Photoworks 2009

BA Photography Graduate Show PHOTOWORKS 2009

Even though it has slipped off the DIT’s Calendar of events (well, at least its here), it is indeed a very important event: Photoworks 2009 is opening this evening from 6.30 at the Gallery of Photography and The National Photographic Archive, showcasing the work of the BA Photography graduate students.

“The 2009 BA Photography graduate exhibition features the diverse photographic projects of seventeen final year students. It includes the work of graduate Peter Murray, Smedia Photographer of the Year 2009 and Andreas Scholz, whose work is currently on show at the RHA Annual Exhibition. The exhibition showcases the best of emerging talent in Irish contemporary photography and is testament to the long-standing reputation of the photography programme at the School of Media, D.I.T.

The exhibition will be launched with a reception at 6:30pm on Tuesday, 9 June at the Gallery of Photography and the National Photographic Archive in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar.”

A review post with more images will follow after the opening.

The Vision of the Other.

The Vision of the Other:
Modernity & the Photographed Face.

Horst P. HORST, Coco Chanel, 1937

KOWASA gallery presents “The Vision of the Other: Modernity and the Photographed Face”, a group show which attempts to define the way in which the human face was photographically constructed before its abolition by Postmodernism. The exhibition primarily offers a thorough insight into the history of portrait photography with a special emphasis on the shift of the portrait from being a mere “extension of the painted body” to being the photographic genre par excellence. At the same time it highlights the aesthetic and conceptual evolution of early portraiture from Pictorialism towards a modernist experimentation and subjectivity.

The exhibition gathers more than 70 black and white prints whose protagonists are Coco Chanel, Ernest Heminway, André Breton, Marc Chagall, Dalí, Josep Pla, Andy Warhol, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Jean-Paul Sartre, Marilyn Monroe and others. Among the more than 50 participant photographers appear such internationally renowned names as Nadar, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Horst P. Horst, Edward Steichen, Josef Sudek, Arnold Newman, Man Ray; national photographers include Joan Colom, Francesc Català-Roca, Xavier Miserachs and Alberto Schommer.

Jacques-Henri LARTIGUE, Renée Perle, 1930-32

Throughout the exhibition ATELIERETAGUARDIA will be organizing portrait sessions using the technique of wet-plate collodion, one of the most emblematic photographic processes of the 19th century. ATELIERETAGUARDIA heliografía contemporánea is a platform for the study and practice of 19th century photographic technology.

The advent of photography contributed to the re-evaluation of portrait art in regard to painting as, in the words of Samuel Morse, an “improved Rembrandt”. Obtained through processes which required a long exposure and which resulted in many imperfections, the first portraits in the 19th century often suggested an attack on the vanity of their subjects. Following this, it is hardly surprising that the increasing aesthetic demands of the time very soon resulted in an army of portraits-makers at the service of retouching mastery. If the conviction that photography “robbed” the soul reigned in the 19th century, in the 20th century photography would become the soul’s mirror. Under the impact of this idea which made a deep impression on the popular imagination, portrait photography was conferred the mission of capturing with sophistication the historic aura, whilst reflecting in its discourse the predominant social and cultural stereotypes.

Yousuf Karsh, Alfred Hitchcock, 1960

The poses of introspection, the overacting of the bourgeois fetishes and a harmonious representation of all the parts of the body constitute to some of the visual characteristics of this orthodox rhetoric of the portrait. Whereas the direct photographic take was supposed to provide sufficient data for recognizing oneself, the portrait -the supposed door to the soul- paradoxically ended up violating this principle by prioritizing a visual vocabulary that flaunted the pertinence of the individual into a social class.

Pictorialism (late 19th century-early 20th) came to embody this ideology with its hymn to the inner being and its constant flirt with painting. Even if the status of the individual as agent of a social hierarchy was now fading in favour of a spiritual reflection that projected the emotional qualities of the person depicted, this did not mean to say that the Pictorialists were infringing upon the rules of the game -to the contrary, the deal between the socially imagined and the final representation was still preserved. This pictorialist concept remained firmly rooted in fine-art photography portraiture throughout the 20th century despite its ongoing ruptures and changes. Even the critical accomplishments of the European avant-gardes, which were widely popularized during the thirties and the post-war era, were adopted by portrait photography so as to construct a much more dynamic, persuasive discourse whose variants continued to fortify the mythologies and popular narratives of the time. Among the most characteristic cases is the portraiture of celebrities and actresses, whereby face and body were shaped in accordance to the myth. Likewise, the portraits of public personalities -politicians and artists-are enveloped by means of obsequious poses that associate them irrevocably with their respective names. Here, more than ever, the face turns into a public affair.

