Saturday, 18 December 2010

Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz

When we think of snow globes we tend to think of cozy miniature worlds; that kitschy souvenir from childhood that took its pride of place on top of the TV, occasionally picked up, shaken and marvelled at in wonder as the snow flakes swirled round and round before eventually falling onto fairytales scenes, Jesus in a manger or The Statue of Liberty. Yet Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz’s appropriation of the snow globe in their art is less about the sentimentality of tacky memorabilia than the effects of toying with the implicit innocence of these familiar objects by creating strange scenarios within them.

At first glance Martin and Muñoz’s snow globes recall the pleasant feeling we have when it snows. An atmosphere in which silence prevails, a time when people are generally in their homes, the animals are resting and even nature itself seems asleep. However upon closer inspection it quickly becomes apparent that the winter fantasy has been somewhat skewed. Not everything seems as it appears: small acts of cruelty, violence and even dark humour come forth to captivate our imagination. Trapped in these snow globes are men and women seen alone or at the mercy of others, lost in a bleak, largely nocturnal landscape straight out of the ‘dead’ of winter. These are momento mori, weirdly reminiscent of the morbid scenes from the Coan Brothers modern masterpiece, Fargo. Travelers is at the same end of the spectrum as the film; an offbeat pseudo-moralist parable that forgoes the boundaries between horror and humour, and that is set in a whitewashed, winter wilderness wherein people are gripped by the cold storm of life as various atrocities unfold around them.

In this photographic series we come across thoroughly malevolent deeds such as a burly man dangling a child over a well or a man pushing a naked woman up to the edge of a glacier. Elsewhere however, images which show a large headed boy banging his forehead against a tree or a couple slow dancing in a cemetery are simply absurd. And while several photographs are particularly horrifying, such as the one of the man in a suit who has hung himself from a tree as the horse that carried him there moseys away, others are hilarious; the figure tipping his hat to another figure tipping his whole head being just one example. Some on the other hand are just downright scary, as is the case with the photograph of a giant spider hunting a helpless man or the one that depicts a procession of villagers wielding torches and heads on stakes. These are like crime scenes that would have perhaps better remained hidden but instead are put on full view before the mantle of snow covers up any traces that these wicked deeds ever took place.

Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz explore the human condition through an unsettling slippage of reality and fantasy. Paradoxes abound and so the works leave an ample space for interpretation in our minds to complete them. Travelers has a rich texture of ideas, references, memories and dreams but ultimately it is the suspension of disbelief that is the key to their reception and meaning-the odd experience of an everyday household object revealing itself to us as something more surreal totally stumps our expectations. This wonderful synthesis of the familiar and the strange is the linchpin of their work.

As many as 750 art works have been made by this artist team for Travelers. Their working method is clearly as painstaking as it is prolific, the end photograph being just the tip of the iceberg. After spending hours scouring model-making shops for tiny figurines the artists then take them apart, cut them up, paint them and finally reassemble the various body parts, often with oversized limbs or heads, to create the desired effect for their tableaux. Likewise all the elements used to create the barren environments require painstaking precision: spindly branches, trees empty of their leaves and other sparse shrubbery are fashioned out of plumbers’ epoxy (a malleable plastic that can be easily manipulated in order to imitate wooden parts) before being pieced together and covered in water resistant resin. Water mixed with a small measure of alcohol that acts as a preservative are used to fill the orbs so that they are finally ready to be photographed. By using a Mayima camera with a macro lens, bare backgrounds, shallow focus and uncanny illumination to photograph these snowy little worlds the resulting images simultaneously seduce and startle the viewer. Paloma Muñoz compiles hundreds of complimentary images in the process which are then enlarged into prints of enormous size.

The artists have been working together since 1994, having met one year previously when Muñoz was accompanying her mother on a trip from Madrid to New York for a painting show in which she was exhibiting. Not long after they were living and working together. According to them, the pivotal moment in their lives and in the development of their work according to them was when they lost their studio in Brooklyn to a developer in 2001. As a consequence of this they experienced a long period of time constantly chopping and changing their work space until they finally settled into a charming farmhouse in the highlands of East Pennsylvania. It has now not only become ‘home’ but also a great source of inspiration too since their huge studio windows afford a stark vista of snow-covered trees scattered across an otherwise barren landscape much like the ones we see in Travelers. To a certain extent the origin of Travelers can be traced back to this sublime experience of seeing the heavy mid-winter snow that falls like a blanket on these parts when house-hunting all those years ago. In the words of the artists themselves their work with snow globes in effect was a sort of “organic response to their immediate surroundings”.

Having said that, many of these snow globes in the Travelers series contain solitary individuals trudging through the snow storms, heavily laden with bags of shopping or suitcases on a journey to anywhere. Maybe then it is not the place but rather the placelessness that lies at the core of their project. After all the unstable notion of ‘home’ is like a seam running through their work; a constant presence which has resurfaced time and time again. Underlining this sense of belonging and personal identity the image most often used to represent the series is that of a couple struggling to drag their prefabricated house across an unforgiving, icy terrain. It could well be considered as personal anecdote and, by extension, symbolic of the artist’s uprooted lives. Cumbersome and immobile, the house appears to be rolling back down the very hill up which they have pushed it. Later, in a different work from the series, we see that their efforts have been entirely futile as the same house is found at the very edge of a cliff on the point of tumbling down to the abyss that awaits it below.

Those that have the strongest undertow of gloom however are the scenes where people set out, terribly ill-equipped through the blinding blizzard that lies ahead, with no home to go to whatsoever. Such images bring to mind the millions of immigrants in the world that have abandoned a past, a culture and a family in search of a better life abroad for one reason or another, not least because of international conflicts. The protagonists in Travelers walk down an empty road hauling what remains of there belongings with them without even knowing where they are heading. They are eternally frozen in limbo between two indefinite spaces. Their open ended narrative threads refuse to be neatly tied up and instead speak more to the universal concerns of struggle, loss and lament. Therefore the journey that we are really taken on here is not such much physical as psychological that in the end leads only to the existential doubts and fears we have within us.

All images © Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz

Courtesy of Next Level. Originally published in issue 14 of Next Level magazine, and then in 1000 Words #4

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


© Anders Petersen


1000 Words is very pleased to present its second workshop with highly-acclaimed Swedish photographer, Anders Petersen, in Fez, Morocco (27 April - 1 May 2011). We are asking both professional and amateur photographers to submit entries for this rare and challenging experience.

"You have to focus on what you are doing, not just as a photographer, but as a human being." Anders Petersen

Please scroll down for more information and how to submit.


