≡ The Hyères School of Photography ≡

My love for the Hyères Festival is known. I’ve written about it and have featured a great deal of the authors shortlisted each year. The judging panel has been responsible for issuing a statement about what they want to see in contemporary photography and it has been bold and exciting, for Hyères always awards an experimental attitude towards the medium itself, as well as valuing innovation and creativity. Amidst the past festival judges “we can randomly mention Urs Stahel (Fotomuseum Winterthur), Marloes Krijnen (FOAM, Amsterdam), Dennis Freedman (W, New York), Charlotte Cotton, Glenn O’Brien, Marta Gili (Jeu de Paume, Paris), Jörg Koch (032C, Berlin), James Reid (Wallpaper*, London), Frits Gierstberg (Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam), Kathy Ryan (New York Times, New York), David Campany (London), Joerg Colberg (Conscientious), Charles Fréger (photographer, France), Erik Kessels (KesselsKramer, Amsterdam), Brett Rogers (The Photographer’s Gallery, London), Karen Langley (Dazed, London), Winfried Heininger (Kodoji Press, Switzerland), Damien Poulain (Oodee, London), Jason Evans (photographer, United Kingdom), Mutsuko Ota (IMA, Tokyo), etc.

What follows is my selection of work from the 10 authors shortlisted for Hyères 2015.

I – Oezden Yorulmaz

5© Oezden Yorulmaz, Untitled, from the series Ed Meets Jack, 2013.

6© Oezden Yorulmaz, Untitled, from the series Ed Meets Jack, 2013.

excerpt from Hyères’ press release:

Oezden Yorulmaz is interested in how photographical images play an important aspect of self-definition within the western society he cohabits. He plays in his work with the borders and the limitations of photography’s try to represent reality. He often uses himself as the main protagonist and creates male performs that is acting a narrative or mental state within the space of images or locations.
In Ed Meets Jack he created a fictional story, told through a series of photographs, which resemble a sequence of film stills. By using props or costumes he is trying to create a persona or situation that is aiming to reproduce an authentic atmosphere that only exists within in the space of the image. The photograph acts as a springboard between his performance and the observer and is limited to each one own presumption and experience.

II – Filippo Patrese

patrese_filippo-3© Filippo Patrese, Settembre 1977, from the series Corrections, 2014.

patrese_filippo-1© Filippo Patrese, Febbraio 1983, from the series Corrections, 2014.

III – Thomas Rousset

hyeres_01_news© Thomas Rousset, Untitled.

1074720© Thomas Rousset, Untitled.

1074713© Thomas Rousset, Untitled.

IV – Jeannie Abert

1jeannieabert-champ-de-bataille© Jeannie Abert, RÉVOLUTIONS, 2011. Collages sur papier.

c2_624© Jeannie Abert, COVER. Collages sur papier, incrustations diverses et brou de noix.

4-x_800© Jeannie Abert, COMPILE POUR UN AMNESIQUE, 2015 (en cours).

Jeannie’s statement:

I take photography as my starting point as a database of experimental research which I see as a raw material that I then manipulate. I search in pre-existing iconographic banks and appropriate the images. Thumbing my nose at the screen, a paradigm of the contemporary view, I question the images by bringing them back to a materialstate. There are so many axes and interpenetrations which define a genetically hybrid operation – contact photography, scanned, printed, photocopied images, reproduced so much so as to lose their definition – material – grain – frame photography which can meet up with drawing – painting – textiles. My intention is to stimulate the regard by changing the points of view. I play with the production and diffusion processes of the image. I question the medium of photography by trying to build a “play area” which could open new visual preoccupations.

V – Sjoerd Knibbeler

sjoerd-knibbeler-003© Sjoerd Knibbeler, Current Study # 3, 2013.

sjoerd-knibbeler-018© Sjoerd Knibbeler, Skyline, videostill, 2013.

sjoerd-knibbeler-010© Sjoerd Knibbeler, FW-42, from the series The Paper Planes, 2014.

excerpt from press release @ Unseen Photo Fair Amsterdam:

Knibbeler is working independently again, on a quest to capture wind. He tries to make the impossible possible by simulating tornados, folding model airplanes and trying – literally – to capture air. The model airplanes, all of which are based on designs that were never airborne, provide a context insinuating the impossibility of his quest. But parallel to these experiments he created video work showing an aerobatics pilot practicing his flight patterns on ground. In this work the complexity of the matter becomes tangible and the research of the contemporary experience of nature suddenly reappears. In November, LhGWR will present Knibbeler’s first solo show.

VI – Sushant Chhabria

ILMtext-637x800© Sushant Chhabria.

ilm_exhbit-1000x730© Sushant Chhabria, installation view, 2015.

chhabria_sushant-1© Sushant Chhabria, Untitled, 2015.

ilm_13-584x800© Sushant Chhabria, Untitled, 2015.

