≡ ‘Has the Düsseldorf School killed photography?’, he asks ≡

I

83d91fab-d6f2-4e10-adf3-0761bc9ea80c

Professional Photographer editor Grant Scott popped the question and it stayed with me, not only because it is a very catchy headline for an article, as the author notes, but because his reflection resonated with me.

As I understand it, Scott’s main issue with the Düsseldorf School relates to its heritage not its conquests. The Bechers’ pupils, namely Thomas Stuth, Thomas Ruff, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Laurenz Berges and Andreas Gursky (to name only a few) all gave (and still give!) original and groundbreaking contributions to expand the range of languages one could apply to photography. Struth’s family portraits were innovative in the way he managed to portrait, with a non-theatrical approach, the dynamics between the group, while having them stare at the camera; Ruff’s portraits set the tone for contemporary portraiture and highlighted how the surface of things and the particularities of a person’s face, can grab one’s attention and “hurt” us in many ways; Höfer’s majestic interiors changed the field of architectural photography and highlight her singular approach to natural light as a way to comment on the atmosphere and emotional landscape of each location; Gursky’s large scale depictions of human consumerism and megalomaniac mentality are impressive not only for their appearance but also because of the process and commitment they entail; Sasse’s relationship to color is one-of-a-kind and his photographs of public and private spaces should be taught in every photography classroom.

It’s true that while some of them kept their original perspective and reflection upon the medium, some just kept applying the formula, but what Scott means by the alleged murder is that they “offered” an easy way out to any photography-student-wannabe-conceptual-artist who chooses to lean on the formula of the ‘project-as-serial-work’. This way the task gets simplified: one chooses the subject and the location and then repeats the framing with a distant and seemingly objective eye.

Although I agree with this immediate analysis, for I recognize that this is a problem both in the amateur as in the professional milieu, with major influence on the way photography students approach their subjects, what resonates less with me is Scott’s cynical tone:

I wander off and create an image that I shall call Shopping trolley in supermarket car park on a grey day, or Einkaufswagen im Supermarkt Parkplatz an einem Grauen Tag. It’s not quite as snappy as New Objectivity but it is observationally descriptive and has the all-important element of transformation to verify it. It may just be the Asda car park, but when translated into German it becomes one of a series of images which combine to become a personal exploration of environmental documentation. There we have it: a picture easy and cheap to take, some words to support why I took it and a German title. I am now a disciple of Becher and if my work is criticised I will quote the Bechers’ teaching and their followers’ success.I am now a New Objectivity photographer. I am in a comfort zone.

Scott says he’s fed up with all the supposed neutrality and emotionless conceptual approach, from portraits to deserted landscapes, as I am too, but overall what one misses is originality, and that has always been a problem in every art discipline. So the issue might be that the stage for the so-called ‘artistic photography’ these days is huge, and it’s expected that we have to go through a pile of unoriginal and uncreative work before we find something worth looking at.

Full article HERE.

II

portraits_88_22portraits_88_15portraits_88_16all images © Thomas Ruff, from the series Portraits, circa 1988.

III

The Lingwood & Hamlyn family, London, UK, 2001© Thomas Struth, The Lingwood & Hamlyn family, London, UK, from the series Family Portraits, 2001.

TS-3© Thomas Struth, The Falletti Family, Florence, from the series Family Portraits, 2005.

The Felsenfeld, Gold Families, Philadelphia, 2007© Thomas Struth, The Felsenfeld, Gold Families, Philadelphia, from the series Family Portraits, 2007.

IV

Wiblingen-Abbey, Germany© Candida Höfer, Wiblingen-Abbey, Germany.

Casa Musica Porto V, 2006© Candida Höfer, Casa da Música, Porto, 2006.

IB_S_BASIC_COPYRIGHT =© Candida Höfer, Cuvillés Theater, München, 2009.

V

Paris, Montparnasse 1993© Andreas Gursky, Paris, Montparnasse, 1993.

Chicago, Board of Trade II 1999 by Andreas Gursky born 1955© Andreas Gursky, Chicago, Board of Trade II, 1999.

Kamiokande, 2007© Andreas Gursky, Kamiokande, 2007.

