June 2010 Archives
June 30, 2010
Soulful photographer Deborah Luster has made some truly remarkable photographs of men and women in prisons in the US South. In this great interview, which will air today on NPR, she talks about her life and the odd circumstances of her childhood that led to a very personal connection to photography. The program is called The Hidden Life of Girls. If you've never seen her photographs before, her conversation will make you want to see them. Here's a sonic preview.
She's also made one of my favorite photobooks: One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana. (Unfortunately out of print).
Here is some text about Luster from the Catherine Edelman Gallery:
Murder is not generally a subject in which most artists find themselves immersed. But twelve years ago, Deborah Luster's mother was murdered, sparking a photographic project which led her to three different state penitentiaries in Louisiana, her home state, as a means of healing and understanding. Photographing inmates against a black backdrop or in the fields, Luster captures the individuals housed behind the barbed wire and prison cells in a project called "One Big Self". Cutting 5 x 4" aluminum and coating it with a liquid silver emulsion, Luster creates images which serve as reliquaries for these men and women whose cockiness, youth, bravado and shyness are imbedded in these pocket-sized contemporary tintypes. Through these images she asks us to "see beyond their crimes ... to suggest that our punitive models are as reflective of who we are as our reward system."
Deborah Luster's earlier body of work, Rosesucker Retablos, is based on Mexican religious votive paintings created as offerings of thanks for spiritual or medical miracles. Luster photographs people she connects with, creating her own "saints," transforming them into luscious magical portraits which are printed on aluminum, layered with paint. Poet C.D. Wright creates the text which accompanies the images. The final pieces radiate with an energy rarely seen in photography today.
June 27, 2010
This is a new kind of photojournalism: nearly wordless, slow, somber, meditative — haunting and troubling.
BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an unmitigated disaster, with the environmental and economic costs growing by the day. In this short film, Christopher Morris takes us on an emotional journey to Louisiana and shows us the irreparable damage to the complex fragility of the coastal and marine ecosystems, the costs of which are still being weighed.
Almost agonizingly slow, this video in black, white, and grey, is a reminder of the overwhelming loss and far-reaching impact of this disaster which continues to spread. Rescue attempts — and protection of what remains — is exhausting and discouraging. But what else can be done? People washing one bird at a time... All recorded less than two weeks ago.
June 26, 2010
In their series, Scenes of Life, the young Franco-German duo Lucie and Simon present moments we're all familiar with: a breakfast, a nap on the sofa, a swim in a pool. All of the mundane clutter of everyday life is there in abundant and clear detail. What gives the viewer a real jolt of delight, however, is that all of this is seen from directly overhead, looking straight down — a seemingly impossible perspective, especially for the photographs made inside rooms.
This series was awarded the HSBC Prize for Photography in 2010. See and read more in Lens Culture.
June 25, 2010
Noorderlicht has teamed up with curators Marc Prüst and Lars Boering of Lux Photo Gallery to design a one-year master class for professional photojournalists and social documentary photographers. The aim is to assist participants in developing their photographic skills and in marketing their own work. This master class sets itself apart through its long-term format and intensive assistance throughout the year.
With the master class the organisers want to enhance the educational framework of the photography industry. There are relatively few substantial opportunities for photographers who have reached a professional level to develop themselves further. Northern Lights aims at those photographers who want to actively widen their approach of photography and develop critical skills for larger-scale projects. The program focuses on the art of photographing and editing work, with traditional photojournalism and social documentary photography as the basis.
Selected photographers will convene at the gallery space of Noorderlicht, in Groningen, The Netherlands, for the first time from 9 to 12 September, 2010. Successive meetings are scheduled in January and May, 2011. Participants will work on a themed project for a period of one year, in three sessions of four days each.
Each meeting will be attended by at least two professionals from the photography industry to instruct the photographers on photographic skills, but also on issues like marketing the work and finding a gallery. Top names from the industry will be working together with young talents to help them advance in their careers.
Among the masters are:
Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin
Financial Times photography critic Francis Hodgson
Former board member of World Press Photo Adriaan Monshouwer
DMB Media founder David Birkitt
More masters and guest lecturers are to be announced.
For more details, see noorderlicht.com. There are still a few open spots for serious photographers.
June 24, 2010
As we gear-up for the 41st annual photography festival in Arles, France, we're happy to present a preview of 40 images from the upcoming exhibitions. Eclectic and a mixed bag, for sure. But some gems that are just waiting to be discovered, as well. For the best viewing experience, check out Lens Culture's high resolution slide show.
For more information, check the festival website.
What could be more fun? Lots of photography lovers from all over the world descend on this charming small town, talking, laughing, enjoying photography, drinking pastis... See you there.
