, which Adkins discovered in the artist's family archives and in other public and private collections - are examined within the context of Blumenfeld's life, photographs, drawings and literary works."
You can view more images from inside the book here.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
'Everywhere - Gather Yourself - Stand' consists of 48 recent photographs taken with a 35 mm camera by photographer Seino Yoshiko.
As Seino Yoshiko sadly pasted away in May 2009 at the age of 46 this book became her last work. She had previously published the book 'The Sign of Life', which consisted mostly of landscape photographs taken with a a medium-format camera.
'Everywhere - Gather Yourself - Stand' was co-edited and titled by Yoshiko herself , with the title originating from a poem by Paul Celan.
The co-editor Yoko Sawada from publisher Osiris says:
"It might be difficult to categorize her photographs according to the established framework, but I think her works are surely in a stream of Japanese contemporary photography which has emerged from the non-Western way of thinking."
You can read a review of 'Everywhere - Gather Yourself - Stand' by Charles Dee Mitchell in photoeye Magazine.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Mark Borthwick is a fashion photographer first emerging in the 1990's, who's work is perhaps slightly different to what many expect fashion photography to be.
He has developed a personal and intuitive style, which incorporates elements of architecture and design in his pictures, often turning what would've been a static photo into a performance.
"His work is about the movement of the model, and the serendipity of accidental clutter is as important to his images as the garments.
This book showcases over 200 images from Borthwick’s best fashion editorials, celebrity portraits, and advertising work, as well as excerpts from his personal journals.
The journal pages, consisting of Polaroids, sketches, and notes on shoots, reveal the workings of a photographer’s mind - the 'behind the scenes' of the makings of a fashion image."
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
" 'Capitolio' is NewYork documentary photographer Christopher Anderson’s cinematic journey through the upheavals of contemporary Caracas,Venezuela, in the tradition of such earlier projects as William Klein’s 'New York' (1954-55) and Robert Frank’s 'The Americans' (1958).
It presents a poetic and politicized vision, by one of today’s finest documentary photographers, of a city and a country that is ripping apart at the seams under the stress of popular unrest, and whose turmoil remains largely unreported byWestern media.
No stranger to such fraught situations (he covered the 2006 conflict between Hezbollah and Israel from its inception), Anderson notates the country’s current incongruities, where the violent and the sensual intermingle chaotically.
'The word ‘capitolio’ refers to the domed building that houses a government', writes Anderson, elaborating on the title of this volume; 'here, the city of Caracas, Venezuela, is itself a metaphorical capitolio building. The decaying Modernist architecture, with a jungle growing through the cracks, becomes the walls of this building and the violent streets become the corridors where the human drama plays itself out in what President Hugo Chavez called a ‘revolution.’ ' "
Monday, January 25, 2010
Photographer Bernard Fuchs was a student of Bernd and Hilla Becher and in this book he's pursuing the Bechers tradition of photo-typologies.
"These routes all lead somewhere, perhaps away from civilization, but, as Fuchs makes plain, are certainly civilizing entities themselves, the artificial medium by which nature is found."
'Roads and Paths' follows Bernard Fuchs monograph 'Autos'.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
"For almost 100 years comic books provided fantasy, escape, and compensation for adolescents who often felt powerless and misunderstood in their daily lives. Fantasies of power are often violent, but the violence in comic books has no consequences. After all, it's just the stroke of a pen.
But what happens when the comic book meets real war? 'Comic Books Go to War' explores the journalistic, aesthetic and political implications of reporting the most violent and terrible of human experiences through 'comics'. Today cartoonists write from every corner of the world: reporting on war first hand and writing their own experiences.
Joe Sacco is a comic book journalist [who's] first book, 'Palestine', launched the genre in 1992. In 2005, when he was embedded with US Marines in Baghdad, the report he filed was an 8-page comic book carried by newspapers all over the world.
In 2001 cartoonist Ted Rall went to Afghanistan to witness the American invasion and wrote 'To Afghanistan and Back'.
'Persepolis', Marjane Satrapis book and Oscar nominated film, provide a window into childhood during the 1980 Iranian Revolution.
And four times a year 'Le Temps of Geneva' gives its first three pages to the comics journalism of Patrick Chappatte.
Readers who never thought of picking up a comic book get breaking news through text and drawings in a daily journal."
Friday, January 22, 2010
Clip from the documentary Gonzo (2008).
The documentary 'Gonzo' (or 'Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson' to give its full title) is a portrait of the late Hunter S. Thompson, an examination of his life and work.
His work is widely seen as genre-defining and has a large cult following. He also invented the so-called Gonzo journalism - a style of journalism that is heavily reliant on the journalist taking a centre-stage in the story itself. It's most often written in the first person, mixing fact and fiction.
