December 2008 Archives
December 29, 2008
Polaroid Corporation stops making its instant film this month. The Polaroid process and its absolutely unique style of photographic magic inspired generations to try to capture some of the ordinary beauty of day-to-day moments. This instant delight (and its signature look) can't be matched by any digital process today.
A long, loving, and intelligent advertisement introduced the SX-70 camera in 1972. The ad was designed and created by Charles and Ray Eames. Is it my imagination, or did advertising have much more substance back then, too?
Thanks to Damon Webster at Photoinduced.com for finding this clip.
December 12, 2008
In 2nd: The Face of Defeat, Canadian photographer Sandy Nicholson documents the competitors who are forgotten about and under-celebrated — the second-place finishers.
Nicholson visited a range of fierce competitions, including the Air Guitar Finals, the Dance Sport Championships, rodeos, a spelling bee, a hamburger-eating contest and The Pillow Fight League. Just after the competitions end, he photographs the near-winners. The results are at times heartbreaking and hilarious. . .
See more photos, and read the book review in Lens Culture.
December 9, 2008
Jessica Backhaus takes photographs of left-behind objects and rooms devoid of people, lending significance to things usually cleared away or overlooked. She began this project in 2006 and attests that the images are purely incidental — nothing was staged, no props were added or taken away. Although "What Still Remains" shows no people, each image is alive with the lingering energy of those who have left the scene as it is.
See more photos, and read the photobook review here in Lens Culture.
December 8, 2008
William Eggleston, a hero to so many photographers, finally agreed to talk about his art while a camera was running. I haven't seen the film yet (I'm going to order it today), but I thought I'd share this inspiring clip to go along with your Monday morning coffee. Wow.
Reiner Holzemer's William Eggleston: Photographer
Directed by Reiner Holzemer
Reiner Holzemer Films, 2008
Availalbe from Microcinema DVD.
Thanks to Sean Smith for sending in this cool link!
December 4, 2008
Courtesy of Throckmorton Fine Art, New York.
This history book re-examines the distinct roles that four influential photographers each played in helping to define, for the first time ever, a national identity for Mexico. The photographers are Agustin Victor Casasola, the American Walter H. Horne, Italian Tina Modotti, and Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Each produced iconic images during the tumultuous years of revolution and post-revolution, 1910-1935.
See more, and read a brief review, here in Lens Culture.
December 3, 2008
Courtesy of the official homepage of the Schmelz: www.kgv-zukunft.at
These quaint summer cottages with their tidy gardens are typical variations of mountain homes in Austria. What's unique about them is that they are clustered together in a tiny patch of urban oasis in downtown Vienna — a walled-in, fairytale community surrounded by concrete offices and industrial buildings.
If you look carefully, you can see the rooftops of nearby factories behind many of the cottages.
See more photos, and read more, in Lens Culture.
December 2, 2008
On a recent trip to Amsterdam, I was delighted to discover an exhibition of vintage photographs by Dutch photographer Sanne Sannes at the HUP Gallery. I had never heard of Sannes before, probably because he died too early, at age 30, in a drunken car crash while he was on a meteoric rise in his photographic career.
The photos, all printed by Sannes himself, represent a wide range of experimental photographs that have a distinctly 1960s decadent feel to them. Martin Parr and Gerry Badger included Sannes' book, Sex a Gogo, in Volume 1 of their History of the Photobook (so, it is impossible to find a realistically priced copy of that book now, of course).
You can see a small selection of images from Sannes, and learn more about his short career, in this article in Lens Culture.
December 1, 2008
Aperture/Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago, November 2008
Big cities can sometimes seem like immense visual abstractions.The jam-packed juxtapositions of diverse styles of architecture — all compressed into dense overlapping vertical spaces — can be seen as things of rare man-made beauty.
These soaring glass-walled environments also invite a sometimes perverse delight in voyeurism. Michael Wolf’s brilliant new photobook, The Transparent City, captures both of these aspects nearly perfectly in his recent photographic study of downtown Chicago.
Someone described this work as “Hopper meets Blade Runner,” and I might add a third reference: Hitchcock’s Rear Window.
See more photos, and read the entire photobook review here in Lens Culture.