August 30, 2013

Friday Round Up - 30 August

This week Friday Round Up comes to you on the eve of the opening of Visa pour l'Image in Perpignan, the international photojournalism festival held annually in France. This year Visa celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Next week I'll be posting from Perpignan, but on today's Friday Round Up Sydney photographer Louise Whelan launches her book 'New Settlers' that celebrates Australia's multiculturalism, New York-based Australian photographer Kisha Bari makes her debut at this year's Photoville Festival with her documentary project 'How Sandy Hit Rockaway' and Kerry Pryor's 'Sight Unseen' is on show in Melbourne. Plus my feature interview with the inimitable Tim Page can be read by clicking on the Feature Articles tab at the top of the blog. Have a great weekend wherever you are. 

Book Launch:
Louise Whelan - New Settlers

Click on the image for launch details.

Look out for my interview with Louise in tomorrow's Weekend Australian magazine (31 August). The book is available from T&G Publishing, click here for details.

Kisha Bari - How Sandy Hit Rockaway

An Australian photographer, now based in New York, Kisha Bari has spent the past ten months documenting the residents in New York’s Rockaway Peninsula, which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy last year. Her photo essay is included in this year’s Photoville Festival and will be displayed alongside the other 32 shipping container photo exhibits that comprise the Festival, which opens on 19 September. Kisha will also be part of a discussion panel with The Museum of New York about photographing Hurricane Sandy on 22 September.

Kisha has kindly shared a selection of her work in words and pictures with Photojournalism Now. It is wonderful to see that those who are still living with the aftermath of the Hurricane are given a chance to tell their stories long after the disaster has fallen from the news headlines. Kisha's photographs are compassionate and thoughtful. She has created a strong body of work.

Week 1 - Gerald Silvester

Gerald Silvester shows me the water mark on his house on Beach 36th st. He’s glad he evacuated as the water level came above the height of his two children. He lives in a single story home. He and his family stayed at his sister’s house in Brooklyn.

Gerald and his wife came home to find everything destroyed. There was almost a foot of sand inside and the water had even overturned his refrigerator, which he found in the middle of his living room.

Week 2 - Gene Burke 

Gene Burke has been a resident of Rockaway since he was 6 years old. He saw the hurricane and waves approach and devastate his neighbourhood. Gene has seen many hurricanes sweep through the peninsula. "This was bigger than Donna!" he says. He lives on the 7th floor of a building on Beach 76th St.

".... that night, the water came. I saw the ocean. And the waves about a mile out, three quarters of a mile out, were actually rolling on top of the other waves. This was a monster! And I saw it come over the boardwalk..." 

With an overturned vehicle in the background, Gene tells me that he is looking after a friend who suffered a heart attack only a week before the storm. Neither of them have anywhere else to go. "We have no water, no electric, no food, no medical supplies. I mean, I can't think of one thing positive. Climbing steps with no emergency lights. Ya have to feel ya way up 5, 6 7, 8 flights."

2 Months - The Epifanio Family 

There are good people in the world and some not so good people, but upon meeting the Epifanio family in Bell Harbor, you understand that there are just some down right phenomenal people. Jim Epifanio left his job as a transmission mechanic in the Bronx over 12 months ago to care for his 92 year old father, Joe, a war veteran and ex-New York City Police man. He required 24 hour care. Jim’s mother, Mary lives with them also. Joe passed away just three weeks ago.

Jim’s wife, Denise teaches special needs children, but due to New York City Public School cut backs, she no longer has work. However, Denise’ mother, Anna, lives with them also. Anna had a stroke three years ago and suffers from dementia and alzheimer’s. Anna also needs 24hr care.

The light of the family is their 17year old son Ryan, who was born with Cerebral Palsy. Although he cannot walk or communicate with words, Ryan’s gentle and happy demeanor is what holds this entire family together. Ryan also needs constant care.

3 Months - Hazel Beckett 

74 year old Hazel Beckett lives alone on Beach 69th st. A retired nurse from Jamaica, she spent the night of Hurricane Sandy with her brother who lives on higher ground. “The place was all topsy-turvy!” she explains upon arriving home to find her basement apartment completely underwater with her freezer and washer/dryer turned on it’s head. The water rose a foot up into her first floor.

