Tag Archives: Narrative

SW Regional SPE: Skott Chandler

Sharing photographers that I met at the SW Regional SPE Conference hosted by the Center of Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado….

I think most of us would like to think we lead interesting lives, but Colorado photographer, Skott Chandler provides the evidence that much of what we do is routine or banal. Skott gave a spirited presentation at SPE that spoke to his creative approaches to making images. The photographs featured today from his project, House Watch, are the result of self-created pinhole cameras secured to the ceilings of a whole host of living spaces.  The results reflect how people (and dogs) use space–those who are in focus or semi-focus are more stationary, those who disappear are only moving through the room.

Skott is a  photographic artist in Denver, Colorado where he teaches at the Art Institute of Colorado. He received his degree in Studio Art at Southern Utah University, and during that time he received a UGRASP (Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Program) grant for his surreal Photocubism series.
He then received his MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Skott has exhibited work throughout the United States, as well as internationally in Bordeaux, France, Hong Kong, and Geneva, Switzerland. His work was selected for Klopmpching Gallery’s inaugural FRESH 2011 photography competition and he was recognized by Gallery 263 in Cambridge, MA, as one of the Top 30 Emerging Artist Under 30 for 2011.

 House Watch

Humans have many levels of connection with their personal spaces. Narratives within these domestic spaces differ depending on the inhabitants and their activities that may be mundane, ambiguous, hilarious, absurd, or unsettling. The space within a house affects the inhabitants, and the inhabitants affect the space–an oddly intriguing phenomenon that proves difficult to visualize. 

Creating a photographic representation of such an abstract emotional experience was my motivation. The photographs take the perspective of an omniscient voyeur investigating the dynamics of space within a home. Ceiling mounted pinhole cameras cast an unflinching gaze upon the inhabitants and rooms within the walls; not to judge, but to witness.

Review Santa Fe: Jay Muhlin

Review Santa Fe participant Jay Muhlin is a Philadelphia photographer with a focus on artist books. His work explores themes of loss, intimacy, comfort, anxiety, and masculinity. What
results are multivalent narratives, visual threads that not only “define his subjects with empathy,
but also seek emotional truth.”

Jay received a BFA in Photography from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts  and recently completed his MFA in Transmedia/Art Photography at Syracuse University. His work has appeared in various editorial publications worldwide and he has recently completed residencies at the
Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester NY, The Millay Colony for the Arts in
Austerlitz, NY and at Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside in Troy NY.
Jay teaches courses at Syracuse University, Salem Community College and
was a visiting faculty member at Bennington College in 2011.

 His current project, a book titled Guilty Pleasures, looks at finding comfort during winter. The images speak through visual pun and metaphor. Muhlin often takes diaristic liberties and embraces serendipity, building images that refer to something other than what is named or described in the frame: something intangible such as longing, intimacy, and solitude. Strung together are lists of simple comforts and tactile groupings which all contrast with the harshness that winter serves. 

Relief is offered through humor as it transforms coping into a joy that makes moving forward more meaningful. When this work is exhibited Muhlin uses an installation format, creating a quasidomestic space. Images are hung salon style in gaudy white frames with numerous different dimensions. The artist’s couch is available for sitting and viewing his book dummy, draped with a quilt embroidered with a wintery image from the project. Greeting cards, newspapers, and balloons- all ephemera to be given away, distributed, disturbed, or forgotten.

Review Santa Fe: Jay Muhlin

Review Santa Fe participant Jay Muhlin is a Philadelphia photographer with a focus on artist books. His work explores themes of loss, intimacy, comfort, anxiety, and masculinity. What
results are multivalent narratives, visual threads that not only “define his subjects with empathy,
but also seek emotional truth.”

Jay received a BFA in Photography from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts  and recently completed his MFA in Transmedia/Art Photography at Syracuse University. His work has appeared in various editorial publications worldwide and he has recently completed residencies at the
Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester NY, The Millay Colony for the Arts in
Austerlitz, NY and at Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside in Troy NY.
Jay teaches courses at Syracuse University, Salem Community College and
was a visiting faculty member at Bennington College in 2011.

