Tag Archives: Audience Participation

Photo News – Foam for You launches short film featuring Jessica Backhaus and invites amateur photographers to contribute to Wonder Flickr group

Foam For You has launched the second in its series of short films with Jessica Backhaus giving an insight into her working practice as she explores the theme Wonder for Foam magazine. Backhaus featured in Hotshoe magazine way back in April/may 2006 with her series Jesus and the Cherries.

Jesus and the Cherries, © Jessica Backhaus

“Foam For You is an online resource which features professional photographers providing inspiration and advice for amateurs looking to improve their own work. At the core of Foam For You’s content is a series of extended films about the work of three internationally renowned artists: Michael Wolf (USA), Jessica Backhaus (GER) and Melanie Bonajo (NL).

“They have given Foam exclusive access to their working practice in three fifteen minute documentaries. They explain the thinking behind their work and, in particular, how it relates to themes taken from different issues of Foam Magazine, in which their work appeared.”

What’s more, the best ones will appear in a gallery on the Foam website and you could win a year’s subscription to Foam Magazine.

Filed under: short films, Women Photographers Tagged: audience participation, Flickr, Foam for You, Foam magazine, Jessica Backhaus, photography inspiration, short film, Wonder

Question Bridge: Black Males

Courtesy of the artists and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Photographer Hank Willis Thomas–the first ever recipient of the Aperture West Book Prize–along with Chris Johnson, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair,  spent the last several years traveling cross-country, collecting video interviews from hundreds of black males across a wide range of socio-economic strata. Now on display at the Brooklyn Museum and four other locations around the country, Question Bridge: Black Males, weaves 1500 video exchanges by 150 men from 12 different cities who have never met into a wildly innovative “stream of consciousness dialogue,” across multiple screens and platforms.  Elements of chance, spontaneity and audience participation work to deconstruct dominant stereotypes of black males in the collective consciousness.  Jesse Williams, their Executive Producer, discusses this project and the prospect of future Question Bridges in an interview with Indiewire.

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Exhibition on view:
Now through Sunday, June 3, 2012

Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Exhibition on view:
Now thru Sunday, July 8, 2012

City Gallery at Chastain
135 West Wieuca Road, N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30342

Exhibition on view:
January 27 – March 17, 2012

Sundance Film Festival 2012
1825 3 Kings Dr
Park City, Utah 84060

Exhibition on view:
Now thru January 29, 2012

Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
20 S. West Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah

Exhibition on view:
Now thru May 19, 2012

This monumental transmedia installation is not Thomas’ first exploration of the crisis of black male identity in the United States. His deeply personal, grim, but darkly humorous first monograph Pitch Blackness brought him wide recognition as one of the most compelling artists emerging today. A limited edition print of his 2011 photograph, After Identity, What? is now available for purchase at Aperture.


Melinda Gibson

It’s hard to ignore a statement like: “I am interested in the changing perspectives of the photographic medium, how images are viewed and understood through the technological advances in photography and the help and hindrances this begins forth into our contemporary culture.” It’s pretty clear from her statement that Melinda Gibson is looking at photography in a new way. Her images are wonderfully complex and layered, and allow us to question reality.

Melinda was born in the UK, and currently lives and works in London. She studied Photography at the London College of Communication and after graduating in 2006 she assisted various photographers, notably Martin Parr and Wolfgang Tillmans, while continuing to develop her own photographic practice. In 2010, The Magenta Foundation selected her, as one of the British winners of the Emerging Photographers Award and Melinda is 1 of the 15 winners of the annual Talent Call chosen by FOAM magazine in 2010. Melinda is participating in the European Capital of Culture exhibition, “Alice in Wonderland” Finland’s largest contemporary photography exhibition held in Turku, Finland throughout 2011.

The Photograph as Contemporary Art: This series of work titled, “The Photograph as Contemporary Art” examines the educational text by Charlotte Cotton. Through the medium of photomontage, each piece is a trio of imagery removed from the book and re-contextualised as one. This body of work brings forth questions surrounding our educational system, copyright and licensing as well as audience participation.

Photomontage III, (taken from pages 106,136,202), (2009-2010)

As the publication of imagery continues digitally, every image can be searched for, clicked on, cut, copy, pasted. Yet a book manages to hold onto its copyright, as by law you may only reproduce 10% of the entire volume. What becomes apparent is the canonisation of imagery found in such sources, the same photographers, images appear and re-appear.

Photomontage IV, (taken from pages 6,18,185), (2009-2010)

This sameness is only reiterated through the educational system bound to our institutions. These textbooks that are presented to us, to hold dear, do little to expel such problems. Or do they?

Photomontage V, (taken from pages 87,147,120), (2009-2010)

Taking such texts apart helps to really question this canonisation, far more than when they are within the constraints of a book. By slicing, cutting, composing these images against one another, you de-contextualise them, recreate them into new dismembered realities.

Photomontage VI, (taken from pages 74,99,176), (2009-2010)

Each piece is composed of three separate parts, where the same sized images are manipulated into one; placed under or over one another, parts have been removed, discarded while others have been added. Each image is an appropriation of an original, re-organised with additional elements that makes itself into a new original. Through this deconstruction you start to gain a greater appreciation of the works and start understanding why and how these photographers, these images have become so prominent.

Photomontage VII, (taken from pages 71,106,204), (2009-2010)

Photomontage VIII, (taken from pages 40,123,146), (2009-2010)

Photomontage XII, (taken from pages 153,169,178), (2009-2010)

Photomontage XVI, (taken from pages 133,169,196), (2009-2010),

Photomontage XVII, (taken from pages 25,105, 149), (2009-2010)

Photomontage XVII, (taken from pages 25,105, 149), (2009-2010)

Photomontage XIX, (taken from pages 128, 179,192), (2009-2010)

Photomontage XX, (taken from pages 103, 193,194), (2009-2010)

Photomontage XXII, (taken from pages 17,182,195), (2009-2010)

Photomontage XXVIII, (taken from pages 24, 58, 131), (2009-2010)

Photomontage XXX, (taken from pages 37, 42, 46), (2009-2010)