The Look of the Irish

From RTE,

“ON TV, ONLINE AND THE RTÉ STILLS LIBRARY, LOOK OF THE IRISH CELEBRATES THE PHOTOS WHICH HAVE SHOWN US WHO WE ARE SINCE 1839.”

‘The Look of the Irish’ is a series of 9 programs dedicated to Photography and representation. This is the list:

Fergus Bourke: In His Own Words.

Fergus Bourke: In His Own Words

RTÉ One, 11.10pm on Sunday 9 August 2009

Made shortly before his death, this moving portrait of renowned photographer Fergus Bourke was first shown in May 2007. It introduces us to his life and work and the wide array of Irish life captured through his lens, including Dublin street scenes, pioneering photo-journalism, remarkable portrait photographs and classic images of Connemara and the Irish countryside.

Robert, William, and Alec Day

Day By Day By Day

RTÉ One, 7.30pm on Monday 10 August 2009

Robert, William, and Alec Day photographed their native Cork for over 100 years, creating a unique and unsurpassed photographic record of the city and its surroundings. This new documentary tells the story of an unusual family and the images they produced, from visiting kings and streetscapes to naked ladies and departing liners.

Michael Ryan

The Day Before Yesterday

RTÉ One, 8.30pm on Monday 10 August 2009

First broadcast in April 1994, ‘The Day Before Yesterday’ looks back at Ireland in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, as shown through the lens of Jesuit and photographer Fr. Francis Browne. Scripted and narrated by Michael Ryan, over 2,000 photographs from Fr. Browne’s collection of 40,000 are seen onscreen, a fascinating account of the birth and growth of independent Ireland record, of the people and the times.

David Farrell - Elusive Moments

David Farrell – Elusive Moments

RTÉ One, 11.05pm on Monday 10 August 2009

David Farrell is the only Irish photographer to have won the European Publishers’ Award for Photography, for his hugely successful exhibition Innocent Landscapes, dealing with the searches for the so-called “disappeared” from the conflict in the north of Ireland. Shot in Dublin, Wicklow, Cork, Italy and Paris, Elusive Moments follows two years of his working life, taking photographs, editing and printing his pictures, preparing them for exhibitions, and dealing with the marketplace.

Edward Quinn

Riviera Cocktail

RTÉ One, 11.25pm on Tuesday 11 August 2009

The Côte D’Azur in the 1950’s was the most glamorous place on the planet, where high society, big business, art, music and literature gathered to play. And Irish photographer Edward Quinn (1920 – 1997) was there to record it, producing exclusive photos of Grace Kelly, Federico Fellini, Pablo Picasso, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Sophia Loren, Edith Piaf, Max Ernst, Frank Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich, Miles Davis and so many more.

Sweet-Cork-of-Thee

Sweet Cork Of Thee – Edwardian Cork On Camera

RTÉ One, 7.30pm on Wednesday 12 August 2009

Some 15 years before Tomas MacCurtain and Terence McSwiney defined Cork’s republican credentials, English cinematographers Mitchell and Kenyon observed an altogether more ‘loyal’ Cork than that portrayed in the Rebel Cork story. In this RTÉ Archive Unit documentary, first shown on Christmas Day 2005, Pat Butler casts a wry eye on the Citizens of Cork, as they sport and play and go about their lives on the Banks of the Lee in 1902, spiced with Victorian and Edwardian ballads.

darkroom1

Dark Room

RTÉ One, 11.55pm on Wednesday 12 August 2009

First shown in February 2003, Dark Room looks at the life of the famous Irish photographer, Harry Thuillier, Jnr. Born in Dublin in 1984, his subject matter was noted for its particular darkness, including ancient skulls, limbs decorated with opium pods and flowering nudes. He survived an attack on a Dublin street which left him with only 80% vision in his right eye, and went on to make very distinctive and beautiful work, until his unexpected and mysterious death in Milan in December 1997.

man-who-shot-beckett2-1

The Man Who Shot Beckett

RTÉ One, 11.05pm on Thursday 13 August 2009

John Minihan is probably the most important Irish photographer alive today, his subjects ranging from Francis Bacon to John Hurt, Princess Diana to William Burroughs, his acclaimed pictures of Athy, and the famous series of photographs he took of Samuel Beckett in London and Paris. This profile of Minihan was first shown as part of RTÉ Beckett 100 in April 2006 and celebrates the friendship between Beckett and the photographer, a friendship that produced some of the most remarkable images of the great writer.