She recently had a new heating system installed in her home of 37 years. In the weeks without heat, Hazel would put red bricks on her stove on a low flame 24 hours a day to heat her house. Hazel has called out to a number of aid organizations and is currently awaiting volunteers to help remove the wooden floors of the first level of her home as it has now been enveloped by black mould.

10 Months - Mary Leonard 

Growing up in Rockaway, Mary Leonard is now a part time resident of Breezy Point. All her family live in Rockaway. One of her brothers lost his house in the Breezy fires and another has only just been able to move back into his home. All her many nieces and nephews also live on the Peninsula and were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Her love for the ocean and Rockaway is complete. After surfing her local Rockaway break for her whole life, 60 year old Mary hated the ocean after Sandy hit. She couldn’t even go to the beach after witnessing the devastation that her beloved ocean had caused. Now, after 10 months, she has just started surfing again.

Photoville runs 19-29 September. 
To view more of Kisha Bari's How Sandy Hit Rockaway story click here.

Kerry Pryor - Sight Unseen

Melbourne photographer Kerry Pryor has travelled to Ethiopia numerous times with her work for Eyes for Africa a non-profit organisation that funds cataract eye surgery for people in extreme poverty and remote areas of the country. In this series of nine portraits Kerry captures the moment before the patient is to meet with the surgeon. She says, “It’s an anxious time waiting to see the surgeon as many people have never even been treated by a doctor before”.

“Many of the patients you see in this exhibition have walked for miles, too poor to afford shoes, quite frail and exhausted by the time they arrive at the clinic. When they present to the doctors they have usually had cataracts for some time and their vision is very poor and they rely on the help of a family member to guide them."

“Cataract surgery is the difference between night and day and patients can usually go home within 24 hours with restored vision. The work Eyes For Africa performs is life changing as was my journey to Ethiopia”.

Until 7 September
Edmund Pearce Gallery
Level 2, Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street
Wed-Sat 11am-5pm

August 23, 2013

Friday Round Up - 23 August

This week on Friday Round Up a new book by Rennie Ellis, Paul Batt's exhibition opens in Melbourne, Ballarat International Foto Biennale's opening weekend, Oculi Collective, new articles in Pro Photo and more. Have a great weekend wherever you are.

Rennie Ellis – DECADE 1970-1980

This long awaited publication from one of Australia’s most celebrated social commentary photographers was launched in Melbourne last Tuesday at Mossgreen Gallery, South Yarra. Many of Ellis’ contemporaries packed the Gallery to hear filmmaker Paul Cox share tales of his friendship with Ellis. Susan van Wyk, Senior Curator of Photography, at the National Gallery of Victoria also spoke of Ellis’ contribution to the genre.

(C) Rennie Ellis
The collection of images in DECADE captures the dichotomy of 1970s Australia and the black and white images reflect a period of creative exploration and cultural anarchy. Published by Hardie Grant Books in association with the State Library of Victoria, DECADE 1970-1980 is available in bookstores nationally and online.

Ballarat International Foto Biennale

Last weekend the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB) kicked off its fifth installment amidst the wildest winter weather Victoria has seen this year. Yet the gale force winds and biting cold didn’t deter hundreds from turning out for the opening weekend where the red wine flowed and photography lovers feasted on a truly brilliant showcase of exhibitions. Here are a few photographs that encapsulate the opening weekend courtesy of Marty Williams. 

Elisabeth Zeilon, Sweden with her exhibition Passion Paris

Erika Diettes, Colombia with her exhibition Sudarios (Shrouds)

Festival Director Jeff Moorfoot

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and Alison Stieven-Taylor

Photographers Michael Coyne (L) and Philip Quirk

Filmmaker Paul Cox launches the John Cato Retrospective

Youngho Kang with on of his self-portraits from 99 Variations

Congratulations to Festival Director Jeff Moorfoot and his fantastic team for pulling together a diverse collection of exhibitions. There are core programme and fringe exhibitions to enjoy. Download the programme here. On until 15 September.

Pro Photo Magazine – Head On & Reportage

My reviews on Sydney's Head On Photo Festival and Reportage Documentary Photography Festival feature in the current issue of Pro Photo magazine out now.

