Die Auseinandersetzung mit der Fotografie dringt mehr und mehr in den Vordergrund der allgemeinen Kulturdebatte. Schon die kulturwissenschaftliche Studie des Gesichts von Hans Belting, die im vergangenen Jahr für den Leipziger Messepreis in der Kategorie Sachbuch nominiert war, basierte zu großen Teilen auf Fotografien. In diesem Jahr könnte mit Helmut Lethens »Der Schatten des Fotografen« ein kulturwissenschaftliches Buch zur Wirklichkeit der Fotografie den Preis gewinnen. Read more »
Diese Frage ist Ausgangspunkt der aktuellsten Arbeiten des italienischen Fotografen Davide Monteleone, für die er in den vergangenen Jahren zahlreiche Preise und Auszeichnungen erhalten hat. Der 1974 geborene Monteleone zeigt die bitter-zauberhafte Welt hinter der trügerischen Patina der kommunistischen und mediterranen Hinterlassenschaften. Read more »
Der US-Amerikaner Thomas Allen Harris dokumentiert in Through a lens darkly. Black Photographers and the emergence of people die Geschichte der Fotografie aus afroamerikanischer Sicht. In der Collage von Stimmen und Bildern betrachtet der New Yorker Filmemacher die Geschichte der USA aus gleichermaßen politischer, sozialer und ästhetischer Perspektive – eine kulturwissenschaftliche Pionierarbeit.
And this, my last post for fotoblog, a bittersweet farewell, and a highlight to another of their beautiful publications. I would like to give resounding thanks to Hatje Cantz for providing this unique forum to the wonderful array of bloggers they have invited to populate their site. It has been tremendously enjoyable to be able to post in this fashion, about whatever I wish in whatever way I like, over the course of the month. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do so and will, truthfully, start missing it the moment I press “publish” on this last post. Thank you, Hatje Cantz!
The Ice Plant is a small art book publishing company in Los Angeles, California, that has a wonderful penchant for imagery in which there’s an aspect of the peculiar in the mundane. Mike Slack and Tricia Gabriel, the duo that runs The Ice Plant, leapt into publishing after many combined years of experience in the book business. And while they are both photographers, they estimate that this experience working in the business has more to do with how they publish books than their own creative practices in photography.
They published their first book, Jason Fulford’s Raising Frogs for $$$, in 2006. To date, they have published 19 titles, and, along with artist Tamara Shopsin, co-publish the 5 Year Diary, which “lets you keep track of the next 60 months of your life in just a few lines a day.” Their next book will be a book of Seth Lower’s photographs, entitled The Sun Shone Glaringly. While they haven’t been able to make the press their one and only job, Gabriel and Slack have managed to continue publishing the books they both want to.
“I hope things go good for you—for it sure has been a hard old time with me. But I hope some day this old Bad Luck will turn to good…” —Roscoe Holcomb, from a letter to John Cohen in January 1962
In 1959, photographer and musician John Cohen first traveled from his home in New York to eastern Kentucky on a quest to find, photograph, and record mountain music. After exhausting all known contacts and coming up empty-handed, he happened across Roscoe Holcomb playing banjo and singing on his front porch. Over the course of the next two decades, Cohen and Holcomb formed a friendship that lasted until Holcomb passed away in 1981.
With his series Nearly West, Austin-based photographer Walker Pickering portrays Texas and the Southern United States in a way that evokes a time long past. Pickering, who is based in Austin, was “raised in the oil fields of West Texas and the swamps of far East Texas.” As a child, he and his family took summertime trips to Mississippi and Alabama for family reunions. Says Pickering, “When you get down to it, I’m really just trying to evoke memories from my own childhood.”
Egbert Trogemann‘s vibrant photographs of television studio audiences fill his new book, Audience, published by Hatje Cantz. The disparity between the vibrantly-colored sets and the still audience members, photographed before the shows have begun, serve to highlight the bizarre scenario that is a television studio audience. Their bored faces, waiting for the show to begin (or for the photograph to be taken), look quite out of place in the hyper surroundings. They are beautiful photographs with the appeal of something so very strange, yet so utterly quotidian as a quiz show, happening in front of the lens.
Twelve years ago, artists Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher created Learning to Love You More, an online, participant-driven project that generated contributions from more than 10,000 people worldwide by its finish in 2009. The idea was that July and Fletcher would post creative assignments to the website, and anyone who wanted could complete any or all of the assignments, as many times as they liked. Participants, both artists and not, photographed or otherwise recorded their submissions, which are still posted publicly online. Both the website and the accompanying book, published by Prestel, generate the same sense of wonder that will be familiar to fans of July’s films and writing.
So Far, published by Hatje Cantz, is an elegant survey of the work of Sonja Braas, who makes sublime photographs around the themes of the environment and environmental upset. The technique Braas employs lends an extra degree of magic to the images: Most of her work uses a combination of her own photographs of “real” environments with “fake” elements, such as constructed sets. The combination creates mostly real-looking pictures that take on a bewitching quality from the created surreality of the subjects.