Tag Archives: Passage Of Time

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

Blake Odgen: Summer Re Runs

Looking at a post that originally ran in 2009…..

I received my SHOTS magazine in the mail the other day, and after flipping through a few of the pages, came across an image by Blake Ogden. It struck a chord and made me want to see more.

Second Husband by Blake Ogden

Blake received a BA from Bennington College and majored in Painting and Printmaking. While enrolled in the graduate program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he began serious work in photography.

In My Grandmother’s House is about capturing family history and explores the passage of time. “The idea for this ambitious project began nine years ago when Ogden had a common humanistic impulse to document his grandmother, Jacqueline Vaughan. Soon after the start of his photographic journey, Ogden was struck by the pressing fact that his grandmother was aging, giving him the motivation to capture all that he could on camera.”

Rachel Loischild

Rachel Loischild is an artist and photographer based in Boston Massachusetts. I had the pleasure of seeing her work on Estate Sales in the Flash Forward festival, and was interested to see more.  Rachel’s work speaks to what was, the poignancy of transience, the idea of personal legacy. 

She holds her MFA  in photography from Pratt Institute. Her photographs have been shown widely, including her international debut at the Jounju photo festival in Jounju Korea. As well as having her work exhibited at the Danforth Museum of Art, the Monmouth Museum and numerous fine art galleries across the country. Rachel teaches photography at both Clark University and Pine Manor College. 

I am featuring work from two series, Estate Sales, and Back in the Valley, both explore terrain that is familiar and sensory, and deal with memory and the passage of time.

Estate Sales
is an investigation of the estate sales of New England documenting the
objects and domestic spaces that remain after someone dies.

Estate Sales
becomes a collection of environmental portraits that tell a story about
individual lives, families, and an entire generation, which is quickly
evaporating. Details of ones life are laid out and exposed, allowing for
the examination of the physical relics of someone’s life. This work
examines these domestic spaces that have been very clearly shaped by
women, creating portraits of them and examining the cultural nuances to
which they subscribed, as well as comparing them to our own schema
today. This can be seen in the pieces of cosmetics remaining on a
dressing table and the ornamentation of a house; even the choice of
wallpaper reflects such subtleties.

but curious – well-worn surfaces, upholstery faded from decades of sun.
Illumination plays a key role in the work, aesthetically adding life
back into a space that is now defined by death. What remains becomes
still life as anthropology; these homes become a part of both art and
social science. The miniature as the grand and the grand as the
miniature, like museum dioramas tell us of an ancient past, these still
lives speak to us of the recent past allowing us to create our own
dialogue with this time gone by.

In Back In The Valley,
Rachel returns to her parents home in a series of portraits of her
parents and their home in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. This
project is linked to her landscape work of the same region, Views From The Happy Valley,
which depicts landscapes of the agricultural land that surrounded her
in childhood. 

In this ongoing project Rachel confronts viewers exceptions of family construct in showing her middle-aged lesbian parents in their home revealing the banality of their every day lives.  By pairing landscapes with portraits Rachel shows her deep connection to the valley in that she includes these non-domestic spaces in her schema of home.  

Kris Graves, Abandoned HP Plant

Kris Graves, Abandoned HP Plant

Kris Graves

Abandoned HP Plant,
New England, 2005
From the Permanence series
Website – KrisGraves.com

Kris Graves creates photographs of landscapes and people to preserve memory. The images stillness cause the viewer to acknowledge the inevitability of change and the passage of time. He suspends his belief and knowledge of this change, not to document a moment or state, but rather to sustain it. In addition to being a photographer for the Guggenheim Museum, Graves acts as the director of +Kris Graves Projects and IYVEE (coming soon); acting as a curator, reviewer, and independent dealer or photography and works on paper. He also works as an editor for Iris Editions, Ltd., London.

Frank Armstrong

There is something remarkable about a photographer who has been looking through the lens for almost 60 years.  Frank Armstrong has a heightened way of seeing – capturing the nuances of found tableaus and exploring objects that have patina and remain to tell a story. He looks at the ordinary and sees beyond it and brings a beauty and poignancy to a landscape that many would overlook. At 77, he is truly a treasure in our photographic community.

His portraits reveal a sensitivity to humanity and the quiet dignity of simple moments of being.

Frank spent much of his life in Texas, but found himself on a small island near Alaska while serving in the Navy.  It was there that he picked up a camera in order to share his experiences with his family.  Frank has had a long career, in and out of academia (currently “in”, teaching at Clark University in Massachusetts), and rubbing shoulders with photographers who inspired and encouraged him along the way, including Russel Lee, Garry Winogrand, Oliver Gagliani, and most recently, Stephen Di Rado.  He was awarded a double Paisano Fellowship, has created three monographs, and has work in significant museum collections across the county. Though Frank lives and teaches in Massachusetts, he still prefers to make work in familiar territory: the southwest and Texas.  He currently has work in the exhibition, Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, at the Panopticon Gallery in Boston.
I am featuring select images of Frank’s color work from his series, Color.

