Tag Archives: Anticipation

Carrie Mae Weems: A Look Back on Three Decades

The cover image of Carrie Mae Weems’s engaging book finds the artist and photographer wearing a long black dress as she stands at the shoreline with her back to the camera, looking at the ocean. It looks as if she is contemplating the morning. We, the “reader” or “viewer,” wait in anticipation to open the book and look into her world. The cover image is our invitation! The photograph is from Weems’s Roaming series from 2006. She becomes our narrator to history. She states: “This woman can stand in for me and for you; she leads you into history. She’s a witness and a guide.”

Weems is an art-photographer, performance artist, activist and videographer—well known for her photographic series and multi-screen projections relating to themes focusing on family, beauty and memory. For the last 25 years, she has relied on stories from the ‘kitchen table’ and of life in the low country of South Carolina, antebellum New Orleans, cities in Senegal, Cuba, Ghana and Italy to create a body of work that engages in history. An artist concerned with iconography, she has constructed a series of works questioning black women’s presence in popular and material culture as well as art history. Throughout her 30-odd year career, Weems has re-staged historical moments and created images that re-imagined everyday life from family stories to political history. Weems focused her camera on her own body to create multiple conversations. She interrogates and assembles old stereotypes and disassembles them.

In 1992, she refused to accept the scientific racism that prevailed in the 19th century circulating about black Americans. In re-imagining the photographed experiences of some of the blacks enslaved on a South Carolina plantation photographed by J. T. Zealy, a daguerreotypist commissioned by zoologist Louis Agassiz, Weems used the narrative of slavery and re-purposed the images. The title of her series From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried is a text and image installation of large scale framed images printed with a red tint, possibly to signify the life’s blood still flowing through the memory of their enslaved experience.

Born in Portland, Oregon, and now living in Syracuse, N.Y., photo-artist Weems interweaves a narrative of black female subjectivity, black beauty and the gaze in her work on beauty. Weems’s photographs are ‘performing beauty’ through lighting, posing, acting and fashion. Weems confronts historical depictions and restages them with ‘what if…’ questions. In her series, Not Manet’s Type, Weems critiques the white male art “masters,” and how beauty is defined through their paintings. The ironic series of five self-reflexive photographs with text, questions not only Manet but also Picasso, DeKooning and Duchamp.

Weems is the ideal model and she is well informed about the history of art, using her own partially dressed and nude body. The posing reveals her formal training as a photographer, and her choice of props is influenced by her sharp observation as a builder of ideas. The series’ power lies in her narrative voice and her ability to create a scene. At first glance, it looks as if the photographs are all the same because of the square format and the centered art deco-style vanity dresser. The setting is the bedroom, a private but inviting space. We, the viewer, peer through the square mat into the round mirror that frames her body, which lends an effect of peeping at a private moment. Her sensitivity to the historical gaze is quite evident, the time of day, the lace on the brass bed, the large white vase holding dried flowers, and the art work framed on the wall offer a sense of reality, as the bright sun bleaches the lower half of her body and the bed. Weems stands with her back to the viewer; the bold red text reads:

“It was clear, I was not Manet’s type… Picasso—who had a way with women only used me & Duchamp never even considered me.”

The series’ text clearly shows her vulnerability as she attempts to empower her image. The next images states: “Standing on shakey [sic] ground I posed myself for critical study but was no longer certain of the questions to ask.”

Women artists like Weems, Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Renee Cox and Carla Williams challenge ideas of beauty and desire, which are both critical components in Weems’s work. All of these artists dare her viewer to rethink their understanding and the positioning of contemporary art practices. Mirrors are often found in Weems’s self-portraits; she’s gazes at her statuesque frame which is reflected in the mirrored image. Gates states, “An artist does not make a work called Not Manet’s Type (1997) without a keen sense of her own authority, a respect—not reverence—for those artists who came before her, and an ability to laugh in the midst of serious thinking.”

Deborah Willis is a photographer, photo historian and professor at New York University. Her recent work includes a book and exhibition of the same title Posing Beauty in African American Culture on exhibit at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa.

