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Love The One You’re With

image by Aline Smithson

I’ve been on the road since September, visiting photo festivals across the country and I’ve been thinking a lot about the experiences and the photographers I have met and wanted to share some thoughts. I have to say, it’s an amazing community, filled with good will, curiosity, passion, and really, really good people.  I think there is something special about those who use a visual language, who are reinterpreting the world close-up and far away.  I left each event filled up with friendships, with images, with experiences that make this journey a richer one.

I have always told my students that it is equally important to meet fellow photographers at these events, and not to solely focus on meeting with people that they think might change one’s career. Sometimes at photo events, photographers can be a bit myopic and self-focused, trying to tug on the sleeve of important reviewers. They don’t realize that those who don’t make it all about themselves, benefit the most–and often times, it will be a peer that makes something happen in their career. More has come to me, and to my career, from my relationships with other photographers than from anywhere else–the evidence of this statement seems profoundly evident after my recent travels–just looking at this fall, almost every invitation came from a relationship with a photographer.

I truly marvel at how many photographers are changing the photographic landscape by giving their time and energies to promote work that is not their own. Photographer Scott B. Davis created the Medium  Festival of Photography in San Diego this September, photographer Sarah Hadley created the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago, I went to the SW Regional SPE conference, all run by photographers.  I attended Fotoweek DC started by Theo Adamstein (a photographer) and was invited to teach at the event by photographer E. Brady Robinson who I had traveled with in China.  Photographers Jennifer Shaw, Millie Fuller, and Lori Waselchuk, privotal players at PhotoNola, not only invited me to teach a workshop and review, but Jen helped me secure a gallery in New Orleans.

As I sat in the portfolio reviewing room at Photo Nola, I looked over at Blue Mitchell, a fellow photographer who started Diffusion Magazine, a publication that features historical and non-traditional ways of approaching photography, then I looked at photographer Gordon Stettinius who has not only become a publisher, but opened Candela Gallery and is working on creating a significant collection of photographs for gallery.  I looked at photographer Bryan Formhals who  champions the online community (especially Flickr) and has celebrated many image makers in his terrific LPV Magazine.

At the Medium Festival photographer Susan Burnstine found work to celebrate in her articles for Black and White Magazine (UK), photographer David Bram reviewed as editor of Fraction Magazine and in Chicago, photographer Kevin Miyazaki looked for new work for his amazing Collect.Give program and photographer Christy Karpinski reviewed for her long time publication, F Stop Magazine. Photographer Russell Joslin also reviewed for his labor of love, SHOTS Magazine which he has edited for years, photographer Bill Schwab shared his sage insights from years behind the lens and as a workshop educator and photographer Kyohei Abe reviewed for the Detroit Center of Photography where he is now the director. And there are more that I am sure I am forgetting.

I am not diminishing all the amazing curators, editors, and gallerists that make up our photography community, but I wanted to recognize the tremendous support that photographers lend to each other, often without recognition or financial compensation of any sort.

So next time you are at a photo or review event, remember that the person sitting next to you clutching their portfolio box, just might change your life one day.

John Blakemore at the Klompching Gallery

A wonderful exhibition featuring the work of British photographer, John Blakemore, has recently opened at the Klompching Gallery in Brooklyn and will run through December 22nd, 2012.
John is considered a national treasure of Britain with a career that spans 55 year years and a mastery of not only his photography and his craft in printing, but in his “knowing” of a subject.  He is concerned with the “ritual of intimacy, the sustained exploration of small areas of the world that interests him–whether working outside in the landscape or working in his studio. His work is held in public collections around the world and he has exhibited in a numerous international museums and galleries.
John has been fascinated with the idea of exploring landscape as a manifestation of energy, and the metaphoric potential of the photograph. His exquisite silver gelatin prints are a testimony to the excellence of his hand as an artist.  He shows us that a photograph is not taken, it’s made.  

Tulipa – After Jan Van Os (printed 2012)
Tulipa – Dissections No. 10 (1992)

The Garden – Fragments of a History (1991)

Ambergate Derybhsire from the ‘Lila’ series (1977)

Jade Doskow, Montreal 1967 World’s Fair, “Man and His World,” Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome

Jade Doskow, Montreal 1967 World’s Fair, “Man and His World,” Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome

Jade Doskow

Montreal 1967 World’s Fair, “Man and His World,” Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome With Solar Experimental House,
, 2012
Website – JadeDoskowPhotography.com

Jade Doskow is a New York-based photographer and professor. She is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts and City University of New York, where she teaches architectural and digital photography. She is a photo-blogger for the Huffington Post and has exhibited her work widely. Her work has been featured on WIRED, NPR, and the New Yorker Photo Booth. Her large format photography examines the visual paradox between utopian architecture and its unpredictable current environment.

