A different kind of moonlight

21moonlight-master768

I’m just another lover of the art of moving pictures, so the Oscars, being about the movie industry, are usually not a place to look for references. Yet, I’m always aware, and I end up finding one or two things worth watching (usually the documentaries). This year, things couldn’t be weirder. Not only is Moonlight an originally brave movie, but I also find the rest of the movies in the competition particularly poor. Because of Moonlight’s director Barry Jenkins‘ choices the movie exists in a very singular dynamic, tense yet comfortable, with characters that survive the stigma of their racial and social condition and gain their own presence, their own sensibility, their own space inside the frame. The colors, the light, the way the camera follows this man’s growth, it’s poetical and yes, Hollywood  doesn’t usually go for that. I guess this year they did and for once the industry awarded truth and originality over spectacle.

© Bas Losekoot, from the project Christoforus (Christofers boarding school).
© Bas Losekoot, from the project Christoforus (Christofers boarding school).
© Bas Losekoot, from the project Christoforus (Christofers boarding school).
© Bas Losekoot, from the project Christoforus (Christofers boarding school).
© Bas Losekoot, from the project Christoforus (Christofers boarding school).
© Bas Losekoot, from the project Christoforus (Christofers boarding school).
© Bas Losekoot, from the project Christoforus (Christofers boarding school).
© Bas Losekoot, from the project Christoforus (Christofers boarding school).

Coming across Bas Losekoot‘s project Christoforus I couldn’t help remember the way Jenkins chose to tell the story of that boy, Chiron.

© Bas Losekoot, from the project The Urban Millennium Project: New York.
© Bas Losekoot, from the project The Urban Millennium Project: New York.
© Bas Losekoot, from the project The Urban Millennium Project: New York.
© Bas Losekoot, from the project The Urban Millennium Project: New York.

Regarding The Urban Millennium Project, Losekoot explains his approach:   

As a photographer I was initially trained in the studio. It was only later on that I got interested in urban photography, and I started to combine these genres and bring the lights to the streets. I began to imagine the city as a big studio and it citizens as actors. By approaching the street as a stage, it made me wonder if we might perform our lives. I started to read about performativity theory, for example by the sociologist Erving Goffman – about the presentation of self in everyday life. It seems, in daily life, we are performing social roles and we wear the appropriate mask for that. While commuting the city, we drop this mask and replace it for another one, the mask of ‘self-protection’. I am interested in this mask, because I believe it provides us a lot of information of the self and the construction of identity.

I have a background in cinema where I learned some lighting techniques. I consider my work to be documentary photography combined with cinematic light. I position my flashlights on the street, creating a designated zone where the protagonists are walking into my range of focus and exposure. The lights empower the capacity of photography to really freeze movement. The images suggest off-screen events since they are more about what is outside than inside the frame. They make you wander what just happened or is going to happen next. They are frozen moments that feel unreal – or ‘hyper-real’ as I like to consider them.

Next to the light I am drawn to the working of fast shutter speeds; the unique quality of photography to arrest movement. I try to capture offbeat moments that remain unseen at the everyday speed of life. Working with this apparatus I like the images to appear as film stills out of a non-linear urban continuum. I intend to slow people down and make them dwell on the meaning of inhabiting the new reality of fast growing cities.

to continue reading Losekoot’s great interview by Life Framer, click here.

 

Who’s your favourite photographer? they ask

It’s a question students often ask: who’s your favourite photographer? I don’t have one, nor do I have a favourite director, a favourite musician, a favourite writer and so on. It varies. Having said that, what students usually want when posing that question is to understand what kind of photographs I like, so I usually show them the work of a couple of authors I particularly respond to. For the past couple of years, Robert Zhao Renhui‘s work has been on the top of that list.

Sanne de Wilde, born in Antwerp in 1987, is an author’s who’s work I’ve also been following and her latest project is what brings me to this post. The Island of the Colorblind is a project that brings together the author’s style with the content’s uniqueness. As a result, we get an original aesthetic approach to this universe, being that “this universe” is both the dimension of the achromats as well as the dimension of the photographic language. They are both potentiated through de Wilde’s way of making: her choices regarding color, first and foremost, but mainly the way the “idea of color” contaminates the entire project.

