Winni Wintermeyer moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s from his native Germany, settling in a neighborhood where mockingbirds imitate the sounds of cheap car alarms. Working as an editorial photographer he creates images of people for various publications around the globe. In his free time he likes to observe and document humans and the traces they leave behind. He then takes those images and rearranges them to tell new stories. You can find his work at Hespe Gallery and the SFMOMA Artists Gallery.
Over the next month, I will be sharing the work of photographers who attended Review Santa Fe in June. Review Santa Fe is the only juried review in the United States and invites 100 photographers to Santa Fe for a long weekend of reviews, insights, and connections.
Alejandro Cartagena‘s name may sound familiar as his work has been well recognized over the past several years. He lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico and Alejandro’s photographic focus has been examining the social, urban, and environmental landscape of a contemporary Mexico. His work has been exhibited internationally and is in the collections of several museums including the SFMoMA, MoCP, and the Portland Museum of Art. Cartagena has received the Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award, the Lente Latino Award, and the Premio IILA-FotoGrafia 2012 Award in Rome. He was named a FOAM TALENT in 2012 and a PDN 30 in 2010. His work has been published in Newsweek, Nowness, Domus, the Financial Times, Le Monde, Stern, The New Yorker, and Wallpaper among others.
His new work, Car Poolers, examines the phenomenon of transportation of workers in Mexico.
CAR POOLERS: These images are a rare view into how Car Pooling is practiced by workers in Mexico, their working condition and suburban sprawls consequences upon these workers everyday life. Even though the workers are not conscious of the ecological impact they may have by traveling this way, they are a silent contributor to the preservation of our city and planet.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has a strong collection of Japanese photography and a history of showing important photographic work from that country to American audiences, dating back to a 1999 retrospective of the work of Daido Moriyama. free basic cable . Last year, curator Lisa Sutcliffe began work on putting together an exhibition of the work of Naoya Hatakeyama, a photographer whom she describes as one of the most interesting Japanese artists working right now but someone who has not yet become well known in the United States. She traveled to Japan to meet with himin March of 2011, when the tsunami struck, destroying Hatakeyamas hometown of Rikuzentakata and killing his mother.
The show that Sutcliffe and Hatakeyama were meant to discuss was transformed by those events. The result is Natural Stories, organized in cooperation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and opening at SFMOMA on July 28. The exhibition is a retrospective, featuring more than 100 photographs along with videos, all with a focus on the artists landscape work.
All of his work is looking at landscapes in transition. It draws on the tradition of the sublime, so even when the work is peaceful theres always this quality of on-the-verge-of-change, Sutcliffe says. Even if the photographs are sort of peaceful and idyllic there is this sense of this other, more interesting system at work.”
The earliest work in the show comes from Hatakeyamas Lime Hills series, which the artist began in 1986. Those photographs of a landscape shaped by a desire for the natural resources within are, says Sutcliffe, a sort of jumping-off point for the career that followed, throughout which Hatakeyama has explored the relationship between the land and the people who live and work in it. And, ever since the tsunami, the balance of power in that relationship is exceedingly clearand seeing Hatakeyamas photographs from 25 years ago next to his work from this past year just underscores that point.
You look at these landscapes where humans have interacted with the landscape, and you see the pictures after the tsunami, Sutcliffe says, and just how much nature really does still have power over us.
Naoya Hatakeyama is an award-winning Japanese photographer. The exhibitionNaoya Hatakeyama: Natural Storiesis on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from July 28 Nov. 4, 2012.
Aperture aggregates the best posts from this past week in the photography blogosphere.
- “It is almost impossible for me to shoot a photo where someone is NOT taking a picture or posing for one,” writes Martin Parr on his blog in a post titled, “Too Much Photography.” Prime examples of this can be found in his series Tourism Inc. which is being published by Reporters Without Borders for the 20th anniversary of their “100 Photos for Press Freedom” collection, accompanied by an exhibition at Galerie Photo Fnac Forum des Halles in Paris, La Lettre de la Photographie reports. His photographs of Atlanta for the High Museum’s “Picturing the South” series are also featured in the upcoming summer issue of Aperture 207.
- In further commentary on CNN’s controversial edit of Stacy Kranitz’ series on Appalachia, Joerg Colberg writes, “If we wanted to know what a place looked like we would need an infinity of photographs, taken from all possible angles excluding nothing, seeing everything at the same time,” a notion he thinks antithetical to the practice of photography, but increasingly possible, not only as Parr points out through the proliferations of cameras, but with the help of the Google Street View car, profiled by the Times here. Check out art made with photos pulled from the Street View service by Aaron Hobson, Jon Rafman, and Michael Wolf of the monograph Transparent City (Aperture 2008). And stay tuned for the upcoming re-issue and expanded edition of A New American Picture by Doug Rickard coming from Aperture in fall 2012.