The importance and achievements of Swedish photographer, Anders Petersen, cannot be overestimated. As a social realist he has had a significant influence on a bitter/sweet attitude that strives towards a `subjective documentary´ approach to photography. Taught by Christer Strömholm in the 1960s, Anders has continued and expanded the necessity for photographers to embark on personal diaries of the life, places and people that they experience. He has published more than 20 photobooks from the highly regarded and classic, Café Lehmitz (1978) to the more recent collaboration with JH Engström with From Back Home (2009). He is represented by Galerie VU in Paris, Marvelli Gallery in New York, Gun Gallery in Stockholm and Rat Hole Gallery in Tokyo.


The organisation´s flagship is 1000 Words, an online magazine dedicated to highlighting the best contemporary art photography worldwide. It reviews exhibitions and photobooks and publishes interviews, essays and multimedia. We are committed to showing the work of lesser-known but significant artists alongside that of established photographers in the aim of bringing their work to a wider audience. Often incredibly diverse in terms of subjects, concepts, styles and techniques, yet by covering a wide spectrum of genres 1000 Words intends to make us reconsider the contemporary photograph.

Released quarterly, the magazine attracts over 140,000 unique visitors from more than 75 countries every month and in May 2010 the 1000 Words Blog was ranked at number 3 in The Top 25 UK Arts & Culture Blogs in a survey carried out by Creative Tourist.

Yet 1000 Words is much more than just an online magazine. It is the first step in our concept. 1000 Words also operates a programme of exhibitions and events including four annual workshops in Fez, Morocco as well as talks, portfolio reviews, prizes and awards. In July 2010, we launched the 1000 Words Collection, in partnership with Troika Editions, offering limited edition photography prints at affordable prices from artists Simon Roberts,JH Engstrom, Bruno Quinquet, Sarah Small, Trinidad Carrillo and Virgilio Ferreira. The 1000 Words Workshops are organised by Tim Clark, editor-in-chief and director at 1000 Words and Michael Grieve, 1000 Words deputy editor and photographer represented by Agence Vu.


The 1000 Words Workshop takes place in an authentically restored riad situated in the medieval medina, at the heart of the beautifully evocative city of Fez, Morocco. The workshop will be an intense experience lasting five days between 27 April - 1 May 2011 and will consist of 12 participants. The medina is a vibrant labyrinth that will permeate all the senses. Surrounded by the Atlas Mountains, it offers a visually stunning backdrop for this truly unique workshop.

We are looking for a diverse range of participants who understand the work of Anders Petersen and feel that their own photography will benefit from his guidance. Depending on individual needs the daily structure begins with lunch at the riad and during the afternoon Anders will encourage group participation in looking, critiquing and developing ideas and image making. In the late afternoon participants will begin to photograph. The week will end with a slideshow of the work created. Undoubtedly it will be a very creative and highly rewarding experience for those who wish to push themselves.


The cost of the workshop will be £1250 for 5 days. Once participants have been selected they will be expected to pay a non-refundable deposit of £350 within two weeks. Participants can then pay the rest of the fee according to deadlines (see below). Participants are encouraged to arrive the day before the workshop begins for a welcome dinner. The price includes tuition from Anders Petersen, a welcome and farewell dinner, lunch everyday and snacks during the afternoon, 24 hour help from the 1000 Words team and an assistant/translator with local knowledge. Participants will be expected to make their own travel arrangements and find accommodation, which in Fez can range from £150 upwards for the week. We can advise on finding the accommodation that best suits you. Remember that most of your time will be spent either at the riad or shooting. For photographers using film we will provide the means for processing and a scanner. Photographers shooting digital will be expected to bring all necessary equipment. All participants should also bring a laptop if they have one. Every effort will be made to accommodate individual technical needs.


We require that you send 10 images as low res jpegs and/or a link to your website, as well as a short biography and statement about why you think it will be relevant for you to work with Anders (approx 200 words total). Submissions are to be sent to with the following subject header: SUBMISSION FOR 1000 WORDS WORKSHOP WITH ANDERS PETERSEN.

14 February 2011: Deadline for applications
28 February 2011: Successful candidates contacted
14 March 2011: Deposit due (£350)
31 March 2011: Second instalment due (£900)
26 April 2011: Arrive in Morocco
27 April 2011: Workshop begins
1 May 2011: Workshop ends

Lycka till!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Larry Sultan: Katherine Avenue

This Christmas 1000 Words is offering its readers discounted copies of Katherine Avenue from the late great Larry Sultan, courtesy of our partner Steidl. To order your copy please contact tim(at)1000wordsmag(dot)com.

Please see below for more details:

Larry Sultan
Katherine Avenue


All images © Larry Sultan

This book brings together three of Larry Sultan’s best known series: Pictures from Home, The Valley and Homeland. Made principally in the San Fernando Valley, where the artist grew up, in these works Larry Sultan explored the domestic landscape of his childhood and adolescence by photographing and re-presenting photographs of his parents, their home, and their experience of the American Dream. Wandering further behind this Californian fabric, he photographed in suburban homes serving as sets in the pornographic industry. His work culminated in a series of tableau of Latino day labourers undertaking prosaic tasks on the peripheries of these suburban sites – the kind of places where, growing up, he would find his own sense of space and freedom.

This publication accompanies an exhibition at the kestnergesellschaft, Hannover and features an essay by curator Martin Germann. It is co-published with Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, and kestnergesellschaft, Hannover.

Special price for 1000 Words readers £35.00

132 pages, 80 colour plates
27.4 cm x 26.9 cm
Hardcover with a dust jacket
Steidl & Partners
ISBN: 978-3-86930-135-8
Publication date: June 2010

Antoine and beyond

© Michael Grieve / 1000 Words

In October 2010, 1000 Words held its first workshop in the medina of Fez, Morocco with the very special Magnum photographer, Antoine d’Agata. The workshop was a resounding success with all 12 participants producing vibrant and intimate photography. The location of Fez offered unique challenges and presented an intense backdrop for photographers to be truly creative. It is easy to get lost in the medina and this was perhaps the underlining and appropriate theme to the week.

1000 Words (Michael Grieve and Tim Clark) would like to thank all the participants for their tremendous energy and contribution. They completely opened up to the experience and allowed themselves to discover new approaches and push their mental and emotional selves to the limit. The participants were:

Richard Bee, UK
Martin Bogren, Sweden
Laura Hynd, UK
Miwako Homma, Japan
Edoardo Pasero, Italy
Alex Lau, USA
Katie White, USA
Joao Linneu, Brazil
Roberta Holden, Canada
Karin Crona, France
April Mountfort, Australia
Kay Erickson, USA

© Michael Grieve / 1000 Words

We would also like to thank Antoine d’Agata for his incredible skill as a teacher and for his warm and gracious presence.

