July 25, 2014

Friday Round Up - 25 July, 2014

This week on Friday Round Up exhibitions in London and Dubai, photo essays from Ken Schles and Brenda Ann Kenneally and the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize is open for entries plus Picture of the Week and Henri Cartier-Bresson's Here and Now in review.

Picture of the Week: 

Jon Nazca's "supermoon" over Olvera, Spain 2014. 

Book Review:
Here and Now Henri Cartier-Bresson

This is a weighty tome, in physicality and content. The kind of book you flick through several times before settling on a chapter with which to spend a few hours, for time passes quickly when you immerse yourself in such an exquisite volume.

Cartier-Bresson was a visual artist, a man who loved to paint and draw, passions that developed at a very early age. But he was also a man who loved to explore new forms of artistic expression. Living in Paris, in what is known as the ‘luminous years,’ Cartier-Bresson fell in with the Surrealists and by the end of the 1920s he’d discovered Eugène Atget and turned his attention to photography...(to read the full review please click on the Book Reviews tab at the top of this blog).
Exhibition: London
The Visual Revolution

Russian Avant-Garde Photography, Alexander Rodchenko & the VKhUTEMAS Workshop

Alexander Rodchenko 1891-1956
Zhenshchina s kolyaskoi (Woman with baby carriage), 1928

This expansive exhibition features more than 1500 vintage photographs taken by over 100 Russian photographers including Alexander Rodchenko, Max Alpert, Akady Shishkin, and Gustav Klutsis and is curated from a single collection of works dating from the 1920s to World War II.

Rodchenko (1891-1956) is considered the "leader of Russian Constructivism" and as such his work is pivotal to this exhibition. Inspired by Moholy-Nagy's experimental photographic technique, Rodchenko came to photography in the early 1920s and used his camera to investigate "the discrepancy between high and low culture in Soviet society”. His body of work has "influenced design, architecture and photo-art"and he is still named today as a photographer of influence. 

Georgi Lipskerov 1896 - 1977
Paransha. Burka, Central Asia

Max Alpert 1899 - 1980
Untitled (Dnepr Dam)

Georgi Zelma 1906 - 1984
Petrusov and Shaikhet

The VKhUTEMAS Workshop was formed in 1920 when Lenin merged the Stroganov School of Industrial Art and the Moscow School of Painting and was Russia's answer to Bauhaus, although the former never rose to the same prominence. The Workshop only existed for a decade, yet it is considered to have played a major role in introducing constructivism and rationalism in architecture.

The Visual Revolution is part of the 2014 UK-Russia Year of Culture. If you are in London this is an exhibition for your "must see" list. 

Until 29 August
Richard Saltoun
111 Great Titchfield Street
London W1W 6RY

Exhibition: Dubai
Max Pam – Ramadan in Yemen

(C) All images Max Pam

Australian photographic artist Max Pam continues to garner an international following for his work with the first exhibition of his collection ”Ramadan in Yemen” currently on exhibition in Dubai. Pam like other Australian artists has had greater success overseas than at home and in France in particular Pam’s work is highly regarded. And it is a travesty that the work of Australian artists continues to receive less than adequate support here from our cultural institutions. 

"Ramadan in Yemen" documents Pam's travels through this amazing country in the late 1990s. Pam believes the journal he kept at this time is one of his best and this journal forms the heart to the book "Ramadan in Yemen" published by Éditions Bessard in Paris. Now works from this collection are on show in Dubai, the first time this series has been exhibited.

Of "Ramadan in Yemen"Pam says, "What could I say about Yemen that did it justice. I tried in my journal to work it honestly. I tried with 60 rolls of black and white 120 film to translate the experience. That hot, spare and beautiful Ramadan. No eating or drinking anything between sunrise and sunset. The faithful waiting for the moment. The cannon booms from the mosque in the afterglow of the day. KABOUMMM and a frenzy of quat buying, tea drinking and food eating begins in the suqs and squares and oases and towns all over the country. Everyone is happy, elated, laughing and joking sitting down together as one nation. And you know what? People always wanted me to share and be part of their Ramadan, their community, their Yemen. I travelled all over the country with them. To Shibam, Taizz, Al Mukallah, Sanaa, over the desert, by the sea and into the mountains. The shared taxis were always a half past dead Peugeot 405’s with sometimes 10 or 12 people jammed in. My book gives my version of that unforgettable Ramadan month. An experience freely given to me by the generosity of Yemeni people".