Paul Batt – A Single Line

Melbourne photographer Paul Batt’s exhibition, A Single Line (Untitled China series 2012) is currently showing at Edmund Pearce Gallery in Melbourne. Batt says of his project, that it is “a photographic investigation of China's rapidly altering landscape. The intention of the series is to explore the Chinese people's tentative shift from a communist to a capitalist system, as seen through the resource hungry push to modernise the countries rural and urban environments”.

(C) All images Paul Batt

Until 7 September
Edmund Pearce
Level 2, Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street
Wed-Sat 11am-5pm

Photographic Collective
Oculi - Australia

(C) Lee Grant Seoul, Korea

Oculi counts in its membership a number of contemporary Australian photographers including several whose work has featured on this blog -- Lee Grant, Claire Martin, Nick Moir and Andrew Quilty. You can check out the other members and view their work on the Oculi website. Each month Oculi features a slideshow of its members’ work. Check out August’s offering here.

5th Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award

This is one of the richest awards in the industry with a grant of 50,000 Euro to fund a reportage project on a specific topic. This year the theme is Iran. Deadline is September 30. Click here for entry details.

August 16, 2013

Friday Round Up - 16 August

This week Friday Round Up comes to you from the Ballarat International Foto Biennale which opens in Ballarat, an hour from Melbourne on Saturday 17 August. This is the fifth Biennale and there are more than 20 photographers exhibiting in the core programme. Showcased this week are two international exhibitions - Erika Diettes, Colombia and Francisco Diaz, Spain - and two from Australia - Vikk Shayen and Tony Hewitt. These exhibitions epitomise the diversity of work on show at the Festival. If you are in Ballarat don’t miss the John Cato Retrospective and book launch on Saturday at 3pm, and the official Festival opening bash Saturday 6pm, both at the Mining Exchange. See you there.

John Cato Between Sunshine and Shadow
A Documentary 
(C) John Cato

I had such a great response to my interview with filmmaker Paul Cox about his longtime friend photographer John Cato, which was published in the Weekend Australian last week (link below). Many readers commented that they wished the article was longer as they wanted to know more about Cato. Andrew Chapman and David Callow have produced a short documentary – John Cato Between Sunshine and Shadow - a beautiful story about a man who loved photography, nature and sharing his passion. You can watch it here and see the Retrospective at the Mining Exchange.

Erika Diettes - Shrouds 
The Mining Exchange

Erika is a visual artist living and working in Bogotá. She uses photography to examine memory, sorrow, absence and death. Her most recent work Sudarios (Shrouds) has been shown with great success around the world and now comes to Ballarat.

Erika says of her work, “Many times, with my camera, I have been a witness of the moment when people have to close their eyes as they recall the event which divided their life into two parts. My decision to create Sudarios (Shrouds) comes from unanswered questions that came out of my previous series Silencios (Silences), which dealt with survivors of the Second World War who live in Colombia…To date, I have received the testimonies of more than 300 victims of the violence in Colombia. They have confided intimacies of this violence to me: not only its harrowing details, but the way they rebuild their lives and keep going despite what they have suffered.

"The women who serve as the models in Sudarios were first-hand witnesses of acts of horror. The intention of the series is to enable the spectator to observe the moment when these women close their eyes, with no other way to communicate the horror that they witnessed and the intensity of the sorrow they were subjected to”. 

(C) Erika Diettes

Tony Hewitt – Three of Sand, One of Cement!
Art Gallery of Ballarat 

Tony Hewitt’s work spans portrait, landscape and fine art photography. In explaining his exhibition “Three of Sand, One of Cement!” he says, “3 : 2 : 1 (is ) a very popular concrete formula - 3 part gravel, 2 part sand, 1 part cement. Amidst the chaos of urban development I am constantly fascinated and drawn to the elegance, purpose and beauty of its underlying structures. They form the physical foundations of not just where we live, but how we live; they are the ‘glue’ that binds us together. These materials and structures also reflect my childhood memories, of building blocks and construction sets, playgrounds and car parks, and the boundaries between where we find ourselves, and what we hope to become. From the enduring ruins of ancient castles, to the playgrounds of our youth, from corporate edifices to domestic dwellings, their symbolism, design, and presence reassures me". 