VII – Wawrzyniec Kolbusz

12-833x1024© Wawrzyniec Kolbusz, Untitled, from the series Sacred Defense.
wawrzyniec_kolbusz_sacred-defense_14-834x1024© Wawrzyniec Kolbusz, Untitled, from the series Sacred Defense.

wawrzyniec_kolbusz_sacred-defense_07-1024x834© Wawrzyniec Kolbusz, Untitled, from the series Sacred Defense.

Installation-View-of-Sacred-Defense-by-Wawrzyniec-Kolbusz-Wroclaw-SEP-2014-f1-1024x683© Wawrzyniec Kolbusz, installation view from the series Sacred Defense.

excerpt from Kolbusz’s statement @ Format Festival:

Sacred Defence, embedded in the Iranian post-war reality of the Iraq-Iran war (1980– 1988), is a story of producing artificial war images and reconstructing historical events to create a group memory. It is questioning whether reconstructed evidence is still evidence. It not only traces the existing modes of construction of fake war narrations. It also creates new war-related simulacra in digitally amended satellite images of nuclear installations. Hence, testing further the notion and limits of artificial evidence.

Sacred Defence is a game, in which images make us believe we see the war. We are looking at illusions, however. We follow how the war simulacra of social and political importance are being created within different spaces. A cinema city, constructed only for the purpose of shooting war movies, is a self-referencing space, created not to be experienced itself, but to become an image of war. Museums mimic the wartime reality in the smallest detail; wax figures of particular martyrs allow a meeting with fallen heroes again; and plastic replicas of antipersonnel mines sold as souvenirs.

From a play between the evident and the non-evident, author leads us to the point where he creates new simulation. He amends satellite images of Iranian nuclear installations with mutually exclusive versions of air strike destruction. Buildings destroyed in some images stand intact in others – parallel versions of the same event are presented on a single satellite map. Author is producing a ‘proof’ of an event that never happened despite being discussed in media.

VIII – Polly Tootal

picture_054print30x24c© Polly Tootal, #20406, 2014.

cf013534r44x59insq© Polly Tootal, #43534, 2014.

bcf013839_1r© Polly Tootal, #43839, 2014.

excerpt from an essay by Matthew Parker about Tootal’s work:

Polly Tootal is a photographer of British landscapes, yet the landscapes she registers are not likely to be found in any popular chronicle of the land, rejecting as they do the obvious beauty or grandeur of things and instead existing in the spaces in-between, the ones that are passed through every day, so nameless as to be embedded deeply into our consciousness and then forgotten. Perhaps this is why then, despite their surface anonymity, they all seem so uncannily familiar to me.


It’s no surprise to discover the Bechers are an influence, but compared to their typological surveys, her project is loose, deceptively objective, varying from image to image. Not concerned with the repetition of specific elements. Not so narrow in its vision. Instead, with each unique image, there’s a subtle vein of drama, an eye open to the strange and the exotic, the mundane and the obscure. Not limiting herself to specialised projects or adhering to restrictive formal rules, she instead takes an interest in atmosphere, humour, light and tone, looking to craft a delicate mood or declare a truth about a place. The ultimate goal is of a complex story, a vast and wide-ranging index of the British landscape and a store of unrelated yet connected images.

Common elements hold the project together. The images often lie upon thresholds and boundaries, liminal zones, between urban and rural, leisure and industry, lived in and discarded. Polly is interested in “places where abandoned industry mixes with functioning architecture and development, spaces left awaiting completion or areas of recent renewal.” Whether suburban, urban or rural, the subjects have, for the most part, been seen from the road; discovered and observed from the inside of a car. This might be another reason for the strange familiarity the images possess, their sometimes-disturbing déjà vu. I think to myself, how many times have I passed this place? Unknowingly drinking it in and storing it inside. Warehouses, business parks, shopping centers, waste-ground, motor- ways, car parks: the non-places that quietly fill up our lives, the sites of transience. Maybe I’ve seen none of them, but I am certain that I know the Little Chef, this stretch of motorway, that patch of industry, this housing estate.


And what has been left outside? Well, people, of course. There are no people in these landscapes. There are no moving objects either. There are no bustling, vibrant markets. And there are no stunning vistas that haven’t been touched by the modern world. If there is woodland there is a motorway bridge towering behind it in monumental silence, if there is a valley there happens to be a cement factory, if there is a quarry there is a housing estate it seems to be at war with. But for all these things it’s the absence of people that I find most interesting. Despite these being landscapes I feel as if they should be there. I find myself yearning for them. But I admire the fact that they will not come. Human portraits are not needed. If you know how to look, these rigorously poetic landscapes tell a story enough.

IX – Evangelia Kranioti

695ff4d5c22e8242ba64d8ee85bfd28b© Evangelia KraniotiFrom Lagos to Rio – end of sea passage, 2010, from the series Exotica, Erotica, etc.