VI

P-91-02-02, Düsseldorf 1991© Jörg Sasse, P-91-02-02, Düsseldorf, from the series Public Spaces, 1991.

W-93-07-01, Marburg 1993© Jörg Sasse, W-93-07-01, Marburg, from the series Private Spaces, 1993.

W-92-06-01, Pelm 1992© Jörg Sasse, W-92-06-01, Pelm, from the series Private Spaces, 1992.

VII

HUETTE 033-A© Axel Hütte, Mandalay 1, Las Vegas, USA, 2003.

Portrait #26, Germany from the series Water Reflections, 2007© Axel Hütte, Portrait #26, Germany from the series Water Reflections, 2007.

Passo Sella, Italy from the series New Mountains, 2012© Axel Hütte, Passo Sella, Italy from the series New Mountains, 2012.

VIII

Erevan - Artashat© Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Erevan – Artashat, from the series Bus Stops, Armenia., 1997-2011.

Erevan, Yegnward© Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Erevan, Yegnward, from the series Bus Stops, Armenia., 1997-2011.

Gymri, Spitak, 2002© Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Gymri, Spitak, from the series Bus Stops, Armenia., 1997-2011.

IX

Altenburg, 1992© Laurenz Berges, Altenburg, 1992.

Wünsdorf II, 1994© Laurenz Berges, Wünsdorf II, 1994.

Hannover, 2005 (# 2282)© Laurenz Berges, Hannover, 2005.

┐ Assaf Shaham – in the gap between the comma and its following letter └

6

1© Assaf Shaham, Untitled, from the series Time After Time and Again

“The work Time after Time and Again deconstructs photography into its components and reassembles them on one surface that encompasses the essence of the photographic act, the fundamentals of color photography, and the marvel that combines light and time into a photograph. At the same time, in a kind of an aside, Shaham also subverts the concept of freezing the moment which religiously accompanies photography and differentiates it from cinema. In a simple but not innocent still photograph, Shaham records movement on a timeline: a landscape depicting a kind of a sundial while simultaneously recording it as it becomes a photograph. In three exposures timed over one hour, in which three filters using the RGB color model, three colored projections were made, marking the location of the stick’s shadow through the sun’s movement over one hour.

Unlike 19th-century early photographs—where the limits of the photographic material’s sensitivity necessitated long exposure to light, making the details that had moved during the exposure into a pale blur or a dark color patch in the photographs—in Shaham’s photographs the movement is recorded with three clear, sharp projections whose location marks the exact time in which each of the color filters was used. The sundial on the sand demonstrates, through a single photograph within one hour, the process that the medium underwent in 170 years, and clearly and succinctly formulates the conceptual differences between continuous and fragmented movement; it is also the conceptual distance between photography and cinema and the gap between the analogue and digital worlds. This is a decisive phase in the evolution of man and machine and in the history of science and ideas, in the technological revolution of knowledge-rich industries, which is, of course, a social and cultural revolution.”

excerpt of the article Assaf Shaham: New Ways to Steal Old Souls, by Nili Goren, as in the Shpilman Institute for Photography. Continue reading here

scan2 copy4print© Assaf Shaham, Full Reflection (700dpi), 2012, from the series The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

scan3© Assaf Shaham, Full Reflection (500dpi), 2012, from the series The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

“Regarding The Emperor’s New Clothes

Imagine two scanners facing one another as they perform the only function they are capable of performing: scanning. They embark on an intense seductive mating ritual. One head moves up, the other one down, they both go down and simultaneously go back up again; In movement, whether in or out of synchronization, they exchange fluids and perform a discursive sexual act.

Susan Sontag claimed that photography is “not such a successful form of intercourse” 1 because the camera maintains a distance between that which is penetrating and that which is being penetrated. Assaf Shaham’s scanners will never feel each other. There will forever be that distance between them, rendering actual contact impossible. The resulting works of this sterile intercourse are yet surprisingly fertile. Flat, mechanical and technological to the extreme, these color fields are exemplary sons of a formalistic dynasty: they are Mondrian’s grandchildren, Rothko’s nephews and Walead Beshty’s adopted children. The yellowish light of the projecting bulb used in the darkroom is here replaced with the bright white light of the scanning device and random strips of lights, the sharp and accurate inkjet prints are favored over chemical photo paper and the ready-made was chosen over the artist’s darkroom.

