Tag Archives: Expression

The Space Between Exhibition at the PRC

The Photographic Resource Center in Boston is opening a new exhibition, The Space in Between, featuring the work of Stefanie Klavens, Daniel Feldman, and Lynn Saville.  Curated by Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis,the Program & Exhibition Manager of PRC, it runs from November 15th – January 10th, 2012.

Erin Wederbrook states:  The Space in Between focuses on societal built environments in urban settings. The images capture supposedly empty or vacant scenes in public spaces where humans are present without being pictured. The very absence of human subjects forces the viewer to contemplate the space in between these human-made structures. While firmly rooted in the 21st century, these photographs also portray a
timeless feel, as if the artists froze the frame at the initial moment
of abandonment, preserving a particular constructed expression of
culture for generations to come.

 Daniel Feldman, Stefanie Klavens, and Lynn Saville explore these issues through architectural images that very clearly display what humans are capable of while also revealing a deeper level of cultural vulnerability.

images by Stefanie Klavens

images by Daniel Feldman

images by Lynn Saville

Photographer #381: Almagul Menlibayeva

Almagul Menlibayeva, 1969, Kazakhstan, is a fine-art photographer and video artist who works and lives in Berlin and Kazakhstan. She studied at the Academy of Art and Theatre in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Her photography is a mixture of nomadic aesthetic of post-Soviet and contemporary Kazakhstan. In her portfolio we find portraits staged in the vast steppes and mountains between the Caspian Sea, Baikonur and Altai in her home country. The romantic and melancholic images deal with the heritage of the soviet era and the transformation of their country. She states; “I use specific ways of expression… to investigate my personal archaic atavism as a certain mystical anthropomorphism. I explore the nature of a specific… shared cultural psychic experience, which manifests itself as a specific thought-form among the people(s) of the ancient, arid and dusty steppes.” Her photography is about memory and reality, “raising metaphysical questions such as Who am I? and Where shall I go?” Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the world. The following images come from various series within her portfolio.

Unfortunately Almagul does not have a website. For more images and information please visit: www.priskajuschkafineart.com

Photographer #333: Augustin Rebetez

Augustin Rebetez, 1986, Switzerland, is a conceptual photographic artist who also uses film, drawing and painting as ways of expression. With his work he takes us into a dark and gritty world. He got recognized with his series Gueles de Bois (Hangover). It explores alcohol, one of the most cherished aspects of local folklore. For his series tout ce qui a le visage de la colère (…) he was asked by the Kunstmuseum of Bern to explore anger for a group exhibition on the seven deadly sins. The images created a pessimistic essay on rebellion and revolution. Augustin was selected as one of the photographers for the reGeneration2 project with a travelling exhibition and book as result. In 2010 he was the winner of the photo folio review at the prestigious festival Rencontres d’Arles resulting in a current solo exhibition at this years edition. The following images come from the series Afterdark, Crabe and tout ce qui a le visage de la colère (…).

Website: www.augustinrebetez.com

You like this

Just as Google launches, Google+, it’s latest attempt at a social network and an attempt to lure people away from Facebook, I thought I would share a piece that I have written for the latest issue of European Photography (which comes out today) that deals with the impact of blogs and social networks on the way we consume and understand photography. If you are interested in looking further into the online photography world I also recommend checking out the previous issue of European Photography (no. 88) on ‘Net Photography’ which investigates some of the trends in photography that is being produced specifically for and distributed through the web.

Blogs have always been fragile creatures: statistics show that around 70% of them die within their first month. And now, only a decade after they first appeared, some are concerned that they are becoming an endangered species. While I am relatively new to blogging (I started eyecurious in April 2009), even in my short virtual lifetime a lot has changed. Particularly in the last year, a significant part of the online activity relating to photography has moved to online social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. So are we witnessing the demise of the blog? As with most of these dichotomous debates linked to technology (printed versus digital books, analog versus digital photography, etc.) I think the question is not so much whether (or when) the new will kill off the old, but rather how they are influencing each other. More specifically, what impact is the rise of social networks having on the online conversation on photography?

In a recent piece Andy Adams summarised the impact of blogs and social networks as follows, “web 2.0 is influencing contemporary photo culture around the world by connecting international audiences to art experiences, enabling the discovery of new work and presenting never-before-seen channels of expression and communication.” Blogs, webzines and now social networks have made photography far more accessible than before. We are no longer dependent on museums, galleries and books for photographic content. This not only makes it cheaper and easier to get our hands on photographs, but we can now see far more images than are available through these ‘traditional’ forms. The web makes it just as easy to access photographs being made outside our front door as on the other side of the globe, as well as work that has yet to be exhibited or published and often never will.