502d1520ef9b8689e48a48d7deb1f9ff© Evangelia Kranioti, Buddha of the main engine, 2012, from the series Exotica, Erotica, etc.

7e2f10d380416ee7b341cec930747b2b© Evangelia Kranioti, Desert on board, 2011, from the series Exotica, Erotica, etc.

excerpt from press release @ Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève:

At the heart of Evangelia Kranioti’s research are the notions of desire, wandering, and return to one’s origins. Inspired by the work of the Greek writer Nikos Kavvadias, Kranioti questions the male-female relationship through the fleeting loves of sailors in ports, terrae incognitae where the magic of wandering still operates.
The documentary essay Exotica, Erotica, etc. is the culmination of a long-term project undertaken over four years, during which she followed the crews of the Greek navy worldwide and spent months in the company of the women they frequent.
Through the stories of Sandy, former Chilean prostitute and those of these souls in perpetual homelessness, Kranioti poetically depicts the romantic imaginary of the sea, its tragic heroes and its forgotten loves.

X – David Magnusson

Purity-DM-028-560x700© David MagnussonJamie & David Clampitt, Shreveport, Louisiana, from the series Purita.

Purity-DM-005-560x700© David Magnusson, Will & Nicole Roosma, Tucson, Arizona, from the series Purita.

Purity-DM-027-560x700© David MagnussonJenna & Jeff Clark, Chandler, Arizona, from the series Purita.

excerpt from Jessica Valenti’s article Purity balls, Plan B and bad sex policy: inside America’s virginity obsession:

«The men and girls in the photos hold hands and embrace – the young women are in long white dresses, the men in suits or military regalia. If some of the girls in the pictures weren’t so young – Laila and Maya Sa up there are seven and five years old, respectively – the portraits could be mistaken for wedding or prom pictures. What they actually capture, though, are images of those who participate in purity balls – father-daughter dances featuring girls who pledge to remain virgins until marriage and fathers who promise to protect their daughters’ chastity.

The images from Swedish photographer David Magnusson’s new book, Purity, are beautiful, disturbing and tell a distinctly American story – a story wherein a girl’s virginity is held up as a moral ideal above all else, a story in which the most important characteristic of a young woman is whether or not she is sexually active. This narrative of good girls and bad girls, pure girls and dirty girls, is one that follows young women throughout their lives. Purity balls simply lay that dichotomy bare.


Magnusson says he hopes his pictures elicit empathy,not judgment: “As I learnt more, I understood that the fathers, like all parents, simply wanted to protect the ones that they love – in the best way they know how.”

I have no doubt that families who participate in purity balls are doing what they think is best for their children – but that doesn’t make them any less wrong. When we teach girls that their virginity makes them special and valuable, we’re sending the simultaneous message that without their virginity they are tainted and damaged.»

≡ This Sunday, while cleaning up my bookmarks ≡


Vasantha_Yogananthan_01PiŽmansonVasantha_Yogananthan_16all images © Vasantha Yogananthan, from the series Piémanson.

For Piémanson, photographer Vasantha Yogananthan documents the last free beach in France, capturing the vibrant community that emerges on its shores each summer. Every May, the idyllic beach, located the Camargue Regional Nature Reserve, opens its ten kilometer expanse to campers, who build temporary lodgings out of tents, recreational vehicles, wood, and plastic sheeting.
From 2009-2013, Yogananthan became a regular at the Piémanson, living, eating, and sleeping with its diverse group of residents for two weeks at a time. Inspired by the uncertain future of the beach, which will likely be shut down by the French government in the coming years, Piémanson preserves the memories of the three generations of Europeans who have traveled to its shores since the start of the camping tradition in the 1970s.”excerpt from FEATURESHOOT article Magical Photos of Families Camping on Piémanson Beach in the South of France by Ellyn Kail.


Santiago Sierra, 133 Persons Paid to Have their Hair Dyed Blond, 2001.


New-York-Times-Moment-in-TimeA Moment in Time: Earth covered by stacks of virtual photographs corresponding in location to where they were taken by Lens readers [New York Times] at one “Moment in Time”, 2010.


Jean-François-Lecourt-Shot-into-the-camera-1987-©-Jean-François-Lecourt-Image-courtesy-of-The-Photographers-GalleryLecourt-Image2all images © Jean François Lecourt, from Le tir dans l’appareil photographique, 1980-2010.

The artist wields his camera as a gun and a gun as a camera, all targeted at his own nude body in an act of simultaneous destruction and creation.

Lecourt was inspired by old fairground games that still occasionally pop up around mainland Europe. In the game the participant is given a rifle and must shoot at a target mounted in the fairground stand, if they hit the bullseye, a camera automatically shoots a picture of them shooting the target.

