November 2006 Archives
November 30, 2006
PhotoAlliance and Aperture West continue their Collaborative Lecture Series this week in San Francisco with a rare appearance by color photography master William Christenberry.
Friday, December 1st, 2006
San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco
© William Christenberry
© William Christenberry
William Christenberry was born in Hale County, Alabama in 1936. A master of multiple media, he works with photographs, drawings, sculptures, and paintings. Known worldwide as a pioneer in the field of color photography he will talk about his poetic documentation of the vernacular landscape of the American South, an ongoing series that blends the descriptive with the mythic.
Widely exhibited and published (including a comprehensive new book just released by Aperture), Christenberry's work can be found in most major museums and collections.
© Art Rogers
Photographer Art Rogers will make an introductory presentation. For more than 30 years Art Rogers has worked as a portrait photographer in Point Reyes Station, California. His visual record of the West Marin County rural community has now become a multigenerational document. Men, women, children, pets and livestock all come together in what has become known as "The Point Reyes Family Album".
Rogers's awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Marin Arts Council.
November 29, 2006
The ubiquity of public surveillance cameras — the dark side of our modern world's lens culture — means that the typical pedestrian in London today can be photographed anonymously as many as 300 times per day. According to a report in the BBC, Britain leads the world in the number of CCTV surveillance cameras per capita: 14.2 million cameras, or about one camera for every 14 people.
It's a double edged-sword, of course. These cameras capture the actions of kidnappers, terrorists, wreckless drivers, and other criminals. But they also capture — and store — the actions of everyone else in the process. Big Brother-style watching has never been more intense, and the trend continues upwards.
It would be interesting to hear comments from readers about this kind of involuntary surveillance, and also to see sociological and/or art projects that take advantage of this kind of technology, as well.
November 28, 2006
I've been corresponding with several inspiring and thoughtful photographers who maintain wonderfully articulate and generous blogs about photography (not about their own work). Where do they find the time to do their great photography work, AND do the research for the blogs, AND share it with us? It amazes me, and I am grateful for their apparently boundless energy, wit, intelligence and enthusiasm.
And for a terrific parody of the WORST kind of photo blog, see Mike Johnston's spoof:
Daily Kibble for Photo Dawgs.
November 23, 2006
Photographer Christian Courrèges prepares Anne Biroleau and Jean-Claude Lemagny, of the Bilbliotheque nationale de France, for their portrait in front of a crowd at the Baudoin Lebon Gallery booth at Paris Photo.
A bit of nervous fun just before the flash goes off.
The 20 inch x 24 inch Polaroid portrait is revealed moments later, to applause.
Copyright 2006 Christian Courrèges.
The instant reaction.
This was one of the only interactive/performance spaces at Paris Photo this year, and it attracted large crowds during the entire festival. The alchemy and magic of instant large-format Polaroid photography enthralled people. And the line-up of portrait subjects was interesting as well. Celebrities, photographers, people in old-world costumes, and playful nudes kept the audience buzzing and the snapshots flying.
Apparently, this is the only 20 x 24 Polaroid camera in Europe, so it travels a lot, and is booked far in advance. The photographs were thick and rich and luxurious.
November 9, 2006
Acclaimed photographer, and author of several books, Simon Norfolk is using photography to explore the ever-expanding meaning of the word "battlefield". Lens Culture is pleased to present 30 images spanning his work to date, plus an exclusive audio interview with the photographer.
November 8, 2006
Jeff Cowen's latest exhibition, The Lotus-Eaters, gets its name from Greek mythology.
Here is an excerpt from the Odyssey (Book IX, translated by Samuel Butler):
"I was driven thence by foul winds for a space of nine days upon the sea, but on the tenth day we reached the land of the Lotus-eaters, who live on a food that comes from a kind of flower. Here we landed to take in fresh water, and our crews got their mid-day meal on the shore near the ships. When they had eaten and drunk I sent two of my company to see what manner of men the people of the place might be, and they had a third man under them. They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return; nevertheless, though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made them fast under the benches. Then I told the rest to go on board at once, lest any of them should taste of the lotus and leave off wanting to get home, so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their oars."
November 7, 2006
Anna Puig Rosado, Turquie, Sinop, maison de thé
What's happening on the shores of the Black Sea in the dead of winter?
Self-assignment: Buy a one-way ticket to Istanbul. Take a camera, a backpack and lots of film. Travel the circumference of the Black Sea via free rides and public transportation during the harshest winter months. No personal guides or lodging reservations. Discover the nearly deserted beaches, the souls of places and people who share the same body of water (but perhaps different cultures), as they hibernate or turn inside.
Bring back, via another one-way ticket home, some direct knowledge of other people, neighboring cultures, habits, architecture and the memories of random day-to-day encounters. Capture in photographs the pale colors of winter light, countered by the forceful counterweights of lighting in outdoor public spaces, and the attempts at cheerful color and decoration in interiors, the comfort of traditions and celebrations against the gray and cold. Six weeks around the shores of the Black Sea. See what Anna Puig Rosado brought back to share with us.
November 6, 2006
Robert Polidori, 6539 Canal Street, New Orleans, March 2006, courtesy of Flowers East Gallery, London
I can get easily absorbed into almost any one of Robert Polidori's large-format hyper-real images, especially when I see them on a gallery wall. At the other end of the "big picture" approach, however, is the up-close and intimate lingering gaze. The tighly cropped images of flood-damaged family photo albums and discarded books that photographer Stan Strembecki made on location in New Orleans in November 2005 took me by surprise with their lasting emotional power. Please take a look at his portfolio at Lens Culture.
November 4, 2006
Las Vegas, home to lots of weirdness, apparently does a thriving business in "quickie" (almost spontaneous) weddings. Photographer Kate Nicholson documents this ready-made wedding industry in a series of large-format color photographs. Funky and functional, the settings for these ceremonies make you question the odds of lasting, long-term relationships.
November 3, 2006
For more than 10 years now, Paris-based photographer Kavdij Sluban as been conducting long-term photography workshops in prisons for young people. He lives in the prisons during the workshops, makes his own photographs, and teaches the young prisoners about many aspects of photography. We are pleased to present a portfolio of his work here, accompanied by an interview with Sluban, conducted by Peggy Sue Amison.
A small French publisher, L'oeil électrique éditions, recently released a bilingual (French/English) DVD that shows the photographs by Sluban; photographs by 80 young prisoner/students; a documentary about Sluban with Henri Cartier-Bresson; and a discussion about photography among Sluban and his students. It is a clever presentation, with original music by Scrape Project, and a 32-page bilingual book. The DVD makes for a nice follow-up to our presentation of Sluban's work here in Lens Culture.
Dix ans de photographie en prison/10 years of photography in prison
by Klavdij Sluban, Cyril Bilbeaud, Marc Sens, Charly Lizee, Samuel Jan, Anne-Sophie Boivin