The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

Shaham’s work is concerned with the very space between the king’s death and the beginning of his successor’s reign, precisly in the gap between the comma and it’s following letter it happens after photography has been repeatedly murdered; after it died, was re-born, fell down, rotted from within, was salvaged and brought back up on its feet again.

What appears like a large-scale replica of an Ilford photo paper pack leans against a wall, basking in a realistic glory of sorts. It is a marvelous reproduction of the original with a three dimensional appearance that was only altered as the original motif was replaced by the artist: where a harmless consensual image once appeared, Shaham has implanted a photographic rape scene.

In a small piece, dark silhouettes are burnt within a split of a second. It is a black footnote at the endpoint of a prolonged history of power and violence. American radiation in Hiroshima scorched out an eternal memory in real time. The gesture of the original photographer of this image – equally created by the bomb – is reactivated here by Shaham. That photographer is dead, long live the new photographer.”
TEXT BY YAIR BARAK.

┐ Contemporary housekeeping or How to stumble on a stove └

planta© Catherine & Harriet Beecher, in American Woman’s Home, 1869

bat copy© family archive

IMG_7183roxana© Erica Brejaart, Untitled, from the series Portraits of Mothers and Housewives

IMG_7112roxana© Erica Brejaart, Untitled, from the series Portraits of Mothers and Housewives

“In the Divine Word it is written, “The wise woman buildeth her house.” To be “wise,” is “to choose the best means for accomplishing the best end.” It has been shown that the best end for a woman to seek is the training of God’s children for their eternal home, by guiding them to intelligence, virtue, and true happiness. When, therefore, the wise woman seeks a home in which to exercise this ministry, she will aim to secure a house so planned that it will provide in the best manner for health, industry, and economy, those cardinal requisites of domestic enjoyment and success. To aid in this, is the object of the following drawings and descriptions, which will illustrate a style of living more conformed to the great design for which the family is instituted than that which ordinarily prevails among those classes which take the lead in forming the customs of society. The aim will be to exhibit modes of economizing labor, time, and expenses, so as to secure health, thrift, and domestic happiness to persons of limited means, in a measure rarely attained even by those who possess wealth.


At the head of this chapter is a sketch of what may be properly called a Christian house; that is, a house contrived for the express purpose of enabling every member of a family to labor with the hands for the common good, and by modes at once healthful, economical, and tasteful. Of course, much of the instruction conveyed in the following pages is chiefly applicable to the wants and habits of those living either in the country or in such suburban vicinities as give space of ground for healthful outdoor occupation in the family service, although the general principles of house—building and house—keeping are of necessity universal in their application–as true in the busy confines of the city as in the freer and purer quietude of the country. So far as circumstances can be made to yield the opportunity, it will be assumed that the family state demands some outdoor labor for all. The cultivation of flowers to ornament the table and house, of fruits and vegetables for food, of silk and cotton for clothing, and the care of horse, cow, and dairy, can be so divided that each and all of the family, some part of the day, can take exercise in the pure air, under the magnetic and healthful rays of the sun. Every head of a family should seek a soil and climate which will afford such opportunities. Railroads, enabling men toiling in cities to rear families in the country, are on this account a special blessing. So, also, is the opening of the South to free labor, where, in the pure and mild climate of the uplands, open—air labor can proceed most of the year, and women and children labor out of doors as well as within.


In the following drawings are presented modes of economizing time, labor, and expense by the close packing of conveniences. By such methods, small and economical houses can be made to secure most of the comforts and many of the refinements of large and expensive ones. The cottage at the head of this chapter is projected on a plan which can be adapted to a warm or cold climate with little change. By adding another story, it would serve a large family.


Fig. 1 shows the ground—plan of the first floor. On the inside it is forty—three feet long and twenty—five wide, excluding conservatories and front and back projections. Its inside height from floor to ceiling is ten feet. The piazzas each side of the front projection have sliding—windows to the floor, and can, by glazed sashes, be made green—houses in winter. In a warm climate, piazzas can be made at the back side also.