Here’s an excerpt of de Wilde’s statement about The Island of the Colorblind:

In the late eighteenth century a catastrophic typhoon swept over Pingelap, a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean. One of the sole survivors, the king, carried the rare achromatopsia-gen that causes complete colorblindness. The king went on to have many children and as time passed by, the hereditary condition affected the isolated community and most islanders started seeing the world in black and white.

[…]

I tried to see the island through their eyes. Daylight is too bright to bear, moonlight turns night into day, colors dance around in shades we cannot imagine. Imagine flames lighting up in black and white, trees turning pink, waves of grey. A rainbow revisited. The islanders often refer to green as their favourite color, growing up in a lush environment, living in the jungle. But green is also the color that the most common kind of colorblindness (deutaranomaly, five out of 100 males) can’t distinguish. I learned that the color the islanders say to ‘see’ most is red. I photographed with a camera converted to infrared, programmed to read the light and the colors different. Nowadays a lot of the Pingelapese have migrated to Pohnpei, the nearest , bigger of the Micronesians island.

In a few months, The Island of the Colorblind will be published and we’ll be able to see it, contemplate it and discuss it properly. I’ll be back with more on the subject once it’s out. For now, a teaser:

© Sanne de Wilde, from the project 'The Island of the Colorblind'.
© Sanne de Wilde, from the project ‘The Island of the Colorblind’.
© Sanne de Wilde, from the project 'The Island of the Colorblind'.
© Sanne de Wilde, from the project ‘The Island of the Colorblind’.

≡ True color thinking ≡

For the past 4 years, in collaboration with two colleagues – Luis Pavão & Paula Lourenço -, I’ve been teaching Alternative Processes in Photography. One of the courses we used to teach was dedicated to Color Printing Processes, which I particularly enjoyed. About two years ago I decided to tattoo the color scheme on my hand, so I’ll always have a trace of how meaningful these years of teaching have been like.

tattoo_mao

I recently came across a new set of paints called Nameless Paints, by a young designer duo from Japan, Yusuke Imai and Ayami Moteki. Instead of carrying labels with their names, these paints have a deconstructed version of how colors come together to give birth to a new one. Unfortunately, and although I was supposed to be teaching Color Processing since September, we’ve been prevented from teaching, otherwise I would be using this set to show students how creative we can be when we think of color.

nameless-paints-1 nameless-paint-set-1-new

A color archive of the world from the beginning of the 20th century.

⁞ L’Hasard Photographique ⁞

hasard photographique_1Sofia Silva, Untitled, from L’Hasard Photographique, 2013/2014

hasard photographique_5Sofia Silva, Untitled, from L’Hasard Photographique, 2013/2014

hasard photographique_2Sofia Silva, Untitled, from L’Hasard Photographique, 2013/2014

hasard photographique_8Sofia Silva, Untitled, from L’Hasard Photographique, 2013/2014

hasard photographique_6Sofia Silva, Untitled, from L’Hasard Photographique, 2013/2014

hasard photographique_3Sofia Silva, Untitled, from L’Hasard Photographique, 2013/2014

hasard photographique_4Sofia Silva, Untitled, from L’Hasard Photographique, 2013/2014

hasard photographique_7Sofia Silva, Untitled, from L’Hasard Photographique, 2013/2014

٠ Embroidering photographs is more than a trend ٠

charlotte© Stacey Page, Charlotte.

paula© Stacey Page, Paula, 2011.

todd© Stacey Page, Todd, 2011.

Embroidered photographs have been a trend for some time now and Nihilsentimentalgia has featured examples of such work, like Maurizio Anzeri, Melissa Zexter, Julie Cockburn or David Catá. It so happens that the technique keeps coming up and their makers are enjoying a good deal of promotion and success, which doesn’t say much, since the art market is extremely easy to seduce and exploit, but it’s worth taking a second look.

02Meyer_New_JErseyII_Meyer© Diane Meyer, New Jersey II, from the series Time spent that might otherwise be forgotten.

12Meyer_TheWest© Diane Meyer, The West I, from the series Time spent that might otherwise be forgotten.

There is no denying that on aesthetic, formal and material levels, the result is grand and appealing: the combination of the flat old surface with the new textural one, the combination of the industrial and the handmade, the combination of desaturated images with vibrant thread colours, it all amounts to what seems to be a complex creation with different surfaces and different readings. But is that the case?