Willis’s writing is featured in Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, which will be released by Yale University Press in October.
A retrospective exhibition of the same name is also on view at the Frist Center in Nashville from Sept. 21, 2012 to Jan. 13, 2013.

It will then travel to the following locations:
Portland Art Museum:  Feb. 2–May 19, 2013
Cleveland Museum of Art:  June 30–Sept. 29, 2013
Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University: Oct. 16, 2013–Jan. 5, 2014
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York: Jan. 24–April 23, 2014

Goseong Choi

Goseong Choi submitted this powerful image to the Mother’s Day post and I wanted to know more:

Goseong looks at intimate domestic situations that focus on subtleties hidden in the daily routines of life. He seeks the emotion of everyday life, and “sometimes the appearance of simplicity in truth hides enormous depths”.  Being a participant observer, Goseong is able to access the relationship between things in space.  His series, Umma, looks at the sense of loss that his mother felt when her mother passed away.

Born in Sungnam, South Korea, Goseong recieved his MFA from Pratt Institute.  He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. He has two upcoming exhibitions: one opening in September at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin, and another opening in December at the Korean Cultural Service in New York.


Umma, Korean for “Mom: is a recent series of photographs witnessing a dramatic family event, my grandmother’s passing.  When I was in Korea photographing in January 2011, I was taking intimate domestic pictures of my family in their daily lives.  Then I went to a small village where my father was from and was photographing the rural life there when I got world that my grandmother had had a stroke.

She was in a coma for three weeks, and at the end of the third week, she died. She is my mother’s mother, and during the funeral and its anticipation and aftermath, I was particularly aware of my mother’s grief and emotion. I felt her deep sorrow and fear. And I photographed the sense of loss. The work that I had already been doing about her daily routine prepared us both for my role as a photographer during this momentous time.

Eric Tabuchi: FAT ( A French American Trip)

Eric Tabuchi has just released a new book, FAT, A French American Road Trip, published by Matmos Press in Montreal. It’s a wonderful collection of images that bring humor to the idea of our globalized world, where the homoginization of cultural landmarks make no sense in their new contexts. But the most amazing element of this series, is that these images are all Google screen captures.

Eric is a modern day typologist, with an amazing range of projects. His website is an incredible reflection of the potential of looking at our world. Eric works and lives in Paris and has a long roster of international exhibitions. Eric states:
“Photography is first and foremost a technique for recording images. That is PRECISELY The Reason Why it is so captivating – literally, it Consists in Capturing stuff. Purpose, to answer your question, I think photography is Above All That projection was of the past into the future, an anticipation of what has-been and Will no longer exist. That is why I wait for Several years Often Before publishing my gold Exhibiting photographs.”

Images from Alphabet Truck

Images from Eldorado

Images from French Countryside Skateparks

FAT – A French American Trip: Pursuing his pop and serial studies of the French landscape, Eric Tabuchi questions the validity of his photographic method in contrast to the considerable power wielded by the likes of Google, which, via his global digitization company, is at last carrying out a project that is genuinely objective. Thus, contrary to his habitual method of scanning the field, Eric Tabuchi has undertaken the exploration of familiar places, but through this parallel world, the carbon copy of reality that is Street View.Consequently, FAT creates a strain between these two levels of perception, which are henceforth known to all as the virtual and the real, the space of projection and the concrete territory.

FAT is America, projected through the realm of the French imagination, digitized by Google and at last, compiled by Eric Tabuchi, as a sort of staggeringly condensed outlook of what globalization could be, in the era of internet. In this respect, FAT is a doubly motionless voyage as it entails visiting America through its emblematic landmarks without leaving France, and what’s more, in front of a computer screen. Residing in Paris during the summer of 2011, Eric Tabuchi, after envisioning this voyage into reality, set out on this virtual “road trip”, making an inventory of businesses – bars for the most part – bearing the name of a city, place or state visible on Street View. In 32 screen captures, two geographies are layered, which, from New York to El Paso, from Villeurbanne to Draguignan, testifies to the gap that divides the “elsewhere” from “here”.

Oscars 2012: Great Performances

Each January, Los Angeles is effervescent with anticipation, as the world’s biggest stars gather to participate in a flurry of parties, dinners and events in the walk-up to the Golden Globes, marking the beginning of the awards season. This year was no exception.