This documentary is directed by Alex Gibney and narrated by Johnny Depp (who was a friend of Thompson as well as playing him in the film 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'). It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"Perhaps it’s because one of photographer Gregor Sailer’s Tyrolean ancestors lost the Alpine pasture he owned in a card game a few generations ago. Maybe it’s the challenge of working with large-format film in the extreme conditions of the Alps: above-timberline altitudes, sub-zero temperatures, wind blasts and blowing snow.
It could be the enchantment of composing photographs that capture the beauty of the Austrian Alps, or the responsibility of documenting the mutations of alpine landscape under the pressures of tourism and global warming.
In any case, this beautifully designed volume, wrapped in a tasteful vellum dustcover, is the perfect showcase of Sailer’s most recent work.
Includes an essay by photo-historian Anton Holzer."
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
" 'This work started as a personal journey. Metaphorically, I was thinking of a bird that flies back into the forest, searching for its childhood nest.
The images here are a creation of my abstracted wishes and dreams. As I was searching, instead of home, I found an empty past, just traces of it. Yet, my journey was filled with new friendships and discoveries made along the way'
writes Los Angeles-based photographer Mona Kuhn about her journey back to her native Brazil after 20 years.
Her third photobook 'Native' unfolds slowly, as a dreamy narration of this adult exploration of her childhood home.
Photographed in the rainforest and surrounding city area, the images are suffused with a deep green, gold and pink palette.
'Native' is accompanied by an essay from critic Shelley Rice."
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
" 'Tree Zone' by Trine Søndergaard and Nicolai Howalt is a photographic exploration of the Nordic landscape and ways in which we relate to it. Thematically and formally this work is a continuation of previous projects 'How To Hunt', 'Dying Birds' and 'Hunting Ground'.
In a series of images the artists have captured the barren landscapes found in areas along the Nordic timber line during winter. In this marginal land you see solitary trees weighed down by snow. The trees are bent and stunted by their harsh environment. Human forms may appear, but they seem insignificantly small within the vast, white nothingness.
The images represent a humanization of nature: Trees figure as human symbols in a series of 'tree portraits' together with larger panoramic landscapes in monumental formats. In this way a suspense is created between immense, impenetrable space and singular, isolated trees.
These large, colourless images tell a story of defiance, of surviving in spite of ruthless conditions, of being part of a world that you can not fully control or know."
Many, many apologies for a week of no posts. Those of you who read my twitter knows it's because my laptop died a little. Should be ok and back up and running now though.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
For Bergman the Swedish island of Fårö (the most northern part of the island Gotland, located off Sweden's south-eastern coast) "was his haven, his creative wellspring and a central character in a number of his films.
Here he wrote his scripts, filmed several of his groundbreaking works and screened movies twice a day in a converted barn.
Unforgiving and elemental, with its rocky beaches and weather-beaten forests of gnarled pine, Fårö epitomized Bergman’s unsparing and unsettled internal world.
There’s a sensuality in its hardness that reveals itself only if you look closely: Fårö does its best not to charm you.
When Bergman saw it for the first time, in 1960, while scouting locations, he thought, 'This is your landscape, Bergman', as he recalls in his autobiography. Six years later, after returning to make Persona with Liv Ullmann, he built Hammars, a house on the edge of the sea near the spot where they’d shot the film and fallen in love.
From that moment, the windswept island became the stage on which Bergman’s artistic and domestic lives intertwined."
Sunday, January 10, 2010
"Raymond Meeks has just completed the artist book/broadside titled 'carousel' (think slide projector, less amusement park ride) as an attempt to explore the 'architecture of memory' and reconcile loss from the documents and pictures of his recent past.
The project was born out of a series of trips back to his former home in western Montana to document his voided house while hoping, somehow, to recover a store of joy that seemed inexhaustible for most of our lives.
Nazraeli Press will publish a broader collection of this work as a monograph titled 'amwell' in 2010.
For Meeks, this is a personal subject with discernable gravity and the weight to pull one into a narcissistic well, an impulse that he hopes to have tempered with genuine gratitude and reincarnation of generosity and beauty."
About this edition:
"The broadside measures 16x35 inches as the three panels are laid open.
A 12x16 inch cover houses the broadside. Each are unique and handmade in collaboration with renowned bookmaker Rory Sparks. A simple stitching technique is used to allow the broadside to be removed as an option for display.
'Carousel' is an edition of fifty with ten 'artist proof editions.' "
About the limited edition:
"An A/P edition of ten broadsides includes 2 color prints, 6x9 inches signed and numbered."
Saturday, January 09, 2010
"Parallel to the current Lee Friedlander exhibition 'A Ramble in Olmsted Parks' at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Galerie Thomas Zander is presenting 'Parks and Trees' - a selection of photographs by Eugène Atget and Lee Friedlander.
The unique opportunity of acquiring original prints by Eugène Atget from the Abbott-Levy Collection at The Museum of Modern Art in New York presented the occasion for this exhibition.
With impressive b/w images of park landscapes, forests and floral still lifes, photographs from the realm of nature will be shown, a theme to which both Atget and Friedlander devoted considerable attention in their later work."
