Tag Archives: Interplay

Kate Orne

I first became aware of Kate Orne’s photographs when she won the Berenice Abbott Prize for her work with sex trade workers in Pakistan. The series, Brothels and Fundamentalism, captured poignant and powerful images of women trapped in a lifestyle of abuse and fear was deeply felt and appreciated.

Kate is a unique voice in the photography world. She is an editorial and fashion photographer (see image below), a documentary photographer, a fine art photographer, and a humanitarian. In 2002, she created MyFarAwayFamily.com, an organization providing Afghan refugee children with education and their widowed mothers with micro loans and guidance to start their own businesses. Provided food distributions in Kabul and Peshawar among refugees. And she’s one hell of a nice person.

Kate was born in Sweden, and now lives in New York City. One of her first jobs was as an editor for Interview Magazine, but by the mid 1990’s Kate was busy working in all areas of the photo landscape. And within that landscape, she has created a new body of fine art work that is just about that: landscape, but landscape as meditation and inspiration.

The Landscape With: As far back as I can remember, I have been drawn to the wide-open landscape: a canvas of land, water or sky where I feel expansion within and around me. In that setting, my mind is free.

Over the years, I have frequently returned to the landscape, on assignment and for personal work. I’m rarely shooting in a place where there are people – I don’t want them interrupting the pull of natural elements. As I look through the viewfinder, I wait. A shadow, a shape, or some interplay or tension between forms, sparks my curiosity, calling for attention. This is a starting point.

To me art is a form of meditation. In the time when we create, we travel inward. When I photograph, I want to include as much of what is there as possible—both what I can see and feel. My intuition guides the process – a secret language within me, which I regard as the most valuable measurement of honesty. This is what my heart sees.

The feelings that I experience are powerful and the image afterwards brings me back to them. It’s often during the edit, when I look closely at a photograph, that I see what in the landscape captured my attention.

I want it to be the same for the viewers, for them to feel free and have their minds and hearts expand when they rest their eyes on an image. This is why I prefer my work printed on a larger scale, creating a space that invites the viewer inside.

Behind the Cover: Animal Friendships

To shoot this week’s TIME cover story about animal friendships — which you can read here — photographer Catherine Ledner called on years of experience of hanging out with cute critters, including her work on two books of animal photography, Animal House and Glamour Dogs. But this shoot offered something new, even for the animal pro. Most of Ledner’s work involves pictures of singular animals, while TIME’s portfolio features animal pairs. “I had to make sure that the dogs that were coming were actually friends,” she says.

With that criterion in place, Ledner found that shooting pairs of animals was no more difficult than shooting them one at a time. Like human models, the animals brought their own personalities to the set and Ledner was able to capture the interplay of those forces. Also like human models, the animals brought entourages (a.k.a. trainers) who kept the stars focused on the task at hand—and who conveniently stepped aside when Ledner wanted to let her subjects off the leash, so to speak.

But unlike human models, the animal managed to make the group shots look effortless. “If you’re shooting a group of people, you have an agenda of who you want looking in the lens and who you don’t,” Ledner says. “To get everyone to look good at one time is harder than it is, I think, when you have a bunch of animals.”

Which is not to say that the photographer’s sessions with her animal models were all fun and games. Ledner—who owns three dogs, two cats and four rabbits, but does not frequently photograph her own pets—says that animal photography requires putting cuddliness aside. While people may get relaxed and happy with background music and a festive mood, quiet is important to help a dog (or a bird or a rabbit, as the case may be) maintain his concentration. Luckily, almost all of the animals that participated in TIME’s cover shoot were seasoned professionals. One dog named Billy had sat for Ledner twice in the past. The only non-professional at the session was the rabbit, who was, in fact, a real friend of Billy’s. “The rabbit was so docile. It would let the dog put its head smack dab on top of it. There was just total trust between these animals,” says Ledner. And the photographer was hardly upset about shooting an amateur model: “The bunny’s only six weeks old—and how can you be a pro bunny?”

Catherine Ledner is an American photographer based in California and author of two books: Animal House and Glamour Dogs. See more here.

Read more in the magazine: The Science of Animal Friendships.