Lecourt created a large, lightproof box to house a sheet of photosensitive paper, a kind of pinhole camera without the pinhole. He then stripped naked and fired a shot at his home made camera, simultaneously piercing the camera and the paper behind.” excerpt from the article I Quite Like Art Photography by Thomas O’Shea.


self-taught-perfectly-timed-street-photography-china-tao-liu-3self-taught-perfectly-timed-street-photography-china-tao-liu-32self-taught-perfectly-timed-street-photography-china-tao-liu-33all images by Tao Liu.

Just a few months ago, Tao Liu was another face in the crowd, a man reading water meters for a living with his camera usually somewhere nearby. Today, Liu is known for so much more after some of his pictures went viral and caused quite a surprise in China.


a selection of work from the Finalists of Grand Prix Fotofestiwal 2015.

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all images by Ksenia Yurkova, from the series Love Demands Reality.

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all images by Delphine Schacher, from the series La mécanique céleste.

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all images by Cyril Costilhes, from the series Grand Circle Diego. Complete series HERE.

“Buried beneath its wild undergrowth and savage natural beauty, the Madagascan town of Diego Suarez hides many secrets. In 2003, whilst riding his motorbike home from Le Grand Circle Diego casino one evening, Cyril Costilhes’ father was involved in an accident that left him crippled with front lobe dementia. As a result, just over 10 years later, Costilhes has returned to shoot the mysteries of the land that snared his father’s sanity. The French photographer recorded his findings in his new book the Grand Circle Diego – and the results are dark, twisted and startling. Opening with an ominous quote from Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness, it reveals a nightmarish new side to an otherwise idyllic town. Obscured and captionless images of discarded bones and facial deformities flicker to torn flesh and blood pools as Costilhes battles with his demons and revisits his father’s old home. We spoke to him about his inspirations, his discoveries and the difficulties he faced in the process.”excerpt from DAZED article Shooting a cursed town, by Dominique Sisley.

⁞ How Kalen Hollomon’s collages reflect the general confusion about the core of a subversive attitude ⁞

Trying to make a point with digital cut and paste, here are excerpts of reviews and interviews with collage artist Kalen Hollomon, accompanied by images of his playful work.

kh3© Kalen Hollomon

kh1© Kalen Hollomon

NYMAG: […] Hollomon claims it’s been “embarrassing” to take the iPhone photos that garner him thousands of likes each day and says he’s not interested in deconstructing materialism — “I love the price of things!” Instead, he seeks to create “sexy, but unsettling” combinations of men and women. […]

Alex Ronan: What is it about high fashion interests you?

Kalen Hollomon: I get to force the collaboration that happens between the designer and the person wearing the clothes. I used a photograph of a homeless man, gave him a pair of heels, and added the world Chanel. Suddenly, the guy looked fabulous. That’s what fashion does.

kh2© Kalen Hollomon

DAZED: The unorthodox and taboo are thoroughly explored through New York-based artist Kalen Hollomon’s tongue-in-cheek collages, which seek to blur the boundaries of prefixed homogenisation permeating our society. Hollomon’s subjects range from subway riders juxtaposed with clippings of cut out nudes and unassuming street-goers superimposed onto Celine, Prada and Chanel advertising, which sell for $300 a piece. “I am always concerned with what lies beneath the surface – with relativity, perception, sexuality and pop culture,” says Hollomon. “My images are reality manipulation, manipulating other people’s identities. The idea of and ability to alter the value or meaning of an image or object by adding or subtracting elements is really exciting to me – adding or taking away elements from something until it becomes the sexiest it can be at that moment.” […]

Kalen-Hollomon-Collage-16© Kalen Hollomon

THE EDITORIAL MAGAZINE: Kalen Hollomon (@kalen_hollomon) is taking collage to New York City’s streets and its underground, superimposing clippings from fashion and vintage porno magazines onto unsuspecting subway riders and mundane city scenes. […] It’s clear that many of the people don’t even notice they are getting their picture taken – who can really tell the difference between someone snapping a pic or playing candy crush during their commute? It’s that candidness that lends these images their power, and by mixing in collage, Hollomon adds a surreal wit to this new genre of social-documentary photography. His photos are really funny, especially the ones where he superimposes naked butts onto unassuming pedestrians, creating the same simple absurdity as that Kids in The Hall “Headcrusher” skit where Mark McKinney squints his eye and squishes people’s heads between his thumb and forefinger. […]

Whitney Mallett: But you’re both remixing fashion imagery in a way [reference to Joel Kyack]. Do you see collage as having a radical or disruptive potential?

Kalen Hollomon: I try to create something that looks beautiful. You can create a powerful image that at first looks nice and maybe is a bit funny but if you look a bit deeper, it also might have something more to say than that. And to make someone question like, why they find it attractive, for them to say, “this looks great but wait it’s weird, I shouldn’t think this looks attractive, but I do.”

kalen6© Kalen Hollomon

kalen-holloman-051© Kalen Hollomon

COMPLEX: […] Collage artist Kalen Hollomon is not only able to sell his work on Instagram, he’s used the platform to build a community of engaged fans and get covetable commissions. This year, he’s Capsule New York’s Spring/Summer 2015 featured artist, where he gets to employ his signature style of uniting vintage fashion advertisements, porn from the ’80s and ’90s, and found photography. […]

Cedar Pasori: What intrigues you about combining the past and the present with your art?