NotFadeAway-BoyTurfDonkey

Townlands: Not Fade Away

RTÉ One, 8.30pm on Friday 14 August 2009

In the wet and windy summer of 1913 two young women arrived in Ireland from France. Marguerite Mespoulet and Madelaine Mignon were women on a mission – to document what they regarded as the dying remnants of a great Celtic culture. During May and June 1913 they made a total of 75 colour photographs, stunning images, many with the delicacy of paintings, which together with their travel notebook, form a unique and fascinating record of an Ireland that, even then, was quickly fading away. (First shown in August 2004.)

The official site for ‘The Look of the Irish’ is here:
http://www.rte.ie/lookoftheirish/index.html

Antichrist: The 6th Obstruction.


Antichrist is Lars von Trier’s latest film.

Short synopsis: The film tells the story of a couple suffering a relationship collapse, apparently triggered by the tragic loss of their only child. A therapeutical trip to a forest retreat turns to be so revealing that it provokes their own demise. But actually, the collapse of their relationship is caused not by the loss of their child, but because of the discovery of the woman’s rampant schizophrenia, that goes far back before the story’s beginning.

The film follows the physical structure of a novel: is divided in prologue, four chapters, and ended by an epilogue, all these introduced by visual queues and the temporary halt in the narrative. Most definitely, we are been told a story. Do not forget that.

Antichrist, Lars Von Trier.

What are the reviews like?
Breaking News: This film is not for everyone. Well, it wasn’t made for everyone and it hasn’t been rated as a PG, rather as an 18 certificate in Ireland. It does contain violence, nudity, explicit sex, but also some of the most astonishingly beautiful sequences I have seen in long time.

First of all, go and watch it: Is the only way to make your own mind, and who else do you need to make yours? At the end of the day, you made the effort to watch ‘Bruno’ though you knew it was going to hurt, so why not doing it for a film made by someone who at least has done more than one great film?

Also, if you are going to bitch about it, go and watch it first.
Dont do like a number of Inquisition-styled critics that are complaining almost of it being blasphemic, thought they haven’t even bother seen it! And don’t let the voices that claim it is too violent, too perverted, the sickest film ever made, etc. dampen you enthusiasm in finding out for yourself. Just beware: it is a story for adults.

Antichrist, Lars Von Trier

My experience?
I watched ‘Antichrist’ at the IFI, on a half-full room, sitting in the last row, dead centered, and managed to get two empty seats in each side for extra silence. Unfortunately, all the annoyed people in Dublin that couldn’t get a ticket for U2 that day decided to ruin my film and annoy me with their snacks noises, loud comments, and at some point when an animal speaks in the film, their laughs.

Honestly, I was following people’s reaction as much as the film – I had no choice -, coming to the conclusion that definitely this film is not for everyone. The girl in front of me was even stretching her arms, body-yawning, incidentally blocking my view. The over 60s couple on my right were talking as if the world was a giveafuck away from them. The two guys on my left were constantly overreacting, screaming. And someone a few rows far away was messing with a plastic package. The usual at Cineworld, a pity for IFI.

Well, it is ok; I learnt to control myself and to breathe a long time ago. Although I thought about requesting silence, the movie was actually grabbing their attention at times. But why were they so not into the film? Why so altered and uneasy? Was it cause they were missing U2’s gig? Not sure, not sure. I was truly getting interested in the film myself, despite all that drama in the room, and was threading in my head my way back to its message.

