One year of Propeller

I cannot trace this back to its origins, but I remember reading an interview by someone who started a magazine about artistic content saying you had to be crazy to do so. I now realize you really have to. About a year ago, I joined Hélice to found Propeller and during this year we launched…

Read More

Why the past legitimates the present (retromania and the ‘nostalgising effect’)

The misguided parallel between spontaneity and authenticity is often mentioned here. We, in general (and students in particular), not knowing how to address the issues of photographic representation, tend to evoke “spontaneity”, “purity”, “genuineness”, “naturalness”, etc. to qualify the truthfulness of the images. These words are part of the lexicon of authenticity, whether or not…

Read More

Nebreda: my everlasting love

David Nebreda’s work changed my life. It’s no mystery. I remember the first time I encountered his photographs (or they encountered me): it was in a sort of catalog – David Nebreda: Autorretratos (2002) -, that followed one of the author’s rare solo exhibitions, curated by Javier Panera, during the celebrations of the European Capital…

Read More

Photo Requests from Solitary: this could have been so beautiful…

I came across this project while reading Pete Brook‘s Prison Photography, one of my favorite blogs out there. Photo Requests from Solitary became part of a larger project, but was initially founded by Tamms Year Ten, a grassroots coalition of artists, advocates, family members and men formerly incarcerated in Tamms Correctional Center in southern Illinois. Photo requests from Solitary consists…

Read More

Colour #4: Paula Riff

The first group of images featured below is part of a project entitled What’s love got to do with it. Here’s Paula Riff‘s statement about that project:  I believe in love but it comes and goes.  Like the falling of leaves, love often falls gently to the ground; at least that’s my experience. Marbling paper…

Read More

Screening men as objects of desire

The biggest problem I see in addressing the question of the objectification of men (or the representation of men as objects of desire) is that we can’t really avoid comparing it to the objectification of women and that is such a heavy burden to carry… Having said this, I’ll try and take the boat through…

Read More

Colour #3: Aleksandra Vajd

All that is to know about Aleksandra Vajd’s project “Friends of friends are friends” (featured below) can be find in a text by Laura Amann, here. I see, I smell, I feel and hear these photographs reaching me. In Laura Amann’s words: The abstract nature requires us to focus on the process, materiality and technique.…

Read More

Colour #2: Sanne de Wilde

What’s wrong with a purple sun? It’s been challenging to write about Belgian photographer Sanne de Wilde‘s The Island of the Colorblind. I mentioned the project here once before, but at the time the book was about to be published (by Hannibal Publishers) and I waited for further information, for there was a lot about the…

Read More

Colour #1: Akihiko Miyoshi

Here is a selection of Akihiko Miyoshi’s profound, complex and beautifully coloured work. Photography’s impulse to depict in its most utilitarian tendencies (for example photo-journalism as art) creates, to use the artist Jeff Wall’s words, the “most problematic kind of photograph” which anchored itself through social validity. This to me is an insufficient condition for…

Read More

Art forgery in the XXI century

Eduardo Martins is no Wolfgang Beltracchi, but the truth is he managed to turn himself into a heroish-like-photojournalist. Regarding the substance of what was being created, there’s no similarities between Beltracchi and Martins, as the first was and is an extremely gifted technician and Martins just sounds like a sociopath, verging on the psychopath. No…

Read More

The Observer likes to hunt

Half a dozen years ago I was a romantic. Everything bordered on being overwhelming. As I started to understand what that dark romantic feeling was all about, I feared I might become a cynic. Luckily, I’ve managed to keep my distance from such a corrosive approach to life, but sometimes not to photography. As I…

Read More

Seeing is believing

Some years ago I was having a discussion with a friend about going to visit animals in enclosed spaces and as my friend was arguing for his position, he stated: how else can I see them? Somehow, I’ve never forgotten his argument, so maybe there’s something to it. At fist, it seems just a very…

Read More

Disconnecting from your body

Most people have a very special layer around their bodies (non-scientifically described as a second-skin) that protects them from the outside menaces. I’m sure if we dove into a biological take on this subject, there would be a lot to talk about. However, this second-skin I’m referring to is not that kind of verifiable layer.…

Read More

Photographing Corners

There’s something about a photograph of a corner that intrinsically relates to the essence of photography. Although I don’t pretend to know what that essence is, it’s clear to me that it somehow has to do with how we, as subjects, come to understand ourselves as beings. In that sense, it relates to memory and,…

Read More

Jordan Gale: ‘I was lucky’

I came across Jordan Gale‘s project It is what it is @ Lenscratch. At first, it was a darkness that grabbed my attention, but then something else triggered a different engagement with his work. In what seems like a statement about It is was it is, Gale mentions that the project “acts as a form…

Read More

Soham Gupta’s pictures haunt us

Soham Gupta‘s statement: Angst is my reaction to the trials through which some people must pass in our society. This work has its roots in my childhood riddled with severe asthma attacks and in my troubled growing-up years spent trying to come to terms with the world’s expectations. Deep within Angst runs my anger, my…

Read More

Marco Breuer: brightness can fool you

Breuer has been making abstract photographs since the early 1990s. However, in contrast to Aaron Siskind, whose black-and-white photographs of walls were linked to the gestural paintings of the Abstract Expressionists, particularly those of his friend Franz Kline, Breuer works with sheets of chromogenic paper, which, as the label for “Untitled (C-1773)” (2016) informs us, has been “exposed/…

Read More

Photojournalism under fire

I don’t doubt the need for photojournalism and I’m aware that what I’m about to do is, in a lot of senses, offensive, particularly to the experiences photojournalists go through in order to document situations that are horrible, unimaginable, experiences one really has to go thorough in order to understand what they’re about.  Having said…

Read More