In the description and arrangement, the leading aim is to show how time, labor, and expense are saved, not only in the building but in furniture and its arrangement. With this aim, the ground—floor and its furniture will first be shown, then the second story and its furniture, and then the basement and its conveniences. The conservatories are appendages not necessary to housekeeping, but useful in many ways pointed out more at large in other chapters.”

Catherine & Harriet Beecher, in American Woman’s Home, 1869

┐ roots & fruits #5 – Tito Mouraz └

© Tito Mouraz, Untitled, from the series Leitura(s)

© Tito Mouraz, Untitled, from the series Leitura(s)

© Tito Mouraz, Untitled, from the series Finally, No One

© Tito Mouraz, Untitled, from the series Finally, No One

“There has been, since ever, an almost innate obsession for space and its domain through the most varied forms and ways. This domain goes several times beyond intended expectations, such as, self-control that we could or should have about something to which we call “place”, where things happen, grow and bloom, since space is, in its entire definition, more genuine, original and infinite.
When we think about space, our reminiscence bring us immediately for a certain “place” where this can or not evoke good memories, passed situations or even situations/circumstances that might be about to happen.
It is, in these spaces, that the most diverse “objects” emerge or stanch, creating some kind of symbiosis between these two phenomenons. These “objects” many times create and have the gift to give life to spaces through an almost divine force that overlaps to some other thing.
It is clear that this tendency has two sides, on one hand, we have the filling of space through the “object” that occupies its place, metamorphosing what it would be an original landscape (shall we say) and on the other hand, we have the filling of that same place with aberrations that time decided to abandon and live it at drift.
Although these fillings could be considered ambiguous, it is necessary to regard that the beauty of things is in its essence, and frequently, an old van in a putrefaction state in the middle of a ravine can have its beauty, although not everybody agrees with that.
In this way, these are the questions of the presented project, the insertion of perfectly banal “objects” from the common day, incorporated in a space that beside being for everyone, it won a captive place in the soul of the represented “object”, as if, and in a natural way, embraces and creates since the beginning an almost inseparable bond with its own landscape.
Is this real? Or is this the purest of the falsehoods? I cannot find the answer for this question. The most probable is the existence of an alliance that allows a harmony between the two exposed perspectives.
As it can be verified here in the images presented, the spaces can be only constituted for the space itself, trying in this way, to establish one relation between this same space and the notion of the evolving emptiness for itself, even knowing or perceiving that the emptiness acquires a characteristic almost apparent, because it cannot, several times, link to reality as it is known. Therefore, there are two questions which we consider fundamental: the question of the inserted space, such as in time, as in “place”, and the question of time inserted and modified with the presence of an inanimate “object” that is or belonged to everyday life, but that now represents in all is fullness, the magnitude of the presence that is inserted in the same space.”

The author

More of Tito’s work here

┐ roots & fruits #4 – João Varela └

© João Varela, Untitled, from de Toerist

© João Varela, Untitled, from de Toerist

© João Varela, Untitled, from de Toerist

© João Varela, Untitled, from de Toerist

“De Toerist came about in November 2010 when I went to study at AKV|St.Joost in Breda, Netherlands.


As I arrived there, the weather was really different than the one that I was used to. This was one of the many difficulties that I had among others such as renting a house, language barrier and the adaptation to the classes.


With all of these feelings coming to me, I always felt like a tourist and never a proper dutch. So I decided to document the first two months of my journey in the Netherlands. I began to photograph small, not-so-important things that I stumbled on, always with a saying by german photographer Wolfgang Tillmans in my head: If one thing matters, everything matters. Week after week I photographed what I came across, what caught my eye and the situations that I thought were the key to tell my story.


From the approached themes, I must highlight the ones that have particular importance to my project as I was obceced photographing them: the big windows that unveil the private life of dutch people, the various trips I made within the region and the school space that I photographed in order to have a remembrance to the future and also to identify myself with her. Some of my inspirations through this process were the photographs of Stephen Shore, William Eggleston and Robert Frank. They were my references on the approach to the subject, or even on the subject choose.


The title arose from a photo of a building that I was constantly passing by when I was doing my daily circuit: home-school-home. This was like a methaphore to me, because I really felt like a tourist.”