20 years of Savignano Immagini

Italy’s Savignano Immagini Festival (SI Fest) in the small town of Savignano sul Rubicone is celebrating its twentieth year. I’ve just spent two days at the festival and it has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Curators Massimo Sordi and Stefania Rossi have helped to turn a local photojournalism-focused festival into a far more international event that aims to keep up with contemporary photographic trends. With a Miroslav Tíchy retrospective, a clever presentation of Michael Wolf’s Tokyo Compression series, solo shows of Rob Hornstra’s Sochi project and Bernard Fuchs roads and paths, a ‘global’ group show on the theme of occupancy, and a lot more, they have put together a genuinely interesting mix of work around the theme of fragility.

Massimo Cristladi. Linosa, 2009 from the 'Suspended' series

However the stand-out exhibition for me was homegrown, an intelligent and intriguing presentation of Guido Guidi’s work on the Tomba Brion by the architect Carlo Scarpa (a book of the work has just been published  by Hatje Cantz). Guidi’s astute sequencing and analytical approach reveals the building’s extraordinary interplay with light as the sun passes through the sky. The Occupancy show was another favourite of mine; aside from the strength of the work on show, the exhibition also benefited from the space itself, a local government building from the Mussolini era covered in traces of its past life, adding another layer of occupancy in the process. The festival also has an ‘Off’ component which I didn’t have the time to explore, aside from an exhibition of Sicilian photographer Massimo Cristaldi’s latest series Suspended which presents a compelling image of the landscapes of his native island far removed from the clichés of mafia, corruption or ancient religious festivals.

The festival has put together a healthy programme of talks and discussions. Portfolio and book reviews kept me away from most of the action, but I did manage to catch Gerry Badger’s preview of the forthcoming third volume of the Badger and Parr Photobook: A History series. The book will be divided into three chapters: Propaganda, Protest and Desire and I’m sure there are many rare book dealers who are trembling in anticipation for its release (they are apparently going to have to wait until 2013).

Prints from Henk Wildschut's Shelter series

Savignano is a small festival, not on the scale of Arles or indeed Noorderlicht which opened on the same weekend. However, I think it benefits from a more human scale and If you throw in the fact that it is impossible to find a bad meal in Savignano, SI Fest is definitely worth a visit.

Exhibition of Michael Wolf's Tokyo Compression

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Related posts:

  1. Arles 2009: 40 years and Nan Goldin
  2. Review: 10 years of in-public

Marina Font

Sometimes I come across an image that I wish I had produced…and if I didn’t produce it, I wish I owned it. Marina Font has a series of images, The Evolution of Woman Kind, that bring a me mix of envy and happiness–poignant, hilarious, true–this piece is a terrific way to show the passage of time.

The Evolution of The Woman Kind, 2010, 7 mounted C-prints on Shadow Box frame, 16 x 63 inches

Now living in Miami Beach with her husband and three sons, Marina was born in Cordoba, Argentina where she studied design, sculpture, and photography at the Escuela de Artes Visuales Martin A. Malharro, Mar del Plata, Argentina. In 1996 she moved to Boston and studied sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts School and then traveled through India as a photographer. She spent the summer of 1998 studying photography at Speos Ecole de la Photographie in Paris, and continued working as a freelance photographer. She earned an MFA in Photography from Barry University, Miami in 2009.

Marina is about to open an exhibition, Imprinted, at the Dina Mitrani Gallery in Miami on Saturday, September 10th and running through October 28th.

Imprinted : As an immigrant, I no longer belong to the country I have left behind, nor do I fully belong to the one I have chosen to live in. Memories are the foundation of the human mind, and a recurrent place to go when re-defining our identities.

Untitled, 2010, 30 x 20 inches

I photograph objects and people around me in order to explore ideas about gender, language and memory. The interplay of images and words depicts my central concern with the everyday ambivalences of the world. The words give familiar objects a new dimension, a certain enigma.

The Departure, 2010, 36 x 24 inches

This photographic series illustrates an analogy of one’s memory with an armoire and its many drawers. These compartments, organs of the secret psychological life, preserve fragments of our past that remain imprinted in our souls.