What truly characterises web 2.0 however is participation: the opportunity for everyone to share information and to get involved in a conversation. Although I think the internet is at its best when it creates discussion and debate, the vast majority of online activity still centres around the dissemination of information. Even within a tiny universe such as the ‘fine art photography’ (for want of a better term) community, the accessibility of the web quickly leads to an overwhelming amount of photographic content. Blogs, online magazines and increasingly social networks act as filters, allowing people to more easily find the content that most interests them. Social networks have further refined this process, not only making it easier to find the kind of photography we want, but also providing a platform on which to have a conversation around photographs. These networks create spaces for discussion around specific topics or fields of interest that just aren’t possible on the infinite plain of the broader world wide web.

So what is the downside? Most of us would agree that better access and more conversation sounds like a pretty good thing. However, while these online developments have been leading to more conversation, I would argue that they have also been making it more shallow. Take the example of Facebook. While the platform does allow for discussion, the structure of the Facebook platform is such that we are constantly being asked to like things, whether it be through ‘Fan Pages’ or simply by choosing to ‘Like’ something that someone else has posted. While I don’t think a ‘Dislike’ button would add anything to the quality of the online conversation, it would at least remind us that our reactions to photography don’t all have to be situated on scale running from good to awesome.

Twitter is a slightly different beast. With its 140-character limit, the network is intrinsically suited to point towards existing information rather than to create new content. Even in the case where a conversation develops between several users (‘tweet chats’ in the local jargon), the medium is entirely focused on immediacy and not on considered opinion. By the time you have finished reading a tweet there are already several others that have appeared in your Twitter feed demanding your attention.

The reason this matters to photography is that it can lead to a situation where we are constantly consuming and never digesting. The danger with the infinite accessibility of the web is that we can find ourselves only looking at photographs that are immediately seductive or simply popular in the networks around us. Work that might be deemed quiet, challenging or even just off-putting can get totally bypassed. Moreover, if our interaction with photography is limited to a ‘Like’ button or the 140-character equivalent, we run the risk of never getting beyond the surface of images and of not developing an understanding of why we like or dislike something. Given the demise of arts criticism in traditional media, this kind of critical thought is arguably more important than ever.

Fortunately there are many online examples that buck the trend. Blogs like Pete Brook’s Prison Photography and Beierle + Keijser’s Mrs Deane are endless sources of hidden gems and considered discussion of current photographic trends. Perhaps the two most encouraging examples are Charlotte Cotton’s 2008 Words Without Pictures and more recently, Foam’s What’s Next?, both vital spaces which use the participatory nature of the net for considered thought and conversation on what is happening in photography today and where this might be leading.

Some might argue that an overly analytical discussion of photographs can get in the way of images. But without a critical discussion, what is going to lead photography to evolve and move forward?


Related posts:

  1. Is the photo-album giving way to the mixtape?
  2. What’s Next?
  3. Notes on 2010

Photographer #320: Pari Dukovic

Pari Dukovic, 1984, Turkey, is a documentary photographer who works and lives in New York. In 2010 he went back to his homeland to document Kirkpinar, the longest sanctioned sporting competition in the world. The sport is even under the protection of Unesco. However, it has become more than just an oil-wrestling game, it is an expression of their tradition and identity. This is year the sport will have its 650th anniversary and Pari will return to Turkey to document the event hoping to draw attention to the importance of culture today. Whether shooting boxing matches, burlesque dancers, street photographs of Istanbul or New York or even backstage at a fashion show, Pari’s photographs are high in contrast, gritty and dark. The following images come from Fields of Glory, Venues of Immortality and Boxing.

Website: www.paridukovic.com

Photographer #314: Arnau Blanch Vilageliu

Arnau Blanch Vilageliu, 1983, is a Spanish documentary photographer who lives and works between Spain and Colombia. He studied photography at the Institut d’Estudis Fotografics de Catalunya. He completed a six month internship at WpN in New York and participated at two workshops at ICP in documentary photography. In his hometown Barcelona he delved into the world of sex. It is a search for human identity, exploring a range of people who’s lives are dominated by sex. In gritty and dark images he shows us people who might use sex as a way of expression and others who need it as a means of survival. Shadows of Paradise is made in Colombia. Arnau shows us the darkness in a place that might, due to the lucious color of the jungle, look like a paradise at first glance. Arnau’s narrative photography is raw and instinctive. The following images come from !SEX!, Shadows of Paradise and Untitled Document.

Website: www.arnaublanch.com

margaret bryant – the dangers of drunk dialing


Margaret Bryant

The Dangers of Drunk Dialing

This was taken as an expression of frustration with the telephone company, who had taken five days and three service calls to fix a problem with the line.  But it is more about the trouble one can get into when intoxicated, how one can become tied up and strangled with their own words.