More of João’s work here

║Sergio Belinchón ║

© Sergio Belinchóm, Untitled 8, from the series Berlin, an Archaeology, 2005

© Sergio Belinchóm, Untitled 8, from the series Berlin, an Archaeology, 2005

To see more of Sergio’s work click here

║ J. M. Ballester ║

© J. M. Ballester, Vista desde el hotel, 2005

© J. M. Ballester, Ciclista a contraluz, 2005

“If we cannot change the world, at least we can change the way we see it.”
José Manuel Ballester

“Ballester’s attitude towards his subjects is neither critical nor approving. It is observant and pensive. The stillness of the spaces he photographs is as palpable as the light that filters through them. It is as if the artist is putting the brakes on the speed of a technology changing so quickly we have no time to stop and ask where it is going and for what reason as we scramble to be the first to jump on the train before it has even departed. Norbert Weiner defined cybernetics as “the human use of human beings.” Today we are not so sure whether advances in technology necessarily mean progress or a new dark age characterized by dependency on a fragile system controlled by the few and used by the many.
Nicholas Metivier


To see more of Jose’s work click here

║ Marrigje De Maar ║

© Marrigje De Maar, Tollonjoki, Wanja, Russia, from the series Home Made

© Marrigje De Maar, Venray, refter, from the series Time Out

© Marrigje De Maar, China-Zhaoxing, old farmer, from the series Rambles (people)

Time Out consist of pictures of rejected spaces. The structure of these buildings may still be sound, but the inside is considered “economically worn out”. These interiors seem no longer fit to house any succesful enterprise. For these buildings an anxious time of waiting has began. Hopefully somebody sees a new life for them and is willing to invest in their restauration. But time is running out and demolition is imminent.
For me there is a parallel to what happens with older people in our work force.

Home Made is about private (accepted) spaces.
Private spaces are intimate spaces. They form a safe environment, shielded from the outside world. People use their private spaces – consciously or unconsciously –as a way to express something about themselves. In this way these personal spaces can be seen as portraits. Self portraits created with the help of daily necessities, tactile memories and the embodiment of dreams.
Marrigje De Maar

To see more of Marrigje’s work click here

║ Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre ║

.© Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre, Kraftwerk, Muldenstein,
from the series
Eastern Germany industrial vestiges

© Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre, Bleichert Transportanlagen, Leipzig
from the series Eastern Germany industrial vestiges


“During the industrial revolution, factories were built with a great aesthetic concern since there used to promote the image of companies.
More than all others, Germans proved to be particularly ingenious and original builders.
Eastern Germany was one of the most industrialized area. Industries of every type were established, it resulted an extraordinary diversity of architectural forms.
With the Soviet occupation, all the industries, even most obsolete ones, were maintained. The society was like frozen.
Thus the reunification caused closing-down of a number of factories,
an economical crisis and an exodus of the populations.
Since, cities are in full urban refitting, but the landscape
remains strongly marked by monumental industrial ruins.”

More of their work can be seen here.

║ Daniel Mirer ║

© Daniel Mirer, Shea Stadium, Players Walkway, from the series ArchitorSpace, 2003

© Daniel Mirer, Shea Stadium, Office Hallway, New York 2, from the series ArchitorSpace, 2003


“The “ArchitorSpace” photographs display a specific interest and fears I have about the banality of spaces such as those of enclosed areas. These places are typologies of contemporary postindustrial architecture that makes the individual so displaced within the uncanny. They are heavy with absence yet entirely familiar and forgotten places. These deserted (non-sites) environments reveal no history or functionality. These deserted environments, are places that architecturally reveal no history or functionality but subconsciously pointing out the familiarity within the redundancy within architectural space. Tunnels, corridors and waiting rooms that exist in the images are the enclosed public arenas in which you are exposed to the scrutiny of others. In addition, they reveal an emptiness that is particularly banal, and commonplace that has become a promenade state of mined in the post-industrial society.

I photograph these interiors from a direct, frontal point of view, at sufficient distance to include the entire space in its flat and melancholic state where the individual vanishes in the glare of fluorescent light. These are architectural portraits, in there seemingly a matter-of-factness, that demonstrate a primary function of the still photographic image: to record. They are spaces in which a room office or corridor is virtually indistinguishable from another, repetition and redundancy collapses into an architectural singularity. A subject who otherwise occupy these spaces are then engulfed into the void of here-could-be anywhere, into the monumental dissolution of space.”

