When I recently heard about the current show at the CCP of Anne Zahalka's work, I was quite excited.
I spent some time at the show on Wednesday just gone, and well, to be frank, I was disappointed.
The show is really well hung, the staff at the CCP have done a great job. The large light box, in gallery 3 is mind blowing. The rest of the work itself however has a level of inconsistency about it's printing that makes me wonder if it is even by the same artist? I was really looking forward to seeing the work in gallery 2, her best known I suppose, but was sadly disappointed by the prints, they seemed to lack any richness, and I was not even sure they had been shot on medium format, due to poor sharpness and what appeared to be chromatic abberations. The body of work in gallery 1, the Artist series, really has me perplexed because it is so obviously digital, but the material it is printed on takes it almost to a sculptural level. The ideas themselves are of course engaging and humorous, but I'm kind of left gasping when there seems to be so little to tie them together.
Friday just gone saw me at Heide Museum of Modern Art. The show I saw was, entitled, Perfect for every occasion: photography today.
Without getting into specifics, I am more than stoked to have seen such a lively and healthy showing of the state of current contemporary photographic art practice here in Australia.
My main favourites were:-
At first when I saw the beautiful giclée prints by Patrick Pound, I didn't believe that they were images that hadn't gone though some post processing, until I got home. I was able to mimic the Henson-esque like softness of the images by simply focussing up close on an image, as he had indeed done, and with some simple moves in photoshop hey presto, all I would need is the cash to print them as giclée prints.
Debra Phillip's were seemed to me to really honour the traditions I've come to love in Photography, but not in a fawning or servile way. Everything from the framing down to the sequencing really worked well, it was a cohesive and resolved body of work.
Paul Knight's work which are large scale prints of slightly ambiguous subject matter reminded me of an amalgam 2 European Photographer's work, Boris Mikhailov, and Thomas Struth.
There was a noticeable number of New Zealanders represented, and of course some work that for me just clutched at straws or were simply post-modernist ideas, the usual one trick pony type stuff.
Overall, I really enjoyed the way several people were approaching the use of image capturing devices and how they responded to the idea of output, I would have liked to have seen some mention however of images being used in an online context. Overall the show was witty endearing challenging beautiful and engaging.
After a glimpse of a household object caught my eye this morning, I wanted to write something about humour and modern art, but the pull of the glorious sunshine and the list of more important things to do tugs desperately for my attention.
Here's something worth a look, if you're in Melbourne this month. Zephyr Gallery in the Docklands, has a show of photographs Elvis Impersonators. The book and sales of the prints will raise funds for the Mirabel Foundation, the work is by Saville Coble, the show runs from the 1st to the 30th of May. at Zephyr Gallery 60 River Esplanade Docklands Melbourne.
On a personal note I may not get a chance to see the show, as sadly the web site for Zephyr gallery is actual an Ad Agency website, and am unable to garner much more information. The 'Docklands' website has some more information, scroll down to read it.
Only midly photography related, however worth a look I feel.
ACMI are having an interesting show in July. An exhibition of Pixar Studio's work
Pixar: 20 Years of Animation is the international exhibition that takes you behind the scenes of the studio that created Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Toy Story, Cars and The Incredibles.
Over 500 sketches, paintings, sculptures and storyboards reveal how Pixar's much-loved characters and worlds are brought to life. In addition to these one-of-a-kind works by artists and sculptors, the exhibition includes spectacular immersive environments and interactive experiences developed by Pixar to extend the magic of their films.
The world's largest exhibition dedicated to the art of animation comes from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and makes its only Australian appearance at ACMI.
All thanks to upcoming dot org
Donina, one of the gifted and creative people I have the good fortune to meet on flickr and in real life was recently highlighted in the Hey Hotshot competition, a hearty congrats to you there Donina, let's see where your next attempt gets gets you.
So a week or so ago, I caught up with an old friend, we had lunch at a local pub. I walked there and back, it is a close pub.
Because I was walking I had a few beers and was wandering home in the cold blustery conditions feeling very merry, when I noticed a new gallery had opened near us. So with a little time up my sleeve, I stuck my head in to see what was up.
There was some great work on the walls very colourful and playful, with what seemed a somewhat Eastern influence.
So of course because I had a little dutch courage ion me I got chatting to the person on hand, and as a consequence I'm showing some work in the gallery.
Now before you both of my readers pencil in the dates in their diaries, two things, 1.this is a commercial gallery, 2. as a consequence I'm showing 2 or 3 pieces from my last show at Trocadero.