Antichrist, Lars Von Trier

Says Slavoj Žižek, that “the paradox of cinema,[is] the paradox of believe. We don’t simple believe or do not believe, we always believe in a kind of conditional mode: ‘I know very well is a fake, but nonetheless I let myself be emotionally affected’ […] “. Yes, suspended disbelief. That is exactly how and why you enjoy a film, a story, a legend, by temporarily setting aside some questions and letting your empathy follow the trail laid in front of you. The question remains when do you start to make the questions?

Too early: One of the most irritating things that happen while watching the film was when a good few in the audience laughed hysterically and out of rhythm (I mean, clearly not laughing cause it was funny) at the speaking animal scene. Hard to explain, but my feeling is that there is a lack of maturity in those who laughed. As if they were letting loose and infecting each other with a reason to underline their sanity – cause explaining themselves what the film was exposing was just to hard a calculation.

I was imagining their thoughts: ‘Ha, animals dont speak! This is ridiculous!’. Yes, animals do not speak. Unfortunately, we have had a rain of films in the last decade of speaking animals, that you have enjoyed and never questioned. (And there are more coming) Cause they were films and you suspended your disbelief, as the message wasn’t buried too deep. But they were films for kids, so it was easy not to laugh – we all know films for kids are fantastic and require not to be taken literally. It is a pity that when the same effort is requested for grownups films, the audience fails to give. Remember ‘Dogville‘? Now that was disbelief.

Antichrist, Lars Von Trier

“This strange status of believe, accounts for the efficiency of one of the most interesting characters […] in staging as such, the character of prologue” (Žižek). Each time the film stops to introduce the next section, we are reminded of the artificiality of the experience, ‘it is a film’, yet some wish to remain offended or disturbed. Lets say that some people, including a load of critics, have become too conformist to look only anywhere else but in the surface and are neglecting to see whats underneath.

This is what I call the ‘6th Obstruction’.

But wait. Look at these stills.

Antichrist, Lars Von Trier

Antichrist, Lars von Trier.

Antichrist, Lars von Trier.

Antichrist, Lars von Trier.

Antichrist, Lars von Trier.

Antichrist, Lars von Trier.

Antichrist, Lars von Trier.

Antichrist, Lars von Trier.

Antichrist, Lars von Trier.

Do they look to you as those of an abominable movie?

No. Certainly not. And there are even more elaborated scenes for which I couldn’t find stills. It has been very carefully produced, with very high technical standards, far away from Dogme 95. Your true feelings about this film have been obstructed by someone elses interests. First, those of the Director’s PR machine, that surely are enjoying the benefits of the bad publicity. And then, the media, those newspapers, magazines, radios, TV channels, that have NOTHING to say, cause they have lost the power and will to analyse and now merely repeat.

Excessively sexual? What, more than CaligulaNine 1/2 WeeksEmmanuelle, etc? Not. Perhaps they need to learn more about sex in film. The film starts with a purposely beautiful slo-mo sex scene interweaved with other non sexual narrative elements. Yes, you can see his dick in profile slowly thrusting into her vagina, for like 5 seconds. And? Oh, for fucks sake, grow up! If this offends you, where do you look at when you are making love?

Excessively violent? As in more than Final Destination 3The Texas Chain Saw MassacreAmerican PsychoMisery, etc? Not. And by the way, you cannot get more violent than in catastrophic films like ArmageddonDie Hard, and the like. Or is it dying collectively that removes pain? This film has only 4 scenes of those that make you look away. And even then, they are not narrated to disgust, they are rather underlined with a straight view; a way of saying this is it, a prick in your eye so you understand the consequences of her mental disorder.

In any case, dismissing the whole film because of certain scenes is plainly ludicrous.

The strength of this film may well be that there are two conflictive narrative layers: that of the reality that is external to the film (the PR marketing, the reviews, Cannes, what you heard, etc), that critiques how excessive and irrational this film is; and that of the film itself, that warns us about how an uncritical mind can end up putting believes above reason, dominated by unruly passions, to the point of loosing its mask of sanity, becoming schizophrenic.