 His current project, a book titled Guilty Pleasures, looks at finding comfort during winter. The images speak through visual pun and metaphor. Muhlin often takes diaristic liberties and embraces serendipity, building images that refer to something other than what is named or described in the frame: something intangible such as longing, intimacy, and solitude. Strung together are lists of simple comforts and tactile groupings which all contrast with the harshness that winter serves. 

Relief is offered through humor as it transforms coping into a joy that makes moving forward more meaningful. When this work is exhibited Muhlin uses an installation format, creating a quasidomestic space. Images are hung salon style in gaudy white frames with numerous different dimensions. The artist’s couch is available for sitting and viewing his book dummy, draped with a quilt embroidered with a wintery image from the project. Greeting cards, newspapers, and balloons- all ephemera to be given away, distributed, disturbed, or forgotten.

Light from the Middle East

The Middle East, a sprawling and nuanced geographic mass that is home to many cultures and traditions, is often seen through the lens of politics. The Victoria & Albert Museums latest photography exhibition, however, manages to transcend this overarching narrative, producing a show that focuses on the subject of contemporary photographic practice.

As the exhibition’s curator Marta Weiss acknowledges, until now, the V & A Museums collection of photographs from the region reflected the Eurocentric term itself: Most of the photographs that we have that relate to the region were made by westerners, she says. This exhibition marks a departure from that, recognizing instead the wealth and variety of photo-making from this diverse region. This is very much an exhibition that is not about outsiders, but rather a view of the Middle East from the Middle East.”

Spanning over three decades and encompassing the work of some 30 artists and photographers, the show is divided into three parts: recording, re-framing and resisting. The categories, explains Weiss, show how photography is being employed by photographers.

The ambitiousness of the show lies not in its geographic scope, but rather in the drawing together of a diverse group of practitioners who have engaged with the medium in multiple ways.At one end of the spectrum, there is the iconic work of Magnum-photographer Abbas, documenting the unfolding revolution in Iran from 1978-1979 in his series Iran Diary, a precursor to the events attested to recently in the Arab spring. Nermine Hamman focuses on this very subject, photographing young Egyptian soldiers in Tahrir Square. Displayed in the “resistance” section of the exhibition, Hammans digitally altered images remove the soldiers from their immediate surroundings and place them instead among candy-colored mountain scapes and cherry blossoms. Entitled Upekkha (2011), the images have a postcard-like quality, drawing a parallel between the spectacle of Tahrir Square to that of a tourist attraction.

Despite the intention of the curators to shift the emphasis away from the political, Weiss acknowledges there is a lot of politics in the works. Though some of the photographers openly challenge this. Shadi Ghadirians re-staged portraits of Iranian women in the Qajar period (1786-1925) play on the tensions between tradition, modernity and gender. linkwheel . The warm grey theatrical studio photographs feature playful reminders of modernity, including an explorer bicycle and Pepsi can.

The artists on show do not limit themselves to just the Middle East however. Taysir Batnijis series documenting Israeli watchtowers in occupied Palestinian is a clear homage to German artists Bernd and Hillary Bechers iconic typologies of industrial structures in Europe. Yousef Nabil, who once worked with David LaChapelle, also looks to Europe for inspiration, photographing elderly Yemeni men in England. By hand-coloring the portraits in the style of old Egyptian film stills however, Nabil celebrates the rich tradition of Middle Eastern image-making, which, as the exhibition is testament to, is as strong and vibrant as ever.


Light from the Middle East: New Photography is on show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London from Nov. 13 through April 7, 2013.

Kharunya Paramaguru is based in TIME’s London office.


Europe Week: Salva Lopez

Guest editor, Jacqueline Roberts shares a week of European photographers, starting with Salva Lopez. A huge thank you toJacqueline for her insight and efforts. Her statement for why she selected the photographers follows: 


 I chose these photographs because they move me. They are portraits of people, young or old. They tell a story, maybe theirs, maybe ours. Some speak softly, hushing over us like in Lopez’ muted portraits of old people. Others exude exuberance and vitality, like in Laboile’s family life. Some are languid portraits, others raw pictures of a sore existence. Some stare right back at us, like in Videnin’s photographs; others gently lower their gaze. Yet for me, they all share that essential quality that turns a good photograph into a great one: immediacy. We know a good photograph when we see one. When I look at these images, I relate to them immediately, to the people they portray, to the narrative. They have their own language, a language that speak to me, a language that I understand. There is an intuitive connection that synchronises our own experience with a photograph. A reciprocal flow. An empathic exchange. 