Untitled, 2010, 25 x 54 inches (12 x 18 each),

People, places, experiences, beliefs, dreams, all the memories that fill our intimate spaces are not accessible at just any moment. A song, a poem, a particular scent… and the images in our memory come rushing back to us!

Untitled, 2010, 30 x 20 inches

Nest, 2010, 20 x 30 inches

Blue Shoes (triptych), 2010, 18 x 42 inches (12 x 18 each)

Home-Womb (diptych), 2010, 20 x 28 inches (20 x 14 each)

Dos Mundos (diptych), 2010, 36 x 48 inches (36 x 24 each)

Lavandered, 2011, 20 x 14 inches

Daydreaming, 2010, 30 x 20 inches

Fears-Hope, 2010, 30 x 20 inches

One Wish, 2010, 30 x 20 inches

The House of Memory, 2010, 45 x 30 inches

To Be In The Present, 2010, 45 x 30 inches

Everything I have ever…, 2010, 45 x 30

Marina Font

Sometimes I come across an image that I wish I had produced…and if I didn’t produce it, I wish I owned it. Marina Font has a series of images, The Evolution of Woman Kind, that bring a me mix of envy and happiness–poignant, hilarious, true–this piece is a terrific way to show the passage of time.

The Evolution of The Woman Kind, 2010, 7 mounted C-prints on Shadow Box frame, 16 x 63 inches

Now living in Miami Beach with her husband and three sons, Marina was born in Cordoba, Argentina where she studied design, sculpture, and photography at the Escuela de Artes Visuales Martin A. Malharro, Mar del Plata, Argentina. In 1996 she moved to Boston and studied sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts School and then traveled through India as a photographer. She spent the summer of 1998 studying photography at Speos Ecole de la Photographie in Paris, and continued working as a freelance photographer. She earned an MFA in Photography from Barry University, Miami in 2009.

Marina is about to open an exhibition, Imprinted, at the Dina Mitrani Gallery in Miami on Saturday, September 10th and running through October 28th.

Imprinted : As an immigrant, I no longer belong to the country I have left behind, nor do I fully belong to the one I have chosen to live in. Memories are the foundation of the human mind, and a recurrent place to go when re-defining our identities.

Untitled, 2010, 30 x 20 inches

I photograph objects and people around me in order to explore ideas about gender, language and memory. The interplay of images and words depicts my central concern with the everyday ambivalences of the world. The words give familiar objects a new dimension, a certain enigma.

The Departure, 2010, 36 x 24 inches

This photographic series illustrates an analogy of one’s memory with an armoire and its many drawers. These compartments, organs of the secret psychological life, preserve fragments of our past that remain imprinted in our souls.

Untitled, 2010, 25 x 54 inches (12 x 18 each),

People, places, experiences, beliefs, dreams, all the memories that fill our intimate spaces are not accessible at just any moment. A song, a poem, a particular scent… and the images in our memory come rushing back to us!

Untitled, 2010, 30 x 20 inches

Nest, 2010, 20 x 30 inches

Blue Shoes (triptych), 2010, 18 x 42 inches (12 x 18 each)

Home-Womb (diptych), 2010, 20 x 28 inches (20 x 14 each)

Dos Mundos (diptych), 2010, 36 x 48 inches (36 x 24 each)

Lavandered, 2011, 20 x 14 inches

Daydreaming, 2010, 30 x 20 inches

Fears-Hope, 2010, 30 x 20 inches

One Wish, 2010, 30 x 20 inches

The House of Memory, 2010, 45 x 30 inches

To Be In The Present, 2010, 45 x 30 inches

Everything I have ever…, 2010, 45 x 30

Lais Pontes

Brazilian photographer, Lais Pontes, “became a photographer to understand herself better”. Our journeys as photographers really do help us understand ourselves, our influences, and our intentions. Photography helps us understand why we are drawn again and again to certain subjects and allows us to explore new terrain and process it in a meaningful way.

After working in her family’s business at age 17, Lais decided to persue photography full time at Universidade de Fortaleza. In 2010, she moved to NYC to study at the International Center of Photography, and is now beginning her applications for an MFA program. “I use performance and photography to search for my own voice and create a work full of freshness and sensitivity. How I feel, all the confusion in my mind and how I relate to the world are my inspiration at the moment.”