The workshop would not have been possible without the assistance of Omar Chennafi for his practical knowledge of Fez and for bringing a wonderfully positive attitude to a fervent and industrious atmosphere. And Vanessa Bonnin, who provided us with the means to process black and white films and sourced the only person in Morocco who supplies the necessary chemicals!

1000 Words is organising four more workshops in Morocco next year and will be making a call for submissions very soon. Until then, check out more photos from the workshop over at the 1000 Words Photography Magazine group on Facebook.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Do’s and Don’ts

The Do’s and Don’ts of Graduate Studies: Maxims from the Chair from the book The Education of a Photographer by Charles H Traub, Chair at School of Visual Arts’ MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department in New York.

The Do’s

Do something old in a new way
Do something new in an old way
Do something new in a new way, Whatever works . . . works
Do it sharp, if you can’t, call it art
Do it in the computer—if it can be done there
Do fifty of them—you will definitely get a show
Do it big, if you cant do it big, do it red
If all else fails turn it upside down, if it looks good it might work
Do Bend your knees
If you don’t know what to do, look up or down—but continue looking
Do celebrities—if you do a lot of them, you’ll get a book
Connect with others—network
Edit it yourself
Design it yourself
Publish it yourself
Edit, When in doubt shoot more
Edit again
Read Darwin, Marx, Joyce, Freud, Einstein, Benjamin, McLuhan, and Barth
See Citizen Kane ten times
Look at everything—stare
Construct your images from the edge inward
If it’s the “real world,” do it in color
If it can be done digitally—do it
Be self centered, self involved, and generally entitled and always pushing—and damned to hell for doing it
Break all rules, except the chairman’s

The Don’ts

Don’t do it about yourself—or your friend—or your family
Don’t dare photograph yourself nude
Don’t look at old family albums
Don’t hand color it
Don’t write on it
Don’t use alternative process—if it ain’t straight do it in the computer
Don’t gild the lily—AKA less is more
Don’t go to video when you don’t know what else to do
Don’t photograph indigent people, particularly in foreign lands
Don’t whine, just produce

Paris Photo 2010 Post Show Press Release

Fresh back from our trip to Paris for the splendid 24th addition of Paris Photo, we´ve just picked up the following press announcement about various sales and other success stories:

The 14th edition of Paris Photo turned the spotlight on central Europe – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia – and included 106 exhibitors from 25 countries. Some 38,000 visitors came to the fair, compared to 40,150 in 2009, a slight decrease in number owing to the fact that there was no late night opening this year.

Sales took off

Transactions went at a sustained pace and most exhibitors reported a better volume of sales compared to 2009. Some achieved results that were described as "exceptional," "astonishing," "miraculous," by the gallery owners themselves whose expectations were modest owing to the prevailing economic climate.

Vintage sales:

Sales were good, and even excellent, especially for those galleries whose shows coincided with some of the exhibitions currently on in Paris (Heinrich Kühn at the Musée de l’Orangerie, André Kertesz at the Jeu de Paume, Les Primitifs de la photographie at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France) as well as the big photography auctions and the Central European theme. The photograph by Joseph Sudek put up for auction by Johannes Faber gallery went for a record €300,750 at the Sotheby’s sale. This brought numerous buyers to the Viennese gallery’s booth at Paris Photo. Another image by the Czech artist went for €190,000. Meanwhile, the New York gallery Edwynn Houk, sold the picture entitled Arles (1929) by Hungary’s Moholy-Nagy for US$ 265,000. Budapest’s Vintage Gallery was showing largely Hungarian modernists and achieved better sales than last year with a total of €58,000 for 22 vintage pieces sold. France’s Françoise Paviot sold her self portrait of Man Ray for €75,000 and the entire set of small contacts by Brassaï made in 1958 for between €2,500 and €4,000 each. Obsis gallery of Paris sold its entire collection of images of the 1931 colonial exhibition held in Paris to a Paris museum for more than €100,000. A specialist in anonymous photography, the gallery Lumière des Roses (Montreuil) sold two thirds of the works on its booth, and in particular 8 autochromes (1925/1930) by Léon Gimpel at €7,000 each. Surfing on the current wave of enthusiasm for photographers who worked in fashion (Avedon, Irving Penn, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton...), Hamiltons Gallery of London sold the famous Mainbocher Corset (1939) by Horst P.Horst for US$ 150,000.

Contemporary sales:

Filles du Calvaire (Paris) gallery recorded its best sales ever at this year´s Paris Photo. The gallery let go of three editions of a portrait by Paul Graham from his End of an Age Series, 1996-1998 at €24,000 a piece to buyers who included some Turkish newcomers to the fair. SAGE Paris sold his entire collection of the light-boxes made in 1999 by Japan’s Naoya Hatakeyama, ie. some 30 works costing €6,000 each which went to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and to a Brazilian foundation. Berlin’s DNA gallery sold 80% of its wares including two large format staged images by Japan’s Tatsumi Orimoto at €38,000 each and two videos by Bulgarian artist Mariana Vassileva costing € 8,000 each. New York’s Yossi Milo recorded better sales than at his last participation in Paris Photo in 2006 with some 40 works priced at between €6,000 and €10,000 acquired by new collectors from England, the USA and France. With its artist Gábor Ősz as the winner of the 2010 BMW-Paris Photo Prize, Loevenbruck (Paris) found buyers for four of the Hungarian’s unique pieces at €20,000 each.

Photography book sales:

Book sellers also reported very good sales this year: Toluca sold 20 of its 28 copies of « What Man is really like » by Rachel Whiteread, Ingo Shulze and Naoto Fukusawa for €7,000 each. Librairie 213 let go of some 20 rare books with the most expensive costing €12,000. Man Ray’s book entitled Electricity (1932) offered by Denis Ozanne at €35,000 also found a buyer.

Beautiful presentations and plenty of discoveries:

Visitors, collectors, institution directors were unanimous in their praise for the high quality of the exhibits, the beauty of the works and their excellent presentation as well as the good number exciting discoveries that arose from the exploration of the Central European scene. Firmly anchored in a rich historical ground, the Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Slovenian and Slovakian scenes are today undergoing a renaissance. In addition, the exhibitions of the finalists of the BMW-Paris Photo Prize, Leica Camera’s show A Juste Titre as well as the SFR Young talents show won many accolades from the public.

Paris, world capital of photography:

This year Paris Photo coincided with a number of key auctions, including the Avedon sale at Christies’ and a big auction at Sotherby’s. It also took place in the context of the 30th anniversary of Photography Month which offered a plethora of exhibitions throughout the city, in addition to a number of "Off" fairs and happenings. More than ever, Paris Photo is the world’s leading event for photography and Paris is its global capital in November.