I was at Getxophoto this summer, an international photo festival near Bilbao (Spain), and it struck me when two passers-by paused in front of a photograph and remarked: “Oh that’s very nice, but what does that mean? What was the artist trying to tell us?” searching for answers. Images carry meaning, they do; but in my case, it is the quest for questions that I relish when looking at a photograph. To me, these photographs tell us about loneliness, joy and pain; about dreams, beauty and hopelessness; about search and loss… Vehicles for meanings, emotions and thoughts. Stories of bodies and souls… ultimately, metaphors of life and what lies underneath.–Jacqueline Roberts


image by Salva Lopez


Salva López (Barcelona, 1984) trained as a graphic designer but when he discovered photographers Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld and Alec Soth, he realised that photography was what he wanted to do. Since then Salva has gained recognition in Spain as an emerging talent, winning many awards (e.g.Fotoactitud, Photoespaña) and showing his work in exhibitions and photo festivals.

Salva is currently working on his project “The Green Curtain”, about the mount Montjuïc in Barcelona. He is also co-editor of the blog “Have a Nice Book” about photography books that he edits with his friend and also photographer Yosigo.

Roig 26 is a project that I have carried
out bit by bit through observation, reflection and from my experience of living
with my grand parents, Marina y José, for five years in their modest apartment
on Roig street, in the Barcelona “Raval” district. An apartment that
has been the stage of their relationship for more than 60 years. A whole life
inside these same walls and these same fears.

With Roig 26 my intention was not to draw a true portrait of their own reality, but rather to recreate one, through what I have experienced with them.


What does your cultural heritage bring to your work?

It is difficult to know which type of cultural heritage has influence my work. Obviously I have my own cultural references, my region, my surroundings, Catalonia, Spain, the Mediterranean and Europe. But in a global world, my influences come also from the United States, through their movies, their music, their literature and particularly through their photography. William Eggleston or Stephen Shore have had an impact on me from the start. 

What difference do see between work created in Europe and in the States?

Ummm… I would say that in the United States a formal approach often predominates along with a more intuitive and visual narrative. I believe that in Europe we perhaps make it more intellectual, we try to find a concept for each photographic work. The ideal work, for me, would that which is visually strong and has an intellectual dimension, that is interesting but not necessarily explicit. In my work, there are days when I wake up as a European and others as an American. Here in Europe we too often “split hairs”.

What is the state of photography in your country (how is photography perceived in the art scene, is there support, are galleries selling, etc.)?
As everybody knows, Spain is going through a massive crisis and the first budget cuts have affected cultural activities. Most grants are gone now, and what is left will not last long. I am not too familiar with galleries so I can’t really say, but one thing is sure, sales have fallen dramatically.
Having said that, I think that Spanish photographers are getting better and we are gradually reaching European levels. People are very motivated and there are more and more groups that support young talented photographers. I know quite well the world of photography books and I can see the progression. Publishing houses are publishing very interesting things and photography books are now making the Top 10 list for best books. Last year for instance, Ricardo Cases with ‘Paloma al aire’ and Julian Barón with ‘CENSURA’ were among the top 10. And it is very likely that Cristina de Middel’s book ‘Afronautas’, will make it this year. 
There is still loads more to do, support and funds are scarce, but luckily and thanks to the Internet it is now much easier to access information and promote your work. The intermediaries who were once indispensable are less so today.

Rachelle Mozman, La sesión fotográfica

Rachelle Mozman, La sesión fotográfica

Rachelle Mozman

La sesión fotográfica,
Panamá, Republica de Panamá, 2010
From the Casa de Mujeres series
Website – RachelleMozman.com

Rachelle Mozman grew up in New York City, and New Jersey and currently makes work between Brooklyn and Central America. As an artist working in photography and video her practice intersects document and narrative tendencies. Mozman is fascinated with ideas of ethnography and her work engages themes around family, class and gender divides. In 2012 Mozman will exhibit Casa de Mujeres at Catherine Edelman Gallery. In 2012 she was awarded an AIR at The Camera Club of New York. In 2011 Mozman participated in The (S) Files Biennial at El Museo del Barrio, she received a Lens Culture 2nd Prize Award and was an AIR at Smack Mellon. In 2010 Mozman exhibited her series Costa del Este through En Foco’s Traveling Exhibition program and she participated in 31 Women in Art Photography. A selection of photographs from her Costa del Este series were published in the Light Work annual Contact Sheet as well as Humble Foundation’s, The Collectors Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 2. She is a Fulbright Fellow and her work has been exhibited nationally and abroad. She lives with her husband, musician Caito Sanchez, their son, and cat.