Kalen Hollomon: It’s the potential to alter perspective or perception of both the past and the present. If it was sexy then, it’s sexy now. There’s maybe a different presentation, but there’s still that feeling, and it’s exciting to see past and present interact with each other.

Cedar Pasori: In drawing out “what’s beneath the surface” with your work, how do you aim to do this with men’s style and masculinity, specifically?

Kalen Hollomon: I try to celebrate masculinity and at the same time make it sexy in a feminine way — a type of non-aggressive masculine sexuality. I’m attracted to achieving this with minimal changes, something as simple as putting a pair of heels on a gentlemen; that can really change the vibe of an image.

10607968_298795413633933_547278544_n© Kalen Hollomon

THE STANDARD: […] Hollomon’s is a brilliant and timely innovation, one that seamlessly merges high and low to maximum WTF effect, and subversively undermines our ordered sense of reality. Seemingly effortless, a closer look reveals a methodical, canny eye for composition, a surrealist bent, and a cutting wit. The result has been a steady buzz in both the Art and Fashion worlds, and 70,000+ followers who get a kick out of his trickery. […]

⁞ On the use of Collage as a subversive tool ⁞

picasso-1912-still-Life-with-Chair-Caning-1st-collage-synthetic-cubismPablo Picasso, Still-life with Chair-caning, 1912.

breakfast-by-juan-gris-0803Juan Gris, Breakfast, 1914.

soldier-of-the-first-division-1914Kazimir Malevich, Soldier of the First Division, 1914.

kurt1Kurt Schwitters, Merz Picture 32 A. The Cherry Picture, 1921.

approaching-puberty-webMax Ernst, Approaching Puberty… (ThePleiades), 1921.

mernst_coupleMax Ernst, The Couple, 1923.

tumblr_loq0ueui2l1qb0z6go1_500El Lissistszky, Tatlin at Work, 1921.

MW_5Robert Motherwell, View from a High Tower, 1944–45.

staedel_gegenwartskunst_hains_raymond_coupdepiedfusstritt_1960Raymond Hains, Coup de Pied (Kick), 1960.

HUGN_2_WR_HUGNET_LGGeorges Hugnet, Mademoiselle Lachèvre, 1947.

HUGN_3_WR_HUGNET_LGGeorges Hugnet, C’est ainsi qu’il lui advint…, 1947.

France_and_the_World__Bogota__Le_France_et_le_Monde___2011Joel-Peter Witkin, Le France et le Monde, 2011.

jpwitkin1Joel-Peter Witkin, Woman with small breasts, 2007.

seydel8Robert Seydel, Book of Ruth, 2010.

seydel5Robert Seydel, Book of Ruth, 2010.

380x500x20_03_v2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.FQ97A90UgcAnthony Gerace, Untitled.

379x500x20_02_v2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.DkT7G_k-l_Anthony Gerace, Untitled.

noah davis frogsNoah Davis, Frogs, 2011.

The-Acts-of-Mercy-Burying-the-dead-nr.8 copyLuuk Wilmering.

The-Acts-of-Mercy-Giving-to-the-Thirsty-nr.3Luuk Wilmering.

٠ The ‘ancient’ art of cut & paste (using one’s own hands, if you can imagine) ٠

c_02_hunde© Christine Gensheimer, Hunde, 2007. Photo-collage.

c_09_eberhard© Christine Gensheimer, Eberhards, 2010. Photo-collage.

Fauve© Maria Kassab, Fauve. Paper collage.

Sans Titre© Maria Kassab, Sans-titre. Paper collage.

Slow This Bird Down-01© Maria Kassab, Slow This Bird Down, 2013. Photo-collage.

6© Isabel Reitemeyer, Herr A. und Frau I., 2008. Collage.

2© Isabel Reitemeyer, Frau L.. Collage.

14© Isabel Reitemeyer, Auf dem Arm. Collage.

5© Isabel Reitemeyer, Im Dienst. Collage.

٠ Love & Chance ٠

Chance having been defined as “the encounter of an external causality and an internal finality,” we have to ascertain whether a certain kind of “encounter” – in this case the essential one, that is, by definition the most subjectivized one of all – can be considered under the angle of chance without our immediately seeming to be the question. in L’Amour Fou, by Andre Bréton

GMA 3988© Georges Hugnet, Portrait automatique de l’automate d’Albert-le-Grand [Automatic Portrait of the Automaton of Albertus Magnus], 1938

81.187_01_d02© Georges Hugnet, Initiation préliminaire aux arcanes de la forêt (First Initiation to the …, 1936

GMA 3989© Georges Hugnet, Untitled (Suite of Collages), n.d.