I recently cross paths with four more examples of authors working in the field that joins photography and embroidery, namely: Stacey Page, Diane Meyer, Laura McKellar and Hinke Schreuders. They share more than the technical approach to their work: they are all women, they intervene mainly in portraits (Diane Meyer being the exception, for she looks at architecture with a new look), they use striking colour and they mix the old with the new. The trend here is not so much the crossing between the mediums but the revivalist and nostalgic feeling which seems to be taking over all the cultural dimensions, from the visual arts to music and emphasis on fashion.

embroidery© Laura McKellar, Untitled, embroidery.

tumblr_ll2o3ftbQ01qk3loio1_1280 copy© Laura McKellar, Untitled, embroidery.

The fact that they share the same gender has a particular important dimension, for the work with thread is a form of affective labour, which productive value is hard to figure out. The relation between the worker and the work produced is literally bounded by a thread, so it confronts the prevailing idea of the alienated worker that is more of a manager than a producer of things (or ideas for that matter). Although most of these works have little else than their aesthetic surface, their biggest achievement is the evoking of the nostalgic feeling. The hyper-aestheticized surface of the digital photographs and the absurd use of photoshop tools have given a second life to alternative processes, for people lack a sense of materiality and the handprint of the author.

In one interview, author Melissa Zexter says: The photographs were also of anonymous figures and the sewing acted as a map or grid over the figures. For me, sewing was another way to build up a surface and to build upon the content of my photographs. I loved the meditative process of sewing – it was in such contrast to the technologically more immediate art of photography. I was also interested in how thread blended in and reacted to the photographs. The combination of sewing and photography brought together two very different processes that I love. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs and is a process that aids in the transformation of identity of the person or place being photographed.

[to be continued]

worksonpaper7© Hinke Schreuders, works on paper #7.

worksonpaper36 © Hinke Schreuders, works on paper #36.

worksonpaper37© Hinke Schreuders, works on paper #37.

٠ Balaclavas hit the beach ٠

51_4d022f9fecf00af1ffeb62af90344dda© Peng & Chen , from the series Face-kini

51_a4870e632ab6d052f18260c5d9cefd8e© Peng & Chen , from the series Face-kini

In China, it’s the height of the tourist season for Qingdao’s famed beaches. But while many of the town’s visitors want to enjoy the sand and water, they’re not so wild about sunbathing. So they often resort to a local tradition: the face-kini, a sort of light cloth version of a ski mask.

[…]

The beachgoers aren’t showing their support for the balaclava-wearing Russian band Pussy Riot. And , they’re not fans of the film Kick-Ass. Instead, the newspaper says, the head-cover reflects “an ancient sentiment in China, like numerous other countries: a terror of tanning.”

In many cultures, a tan doesn’t imply health and leisure, as it often does in Western advertising. Instead, it’s seen as a connection to outdoor work, and the peasantry. Preserving one’s pale skin, the thinking goes, implies that you lead a pampered, successful life.

51_aadccf86b6167e8ce5c09d5f2946a8b0© Peng & Chen , from the series Face-kini

51_b6815ab3cb124a8b380a5a97c8fa8e44© Peng & Chen , from the series Face-kini

٠ From maturity to sincerity: a glimpse at the art of documentary photography ٠

7.Julia_from_I_Have_Something_To_Tell_You© Adrain Chesser, Juliann (left) and Julia (right), from the series I Have Something to Tell You.

excerpt of Adrian’s statement:

When I tested positive for HIV and was diagnosed with AIDS, I had an extreme physical reaction whenever I thought about having to tell my friends and family. Looking at this reaction more closely, I realized that it was the same reaction I had as a kid whenever I had to disclose something uncomfortable to my parents, fearing rejection or even abandonment if larger secrets were revealed.

It occurred to me that it might be possible to overcome this paralyzing fear by photographing my friends as I told them about my diagnosis. I invited each friend to come to my studio to have their picture taken, a simple head shot for a new project. They weren’t given any other information. For a backdrop I used the curtains from the living room of the house I grew up in. I put everyone through the same routine, creating a formal process that proved to be transformative. At the beginning of each shoot I would start by saying, “I have something to tell you”.

Each sitter’s reaction was unique depending upon their own experience of loss, illness and death, creating a portrait of unguarded, unsettling honesty. As a collective, the body of work speaks to the universal experience. The phrase “I have something to tell you” is often the preface for life-altering disclosures: pregnancies, deaths, love affairs, illnesses of all kinds, winning the lottery. The phrase becomes a kind of mile-marker in a life, delineating what came before from what comes after.