Daniel Mirer

║ Ville Lenkkeri ║

© Ville Lenkkeri, The Collected Works of Lenin, from the series The Place of No Roads

© Ville Lenkkeri, Dead Domestic Plants II, from the series The Place of No Roads


“Two Russian communities on Spitsbergen have had their times of bloom. Now one of them is a ghost town and also the other one is running out reasons and will to exist. In this series these towns are studied subjec-tively as cases of risen and fallen utopias. Photographed on Spitsbergen 2003-. Work in progress.”
Ville Lenkkeri

To see more of Ville’s work click here

║ Michael Schnabel ║

© Michael Schnabel, Elephants/Rinoceri, Stuttgart, 2000

© Michael Schnabel, Monkeys, Stuttgart and Hannover, 2000


“German photographer Michael Schnabel’s large-format images of zoo interiors in Germany and Switzerland resonate with a minimalist beauty, which oddly emphasizes their mid-century modernist architecture.[…]
Like Elephants/Rhinoceri, Stuttgart, some of the spaces Schnabel photographed resemble indoor spas rather than cages. Some even have elements that suggest a posh lifestyle, such as an ornately tiled floor or wood slatted ceiling. In other pictures, even the metal bars form appealing, grid-like patterns.[…]
For one thing, there’s an overwhelming feeling of empty space, leading one to notice the conspicuous absence of the animals that are supposed to be living there. There are traces indicative of their presence–food troughs, bales of hay, wading pools, simulated habitats with logs and foliage. The photographs’ titles don’t give away what types of animals inhabit these spaces; one can only guess. Schnabel photographed in the early daylight hours when they were asleep. The stillness is soothing but unnatural, so you begin to wonder what it would be like to live there.”

Anne Martens

║ James Nizam ║

© James Nizam, Anteroom (pile of cabinets in room), 2007

© James Nizam, Dwellings #13, 2006

“James Nizam’s work reveals a fascination with the processes of change, decay, and reclamation within our built environment. His new series of colour photographs—shot inside abandoned houses slated for demolition—speaks eloquently about the booming real-estate market in Vancouver and the disappearance of modest, single-family dwellings from urban life. But his images also tell us something poetic about the relationship between people and the domestic spaces they fleetingly occupy.

The show clearly relates to Nizam’s previous series of chromogenic prints, shot inside the old Woodward’s building at night using found and ambient light. The images in Dwellings are also nocturnal and also employ a degree of ambient lighting. More importantly, however, the interiors are articulated by Nizam’s flashlight and caught by his camera’s extremely long exposure time. Essentially, the artist uses the flashlight like a brush, painting line, colour, and form into each scene. Some interiors are brightly and evenly lit, while others are draped in shadow. In others still, the flashlight outlines doors, windows, cabinets, and appliances, giving them an eerie glow.”

Robin Laurence

║ Richard Ross – Architecture of Authority ║

© Richard Ross, Guantanamo, Cuba

© Richard Ross, Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

© Richard Ross, Angola State Penitentiary, Angola Louisiana


“For the past several years—and with seemingly limitless access—Richard Ross has been making unsettling and thought-provokingpictures of architectural spaces that exert power over the individualswithin them.
From a Montessori preschool to churches, mosques, and diverse civic spaces—a Swedish courtroom, the Iraqi National Assembly hall, the United Nations—the images in Architecture of Authority build to ever harsher manifestations of authority: an interrogation room at Guantánamo, segregation cells at Abu Ghraib, and finally, a capital punishment death chamber.
Though visually cool, this work deals with hot-button issues: the surveillance that increasingly intrudes on post–9/11 life, the abuse of power, the erosion of individual liberty. The connections among the various architectures are striking; as Ross points out: “The Santa Barbara Mission confessional and the LAPD robbery homicide interrogation rooms are the same intimate proportions. Both are made to solicit a confession in exchange for some form of redemption.”
Book Synopsis

