A collaboration with Klompching Gallery
Editor's Note: Flak Photo is proud to partner with Klompching Gallery to present photography stories from FRESH, a group exhibition featuring five new voices in contemporary image-making. The objective of Klompching's annual summer program is to showcase photography that is fresh in approach and vision. This year's exhibition was curated by photo collector Fred Bidwell and gallerist Darren Ching and is on view through August 18, 2012. For more information, visit Klompching.com
Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman: The hybrid process used in Natural History is a combination of cyanotype experimentation and our portraits of older women. Lindsay coated one of the digitally printed portraits with cyanotype solution, placed a frond from a bleeding heart plant on it and exposed it to the sun. The black and white portrait emerged through the Prussian blue “photogram” of the botanicals. What developed was a revelation — the moment when ideas synthesize and photography becomes a medium of magical alignment. The impressions created a layering of narratives that we search for in making our work. The process recalled Anna Atkins, the 19th-century botanist who first used cyanotype to produce her books on British ferns and algae. The unpredictable application of cyanotype solution on paper is the antithesis of the mechanical product of the digital print. In these transformed portraits, surface and interior blur; historical processes blend with contemporary techniques and remind us of the evanescence of light and life – the shadow we live in.
Ciurej & Lochman are based in Chicago, Ill. and Milwaukee, Wis. Learn more about them on their Flak Photo Profile »
Tabitha Soren: For the past two and a half years, my Running series has taken me from my home in California to twelve states, Mexico and Canada in search of willing subjects. The only casting requirement was that the people could run. In this series, I’m attempting to acknowledge the world unseen beyond the frame, while caging my subjects inside. When people are running, their bodies contort and we get to glimpse emotions that are normally hidden. The fight or flight response is something each of us can connect with. Yet, the cause and effect of what is happening in each Running picture remains a mystery. I’m inviting viewers to mine their own secrets to expand on each picture's narrative. I want them to participate. The role of accident, panic and resilience are consistent themes in my work and sometimes all three arise during one shoot. For example, for Running 000516, my next-door neighbor, an opera singer, came out of the water with her body covered in flesh-colored leeches. I had no idea leeches came in any other color than black so naturally, a surge of horror and guilt came over me for what I had just put her through. However, because the singer had grown up on a Bay Area commune, she said, “Oh yeah, this has happened before,” and casually plucked them off one by one with her towel.
Tabitha Soren is based in Berkely, California. Learn more about her on her Flak Photo Profile »
Martin Bogren: From the beginning, I wanted to make a portrait of my childhood village, but along the way this project came to be more about memories, about growing up — and a more personal and subjective story began to take shape. I've always traveled and I frequently make photographs that tell personal stories in foreign places. It’s easy to fascinate one’s self with exotic locales and the Lowlands project was a way for me to photograph something closer, something part of myself. I began to make images of the people and places in my home village four years ago. In the beginning I worked mostly with pocket and rangefinder cameras, and the pictures I was making resembled classic documentary. A few years ago, I started working with a medium format (6×6) camera, which slowed down my process and put me closer to my subjects. I tend to be most productive in late summer in the seasonal shift just before the fall. There is a kind of "after summer” look to these images. It's something with the light, but also in my mood.
Martin Bogren is based in Malmo, Sweden. Learn more about him on his Flak Photo Profile »
Monika Merva: After completing a long-term, site-specific project I wanted to do something personal, that got back to my roots. At the time I was a stay-at-home mom, so it made sense to photograph my family, friends and the objects I hold dear. These pictures were made in Budapest and Brooklyn, two cities I call home. The imperfect, perfect peaches were plucked from my cousin’s tree, the wet hair on my daughter’s back I see every evening during her bath, the portrait of a woman with a comb in her hair is of my great aunt, who held my hand while I jumped in puddles as a toddler, and the complex expression of the woman sitting in the gold chair belongs to my friend’s mother. Andrew Wyeth once said, “I think one’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.” I read that quote more than fifteen years ago while studying for myMFA. As I was scanning my bookcase for inspiration I found my bound thesis, covered in dust, and opened it up to read a few pages. Not much has changed my motivations for making photographs. For me, the camera helps convey my love and appreciation; it’s a way to explore the world.
Monika Merva is based in Brooklyn New York. Learn more about her on her Flak Photo Profile »
Shawn Rocco: Curiosity. It leads to exploration, discovery, understanding and knowledge. That is my attraction to documentary photography; I'm curious about life in all its aspects. How we live our lives, interconnected on so many levels, to each other and the planet. I'm also fascinated at how reality is processed through the mechanizations of the camera. I often photograph for no other reason than to see the world interpreted through the lens. And sometimes, like in this instance, the reward is witnessing a spectrum of reality that would otherwise go unnoticed. I was in an office taking ambient light exposures when I rocked back in a chair and happened to look up. With no preconception, I raised the camera. Surprisingly, through the LCD screen, I noticed that the flickering wavelengths of the fluorescent lighting above me were more distinctive than my naked eye could see. Attracted to the beauty of not just the image, but the act of discovering something new in the ordinary and familiar, I took a photo. Was the pattern peculiar to only this fixture? Is it just in this room? What was going on? This intriguing phenomenon invited exploration. I was curious and my camera showed me something new.
Shawn Rocco is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Learn more about him on his Flak Photo Profile »
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