Tag Archives: Aperture

David Favrod, Son magnifique champ de fleurs

David Favrod, Son magnifique champ de fleurs

David Favrod

Son magnifique champ de fleurs,
Vionnaz, Switzerland, 2012
From the HIKARI series
Website – DavidFavrod.com

David Favrod lives and works in Switzerland. He is a graduate of École cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL) with a master's degree in art direction and a bachelor's degree in photography. Other than winning the Aperture Portfolio Prize, Favrod has also been included in reGeneration2, a book and touring exhibition showcasing emerging photographers. His work has been shown in solo and group shows around the world.

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.

Helen Sear

Helen Sear has two new series, never seen in the United States, currently on exhibition through October 26th at the Klompching Gallery in Brooklyn: Sightlines and Pastoral Monuments.  The work follows a thread of her earlier projects, Beyond the View and Inside the View, where the artist is considering concept, photographic process, historical reference, and visual seduction.  I am sharing two images from her earlier work to understand her visual progression.

 ©Helen Sear, Beyond the View, No. 6, 2007
©Helen Sear, Inside the View, No. 5, 2007

Helen’s photographic practice has developed from a fine art background of performance, film and installation work made in the 1980’s. Her photographs became widely known in the 1991 British Council exhibition, De-Composition: Constructed Photography in Britain, which toured Latin America and Eastern Europe. Her work is included in Face—The New Photographic Portrait (Thames & Hudson) and has been featured in several publications including Arts Review, Hotshoe, Guardian Review, Art Newspaper, Portfolio, Aperture and Arts Monthly amongst others. Her artworks are represented in several notable public and private collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Ernst & Young, British Council (Rome), Paul Wilson Collection and Virgin Communications Collection. In 2010 Helen Sear was awarded the prestigious Major Creative Wales Award and more recently, the National Eisteddford of Wales 2011 Gold Medal for Fine Art.


Sightlines is partially concerned withideas about the unique object and the copy. The images themselves depict a portrait of a woman whose face is obscured by a mass-produced, but hand-painted figurine of a bird. Sear alters the final photograph through the application of several layers of white primer—gesso. The images, then, are also about photographing paint and painting photographs. This convergence of the unique and/or the copy is further implicated by notions of her concern with identity. Through obscuring the face of the woman, Sear interrupts the gaze of both sitter and observer. The spectator of the photograph is unable to know the sitter’s identity, in a similar way that she/he can’t know the
identity of the person(s) who hand-painted the bird.

 
Sightlines, Untitled 16 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery
 Sightlines, Untitled 2 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery

 Sightlines, Untitled 20 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery

 Sightlines, Untitled 21 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery  
 Sightlines, Untitled 4 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery
 Sightlines, Untitled 6 ©2011 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery
Images from Pastoral Monuments

Pastoral Monuments, expands an underlying theme of the real and the re-presentation of it. In this case, Sear references the historical photographs of the botanist and photographer, Mary Dillwyn, whose photographs from the early 1850’s depicted wild flowers arranged in domestic crockery. Sear has sourced more than 80 wild flowers from the same Welsh field and photographed them in jugs and vases from around the world. Through handling the resulting prints and rephotographing them—evidencing this handling—Sear believes that “the flowers and their containers become connected in a material sense, across the surface of the image.” Further, we see in the photographs familiar ideas associated with flowers—youth, beauty and mortality. In some ways, these photographs become monuments to flowers.

 Pastoral Monument 1, Myosotis Arvensis ©2012 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery

 

Pastoral Monument 5, Angelica Atropurpurea ©2012 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery 
 Pastoral Monument 6, Daucus Carota ©2012 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery

Pastoral Monument 9, Malva Sylvestris ©2012 Helen Sear  Image: courtesy Klompching Gallery

Merce Cunningham: 65 Years App Launches

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Merce Cunningham: 65 Years, a dynamic multimedia app celebrating the unique legacy of the late choreographer, dancer, and artist, launches today. Based on the book Merce Cunningham: 50 Years (Aperture, 1997) by David Vaughan, which is often referred to as “the Cunningham bible,” this expanded digital edition for the iPad includes new essays, journal entires by the choreographer, video excerpts, photographs and interviews. Read more about Merce Cunningham and the app in the New York Times.

The app is available for purchase in the iTunes App Store.