Lais explores perception and judgement in her new series, Born Nowhere.

Born Nowhere: Does the perception of the world around us change as we look at an alternative image of ourselves? Does the world see us in a different way when presented with this different image?

According to some theories of Personality (Carl Rogers, Skinner, Maslow), each individual is the result of the interplay of 3 factors: what the person is, what he or she wants to be and what others believe this person is. This project seeks to understand how a change of a person’s facial features, expression or physiognomy, can affect the observer’s interpretation of what is being observed.

By using digital techniques, the photographer transforms facial characteristics giving herself a new personality. With no further information provided, the images are posted on Facebook and viewers are asked to provide their interpretation thereby creating a unique persona with its own name and characteristics. The description of this new person/persona is influenced by what psychoanalysts call “projection”, that is, the viewer’s background, reality and fantasies.

What one sees is what one wants to see.

Camila Angel
Sells clothes to live, party to survive, sometimes replace the guy from the gallery next door, divorced parents, her boyfriend is a Dj, lives in Brazil – Vila Mariana, born nowhere, In and out of rehab, not sure about her sexuality yet.

Courtney
Always laughs too loud, happy and sure of herself, is very sexy and drives the boys crazy when she moves her hips, uses men for her own benefit at her convenience, her dream is to become a super star and have her own house, lived in Bahia for many years, now lives in New Orleans with her teenager son and sings in a small jazz club, born nowhere.

Debra
30 years old, born nowhere, ex-model, hostess, single, wanna be on the top, determined but often sad, drinks straight scotch whisky, very sensual, would die for a great love.

Rachel
18 years old, mixed-race (Russian and Japanese), had double eyelid surgery, was very quiet and after the surgery she became the kind of popular girl, every boy wants her, born nowhere, spoiled teenager and selfish, is going to study social politics at a renowned university and have a great career.

Anna
23 years old, mixed race, rock and roll, white trash, Hells Angels’ biker chick, loud and a lot of trouble, tattoo artist, born nowhere, on and off relationship with Mike a very successful guy, entrepreneur, free-spirited like her, loves the
outdoors, sporty kind, plays the acoustic guitar a bit, she will marry him because he is fun, they both like to party and can be quite provocative and flirty, she can stand her ground, but also isn’t afraid to be vulnerable.

Julia
27 years old, single, actress, born nowhere, lives in London, free spirit, lonely sometimes, loves to travel, cosmopolitan, mysterious and strong, lipstick lesbian.

Lucia
5th grade teacher, married to her high school sweetheart who runs an organic farm in Alabama, he doesn’t look at her since 1998 but she is fine, born nowhere, has a big heart, however gets easily upset, her dream is to move to a big city and to start her own business, has a secret lover (20 years older than her).

Mary Alice
Child artist, cheerleader and beauty queen in the past, housewife by day, swinger by night, mother of four, loves to make cookies for the Club Book and apple pie for charity events, born nowhere.

Neide (D.Neidinha)
Always dreamed of diamonds and pearls, but can only afford fake jewelry as she is raising 4 kids by herself, despite still being very young, dresses like that since she married an old man, was never loved so she felt happy when her husband died, was selling Avon and tapioca on weekends to survive, now has a public position at the government bureau, still selling Avon, is middle class but strongly believes that she is from the high-society, or pretends to be, just bought her new compact car and drives with her seat all the way to the front, loves fake plants and thinks that the the latest trend is to draw little nail-polish flowers on her nails.

Sarah
50 years old, an upper east side lady, comes from a traditional and influential Jewish family, is married to a diplomat, has 2 sons, and she is now looking for a good Jewish girl that could marry Jacob (her 29-year-old oldest son), she is the head of her family, a leader who is very persuasive, has a very strong personality, controlling, practical, thinks that can buy everyone, born nowhere, loves botox and to shop at Bergdorf, dyes her hair every 2 weeks and her eyebrows are tattoos, knows that a friend of her husband has a secret love for her but she will never do anything, she has elegance.