In the meantime, with the introduction of hand-held cameras, the naturalization of poses and snapshot culture were gaining terrain.

In the twenties, the avant-gardes denounced the mystic ambition of discovering what lay behind the face, and instead began to pursue aesthetic experimentation. In this new way of looking, according to which, in the words of László Moholy-Nagy, “each pore, wrinkle or freckle has its importance”, the goals were quite distinct: the time had arrived to become definitively divorced from painting, to celebrate the inherent properties of photography -the camera eye, the negative and the positive. It was time to push aside the classist mise-en-scène and focus on a much more abstract and geometric representation of the external world. This experimentation with the photographic medium included over-exposures, formalism, special angles, close-up, and photomontage.

Another important element of modernist portraiture in its most mature phase is the insertion of psychoanalysis and Freudian theories in its visual discourse. If the orthodox portrait propagated the unity of identity, these theories, first adopted by the Surrealists and the artistic circles linked to them, reinvented the face as something superficial, planting evidence for the duality between the person and their “persona”, namely the masquerade one constructs for others -that is to say the polarization between the ego, the super-ego and the eradicated social image.

For its part, direct photography was expressing its scepticism before the subject, under the decisive influence of the Marxist theories which advocated the consciousness of a social being. The debate became intensified after the second-world war. Portrait photography came out of the studio for good, capturing its subjects in poses of apparent informality within their natural environments -the artist in his studio, the composer beside his piano, the writer among his books, and above all, the photographer with his camera. Faces captured with carelessness demystified the system and the established social imagery by establishing an iconology of social synecdoche. Snapshot and candid street photography broke the complicity among the sitter and the photographer, and dynamized the traditional conception of the portrait. The problem now shifted to what Barthes has described as the battle of two identities with distinct domains: on the one hand, there is the photographer-voyeur, and on the other the photographed subject which elaborates its social masquerade to back up its image. In this new age, rather than being the “mirrors of the soul” of the sitters, portraits reflected the personality of the photographer. This ongoing rupture of the portrait as a unity accepted ambiguity and humour at the time of representation. The modernist faith concerning myth still persisted, although, at this time it was not projected by the external world but instead, by the author and his camera. It would not be long before the gaze turned its back on it. In the early seventies, the definitive “rupture of the mirror” would cause the final abolition of both implicated parts, the sitter and the “auteur” behind the camera.

Joakim Eskildsen: The Roma Journeys.

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I saw ‘The Roma Journeys’ exhibition in Winterthur’s FotoMuseum last Saturday. What an amazing piece of work. I totally recommend you, if you really like Photography and know what Photography is for, to check the full extent of his work. It is a pleasure and a refreshing experience to see photographers engaging in other matters than self-endulgement. In his own words:

“Between 2000 and 2006 I together with writer Cia Rinne undertook travels in seven different countries with a view to gaining an insight into the life of the Roma and the conditions they face. We always tried to spend a considerable length of time among the people whom we wanted to learn about and, if possible, to live with them for a while.
It was our own interest that initially took us to the Roma streets in Hevesaranyos in northeast Hungary, where we spent four months at the home of Magda, an elderly Roma. The other journeys to Romania, India and our travels in Finland came about through personal contact, while in Greece and Russia we were initially assisted by human rights organizations and in France by the Centre de recherches tsiganes in Paris.
These Roma journeys were by no means meticulously planned, and instead the product of a number of coincidences that enabled us to come into contact with the Roma. We endeavored to communicate directly with them. In most countries this was possible, and while in Russia and India we were accompanied on our travels, and thus had willing assistance.
We have frequently been asked what had triggered our interest in the Roma, but we were unable to provide a definitive, let alone exhaustive answer. What is certain is that once we hard started we were unable to simply stop continuing with the project. The more we found out about the Roma and got to know them, the more our interest in and liking for them grew.
In keeping with the different countries traveled, the photographic body of work is divided into seven series, the sequence of which roughly corresponds to the chronology of our journeys.”

via joakimeskildsen.com

6×6 Fragments of European Photography

FOTOFESTIWAL, Lodz, Poland, May 7th – 31st, 2009

From their site: “Even people who deal with photography on a daily basis find it difficult to choose what is important and worth attention from the profusion of “photographic works” of the last years. It is not easy to follow every novelty, change, interesting names and ideas. Slideshows and curator presentations are an attempt to update the recent changes and trends in the European photography.

