Tag Archives: Video Interview

Archive of Modern Conflict @ Paris Photo 2012

A Cyanotype plant study. The world record parachute jump from 1932. Rooftops in St. Petersberg, Scott’s Terra Nova expedition. A West African king. Cumulus humiliis. An abstract composition. A Kominka dancer. An observatory. Another plant study. These are just a handful of the prints that were showcased in ‘Collected Shadows’ – a stunning exhibition from the Archive of Modern Conflict at this year’s Paris Photo.

Deftly assembled by curator Timothy Prus, the show was a gloriously eclectic jamboree that displayed all manner of photography’s styles, periods and ends. Spanning works from 1850 to the present day by both anonymous and name photographers including Gustave Le Gray, Robert Frank, Bertha Jaques, Josef Sudek and Willi Ruge, and arranged in sections according to themes of earth, fire, air, water and ether, ‘Collected Shadows’ was richly satisfying and undoubtedly the most talked about booth at the fair.

Below is a video interview (produced by The Art Newspaper), the first half of which features Prus discussing how the archive has grown and the ideas behind the installation. It’s a revealing, albeit brief, insight into the quirky mind of the collector known for his penchant for photographic oddities of the past. He is clearly as fascinated by the magic of photography as he is by the mysteries of life. After all, the collecting style is freighted with an acute awareness of the tendency for people to crow over the misery of others and the role images play within that.
The jewel in the crown of the exhibition was the new Bruce Gilden portraits, odd-looking sitters shot mostly on Brick Lane in London, that were hung on the outer wall of the booth. Each photograph was ingeniously paired alongside a historical work such as a wax-paper negative from 1858 showing the garden of a private house in Tehran, for example. Both images on their own were extraordinary, but their combination proved an intoxicating mix.

For those wishing to discover more, the Archive of Modern Conflict has an online shop for its books where you can browse titles from the likes of Stephen Gill and Larry Towell as well as their own fabulous journals. The latest, issue 4, comprises photographs from ‘Collected Shadows’. Check out the slideshow of sample images here.

The London Photographers’ Gallery Reopens with Edward Burtynsky and Animated GIFs

© Kate Elliott, Courtesy The Photographers’ Gallery

Likely few would consider animated GIF images–those primitive computer animations often just a few pixels wide–fit enough for a photography exhibition. Perhaps that’s because there has yet to be a space fit enough to exhibit them. Now, London’s Photographers’ Gallery, which finally reopened this May with double the exhibition space after an 18-month, £9.2m renovation, offers digital facilities to support a rapidly evolving medium.

One of the main reasons behind the renovation which began in 2010, Gallery Director Brett Rogers says in a video interview with the Guardian, was to develop ”facilities that are fit for purpose in the 21st century, to show works of a larger scale, but also to reflect the conditions in which most people experience photography.”

The Soho gallery was the first independent public space in Britain devoted to photography when it was founded in the 1970s. Today, in addition to three floors of gallery space, room enough for the commanding, large-scale prints in their inaugural exhibition of Edward Burtynsky’s oil photographs (on view through July 1, 2012), they’ve also built what they call a “digital wall.”

This display, located near the gallery entrance, is made up of eight large screens presenting a running program of digital images visible from the outside street. Wendy McMurdo, one of 40 artists that includes Penelope Umbrico, was asked to produce a moving image GIF for the wall by Katrina Sluis, the galley’s new curator of digital programing. McMurdo writes on the FOAM blog on the “joy” of contributing to their inaugural digital exhibition Born in 1987: the animated GIF (on view through July 1, 2012). This initiative, McMurdo says, demonstrates the gallery’s “recognition that it is in the digital and social domain that photography must, ultimately, discover its new purposes and new meaning.”

On the other hand, the Photographers’ Gallery is also offering opportunity to counterbalance what Edwin Heathcote for the Financial Times calls the “culture of browsing and glancing”–when people end up scanning thousands of images a day–that has come to prominence with such development. One room in the space is dedicated to exhibiting a single image that will change four times a year.