Paris Photo 2011: from Bamako to Cape Town, African photography

From 17th to 20th November 2011,Paris Photo will be back on the road to discovery, heading to the African continent to highlight talents from Bamako to Cape Town. Six platforms will be created to spotlight the diversity of both historical and contemporary creativity in sub-Saharan Africa. Paris Photo will select the content of these platforms with the help of artistic advisor Simon Njami.*

* A writer, art critic and independent curator, Simon Njami conceived the exhibition Africa Remix, the first Africa pavilion at the Venice biennale in 2007 with Fernando Alvim. He was also behind A Collective Diary (Tel Aviv 2010) and A Useful Dream, fifty years of photography in Africa (Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, 2010). Njami was co-founder of La Revue Noire and served as its Chief Editor. He was director of the Bamako biennale for 10 years and his latest book is a biography of Léopold Sédar Senghor (Fayard, 2007).

Random find!

Just a girl giving birth on Google Street View that´s all! Or is it a fake? Who knows, maybe Mr Crewdson is at it again?

Flash Forward 2011

The Magenta Foundation have announced Year Seven of its Emerging Photographers exchange.

This is an open call for submissions.

All photographers in Canada, the UK and the US 34 years of age and under may submit. All submission requirements and instructions are located on their website but we´ve also listed them below.

Jurors for 2011:

Julien Beaupré Ste-Marie, Photo Editor, enRoute Magazine
Erin Elder, Manager, Business Development, Digital Media, The Globe and Mail
Robyn McCallum, Bau-Xi Photo Gallery, Toronto

Diane Smyth, British Journal of Photography, London
Harry Hardie, Director, HOST Gallery
Bruno Ceschel, Founder, Self Publish, Be Happy
Aaron Schuman, Director and Editor, Seesaw Magazine

Andy Adams, Editor and Publisher, Flak Photo
Shane Lavalette, Photographer and Publisher/Editor, Lay Flat

Competition Prizing:
The Bright Spark Award winner will receive $5,000.

As in the past, all competition Winners and Honourable Mentions will be published in a high quality catalogue. Along with being published, select 2011 Flash Forward Winners will be featured in a touring exhibition.

In January 2011, a significant additional component will be announced to complement the program’s alternate festival years. Stay tuned and sign up for their newsletter.

Submission Deadline:
Submissions open on Wednesday 20 October, 2010 and close on Friday 31 December, 2010.

Submission Fees:
Canada: $50
USA: $50
UK: £30

Guidelines for Submissions:
Submissions are easy, but please read all guidelines before submitting. Here's what you will need to submit:

1. Up to 10 digital images of your work (if you would prefer to submit fewer, that's fine too):

Resolution: low (72 dpi)

Format: .jpg, .gif or .png only. Please be aware that your files will be viewed by the jurors on the web, and if you submit files in .tif, .psd or other non-web-viewable formats, they will not be visible and you will be disqualified.

700 pixels on the longest side, and a file size NO larger than 500 kb.

The caption/title, medium and dimensions for each image you intend to submit, including English translations if the captions are not in English. These do not need to be directly attached to the image file in any way - the image upload form provides fields for filling this information in.

Please choose the images that you submit from a concise body of work which you feel best represents the style you work within.

2. An artist's statement regarding your work.

3. A brief one-paragraph bio suitable for use in a book or exhibition catalogue.

4. A complete CV (curriculum vitae) focussing on your artistic career.
Your complete contact information, including address, phone number, e-mail, web address if any, etc.

Go to their website to fully familiarise yourself with their guidelines and why not begin your submission today?

Monday, 22 November 2010

1000 Words Photography - The Collection

It is a great honour to be able to announce the latest addition to the 1000 Words Collection, a work by by Simon Roberts, Sunderland vs. Liverpool, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, 16th August 2008. (We English).

© Simon Roberts

Medium - 1 available
Edition of 7
60 x 50 cm paper size
53 x 42 cm image size

NB: Printed on Fuji Crystal Archive paper. The print is both signed by the artist and comes with a certificate. It is number 2 from the edition. The print is produced with a white border around the photograph to allow for framing. We also have included some cotton gloves to protect the print during handling.

Head on over to our collections microsite to read the story behind the specific image, watch a fantastic video interview with Simon and discover more information on the artist. But, before you do, here is an announcement from our partner Troika Editions which outlines the objectives and ambitions for their outstanding Collections initiative:

"The Arts have been under the spotlight recently as the impending cuts in state funding has fuelled much anxiety about the future of the creative industries in the UK.

The axe finally fell with the announcement in the Comprehensive Spending Review of a nearly 30% drop in funding for The Arts Council.

The impact this loss of funding will have has spawned gloomy forecasts about the inevitable closure of theatre companies, art galleries and local art projects. What I have yet to read about are all the initiatives and projects that have never been supported by Arts Council England and how they manage to find ways to fund their commitment and passion for good art.

Our partner 1000 Words is one such organisation, who through an excellent quarterly online magazine has managed to raise the level of writing about Art Photography and through collaborations with ourselves and Magnum Photos,(neither of which are funded by Arts Council England)has developed new ways to support their project.

So our message this week is there will inevitably be casualties of such a savage cut in funding, but this may also open up new ways to fund worthy organisations and we hope that our own Collections initiative will become the kernel of a new way to support art in the future."

As a not-for-profit organisation the net proceeds from all sales of limited edition prints in the 1000 Words Collection will go entirely back into supporting 1000 Words Photography Magazine and help finance our extended programme of exhibitions and events including workshops; portfolio reviews; talks; panel discussions as well as prizes and awards.

1000 thanks to both Simon, and Bridget and Michael of Troika Editions for supporting us!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Street Photography Now Project

Seeing as there is a bit of a street photography theme going on round here of late, I thought I´d share some information about the Street Photography Now Project, a collaboration between The Photographers’ Gallery, London and Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren, authors of Street Photography Now (Thames and Hudson).

Each week from 1 October 2010, a leading contemporary street photographer has issued a new instruction, written to inspire fresh ways of looking at and documenting the world we live in.

Over the following six days, photographers around the world are invited to upload one photograph in response, to a special Flickr Group. After six days the next instruction will be issued. See the Take Part section of the website for more details on how to contribute.

The Project will run for 52 weeks, and you can join in at any time. The aim is to build a global community of photographers exploring the rewards and challenges of documenting public life. All photographers, including those who contribute to the Instructions, will be encouraged to comment and respond to the images posted to the Flickr groups.

Though not a competition, at the end of the Project one photographer will be chosen who has made the most outstanding contribution to the project across a number of weeks. They will be awarded £1000 of Thames & Hudson books and have their work displayed on The Photographers’ Gallery digital Wall for All.