Thursday, January 07, 2010
"Over the four decades that her photography has spanned - with her native country of Mexico as the consistent point of departure - Graciela Iturbide has created a unique world of images which draw both on documentary witness and poetic imagination, whilst weaving the author’s experiences and dreams into a surprising fabric of historical, social and cultural references.
Produced to accompany one of the most extensive presentation of Iturbide’s work to date, this stunning catalogue presents a thought provoking collection of images that have been created between 1979 and 2008.
Photographs are reproduced on thick paper, one image per page in high quality black and white ink and accompanied by three essays along with bibliographic information."
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
" 'Wind' showcases the most recent work of the widely acclaimed and exhibited Korean photographer Jungjin Lee.
Known for her laborious and textured photographic process, Lee brushes liquid emulsion onto the surface of handmade rice paper, endowing her images with a uniquely painterly effect.
'Wind' captures the ethereal quality of the element in a series of landscapes dominated by windswept expanses and atmospherically foreboding cloud formations - panoramas that reveal an adventurous spirit, yet resist casual entry.
Manmade objects, such as a dilapidated school bus or windblown prayer flags, all appear deeply inscribed by an invisible hand that runs through the entire corpus of this volume, leaving evidence of its handiwork on all surfaces.
Lee’s landscapes are imbued with an elemental vastness that strikes us as at once powerful and serene."
Beautiful, poignant, textured, etch-like photographs from this acclaimed Korean photographer. The layout of the book enhances the work, and doesn't compete with it. Wonderful!
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Storytime by Terry Gilliam (1968). (Video found at New York Magazine).
'Storytime' (1968) is the first animated short by Terry Gilliam.
The animation style, visual idea and type of humour was later developed into his perhaps most well-known animation work, that for Monty Python.
About his visual language:
"Gilliam's films have a distinctive look not only in mise-en-scene but even more so in photography, often recognizable from just a short clip; in order to create a surreal atmosphere of psychological unrest and a world out-of-balance, Gilliam makes frequent use of unusual camera angles, particularly low-angle shots, high-angle shots, and Dutch angles.
[The famous film critic] Roger Ebert has said 'his world is always hallucinatory in its richness of detail.'
Most of his movies are shot almost entirely with rectilinear ultra wide angle lenses of 28 mm focal length or less in order to achieve a distinctive signature style defined by extreme perspective distortion and extremely deep focus.
In fact, over the years, the 14mm lens has become informally known as 'The Gilliam' among film-makers due to the director's frequent use of it since at least Brazil."
On Gilliam's Imaginarium': Surreal And All-Too-Real (part of NPR's Fresh Air) Terry Gilliam said:
"The wide-angle lenses, I think I choose them because it makes me feel like I'm in the space of the film, I'm surrounded.
My prevalent vision is full of detail, and that's what I like about it. It's actually harder to do, it's harder to light. The other thing I like about wide-angle lenses is that I'm not forcing the audience to look at just the one thing that is important. It's there, but there's other things to occupy, and some people don't like that because I'm not pointing things out as precisely as I could if I was to use a long lense where I'd focus just on the one thing and everything else would be out of focus.
Monday, January 04, 2010
Francis Bacon A Terrible Beauty (video, behind the exhibition).
It provides an opportunity to reappraise his oeuvre through the selected paintings, several of which have not been on public exhibition for many years. The mastery of Francis Bacon is revealed through these works, supported by an extensive and previously unseen selection of items from Bacon’s Studio.
Following on the donation of the Studio to the Hugh Lane by John Edwards in 1998, the 7,000 plus items retrieved from the studio were archived by The Hugh Lane.
Francis Bacon’s Studio has been on permanent exhibition at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane since 2001. It is acknowledged as one of the most pioneering and successful realisations of preserving and displaying an artist’s studio and contents.
The database is unprecedented, documenting every item retrieved, thus providing fascinating insights into Bacon’s working processes."
Francis Bacon A Terrible Beauty. Centenary Exhibition. 28th October 2009 - 7th March 2010. Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. On tour to Compton Verney, Warwickshire, England, in 2010.
The book 'Francis Bacon. A Terrible Beauty.' "excavates Bacon’s studio to reveal the methods, materials and processes through which Bacon arrived at his paintings".
A beautiful insight into the work process, environment, method, ideas and life process of a great, great artist.
You can read more about the book here for example, and see more images from the exhibition here.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
"In May 2006, Mikio Umino went out for a trip to Mongolia for three weeks. Driving through the dry land for a few hours gives the impression one is not going anywhere different; the same view repeats outside the window.
There is a lot of literature and poetry from Mongolia that is based on 'the road', with the stories developing as the character continues their journies on a road. People become involved in many things, such as falling in love or having a fight - anything that takes place on the path of life.
The magnificent landscapes captured in Umeno's photographs do not include people, making the sceneries, the road and the surrounding nature itself into the subject matter.
A slight sense of hope can be seen in these barren natural landscapes."