Era nosso propósito situar o debate a um nível sensivelmente mais elevado, ou seja, em suma, no ponto fulcral daquela hesitação que nos assalta o espírito ao pretendermos definir o que será o «acaso». Haviamos previamente estudado a evolução, assaz lenta, de tal conceito, ate aos nossos dias, e assim partíramos – da ideia antiga que o encarava como uma «causa acidental de efeitos excepcionais ou acessórios, revestindo a aparência da finalidade» (Aristóteles), passáramos depois a ideia de um «acontecimento provocado pela combinação ou o encontro de fenómenos pertencentes a series independentes na ordem da causalidade» (Cournot), ideia de um «acontecimento rigorosamente determinado, de tal modo, porem, que uma dissemelhança extremamente pequena nas suas causas redundaria numa diferença considerável, no domínio dos factos» (Poincare), até chegarmos a concepção dos materialistas modernos, segundo a qual o acaso seria a forma da necessidade exterior se manifestar, ao abrir caminho através do inconsciente humano (isto para tentar interpretar e conciliar, com uma certa audácia, o pensamento de Engels e de Freud, sobre este assunto).in L’Amour Fou, by Andre Bréton

hugn_34_wr_hugnet_spumiferes33© Georges Hugnet, Le Pyrodon Glaciare [The Pyrodonic Iceling], from the series La Vie Amoureuse des Spumifères [The Love life of the Spumifers], 1947-48

hugn_55_wr_hugnet_spumiferes19© Georges Hugnet, La Bisquelle Rieuse [The Laughing Duowatt], from the series La Vie amoureuse des Spumifères [The Love Life of the Spumifers], 1947-48

hugn_15_wr_hugnet_spumiferes38© Georges Hugnet, La Mailloche Dorée [The Golden Meshlican], from the series La Vie Amoureuse des Spumifères [The Love Life of the Spumifers], 1947-48

┐ Laurie Kang, multiple folds and a print └

IMG_9213sm© Laurie Kang, Untitled, C-print, 2013

Untitled04sm_905© Laurie Kang, Untitled form (Sufficiency), Chromogenic paper, clamp, nail, 2012

RES01_905© Laurie Kang, Untitled Forms (Sufficiency) Chromogenic paper, nail, clamp and C-print, nail, clamp, 2013

01psychogeography© Laurie Kang, Psychogeographic Waterfall, C-prints, 16″ x 20″, 2011

full01SM_905_905© Laurie Kang, Confused archive, 2013

IMG_9246sm_905© Laurie Kang, Natural Image (Unknown duration, Found paper and binder’s board, 2013

Laurie’s website here

┐ Caitlin Rueter └

How To Be is a series of exercises that revisit and reimagine early 19th century primers for “young ladies.”

I stumbled upon these manuals while researching 19th century etiquette books. Most include etiquette but only as part of a more comprehensive course of education. They were intended for upper-class girls and women who had few opportunities for formal schooling. Instead, girls took their lessons from these books, serials and pamphlets and from their mothers or older sisters at home. The manuals include subjects ranging from etiquette and fashion to archery and riding, from botany, entomology and mineralogy to painting, dancing and embroidery. Each was meant to help a young woman navigate society and to keep her occupied, to battle the boredom that could lead to rebellion or other transgressions.

How To Be uses these young ladies’ manuals to address themes of gender, class, and the dialogue between personal and political histories, identity and space. I methodically select and execute lessons from the primers, consider them in their historical context, then reconsider and reconceive them in the context of my own history. The first three exercises in the series are currently on exhibition at O’Born Contemporary. Lesson I: Ablutions, Lesson II: Moral Deportment, and Lesson III: The Cabinet Council, introduce central themes of the project.

Lesson I: Ablutions (9 works)
Ablutions takes as its starting point early 19th century instructions for developing a sense of “style.” I have paired self-portrait photographs with illustrations of period hair arrangements and headdresses taken from one of the young ladies’ manuals.

94_ablutions12web© Caitlin Rueter, Ephemeral Fashion and Personal Peculiarities, 2012

94_ablutions181920web© Caitlin Rueter, A Moderate Share of Popularity, 2012

Lesson III: The Cabinet Council (9 works)
The cabinet is “a secret receptacle, a repository… a small private chamber or room… a room devoted to the display of works of art; a gallery” or “the council-chamber in which the inner circle of government meet.” A bedroom can be all of these things, a microcosm of the home and a safe, autonomous space.
In this exercise I have captured images of girls’ bedrooms from television shows that I watched as an adolescent; shows that purported to guide their audience toward specific ways of being. I have removed the figures from each of the stills and inserted images of objects that form my own private spaces.

