February 07, 2014

Friday Round Up - 7 February, 2014

This week on Friday Round Up FotoEvidence teams with Vlad Sokhin to publish Crying Meri, Bill Henson's Wildcards opens in Melbourne, Frank Thiel in New York, photo essays and more. Plus new Book Reviews.

Kickstarter Project:
Vlad Sokhin – Crying Meri 

Vlad Sokhin is a Russian/Portuguese documentary photographer who has been documenting the endemic violence against women in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for the last three years exposing a culture of “domestic, sexual and sorcery violence”.

In PNG women are known by the pidgin word “meri” hence Sokhin’s body of work - Crying Meri – Violence Against Women In Papua New Guinea. This powerful visual narrative has been exhibited around the world. Sokhin’s images capture the plight of women who are trapped by convention and lack of choice. Many are left horrifically disfigured after being attacked with knives and axes, often wielded by a husband. The United Nations and Amnesty International have used Sokhin’s images to draw international attention to the issue and in December 2013 the PNG Government instituted that nation's first law “prohibiting domestic violence”.

All images (C) Vlad Sokhin

Now Sokhin has teamed with FotoEvidence, who has also exhibited this work, to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to publish Crying Meri as a hard cover book and also an iPad version.

FotoEvidence’s publisher Svetlana Bachevanova says when they first decided to exhibit Sokhin’s work “we had no idea how fast and deep would be its impact”. The outcomes already achieved by Sokhin, and FotoEvidence, are demonstrative of the power of photography in effecting change. Tangible outcomes like this should give hope to those photojournalists who question the ability to influence a broader conversation. In an age where the public is bombarded with imagery, much of it banal, it is heartening to see a project like Crying Meri reach the collective conscience.

“Crying Meri will include Sokhin’s "Crying Meri Diaries," field notes and Polaroid images that capture his personal experience traveling in PNG and his conversations with the people he photographed.

Andrei Polikanov, editor of the Russian Reporter magazine, will serve as photo editor. Christina Saunders, Human Rights Adviser to the United Nations in Papua New Guinea from 2009 to 2013 will contribute a foreword. Jo Chandler, an award winning Australian journalist for the The Global Mail, who has covered gender violence in PNG for years will write an essay for the book.” 

You can support the project here.

Exhibition: Melbourne
Wildcards: Bill Henson Shuffles the Deck

(C) Norman Lindsay

(C) Mark Strizic

(C) Wesley Stacey

Photographer Unknown
In an exhibition to be opened Saturday 8 February at Monash Gallery of Art (Melbourne) renowned Australian photographic artist Bill Henson will step out as curator to present his vision of photography in this country.

In Wildcards Henson literally does shuffle the deck selecting an eclectic range of works spanning the history of photography in this country dating back to the late 1800s. Some of the artists featured are Mark Strizic, David Moore, Beverley Veasy, Norman Lindsay, Wesley Stacey, Matthew Sleeth and George J Morris. All in all there are 89 images on show. View the full list here.

Henson will be at the MGA on Saturday at 2pm to speak about his selection before Monash’s Mayor officially opens the exhibition. I'll be interviewing Henson next week for the Weekend Australian Magazine.

Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Road
Wheelers Hill (Melbourne)
1 February 2014 to 30 March 2014

Photo Essay:
GMB Akash – An Unrest Soul

GMB Akash has published a new photo collection on his blog. In "An Unrest Soul" he shares photographs taken over several years, and across continents.

In the past I've featured his work on Photojournalism Now, my last post being his photo essay that exposed the horrible ‘living’ conditions of Indonesia’s mentally ill, a story that drew strong response from readers.

In my opinion, this photographer continues to produce some of the finest photojournalism and his commitment to pursuing personal projects reaches to the heart of the profession.

(C) All Images GMB Akash

To see more of GMB Akash's work, click here.
Exhibition: New York
Frank Thiel - Nowhere is a Place

Continuing with the theme of frozen landscapes (my interest is definitely being fanned by the continuing hot summer in Melbourne) is the exhibition Nowhere is a Place by German photographer Frank Thiel. Thiel is best known for his documentation of his home city of Berlin shot over a decade (1995-2005). Over this period he created large scale images that captured a city in transition, and in the process established himself as an artist of note.

His current exhibition features images of a gargantuan Patagonian glacier, one of the few to be increasing in size, and part of the third largest ice cap in the world. This glacier is 18 miles long, three miles wide and a massive 240 feet high.

(C) All Images Frank Thiel

This show is BIG also. The largest work is 9 metres (29 feet) long. 

Sean Kelly Gallery
475 Tenth Avenue
New York

Artist Talk: Sydney
Robyn Beeche 

(C) Robyn Beeche

A retrospective of Australian photographer Robyn Beeche’s work opened this week at Black Eye Gallery in Sydney. In the 1980s Beeche turned her lens on the “gender-bending” world of counter culture in London collaborating with the likes of Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood and Divine.

On Saturday at 2pm there will be a floor talk. Come and hear how this amazing work was all done in-camera with no post production. 

Black Eye Gallery
3/138 Darlinghurst Road,
Darlinghurst, Sydney
Until 2 March 2014

Simon Harsent - Melt: Portrait of an Iceberg
Now on exhibition at Edmund Pearce Gallery, Melbourne Until 1 March

(C) Simon Harsent

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