Si racconta che l'ex segretario di Stato americano Henry Kissinger una volta abbia detto che per quanto fosse in grado di decifrare le oscure manovre del Cremlino, trovava impossibile comprendere le logiche della politica italiana.
Questo spiegherebbe lo smarrimento di molti nell'orientarsi tra le immagini contenute in Fotoromanzo Italiano, un archivio non ortodossso sulla storia e la cultura di massa del Bel Paese creato da cinque fotografi (Andrea Botto, Giorgio Barrera, Marco Citron, Maurizio Montagna e Marco Signorini).
è un progetto artistico in progress_
una riflessione sulla fotografia e sull'uso dell'immagine, oggi_
alle radici del nostro presente_
per costruire un immaginario_
o solo per rivelare un'illusione_
fotoromanzoitaliano.it è l'azione 1_"
Buon anno a tutti voi.
It is told that former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said that while he was able to read into the obscure manoeuvres orchestrated within the Kremlin, he was helpless trying to understand the logics of Italian politics.
That would explain why you might find yourself wondering how to connect all the images gathered inside Fotoromanzo Italiano, an unorthodox archive about Italian history and mass culture started by five photographers (Andrea Botto, Giorgio Barrera, Marco Citron, Maurizio Montagna and Marco Signorini).
is an artistic project in progress_
an exploration about photography and the use of the image, today_
at the roots of our present_
to build up an imaginary_
or just to reveal an illusion_
fotoromanzoitaliano.it is action no. 1_"
Happy New Year to you all.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
© Filippo Brancoli Pantera
"QD è un progetto collettivo in progress iniziato il 21 marzo 2011 e realizzato da 15 fotografi distribuiti su tutto il territorio italiano.
Gli autori intendono esplorare e raccontare in parallelo il proprio ambito urbano in una sorta di diario in cui le cifre stilistiche personali tendono a sfumare in uno sguardo comune e in cui le riflessioni sul fare fotografia si affiancano e si intrecciano alle immagini stesse."
Creato da Tommaso Perfetti, QD è un nuovo tentativo di contenere in una ricerca la complessità del paesaggio e dello spazio abitato d'Italia, un insieme di mondi distanti che più sfugge alla comprensione, più spinge a nuove imprese per cercare di afferrarlo.
Gabriele Rossi, Marcello Mariana e Filippo Brancoli Pantera sono alcuni tra i fotografi coinvolti nel progetto.
© Gabriele Rossi
"QD is a collective project in progress launched on March 21, 2011 and made by 15 photographers located all over the Italian territory. The authors aim at exploring and depicting in parallel their respective urban environment, creating a diary in which the individual styles blur into a common gaze, and in which thoughts about making photography intertwine with the images themselves."
Created by Tommaso Perfetti, QD is a new attempt to try to encompass the complexity of Italy's landscape and inhabited space - an elusive subject which the more it escapes comprehension, the more it pushes to new efforts to grasp it.
Gabriele Rossi, Marcello Mariana and Filippo Brancoli Pantera are among the photographers involved in the project.
© Marcello Mariana
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Michael Marten, Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall, 25 and 31 August 2007, High water 4.30pm, low water 2pm
"Sea Change is a study of the tides round the coast of Britain. The views in each diptych are taken from identical positions at low tide and high tide, usually 6 or 18 hours apart."
"Recent landscape photography often focuses on human shaping (and reshaping) of the environment - urbanisation, globalisation, pollution. Even when critical and committed, this approach can emphasise, even glamorise, humankind's power over nature. I'm interested in rediscovering nature's own powers: the elemental forces and processes that underlie and shape the planet".
- Michael Marten
Michael Marten, Harbour-Berwickshire, 22 August 2005. Low water 11am, high water 6pm
Marten describes his work as an example of 'comparative photography', "where two or more images show changes in time (or other dimensions)". He then makes the example of Nicholas Nixon's The Brown Sisters, a work I confess I did not know, a thirty-year-long series of portraits of Nixon's wife with her three sisters, which I think is the closest thing to a New Topographics of the heart.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Last October I wrote to a group of photographers to ask them to be part of what would have become the latest issue of Unless You Will, which editor Heidi Romano has released online at the beginning of December. With Heidi we decided to work on a selection of artists using alternative photographic processes and my thought went immediately to David Prifti, who created beautiful images using the wet collodion and the liquid emulsion techniques.