The 6th obstruction is your mind.

Antichrist, Lars von Trier.

After all, this is a story for adults.

*   *   *   *   *
If you still need to read more, here are a few reviews, good and bad:

Irish Times:
Antichrist

Daily Mail:
What DOES it take for a film to get banned these days?

Time Out:
Will you dare to see Antichrist?

Irish Independent:
Antichrist was Lars’ ‘fun’ way of treating depression
Is Antichrist anti-women?
The films that pushed audiences to their limits
Movies: Antichrist *

IFI:
ANTICHRIST

Now, go and watch it. And if you care, find out about the Five Obstructions:

Five Obstructions, Lars von Trier.

Five Obstructions, Lars von Trier.

Five Obstructions, Lars von Trier.

A final recommendation.
If you want to read under the grass, here’s a very necessary shovel: ‘The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema‘ by Slavoj Zizek, conveniently divided in a 14 videos playlist.

Mondrian’s Room

The Mondrian’s Room Gallery, (was) located in South Anne Street, Dublin. They showcased last November 2008 some unique glass plates (autochromes) by The Lumiere Brothers, which represent the invention of colour Photography. Despite the fact that such a relevant collection of artifacts was offered for public enjoyment, very little was mentioned in all ‘expert’ media and the everyday papers. What a pity.

I just happened to be walking by the area when I saw one of the plates on the window display. I couldn’t believe it!
Girl in Garden with Doll’s Pram, 1910-11
Cows in Early Evening Light, 1910-11
Forest Bridge with Mother and Child, 1910-11
Lyon at Twilight, 1910-11
Girl in Meadow with French Flag, 1910-11
Un Petit Repos, 1910-11
Family Portrait at Countryside Café, 1910-11
(Find more at Mondrian’s Room site)

But who is behind Mondrian’s Room?

In their site you can also see other available work from Doisneau, Muybridge and other historic figures.

Un Regard Oblique, 1948La Petite Balcon, 1953Picasso et Françoise Gilot, 1952Le Fox-Terrier des Ponts de Arts, 1958Les Enfants de la Place Herbert, 1957Giacometti dans son Atelier, 1957

The shop is now closed, but here’s what is coming from them in 2009:

For a start, our gallery and activities will become more mobile.

As major renovation works will be commencing shortly on the South Anne Street buildings, over the next 6 months Aebhric and I will be focussing our energies on developing future exhibitions, and travelling around Europe to source new artworks and collaborating with European curators and collectors. We hope to reopen our gallery space in Autumn.

In early May, we will be relaunching our website with lots of new content and features, to broaden the reach and services of Mondrian’s Room.

During the Summer, we will be working on a new TV programme designed to excite people about international art and photography, and continue exposing Irish audiences to a whole new world of artworks never before seen here. Sneak-peaks will be available on our website.

Our consultancy services will also be expanded, due to growing demand. In February, Mondrian’s Room worked on the installation of the major James Coleman exhibition, currently on view until 26th April at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hibernian Academy, and Project Arts Centre. (James Coleman)

As usual, we will also be sourcing specific artworks for our clients and providing investment advice. Whether you’re looking for drawings, photos, or paintings from any period or country, we will be very pleased to help you in any of your art enquiries.

Looking forward to that!!

via Mondrian’s Room

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

SODAPIX Editors picks

Swiss picture agency Sodapix shows the collections from nine Photo Editors and Art Buyers, who picked their favourite pictures from the Sodapix picture pool. Up there, some of the selected. The rest, here:
– Nicole Aeby (Maz Department Head)
– Tres Camenzind (President vfg)
– Sonia Favre (Freelance Photo Editor)
– Gabriella Flury (Owner Gabriella Flury Advertising)
– Tom Kees (Art Director McCann Erickson)
– Nenad Kovačić (Designer and Co-Owner Raffinerie)
– Cara Anne Specker (Photo Media)
– Donovan Szypura (Creative and Producing at Heads)
– Andreas Wilhelm (Chief Photo Editor Das Magazin)