Shena
Former stripper, rough childhood, married to Ken Smith (an old rich man who buys her diamonds, expensive purses and dresses), living in LA and weekends in Vegas, drives silver Mercedes SLS, born nowhere, has a tattoo of a snake around her ankle, drinks a martini at noon every day, meets three times a week with Frederick, a former LAPD and now her personal trainer and lover, waiting for her husband to die and finally become an actress.

Stacy
23 years old, very good daughter and used to be a good student, born nowhere, just came back from a 3 year long journey in South East Asia, trying to get back into the norm of the occidental life in California but fitting in is now a bit tough, thinking about move to Búzios and open a little surf or tattoo shop with her boyfriend.

Lais Pontes

Brazilian photographer, Lais Pontes, “became a photographer to understand herself better”. Our journeys as photographers really do help us understand ourselves, our influences, and our intentions. Photography helps us understand why we are drawn again and again to certain subjects and allows us to explore new terrain and process it in a meaningful way.

After working in her family’s business at age 17, Lais decided to persue photography full time at Universidade de Fortaleza. In 2010, she moved to NYC to study at the International Center of Photography, and is now beginning her applications for an MFA program. “I use performance and photography to search for my own voice and create a work full of freshness and sensitivity. How I feel, all the confusion in my mind and how I relate to the world are my inspiration at the moment.”

Lais explores perception and judgement in her new series, Born Nowhere.

Born Nowhere: Does the perception of the world around us change as we look at an alternative image of ourselves? Does the world see us in a different way when presented with this different image?

According to some theories of Personality (Carl Rogers, Skinner, Maslow), each individual is the result of the interplay of 3 factors: what the person is, what he or she wants to be and what others believe this person is. This project seeks to understand how a change of a person’s facial features, expression or physiognomy, can affect the observer’s interpretation of what is being observed.

By using digital techniques, the photographer transforms facial characteristics giving herself a new personality. With no further information provided, the images are posted on Facebook and viewers are asked to provide their interpretation thereby creating a unique persona with its own name and characteristics. The description of this new person/persona is influenced by what psychoanalysts call “projection”, that is, the viewer’s background, reality and fantasies.

What one sees is what one wants to see.

Camila Angel
Sells clothes to live, party to survive, sometimes replace the guy from the gallery next door, divorced parents, her boyfriend is a Dj, lives in Brazil – Vila Mariana, born nowhere, In and out of rehab, not sure about her sexuality yet.

Courtney
Always laughs too loud, happy and sure of herself, is very sexy and drives the boys crazy when she moves her hips, uses men for her own benefit at her convenience, her dream is to become a super star and have her own house, lived in Bahia for many years, now lives in New Orleans with her teenager son and sings in a small jazz club, born nowhere.

Debra
30 years old, born nowhere, ex-model, hostess, single, wanna be on the top, determined but often sad, drinks straight scotch whisky, very sensual, would die for a great love.

Rachel
18 years old, mixed-race (Russian and Japanese), had double eyelid surgery, was very quiet and after the surgery she became the kind of popular girl, every boy wants her, born nowhere, spoiled teenager and selfish, is going to study social politics at a renowned university and have a great career.

Anna
23 years old, mixed race, rock and roll, white trash, Hells Angels’ biker chick, loud and a lot of trouble, tattoo artist, born nowhere, on and off relationship with Mike a very successful guy, entrepreneur, free-spirited like her, loves the
outdoors, sporty kind, plays the acoustic guitar a bit, she will marry him because he is fun, they both like to party and can be quite provocative and flirty, she can stand her ground, but also isn’t afraid to be vulnerable.

Julia
27 years old, single, actress, born nowhere, lives in London, free spirit, lonely sometimes, loves to travel, cosmopolitan, mysterious and strong, lipstick lesbian.

Lucia
5th grade teacher, married to her high school sweetheart who runs an organic farm in Alabama, he doesn’t look at her since 1998 but she is fine, born nowhere, has a big heart, however gets easily upset, her dream is to move to a big city and to start her own business, has a secret lover (20 years older than her).