Moreover, their new education center doubles as a camera obscura, which in conjunction with the digital wall, Rogers says, should “enable people to reflect on the history of optics,” in its entirety.

Burtynsky: Oil
Exhibition on view:
May 19 – July 1, 2012

Born in 1987: the animated GIF
Exhibition on view:
May 19 – July 1, 2012

This Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm, join Katrina Sluis for a FREE discussion on “Curating the Digital Image.”

The Photographers’ Gallery
16 – 18 Ramillies Street
London, UK W1F 7LW
+44(0)20 7087 9300

Leica bets big on monochrome-only digital camera

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Jacob Aue Sobol, from his series “Arrivals and Departures” made exclusively with the new Leica M Monochrom digital camera

In an age where black-and-white film and traditional photo paper and chemicals are disappearing from the marketplace, Leica Camera has launched a risky bet that high-quality black-and-white photography will continue to be in demand in the 21st century.

Their bet? A brand new digital camera that does not take color photos. The Leica M Monochrom camera is optimized to capture the fullest possible tonal range for smooth, rich, super-high-resolution black-and-white photography. I’m not a technical expert, but apparently by creating a sensor that ignores the typical RGB filters, each pixel of the new 18 megapixel camera records a subtle variation of black, white or grey only a technique that is far superior to converting typical RGB color digital photos to black-and-white.

And indeed, Leica camera enthusiasts from all corners of the globe (including many, many high-profile professional photographers) flew in to Berlin last week and cheered loudly as they got the first look at Leicas latest release the worlds first digital camera exclusively for full-frame, 35 mm black-and-white photography.

Lens Culture was honored to be invited to this special event, and to meet the enthusiastic international crowd at C|O Berlin photography gallery in Berlin. Blog Commenting . Links backlinks blog comments . Award-winning Magnum photographer, Jacob Aue Sobol, was one of the experts who got to test-drive the new camera before its public release. Sixty of his stunning new digital photos were on display during the event. We’re including three of those images here. And be sure to look for a great video interview with Sobol in Lens Culture in our next issue.

For more details on the new camera, check the Leica website.

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Jacob Aue Sobol, from his series “Arrivals and Departures” made exclusively with the new Leica M Monochrom digital camera

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Jacob Aue Sobol, from his series “Arrivals and Departures” made exclusively with the new Leica M Monochrom digital camera

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Photographers from all over the world crowd around the new camera unveiled by Leica last week at the C|O Berlin photography gallery

Edge of Vision Exhibition Traveling to Oregon

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    Installation shots at Aperture Gallery, New York, 2009 by Elliot Black Photography

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The photographic process is often credited in part with displacing representation from painting, pushing it over the course of the first half of the last century further into the domain of abstraction. The camera was commonly thought to capture and document a supposed objective reality in a way the human hand never could. However, photography itself has also been variously employed for nonrepresentational abstraction since its inception.

From the very first photograms to Aaron Siskind‘s ab-ex alluding macrophotography, to Penelope Umbrico‘s digitally-manipulated found images of “Suns From Flickr,” The Edge of Vision: Abstractions in Contemporary Photography (on view at Schneider Museum of Art in Oregon through June 16, 2012) examines the history of nonrepresentational photographic image-making and its role in contemporary art.

In a two part video interview, independent writer and critic Lyle Rexer, who curated the exhibition and authored the 2009 Aperture-published book by the same title, says he was drawn to artists that “were making pictures that moved away from from an easily identifiable subject, or that complicated the picture or the response that we normal have to pictures, in what is essentially thought of as a denotative medium.”

The traveling exhibition, which has been on view in a number of places around the world, each time in a slightly different iteration, features work by a diverse group of contemporary artists including Bill Armstrong, Carel Balth, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Ellen Carey, Roland Fischer, Michael Flomen, Manuel Geerinck, Edward Mapplethorpe, Penelope Umbrico, Silvio Wolf, and more listed here. For Rexer, he says, bringing this group together and seeing what they have in common is meant to address the following question:

What is it about photography now that makes it possible for us to have artists that  on the one hand do very documentary work, and other artists at the same time, sometimes the same artists, who are also doing work that would qualify as abstract?

