Photoworks have commissioned these videos as part of their collaboration with Israeli-born artist, Ori Gersht. Here we are given an intimate behind-the-scenes look at Artist Book and his recent exhibition, This Storm is What We Call Progress, held at the Imperial War Museum. Artist Book was reviewed, somewhat disparagingly, in the latest issue of 1000 Words. The main crux of the writer’s argument pointed towards how the images perform (or fail to) in book format compared to experiencing the work as an exhibition. Not a new bone of contention by any means but obviously a noteworthy one since Ori Gerhst is both a highly accomplished and mindful artist, somebody from whom you would expect a more discerning approach to such an adaptation. As a piece of visual communication Artist Book is sloppy and ill-considered. Certain design decisions in relation to the book’s scale and size undersell his photography regardless of any “intimate/fetishistic object” PR spin that is put on it. Yes the production is impeccable, yes it offers a glimpse into Gerhst’s well of inspiration and yes the stories he narrates are undeniably emotive and beautifully shot but the simple fact remains; the project doesn’t translate well across mediums. It is therefore useful to remember that while the photobook market is booming the printed page is not always the best outlet for a photographer’s ideas. Artist Book is a case in point.
I’m super happy today to report that Ori Gersht’s first solo museum show This Storm is What We Call Progress opens to the public today at the Imperial War Museum in London. I’ve yet to see the show but there’s no excuse to miss it as it runs until the end of April. See below for videos from the lovely Ori (I know him as both a friend and as a visual artist) talking in his inimitable fashion about his work.
There are also two boxed book sets available at £40 and £250, see below for details. I am just about to reserve one for myself – the £40 one I hasten to add. Take a look at the videos below, read over for more about the show from the press release and head over to the museum. Then buy the box set – you won’t be disappointed. And, with a design by SMITH, the entire package looks like it has been both beautifully and sensitively produced.
Ori Gersht: This Storm is What We Call Progress
Imperial War Museum, London
25 January – 29 April 2012
A significant new exhibition of work by the Israeli-born, London-based artist Ori Gersht shows in partnership with Photoworks at the Imperial War Museum, London.
Co-curated by Photoworks Head of Programme, Celia Davies, This Storm is What We Call Progress is Gersht’s first major solo show in the UK and presents new photographs alongside two recent filmworks each reflecting personal experiences shaped by the Second World War.
Gersht’s work often deals with conflict, history and geographical place. The works in this show each disguise dark and complex themes beneath seductive, beautiful imagery.
Will You Dance For Me a new filmwork developed in association with Photoworks, depicts an 85-year-old dancer rocking back and forth in a chair, slowly recounting her experiences as a young woman in Auschwitz. Her punishment for refusing to dance at an SS officer’s party was to stand barefoot in the snow, and she pledged that if she survived she would dedicate her life to dance.
The two-screen film Evaders explores the mountainous path of the Lister Route, used by many to escape Nazi-occupied France. The film focuses on the ill-fated journey of Jewish writer and philosopher Walter Benjamin, whose own words give the exhibition its title. This presentation of Evaders will be the film’s first UK showing.
The photographic work Chasing Good Fortune examines the shifting symbolism of Japanese cherry blossoms which came to be linked with Kamikaze soldiers during the Second World War.
Artist Book: Ori Gersht, (£40) a boxed set of three hardback volumes and a softback text by Robert Rowland Smith, has been published by Photoworks to accompany this exhibition. Also available as a Limited Edition collector’s set (£250) – a run of 150 specially boxed and signed with two signed and numbered prints.
Ori Gersht is represented by Mummery + Schnelle
Filed under: Photography Books, Photography Shows, Visual Artists Tagged: Chasing Good Fortune, Evaders, Imperial War Museum, london, Ori Gersht, Photoworks, This Storm is What We Call Progress, Will You Dance For Me
Los Angeles just finished a five day celebration of all things photography at Photo LA: The 21st Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica. It’s an event that brings together galleries, private dealers and publishers, photographic artists, collectors, and anyone interested in photographic images. In addition to the many in booth exhibitions, Photo LA offered lectures, panels, book signings, and special installations. Stephen Shore, Eileen Cowin, Catherine Opie, and Ken Gonzales-Day offered lectures, along with many other well know names in photography.
This year there was a big emphasis on photo books, with many booths featuring artists books. Raymond Meeks/dumsaint editions shared his journals and books for a second year, and Liz Steketee’s work was featured in a number of booths, including Material Press & Steketee Books. LA Artist Book Arts showcased artist books by Ching Ching Cheng, Meg Madison, Charlene Matthews, and Susan Sironi.
Liz Steketee at Material Press
Liz Steketee at the Stephen Cohen Gallery
There were two names that were very much in evidence: Moby and Vivian Maier. Both artists had small exhibitions in the lobby of the show, and Moby also had work and a book in the DAP booth. I attended his lecture on Saturday and was very much impressed by his intelligence and philosophy about image making.
Image by Hannah Kozak
Moby at his lecture and book signing
Whenever I attend a large art or photo fair, I take the time to see what’s new, what’s selling, how things are framed, what sizes are artists exhibiting, and what are the trends. This year was somewhat conservative–only a few massive large scale color images, plenty of black and white and sizes that were easily collectable. A few artists were printing on plexiglass, but much of the work was traditionally framed.
