Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Photo London announces 2017 exhibitors

 

The third edition of Photo London will be presented at Somerset House, May 18 to 21st. The list of exhibitors is now available to view on line HERE.

Photo London was created to give London an international photography event befitting the city’s status as a global cultural capital. Now in its third year, Photo London has established itself as a world-class photography fair and as a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community. From the capital’s major museums, to its auction houses, galleries large and small, right into the burgeoning creative communities in the East End and South London, Photo London harnesses the city’s outstanding creative talent and brings the world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors, dealers and the public to celebrate photography, the medium of our time. 

Along with the selection of the world’s leading galleries showing at the Fair, Photo London presents the Discovery section for the most exciting emerging galleries and artists; there is an original Public Programme bringing together special exhibitions, installations, a curated programme of talks and presentations by publishers. Each edition of the Fair also sees a number of Awards announced, headlined by the Photo London Master of Photography, Photo London Residency Unlimited Award and the Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers Award. Hosted awards include the Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards and the MACK First Book Award. Beyond the Fair, Photo London regularly hosts Pre-Fair Talks and related events engaging with the craft, market and knowledge of photography. 





Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lewis Baltz - the consummate artist and intellectual


Harvey Benge - Lewis Baltz, Paris 2006

Recently I came across a photobook I made in 2008, portraits of the people I met in Europe over a 3 month period in 2006. I was using film and everybody had just one frame to shoot. They shot me and I shot them. The book was called I LOOK AT YOU, YOU LOOK AT ME.
Among the people I photographed was Lewis Baltz. We'd taken coffee at Le Fumoir my favorite Parisian cafe just off the Rue de Rivoli. As an aside I'd asked Lewis if he'd liked to come and do a workshop here in Auckland. Without hesitation he said yes.

Rediscovering my book made me realize how the days, years have disappeared and how we have aged. In Lewis' case, died. Seeing his picture reminded me of this quietly modest rock of a man, the maker of such simple powerful images and with an intellect of razor sharp acuity. He is sorely missed. 

Here are some Lewis Baltz quotations that I think capture his spirit:

I think being a photographer is a little like being a whore: if you’re really really good at it, nobody will call you that. 

 I assumed from the outset that photography was already art, and that I and other people working in photography were artists. I understand now that this was a minority point of view. 

I used photography to distance myself from a world that I loathed and was powerless to improve. 

 I wanted [my photography] to appear as though the camera was seeing by itself. 

 …the questioning of the photograph in its relation to the reality, the interrogation of representation, the famous crisis of representation, really all took place before digital technology. Digital technology, you see, is not the villain here. 

The ideal photographic document would appear to be without author or art. 

 ...you don’t put an object in a museum because it’s beautiful; an object is beautiful because you put it in a museum. Everything is photogenic once it has been photographed.

I believed it was necessary to investigate photography, dismantle it, jettison all the non-essential components, and begin again with a stripped down but more powerful idea of what is, or could be “photographic.” 

Lewis Baltz - Harvey Benge, Paris 2006

Monday, January 16, 2017

Joel Sternfeld - a photograph is only a fragment of a shattered pot...


McLean, Virginia, December 1978

In this weeks the guardian art weekly Sean O'Hagan talks to Joel Sternfeld. Sternfeld’s images are often not quite what they seem. Called McLean, Virginia, 1978, that shot of the fireman, the pumpkins and the burning house is indeed a record of an actual event he witnessed, but the blaze is part of a training exercise from which the fireman is taking a break. “You take 35 degrees out of 360 degrees and call it a photo,” he told the Guardian in 2004. “No individual photo explains anything. That’s what makes photography such a wonderful and problematic medium.” Today, he reiterates that sentiment: “A photograph is only a fragment of a shattered pot.”
For all his epic undertakings, Sternfeld’s work remains relatively under-exhibited. “Again, I have been too busy making work to show it that much.” he says, “but for me, the best place to see the images is in the books.” Was he influenced by any great photography books along the way? “No. I didn’t care about photobooks.” he says matter-of-factly. “I thought most photographers were idiots.” Can he elaborate? “Well, it often seemed to me that some beautiful, magical things could be happening in the world and they were too busy fumbling with their lenses to see it. There are exceptions, of course. I’ve never seen a Robert Adams photograph that hasn’t amazed me, but my point is you need to look out to the world.”