Cowboys_from_Orange_Blossoms_Fire_Ants_And_The_Tyranny_Of_Memory© Adrain Chesser, Cowboys, from the series Orange Blossoms, Fire Ants, and the Tyranny of Memory.

Easter_Sunday_from_Orange_Blossoms_Fire_Ants_And_The_Tyranny_Of_Memory© Adrain Chesser, Easter Sunday, from the series Orange Blossoms, Fire Ants, and the Tyranny of Memory.

Fronds_from_Orange_Blossoms_Fire_Ants_And_The_Tyranny_Of_Memory© Adrain Chesser, Fronds, from the series Orange Blossoms, Fire Ants, and the Tyranny of Memory.

Graveside_from_Orange_Blossoms_Fire_Ants_And_The_Tyranny_Of_Memory© Adrain Chesser, Graveside, from the series Orange Blossoms, Fire Ants, and the Tyranny of Memory.

On_The_Day_I_Was_Raped_from_Orange_Blossoms_Fire_Ants_And_The_Tyranny_Of_Memory© Adrain Chesser, On the day I was raped, from the series Orange Blossoms, Fire Ants, and the Tyranny of Memory.

Self_Portrait_Crying_from_Orange_Blossoms_Fire_Ants_And_The_Tyranny_Of_Memory© Adrain Chesser, Self Portrait Crying, from the series Orange Blossoms, Fire Ants, and the Tyranny of Memory.

Sunday_Dinner_from_Orange_Blossoms_Fire_Ants_And_The_Tyranny_Of_Memory© Adrain Chesser, Sunday Dinner, from the series Orange Blossoms, Fire Ants, and the Tyranny of Memory.

The_Deluge_No.10_from_Orange_Blossoms_Fire_Ants_And_The_Tyranny_Of_Memory© Adrain Chesser, The Deluge No. 10, from the series Orange Blossoms, Fire Ants, and the Tyranny of Memory.

Adrian’s statement:

In 2000 I decided that I would return to where I grew up, to photographically document what it was like in to live in a small town in South Florida at the turn of the millennium. After shooting for a month, deeply disturbing memories from my childhood began to surface, which triggered a nervous breakdown. When I returned home I went into therapy. It occurred to me that if I could make a photographic representation of these specific events from my childhood, I could own them outside of myself as an object and that these memories would no longer hold a shadowy power over my subconscious.

From 2001 to 2011 I returned to Florida at least once a year to make images with friends and family. I would either recreate specific events or I would stay present in my process for images to arise that could hold the emotional weight of memories that remained half shrouded. In the end what I remembered was my resilience and defiance as a child in the face of an overwhelmingly large and seemingly unsafe world. What that came to mean for me as an adult, was the realization that the spectres of my past had no real substance, as if they were only made up of vapor and light.

٠ Sculpture & Photography: a love affair ٠

What follows is a selection of photographs from this year shortlisted photographers for one of the most coherent photo-festivals in Europe: Hyères. As is made very clear by the following selection, this prize is also an elegy to the long lasting love affair between photography ans sculpture, with a particular emphasis on the fusion between subject and object (or should I say ‘the crisis of identity’), that has been growing for the past couple of years and ends up being materialized in the form of a mask.

pap05© Marie Rime, both images Untitled, from the series Symétrie de pouvoir, 2013.

arm05© Marie Rime, Untitled, from the series Armures, 2013.

masque03© Marie Rime, both images Untitled, from the series Masques, 2011.

0003© Lorenzo Vitturi, Untitled, from the series Dalston Anatomy, 2013.

cocco© Lorenzo Vitturi, Untitled, from the series Dalston Anatomy, 2013.

oriannelopes-1© Orianne Lopes, Untitled, from the series Les Mélanies, 2013.

Untitled2_retouche_web© Orianne Lopes, Untitled, from the series Pellis Armatura, 2012.

gods-high-4_0© Anna Grzelewska, Editorial work.

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg© Birthe Piontek, Untitled, from the series Mimesis, 2013.

2© Birthe Piontek, Untitled, from the series Mimesis, 2013.

tumblr_mw7kvf4dDz1qc41cro1_500© Osma Harvilahti, Untitled.

london_ 076© Osma Harvilahti, Untitled.

61_web6© Virginie Rebetez, Untitled, from the series Under Cover, 2013.