The Street Photography Now Project was launched in September 2010, as The Photographers’ Gallery closed its doors for the redevelopment of its building on Ramillies Street. The Project will run for one year and is scheduled to end when The Photographers’ Gallery reopens in late 2011.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Philip-Lorca diCorcia

This video clip is always worth revisiting. Broadcast from his home in New York, American artist Philip-Lorca DiCorcia confesses how he hunted the subjects of his series Heads that were recently on display at Tate Modern in Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera.

"I never talk to them... I don't ask their permission. I don't pay them... And eventually...I got into trouble." Philip-Lorca DiCorcia

John Maclean

All images © John Maclean

Accomplished street photographer John Maclean has been on our radar for some time now. Born in Buckinghamshire in 1969, John spent part of his childhood in Canada and the United States. Apparently, he began using a camera at the age of 14 when he discovered the book American Images, featuring the work of Garry Winogrand, Robert Frank, Lewis Baltz and John Gossage. After studying mathematics, physics and geology he went on to graduate in photography at the University of Derby. He subsequently worked at The Royal College of Art for four years. John has been a London-based, freelance photographer since 1998, using commercial commissions to support an independent, fine-art practice. His photographs have been widely published in books and periodicals and he has self-published six books – held in the National Art Archive at The Victoria and Albert Museum and private collections.

The images shown above are taken from his latest project, simply titled City. "The intention of this body of work," says Maclean "is not to document specific cities or individuals – it is an endeavour to construct my own city through photographs."

"City is a place pieced together by utilising both photography’s assets and its limitations – it is consciously photographic. The resulting worldview is a sparsely populated, absurd theatre. A stage set of caves, screens, portals and ambiguous landscapes. A city built on the foundations of an inherently surreal medium that can’t help but veil, dislocate, displace and abstract."

A full archive of artist’s statements, texts, interviews and bibliography can be found at

In the run up to Christmas (yes we can´t ignore it much longer) why not treat yourself or a loved one to one of his fantastic limited-edition book projects? Check out the complete list on his website and order yours now.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Kate Nolan

All images © Kate Nolan

Fresh from the submissions inbox is this quiet set of images from Kate Nolan, an Irish photographer based in Cardiff, Wales who recently graduated with a BA Hons in Documentary Photography from the University of Wales, Newport.

"Neither is an exploration into the hearts of the new generation of post-soviet Kaliningrad. Locked into dreams of a future that their homeland cannot fulfil they look afar. They are searching for their identity while trapped under the weight of history and isolation from both their motherland and the new Europe.

Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave, is wedged between Poland, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea. It was once known as Konigsberg until WWII when the German population fled or were killed. The region was then handed over to the Russians who invited the rural and poor of Russia to rebuild the city.

The younger generation of this region is the first to have lived in these post-soviet times. The women I have been living with and sharing with have opened up their homes and minds to allow me an inside look into this link between place, identity and history."

Neither is a work in progress and Kate told 1000 Words that she will be heading back to Kaliningrad in a few weeks to continue with this project so best of luck to her. We look forward to seeing the finished article. It´s already shaping up to be a brilliant project.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Salon Photo Prize-Call for Applications

We are delighted to share the following information with you on The Salon Photo Prize 2011, the inaugural photography exhibition produced by Matt Roberts Arts. It is expected that up to 100 photographers will be exhibited at its gallery space on Vyner Street,East London with one exhibitor winning the selectors' prize supported by 1000 Words Photography Magazine which will consist of £1000 and a solo exhibition in 2012.

This year's selection panel consists of:

Simon Baker, Curator of Photography, Tate
Stefanie Braun, Curator, The Photographers' Gallery
Tim Clark, Editor-in-chief, 1000 Words Photography Magazine
Charlotte Cotton, Creative Director, National Media Museum

The first Salon Photo Prize will take place from 4 February - 26 February 2011. The deadline for applications is: 5pm, Saturday 4 December, 2010.

All Salon Art Prize applicants must be registered as an Associate Members of Matt Roberts Arts. Annual membership costs £8 (GBP) for UK-based artists and £10 (GBP) for those based outside of the UK. As Matt Roberts Arts not-for-profit all membership contributions support its ongoing professional development services.

Did we mention that other benefits of becoming a member include: exclusive access to a members' only website directory; online lectures; an international gallery map; a prizes and awards calender PLUS weekly portfolio sessions and monthly group discussions that are held at Matt Roberts Arts gallery space? Have a look for yourself here. If you are a serious, career-orientated photographer then you really shouldn't pass on this unique opportunity.

You can pay using Paypal by making a payment to info(at)mattroberts(dot)org(dot)uk

Alternatively you can send a cheque, postal order or bankers draft (made out to Matt Roberts Arts) to the gallery address: Unit 1, 25 Vyner Street, London, E2 9DG

For further information please visit or email salonphotoprize(at)mattroberts(dot)org(dot)uk

Monday, 11 October 2010

In Between by Guy Bourdin

We’ve got three copies of In Between by Guy Bourdin to give away, courtesy of our partners Steidl. Follow us on Twitter @1000wordsmag and retweet the announcement to enter. Offer ends 18 October.

Guy Bourdin
In Between

All images © The Estate of Guy Bourdin

Guy Bourdin’s vivid, narrative-infused work placed him at the vanguard of fashion photography for a career that spanned four decades. From his first provocative editorial feature in 1955, capturing haute couture alongside butchered cow heads, Guy Bourdin pushed the limits of fashion photography into foreign territory. In Between delves into that career, charting the course of his artistic development from the 1950s into the 1980s with over 200 exceptional images in black and white and color. This monograph reassembles many of the original editorial layouts as they were published in magazines such as French Vogue, British Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar, offering a new and illuminating critical context in the process. Guy Bourdin tailored his compositions to the constraints of the printed page both conceptually and graphically, and the mirror motif so central in his work finds its formal counterpart in the doubleness of the magazine spread. Layout and design become powerful metaphors for the photographic medium, engaging the eye and with it, the mind. In Between was conceived and edited by Shelly Verthime, whose unflagging devotion and research have resulted in an unparalleled familiarity with the photographer’s oeuvre. It is the second publication in Steidldangin’s Guy Bourdin library. A Message For You, published in 2006, explored the author’s collaboration with model/muse Nicolle Meyer in the form of an exquisite, two-volume coffret. With In Between, Steidldangin offers a roll-up-your-sleeves guide to his visual vocabulary.

Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) was born in Paris. His career as a fashion photographer spans over three decades. Today, his work is exhibited in the most prestigious museums, such as The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Jeu de Paume, and The National Museum of China.