Artist, mother, poet, misfit in middle America.  She is new to photography; has been about a year since she started playing around with it.  She considers herself an artist using photography as a medium more than she considers herself a photographer.  She’s had no training whatsoever and thinks that has been of benefit to her.  It’s easier to break the rules if you don’t know what they are in the first place, and it’s good to break the rules.

Related links

Margaret Bryant

TPP Q+A: Manjari Sharma

Manjari Sharma has had a great year. A breakout star with her highly lauded and publicized Shower Series, she’s been shooting commercially, working on a new project, and is now having a solo show at Kopeikin Gallery.

It doesn’t hurt that Sharma is just plain fun to be around. I asked her some questions about her recent whirlwind ride, and she happily obliged me. Enjoy!

Tell me a bit about your Water work (that combines two series) on show at Kopeikin. What has drawn you to water as a subject, and how did these two projects take shape?

The Water Series, which is a project with the large open waterscapes that took shape in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil was made on an inspired evening when I was looking onto a private beach from the 17th floor.

The Shower Series was unknowingly a social study of sorts. A study of what water and intimacy can bring one to become. I’ve always been interested in the human mind and coming from the city I do, (Mumbai) there’s always one more person to talk to, one more question ask and one more thing to learn.

So while the two projects had water in common, they felt quite unrelated to me and happened at different times of the year. At first the whole “Water” themed year felt quite coincidental.

In retrospect however the one place in the world where where I feel reflective and sincerely alone with my thoughts is in the shower. Also as someone who cannot swim, looking at other people’s relationship to a large, ominous and overwhelming body of water is in a way an expression of my own awe. What I’m saying is, with both these projects I learned more than ever that, your most successful images will ultimately be really honest self portraits. That statement gets truer for me every time I make an image I’m happy with.

You’ve had quite a breakout year! Many folks struggle to promote themselves, even when they have strong projects– how have you worked to spread the word about your work?

Honestly I put the projects out there in the world with no expectations. I think sharing your work with the right sources though is just as important as making the work. I do think I have arrived at a formula that works with my personality. When I’m making the work it’s best for me to stay focused on creating the images, getting lost in your concept and just shooting. When I surface from shooting I concentrate on stepping away from it, getting critiques, respected opinions and editing. Once I feel ready to share it I contact the channels I feel would be the best fit/ platform for the work. I think that has worked well for me for the last couple of projects since thinking about promoting it clutters your thought process often, it’s best to exclusively create and not think about anything else but what you what to shoot.

The last year though, has been a gracious one. I know that and am very thankful for it. Apart from working hard which there is no excuse for, I attribute that to luck and well wishers too. Having a fantastic family and a supportive better half doesn’t hurt either, but there’s miles to go before I sleep.

What is the new work you are starting now? Can you share a favorite image or two?

I am shooting a project in India I would rather keep a secret at this point but I also just completed a new series I have shared on my website called Anastasia.

The project in a nutshell is about the queer friendship between glamor and solitude.

How did you get started as an artist– did you go the MFA route, or follow your own path? What would be some advice you’d give to someone just starting out?

I have a double bachelors, one in visual communications and a BFA in photo. But I really don’t think there is a method to the best approach madness. My advice would be shoot, shoot shoot! Nothing can teach us more than our own images.

Do you also shoot commercial and editorial work? Can you share some tears?

I do. I have an upcoming shoot for Vogue in India here in a couple of days that I am quite excited about. Also here are a few recent tears.

Railroad Earth album cover:

I just got commissioned by a label in New York to create album art for the band Railroad Earth. Railroad Earth has some sweet tunes & the musicians were a complete riot to work with. The production for this shoot came together last minute and was nothing short of complete camaraderie. All I can say is the Hasselblad H4d40, three assistants, a fog machine, a few lights and 10 people in the Delaware gave rise to this image. A shout out to Jonathan Chang my client in nyc and Brian Ross in LA for for being so hands on with everything.

Penguin Books cover:

I recently photographed for Penguin Books young readers division. They had a great story about a courageous girl who grows up in the projects fighting a rough upbringing and overcomes challenges in spite of what life has handed her. We used a brilliant location that fed our layout needs after a painful scout!

Thanks, Manjari! See more of Manjari’s work, here. And check out the Kopeikin show!

January 8 – February 12, 2011
Kopeikin Gallery

Closing reception, February 12th.

Kopeikin Gallery
2766 La Cienega Blvd (just north of Washington)
Los Angeles, California 90034
Our hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 – 5:00