April 2007 Archives
April 30, 2007
Listening to a photographer talking about his or her work — why they use photography primarily and not some other art form, creative motivations, details about a specific image or body of work, hopes and frustrations, techniques and human curiosity, and more — can provide a unique understanding and a new way to view and appreciate their work. It can be instantly enriching to hear the way they talk, the pauses and reflections, the words they choose to describe what they do so eloquently and wordlessly with their art.
Audio recordings have been a significant feature of Lens Culture since its beginning 3 years ago in April 2004. All of the recordings are available to listen to at your convenience through our online archives at www.lensculture.com/archives. There you can discover illuminating conversations and discussions with photographers including:
Listen to them speak as you browse through the online portfolios of their work which is always included.
April 14, 2007
Wet spring weekend in Portland
what is, what was, what can be
April 7, 2007
In our efforts to discover the latest and greatest talents in contemporary photography from around the world, I am thrilled to be taking part in two great photo festivals this month. I will be meeting photographers and reviewing portfolios at:
Photolucida, in Portland, Oregon, from April 12-15, and
Photo Biennale, the 19th International Photography Meeting, in Thessaloniki, Greece, April 26-29.
You will be sure to find more of the best new photography from around the world, here at Lens Culture, in the near future.
This is one of the best jobs I can imagine! If you are going to be at either of the festivals, please stop by and say hello, okay?
April 6, 2007
This is what I looked like then
really, this photo
of a child I never knew
April 5, 2007
We're pleased to announce another all-new issue of Lens Culture, online now at www.lensculture.com.
Take the time to discover:
New photographs by Swedish photographer Anders Petersen (plus an audio interview).
Photographs from Taiwan by Magnum photographer Chien-Chi Chang.
Ficititious online dating photography by Serbian photographer Katarina Radovic.
New color camera obscura work by Abelardo Morell (plus an audio interview).
Winning photographs from the Deutsch Borse Photography Prize and World Press Photo.
"Life in Death" a photo essay from Finland.
Portraits in landscapes across America by Richard Renaldi.
Personal photojournalism from Lebanon.
The "Ultimate" list of Japanese photobooks.
"Expectations of Adolescence", tracing the lives of two cousins in America over 10 years.
Anger in Italy, documented by five photographers and four writers.
Plus lots more... our daily blog, photo book reviews, essays, and archives of all previous issues.
April 4, 2007
Ahree Lee's "me."
Attempts at realistic self-portraits have always been a vehicle for inward-looking romanticism, melancholy, and trying to stop time for a moment to preserve a fleeting physical and emotional presence. Think of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Chuck Close, to name a few.
Andy Warhol took it further, made it a business of masks, but also introduced the idea of the moving self-portrait. He loaded a movie camera with a minute's worth of film, and invited people to make their own movie portraits, alone in the room with the camera turned on. The range of emotions that flickered in the eyes and nervous facial twitches and grimaces revealed a tremendous amount about the underlying person behind the mask, and infused these portraits with waves of feelings that could rarely be communicated with a still image. Even though no one else is present in the room, the subject does not really have control. Something vulnerable is revealed. Waves of feelings and emotions and insecurities pass before our eyes. Here's one by an obviously uncomfortable Bob Dylan:
A couple weeks ago, "The New York Times" had an article about a new trend of extended series of self-portraits that are then patched together in a digital sequence, sometimes put to music, and broadcast via sites like YouTube. This kind of thing became feasible for the everyman only when digital cameras hit the scene, along with software programs like photoshop and quicktime, and photo/video sharing internet sites.
These are much more controlled, self-absorbed, and a bit like preening in front of a mirror, even under the guise of objectivity and strict discipline (one rule: every day, at the same time, sit in front of the camera at exactly the same distance, and shoot...).
But what is amazing in these years of lives compressed into minutes, is how little some people change (the mask is always up), while other people just let it go, and we can witness with amazement the visual and emotional shifts one person displays over the course of 8 years, for instance:
So, prophetic Andy Warhol was right, everybody gets a chance to be famous for fifteen minutes (or maybe a bit less in our high-speed digital age).
There is a nice philosophical tie-in with the fictitious self-portraits created by Serbian photographer Katarina Radovic in her series called "Personals", shown here in Lens Culture. The text she wrote to accompany the series poses some interesting questions about self-portraiture.
April 1, 2007
Wow. A new photography site called Almanac just posted an audio recording of Diane Arbus addressing a class of students in the spring of 1970, a year before her suicide. It's creepy and wonderful, as she is so open and giddy and obviously on the edge of sanity...
Check it out and let me know what you think, okay?