٠ Reina’s Altered States ٠

43_at002© Francisco Reina, from the project Altered States

43_at007© Francisco Reina, from the project Altered States

43_at011© Francisco Reina, from the project Altered States

43_at014© Francisco Reina, from the project Altered States

A minimum amount of truth is necessary to justify the communication of any kind of information. To tell the truth is often very difficult and even when a lie is told by omission of certain information can result in an accusation of being guilty of hiding the truth. Additionally, manipulation can be defined as the act of representing something false as real, a negative as positive, a degradation as beneficial.

In every society there is a general need to achieve both economic and political power and when these two forces come together to rule the State, manipulation is implemented to turn people into subjects, potential voters or consumers. Some of the political and commercial strategies are very familiar with this strategy of manipulation and are constantly focused on supplying society with enough sensuality to keep the citizens´ animal sensitivity alive. The most well known form of manipulation is lie.

Current society would not exist if people did not have reciprocal trust. Manipulated language can be received with confidence and good faith and eventually people may be guided not by the truth, but by the manipulator´s intentions. Therefore, each of these manipulations is a lie servicing the social realm.

The picture of the world that is constantly being shown to us has nothing to do with reality because the truth about every single event is buried under a mountain of lies. This system has reached extraordinary success at creating a dissuasion from the menace of democracy and what is really interesting is that this has been achieved under the banner of “freedom”. Reina’s statement
“From all illusions the most dangerous one consists in thinking that there is only one reality”
Paul Watzlawick

25_absence-001© Francisco Reina, from the project Absence

25_absence-007© Francisco Reina, from the project Absence

25_absence-008© Francisco Reina, from the project Absence

With Absence we venture into the forest. […] A place where man abandons all his beliefs, yielding to the uncertainty of destiny. Here, the notion of a forest, as a part of a landscape, ambiguously stands for two separate things at once. It is, on the one hand, a particular physical place and, on the other, it is a figurative representation, a construct of the mind in which the dreams and desires that have made their way inside are participants. Here we are offered an actual forest. This is where our fears, hopes, and desires are hidden. It is a world in which the idea of presence turns absence into a corporeal being.

Absence has now become a black mass whose human or animal silhouette warns us of the real possibility of our desires materializing in one form or another. We are left with the possibility of deciding whether what we see is, was, or will be what we are seeing. Hence, the relation between man and forest is cast within a long running story “a story of looks” in which spectator and scene are directly related and where the subject’s gaze helps to construct the landscape lying right before his or her eyes.Reina’s statement

More from Francisco’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

┐ Ananda Serné └

© Ananda Serné, Untitled

© Ananda Serné, Untitled

Sometimes I see images in my head and then I draw them, but only with the intention to make a photo later. I almost never take a photo spontaneously.

Ananda’s site here

┐ Isabella Rozendaal └

© Isabella Rozendaal, Sedated and shaved, ready for castration, from the project On Loving Animals

© Isabella Rozendaal, from the Hunting project

Irony is part of Isabella’s projects portraying animals, either as objects of love or as desirable preys. Hunters will argue no one loves animals as they do. I find this such an absurd statement I don’t even argue with them. Her images manage to highlight several incongruities in these supposed loving relationships with animals. The ownership seems to liberate a perverse sense of power; the same happens with propriety. Here is no different.

For more of Isabella’s words and pictures here

┐ Wyne Veen └

© Wyne Veen, Modern Art

© Wyne Veen, Plant Hair

“My central theme is uselessness. I feel that life is ridiculous. The products and arrangements I show are a reflection of investments of time and effort by men. They show the development of our society just like the old 17th century famous Dutch still lives did. But I don’t see this development as something to be proud of, I think it is way over the top. So I criticise it. I often wonder what on earth people are occupied with while there are so many better things to do. I don’t want to define these better things, because it’s up to people themselves. But I am quite sure it won’t be creating another plastic peach.”

source: Triangulation blog

Wyne’s site, full of beautiful and creative imagery (on the topic, of course)

┐ 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

┐ Daria Tuminas └

© Daria Tuminas, Untitled, from the series Ivan and the Moon

© Daria Tuminas, Untitled, from the series Ivan and the Moon

© Daria Tuminas, Untitled, from the series Ivan and the Moon

“Ivan is the elder, he is 16. Andrey, nicknamed Moon, is the younger, 14 by now. The two brothers live in a distant village in the northern part of Russia. They are not like regular teenagers, and live in a fairy tale world, yet deeply connected to nature: they go hunting and fishing, can use a joiner’s chisel, play with ghosts at abandoned places, do not want to move to a city, and love nature. Mature and childish. Naive and enigmatic. In this ongoing project I want to show the mysteriousness of the world of these brothers.

The narrative in ‘Ivan and the Moon’ is neither chronological nor event related. It does not have a strict and one-way-to-read plot. All the images are connected to each other on the level of correlated motives and on the level of hypothetical story interpretations. Each picture is supposed to provoke some inquiry about ‘What is going on?’

Moreover, the two brothers are reflections of each other. Many people might even think that they are twins. The main corpus of works contains their individual portraits, so that it is no longer clear who is who. It was also important to show that the world around the boys is itself magical and their games and fantasies are consequences of being a part of this world.

My aim is to follow the brothers through their life (I met them at a folklore expedition) and ‘document’ things that are impossible to document: the world of a boy’s fantasies, ghosts, gods, spirits of specific places, magic itself. Such things usually can not be literally depicted. As J. Szarkowski stated in his famous work ‘Mirrors and Windows’: ‘most issues of importance cannot be photographed’. My goal is to try to photograph the ‘unphotographable’ side of the matter and challenge some formal criteria of ‘classical’ documentary.”