He never got back to me, until his wife Monika wrote to me earlier this month to let me know that David passed away after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Had I searched for more news about David I would have found out earlier that Monika had been writing a blog with updates about his conditions since the beginning of his treatment, and I would have read about all the support by his relatives, his students, his peers.
Even though his work could not be included in the magazine, I like to think that Unless You Will #19 is dedicated to his memory and his art, and our selection would remain incomplete without a look into David's fascinating world.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Brice Bischoff, Bronson Caves, 2009
Bronson Caves is the name of a series of photographs by New Orleans-born artist Brice Bischoff, where he records with long exposures performances executed in front of the homonimous caves in the Griffith Park in California, also home of the famous Hollywood sign on Mount Lee. Bischoff stages acts involving large coloured cardboards, which thanks to the long exposures become blurred mass of colours lingering in the air in front of the famous site.
Brice Bischoff, Bronson Caves, 2009
Cast & crew on unknown western in Bronson Canyon, with the Hollywood sign in the background
Over the decades the Bronson Caves have been the setting of countless movies and TV shows, mostly science fiction and western films, turning them into some kind of deposit of collective memories and fantasies (Bischoff himself provides us a list of movies shot in the caves in his blog - more info also here). Bischoff's images sum up perfectly the cave's iconic status, showing them as if they were inhabited by ghosts of colour, shapeless creatures created by our hazy childhood memories.
The Batmobile in front of Bat Cave, aka Bronson Caves, used in the Batman TV series. Front cover of The Explorer, August 2004
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Nicolas Dhervillers could be easily considered as the French version of Gregory Crewdson, sharing with the American superstar the same cinematographic light in scenes where characters wander or look around themselves surrounded by an eerie scenery.
But while Crewdson is mostly devoted to convey a certain kind of suburban angst and loneliness, Dhervillers is more interested in working on the layers of representation that can hide inside an image: his photographs from the series My sentimental archives and Tourists consists of old photographs and snapshots merged with new landscapes made by him, fused together by lighting and digital manipulation.
All images © Nicolas Dhervillers
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Sono lieto di annunciare la mia nuova collaborazione con ars-imago per il progetto instant collection, una serie di mostre che si terranno nella neonata ars-imago gallery all'interno della loro sede di Roma. Abbiamo chiesto a un gruppo di fotografi di realizzare dei lavori ex-novo utilizzando le pellicole The Impossible Project, sfidandoli a scoprire che cosa succede alla loro fotografia quando abbandonano i loro strumenti abituali per la bellezza imprevedibile della pellicola istantanea.
Il primo della lista sarà Alessandro Imbriaco con valitutti, un diario intimo nel quale veniamo guidati attraverso un paesaggio in continuo movimento fatto di vita quotidiana e memorie, tracce del passato e frammenti di presente.
La mostra sarà inaugurata il 2 dicembre alle ore 19.00.
I prossimi appuntamenti saranno con Marco Zanta a febbraio e Massimo Siragusa a aprile.
Alessandro Imbriaco, valitutti - 2 dicembre 2011 - 20 gennaio 2012.
ars-imago gallery, Via degli Scipioni 24-26 - Roma.
I am glad to announce my new collaboration with my friends and analog paladins from ars-imago on the instant collection project, a series of exhibitions which will be hosted in the newborn ars-imago gallery at their headquarter in Rome. We have invited a group of photographers to produce a brand new work expressly for the ars-imago gallery using The Impossible Project films, challenging them to find out what happens to their photography when they drop their familiar tools and embrace the unpredictable beauty of the instant film.
The first artist in line is Alessandro Imbriaco with the work valitutti, an intense private diary where we are guided through the shifting landscape of daily life and personal memories, traces from the past and fragments of today.
The show will open on December 2 at 7pm local time.
The following exhibitions will be Marco Zanta in February and Massimo Siragusa in April.
All images © Alessandro Imbriaco
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Pieter Hugo will be in Rome on November 30 (6pm local time) to hold a lecture at MAXXI - National Museum of the 21st Century Art ahead of the opening of an exhibition of his latest work, Permanent Error, a series of portraits and landscapes taken in a dump site of e-waste near the slum of Agbogbloshie, in Ghana.