61_web10© Virginie Rebetez, Untitled, from the series Under Cover, 2013.

٠ The near distant future through the eyes of Spike Jonze ٠

hermovie poster

Spike Jonze’s new movie “Her” is a must see! First and foremost because it is an original script, both in the sense that it is new and also in the sense that it is unique, thought-provoking. Because the work is Spike’s own vision of the sort of relationships human will develop with machines in the near future, there is nothing like it. It is an alternate reality but we can all see the proximity between the real, the fiction and the imaginary here.

Its originality is a breath of fresh air; its cinematography (by Hoyte Van Hoytema, also responsible for “The Fighter”) is astonishing; the poster is the best I have seen for a long time, both because it is a crazy good portrait, but also because it really speaks about the core of the movie; the cast is ok with Joaquim Phoenix making such a good performance that one wonders whether any other actor could have played that role, being so fragile, so happy and volatile at the same time.

In conclusion, this movie is about intimacy and the liberty to bound with another person far beyond gender definitions and what normality and morality establish as the correct/incorrect ways to behave/act/be…

٠ Melissa Zexter’s click and stitch: a marriage made in heaven ٠

0x550© Melissa Zexter, Brooklyn Bus Map, from Maps and Memories. Gelatin Silver Print + thread.

0x556© Melissa Zexter, Color Eye Chart, from Maps and Memories. Gelatin Silver Print + thread.

0x559© Melissa Zexter, Cardinal, from Embroidered Portraits. Gelatin Silver Print + thread.

0x5566© Melissa Zexter, Leopard, from Embroidered Portraits. Gelatin Silver Print + thread.

0x5599© Melissa Zexter, Schoolgirls, from Embroidered Portraits. Gelatin Silver Print + thread.

0x55333© Melissa Zexter, Bizzard Lovers, from Other Landscapes. C-print + thread.

0x5598© Melissa Zexter, Willows, from Other Landscapes. C-print + thread.

[…] For me, sewing was another way to build up a surface and to build upon the content of my photographs. I loved the meditative process of sewing – it was in such contrast to the technologically more immediate art of photography. I was also interested in how thread blended in and reacted to the photographs. The combination of sewing and photography brought together two very different processes that I love. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs and is a process that aids in the transformation of identity of the person or place being photographed. […]

I take and print all of my photographs. Some of the photographs are digital prints and others are gelatin silver prints that I make in a darkroom. I take the pictures first and then decide how I am going to change them with the addition of sewing. The thread acts as a connection between the person and myself or place that I have photographed. I always think of the photograph as something from the past and the thread as a reaction to the past and present. The thread makes the photograph more personal to me and allows me to meditate on the image. Combining the two mediums (photography and sewing) allows me to reinvent the photograph; to visually react to a person or a place.

excerpts from an interview published at TextileArtist.org

┐ roots & fruits #15 – Nuno Venâncio └

141_1it reads: We are looking for the sky in between the leafs. Text by Boris.

6913_13it reads: Here, the sun gives us no light, only new shadows. Different ways to face the darkness. Text by Boris.

19217_7it reads: People insist on coming to meet our gaze, invading it. Text by Boris.

2329© Nuno Venâncio, from the series 10 Metros de Cabo/10 Meters of Cable.

Here, easy beauty is eliminated, fulminated, by force, through chock and discontinuity.
Here, there’s no attempt to make sense. We try for symmetry not in the form but in the content – there are casual symmetries in the photographic objects, particularly in those where there is no such deliberation – the irony of everyday events (the symmetry with people is something no one looks out for in the everydayness, except in a staging situation or with some pervert god).
Photographs per se are not symmetrical, there’s no effort to achieve such a valance. In fact, they are askew. The relations between the objects. Everything with its notorious everydayness: each image the start of a journey, coming from a primary need to find out what is around us, in front of us, and grasp it, so that it helps with location, knowing where to go and understanding other places.
There is a constant demand, a quest for something to call our own or something we miss; there is also a searching for a moment, that special visual glimpse, that we can keep before it turns into something else. As if hastily looking for a piece of paper where to hastily scribble in order not to lose a single detail.

Text by Boris, 2013; translation by Sofia Silva.