(C) Tony Hewitt

Francisco Diaz – The Lost Road
St Patrick’s Community Hall 

(C) Francisco Diaz

“The series The Lost Road is a meticulously produced cinematic narrative depicting four people on a mysterious journey in a car as they become lost,” explains Cuban photographer Francisco Diaz. “On this journey, they encounter many circumstances—loss of cell phone use; a hitchhiker; a deer in headlights; stray birds flying overhead and so forth—that allow their creeping sense of alienation to unfold. Will they change direction, thereby solving the mystery at the core of this journey? Each photograph in The Lost Road is a combination of elements taken from many different photographs. After developing the idea for an individual photograph, I shoot an array of pictures. I then cut out those elements I want to use and reassemble them into a completed photograph. The end product is a photograph that looks like it was shot as a single, coherent image”. 

(C) Francisco Diaz

“As I continue to conceptualise the series—the play of light and dark, the spatial formation and pictorial structure, the sense of colour and the cinematic/theatrical quality—I rely on a mix of pulp fiction illustrators like Malvin Singer, Rudolph Belarski and Rafael DeSoto, along with movie directors such as Hitchcock, Peckinpaw, Godard, Coppola, Boyle and Woo to provide inspiration for visual and narrative techniques. One of the reasons I use photography, is that it can give the viewer that “lo real maravilloso” sensibility”.

Vikk Shayen – Performanscape
Mechanics Institute 

(C) Vikk Shayen

Performanscape is the first exhibition at a photography festival for Singaporean-Australian photographer Vikk Shayen. A collaborative photographic project involving performance artists and theatre makers Performanscape “exposes the stunning landscapes found throughout Australia that remain hidden from those living in urban areas. It also draws attention to the diversity, craftsmanship and physical virtuosity of various Australian artists and designers”.

(C) Vikk Shayen

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale Core Programme features exhibitions by the following artists:

Terence Bogue
John Cato
Tony Hewitt
Sonia Macak
Meredith O’Shea
Vikk Shayen
Kara Rasmanis
Mark Ruff
Guy Vinciguerra

Marrigje de Maar, The Netherlands
Francisco Diaz, USA
Erika Diettes, Columbia
Claudia Fahrenkemper, Germany
Ayala Gazit, USA
Russell Joslin, USA
Young Ho Kang, South Korea
Sheena MacRae, UK
Doc Ross, New Zealand
Hester Scheurwater, The Netherlands
Jackie Ranken, New Zealand
Elisabeth Zeilon, Sweden 

Hanging out on the Fringe

(C) Robert Imhoff

With more than 95 non-curated exhibitions forming the Fringe, it is almost overwhelming trying to work out which ones to see in the opening weekend, although if you live locally then cramming in all the exhibitions may just be possible throughout the Festival. A small taste of what’s on show – Melbournian Robert Imhoff’s “Prelude” drawing on an archive that spans more than 50 years (above), and Belgian photographic artist Wim De Schamphelaere’s “Meeting Africa” are two on Photojournalism Now’s “must-see” list. 

(C) Wim De Schamphelaere

This year’s Festival also features a range of projections – indoor, outdoor and window. More than 60 photographers and photographic artists feature in the projections loop that will be shown at various core venues throughout the festival. 

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale runs until 15th September. For more information visit the website here.

August 09, 2013

Friday Round Up - 9 August

This week on Friday Round Up Luke Hardy's 'karaoke' opens in Sydney, one week until the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, the final instalment in tIMpAGE Unseen - Cuba, Éditions Bessard’s Zine Collection available online, and essential reading for those interested in the continuing shifts in the print media world. Have a great weekend wherever you are.

Luke Hardy – karaoke

Photographic artist Luke Hardy has used the definition of the Japanese word karaoke – “empty orchestra” – as a metaphor through which he explores more complex themes of self and identity in his latest exhibition ‘karaoke,’ which opens tomorrow in Sydney at Arthere.

Here the act of singing along to popular tunes in front of strangers in public bars takes on new meaning, moving beyond the simplistic notion of bravado and self-gratification to reveal a world that is also filled with longing and doubt.

Hardy, who began his career as a documentary photographer, has successfully transitioned into the world of photographic art, but in this photo essay his documentary narrative skills are evident as he captures the nuances of those who perhaps use the “empty orchestra” as a soundtrack to their lives. 