In Between by Guy Bourdin
Book design by Shelly Verthime and Pascal Dangin
400 photographs, four colour and black and white process throughout
Edited by Shelly Verthime
272 pages
29.5 cm x 19.4 cm
ISBN: 978-3-86930-033-7
£50.00 €55.00 $58.00
Published by steidldangin
Publication date: November 2010

Thursday, 7 October 2010

20% off online orders at Spectrum

After the fantastic response to our last feature, Spectrum is excited to announce a 20% online discount exclusive to 1000 Words readers. Order fully archival prints ready for exhibition on a wide range of C-Type & Giclee papers, with mounting available also, at a fraction of their standard rates.

Online printing has never been easier - or more professional. If you are looking for the exacting quality of a professional photographic printing service, combined with the convenience, speed and low cost of online printing, choose Spectrum.

Their skilled technicians inspect every print with meticulous attention to detail, and every print job passes through the same calibrated machines as prints that are ordered offline. This allows you to order online, safe in the knowledge that you are getting a professional quality at the best price.

To take advantage of this exclusive offer visit and order your prints today. Or call 01273 708 222 to speak to their friendly team.

Brighton Photo Biennial - Alec Soth talks to Martin Parr

In this brilliant podcast from Daylight Magazine, Martin Parr interviews acclaimed photographer Alec Soth. As part of the Brighton Photo Biennial 2010, Soth was commissioned by Photoworks to be included in the exhibition "Strange and Familiar." For his contribution to the show, Soth collaborated with his daughter, Carmen, to produced a project titled "Brighton Picture Hunt," for which the father-daughter team explored and photographed the towns of Brighton & Hove.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months you will be aware that Alec had some problems with his Visa and was denied permission to work in the UK. If you still don´t know what I´m talking its probably a good idea to have a read of this article in The Guardian to get up-to-speed. To put it simply, that he was barred from taking photographs is outrageous. Why are our border authorities curbing temporary visits by non-EU artists in this way? Thankfully Alec managed to sidestep this regulation in such a clever and inventive way. But then again, there are those that see this whole scenario in an entirely different light. Here is some food for thought from Foto 8 on Twitter:

@Foto8 Soth commission wasn't free. Did his daughter earn it? Not according to " the customs official", What happened to those public thousands?

@Foto8 Alex Soth Brighton tale smells bogus... 2 yrs jail, work permit, 7 yr old, vernacular photography. What says public funded BPB? Mr Parr??

@Foto8 How can picture of Brighton be vernacular if the indigenous photographer is not asked to shoot them.#bogusphotospeak

@Foto8 So apparently its ok to pay a seven year old child labourer in UK and not a commissioned artist? If no pay then customs law is rubbish.

@Foto8 Firstly why does Brighton need to be shot by Soth and secondly how does his daughter not break the same bogus law?

"Independent, outspoken, unfettered" reads the descriptor on their Twitter account profile. Good on them.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

1000 Words Photography Magazine #9

We are delighted to announce that the Autumn issue of 1000 Words “Transformation” is now online. To view it please go to

We start off this issue with Curator of photography at Tate Simon Baker’s review of Double Bind, an extraordinary installation of a new body of work from Leigh Ledare as seen at Les Rencontres d’Arles, France this summer. There is also an interview with Andrew Bruce, a recent graduate from the University of Creative Arts in Farnham, and an essay on another exciting talent to emerge from the UK in the last few years, Melinda Gibson. Louise Clements writes about Berlin-based photographer Isabelle Graeff, and The Telegraph’s Photography critic-cum-picture editor Lucy Davies offers her thoughts on The Flesh and The Spirit, the latest Sally Mann photobook which will be published by Aperture in November. Finally, 1000 Words Deputy editor Michael Grieve reviews Trevor Paglen’s first photographic monograph, Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes, also from Aperture.

In the books section, we cover Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids and Coming Up For Air by Stephen Gill. The range of photographers in this issue is eclectic and amazing. At a time when photography is becoming increasingly vapid and predictable, 1000 Words hopes to provide some precious insight in to the best work that is being produced today.

As always, thanks to all the artists, writers and advertisers, and we would like to express our deep gratitude to Santiago Taccetti of CCCH Creative Studio, Barcelona for his wonderful design work on the magazine.

Many thanks and best wishes,


Friday, 17 September 2010

Construction work to start on The Photographers’ Gallery, London

The Photographers’ Gallery is creating an iconic new building in the heart of London’s West End.

On 19 September 2010, the Gallery will close its doors to the public for a year while it embarks on its ambitious development of the building, creating a new, international home for photography in the UK. From October 2010, construction will begin at 16-18 Ramillies Street. Architects O’Donnell + Tuomey’s exciting plans will transform the former Edwardian warehouse into a state-of-the-art photography gallery.

The architectural plans include contemporary additions of textured acrylic render, Angelim Pedra hard wood and anthracite coloured terrazzo to elements of the existing structure and fabric of the building. The end result will provide three floors of dedicated public galleries that will enable the exhibition programme to be expanded; a floor dedicated to learning, offering space for a comprehensive programme of talks, events and education series and workshops; an enhanced Bookshop and Print Sales to nurture and inspire a new generation of collectors; a brand new café at street level; continued free admission and full access, including a passenger lift for public use.

Established in 1971, as the nation’s very first public gallery dedicated to photography, The Photographers’ Gallery always resided in the Soho area. Building on its heritage as one of the world’s primary venues for photography, it has welcomed around half-a-million visitors annually. Responding to the growing popularity in photography, in 2008 plans were launched to relocate with a major £8.7 million capital campaign. Now, two years later the gallery has reached a key moment in its history and are in the final stages of creating a unique ‘cultural oasis’ in the heart of central London.

During the construction period, the Gallery will operate a reduced programme offsite. Working in and around the Soho area, a series of innovative artist-led projects have been programmed, supported by Bloomberg, as have talks & events for visitors of all ages. The Print Sales will continue to be available to collectors through photography fairs and by appointment at its satellite location and the beloved Bookshop will be available to browse via its new online shop. To keep up-to-date with all the news, activities and developments join its free newsletter – sign up at

Coinciding with its 40th anniversary, The Photographers’ Gallery will reopen in Autumn 2011. Further information on anniversary events and the opening programme will be posted on the website.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Lisa Elmaleh

All images © Lisa Elmaleh

Today's post features some good old honest and straightforward landscape photography courtesy of Lisa Elmaleh.

"As a native of South Florida," she says "the Everglades are an ecosystem that have shaped my own history. Inspired by the early photographers of the American west, I have documented the flora and fauna of the Everglades using my large format camera and the wet collodion process, a nineteenth century process which renders light slowly and reveals the passing of time."

"The Everglades are the only ecological system of its kind. To date, more than half of the Everglades have been repurposed for urban and agricultural use. 'Freshwater flowing into the park is engineered,' reads the brochure given to all visitors of Everglades National Park. 'With the help of pumps, floodgates, and retention ponds… the Everglades is presently on life support, alive but diminished.' I hope to preserve an essence of the Everglades, a land we are rapidly losing without knowing the magnitude of our loss."