93_caitlin-004web© Caitlin Rueter, Exquisite Specimens of the Different Styles to Which They Belong, 2012

93_caitlin-006web© Caitlin Rueter, Let Us Resist All Euphonious Temptations, 2012

more of Caitlin’s work here

┐ Sara Rahbar └

© Sara Rahbar, Untitled, from the series Love arrived & How red, photography, 2008

© Sara Rahbar, Trapped in Dark Night with Nowhere to Run, I Have Died a Million Times Every Night in this Bed (left) + Kurdistan Flag #5 (right), from the series Flags, mixed media + textiles, 2005-2010

© Sara Rahbar, Solitary (left) + Anonymously yours (right), from the series Confessions of a Sinner, mixed media, 2011/12

Rahbar seems to meditate on the flag like a monk would stare at an icon. “It represents my father and so many, many promises and hopes of tomorrow … It represents endless possibilities, escapes, and mirages … it’s a very loaded image for me,” Rahbar explained. “Years and years of memories, experiences and attachments, and what is the work but a direct reflection of my life? What I’m focusing on, and what is boiling, twisting and turning inside of me.”


“And I remember how I worked on one of my first flags. I was traveling from Tehran to Kurdistan with Hossein a very dear friend of mine. He was going to work as a soundman for a film and I was going to photograph Kurdistan and try to figure out my next project and what to do with the rest of my life.”

“We lived in Kurdistan together for months, I would write, take photographs and gather random found objects and textiles that were used for donkeys and horses and sew them onto my flag. I would sit somewhere, sew for a bit, roll up the flag, put it in my backpack, and continue to take photographs, everything was on the go and very natural and in the moment. I worked to work out the turbulence that existed within me; I was healing myself and at the same time communicating an immense pain as I always am with my work. The work is a byproduct of me; emotionally and mentally, it keeps me together. I take care of it and it takes care of me.” excerpt of article by Hrag Vartanian, in Hyperallergic. continue reading here.

More of Sara’s work here

┐ Jane Hammond └

© Jane Hammond, Self-Portrait with Twin, 2011

© Jane Hammond, Face Facts, 2006

© Jane Hammond, The Touch-Up, 2009

© Jane Hammond, Cabrito, 2007

© Jane Hammond, Chai Wan Three, 2008 all selenium toned silver gelatin prints

“The photographs grew out of the scrapbooks, also. I began collecting photos to put in them, and quickly became obsessed with all the different depictions of the same thing. Soon, I had hundreds of snowmen pictures. I began collecting many more snapshots, other peoples pictures, and soon borrowed lots of my family’s own pictures. I began to think about them and in my mind’s eye I saw pictures, photographs with the appearance of photographs, that I didn’t actually possess. As you might have a dream which combines several otherwise incompatible aspects of your waking life, I saw photographs that were combinatorial and wove together things from different times and spaces.

I set out to make these photographs which were in my head. I sought the advice of many technical experts and created a way to make silver gelatin prints “actual photographs” of something that never happened.” Jane’s statement, 2007

More of Jane’s amazing body of work here

┐ Deborah Bohnert └

© Deborah Bohnert, Untitled, from the series Bohnert and Bohnert, 2005

© Deborah Bohnert, Untitled, from the series Bohnert and Bohnert, 2005

© Deborah Bohnert, Untitled, from the series The Little People, 2009

© Deborah Bohnert, Untitled, from the series The Little People, 2009

“…Dada had long operated according to the principle of instability, blurring distinctions between art and mass media (in photomontage), art and mass production (in the readymade), and intention and reception (in public provocations and spectacles). In 1921, Roman Jakobson characterized the movement as “transrational”—an indulgence in sheer relativity and paradox—citing Tristan Tzara as support: “I am against all systems, the most acceptable system is to have no system at all.” Framed by flou, Man Ray’s equivocations—photography is not art/photography can be art/art is not photography—strike one as a form of discursive repurposing that recalls the readymade, or at the very least, a cultivation of irrationality commensurate with automatic writing. What appears at first to be a show of dogmatic inconsistency is in fact an instance of Dada blur and flux, activated by a form of crit ical recycling that would later come to be called détournement—not a negation, precisely, but an intervention or interleaving of new forms into old that is put in play to expose conventional demarcations as redundant. “And yet you still paint?” “Yes . . . to persuade me of its inanity.”


