Tag Archives: American Photographer

Aaron Schuman, Untitled

Aaron Schuman, Untitled

Aaron Schuman

Untitled,
Somerset, England, 2012
From the Summer Set series
Website – AaronSchuman.com

Aaron Schuman is an American photographer, editor, writer and curator based in the United Kingdom. His photographic work is exhibited internationally, and he regularly contributes photography, articles, essays and interviews to a wide-range of publications, including Aperture, Foam Magazine, Photoworks, ArtReview, Modern Painters, Hotshoe International, British Journal of Photography, and more; he has also published writings in a number of recently released books, including Pieter Hugo: This Must Be the Place (Prestel, 2012), Photographs Not Taken (Daylight, 2012), and Hijacked 3 (Big City Press, 2012). In 2010, Schuman curated Whatever Was Splendid: New American Photographs, a principal exhibitions at the 2010 Fotofest Biennial (Houston, USA); in 2011 he curated Other I: Alec Soth, Wassink Lundgren, Viviane Sassen at Hotshoe Gallery (London, UK); and he is in the midst of curating In Appropriation for the Houston Center of Photography, opening in September 2012. Schuman is a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Brighton and the Arts University College at Bournemouth. He is also the founder, director and editor of the online photography journal, SeeSaw Magazine.
 

Remixed, a New Take on Aperture Classics

Throughout its 60-year history Aperture has never turned away from its hallmarks: an abiding respect for photography as an artistic medium and a tireless encouragement of the free exchange of ideas. From its founding in 1952 through the present, the foundation has always attracted the leading image-makers of the day, and it is only fitting this anniversary serve as a time to reflect on the past. In the celebratory exhibitionAperture Remix, this instinct towards nostalgia is focused on a reflection of photographic influence.

Curator Lesley Martin invited ten contemporary photographers to look back on past Aperture publications, choose a personally influential example and pay artistic homage through appropriation and modification. Martin went to great lengths to select artists explaining, I was looking at a range of people who could represent the directions that photography is moving in now, the way documentary is shifting, and the way digital is being incorporated into photographic practice.

The diversity is apparent, and artists selected span both space and time. Japanese artist Rinko Kawauchi drew inspiration from American photographer’s Sally MannsImmediate Family,created more than a continent away. Meanwhile,Alec Soth selected Robert AdamsSummer Nights, which he reinterpreted into a video, Summer Nights at the Dollar Tree, 2012. When explaining his reasoning for working with Robert Adams past publication he says, Over time, you begin to understand influences and the nuances of what makes your own work different.The other artists commissioned to create work include Vik Muniz, Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, Martin Parr, Viviane Sassen, Penelope Umbrico, James Welling and Doug Rickard, who chose to remix Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places.

While the initial assignment could be read as encouraging passive appropriation, Rickards approach to Stephen ShoresUncommon Placesis an example of how remixing encouraged unexpected results. Instead of physically intervening with the publication, Rickard decided to analyze the influences that affected it to create his expansive homage. After reading several interviews and text on Shores work, Rickard honed in on postcards as a source of inspiration forUncommon Placesthrough their unique and plain depictions of America. Reminiscent of the great American road trip, Rickard took a digital road trip on eBay to scavenge hundreds of thousands of postcards for his re-imagining. From this wide edit he narrowed down to a smaller set of candidates he felt had the appropriate ingredients that would yield imagery most reminiscent of the original 8 x 10 photographs in Shores publication.

I spent hundreds of hours doing it because his book is so iconic, and I felt homages or anything that is connected to something iconic is always tricky,” Rickard says. “It was important that I did something that was worthyand fitting of this era toowhich is the digital era.

Although the outcomes are decidedly mixed, the assignment uniformly challenged each artist to wrestle through the issue of influence. In an age of image abundance, it may seem easier to ignore icons for fear of looming too close to previous conceptsbut to process and pay tribute is equally demanding. The moral of the story could be dont try anything ever, but figuring out how strong each contributing artists voice is within all their layers of consideration is what makesAperture Remixsuch an engaging exhibition.

Aperture Remix is on view at Aperture Gallery in New York from Oct. 17Nov. blog comment . 17. See more informationhere.

In Amsterdam, a Photo Festival ‘Unseen’

This fall, Amsterdam—known for its innovative photo community— will welcome a new photography festival to its Dutch district. Called Unseen, the festival hopes to be a festival that, well, viewers have never seen before, with a focus on new and emerging talent as well as an aim to showcase never-before-seen work from established favorites including Richard Avedon, Steven Klein, Helmut Newton and Edward Steichen, among others.