TIME’s annual Oscars portfolio showcases each year’s best performers through a portfolio of striking portraits. Tears, giggles, pranks and emotions ran high, and loads of laughter pealed through the studio during this year’s shoot, which resulted in a series of images and short films photographed and directed by Sebastian Kim. It was our most ambitious Oscars shoot yet. We had just three days to photograph and film 12 world-class actors during their busiest time of the year.

George Clooney arrived early on set, but it didn’t take long for the actor to settle in and begin joking around and planning pranks with Michael Fassbender, who had recently been photographed by Kim for the February issue of Interview magazine. This previous experience of working together made for a great rapport between them. And it wasn’t the only happy reunion on set: Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer happily embraced upon seeing each other on our set, giving us a glimpse of the fun these two had while working together on The Help. Later, Adepero Oduye was brought to tears when introduced by Joel Stein, who was on hand to interview the actors, to Davis, one of her greatest heroes. “It was so unbelievably Hollywood and yet really real,” Stein says.

Kim says that the project was the most star-studded he’s photographed so far. “I was quite excited photographing Meryl Streep,” he says, noting that his girlfriend is a big fan of the actress’s, “so naturally I was quite nervous when I met her. Being nervous on set is not a good thing as it impedes your concentration, but I just kept thinking, ‘My gosh…I better a get a good shot of her and make my girlfriend happy!’”

But Kim needn’t have been nervous. Streep was running a bit late, having arrived from a previous shoot with MGM studios, where she was taking part in a project to photograph the greatest living actors of our time. She was immediately forgiven—and how could she not be? Streep is kind and gracious, possesses a rare elegance and professionalism that made the photo shoot feel like anything but work. In fact, this set the tone for all of our actors’portraits, which also included sittings with Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Christopher Plummer, Michelle Williams, Rooney Mara, Jean Dujardin, as well as the adorable Uggie, the dog in The Artist.

It’s a rare pleasure to watch actors of this caliber play for the camera. Instead of characters, they play themselves, with a focus and passion that can only come from years of experience on set.

The performers’interviews with Joel Stein can be viewed here.

Dancing Queens: Lost Images from a Grand Ball

In the winter of 1955, Parisian high society buzzed in anticipation of a dance on ice to be performed by members of the royal houses of Europe. Inge Morath, 32 at the time, and a newly minted member of the Magnum photo agency, was assigned to cover the charity event, going behind the scenes to document the glamorous participants as they rehearsed for the gala evening. She shot 14 rolls in total, and the material was processed and distributed through the Magnum network, but never found its way into print.

In those days, the agency routinely distributed material shot on spec to a roster of sub-agents and publications, with the understanding that the prints would be returned. In many cases, that never happened; the prints remained in far-away files or gathered dust on the shelves of the recipients. Now, in an effort to reclaim the work, the Magnum Foundation, in partnership with the art magazine Esopus, has initiated a project to seek out that lost material and other works made by its photographers that never found its way into public view. Called “Analog Recovery,” the project is being edited by John Jacob, who is also the director of Morath’s estate. The goal, Jacob says, is to reintroduce a portfolio by a Magnum photographer twice a year. Morath’s Bal d’Hiver, is the first in the series.

Jacob had come across the Bal d’Hiver photos while doing research for another project about Magnum and the world of fashion. To assemble the piece, he used the marks that Morath herself had left on the contact sheets. “She really knew what she was doing with her editing,” he says. “I rarely needed to go beyond what she had selected.” How fitting, then, for the Esopus magazine feature on the photos to honor her astute eye—the issue includes a detachable reproduction of one of the 14 contact sheets, with Morath’s marks still visible.

A launch party for the issue, along with a small exhibit of the photographs will be held on Nov. 2 at Esopus Space in New York at 6 p.m. Select photos from the project will also be sold as prints by the online gallery 20×200, with proceeds benefitting the Magnum Foundation.