We invited curators from six countries to help us create this programme. Each of them was asked to make a subjective choice of artists and photo projects that best reflect the character and condition of current photography of a given country.

The presentations is comprised of two parts. The first part consists of lectures during which the curators will present their latest photo discoveries and will try to explain their choice of projects. The second part consists of night slideshows with music prepared especially for the Fotofestiwal.”

CURATORS:

Austria Martin Breindl
France Jim Casper
GreeceNina Kassianou
IrelandPeggy Sue Amison
ItalyAlessandra  Capodacqua
PolandTomasz Ferenc

* * *

AUSTRIA

Curator: Martin Breindl
FLUSS
– Society for the Promotion of Photo and Media Art, Wolkersdorf, Austria

Martin Breindl, born 1963 in Vienna, Austria, is a media artist, theoretician and curator. He is the founder of alien productions (in collaboration with Andrea Sodomka, Norbert Math and August Black), an artists’ network dealing with new technology and media. He works in the fields of media performance, installation, net art, radio art, sound art, video art and visual arts. Since 2001, he has been one of the curators of FLUSS – society for the promotion of photo and media art, based in Wolkersdorf, Austria; since 2005, he has also been a co-curator of the International Photographic Triennial Backlight.

SLIDESHOWS:
8th of May – Friday (08:30 pm – EC1, 1/3 Targowa St., Lodz )

Artists and Projects:
Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber – Plugged In, Fenced Out
Eva Brunner-Szabo – Bandages I, III, VII
Robert F. Hammerstiel – Private Stories II & Alles in bester Ordnung IV
Sabine Maier – Commo-nice!
Herwig Turk – Agents

* * *

FRANCE

Curator: Jim Casper
Lens Culture
– photography and shared territories (online magazine)

Jim Casper is the editor and publisher of Lens Culture – an international online magazine celebrating contemporary photography, art, media, and world cultures. Each day, the site attracts between 5,000 and 6,000 unique visitors from more than 50 countries.

Jim also curates arts exhibitions, writes about photography and culture for magazines and books, lectures, reviews portfolios, coordinates events and workshops, collaborates in formal partnerships to promote and publicize important international photography events and conferences, and serves as an international artists’ agent.

SLIDESHOWS:
8th of May – Friday
08:30 pm – EC1, 1/3 Targowa St., Lodz

Artists and Projects:
Denis Darzacq – Hyper
JR – Women are Heroes
Eric Tabuchi – 26 Abandoned Gasoline Stations
Alexei Vassiliev – Troubled Moments
Guilaume Zuili – Fragments

* * *

GREECE

Curator: Nina Kassianou
Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece

Phd in History of Photography. She is collaborating as an exhibition curator and photography book editor with the Museum of Photography in Thessaloniki. Permanently working as a curator for Gallery M55 in Athens which promotes work of Greek and European young photographers.

She has organized many individual and group exhibitions in Greece and in Europe. As a reviewer she has participated in many festivals in Europe. She is one of the contributors to the the 1st Cyclopedia of European Photography presenting the Greek part.

SLIDESHOWS:
8th of May – Friday
10:30 pm – Jazzga Club, 17 Piotrkowska St., Lodz (open air event)

Artists and Projects:

Athina Chroni – People – 3D photographs
Haris Kakarouhas – Square Icons
Evangelia Kranioti – Au moment X
Costas Ordolis – Bodies, Masks & Cities
Ioanna Ralli – Archetypes of the Feminine

* * *

IRELAND

Peggy Sue Amison
Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland

In her position as Artistic Director at Sirius Arts Centre in Ireland for over 8 years, Peggy Sue Amison has curated numerous photographic and other visual arts exhibitions with artists from around the world. She also facilitates the development of new works through the international artist-in-residency programme at Sirius, often partnering artists and organisations together on projects.

A photographic artist herself, Peggy has also written critical essays and reviews for numerous photographic publications internationally and serves as a reviewer at meeting places for photographers at different photographic festivals. An important part of her work at Sirius is focused on raising the level of discourse about photography in Ireland through all of the above.