For more information on the work on view, be sure to check out the Edge of Vision Video Interview Series, conducted during the installation at Aperture Gallery in 2009, on vimeo:

  • Penelope Umbrico persents her work “For Sale/TV’s From Craigslist,” and explains why she considers herself a documentary photographer, “a traveler through media.”
  • Ellen Carey discusses her large-scale work “Pulls with Lifts and Drops,” film pulled through the rollers of a Polaroid large-format camera, and her color photogram, “PushPins,” exploring how each challenges the viewer to rethink the medium.
  • Barbara Kasten explains her work based on physical constructions that play with light and are created only for the purpose of being photographed. By this approach, the photograph itself becomes the object and is removed from being representative or documentary.
  • Silvio Wolf presents his work which combines straight photography and the unexposed ends of film rolls as negatives exposed to light. The end results are mesmerizing and meditative colorful images about light and absence of light.
  • Bill Armstrong puts in context his “Mandala #450″ piece, explains why he uses blurring as a process and explores his “painterly approach to photography.”
  • Charles Lindsay speaks about how he started working with his unique carbon emulsion process, his inspirations and the combination of his photographic, video and sound works.
  • Seth Lambert contextualizes his work in the show “Nothing on the Bed of an Epson Expression 10000XL” within his Failures series of grids mapping out anything from beard hair, mirror pieces to nothing with a blank scan.
  • Carel Balth explains the process behind his works “Moving IV” and “Madrid V,” and how his appropriation of images through a digital format functions as a new medium.
  • Jack Sal speaks about his piece “Sale/Sala (Salt/Room)” while you watch him installing it.
  • Manuel Geerinck, who started his career as a painter, speaks about his unique process combining his drawings that he then photographs in motion.

Also, watch a panel discussion on Abstraction in Photography from 2009 at the Hammer Museum at UCLA, moderated by Rexer, and read a review of the exhibition when it was on view at Lewis & Clark College in Portland earlier this year, from the Oregonian.

Exhibition on view:
Thursday, May 10 – Saturday, June 16, 2012

$5 Suggested Donation

Schneider Museum of Art
1250 Siskiyou Blvd
Ashland, Oregon
(541) 552-6245

Roger Ballen co-directs new music video!!? Perfect fit!

Blog Commenting . squido lense . directory submission .

Too wild and wonderful and creepy for words! “I FINK U FREEKY” by Die Antwoord.

Here’s our own video interview with Roger about his photography:

When does Google Street View become photojournalism?

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From “A Series of Unfortunate Events” discovered on Google Street View.
Photographs Michael Wolf

Photojournalism was yet-again re-defined earlier this year when Michael Wolf was awarded an honorable mention in the World Press Photo competition for photographs he took of his computer screen. downloadable winrar . english garden .

Wolf spent literally hundreds of hours at his computer, trolling virtually around the world, looking for anything weird or bizarre that had been captured by the ravenous cameras mounted on the top of Googles special GPS-coordinated Street View camera vans.

When he found an image that fit his project, Wolf mounted his own camera in front of his computer screen, cropped the part of the Google image that he wanted, and made his own picture of that picture. …

Read more, see more, and watch a video interview with the photographer in
Lens Culture.

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From “A Series of Unfortunate Events” discovered on Google Street View.
Photographs Michael Wolf

Photographer, Filmmaker Tim Hetherington Interview

Very tragic to learn that British Photographer Tim Hetherington was killed ….

Well, war is — it is a very slippery thing to try and get out any truisms about war,” Hetherington said. “I mean, Tim O”Brien, the writer, you know, said the same thing. You know, war is hell, but it”s more than that. And rather than kind of lay down any kind of definitiveness, I just wanted to — to show the texture of it. And that meant not just photographing just the combat, but, as you say, the guys, their time off, when war is often very boring. And it”s boredom punctuated by sheer terror. And I wanted to capture all of that.

see the video interview here.