Brighton Photo Fringe 2012 – Blind Field presents Origins of Encounter until 21 October

Blind Field are showing Origins of Encounter at the Phoenix Brighton until Sunday 21 October as part of the Brighton Fringe 2012. The artists involved are Joan Alexander, Luke AR Hamblin and Louise Maher, all of whom, according to the press release, “examine notions of the encounter in relation to place, narrative and the photograph”.

© Joan Alexander – Study V – Facing North Window – 60 Minutes

Joan Alexander
“Alexander’s work explores the margins of inscription and projection, the unacknowledged spectra between positive and negative. Alexander is interested in the ‘latent image’. A visual in waiting, from between times, like the line between shadow and light; the line, like a map, is always a metaphor. Alexander’s practice immerses the viewer within a passage of time through an encounter with the movement and interruption of light. Her projections create a space where the viewer must pass through lines of light drawing attention to their presence. The correlation between printed and projected material asks for a closer examination creating awareness to the tangible and intangible nature of her practice.”

© Luke AR Hamblin – A study of still life. Sunflowers

Luke AR Hamblin
“Hamblin is interested in the way in which photography enables us to dissect the world and pull it apart. For Hamblin making photographic pictures is about assembling a Cast of characters, analysing their poses, placing them in the picture frame. Hamblin has developed a complex process of picture-making, exploring the role of perception and portrayal in our engagement with ‘place’. His series Studies for a theory of the Epic Photograph encourages us to think about how simple aspects of pose and gesture can embody whole narrative worlds. Drawing on references from early twentieth century modes of portrayal: theatre, cinema and painting, Hamblin’s photographs offer the viewer undisclosed narratives to decipher and re-construct.”

© Louise Maher – Old Head, Kinsale 2006-2012

Louise Maher
“Maher’s practice concentrates upon the inextricable relationship we have to our environment. By focusing on everyday expressions of this connection, she explores perceptions of the encounter. Maher’s approach stems from an appreciation of the historical development of street photography, yet it is also influenced by a typological approach. She values the photograph’s capacity to simultaneously document and picture the world. Her photographic series’ unite aspects of spontaneity and formalization to create a visual language that presents the viewer with space to translate.” From the press release.

Filed under: Photographers, Photography Festivals, Photography Shows Tagged: Blind Field, brighton, Brighton Photo Fringe, Joan Alexander, Louise Maher, Luke AR Hamblin, Origins of Encounter, photo show

Rachelle Mozman, En el cuarto de la niña

Rachelle Mozman, En el cuarto de la niña

Rachelle Mozman

En el cuarto de la niña,
, 2010
From the Casa de Mujeres series
Website – RachelleMozman.com

Rachelle Mozman grew up in New York City, and New Jersey and currently makes work between Brooklyn and Central America. As an artist working in photography and video her practice intersects document and narrative tendencies. Mozman is fascinated with ideas of ethnography and her work engages themes around family, class and gender divides. In 2012 Mozman will exhibit Casa de Mujeres at Catherine Edelman Gallery. In 2012 she was awarded an AIR at The Camera Club of New York. In 2011 Mozman participated in The (S) Files Biennial at El Museo del Barrio, she received a Lens Culture 2nd Prize Award and was an AIR at Smack Mellon. In 2010 Mozman exhibited her series Costa del Este through En Foco’s Traveling Exhibition program and she participated in 31 Women in Art Photography. A selection of photographs from her Costa del Este series were published in the Light Work annual Contact Sheet as well as Humble Foundation’s, The Collectors Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 2. She is a Fulbright Fellow and her work has been exhibited nationally and abroad. She lives with her husband, musician Caito Sanchez, their son, and cat.