Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sewing the space

Dover, UK

"The open works of this exhibition Places have no entrances or exits, but imaginary zones for shifting and changing direction, for slippage in the imaginary. Carcasses of abandoned architecture are presented to be forgotten against a signscape of vertical pinnacles, horizontal stretching, slipping into the void."

- Viana Conti

Seven Sister, UK

You could start exploring the work of Stefania Beretta from many different entry points, choosing between dyptics of troubled urban views, Sicilian caves, burnt woods, interior of rooms, sketches of India, collage: I chose the knitted landscapes, you might want to start from something else, just take your time to go through everything, there is a lot to see.

Seven Sister, UK

All images taken from Places, 2006 © Stefania Beretta


get your own Mrs. Deane and save some lives

baselitz © beierle + keijser

..."reblog­ging is welcomed", says Mrs Deane, and here I am, happy to spread the word about a charity auction where you can buy work from the magic Dutch duo as well as from other great artists and by doing so give your help to the victims of the flood in Pakistan.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Recent acquisitions

- Trying to keep up with the general trend

The wind of photobooks, photomagazines and most of all self-publishing is blowing strong, we all know that. It is hard to resist, and every time a parcel knocks at my door hiding a treasure I feel happy as a child, eager to feel the consistency and the smell of the paper. I also want to thank all those who gave me the fruits of their labour as a gift, as there is hardly such a special thing as receiving a book from the hands of those who worked hard to make it real. Sometimes I receive one as a thank you for something I have written, for having tried to promote it maybe, and I always feel a disproportion in that, which inevitably makes me accept it with an embarrassed smile, often after having made some clumsy attempts to pay for it anyway.

Following is a list of titles I recently put my hands on, and more will come soon.

On the other side of the mountains, multi-functional newspaper-cum-exhibition, The Sochi Project-Rob Hornstra/Arnold van Bruggen

Visions and Documents, by Documentary Platform, 10 books in a box, edition of 150

Villaggio Olimpico Roma, by [nove] photography, Postcart Ed.

Conditions, by Andrés Marroquín Winkelmann, edition of 300, Meier und Müller

Indian Photographs, by Massimo Sordi, edition of 1000

NATURAE, exhibition catalogue, curated by Steve Bisson, published by Urbanautica

720 - (Two times around), by Andrew Phelps, edition of 100, SOLD OUT

Coliseum, by Robert Parkinson, edition of 50, Preston is my Paris Publishing

Thank you for travelling with Northern Rail, by Adam Murray, edition of 50, Preston is my Paris Publishing

Teller Magazine #1, published by Trolley Books

Various issues of Fw:, published by Fw: Photography

Various issues of L'heliotrope, by Frédéric Iovino & Pierre Rogeaux


Monday, September 27, 2010

Larger than life

- Mirko Martin, LA Crash

“On foot or by car, Martin kept moving along the streets, from Venice Beach to the Hollywood Hills, from downtown to East L.A., creating a portrait of the city that has become a hologram of the film industry. Martin’s photo series, L.A. Crash, cryptically subverts the established clichés and images streaming out of the flood of media: panoramas of burning high-rises, uniformed cops handcuffing African-American gangsters, graffiti-covered courtyards, or lethargic homeless people on the sidewalk.


He mixes shots of actual streets with motifs from film productions (including costumed actors and staged disasters), which he happens to come across in public. However, the question of what is authentic and what is constructed always remains open. This blurs the line between documentary and staged photography.”

Taken from Sarah Frost, Where is the Cinema?, in: Hilke Wagner, Kunstverein Braunschweig (Ed.), Mirko Martin - Marginal Stories, Exhibition catalogue, Remise of the Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany 2009.

Now on show within the exhibition Bumpy Ride, curated by Paul Wombell, Fotografia Festival, Rome, Italy, September 24 - October 24, 2010.