┐ 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

┐ Hannah Villiger (1951-1997) └

© Hannah Villiger, Untitled, 1980 – C-print from Polaroid

© Hannah Villiger, Sculptural, 1993

© Hannah Villiger, Untitled, 1980/81 – 12 C-prints of polaroids

“When trying to describe physical feelings of any kind, we find ourselves shortchanged by language. I arrived at this conclusion after several, always hopelessly crude attempts to describe
fundamental moments in Hannah Villiger’s oeuvre. The public-at-large is quite capable of registering feelings of repulsion or extreme empathy when blood flows in the movies, when some-one is cut or surgery is performed, or when faced with eroticism, vertigo on a lookout tower or sports—all points on a scale that are clearly designated and defined. But in between lie immense micro-regions, dead lands, where words fail. This is the territory that Hannah Villiger explores. With a well-honed consciousness she masterfully negotiates the overall system of obstruction (of hindrance and enfeeblement). When communication is constantly kept in check, metaphor comes to the rescue. Perhaps this is why Hannah Villiger’s work seems so womanly and so strong.
It is conceivable that the vertigo caused by verticals (at the edge of the abyss) has a gentle partner in horizontals. A kind of window feeling. When it is very intense, you feel it in your nostrils, your ears, your chest or (in connection with speed) your bottom. The fixed point is not the abyss but the horizon. When I was a child and we went for a drive on Sundays, I would sit in the backseat and imagine—especially in fast curves—that I was riding a bicycle because I was never given one. Hannah Villiger can do it without a bicycle. That’s what I have to think of when I see her photographs of gushing water, swift birds or colliding boccie balls. And there is also the mute, squat airship, suspended in the sky, or the burning palm leaf thrown into the air. Here pleasurable and extremely subtle use is made of the potential of empathy, which in turn makes us aware of our own potential and position as part of a greater whole.
Hannah Villiger’s much enlarged color Polaroids no longer record the vehemence of directly transmitted physical sensations; they have quieted down. “He had teeth like luxury hotels on the beach in Florida and when he closed his mouth, there was a big scar.” (Laurie Anderson) These color photographs, usually one meter square, gradually turn into boxes the longer you look at them. Boxes into which you poke your head very, very slowly without noticing, because the pull is so gentle. And damp fog, pointed palm leaves, skin or gazes brush against us, passing by. But there are also pictures whose energy is directed outwards, pictures that radiate, so that we already notice from afar that we are being kept at bay. These are the cold pictures, like the eye with a razor-sharp gaze. Once you have stood in front of them, you know that the format of these photographs is incontestable.
Sometimes the subject matter of a picture ignites feelings; other times it is a vessel or a catchment for them. In memory such distinctions are often utterly irrelevant. For this reason, Hannah Villiger’s wooden or plexiglas objects crop up again in her photo works. Is Hannah Villiger the fog creeping around the mountain, or is the fog enveloping her? Movement back and forth, sudden clashes and leaps, simultaneous flowing and flying flit through Hannah Villiger’s work until a compact whole emerges—like her name HANNAH…” HANNAH and the Horizon, by Bice Curiger

more of Hannah‘s work here

┐ roots & fruits #11 – Tiago Casanova └

© Tiago Casanova, all Untitled, from the project The Unknown Island

“The airplane begins to descend. Madeira is down there. From far we can understand the feeling that the fifteenth century discoverers had when they saw Madeira (= Wood) for the first time, and from there we can easily guess the origin of the name. An intensive tropical vegetation fills and covers the island of green, but I cannot help but noticing the various urban clusters, scattered houses, roads and highways and the megalomaniac construction of the new airport. The constructed confronts the natural on a dual mode. Large scars are open, but the consummation of the act makes the built elements part of the landscape. This new landscape causes both fascination and disbelief and it is as beautiful as ugly. (…)”

09/11/11 – (1st Day) – *Excerpt and Polaroids from my Travel Diary do Madeira Island

To see more of Tiago‘s work go here

┐ roots & fruits #1 – Ana Marta └

© Ana Marta, Untitled, from the series Palm Trees don’t belong here, Porto Santo, Portugal, 2012

© Ana Marta, Untitled, from the series Palm Trees don’t belong here, Porto Santo, Portugal, 2012

© Ana Marta, Untitled, from the series Palm Trees don’t belong here, Porto Santo, Portugal, 2012

© Ana Marta, Untitled, from the series Palm Trees don’t belong here, Porto Santo, Portugal, 2012

“Porto Santo is a summer tourist destination on the island of Madeira, appreciated for its natural resources, particularly for its beaches. However, in winter, this fascinating place is forgotten and left to cry (…) The title “Palm Trees don’t belong here” is a metaphor for the occupation of the territory and the marks left by humans in nature.
The Palm Tree, an exotic imported species, is a counterpoint to the Dragon Tree, a local indigenous species and one of the symbols of Porto Santo. The work focuses on the control and occupation of a space with its geographic, physical, social and economic limitations.”