The photographic medium further underscores the references to mass media: like the newspaper, it is itself a form of technological reproduction, and like the news, it is valued for its immediacy. Instantly obsolescent, all bear the double intimation of a frozen present, simultaneously past. Likewise, photographs prove to be the perfect analog to the automatic text in its relation to unconscious processes: inclusive of all that appears in the camera’s viewfinder, mechanically made “memory-records” constituted by visual residue. Deserved or not, photography’s reputation is still that of being an unmediated print—a myth that is foregrounded by the relative directness of the photogram process. The absent camera is replaced by mechanical actions: picking up trash at random on the street, drawing newspaper fragments from a bag . . . or, in Man Ray’s case, absent-mindedly misplacing objects in a developing tray.” excerpt from the article Flou: Rayographs and the Dada Automatic, by Susan Laxton, published in OCTOBER 127, Winter 2009, pp. 25–48.

more of Bohnert‘s work here

┐ Melinda Gibson └

© Melinda Gibson, from the project Photography as contemporary art, 2011

© Melinda Gibson, from the project Photography as contemporary art, 2011

If Melinda Gibson’s photomontages look familiar, don’t be surprised. A flash of Ed Burtynsky here, a slice of Juergen Teller there, they are all made up of elements of some of the major works of the 1990s and 2000s, culled from the pages of The Photograph As Contemporary Art. Written and edited by Charlotte Cotton (former curator at the V&A and LACMA, and now creative director of the UK’s National Media Museum), it is one of the key texts for students starting out in photographic education. Which is precisely why the 26-year-old, who graduated from London College of Communication in 2006 and is now a visiting lecturer herself, chose to use it.

“I wanted to produce a body of work that was original – unique pieces unable to be reproduced – which in turn commented on the availability of photography in our heightened digitalised age. I also wanted to provoke questions about copyright and ownership through the re-appropriation of imagery. What is important to me is questioning the medium and the conventions that surround it, examining these and suggesting other ways to view them.”
Using just a scalpel, an adhesive and “a lot of patience”, she took the book apart (…)

But, as she has already hinted, there’s another, more critical purpose to the work, in particular the way such books serve to canonise particular photographers and images. “What I find frustrating is that the same images appear and re-appear every year at [educational] institutions. As you wonder through the different degree shows, you feel as though you have seen it all before – just modern takes on Martin Parr, Stephen Shore or Nan Goldin. What crossed my mind was whether these institutions are to blame for this, or whether it is truly impossible to produce something new. In my view, the canonisation of such sources acts as a hindrance to creativity, where people feel they have to produce something similar to be accepted or understood.”

in British Journal of Photography. Continue reading

Melinda’s blog here

┐ Julie Cockburn └

© Julie Cockburn, The Veil, Embroidery on found photograph, 2011

© Julie Cockburn, The Astronaut, Embroidery on found photograph, 2011

“The loss of, or manipulation of, the human face is the most disturbing and fascinating aspect of Cockburn’s work. These faceless or masked portraits me of John Baldessari’s manipulated mass-media images. He often used colored dots, or other means, to cover faces, interrupting the viewer and de-personalizing the image. But Cockburn’s photographs seem to have the opposite effect. She often embroiders or cuts out shapes into a complex pattern, and this record of tedious physical labor draws me into her images. Furthermore, whereas Baldessari begins with mass media, Cockburn often begins with a portrait, or something that appears to come from a personal photo album. Still the manipulating work that Cockburn does on the photograph creates a barrier between myself and the subject, but this barrier is no greater than the history that already divides me from this image of yesteryear.

Her work strikes me as, metaphorically, having something to do with memory. Her “hand crafted” photographs point towards the intensely personal and perspectival nature of our memories. As we process and understand our experiences, does memory obliterate reality or is memory itself an act of discovery? It seems significant that many of her chosen photographs include women. This intensifies both the manipulative and hand-crafted nature of her work. Is memory — is history — gendered, and what control do those who are remembered have over those who are remembering?”

source: Transpositions, excerpt from text by Jim Watkins

More of Julie’s work here and here

┐ Luuk Wilmering └

© Luuk Wilmering, Call it by it’s name nr. 1, from the series Birds need shelter, 2011

© Luuk Wilmering, Birdhunters, from the series Birds need shelter, 2011

“Luuk Wilmering‘s latest series, Bird Needs Shelter, was largely created during his work period in the Holsboer studio in the Cité des Arts, Paris, in 2010/2011.
Bird Needs Shelter is concerned with the duplicitous character of man‘s dealings with nature. In this four-part series, birds and our relationship with them form the central subject. The series shows how man, through ‗abuse of power‘, causes the extinction of certain species, how birds are hunted and how they should be properly served and eaten. However, the series also shows the possibilities of escape: the ‗egghouses‘ and the birds that disappear into nature and are cut out and doubled by the artist.
The structure of the work is defined by four imaginary personages, each of whom stands for a certain mentality: the gastronome, the scientist, the hunter and the artist. Around these characters, Wilmering has spent two years making four installations, which connect and refer to each other.
For this series, which is not yet completed, Wilmering has realized more than a hundred drawings, coloured-in photos, designs and collages, and has made hundreds of photos, including many taken in the Musée d‘Histoire Naturelle. A selection from this recent work is presented in the exhibition Une histoire naturelle.”

source: Institut Neerlandais

Luuk’s website here with a couple of very interesting projects