My perfect day, week, month, or more, is to load the cameras into the truck and head out.  I’m in search of images that speaks of man’s influence on the landscape, and the effects of time.  My subjects are at times whimsical, obscure, and transitory.  They are not hidden, but they are seldom noticed by the passer-by.  I seek that which has been abandoned and allowed to decay with the passage of time.  

Through these symbols of man interacting with the ever-changing symbols of nature, I find a rather enigmatic representation of life, a study of our culture past and present; what Walker Evens called modern cultural artifacts.  I am incurably curious, and many of my images come from things that make me do a double-take. 

I question what I’m seeing and feeling, and try to answer those question by making an image.  I want the viewer to have some measure of my feelings and thoughts when I first viewed the scenes represented by my images.

Interview with Lorena Guillen Vaschetti: HISTORIA, MEMORIA Y SILENCIOS

“My mother and I are the only members left of a big Italian family. Convinced that she was lifting the heavy weight of the family past off my shoulders, she called me to let me know that she had thrown away all the family slides: “It happened already”, she said…” — Lorena Guillén Vaschetti

Lorena Guillen Vaschetti has just published her first monograph, Historia, Memoria y Silencios through Schilt Publishing, and Postcart Publishing in Italy. The project is an unusual exploration of personal history and power through family photography–what the photographs reveal and what is hidden. Lorena approaches the work as an anthropologist, and the simplicity of her work allows the viewer to bring their own stories, conclusions, and realities to the project.

In 2009, Lorena’s mother threw away all the family slides to protect her daughter from the family history. Lorena was able to recover only one box from the many that her mother had discarded. She re-photographed the contents from her perspective, choosing to leave the slides that were wrapped in packages unopened.

Lorena Guillén Vaschetti was born in Rosario, Argentina in 1974. She studied Architecture and Anthropology before committing to Photography. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout South America, the United States and Europe, and is included in a number of public and private collections.

The book is in two parts and begins with photographs of the loose slides Lorena found in the box. She re-photographed the slides from a depth of field that leaves portions of the images out of focus, and the faces of her family members blurred. This gives the series a dreamlike, mysterious quality that reflects the passage of time, and poses intriguing questions about the relationship between family members, and what other unknown stories exist in between the picture frames.

Images from Historia, memoria y silencios (Historia, memoria)

In the second half of the book (tied in a Japanese binding) – Unopened/Sin Abrir – Lorena presents photographs of the packages of slides that she chose not to open. Bound in elastic bands, and concealed in film canisters, these photographic artifacts conceal family secrets that the artist will never learn. Lorena is most interested in what we cannot see, and how powerful constructed memories of our past shape what we ultimately believe to be true.

Images from Historia, memoria y lilencios (Silencios)

Congratulations on the book! It’s a unique approach to exploring the idea of family photographs and history. You studied Anthropology and Architecture before committing to photography. Does that education inform your work?

I can easily imagine that if I would have studied other careers my work would be different. Let me think about it with you: Architecture has been present in the way I thought the book as an object. I faced it as I think an architectural project. First the idea and then the factuality of it. To make an idea become a final object and all the process in between.

Let me give you an example: to express the “Un-openess” through japanese binding is different way to transmit the feeling of the impossibility of accessing those moments that already happened. A more physical way.

Last but not least technology: in this area my education did not informed the work directly: my the designer and the printer thought me about the technology in this particular field of book making.

Regarding Anthropology, it relates in so many different levels!

From understanding family links to reading codes through Semiology (in the first “vintage” images). And it can also be approached from an archeological point of view (mainly in the last ones, the “packages”).

Can you tell us how the book came about?

I met Maarten Schilt in Paris in November 2010. As soon as he saw my work he said that this work would make a great book. I had not considered the possibility of a book about this before but I thought it was a wonderful format for this body of work. We worked from February to August and in October the book was released in Europe and now, February, in the United States.

There also is an Italian edition by a publishing house in Rome called Postcart Edizioni.

Postcart came to know about the book when we were finishing it and offered to make the italian edition which was wonderful because most pictures are taken in Italy and both my grandparents (the photographer) were italians. And so am I !

Your early series about black boards appears to have a connection to your current work. It’s work about a structure, wherein the narrative is obscured, and it feels nostolgic, in the past. Did you see this connection?

You are completely right !!! and you said it wonderfully well….
I saw the connection later than I would have imagined. I work very intuitively and only later I think about the reasons why I did what I did.

What made you decide to reinterpret and rephotograph your family photographs?

A complex and sometimes sad family history. They became something else now.

I can’t imagine to allowing myself to NOT look at family photographs. Do you ever think you will explore those images? Is there a truth you don’t want exposed? The act of not looking is quite powerful.

Thank you Aline…
I understand what you say. As I mentioned earlier, I work very intuitively. For the time being I feel comfortable having them as objects holding unknown moments.

The fact that they became something else, larger perhaps than only the images they would offer is important to me.
I don’t know if I will ever open them. They are in a transparent box now. They are like archeology objects in a way.