Mary Alice
Child artist, cheerleader and beauty queen in the past, housewife by day, swinger by night, mother of four, loves to make cookies for the Club Book and apple pie for charity events, born nowhere.

Neide (D.Neidinha)
Always dreamed of diamonds and pearls, but can only afford fake jewelry as she is raising 4 kids by herself, despite still being very young, dresses like that since she married an old man, was never loved so she felt happy when her husband died, was selling Avon and tapioca on weekends to survive, now has a public position at the government bureau, still selling Avon, is middle class but strongly believes that she is from the high-society, or pretends to be, just bought her new compact car and drives with her seat all the way to the front, loves fake plants and thinks that the the latest trend is to draw little nail-polish flowers on her nails.

Sarah
50 years old, an upper east side lady, comes from a traditional and influential Jewish family, is married to a diplomat, has 2 sons, and she is now looking for a good Jewish girl that could marry Jacob (her 29-year-old oldest son), she is the head of her family, a leader who is very persuasive, has a very strong personality, controlling, practical, thinks that can buy everyone, born nowhere, loves botox and to shop at Bergdorf, dyes her hair every 2 weeks and her eyebrows are tattoos, knows that a friend of her husband has a secret love for her but she will never do anything, she has elegance.

Shena
Former stripper, rough childhood, married to Ken Smith (an old rich man who buys her diamonds, expensive purses and dresses), living in LA and weekends in Vegas, drives silver Mercedes SLS, born nowhere, has a tattoo of a snake around her ankle, drinks a martini at noon every day, meets three times a week with Frederick, a former LAPD and now her personal trainer and lover, waiting for her husband to die and finally become an actress.

Stacy
23 years old, very good daughter and used to be a good student, born nowhere, just came back from a 3 year long journey in South East Asia, trying to get back into the norm of the occidental life in California but fitting in is now a bit tough, thinking about move to Búzios and open a little surf or tattoo shop with her boyfriend.

Outside In by Stephen Gill

For years Photoworks has been commissioning photographers to explore areas of the South East of England, the results of those projects often wind up as exhibitions or, more importantly in my opinion, book projects. Last year Photoworks invited a few artists to explore Brighton and three new books have been published; one by Stephen Gill, one by Rinko Kawauchi and one by Alec Soth’s daughter Carmen. My favorite of the bunch is Stephen Gill’s Outside In.

With his ever present good humor and desire to think outside the box with his photography, Stephen decided to introduce material found in Brighton into the body of his cheap plastic lens camera. Thus seaweed, insects, broken glass, and garbage get in the way of his already hazy palette creating instant forms of collage.

Now those familiar with my past opinions of Stephen’s books will know that I have a way of loving the way the books look and feel but find the actual photography not as interesting. Hackney Flowers is my personal favorite, Hackney Wick I still don’t understand the fascination people seem to have with that title. Ok, so it wasn’t my cup of tea.

My enjoyment of Outside In is curious to me because what I can see through all of the silhouetted objects in these pictures, the actual photographs aren’t brilliant by themselves. Nor is the interplay between the objects and the image as strong as on display in Hackney Flowers, yet I am captivated by this little book. I think partly because in addition to the beauty of some of the images it provides for me fascinating puzzles of the optical properties of photography.

How, for example, does there seem to be a piece of electronic (?) equipment inside the camera rendered as if it was itself photographed in natural light (see fifth image in comp above)? Also, I imagine that if one introduced a lot of three dimensional objects into a camera such as this, when the camera was held up to make an image, most of it would slosh down to the bottom of the camera (which would actually be the top of the frame) yet in Gill’s images much of it seems to be defying gravity and evenly disbursed. I am not doubting Gill’s claims of process – just aspects in some of the images confound me, albeit in pleasurable ways.

Gill makes the analogy in his brief afterword in Outside In that these photos are like the “regurgitated contents of a giant vacuum cleaner bag.” I like the thought of that. Photography already holds the potential for producing the illusion of literal and almost infinite description in “straight” practice. Gill’s images seem to have physically sucked up parts of the world, shook them around unpredictably, and spilled the contents onto pieces of paper – a new order that is as messy and confounding as the world itself.

Outside In was published by Photoworks and the Archive of Modern Conflict.