July 2007 Archives
July 31, 2007
Tree #1 - from the series "Tree" in the project "Photography-Act", © 2007 Myoung Ho Lee
South Korean artist-photographer Myoung Ho Lee is tackling some of those thorny philosophical questions about photography, reality, environment and perception, with his ongoing series called Tree (included in his Photography-Act project). Critics and philosophers can talk at length about plastic space, representation and meta-subjects — trying to explain what is going on in these pictures — but I think the photos can be enjoyed just for what they are: beautiful and memorable images that took a lot of imagination and some demanding physical work to bring them into reality.
Documentation of the work for "Tree" © 2007 Myoung Ho Lee
You can see more from this series, plus an interesting out-take, in Lens Culture.
July 26, 2007
North South East West (Sketch 6), 2006, by Hannah Guy
I first saw Hannah Guy's work in Arles, France, earlier this month, thanks to an introduction by Mark Foxwell. She's made two bodies of work that each address the same subject — how we can perceive a solitary tree in a field.
With her first approach, she made large-format photographs of a single tree in a field, each photo of the same tree taken from four points of view (North, South, East, West). Then she combined these four highly detailed photographs and printed them as one platinum palladium print (as in the photo shown above). She repeated the approach with several solitary trees, garnering unique composites with each attempt.
Then, to capture the same trees another way, she circled each tree with her camera on a tripod, stopping every three degrees to make yet another still portrait of the tree from a set distance. Thus, with 120 still images for each tree, she put them together in a sequence as an animation, which is dizzying and delightful.
She says, "My practice is situated between photography and film. The point at which the still appears to become a moving image fascinates me."
You can see examples of the still-composites, as well as a shortened version of the animation, online at Lens Culture. The results are hypnotic and beautiful. And I love the way so many techniques are combined so well (film, platinum, quicktime) to offer fresh, new views of the familiar.
July 15, 2007
The collaborative artwork of Italian photographer Marco Ambrosi and American calligrapher Monica Dengo is dense and light, playful and intellectually provocative. A torrent of calligraphic marks clings to the surfaces of nude bodies. The bodies contort into graceful visual glyphs themselves until they almost disappear in an atmosphere that is thick with words and the language of logic, poetry, history and desire.
It is as if words and written notations flew through the air and "stuck" on the skin, becoming part of it, defining its surface, yet also masking it as camouflage in a shower of symbols and markings. What could be seen as clutter and confusion resolves itself as a tumble of jazz notes, expressive body language and grace. These are still images that vibrate in space.
Body as dream,
body as canvas,
body as surface and screen.
You can view ten images from this remarkable photo series here, and listen to a 4-minute audio interview, as well, with photographer Marco Ambrosi.
July 10, 2007
Untitled 12, from The Birthday Party series by Vee Speers, 2007.
Paris-based photographer Vee Speers opens a one-person show of all new work today at the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, County Cork, Ireland. Lens Culture is pleased to present twenty images from the new series — disturbing portraits of children dressed up for a bizzare costume party, which curator Peggy Sue Amison describes as "a collection of astounding portraits with an Alice in Wonderland edginess."
The color-tinted Polaroid images are printed life-size, and achieve a stunning effect. See them in person if you can. The exhibition runs through July 29.