The full work can be seen here

║ Laurenz Berges ║

© Laurens Berges, Berlin – Karlshorts III, 1995

© Laurens Berges, Potsdam V, 1995

“Several images in the series record the intersection of architectural elements with the ground in harmonious if unspectacular compositions, pregnant with the implication of what might have occurred or still could occur there. In others, architectural elements enter into timid competition with nature, the separation of the two realms symbolizing the psychical compartmentalization of experience in general. Like Berges’ earlier studies of Russian barracks, these images derive their impact from inherent contradictions; where a quality of quiet permanence suffuses the abandoned interiors of the earlier series (initially constructed for occupation by German troops during the Wilhelminian and Nazi periods, the barracks then housed Russian troops, which, since the fall of the Wall, the reunification of Germany and end of the Cold war, have remained unoccupied), the photographs in this series demonstrate an almost epic grandeur in the ordinariness of their reality and a topicality in the mild outdatedness of their architectural detail. It is not coincidental that a sense of place derives from the confrontation of built and natural elements, that memory depends on the interplay of past and present and that both occur in conjunction with one another.”

Virginia Heckert

To read the full text click here
To view more of Laurenz’s work click here and here

║ Duarte Amaral Netto ║

© Duarte Amaral Netto, Growing Into

© Duarte Amaral Netto, Rumor

“In the new photographic series of works by Duarte Amaral Netto, the end of time seems near, doom and gloom awaits. Demolished office furniture in ruined interiors, by the hands of vandals maybe, or lvacated bya company now bankrupt or having moved to better locations. These photographs by Netto create a sense of nostalgia the seventies when all was still flourishing in that space.
Another series of works is about people and their relationships. In these images one gets the same emotional feeling as with the photos with the demolished office interiors. There was happiness once, but this has passed. Do the photos pretend that nothing is wrong with what we see: a party scene on a balcony but with guests standing on their own, a couple next to the swimming pool, sitting very close to each other but seemingly discontent. This is perhaps their one last effort at finding happiness, or resign themselves to a hopeless situation. Who knows…

More about his work can be seen here and here

║ Joseph O. Holmes ║

© Joseph O. Holmes, Ganmar Electronics (Bench #2), from the Workspace series, 2007 

© Joseph O. Holmes, Dominic, Third Avenue Scrap Shop, from the Workspace series, 2007

 

© Joseph O. Holmes, C & H Auto Repair, from the Workspace series, 2007

 

© Joseph O. Holmes, Tony, Ganmar Electronics , from the Workspace series, 2007

“The Workspace project is my ongoing attempt to examine the quasi-private spaces people carve out of their public work lives. Such spaces represent a tug of war between personal expression and comfort on the one hand and the unyielding demands of work on the other. The long-term accumulation of the tokens of that struggle, over years or even decades, can be formally beautiful in a very human and touching way. The project is part of a larger series in which I ask friends and strangers to open up private spaces to my camera.
Because I document a space exactly as I find it, never arranged for the camera, the Workspace project is necessarily a spontaneous process. I can’t, for example, call ahead and explain what I’m after without inviting the destruction of what I hope to capture. Lately I’ve been finding workspaces by walking in off the street with camera and tripod and simply asking (though “simply asking” doesn’t quite convey the complex dance of explanation, skepticism, persuasion, and fascination that goes back and forth). What I end up capturing, then, turns out to be the work that was interrupted to answer the door.”

Joseph O. Holmes

to view Joseph’s full body of work click here

║ Brad Moore ║

© Brad Moore, Trini Circle, Westminster, California, 2006 

© Brad Moore, Islands, Westminster, California, 2007
“These photographs were shot in modest, well-worn, suburban cities in central and inland Southern California. Built in the 50s and 60s, these cities provided a new home and future to a post-war population. While Southern California’s coastal cities flourish, cities in these inland counties struggle. Future prosperity and civic health seem to come primarily from growing ethnic populations, which are reviving and recreating these cities for their communities.
I grew up in North Orange County and attended school in inland Riverside County. After 25 years I returned, and was fascinated by their simultaneous decline and growth. I see these areas differently from places I have never been. Knowing what was, and now what is influences my approach. I’ve avoided traditional, documentary-style photography; instead I have photographed select buildings and shrubbery in primarily static, symmetrical compositions, reflecting change, irony and evolution.”

Brad Moore