Tag Archives: Photography Project

Portfolio Reviews – Photomonth at the Museum of Childhood with Citizen Skwith, Daniel Alexander and Dougie Wallace


Photos above © Citizen Skwith, Petting Zoo

The same day as the Tri-pod show PV took place at the Phoenix Brighton, I did a day of portfolio reviews at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green for Photomonth. It’s the fourth year that I’ve done this and I’m always happy to be invited back.

I never know what to expect from the people I see and there are always some surprises, such as Citizen Skwith‘s clever signs and wonderful sense of humour (see photos above). Plus, reviewers get paid which is not always the case.

I’m posting a few iPhone photos from Photomonth’s recent portfolio reviews of some of the work that I came across, although I didn’t record all of it. If you were there and want to let people know about your work, post a comment with a link to your website/work.

So, in no particular order, here are a few projects that I saw. More from the reviews to come in another post later next week.

DANIEL ALEXANDER
Daniel Alexander says of 1day6cities project. “Today it is exactly a year on from  11.11.11 when the films were all shot. The project is also being exhibited at Oxford House until the end of this month.” This gives you all time to see it before it comes down.

1DAY6CITIES from 1day6cities on Vimeo.

“1DAY6CITIES is a global photography project that took place on the 11th November 2011 – 11.11.11, in London, Dubai, Shanghai, Auckland, San Francisco and São Paulo. Using word of mouth, email and social networks we put together an international team of photographers to create a unique twenty-four hour snapshot of this day across six very different cities around the globe. At exactly 00.00 Coordinated Universal Time (world time/GMT) photographers in each of these cities captured their first image in an event that saw photographs being taken every 30 seconds for the following 24 hours.

“The brief was for the photographers to shoot the most interesting thing happening in their city, at the time they had chosen to shoot. The cities were chosen because they are roughly an equal time difference apart meaning the films show the sun travelling around the earth through the course of the day.” The edited film is shown above and the edited stills can be seen on the 1day6cities website. There is a full list of the contributors on the website.

DOUGIE WALLACE
Dougie Wallace arrives wearing a pale blue/grey and black ensemble and carrying his colour coordinated portfolio. He smells of fish. Well, his breath does, on account of the fish pie he ate for lunch. He shows me his work, see Mumbai Rickshaw drivers shot and the Stags, Hens and Bunnies (working title) project, which is near to completion, and documents the day and night antics of hen nights and stag parties in the north.

There’s more than a hint of the Carry On about the subjects of some of these shots – all of which are well observed and captured with a wry sense of the absurd. Referring to himself as ‘The Martin Parr of the Facebook’ generation, take a look for yourself…

CITIZEN SKWITH
Citizen Skwith uses photography to document the signs that he makes and places in public places. Subverting and playing with the language of warning signs, Citizen Skwith’s works are a clever form of street art made available for everyone to enjoy. His website features all of his work and is well worth a look. I’ve already ordered the time traveller Blue Plaque for my hallway.

Filed under: Photographers, Photography Festivals, street art, Visual Artists Tagged: 1day6cities, Citizen Skwith, Daniel Alexander, documentary photography, Dougie Wallace, Hens and Bunnies, london, Museum of Childhood, Petting Zoo, photomonth, portfolio reviews, Stags, stop motion, street art

Greg Ruffing

OK, I admit it.  Exploring Greg Ruffing’s project on Yard Sales had me drooling over certain objects featured at some on the sales, and my first thought was: Where are these sales, and how fast can I get there?  I mean, who doesn’t want a set of owl lamps with crushed velvet shades?  My reaction is exactly what Greg is thinking about when he creates his work–our culture of consumption and the desire to have what we don’t need.

Greg Ruffing is a Chicago-based artist working in photography and mixed
media and often explores themes of consumption and the economy. His
works have been exhibited at the Annenberg Space for Photography
in Los Angeles, the New York Photo Festival, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the
Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado, and elsewhere. In addition, his photographs
have appeared in publications such as TIME
Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Mother
Jones
, Smithsonian, The Atlantic Monthly, and others. Greg also runs an online
photography project titled Self-Guided Tour, a series of writings
about photography, art, and contemporary issues.

Greg has created a book on his Yard Sale work that has been included in the DIY: Photographers & Books exhibition that is currently on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art until the end of 2012. The book is a precursor to a larger publication he hopes to publish in 2013.