Andres Gonzalez – Somewhere

 

Andres Gonzalez was on a seemingly ideal photo trajectory. He was selected for the PDN 30 class of 2006 and was a 2007-2008 Fulbright Fellow. His clients included Newsweek, Monocle and Time. But not everything was sunny and f16

This series started soon after I left the photo agency I was with about a year and a half ago. They had submitted a series I made in Ukraine to an Italian magazine, and when I translated the text I found that they had rewritten some of my statement to give it a newsy slant. That really made me angry and soon after that I decided to leave the agency. It pretty much amounted to wanting more control over my work and how it was presented. That was the catalyst that pushed me to start putting this project together. The idea of storytelling has always been problematic for me, especially after moving abroad. For a long time I forced myself to tell other people’s stories because thats what journalists are supposed to do. Now I really just want to learn to see through my own eyes, to find my center and find a balance between being intentional and being open to the world. Looking for pictures has always been a form of meditation and I want my work to reflect that. Maybe that’s a bit soft, or perhaps even self-indulgent but thats really what I’m looking for. I love how quiet the world gets when you engage in deep observation. There is a loneliness there and I’m intrigued by that kind of beauty. I guess I want to believe there is room for everything.

SOMEWHERE

The passenger steps out onto the overcast deck and remembers a line. Soft was the sun. The wind to his back, he is facing the stern and an endless trail of thoughts drifting away from him towards the horizon. He wants no words, only to enjoy the delicate anticipation of a moment waiting to reveal itself. What are the limits of language? This is the mind, felt, not spoken. He makes a photograph of a seagull, and does not resist the emotion that brings.

There is a town passing by on the starboard side of the ship, the mind-boggling, awe-inspiring, crazy-making, world of people. He is happy for the distance, but knows that the idea of separation is an illusion. Everything exists according to the laws of nature. There is a core, it seems. The sea turns grey for a moment, the lights from the town slowly dimming, overtaken by fog. He makes another photograph of the fading light, the soft presence of time. The ship begins to slow, ahead a port, another journey.

Andres Gonzalez spends most of his time in Istanbul, Turkey but is spending Fall 2011 teaching at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.

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Alec Soth: Portraits – Portraiture

In October of 2004, photographer Alec Soth went on assignment for LIFE magazine to capture weekend soldiers at an Airsoft military simulation in Joelton, Tennessee. dryer repair marietta . In anticipation of his upcoming Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program exhibition, filmmaker Mike Dust traveled alongside Soth for this three-day excursion, interviewing and shooting alongside him as he worked to capture images for, both the magazine shoot as well as for his personal work. A number of these photographs (Odessa, Joelton, Tennessee, 2004 and Josh, Joelton, Tennessee, 2004) became part of the exhibition Alec Soth: Portraits at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts the following spring. The video piece created during that shoot was installed in the gallery as an accompaniment to the exhibition. nevada foundation repair . curso de mágica . The video is broken into three segments entitled On Assignment, Portraiture, and The Ground Glass. Alec Soth: Portraits – Portraiture (2:25, segment 2 of 3), 2005, Video, 8 minutes, produced and directed by Mike Dust, © 2005 National Projects www2.artsmia.org www.alecsoth.com

Alec Soth: Portraits

In October of 2004, photographer Alec Soth went on assignment for LIFE magazine to capture weekend soldiers at an Airsoft military simulation in Joelton, Tennessee. In anticipation of his upcoming Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program exhibition, filmmaker Mike Dust traveled alongside Soth for this three-day excursion, interviewing and shooting alongside him as he worked to capture images for, both the magazine shoot as well as for his personal work. Fix basement leak . Very Cheap Car Insurance . A number of these photographs (Odessa, Joelton, Tennessee, 2004 and Josh, Joelton, Tennessee, 2004) became part of the exhibition Alec Soth: Portraits at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts the following spring. The video piece created during that shoot was installed in the gallery as an accompaniment to the exhibition. The video is broken into three segments entitled On Assignment, Portraiture, and The Ground Glass. foundation repairing . Alec Soth: Portraits – The Ground Glass (3:06, segment 3 of 3), 2005, Video, 8 minutes, produced and directed by Mike Dust, © 2005 National Projects www2.artsmia.org www.alecsoth.com