- Perpetual shooting brings us to the post on APhotoEditor asking, “Is It Time To Eliminate Stills From Your Shoot?” due to the ease and success with which quality still images may be pulled from video footage as a result of the recent proliferation of HDSLR cameras on the market. Now with no need to pick the decisive moment, soon no need to pick where to focus, who’ll need photographers? Have a look through SFMOMA’s page “Is Photography Over?” and read about the dialectical relationship of aesthetics and distribution/media on Fotomuseum Winterthur’s blog Still Searching.
- On a different note, watch this great video from Feature Shoot, “Inside the World’s Only Tintype Photography Studio,” a photo gallery and walk-in commercial tintype portrait studio. Owner/photographer Michael Shindler says, ”I think what people seem to be looking for now is a kind of photography where the process itself is going to impart its own flavor to the finished image, a little bit of uncertainty.”
- American Suburb X shares Kelly Dennis’ 2005 essay, “Landscape and the West – Irony and Critique in New Topographic Photography,” which explores the work of Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Joe Deal, Art Sinsabaugh and more. After reading, check out new-New Topographic photography in Camps & Cabins at G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, the third solo show by Eirik Johnson, author of the monograph Sawdust Mountain (Aperture 2009), on view through May 26, 2012.
- LENS blog profiles the opening of “Gordon Parks: 100 Years” at the International Center of Photography, celebrating the centennial of the legendary photographer’s birth with an exhibition of his work presented not inside the center, but in their windows, on view to the street. Parks was featured in an essay by David Campany on “Precedented Photography” in Aperture issue 206. His writing also appears in the requisite volume, Photography Speaks: 150 Photographers on Their Art.
- Fototazo posts Part II of their three-part interview with Oregon-based photographer Blake Andrews of the popular blog B. During this exchange, they invite him to create a competition for photographers to rank and sequence famous photographs, and predict the most popular sequence. The results of the contest will be published on Fototazo and Andrews’ blog. Part III of the interview will be published on Fototazo May 24, 2012.
Exhibition Photos by David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
The first comprehensive survey of work from the extremely brief but prolific career of American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958-1981) to be shown in North America is now on view at the Guggenheim Museum (through June 13, 2012).
More than thirty years after Woodman’s suicide at the age of 22–often one of the first things people recall about the artist–the exhibition offers an occasion for the “historical reconsideration of her work and its reception.”
Over 120 vintage photographs on view were culled from her estate of 800 prints and over 10,000 negatives, which is managed by her parents. They span her early experimental responses to class assignments completed while she was still enrolled at RISD in the mid-seventies, to the large-scale blueprint studies of her Temple project from 1980. The exhibition also includes six of her recently discovered and rarely seen short videos, as well as two of her artist books.
Her black-and-white images, dark, ethereal and moody, softened and blurred through the use of a long exposure time, are remarkably coherent explorations of herself, and sometimes other women, in very particular environments.
The Times‘ Ken Johnson calls it a “borderline kitschy style, a heady mix of Victorian Gothic, Surrealism and 19th-century spirit photography,” exploring the non-documentary realm of photography in a manner reminiscent of some of her contemporaries, including Cindy Sherman.
They were taken mostly with a medium format 6×6 camera and printed at 8×10″ or smaller, adding a timeless or antique quality, and necessitating a physically intimate viewing experience.
So “strong, particular, personal and tragic,” is her work, British art dealer Anthony d’Offay, who acquired 18 of her prints from the artist’s boyfriend, says in a video interview, “that you have to confront elements of yourself which perhaps sometimes you’ve avoided.”
On Friday, May 18, 2012, the Guggenheim is hosting a symposium on “Art in the 1970s: Through the Lens of Francesca Woodman,” examining the relationship between the still and moving image in Woodman’s and other artists’ production during the 1970s, particularly as associated with Post-Minimalism, performance, and video, organized by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography.
Francesca Woodman is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where the exhibition was on view earlier this year. You can find a video walkthrough of that show shot on January 2, 2012 on YouTube.
Read more about Woodman’s “deeply personal photographic revelations” in critic David Levi Strauss’ Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics (Aperture 2003).
Exhibition on view:
March 13 – June 13, 2012
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
(at 89th Street)
New York, NY 10128-0173
Here’s a blast from the not-too-distant past. Back in 2010 SFMOMA organised a fantastic two-day symposium, Is Photography Over? which has since prompted much debate on the current state of the medium.
Photography has almost always been in crisis. In the beginning, the terms of this crisis were cast as dichotomies: is photography science or art? Nature or technology? Representation or truth? This questioning has intensified and become more complicated over the intervening years. At times, the issues have required a profound rethinking of what photography is, does, and means. This is one of those times. Given the nature of contemporary art practice, the condition of visual culture, the advent of new technologies, and many other factors, what is at stake today in seeing something as a photograph? What is the value of continuing to speak of photography as a specific practice or discipline? Is photography over?