Shot in Thailand over the past decade at varying intervals, Hardy’s ‘karaoke’ while not intentionally anthropological certainly has threads that position it in a certain period of time - the desire to be in the spotlight, if only in a dimly lit bar in the middle of the night, reading lyrics from a video screen and singing along to another’s song is a phenomenon that didn’t exist before 1970 when the word ‘karaoke’ was coined.

Hardy’s ‘karaoke’ collection is somewhat conceptually different to his more ethereal and mystical work that draws on “Japanese legends and romantic ghost stories,” but he says these karaoke photographs “nagged at me and so I decided I had to do something with them”.

Harbouring a fascination and love for Japanese culture it is not surprising that Hardy’s first experience of karaoke was in Japan during a visit in the early 2000s. In Japan karaoke is a highly sociable activity, where often the audience sings along, friends encourage each other and there is rowdy applause. In contrast the Thai karaoke scene suggests a more solitary pursuit and it is this theme that sparked Hardy’s imagination.

“I was surprised that there wasn’t the social atmosphere I’d experienced in Japan. In Thailand people wait to sing their song and they don’t respond to others. Sometimes people will sing to empty rooms and often it is to older types of pop songs that used to be popular. They’ll sing with their backs to the room facing the TV screen or sit with a microphone at the bar.” 

In these images Hardy began to see connections with his other photo essays that explore the “idea of becoming something from what you are doing…that threshold between the real and imagined self. I started to wonder about what was going on with someone in their heart and their head, what made them want to go to karaoke, some every night, others to multiple bars in one night”.

He says this collection captures a “state of mind, the vicarious experience of what the song might be about, the experience of being a pop star” all of which feed into the notion of “becoming”.

One of the most poignant aspects of ‘karaoke’ is that Hardy has chosen to also feature photographs that are counterpoints to the public displays of the karaoke singers allowing the viewer to journey with a subject as he travels home and falls asleep, wasted, and alone. 

But these images are also at times playful and the use of subtitles written across the photograph in both Thai and English evoke a sense of irreverence and toy with the banality of the lyrics of popular love songs. Also Hardy’s “rhyming colour schemes where some images are biased towards purple and violet, and others blue or green or red” come together as visual verses and choruses that like their musical counterparts, tell a story.

Luke Hardy’s exhibition “karaoke” opens tomorrow at Arthere in Sydney’s Redfern. 
All images (C) Luke Hardy

Opening event: Saturday 10 August 2-5pm
Showing until 17 August
126 Regent St, Redfern (Sydney)
Wed - Sat 12-5pm or by appointment


Ballarat International Foto Biennale - One Week To Go

If you are heading down to Ballarat for next weekend's opening of the 5th instalment of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, put these two events in your diary:

John Cato Retrospective and Book Launch 
Saturday 17th August
Mining Exchange, 12 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat 

Check out Alison Stieven-Taylor’s interview with filmmaker Paul Cox, co-curator for the John Cato Retrospective, in tomorrow’s Weekend Australian Magazine (10 August). 

Paul Cox portrait by Marty Williams 2013

BIFB’13 Official Launch Party
Saturday 17 August
Mining Exchange
All welcome, free entry

For more information please visit the website here

More tIMpAGE Unseen – the Final Cuban Instalment

(C) Tim Page - Cuba

To view the final instalment of Tim Page's unpublished work from Cuba please click on the Tim Page link at the top of this blog. And stay tuned for more images to come...

Self-Published and Limited Editions Online 

AnzenbergerGallery, in Vienna, has launched an online bookshop, which stocks rare, self-published, signed and limited edition photography books. The site features Éditions Bessard’s Zine Collection, which includes works by Australian Max Pam. Check it out here

Worth reading:
Shifts Continue in the Print Media Market

The continuing upheaval in the print media market affects both textural journalists and photojournalists. In the past week three major titles have changed hands – Newsweek, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe with the owners of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times planning to split the company. Check out the links below for more information.

Washington Post Sold
New York Times Sells Boston Globe 
Newsweek Sold to IBT Media 
Tribune to Split into Two Companies

Enjoy the weekend.