Until 10 September, 2014
East Wing
#12 Limestone House
DIFC, Dubai, UAE
To purchase the book email Éditions Bessard at contact@editionsbessard.com

Photo Essay:
Ken Schles – A Suspension of Memory

Daylight Digital has published a reimagining of New York photographer Ken Schles’ ‘Invisible City’ and ‘Night Walk’ combining stills and video taken by Schles with text written by Alan Rapp. Accompanied by a soundtrack complete with traffic honking and sirens blaring that transports the viewer to the noisy streets of New York, Schles grainy black and white photographs appear even grittier as if they are literally dusted with the patina of the streets. 

(C) All images Ken Schles

Published in 1988 to wide acclaim ‘Invisible City’ was Schles first monograph. This book has been out of print for years, but Steidl will publish an edition later in 2014 together with Schles new book ‘Night Walk’ in which he revisits the period of the ‘Invisible City’ taking the reader on “ a peripatetic walk in the evening air of a lost pre-Internet bohemian downtown New York”.

This Daylight Digital production is a great example of the publishing options available to photographers thanks to digital technology and shows how still images can be transformed into dynamic, interactive narratives that create new opportunities for engagement. Love it. Click here to see the story in full.

Photo Essay:
Brenda Ann Kenneally's
Upstate Girls causes furore

Destiny and Deanna pretending to smoke (C) Brenda Ann Kenneally

In a world where we are subjected to all manner of images depicting all facets of human behaviour it is always interesting to see what the "public" takes umbrage with. American photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally's photo essay "Upstate Girls" is a case in point. 

When her project was published on Slate.com recently with the headline “A New Way to Talk About Poverty in Troy, New York,” neither Kenneally or Slate’s editor-in-Chief Julia Turner could have predicted that these images would evoke such ferocious outbursts that were directed at both the subjects and the photographer. Such was the diatribe around one particular image that Kenneally and Slate agreed to withdraw it; not in acquiescence with the hysteria, but in order to protect the subject.

Briefly, Kenneally’s photo essay is part of a ten-year project that documents the lives of seven young women over a decade. These women live in the city of Troy, Kenneally’s hometown, and are beset by extreme poverty as are more than one fifth of that city's population. A number of the women Kenneally befriended and photographed were also teenage mothers forced to give up their children, or to rear them on their own and her photographs depict their struggles.

Heather and her daughter Jada (C) Brenda Ann Kenneally

'Little Jessie' whose been drinking coffee since he was a baby and is now 12 (C) Brenda Ann Kenneally

In her artist's statement Kenneally, who labels herself a digital folk artist' rather than a photographer, says, “I have dedicated my life to exploring the how and why of class inequity in America. I am concerned with the internalized social messages that will live on for generations after our economic and social policies catch up with the reality of living on the bottom rung of America’s upwardly mobile society. My project explores the way that money is but a symptom of self-worth and a means by which humans separate from each other. Poverty is an emotional (rather than simply) physical state with layers of marginalization that cements those who live under them into place”.

You can see the Slate story here. There is also a piece in the New York Times.

Moran Contemporary Photographic Prizes
$50,000 first prize

The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize celebrates ‘contemporary life in Australia’ and is one of the largest and most coveted single photographic prizes in this country with the winner receiving $50,000. There are also a number of student categories and all finalists receive cash prizes. 

In addition to this major annual photographic competition, the Moran Arts Foundation is also invested in working with school students and teachers to provide free photographic workshops. Australian photographer Louise Whelan, whose work has featured on this blog in the past, has been working with various schools this year in what is a fantastic program that teaches not only basic technical skills, but most importantly visual storytelling. 

(C) Louise Whelan

Entries for the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prizes close September 15. Please visit the website for details including eligibility.

First Prize $50,000
All finalists receive $1000
Judges this year are Getty Images' Aidan Sullivan and Australian photographer William Long
For more information visit the website here

Last year's winner was John Janson-Moore for Nyirripi Girl with Finger (below).


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