You can also view a video of her project here on Kickstarter.

Elmaleh is a recipient of the Goldwell Artist Residency (2010), the Everglades National Park Artist Residency (2010), the Camera Club of New York Darkroom Residency (2008), and the Tierney Fellowship (2007). Elmaleh's work has been published in Harper's, Dear Dave, and Visura Magazine. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including a solo show at KMR Arts (2010 Washington, CT), Arbor (2009), Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York, NY), Linked: New Yorkers Meet Londoners(2009, Keumsan Gallery, Korea), and the New York Photo Festival(2007&2010, Powerhouse, New York, US). She holds a BFA with honours from the School of Visual Arts.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

John Szarkowski: Simply the best?

Was John Szarkowski really the most influential person in 20th-century photography? It's a no brainer, right? Of course he was.

"An insightful critic as well as a visionary curator, Szarkowski filled New York's Museum of Modern Art with the colour photography of William Eggleston, and championed the transgressive work of Diane Arbus and Lee Friedlander. Everyone who cares about photography is in his debt," writes Sean O'Hagan in this article over at The Guardian.

Now nobody is trying to downplay Szarkowski's contribution to the medium, but consider this response from Peter Galassi during a symposium at The Shpilman Institute for Photography:

"In a sense, for Szarkowski it was easier because nothing was worth anything, and nothing was shown anywhere else. And the artists came to him. Because there were no galleries that was the only way."

Watch this video clip, and decide for yourself whether there's an element of truth in this statement.

1000 Words Photography - The Collection

We are pleased to present three photographs from Virgílio Ferreira for the 1000 Words Collection.

Medium - 1 available
Edition of 15
50 x 50 cm paper size
40 x 40 cm image size

NB: This is a Giclée print on Epson Premium Lustre paper. It comes with a certificate signed by the artist and is number 1 from the edition. Each print is produced with a white border around the photograph to allow for framing. We also have included some cotton gloves to protect the print during handling.

Medium - 1 available
Edition of 15
50 x 50 cm paper size
40 x 40 cm image size

NB: This is a Giclée print on Epson Premium Lustre paper. It comes with a certificate signed by the artist and is number 1 from the edition. Each print is produced with a white border around the photograph to allow for framing. We also have included some cotton gloves to protect the print during handling.

Medium - 1 available
Edition of 15
50 x 50 cm paper size
40 x 40 cm image size

NB: This is a Giclée print on Epson Premium Lustre paper. It comes with a certificate signed by the artist and is number 1 from the edition. Each print is produced with a white border around the photograph to allow for framing. We also have included some cotton gloves to protect the print during handling.

All images © Virgílio Ferreira

Taken in and around the burgeoning Asian cities of Bangkok, Macao, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo, the photographs in Virgílio Ferreira´s series Daily Pilgrims are portraits of anonymous passers-by ensnared by his lens.

The faces are routinely blurred whereas the backdrop remains in focus, creating a seductive unreality that leaves an evocative impression without actually describing the specifics of the place. It is this precise "information deficit," Ferreira says, which is what "catches the eye of the observer and makes the portrayee stand out, also adding enigma."

By creating a symbolic tension between the subject and the setting, Ferreira has managed to poetically conjure up the feelings of solitude and alienation that are by-products of modern city living. Commenting on such places, he says, "in all of them, territory and behaviour are changing fast. Cities seem to mirror our state of mind and reveal secrets that can be decoded when minute details are looked at: it is between the lines that I seek ambiguities and contradictions."

Ferreira´s gaze is swift and furtive, presenting the viewer with glimpses of people´s untold stories. One image foregrounds a smirking youngster who exposes his tattooed arm to us while soaring sky scrapers loom large in the distance; in another, a face is simultaneously assailed and attacked by the street lights, this time spindly branches of trees sprout up behind. Elsewhere, as lovers embrace on a park bench their liquid outline almost melts into the brightly-lit futuristic building, the image becomes imbued with an emotional atmosphere that is typical of the entire series.

As such, Daily Pilgrims provides a fresh perspective on the tradition of street photography and offers a vision of the East that is so strange yet so familiar.

Collections is a new initiative that has been set up by Troika Editions to provide photography organisations with the opportunity to showcase their own art collections online and pursue alternative funding avenues through the sale of limited edition prints.

As a not-for-profit organisation the net proceeds from all sales of limited edition prints in the 1000 Words Collection will go entirely back into supporting 1000 Words Photography Magazine and help finance our extended programme of exhibitions and events including workshops; portfolio reviews; talks; panel discussions as well as prizes and awards.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2010

Fresh back from my trip to The Netherlands, it gives me great pleasure to share some information with you about Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2010, which will take place from 5 September-31 October at Fries Museum and Blokhuispoort, Leeuwarden.

Noorderlicht is a multi-faceted and international podium for documentary photography. It is a place for photographers who explore their world and in their work picture its big events and everyday occurrences, and everything in between. There is scope for all genres of photography in the program, with documentary photography as the basis. If success begets success then the 17th edition is going to be quite special.

The Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2010 will open on Sunday, 5 September, in the Fries Museum. In Land: Country Life in the Urban Age, Noorderlicht looks at the consequences that urbanisation has for the countryside. Simultaneously, Warzone, an exhibition examining the experience of war on the part of soldiers dispatched to conflict areas, is to be seen in the Blokhuispoort. The opening, which begins at 5:00p.m., is led by the writer Arno Haijteman, chairman of the Silver Camera and photography reviewer for de Volkskrant. The festival runs from 5 September through to 31 October.

Land – Country Life in the Urban Age

Since the beginning of the 21st century, more than half of the world's population live in cities. What are the consequences of this shift for the countryside? Is it possible, against all economic logic, to accord new value to rural life?

Drawing on the work of some thirty photographers, Land – Country Life in the Urban Age exposes the symbiotic but unequal relation between the city and countryside. Agriculture is organised around large-scale production at minimal cost, the growing demand for agricultural products quickens the cutting of rainforests, and whole regions are allocated new uses as a result of increasing need for water. Add to that the continuing exploitation of ever scarcer natural resources, and the economic and demographic consequences of immigration to the city, and one thing is clear: the countryside is facing serious challenges in the 21st century.

In 2011 Groningen will be the location for the second part of this diptych: Metropolis – City Life in the Urban Age.


Blokhuispoort Verdun, Omaha Beach, Srebrenica, Fallujah: names of places that are anchored in our collective memory.

Places where the once serene landscape changed into a battlefield, where young men and women fought for their faith, politics or ideals, lost their innocence, and sometimes their lives.