Taking place from Sept. 19-23 at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek, the fair comprises more than 50 galleries hailing from around the world. With photography from places as diverse as Japan and New York, Dubai and Finland, the scope of the work will range from documentary to conceptual to experimental. Highlights include Miles Aldridge’s Immaculee #3 (Red Madonna), 2012, which reaffirms the long standing relationship between photography and iconographic painting, but pushes the boundary of what we expect as a viewer by asking the virgin figure to maintain eye contact and acknowledge the image maker. Also of interest is Zanzibar, 2010, by Chloe Sells. The American photographer explores the idea of land and nostalgia through her experimental darkroom C-prints. Colorful and graphic with bold colors and strong shapes, yet abstract and ambiguous, her images inspire thoughts of place and placelessness.

While there are many photography fairs around the world, Unseen works to offer a few additions to the typical fair. There will be a collection of affordable photographs, all priced under 1,000 euro (approximately $1280), to both help young photographers reach a new audience, as well as allow the young collector, or photography appreciator to invest in affordable work. And for the book connoisseur, Offprint Amsterdam will be at the fair, curating a new collection of self published and limited edition books.

You can learn more about the galleries featured and the day-to-day events here. Unseen is a project initiated by Foam, Platform A and Vandejong.

Tearsheet of The Day | Refugees’ shoes in South Sudan by Shannon Jensen in Newsweek

Shannon Jensen has a terrific work in Newsweek Int’l 3 September 2012 issue from South Sudan. Jensen travelled in the country June-July this year, and photographed shoes belonging to refugees who had travelled by foot  across the border from Sudan’s Blue Nile state over to neighbouring South Sudan to escape Khartoum government’s military campaign against Southern liberation movement.

Newsweek has dedicated four pages for the series showing overall 18 pairs of shoes. The photos are accompanied by a short text  providing background, written solely by the photographer*.

“How to represent a journey in an image?” asks Jensen in the opening sentence of the piece titled ‘A Long Walk’. I think she found a pretty good way to do just that. The idea and its execution reminded me little of Alejandro Cartagena’s Car Poolers.

You can see Jensen’s photos on the Newsweek website here.

Photos © Shannon Jensen

Shannon Jensen is an American photographer based between USA and East Africa. She is part of  Reportage by Getty Images Emerging Talent.

*In June I wrote about Newsweek often showing photo projects solely accompanied by photographer’s text. See here.

apertureWEEK: Photography Reading Shortlist

© International Center of Photography, 2012. Photograph by John Berens.

›› Throw out your SLR? App-maker Hipstamatic announced its plans to launch the Hipstamatic Foundation for Photojournalism to educate and support ”the next generation of photographic storytellers using smartphones with Hipstamatic.” Photojournalist Brad Mangin posted “How I Made Instagram Images That Were Good Enough for Sports Illustrated,” an essay about how he got a portfolio of iPhone Instagrams published, and how you can too. Traditional photojournalists everywhere are groaning, but check out Benjamin Lowy’s blog featuring his reports from Libya via Instagram (supported in part by a Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund grant) and judge for yourself.

›› The Associated Press has announced that it will be using robotic cameras (in addition to its team of photographers) to photograph the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. These cameras, which have been mounted on ceilings and the bottom of pools, will provide an otherwise impossible perspective on the games. On the heels of the highly controversial Olympics Portraits that made the rounds on the web earlier this month, LightBox tells the story of The Best Magazine Assignment Ever, photographer’s Neil Leifer’s 1984 “Olympic Odyssey Around the World” during which he traveled to 13 different countries to create a collection of images that would appear in TIME’s preview of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

›› The New York Times Lens Blog published a collection of color slides taken by groundbreaking American photographer, musician, writer and film director Gordon Parks in 1956, images from his “Segregation Series” that had been thought lost until they were found at the bottom of a box this spring. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture opened Gordon Parks: 100 Moments, a retrospective focusing on the photographer’s work in Harlem and Washington D.C. in the 1940s. The International Center of Photography opened an exhibition of Parks’ photographs in May, and they’ll be on view until January 2013. Parks, who died in 2006, would have been 100 this year.

›› What does the future hold for photography publishing? The British Journal of Photography reported on the growing body of work being printed on newsprint, profiling publications by Jason Larkin, Guy Martin, Alec Soth, and Rob Hornstra, who are enthusiastic about the medium’s affordability and impermanence. Joerg Colberg discussed how serious photography might best use the internet as a means of dissemination.

›› The Guardian’s Geoff Dyer profiles StreetViewer photographer Michael Wolf, as well as Doug Rickard whose forthcoming monograph A New American Picture sparked lively debate on our Facebook page last week, some condemning his practice as lazy appropriation, and others praising its conceptual ingenuity. In discussing Rickard, Dyer links “this new way of working” to the candid photography traditions of Paul Strand, Robert Frank, and Walker Evans: “The shifting spirit of Robert Frank seems also to be lurking, as if the Google vehicle were an updated incarnation of the car in which he made his famous mid-50s road trip to produce his photographic series, The Americans.” In other virtual reality news, StreetView now includes images from the Antarctic huts of explorers Shackleton and Scott, providing yet more digital space for such artists to explore.