Sternfeld has a show Joel Sternfeld, Colour Photographs: 1977-1988 at Beetles + Huxley, London, 27 January to 18 February. The exhibition features 30 vintage dye transfer and chromogenic prints, the exhibition will include well known images by the artist as well as works that have never been seen before.
The exhibition will showcase several examples of vintage dye transfer prints from one of Sternfeld's best-known bodies of work, "American Prospects". Sternfeld traversed the United States with his 8 x 10 inch camera, in order to capture the essential character of the country. First exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and then published in book form in 1987, "American Prospects" is regarded as one of the most influential bodies of photographic work from this period.

You can read the complete O'Hagan interview HERE. And take a moment to check out the guardian art weekly HERE.

Red Rock State Campground (boy), Gallup, New Mexico, September 1982

Canyon Country, California, June 1983

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jim Goldberg - The Last Son, book signing at Dashwood NYC next Tuesday

 

If you're in NYC next Tuesday the 17th head along to Dashwood Books where from 6.30pm Jim Goldberg will be signing his Super Labo edition The Last Son.

The Last Son is Goldberg’s bildungsroman and the second book in Coming and Going, a personal three part series weaving together an assemblage of visual memories that chart his evolution as a photographer. In this mixed media coming of age story, Goldberg, the youngest son of a wholesale candy distributor, traces his dreams alongside his father’s as he traverses memory through ephemera. The precursor to Rich and Poor, The Last Son contrasts Goldberg’s ascent as an artist with his father’s decline into dashed and unrealized dreams. His father emerges as a Willy Loman-esque manifestation of unfulfilled American perseverance as his son exceeds the expectations of his role as family dunce.
Mixing photographs, collage, handwritten text and stills from home movies, Goldberg mines his archive to build a linear narrative of memories beginning with his first pictures. The dummy book is a wonderful sculptural stack of overflowing pages held together with post-it notes and tape that allows for an interactive physical process of narrative shifting. The Last Son is preceded by 134 Ways to Forget, a double-sided interactive poster/zine that juxtaposes Goldberg’s personal photographs with his own writing as he brainstorms ways to forget an ended relationship. The third installment in the trilogy will continue Goldberg’s rising narrative of artistic evolution as he follows his work to Asia funded by social security payments granted him on account of his father’s disability.

The Last Son by Jim Goldberg / Hardcover, 134 pages / $80
Dashwood Books, 33 Bond St., NY, NY 10012





Friday, January 13, 2017

Pierre Bessard, Publisher - a profile

 
Pierre Bessard

If you've ever spent time at any of the European Photography festivals, Paris, London, the Kassel Photobook festival you will probably have met Pierre Bessard. Pierre is unmistakably and flamboyantly Parisian and moreover a dedicated Sinophile with a passion for anything Chinese. This love of Chinese culture is central to the culture of Editions Bessard a unique publishing venture that makes photobooks of uncompromising excellence.

Pierre Bessard is profiled on the site Photography of China a website established by Marine Cabos an art historian specialized in the arts of China. The piece is well worth a read, you can do so HERE.

And you can go to the Editions Bessard website HERE.

In the following extract Pierre Bessard, with typical enthusiasm, outlines his philosophy:
Aesthete and precursor, Bessard Editions’ goal is to slide the world of photography into different prisms: novelty and originality, passion and excellence. This requires openness to the world, and permanent intellectual curiosity. We live in a hyper-communicating and hyper-connected society. We need to be receptive, to observe, in order to develop new ideas. My role is precisely to synthetise all the information, the exchange coming from various sources, whether they relate to the technological, cultural, and critical amongst other fields.
This publishing house intends to rethink the book format, to assert a savoir-faire, and to explore all facets of creativity, including design, art, typography, graphic design, bookbinding, and so forth. It reflects harmony, extravagance, inspiration, and passion. It is my role as a publisher to promote such values. 