Military cemeteries and history books may remind us of them yet, but the battlefields themselves are transformed after the conflict is over. Time erases the evidence – the rubble is cleared, the shell craters become overgrown. But is the inner landscape of the soldier as resilient as the landscape in which he fought?

On the basis of work by top photographers including Ad van Denderen, Martin Specht, Paul Seawright, Peter van Agtmael and Antonin Kratochvil, Warzone pauses to examine the experience of soldiers who have been dispatched to conflict areas in recent history.

The official launch of the photo book Warzone will be on 25 September in the Blokhuispoort. The book contains work by about forty war photographers and essays by Hans Achterhuis, Ko Colijn, Auke Hulst, Sebastian Junger, Jeroen Kramer, Jaus Müller, Joris Voorhoeve and Désirée Verweij.

© Jackie Nickerson

Friday, 27 August 2010

Henry Wessel

"I actually try and work before my mind is telling me what to do." Watch this great video of Henry Wessel talking about the importance of not thinking.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

EXPOSED Photography Competition

Recently 1000 Words was invited by the World Photography Organisation to be shown around the Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera exhibition at Tate Modern by none other than the Tate's newly appointed curator of photography and international art, Simon Baker. The tour was to promote the WPO's new Student Focus Competition based on the theme of the Exposed exhibition.

If you are a student aged between 18-28 years with a passion for photography it is worthwhile entering.

Here is the official creative brief:

"Your image should draw on themes explored within Tate Modern’s Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera. The exhibition explores issues around exposure, voyeurism and surveillance. It features a range of photographs created by well-known artists, photo-journalists, amateur photographers and those using technology like CCTV and camera phones.

We’d like you to think about these different kinds of imagery and how we experience photography in different areas of art, photojournalism and everyday life. We want to see your creative response to these images and ideas. We’d like to see how you think the themes affect the world around you. Consider the increasing use of surveillance cameras, camera phones, and the circulation of images in the media and on the internet. Look around you and observe different ways we experience ‘exposure’ through imagery.

We are looking for a clear image to represent one or more of the above themes. Your photograph should record and communicate the essence of your idea."

And here´s what you can win:

-Win the chance to have your photograph shown in the World Photography Organisation's 2011 Student Focus Exhibition.

-10 students from selected universities win the chance to participate in the Young Tate Online & World Photography Organisation’s Student Focus talks, workshops, forums, activities and portfolio sessions.

-The winning students and the overall winning university receive a combined prize of €45,000 worth of photographic equipment

See more details on how to enter

Georges Dudognon, Greta Garbo in the Club St. Germain, Paris (detail) c.1950s San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Foto Forum purchase © Georges Dudognon

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Simon Norfolk

"Photojournalism is still stuck in the 1940s." Watch this short but sweet video clip of the always engaging Simon Northfolk and while you are at it have a read of this. Tell me, how many times has photojournalism died now then? I would argue, as does one contributor to the comments board, that the traditional relationship between photojournalist and publisher is dead, not photojournalism.

Gihan Tubbeh

All images © Gihan Tubbeh from the series Nights of Grace.

Pictured here are a few brilliant examples from a talented young Peruvian photographer called Gihan Tubbeh.

"The project presented is not intended to tell a story, " says Gihan Tubbeh of her sparkling collection of photographs, adding, albeit obliquely: "It is rather an assemblage of soiled images that are read among each other."

"If I could sum up the series in one word I would say it's about transgression," she explains, which clearly echoes the subjective approach, technique and intimate emotion of the great Magnum photographer.

"The photos document the most primitive and instinctive conditions of humanity. The tone is acid: it talks about the vulnerable excess of desire, the insatiable hunger for pleasure on the edge of suffering, about violation towards the flesh, joy throughout offense, the eternal return towards the visceral, the morbid by wounding and being wounded.

For transgression to exist, there must be awareness of good and evil, guilt, and condemnation of sin. But this knowledge is left suspended, hidden in our consciousness as a thumping secret that causes greed and temptation towards the forbidden. The body is the battleground between Eros and Thanatos, between desire and destruction; the woman is mother and destroyer, which represents masculine desire. This way, we break life's boundaries with our bodies, resisting thirsty to nights' pain, moving in between crime and repression."

Gihan Tubbeh (26), Peru, followed three years on audio-visual communications at the University of Lima, before studying photography at the Centro de la Imagen, also in the Peruvian capital. Her work has appeared in Die Zeit,Travel and Leisure, and Vision magazine, as well as in numerous publications across Peru. Gihan has featured in a number of group and solo exhibitions across Peru and Europe. She also forms part of Versus Photo, a Peruvian collective of photographers. On 2009, she was one of the twelve photographers who joined the Joop Swart Masterclass of WWP. This year, Gihan won the 1st prize in Daily Life stories with Adrian, a 13-year old autist of the World Press Photo competition. Recently, she has been selected to join Reflexions Masterclass which will begun on May for a two-year seminar. Her last solo exhibition was this past July 2010, Purge in OJO AJENO Gallery.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Vince Hart

Zoe: "On the 17th September 2010, I am going to tell my mum, I think she will disown me".

All images © Vince Hart

"How do we distinguish proper art from mere sensuous stimuli?" is Vince Hart´s first comment when introducing me to his photographic series Latent Inhibition.

"For an image to become memorable," Hart says "it needs to go through the cognitive process. Simply, it needs to pass from short-term memory to the long-term memory, the encoding process is where information is registered, stored and maintained for retrieval at a later time." In other words, for a photograph to become memorable there needs to be a degree of stimuli within a photograph. A stimulus is an action or influence that activates or accelerates a psychological or physiological activity.

Hart goes on to explain: "I will take this opportunity to explore the argument for scientifically approaching the interpretation of photographs. During practice I used key triggers to create stimuli.

My photographic approach invites the viewer to question the ambiguity and interact with the images. Each photograph acts as a clue to a longer narrative that the viewer responds to and co-creates.

Of importance to me is the aesthetic within my practice. Form, structure and dignity should be present within each photograph.

My photography is straight photography: no multiple montage or extensive retouching. I believe it is quintessential that the viewer’s experience of my work will be as close as possible to experiencing a painting. My intention is to demonstrate that cognitive science can influence the attentiveness we pay to art. If a photograph has been experienced with reinforced stimuli, there is a greater chance of remembering inconsequential artwork."

Vince Hart was born in 1964, in Kent, England. He recently completing his MA in photography (2010), at UCA Rochester England. Vince has worked commercially for a number of years although lately he has concentrated his attention on contemporary issues, and is working towards "having greater influence in the art arena." I strongly recommend you head over to his website and check out the rest of his Latent Inhibition series as well as some of his other projects such as the highly accomplished Return to Form project. This guy is good.