All images © Mirko Martin


Controlled destruction #2

"These large-scale photographs, entitled Blow Up, depict elaborate floral arrangements, based upon a 19th Century still-life painting by Henri Fantin-Latour, captured in the moment of exploding. This visual occurrence, that is too fast for the human eye to process and can only be perceived with the aid of photography, is what Walter Benjamin called the ‘optical unconsciousness’ in his seminal essay ‘A Short History of Photography’."

- Ori Gersht

All images © Ori Gersht


Sunday, September 26, 2010

A glowing past

Evidence is the latest project by Angela Strassheim, "a group of photographs taken at homes where familial homicides have occurred. Long after the struggles have ended in these spaces, despite the cleaning, repainting and subsequent re-habitation of these homes, the “Blue Star” solution activates the physical memory of blood through its contact with the remaining DNA proteins on the walls."

Of all the theories we grew up with concerning the photographic sign, the referent, or the trace recorded by the photographic image, it is hard to find a more elegantly dreadful example of what a camera can capture and preserve from the past.

Evidence è l'ultimo progetto di Angela Strassheim, "una serie di fotografie realizzate dentro abitazioni in cui sono stati commessi omicidi in famiglia. Molto tempo dopo che queste colluttazioni sono accadute, il composto 'Blue Star' attiva la memoria fisica del sangue tramite il contatto con i residui di proteine del DNA rimasti sulle pareti."

Di tutte le teorie sul segno fotografico, il referente e la traccia registrata dall'immagine fotografica con cui siamo cresciuti, è difficile trovare un esempio più elegantemente terrificante di quello che un apparecchio può catturare e conservare del passato.

(via Women in Photography)

All images © Angela Strassheim


Friday, September 24, 2010

The colour of words

Richard Mosse, La Vie En Rose, North Kivu, Eastern Congo, 2010

"The subject of my work in Congo is the conflict’s intangibility, the irruption of the real beneath the generic conventions - it is a problem of representation. The word ‘infra’ means below, what is beneath. A dialogue about form and representation is one of the work’s objectives, so I don’t think it’s a bad thing if people get hung up on the way Congo has been depicted, rather than what is being depicted. That’s the point, really."

Spectacular interview with
Richard Mosse on Conscientious, where the artist shows how not only he is one of those who are shaping today's photography, but that he can also give us beauty through words.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Distant lands

I personally could live without the flash presentation making everything look artificial and slick, but underneath the futuristic look of his website Kim Høltermand's Icelands might even be a delicate and sophisticated work.

Or at least he gave me the chance to imagine one.

Farei volentieri a meno della presentazione in Flash che rende tutto artificiale e lucidato, ma sotto la patina futuristica che ha voluto dare al suo sito forse Kim Høltermand con Icelands ci presenta un lavoro sottile e persino delicato.

O perlomeno mi ha dato l'occasione di immaginarlo.

All images taken from Icelands, 2010 © Kim Høltermand


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Social weave

public tracks, 01, 2010

Mutations III is landing at the upcoming Rome's international festival FotoGrafia (click on the Europan month of photography link, upper left corner of the festival's page) with a selection of "European artists who share a taste for experimenting with new forms of expression concerning the net and its plethora of pictures and are aware of these new approaches to photography". All and nothing, one could argue, but the exhibition do feature interesting photography, like produce-it-yourself superstars Rob Hornstra & Arnold van Bruggen, the recently mentioned friends from Documentary Platform and Hubert Blanz's latest virtual world, Public Tracks, abstract images made with imaginary patterns of friendships and connections derived from one real Facebook account - to put it short, the tighter your social weave is, the better you are. And I guess a photographic festival is a perfect place to raise this kind of issue, isn't it?

public tracks, 02, 2010

All images © Hubert Blanz


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Controlled destruction

Geoffrey H. Short, Untitled Explosion#9LF, 2007

Hard to remain indifferent in front of Geoffrey H. Short's Towards Another Theory, views of big bangs he realised on the west coast of New Zealand with the help of explosive experts from the film industry. There is something sublime about an explosion frozen in a photograph, a fraction of a second where we experience with inhuman clarity the impossible logic of destruction.