June 20, 2010
Volume 26 of Lens Culture is online now. As always, it's filled with a wonderful and eclectic mix of contemporary photography from around the globe.
Photographers whose work appears in this new issue include:
Pierre Torset, Charlie Ferguson, Tamas Paczai, Allen Ginsberg, Lennart Nilsson, Vee Speers, Andrzej Mitura, Tony Ray-Jones, Massimiliano Clausi, Judit M. Horvath and Gyorgy Stalter, Jim Vecchi, Matt Lutton, Carolle Benitah, Michael Christopher Brown, Margaret M. de Lange, Franco Pagetti, Lucie and Simon, Marcos Lopez, Antonio Martinez, Annie Leibovitz, and Joel-Peter Witkin.
Plus you can enjoy a high-resolution slideshow of 40 preview picks from the Rencontres d'Arles 2010 photo festival in France.
And there's a magazine inside the magazine, so to speak: VII The Magazine includes weekly updates of multimedia presentations and in-depth personal views of current events through the eyes of photojournalists.
This 26th issue is perhaps our largest edition in six years. Plus, every article, audio and video interview, slideshow, critical essay and book review from the previous 25 issues is still available in Lens Culture's online archives. There's lots of great stuff to discover!
Many of the new talents featured in this issue were discovered at portfolio reviews in Houston, Krakow, Budapest, Toronto, and Stockholm over the past four months, as well as through direct submissions from international photographers to Lens Culture. We're also featuring some of the work we discovered while judging the Anthropographia competition about human rights and photography.
And last, but not least, we're thrilled that photographers from 27 countries have already registered to participate in our first portfolio review event in Paris. Lens Culture FotoFest Paris 2010 will take place November 15-17, 2010. A stellar group of 40-plus photography experts from around the world will meet one-on-one with photographers over the three days of the event. If you'd like to take part, we encourage you to sign up soon, since places are limited.
June 13, 2010
© Franco Pagetti / VII Photo
Franco Pagetti captures the bleak mood pervading Afghanistan and its environs today. Despite the massive presence of Western soldiers, large parts of Afghanistan remain in limbo. For most ordinary Afghans, little has changed for the better, and much has changed for the worse, especially in the countryside, where the Taliban remains strong and entrenched. Watch this multimedia report from VII The Magazine and Lens Culture.
June 10, 2010
Wow, this is one of the most exciting mash-ups of old and new photo techniques that I have seen (rivaling Chuck Close's mega-wattage daguerreotypes, which he digitally enlarged and printed with metallic inks).
Here's some background:
First, Antonio Martinez spent a lot of time at a traveling circus, shooting dozens of rolls of 35mm black-and-white film. Then he made over 800 modern dryplate tintypes from the negatives, and then scanned them digitally, and then sequenced them artfully to produce this experimental stop-motion video.
The effect is like a dream or a very distant memory. I love the random chemical colors and smears and light leaks created during the tintype process. And the moody soundtrack seems perfectly in-sync with every flash and flutter and gracefully stuttering movement.
Martinez said he created this video to serve as a desired childhood memory of the circus, but through the mind of an adult.
The project began in 2005 and was completed in early 2009 with the help of sound designer, Ramah (Malebranche) Jihan, and assistant, Sarah (Lathrop) Midkiff. The video has been exhibited to rave reviews in over 23 video art and film festivals so far.
I was delighted to meet Antonio Martinez — and to discover this amazing visionary project — during the portfolio reviews at Houston FotoFest 2010.
We will be projecting this video for the first time in Paris on June 23, 2010. It looks GREAT on a big screen. The SLIDELUCK POTSHOW PARIS event will take place at Le Comptoir Géneral on the banks of Canal Saint Martin. This will be part of a 2010 global tour, launched in New York on May 15. The event will consist of projections, slideshows and potluck dinner, bringing together members of the photography, art and media communities for an evening of eating, drinking and sharing work.
You can purchase a high-resolution, high-fidelity DVD of "Near the Egress" for just $30 plus shipping and handling, via Google Checkout, right here. It looks and sounds fantastic!
June 6, 2010
In this interview, photographer Antonin Kratochvil takes us on a very personal 20-year journey, showing photographs from his travels and assignments all over the world. He gives us a glimpse of what his eyes have seen that may now be gone forever. This is a story about loss; the physical loss of place, loss of freedom, historical loss, and the loss of our responsibility as human beings to care for each other and the world in which we live. His new photobook, Vanishing, does not offer answers, neither is it a sermon in hopes of brighter days. It is Antonin's visual poem to the world we inhabit.