Like a dark mirror of our daily life and all our beloved technological extensions, this work shows us a ground zero of dry land and clouds of smoke, filled by creatures that could come from Hugo's previous work about Nigeria's fim industry, Nollywood - except they're not. This time they are real people, and what is unreal is the fact that they are in that place, covered with all those rusted and alien objects, while toxic smoke rises up the sky, and some cows inexplicably manage to stroll around peacefully or lie on the ground asleep, maybe dreaming of a different world.
Permanent Error will be at MAXXI from December 1st, 2011, to April 29, 2012.
All images taken from Permanent Error © Pieter Hugo
Friday, November 18, 2011
The caption next to the wall shown above, from the exhibition Of Large and Small at the Royal Library in Copenhagen, says:
"The pictures were taken in a 2 metre long bubble chamber in CERN in Switzerland in 1967. They were used for studying so-called strong interactions at proton clashes with the - at that time - very highest energy level. At this time one began to understand that protons themselves were built from smaller parts, and on pictures it is possible to see a number of particles created by the clashes."
I think it is safe to say that these are among the most interesting traces ever left on film since the birth of photography (btw, today is Daguerre's birthday).
See for yourself:
And if you want some more, you only have to ask.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Dornith Doherty, Seed Head 2, 2010
Dornith Doherty's photography is devoted to the investigations of the variety, the resourcefulness and the fragility of the plant kingdom, and of the natural environment extensively. She especially focuses on the struggle to preserve nature's diversity, shown through a beautiful combination of microphotographs of plant seeds and a images showing the interiors of seed banks around the world.
Dornith Doherty, Drying Seeds and Pliers, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 2009
Before that, she made several photographic series, like Altered Terrain and Constructed Landscapes, where for example she combines still lives made of natural specimens with projections of photographs of the places where these were collected.
Dornith Doherty, After the Rain, 2005
Her mini dioramas bear a striking resemblance with Abelardo Morell's latest update of his Camera Obscura work, called Tent Camera, in which he photographs the projection coming through the pinhole and falling on the ground.
Abelardo Morell, Tent-Camera Image On Ground: View of Cerro Castellan and Tuff Canyon. Big Bend National Park, Texas, 2010
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Fresh from a G20 summit which failed to agree on a plan to arrest the ongoing global recession, and in the middle of the various "Occupy" protests happening in different cities, I ran into Immo Klink and his project Security, which shows the deployment of police forces during international meetings of heads of state and summits alike. I especially like the night photographs, where policemen become like menacing fireflies scattered all over, thanks to the clever use of a flashlight, while the Gleneagles series shows them in the middle of the green of the countryside, looking a bit lost, as if somebody threw them in the middle of it, while they are still trying to figure out where they are.
Klink has another project called European Communities, a hommage to those communities living in nature in makeshift houses (or not, some are quite remarkable and solid), divided in three chapters: Shelter, Life, Dwellers. This adds another series to the survey of photographic works about shelters I have ben doing recently - see previous chapters here, here and here.
People living in shelters among the woods on one side, police everywhere on the other: is this man trying to predict Europe's near future?
All images © Immo Klink
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Two more exhibitions I saw in Copenhagen:
- The Fotografisk Center is hosting Myths of the Near Future - New Danish Photography, a group show of 11 Danish photographers, including household names like Joakim Eskildsen and Jacob Aue Sobol and less internationally established names with really interesting work, like Lykke Andersen, with what I would describe as her conceptual vistas, revolving on the conflict between real and artificial, culture and nature; Peter Funch with his beautifully (and funny) staged street photography, or Astrid Kruse, whose images look like pages from spooky candlelight tales.
Lykke Anderson, Cows #1, 2011
© Martin Asbaek Gallery
Friday, October 21, 2011
The Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, formerly the Nikolaj Church (fascinating reconversion), is currently hosting an interesting exhibition, Bureaucratics by Dutch photographer Jan Banning, a journey through hundreds of state civil administrations across eight countries, showing how much the same recurrent image of a person sitting behind his or her own office desk can reveal of the country that those people are supposed to serve.
In Texas you might have two embalmed deers looking over your shoulder during your daily duties, in France you might work for a 51 residents' community, in Liberia you might be a policeman with no phone, no car and earn 15 euros a month.
All images except installation views © Jan Banning