Geoffrey H. Short, Untitled Explosion #2CP, 2007

Short is not the first one to be seduced by the physics of blasts: Michael Light gave us the visual history of nuclear detonations with 100 Suns, Naoya Hatakeyama photographed the demolition of limestones in the series Blast and Sarah Pickering's Explosion is basically the miniature version of Short's images (or maybe we should say his photos are the large scale version of her work).

Short is included in
reGeneration 2, a selection of 80 emerging photographers selected by curators from The Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne.

Michael Light, 021 CLIMAX/61 kilotons/Nevada/1953

Difficile rimanere indifferenti di fronte a Towards Another Theory di Geoffrey H. Short, una serie di enormi esplosioni create con l'aiuto di alcuni esperti di esplosivi per set cinematografici lungo la costa occidentale neozelandese. C'è qualcosa di sublime in una deflagrazione fermata in una fotografia, una frazione di secondo in cui sperimentiamo con una chiarezza inumana la logica aliena della distruzione.

Naoya Hatakeyama, Blast #8316

Short non è il primo a venire sedotto dalla fisica delle detonazioni: Michael Light con 100 Suns ci ha mostrato la storia per immagini delle esplosioni nucleari, Naoya Hatakeyama in Blast ha fotografato la demolizione di rocce calcaree con delle cariche esplosive, infine Sarah Pickering con Explosion ci presenta la versione in miniatura del lavoro di Short (o meglio, Short ha realizzato la versione macroscopica del lavoro di Pickering).

Sarah Pickering, Landmine, 2005

Il suo lavoro è stato presentato all'interno di reGeneration 2, una selezione di 80 fotografi emergenti realizzata dai curatori del Musée de l’Elysée di Losanna.

Geoffrey H. Short, Untitled Explosion #X18CF, 2007


Monday, September 13, 2010

SI Fest 2010, a quick report

- The glass between me and absolute beauty.

Last weekend at SI Fest I learnt (among other things) that:

- Roger Ballen can be as (amusingly) freaky as his own images.

Installation view of Roger Ballen's Boarding House

- Chiara Tocci won the Marco Pesaresi award with a beautiful portfolio about Albanian immigrants.

- Independent publishing is up and running in Italy as well, just go and check what Postcart, Trolley Books (well, he lives in London, but he's Italian) and 3/3 do.

- Seeing an exhibition of 103 photographs from Joakim Eskildsen's The Roma Journeys is an amazing experience, I rarely saw such a humble way of showing a work: you could flash overblown prints of almost each of those photos, set up an exhibition with one fifth of the images and still pretend you're covering an epic as vast as the one that this work embraces. And yet, he chose the opposite, small prints for attentive eyes, asking the viewer to patiently enter a new world, like Eskildsen did throughout the six years it took him to complete his work.

The endless journey through Joakim Eskildsen's The Roma Journeys exhibition

Installation view of the exhibition Naturae, curated by Steve Bisson

- Steve Bisson can curate great group shows and his website Urbanautica proves it every month. On top of that, he's a new friend, with the rest of the Urbanautica and Landscape Stories posses.

Naturae exhibition catalogue resting on a golden pillow

- Massimo Sordi, photographer and one of the main curators of the festival, just published a new book, Indian Photographs.

Installation view of The edge of the spiral, by Andrew Phelps

- Massimo also curated with Stefania Rössl the second chapter of Global Photography, after last year's debut, which allowed me to be face to face for the first time with work by Karin Apollonia Müller, Tomoyuki Sakaguchi, Mårten Lange and Igor Starkov, among others.

Installation views from the Global Photography exhibition of works by Igor Starkov, Mårten Lange and Karin Apollonia Müller

- And, most of all, after having heard about him from many, I discovered Mark Steinmetz and his amazing photography. You develop your taste in photography throughout the years, you pick your favourites, sometimes you also think you have genres you like and others you don't, then you find yourself seeing an exhibition of a kind of images you apparently never really long for, and what happens is that you fall in love with them, mute, with no words to add to them, because they speak for you, in your heart and mind, through your eyes.

© Mark Steinmetz