Ivan and the Moon can be seen here

┐ Koen Huaser └

© Koen Hauser, Untitled, from the series Kosmoz, 2005

© Koen Hauser, Untitled, from the series Kosmoz, 2005

“Kosmoz deals with notions of autism and auto-symbolisation of the self in the portrait genre. Following the visual aesthetics of early psychiatric research, characters were shaped into their self fulfilling appearance by means of digital two-dimensional sculpting.”

More of Koen’s work here

║ Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek ║

© Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek , 19. Vagabonds, from the project Exactitudes, Rotterdam 1998

© Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek , 96. Cassettes gang, from the project Exactitudes, London 2008

“Ari Versluis is the photographer behind Exactitudes, a long-running photographic series that documents and classifies everyday individuals in their social contexts. Together with profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek, Ari places a  similar group of individuals in a uniform framework, uniting them in their similar features while celebrating the small differences in their genetics, cultural uniforms and shared histories. A contraction of the words ‘exact’ and ‘attitudes’, Exactitudes is a study in humanity – an anthropological journey through cities, towns and villages, through class systems and neighbourhoods and family groups.”

source: a blog curated by

The Exactitudes project can be seen here

║ Emmeline de Mooij & Melanie Bonajo ║

© Emmeline de Mooij & Melanie Bonajo, Untitled, from the series Bush Compulsion, a Primitive Breakthrough in the Modern Mind, 2008-2009

© Emmeline de Mooij & Melanie Bonajo, Untitled, from the series Bush Compulsion, a Primitive Breakthrough in the Modern Mind, 2008-2009

“Melanie Bonajo and Emmeline de Mooij (1978), who are based in Amsterdam, graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy with diplomas in 2002. Emmeline started creating installations, while Melanie began experimenting with photography. However, both share an approach that is close to performance, often using their bodies in their mises en scène. It would thus be inappropriate to try to associate their work with a particular medium. Accustomed to artistic collaboration, they have joined forces for the project ‘Bush Compulsion: A Primitive Breakthrough in the Modern Mind’, which is being presented at the festival. The artists ask whether the comforts of modern life have caused us to lose our links with nature and its manifestations, disease and death. Has this interconnection been lost for good? Melanie Bonajo and Emmeline de Mooij shed their clothes and every other artefact of daily life, and, naked, they spend their days in the wood. Masks, fetish objects and adornments recall the society that they left behind at the edge of the forest: these new savages are adorned with bubble wrap and motorcycle helmets. The artists experiment; their sincere approach combines artistic genres seamlessly, as they decorously tread the fresh earth. “

source: Hyères 2009

More of Emmeline’s work here

More of Melanie’s work here (and one previous post about her here)

║ Lucia Ganieva ║


© Lucia Ganieva, Untitled, from the series The Factory


© Lucia Ganieva, Untitled, from the series The Factory

Factory is a series of photographs taken in a textile factory in the city of Ianovo, some 275 km north east of Moscow. Ianovo was known as ‘the city of brides’, as the majority of the population was made up of women who worked in the textile industry. In the age of the Tsars, the then village was the centre of the industry in Russia, with all kinds of cloth being manufactured in more than 30 plants. These days, however, due mainly to the competition from countries with low labour costs, such as China, almost all of the factories have had to close. At the moment, no more than handful are still active. Despite this there is hope that these plants last a while longer.”

Lucia Ganieva

To see more of Lucia’s work click here

║ Gert Jan Kocken ║

© Gert Jan Kocken, from the series Amsterdam
Hotel Prins Hendrik, On the night of May 12th-13th Chet Baker, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, falls from this hotel window

© Gert Jan Kocken, from the series Amsterdam
On june 11 2001 Herman Brood commits suicide by jumping of the roof of the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel

To see more of Gert’s work click here

║Astrid Kruse Jensen ║

© Astrid Kruse Jensen, Green Street, from the series Imaginary Realities

© Astrid Kruse Jensen, Kasse, from the series Imaginary Realities

“By focussing on its less familiar aspects the space suddenly becomes alien. The elements we usually use to find our bearings are either hidden or distorted in the ‘artificial’ light. One of the results is that the viewer can begin to doubt the scale and dimensions of the image, as in Kasse and an image like Train Stop when seen just after Miniature World. Are we in a miniature model universe or the real world? Kruse Jensen’s photographs thus also question how we sense and experience our surroundings with both our bodies and our eyes. Her camera has ‘body’ – this is not a superficial gaze. Yet the images don’t only deal with the outside world at a phenomenological level. Their scenic quality also explores how space itself [architecture, fixtures, landscapes, etc.] influence the ways in which we interact. Her staging of a space reveals patterns of movement and social power structures not normally visible.
Louise Wolthers

To see more of Astrid’s work click here

║ Rob Hornstra ║

© Rob Hornstra, Untitled #15, from the series 101 Billionaires, 2008

© Rob Hornstra, Untitled #13, from the series 101 Billionaires, 2008

© Rob Hornstra, Untitled #7, from the series 101 Billionaires, 2008

“Under Vladimir Putin’s rule, Russia has reclaimed its position among the superpowers of the world in the past eight years, the economic recession and the tumultuous nineties seemingly all but forgotten. Thanks to the country’s huge abundance of raw materials such oil and natural gas, the Russian economy is flourishing as never before. After a mere 18 years of capitalism, the January 2008 issue of Finans Magazine reported that there are currently 101 billionaires in Russia. It is difficult to detect much prosperity in the book “101 Billionaires”, which portrays an entirely different segment of the Russian population. Far away from the glitter and glamour of Moscow, the world’s most expensive city, we find the impoverished Russians, victims of the ‘tough-as-nails’ capitalism with which Russia made its name immediately after the fall of Communism.”
Rob Hornstra

To see more of Rob’s work click here