Admittedly, I have had my own experience cleaning out my parent’s house and throwing away carousels of slides– that is one reason that this work really resonates with me. Have you given thought as to what our generation will pass on to our children, now that physical photographs are rare–most people keep them on their computers.
Very true! I have no idea what they will hold on to for the construction of memory. I would imagine a few objects and a few stories that will eventually wash with time. At the end of the day it is like it happened in history before photography existed.

And the next generation will have to deal with the problem of having too many (files): when we have too much it is usually hard to see what is important….
It is a very interesting matter.

Regarding your own story, I believe that even if you would have kept all your parent’s slides, only very few would have been meaningful to you. You probably already have that “space” of your memory filled with other objects or images (photographs or memories in your mind). In my experience that is enough.

In fact most of my family slides where already gone with the trash truck when I came to know. Perhaps if I would have had a million or they would not have been in such risk I would have never paid attention. (But let me confess that when I saw how wonderful they were I wanted them all back! )

As an Argentinian photographer, how do you connect with the rest of the world? Is Argentina supportive of photographers? Have you attended portfolio reviews outside of South America?

Argentina is a very difficult country for artists to live in terms of the lack of governmental support, especially economical. But there is a big artists’ community that is very interesting.

Yes, I attended portfolio reviews in different places such as Fotofest (Houston) Santa Fe Reviews (New Mexico) Paris photo and Bratislava!

Are you working on a new project?

I need to let it grow a bit more before I can speak about it. But it has to do with the need to fill in the blanks.

And finally what would be your perfect day?

Any day when I am in peace with myself, conscious of how lucky I am.
If it would be sunny, had nice simple food and I would have my loved ones around, then it would be the perfect, perfect day!

Movements & the Iceland Trilogy by Christopher Colville

Movements & the Iceland Trilogy by Christopher Colville

Review by Larissa Leclair

Movements and the Iceland Trilogy by Christopher Colville is an exquisite two-book set containing four unique but interconnected bodies of work about ancestry, ritual, and a connection to the landscape. Each is a double-sided accordian-folded photobook with cloth-covered book board attached to the beginning and the end, so as you finish one series and close the book, the back cover becomes the beginning of the next. Cairns becomes Small Tragedies and Movements becomes Sleep. Throughout a 27-day trip in the remote Icelandic landscape, Colville continuously made images – on paper negatives and color 4”x5” film, and as unfixed photograms and ambrotypes – of which 7 days are represented in this artist book. As day faded into night and dark back into light, this immutable cycle and passage of time parallels the continuous reading of this book and speaks to a much broader human connection to history and place and the people who have been there before us and after.

Nadia Sablin

Nadia Sablin has a unique world view, with roots in two parts of the world. She was born in the Soviet Union and moved to the United States when she was twelve. Nadia packed her suitcase full of rich visual memories with an ability to tell stories and create portraits that allow us a window into her personal history. Nadia now divides her time between St Petersburg, Russia and New York City, where she is pursuing several photographic projects. I am featuring two of those projects, Two Sisters and Together and Alone.

Two Sisters: In 1952, my grandfather began to lose his vision as a result of being wounded in WWII. Wanting to return to the place where he grew up, he found an unoccupied hill in a village in the Leningrad region of Russia, close to his brothers, sisters and numerous cousins. He took his house apart, log by log, and floated it down the Oyat river to its new location and reconstructed it. This house, with no running water or heat, is the place where my father and his siblings grew up, each moving to the big city after finishing school.

Now, more than half a century later, the house still stands, occupied by two of my aunts in the warmer months. They plant potatoes, bring water from the well, and chop wood for heating the stove. For the last three years, I’ve spent the summer in the village, photographing my aunts’ quiet occupations, and the small world surrounding them. Their life spent in the routine of chores, handiwork and puzzles seems untouched by the passage of time.

Together and Alone:I was conceived, mistakenly, as a twin, although nobody knew this but me. There were two of us, in the womb, identical from our underdeveloped heads to our microscopic toes. She was a Russian girl, just like me, a secretly Jewish Russian girl, prone to emotion, impatient, bookish. She hid. I knew her well before we left. We conspired on hot days in the village, outwitted the demons in the marshes, looked for treasure among the reeds. We parted ways in ’92, when I was brought to greener pastures, great-grandmother’s pillows and iron skillet in tow. She is still breathing magic. She, the other one, is beautiful. Her braid is down to her feet like my aunties’.

Our life packed in six check-in suitcases, three carry-ons. I was alone here in your new world, so I tried to replicate her, mold her out of my mother, out of American girls, out of mirrors. I search for her in images by Dutch painters, in stories by Marquez and Bulgakov. She lives off drywall, in an attic, in a well; she ascended to heaven, she is a mother by now, she walks the outskirts of St. Petersburg as a whore, she is still a child, while I’ve grown bigger, and am good at paying my bills on time.

She brushes her hair one hundred times before bed. A wolf guards her virtue. I see her in the eyes of strangers. Her gestures overtake theirs for a split second, and she is gone before they know what has happened. With my trap, I wait for her to appear there, and if I’m quick enough, if I press the button at the right moment, none of this will be real. We will be together again, she and I, conspirators, sisters, laughers of derisive laughter, whole.