December 2007 Archives
December 28, 2007
Thanks to the generosity of Japanese photography expert Marc Feustel of Studio Equis, and the Michael Hoppen Gallery, both of London, Lens Culture is pleased to be able to publish an extended excerpt of the new book, Eyes of an Island, Japanese Photography 1945-2007.
The book traces the evolution of Japanese photography since the end of World War II. Feustel's introductory essay charts three stages of development of Japanese photography: from post-war documentary bearing witness to the destruction of war; turning inward to personal and subjective interpretations of the rapid changes in Japanese society; to a contemporary movement which consistently pushes the boundaries of the photographic medium.
The essay in Lens Culture includes images from Hiromi Tsuchida, Toshio Shibata, Shomei Tomatsu, Eikoh Hosoe, Shigeichi Nagano, and Hiroshi Hamaya. The book, of course, includes images from many other key photographers. The work of all of these photographers illustrates the diversity and virtuosity of the unique Japanese visual language.
December 27, 2007
With his photo-essay, No Love Lost, photographer Michael Grieve captures some of the bleak reality behind the fictions played out by sex-workers in the UK. Grieve's approach feels sympathetic and more closely aligned with Susan Meiselas' Carnival Strippers rather than Larry Sultan's recent work from the Hollywood porn industry. Grieve's text is as telling and as poignant as some of the photos:
"Fantasy is played out within the frame of constraints and closeness is kept at a distance. Menace is always present, control is often threatened. These are emotionally charged settings, both plastic and primitive, where the ‘stuff’ of life is all too present."
December 26, 2007
See six stunning images and read our brief review of this beautiful, generous book. Ahh...
December 25, 2007
From Painted Rituals by Lorena Guillen Vaschetti
Photography brings together so many people, worlds and cultures in such a remarkable way.
I had the pleasure of meeting Argentinian photographer Lorena Guillen Vaschetti in Bratislava, Slovakia last month, where I first saw her series of Aboriginal ritual dances, a selection of which are shown here in Lens Culture. During the same photo festival, I met a man I have admired for a while but had never met in person, Finn Thrane, the former director of Museet for Fotokunst in Denmark. He was kind enough to contribute his insights about Lorena’s photography in the text that accompanies her series.
These photographs also inspired a poem by the Argentinian poet Facundo Cabral, which we’re deighted to include here as well.
On the Painted Rituals
Every man was a line of the poem I always wanted to read, but was also
the painting before the painting and the dance before the fire,
that is to say all the manners of art in a small group of men, that were resisting
to leave the garden of Eden. A family that without knowing it, were also dancing for us;
for us who are ungrateful, that is to say: sad.
And they did this every day in Adelaide, at dawn;
that’s when I began to suspect that the secret lies in the realization.
— Facundo Cabral
December 19, 2007
Since 1975, Portland’s great non-profit Blue Sky Gallery has produced 583 solo shows by 500 artists, 46 group shows, 140 photo posters, hundreds of books, exhibition catalogues… and lots of good will throughout photography communities worldwide. After 32 years of renting, they’re finally taking the plunge and buying and building a truly great, big, new permanent gallery space. If you have a little cash to contribute, you know it will be going to a great organization. Check out the details on their web site: Blue Sky Gallery.
December 9, 2007
From Blood+Honey, Grab Potog refugee camp, Bosnia, 2004, photographs by Nathalie Mohadjer.
German photographer Nathalie Mohadjer delivers an insightful photo-essay on the plight of some of the 2.2 million refugees still living in crowded run-down refugee camps in Bosnia — more than 10 years after the end of the war. The photos are loaded with the grit of real life, and her text (in English and German) provides a concise background and overview of the situation.
December 8, 2007
For the 1,000 Buddha Project in Lens Culture, Kyisoe sent this photo of a Buddha surrounded by bamboo scaffolding in Monywa Township, Myanmar. Approximate height is 350 feet (33 stories).
We’ve just added lots more images submitted from readers around the world to our Buddha Project. Check them out. You may be amazed at the diversity. “Say is that a real tattoo of a Buddha talking on a telephone?”
December 4, 2007
Brazilian artist Ludmila Steckelberg has created a body of work that explores the interesecting ideas of memory and loss; passing time and death; and the reliance on photography, and family albums, to help us remember and reconstruct one's personal past. Her work, titled "The Absence of Colors" is simple in concept yet powerfully moving when you see the results.