POKAZY SLAJDÓW:
9th of May – Saturday
09:00 pm – Jazzga Club, 17 Piotrkowska St., Lodz (open air event)

Artists and Projects:
Mark Curran – The Breathing Factory
David Farrell – Nè vicino Nè lontano. A Lugo // Neither Close, nor Far. Lugo
Seán Hillen – The Troubles
Jackie Nickerson – Faith
Eoin O’ Conaill – Common Place

* * *

ITALY

Curator: Alessandra Capodacqua
Fondazione Studio Marangoni – Center of Contemporary Photography in Florence

Alessandra Capodacqua has curated exhibitions in Italy and abroad, among others the Backlight Triennial Festival of Photography in Tampere, Finland. She has also been invited at portfolio reviews such as Photolucida – Critical Mass (USA); Mission Jeunes Artistes, Toulouse (France); Photo Triennale Hamburg (Germany).

She teaches photography at New York University in Florence, and creative photography – including pinhole and toy cameras, alternative printing techniques. Currently lives and works in Florence.

SLIDESHOWS:
8th of May – Friday
10:30 pm – Jazzga Club, 17 Piotrkowska St., Lodz (open air event)

Artists and Projects:

Fabio Barile – Among
Alessandro Destro – Suspect Behaviour
Simone Donati – Crimean Tatars, Return to the Motherland
Silvia Noferi – Hôtel Rêverie
Elisabetta Senesi – Handle With Care

* * *

POLAND

Curator: Tomasz Ferenc
Department of Sociology of Culture, University of Lodz, Poland

Tomasz Ferenc (1973), member of Fundation of Visual Education in Lodz. Works as a academic teacher and researcher at the University of Lodz (Department of Sociology, Chair Sociology of Art). His PhD thesis ware devoted to social aspect of using and understanding photography. His main subject is sociology of photography and visual anthropology. He is interested in possibilities of using photography during research process.

He has edited and co-edited five books focused on different aspects of this medium (two of them will be printed this year). He cooperates with some photo magazines in Poland and publishes scientific and popular articles. Now he is more involved in practice of photography than in theory, as it has been for many years. With some others photographers he works on project devoted to oppressive aspects of architecture.

SLIDESHOWS:
9th of May – Saturday
09:00 pm – Jazzga Club, 17 Piotrkowska St., Lodz (open air event)

Artists:
Anita Andrzejewska – Nur-e jan
Konrad Grajner – 44 War-schau
Magdalena Kmiecik – Space Between
Michal Przezdzik – Still Life
Dominika Truszczynska – Glimpses of Infinity

* * *

via Fotofestiwal

Ireland at the European Month of Photography 2008

‘Ireland. An Insiders View’ gives an impression of up-and-coming Irish photographic talent.
In the last few years unprecedented changes have come about in Ireland. The country has transformed itself into a modern, competitive and multi-faceted nation.
The cultural landscape of the country, in particular, has undergone important changes. Increased subsidies and the development of photography courses have brought forth a new generation of critical and informed graduates. These talented photographers play a key role in the investigation of contemporary questions within Irish culture. The works exhibited here reflect the wide range of issues in a phase of Ireland’s self-discovery.

Ireland [an insider’s view] presents a brief overview of emerging Irish photographic talent.

In recent years Ireland has undergone an unprecedented process of change. The country has developed from an inward-looking society into a modern, competitive, diverse and wealthy nation.

In particular the cultural landscape of the country has undergone significant changes. Increased funding for the arts and the emergence of photography degree programmes have created a new generation of critically informed photography graduates. The emerging Irish photographic talent is playing a key role in the investigation of contemporary issues within Irish culture.

The works selected here reflect a diversity of concerns as Ireland struggles to make sense of itself: the new generation of young ‘post-conflict’ northern Irish Diaspora: the effects of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom on the landscape; suburbanisation of the rural landscape; the hedonistic night life of the capital city. The images selected reflect a brief account of these insiders’ views.

The 12 artists are: Kim Cunningham, Tadhg Devlin, Kevin Fox, Ben Geoghegan, Angel Gonzalez, Louise Maher, Eoin O’Conaill, Mandy O’Neill, Fred O’Reilly, Anna Rackard, Darlene Shannon, Ruby Wallis.

Ireland [an insider’s view] is curated by Darragh Shanahan for the Gallery of Photography, Dublin.

This project is supported by Culture Ireland – promoting the arts abroad.