Pieter Hugo, "Flat Noodle Soup Talk" bookwork

Editions Bessard - Bespoke collection

Thursday, January 12, 2017

MACK - New books for 2017


 
MACK have just announced their new titles due for release soon. They say this: We are excited to announce the titles we will be publishing in the next few months, including the first books of Sam Contis, Kevin Lear and Cesare Fabbri, new publications with Anthony Hernandez, Ron Jude and Mårten Lange, Richard Mosse’s new video installation as a 575 page artist book, and new editions of two of the defining books of photobook history - Larry Sultan’s Pictures from Home and Masahisa Fukase’s Ravens. And we have our annual First Book Award which will be launched in May with an exhibition at Photo London.

In particular it's great to see new books from two of my favorite photographers Ron Jude and Anthony Hernandez. Also a new-look reprint of the seminal Larry Sultan book Pictures from Home.


Ron Jude, Nausea - taken from the title of Sartre’s 1938 existential novel—is a body of photographs that registers the interiors of public schools in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Atlanta, Georgia from 1990-92 by American pho- tographer Ron Jude. Departing from mere documentation, however, Jude lures us into peering through windows, doorways and crevices of walls into empty classrooms and corridors, as we become increasingly conscious of the perils of our own gaze. Rousing, rather than abating, the uncertainty of looking, Nausea established the building blocks for the next twenty-five years of Jude’s photographic output, including Other Nature, Alpine Star, Lick Creek Line and Lago.

At the heart of Nausea lies the premise that philosophical inquiry might be filtered and consumed through photographs, just as it is filtered through Sartre’s work of literary fiction. Taking as his subject the banality of institutional learning, the monotonous spaces and objects captured in Nausea serve as a platform for exploring the nexus between the narrative limitations of photography and consciousness. Employing a distinctive visual language, marked by an acute sense of colour, radical framing and shallow focus, Jude created a world both familiar and uncanny, imbued with a pervasive sense of unease.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the inaugural exhibition of Nausea in 1992 at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, Jude has made an entirely new edit of this work. Many of the photographs in this volume have never before been published or exhibited.


Anthony Hernandez, Forever comprises photographs taken in the downtown area of Los Angeles and the poorer neighborhoods of Compton, Watts and South Central, made between 2007–2012. The work traces the movements of the homeless, in images which take up the point of view of the homeless person. So, rather than photographing the material trace – a chair or bed – Hernandez photographs what might be might seen and observed from the street itself.
The title was drawn from a previous work Landscapes for the Homeless (1996), exhibited at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover. The catalogue included a conversation between Hernandez and Lewis Baltz titled Forever Homeless: A Dialogue. It was Baltz who chose the title, and Hernandez speaks of its prevailing significance, “The title is very important because, as I write this, fifteen years on, the homeless population of Los Angeles has only increased; I could technically keep photographing this subject, making these kinds of pictures, forever.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Whitechapel Gallery London, Terrains of the Body, photography from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington USA

 
Hellen van Meene, Untitled (79), (2000), detail

Opening next week and running until April 16, Terrains of the Body is drawn from the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, U.S.). This collection showcases photography and video work by seventeen contemporary artists from around the world.
By turning their camera to women, including themselves, these artists embrace the female body as a vital medium for storytelling, expressing identity and reflecting individual and collective experience.
The exhibition features work by: Marina Abramović, Rineke Dijkstra, Anna Gaskell, Nan Goldin, Charlotte Gyllenhammar, Candida Höfer, Icelandic Love Corporation, Mwangi Hutter, Kirsten Justesen, Justine Kurland, Nikki S. Lee, Hellen van Meene, Shirin Neshat, Daniela Rossell, Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation, Janaina Tschäpe and Adriana Varejão.

You can go to the Whitechapel Gallery website HERE. And if you're in London there is still time to catch the stunning Willam Kentridge show which closes this coming Sunday the 15th