Robert Rutoed: Right Time Right Place

The photographs of Robert Rutoed appeared on my visual radar
several years ago when I was introduced to his project, Less is More. The images made an impression that kept his name and photographs
in the forefront of my mental Rolodex – not an easy feat, as I look at a lot of
images on a daily basis. 
Robert is part of that wonderful European street shooter legacy that is so important in a world where technology keeps our heads down, where cell phones remove us from truly being engaged with each other.  And it’s this heads-down mentality that disassociates our connections with a world rich with small dramas. We need Robert’s photographs to make us realize what we are missing, and allow the levity of his work to not only see ourselves with amusement, but to simply, see ourselves.

What Robert brings to the contemporary photographic dialogue
is that intangible ability to see the world with a skewed lens – a lens that is
compassionate and at the same time, unkind. It is a lens that is the stuff of
operas and nightmares, comedies and slapstick. Robert finds that split second
of humor or truth telling and that instant of social documentation or absurdity
that makes us not only laugh at ourselves, but also laugh and feel embarrassed
all at the same time.  Or should I
say, at The Right Time.
Robert has a new book, Right Time Right Place, that releases this week, and I have the privilege of writing the foreword to this publication.
Robert  was born in Vienna and is a photographer and filmmaker. He created numerous
short feature films with screenings worldwide and his photographic work has been exhibited throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Robert was recently the winner of the
New York Photo Award 2012 in the category Fine Art. His books included: Less Is More
(2009), grayscales, early b&w photographs (2010), Right Time Right
Right Time Right Place
Being at the right place at the right time is usually associated with
happiness and success. But what happens when we are at the right place
at the wrong time? Do we even know that this is the right place? And
what if it turns out that it is the wrong place after all? But the right
time!” – Whoever loses his orientation over this thought will get a
feeling for Robert Rutöd’s latest pictures. The Vienna-born photographer
wandered for five years through Europe and has proven to be a keen
observer with an often tragicomic view: The blind man who finds
orientation by putting his stick in a tram track, the helpless swan that
finds itself frozen to the vast stretch of ice, or the amputee operator
of a shooting range set up in a ruined building. It gets macabre with
the portraits of the Pope, Hitler and Mussolini decorating the labels of
wine bottles.

Europe Week: Hélène Amouzou

Guest editor, Jacqueline Roberts shares a week of European photographers, today with Hélène Amouzou. A huge thank you to Jacqueline for her insight and efforts.

Hélène Amouzou was born in Togo in 1969, but currently lives in Brussels, Belgium, where she is completing her studies at the Academy of Drawing and Visual Arts of Molenbeek-St-Jean.
Hélène self portraits have been exhibited in Belgium and France. Last year, she presented her work at the photography festival Photoquai 2011, in Paris.

Her book, Entre le papier peint et le mur, is published by Husson Editeur, Belgium.

Jacqueline Roberts writes: Looking at Hélène’s self-portraits I cannot help but wonder whether her evanescent body emerges from the wall or fades into it… torn between two identities, rootless and in transit. “I always have the impression to be traveling” she says. “I am not Togolese, nor Belgian”. In her quest for identity, Hélène puts down her empty suitcase in an equally empty attic… her no man’s land…

When asked about the European photography scene, Hélène says she finds inspiration in and sees American photography as a reference for European photographers. Since the financial crisis, investment in art has dramatically dropped in Europe. Galleries and art collectors are overly cautious nowadays. There is nevertheless great work coming from Europe and if the work is good, there is a way to find some support, even if such support may no longer be financial.

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

Kathleen Robbins, Me on Belle Chase

Kathleen Robbins, Me on Belle Chase

Kathleen Robbins

Me on Belle Chase,
Mississippi Delta, 2008
Website – Kathleen-Robbins.com

Born in Washington DC and raised in the Mississippi Delta, Kathleen Robbins received her BA from Millsaps College and her MFA from the University of New Mexico. Her photographs have been exhibited in venues such as The Light Factory Museum of Contemporary Photography & Film, Rayko Gallery, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. She is represented by Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta. In 2011, she was the recipient of the PhotoNOLA Review Prize. She currently resides in Columbia, SC, where she is an associate professor of art, coordinator of the photography program and affiliate faculty of southern studies at the University of South Carolina. 

Oliver Dignal, Azure Clouds #1

Oliver Dignal, Azure Clouds #1

Oliver Dignal

Azure Clouds #1,
Las Vegas, 2011
From the Azure Clouds series
Website – OliverDignal.de

Oliver Dignal was born in Frankfurt a.M., Germany in 1985. Studying art history at J.W.Goethe Universität, Frankfurt a.M., (2005-2006) he has been part of Klasse Martin Liebscher at Hochschule für Gestaltung, Offenbach am Main since 2008. Currently finishing his studies, he is also one of the founders of Album, Magazin für Fotografie (since 2010), which has released its third issue this year and held appearance at Paris Photo and further events in Hamburg, Vevey, Budapest etc. In 2010 also he won the Deutsche Börse Fotoförderpreis. His latest work is shown in the recent issue of waterfall magazine London/Taiwan. He lives and works in Berlin.