Aaron Schuman, Redwoods (4)

Aaron Schuman, Redwoods (4)

Aaron Schuman

Redwoods (4),
, 2011-12
From the Redwoods series
Website – AaronSchuman.com

Aaron Schuman is an American photographer, editor, writer and curator based in the United Kingdom. His photographic work is exhibited internationally, and he regularly contributes photography, articles, essays and interviews to a wide-range of publications, including Aperture, Foam Magazine, Photoworks, ArtReview, Modern Painters, Hotshoe International, British Journal of Photography, and more; he has also published writings in a number of recently released books, including Pieter Hugo: This Must Be the Place (Prestel, 2012), Photographs Not Taken (Daylight, 2012), and Hijacked 3 (Big City Press, 2012). In 2010, Schuman curated Whatever Was Splendid: New American Photographs, a principal exhibitions at the 2010 Fotofest Biennial (Houston, USA); in 2011 he curated Other I: Alec Soth, Wassink Lundgren, Viviane Sassen at Hotshoe Gallery (London, UK); and he is in the midst of curating In Appropriation for the Houston Center of Photography, opening in September 2012. Schuman is a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Brighton and the Arts University College at Bournemouth. He is also the founder, director and editor of the online photography journal, SeeSaw Magazine.
 

Vignettes from a Contested Land: An American Photographer in the West Bank

An Israeli-government appointed committee ruled July 9 that the West Bank was not “occupied” land, something Palestinians who live there and, indeed, much of the international community consider it to be ever since Israeli troops seized control of the territory in 1967. The report reaffirms the longstanding view of the Israeli government, particularly the right-wing-led coalition currently in power, and pushes for a number of measures further supporting the presence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It’s news that can only deepen the sense of outrage and dispossession harbored by Palestinians, who have cause to feel exasperated with the current state of affairs: the peace process with Israel has gone moribund; the Palestinian leadership’s feeble attempt to unilaterally bid for statehood at the U.N. was brushed aside last year, all the while as Israeli settlements further entrench themselves on West Bank soil under the administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Every May 15, Palestinians commemorate Nakba day, which marks the “catastrophe” that was the creation of the state of Israel and the subsequent loss of their homeland. In the weeks leading up to Nakba day this year, hundreds of Palestinians in jail had gone on a mass coordinated hunger strike in protest of Israeli detention laws. Scores took to the streets once again, clashing with Israeli security forces. As ever, images of burning tires and stone throwers were beamed around the world.

But American photographer Adam Golfers images of the West Bank look beyond the hurly burly of one of the worlds intractable conflicts, past what he terms the theater of war and the almost ritualized scenes of violence that seem to shape the outsiders view of the Middle East. Golfer, who is Jewish, has an art background and does not consider himself a photojournalist. He spent three weeks roaming the West Bank last November and five more this February. The resulting photographs are, as he puts it, not a documentary, but rather something far more personal, tied to his own meanderings across a land over which every aspect is disputed.

Golfers photos, he says, are vignettes of an experience. proveedor factura electrnica . They are bathed in a painterly glow, dwelling over terrain that is at once stark and desolate but suffused with centuries of accrued history and memory. In one, three foreign journalists stand atop the stony earth, at the center of the narrative they seek to tell. linkwheel . In another, an Israeli Center for Tolerance and Human Dignitybuilt despite local protests and appealsemerges from what is the site of a 7th century Muslim cemetery. A gnarled tree rises out of the foreground, its leafless branches pointing limply at the new construction.

A photo poised on a kitchen counter shows three men whose ties date back to this land well before 1948. Its a mixture of nostalgia and also a proof of life, says Golfer. I dont want to sound dramatic, but not long ago Newt Gingrich was saying theres no such thing as the Palestinian people. Here we have a portrait of a family, a sense of roots, a sense of place.

That idea of place and of a moment interests Golfer, who hopes to expand his work with field recordings and other media. He says hes not keen on running into the line of fire. Too often, says Golfer, our vision of this region gets represented by a tableau of violence. Instead, he is curious about how the Palestinian way of life has taken shape: families negotiate real and imagined boundaries; a line of gorgeous woven rugs airs out in the early evening half-light. There is a quiet about a lot of the stuff I was looking at, says Golfer. If so, its a silence full of meaning.

Andrew Phelps, Untitled

Andrew Phelps, Untitled

Andrew Phelps

Untititled,
Higley, Arizona, 2011
From the Haboob series
Website – Andrew-Phelps.com

Andrew Phelps is an American photographer who has been living in Europe since 1990. His work is influenced by the cross-cultural lifestyle he now leads, dividing his time between the deserts of Arizona and the Alps of Austria. Alongside a constant pursuit of new work, Andrew keeps a blog about special edition photography books called BUFFET. Andrew is a member of the Piece of Cake project.