SFMOMA invited a range of major thinkers and practitioners to write brief responses to this question and then to convene for a two-day summit on where photography is at. Participants include Vince Aletti, George Baker, Walead Beshty, Jennifer Blessing, Charlotte Cotton, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Geoff Dyer, Peter Galassi, Corey Keller, Douglas Nickel, Trevor Paglen, Blake Stimson, and Joel Snyder.
Below is the entire video recordings from the event, split up according to the various sessions held across the two days:
Day One, Part One
Topics broached – Anxiety about the future of photography. Do we need to talk about photography? Why do pictures mean something to us?
Day One, Part Two
Topics broached – Aspects of photography to be removed. Can we agree on what photography means? What has changed?
Day Two, Part One
Topics broached – History of image manipulation. Photographer or artist who uses photography? What if analogue photography becomes nothing more than a hobby?
Day Two, Part Two
Topics broached – What is contemporary? Issues of authorship. Responses of the gallery/museum to the changes in photography.
Day Two, Part Three
Topics broached – Overlapping use of still and moving image. Age of uncertainty? Size of prints and the art market.
These videos were originally posted on SFMOMA’s YouTube channel.
Even before everybody had a digital camera, it was a universal modern skill to take photographs. But more than that, for a long time it’s been a universal skill to be photographed. For several decades now, everybody has known how to put on his or her game face and wait for the click. Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra has become famous by taking that as her point of departure, then wondering what happens when we can’t hold the pose. The answer: a moment of truth. One thing you learn at the new Dijkstra retrospective, currently at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and moving in June to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, is that no matter how much you try to put on the social mask, it keeps slipping.
After graduating from an Amsterdam art school in 1986, Dijkstra, who is 52, made a living for a while shooting portraits for a Dutch business magazine. It was frustrating work, taking pictures of executives who knew all too well how to keep up their guard. Eventually, she returned to more personal picture-taking. Very quickly, Dijkstra found an international audience. For her breakthrough project in the early ’90s, she persuaded teenagers at beaches in the U.S. and Europe to pose against a bare backdrop of sky, sea and shore. The fascination of those pictures comes partly from the mind’s attempt to reconcile the “timeless” setting with the sometimes awkward, and often futile, attempts by the teens to assume the attitudes of glamor and cool they think the camera requires.
Hoping to catch people with their defenses down, Dijkstra started to photograph them in the aftermath of some exhausting event. She got women to pose soon after giving birth, usually standing naked while they cradled their newborns. By 1994 she was also making portraits of Portuguese forcados—amateur bullfighters who enter the ring in unarmed groups to subdue the bulls bare-handed. She photographed them right after they returned from the fight, bloody, scuffed and dented.
To watch someone evolve from youth into adult awareness, Dijkstra has sometimes followed a single subject for years—a French boy who joins the foreign legion, a Bosnian refugee girl as she grows up in the Netherlands—as his or her life goes through changes. Or, as she did with the kids on beaches, she will go to parks and photograph very contemporary people in a setting that pulls them out of time—but only so far. And to make sure her pictures don’t take on a false timelessness, Dijkstra makes sure each one carries in its title the very real location in which it was taken and the date.
Looking at portfolios from Critical Mass 2011…
A number of photographers are looking at old family photographs and finding new ways to revisit history. Jackson Patterson has a particularly intriguing approach to the retelling of his familial legacy of westward migration. As my own relatives migrated across the west, these images of family and landscape feel familiar, revealing a poignancy and sense of historical memory that are perfect compliments to each other.
Born and raised in Arizona, Jackson developed an appreciation for both the beauty and austerity of the desert and the lush diversity of nature. His artistic and personal curiosities have led him throughout the U.S., Mexico, South America and Europe, but always returning to the American West where he finds the expansive and diverse scenery to be home. Jackson received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and has been exhibiting work in Pennsylvania, Oregon, California and Arizona , in particular, at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, the Pendleton Art Center, The Center for Fine Art Photography, The Togonon Gallery. His work is included in the Paul Sack Collection at the SFMOMA. He is an instructor at the Art Academy University, the San Francisco Photo Center and the San Francisco Art Institute ACE program.
In the latest series, Recollected Memories, I was inspired by the tales of my families westward migration and am merging the landscapes of the American West with my family albums, attempting to collocate the medium of photography, 21st century digital practices, with the personal. The results that come into focus are new fantastical stories. Each blended piece possesses its own original story while the viewer takes away another version that is his or her own. They are stories of perseverance, pride, struggle, life and death. They are human stories intertwined in a majestic landscape.