My series Yard Sales is focused on the
complexities of consumption: the ubiquity and disposability of consumer goods
and their ever-shifting value and meaning. In a way, these photographs are an
attempt to document the cycle of our pursuits in accumulating “stuff” (and our
relationship to that “stuff”), in a way that reveals fundamental human habits
and behaviors and their link to socioeconomic circumstance.

I was first drawn to yard sales as a sort of grassroots marketplace defined by the seller’s curious efforts of display and advertising to attract shoppers, and the buyer’s hunt for prized items and bargain prices. I was also interested in how the yard sale, as an event, transforms the private domestic space of the seller’s residence into a public commercial space to facilitate purchasing goods.

I’m also intrigued by how yard sales illustrate a specific dyadic complex of consumerism: on the one hand, they speak to our somewhat insatiable compulsion to shop and hoard possessions, and perhaps a certain cognitive blurring of the distinction between needs and wants (related to the process by which consumers assess and impose value and meaning onto material items).

And yet, on the other hand, it seems that yard sales (and other forms of resale) serve as a crucial antidote to much of the disposability and wastefulness inherent in consumerism – sending unwanted objects into secondary cycles of consumption where they may find renewed value or purpose through subsequent buyers.

Furthermore, I’ve undertaken this project in the context of the American economic Recession that began in 2008. In those past four years photographing this project, I’ve met and talked to countless families who, in the aftermath of financial hardship nationwide, have sold off possessions just to help pay their bills. In addition, while photographing yard sales in southwest Florida (which has continually had some of the highest home foreclosure rates in the U.S.), I met people who were selling goods obtained from an underground network of scavengers who take discarded possessions from the littered front yards of foreclosed and evicted homes.

It would seem that the Recession has brought decades of unbridled consumer spending (especially its emphasis as an economic engine) into question. Some navel-gazers have even wondered if we actually shopped ourselves into the Recession by living beyond our means through cheap credit, and many have spoken of pursuing a more austere lifestyle. Its in this framework that I hope my Yard Sales project can contribute to a sincere dialogue on and modest reformulation of our relationship to the items we choose to buy.

Liese Ricketts

Liese Ricketts is a name you see again and again with good reason. She has stayed enthused and continually creative after 25 years as a photographer and educator at the University of Chicago Labratory School. Liese recieved her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an M.A. in Media Communications, Governors State University, University Park, IL, a B.A. magna cum laude in Classics, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY, and has a mile long resume, with exhibitions and publications that reflect a significant career. Liese is one of the founders of the Facebook group for photographic educators, A New History of Photography, that brings together the photographic community in a meaningful way.

I am featuring two bodies of work– examples of Liese’s wide array of visual interests. The first, Curious Instants 084, are photomontages created with polaroid film, and the second, Moving Spectacles, is a documentary project on family circuses in Peru. She will be returning to Peru to begin a new photography project in 2012 followed by a trip to Cuba.

Curious Instants 084 is about remembering places I’ve really been in imaginary, and often very pleasant, company. I use Polaroid® Type 084 instant film for these photomontages. They are actual Polaroid® objects which I then make into 13″X 19″ prints. Be sure to click on the images to see them larger.

Moving Spectacles
The series refers to spectacles that (literally) move about and that move me personally. The body of work is entitled Espectáculos Que (Con)Mueven or Moving Spectacles. The work was made in Lima, Peru in July, 2010. These images represent a selection of it. I visited small family circuses on the extreme outskirts of Lima during the day and photographed them (120 film, using a Hasselblad and Rollei). It was near the middle of working on this project that I recognized this seed that motivated me to go in search of something I was at first unsure about. As I began and found the working performers, I felt buoyed.

Family circuses in Peru have been nomadic for two principal reasons. They need to change venues every ten days or so to obtain the needed number of entries to the circus. Secondly, the Serenazgo, municipal security workers, come at night and tear down their tents and ruin their things. The municipalities fear that the circuses might lay claim to the land, and thus have ruled their presence as illegal. Many of the families in my photographs are children and grandchildren of circus performers and were born into this word of itinerant artists. I visited six different circuses in toto in three districts, San Juan de Lurigancho, Comas y El Agustino.

I am moved by the life of working itinerants and their struggle to move forward in life. I found each day I photographed I was more empowered by their struggle and fortitude.