Ana Marta’s statement

Despite her young age, Ana Marta has been working with photography for more than a decade. During these last few years, the expected mutations of a path made out of enthusiasm and discovery, have given way to a strong aesthetic and a very cohesive evolution in the way she is learning to deal with her subjects.

Today, the way in which Ana Marta merges social matters with a careful composition of the landscape where they belong denotes the same careful way with which she observes the world and the place each occupies in it.

In the coming years, I would expect Ana Marta’s craftiness and courage will help her portray, report, denounce and add content to our visual realm. The documentary style can be redundant, and so can be working in series, though here we will not run that risk given that these images now made cautiously will soon become fearless and turn out to be what they were always meant to…

by Sofia Silva

The rest of the series can be seen here

┐ Rachel Bee Porter └

© Rachel Bee Porter, #2, from Subzero

© Rachel Bee Porter, #10 (Lemon Meringue Cake with Key lime Tartlets and Margaritas on the rocks), from he Joy of Cooking

© Rachel Bee Porter, #3 (Blackberry Pie), from Wallflowers

“Having grown up reading a multitude of home and lifestyle magazines, my work confronts the expectations that developed from buying into the alluring photographic fantasies of the pristine and perfect domestic life. I devoured every issue of Martha Stewart Living that I could find. Drawn in by the beautiful eye-catching photographs, I absorbed all of the tips, tricks and how-tos in those pages because I was convinced that I would need them someday.


Using the skills that I learned from years of reading these magazines, I bake elaborate cakes which I then throw into carefully constructed scenes and photograph the aftermath. By appropriating the lush, brightly colored imagery of magazines and perverting it, I explore the aftermath of unfulfilled expectations.


This disillusionment manifests itself in a playful, yet irreverent defiance. I subvert the delicately crafted trompe l’oeils found in commercial and editorial photography by corrupting domestic strategies. Through the intermingling of creation and destruction, I explore the reality beyond the glossy varnish and the destructive consequences of disappointment.


Using a cross-disciplinary approach that combines aspects of performance, sculpture, and painting, I create colorful domestic scenarios that serve as the stage for my actions. I photograph these scenes using a 4×5 camera. Afterwards, I scan the film and create large-scale digital c-prints. My work is an ironic commentary on the picture-perfect world created in the glossy pages of lifestyle magazines and the frustration that ensues from trying to attain it.”

more of Rachel’s work here

┐ Edmund Clark └

© Edmund Clark, Inmate’s table, from the project Still Life Killing Time

© Edmund Clark, Stairwell, from the project Still Life Killing Time

© Edmund Clark, Shared Room, from the project Still Life Killing Time

© Edmund Clark, from the project Still Life Killing Time

“Edmund Clark’s Still Life: Killing Time is a quiet meditation on the slowness, the fabric and the accoutrements of prison life for elderly inmates. It was two years in the making.(…)

The only statement I can find directly from Clark, the photographer, is worth meditation.

What you can see in the pictures is to what extent they are engaged with their routine, and on top of their regime and what sort of engagement they have with time. One man, who wore a long grey beard, coped with the passage of time, as far as I could see, by disengaging with it completely. He spent most of his time sitting in his chair … He just sat and disappeared within himself. After about a year I could go and talk to him, and this man was clever, he’d been a captain in the merchant navy and had sailed around the world. I asked him once what was the best place he’d been to and he lifted his head and said, ‘Sao Paulo, I loved Brazil …’ And then suddenly this life came out, his life was all there, hidden away. The bulldog clock on the book cover belonged to him, it was one of his prized possessions.

Apparently, Clark created this body of work spurred by reports from the USA about mandatory sentencing under “Three Strikes Laws” and the consequent swelling of America’s prison population. Clark engaged with Britain’s aging prison population in direct response to demographic disasters in American penal policy.(…)”

excerpt of article by Pete Brook, in Prison Photography. continue reading here

More of Edmund’s work here