Saturday morning, before the event opened, Weston Naef conducted a Docent Tour. Weston Naef is the Curator Emeritus, Dept. of Photographs, The J. Paul Getty Museum and has recently written a book Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs (J. Paul Getty Museum 2011). He started the tour in the Northern Light Gallery (Denmark).
Review by Larissa Leclair
Movements and the Iceland Trilogy by Christopher Colville is an exquisite two-book set containing four unique but interconnected bodies of work about ancestry, ritual, and a connection to the landscape. Each is a double-sided accordian-folded photobook with cloth-covered book board attached to the beginning and the end, so as you finish one series and close the book, the back cover becomes the beginning of the next. Cairns becomes Small Tragedies and Movements becomes Sleep. Throughout a 27-day trip in the remote Icelandic landscape, Colville continuously made images – on paper negatives and color 4”x5” film, and as unfixed photograms and ambrotypes – of which 7 days are represented in this artist book. As day faded into night and dark back into light, this immutable cycle and passage of time parallels the continuous reading of this book and speaks to a much broader human connection to history and place and the people who have been there before us and after.
By Anna Carnick
For our latest SNAPSHOT installment, we sat down with South African-born, New York-based photographer Gary Schneider. For the past two decades, Schneider’s dramatic work has examined the concept of identity through studio portraits, fragmented face portraits, and handprint photograms, earning him a reputation as both an artist and a master of chemical darkroom printing.
Last year, Handbook, Schneider’s stunning, print-on-demand artist book, earned a Kassel Photo Book Award. This limited-edition book is the culmination of seventeen years of Schneider’s commitment to making portraits of hands without the use of a camera. Describing the work, Schneider says, “I have made handprint-portraits since 1993. I consider them to be as expressive as any portrait of a face, more private, and possibly more revealing.” Handbook represents one of the first collaborations between Aperture, a photographer, and a print-on-demand press (Blurb). The book is available now through Aperture.
AC: What do you believe is your greatest achievement as an artist so far?
GS: Exploring the intimate portrait.
What is the greatest challenge you’ve faced as an artist to date?
Remaining focused on my desire to understand the portrait.
What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned?
Affirmation comes from a private place.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
I’m not certain I am a photographer.
Who is your favorite artist, of any genre?
Leonardo Da Vinci.
What is your favorite photograph?
Mask Self-Portrait. It is all of my desire for my work.
What was the last book (photo or other) you really enjoyed?
Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight.
Name a person—living or dead—you’d really like to meet.
Leonardo da Vinci.
Do you have a mentor?
Had. Peter Hujar then Helen Gee, now Peter Hujar again (printing his work).
The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with?
What qualities do you appreciate most in friends?
Aperture Foundation would like to thank everyone for coming out Thursday, March 24 for the opening reception of the exhibition presented in collaboration with sepiaEYE, Jungjin Lee: Wind
Tomorrow, a book signing and conversation between the Jungjin Lee and Vicki Goldberg will take place at 2 pm at Aperture Gallery, coinciding with the ten-day annual festival Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW).
Wind, a solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed Korean photographer Jungjin Lee features twenty-six stunning panoramic landscapes. A limited-edition artist book, as well as the artist’s first trade book, co-published by Aperture and Sepia, accompany the exhibition. Beautiful in their composition and physical execution, Lee’s images present metaphors for an interior state of being and the forces that shape it. Lee’s landscapes are imbued with an elemental vastness, at once powerful and serene.
As in her earlier work, Lee’s printing technique utilizes a liquid photosensitive emulsion brushed on handmade Korean mulberry paper. The texture of the paper and the gestural marks of the brushstroke create a unique, painterly effect that further emphasizes the fusion of image and photographic intent. In the accompanying book’s text, photography critic Vicki Goldberg writes:
“In these photographs, subject is subservient to content. The subject may be a giant fog that eats a mountain and nibbles away the hills, or a cloud that has invaded a forest and advances steadily, softly, like a determined angel. The content is Jungjin Lee’s response to what she saw, shorthand notes from her spirit.”
Thursday, March 24-Thursday, April 14, 2011
1. Picture Books is A F.L.O.A.T collaboration with four Independent Photography Book publishers featuring selections from Hassla, JSBJ, Lay Flat and Seems. Opening Reception and book sale, introducing a selection of limited edition prints TOMORROW December 18th 6 – 8pm. Don’t miss this event!
2. EBERSMOORE in Chicago is excited to announce its upcoming exhibition, Ah, Wilderness!, a curated artist book of 50 plus artists. Including work by Heidi Norton.
4. Klomp Ching Gallery is hosting an OPEN DAY TOMORROW anytime between 11am-6pm where “we’ll be happy to open up the portfolios of our gallery artists, share their work with you and answer any questions you may have about buying contemporary photography.” (via Klomp Ching)
6. TONIGHT in Brooklyn, PhotoFeast’s slideshow exhibition is a one night event featuring photography, video, installation, performance and a zine library by students and emerging artists in New York.
7. TODAY is your last chance to submit to <strong><a href=” />3rd Ward’s Open Call “giving you just enough time to submit your work for chance at a 3-month live/work NYC residency, a $5,000 cash grant and access to the resources to help you create a body of work that is larger than the city itself.” (via 3rd ward)