The way things are going I'm on a bit of high these days with getting my work archived on pandora and now this little local show.
"The documenta is regarded as the most important exhibition of contemporary art, drawing attention from all over the world. It was initiated in 1955 by the artist and art educator, Arnold Bode, in Kassel. After the period of Nazi dictatorship, it was intended to reconcile German public life with international modernity and also confront it with its own failed Enlightenment.
Nobody would have thought at that time that the exhibition, often called the One Hundred Day Museum, would become an unparalleled success. Nevertheless, the twelfth documenta will be taking place in summer 2007."
I only found this thanks the social nature of the web, thanks Charlie, if you're out there.
*Strangely wikipedia has no entry for Geoffrey Blainy's seminal work, and yet I am able to find, an article, that appears to refute the notion/s about distance and character. A disclaimer also, I have never actually read Blainey's book.
Some work prints for an upcoming show at Gallery 124, 124 Hampshire Rd Sunshine. I'm planning on submitting these for the annual X-mas show. As first prints I'm pretty pleased with the results. They are actually from a larger series, one that has been in the pipe-works for 12 months already.
The 2 low key prints are on Ilford Multigrade, the 2 high-key prints are on my last packet of Forté.
All are developed in Ansco 120. A metol only soft and warm paper developer that I've been using for quite a few years now. A job I once did, paid me with Metol, thank god.
Definitely will be toning these, probably using sepia, on the high key shots, and selenium on the low key shots, I'm also planning on using bleach locally on the low key shots, looks like I've a few more Sundays to go before they will be ready.
A word of Thanks to Elisabeth, Artelisa, on flickr and ipernity for organising an Exhibition called, When your beauty is also my beauty...an international semantic experiment in photography, featuring 12 photographers from around the world.
Here's her Exhibition statement.
When your beauty is also my beauty...
an international semantic experiment in photography.
How do we perceive images – whether made by ourselves or by others – and how do these "others" see our own pictures? Sixteen people – connected by their passion for seeing and photographing – some of whom know each other personally, and others of whom are connected only by online exchanges of photographs over several years, examine that question in this exhibition.
Initiated by and in discussion with Elisabeth Windisch (Germany), thousands of photos were reciprocally reduced to a selection of twelve from each participant: Gabriela Potts (USA), Hartmut Schneider (Germany), Oliver Nitschke (Germany), Stuart Murdoch (Australia), Paul E. Grebanier (USA), Kangan Arora (UK), Nils K. Windisch (Germany), Ned Lyttelton (Canada), Janette Toth (USA), Julia Wagner (Germany), Dario Taraborelli (UK), Marion de Man (Netherlands), Donald McLeman (UK), Scott Bookman (USA), Rainer Perrey (Germany).
This concept is explored in the form of small-format digital prints, from 12 to 14 October.
Location: Historischer Wasserturm (Historic Watertower), Gökerstrasse 3, Wilhelmshaven, GermanyVernissage: Friday, 12 October at 19:00, with opening remarks by Gabriele Iwersen Viewing hours: Saturday and Sunday, 13-14 October from 14:00 to 18:00
Sadly I was unable to attend the opening, there are pictures on flickr of course, in LichtEinfall's stream. thanks also to LichtEinfall [Rainer] for documenting it for those who were unable to attend.
On Friday night I attended the opening of UNSENSORED 07, a photographic exhibition by a collective of photographers who initially met via flickr. The show is all shot on film. And the prints are on sale both from the gallery, and redbubble.com.
The works on display were all of exceptional quality and the presentation immaculate. The show itself hung very professionally too.
While it is difficult to really see work at an opening, Jaye Loring's work shot on a holga really grabbed my eye as did Hamish Innes-Brown's work.
I highly recommend a visit, to this show.
Details are:- UNSENSORED 07, @ Kerala Galley, 283 High St Northcote, 3070, Melbourne Victoria Australia. Gallery Hours Tuesday to Friday 12-5pm, and Saturdays 10-4pm. The show runs until the 10th of November. 2007
Gallery 124 in Sunshine are having a X-mas Show, I have some new work and some old work in the show. The old work is from a couple of shows I had in the early 90's and 2 of the pieces are from the yet to be completed series, Maps. Given the response to the Maps pieces I may well try and finish printing the work and exhibit it in either 2008, or 2009.
The Show runs until 21st of December 2007, the gallery is at 124 Hampshire Rd Sunshine.
‘Apropos - Human Rights in Art’ brings together international, national and community based artists to explore how contemporary practice can articulate and illuminate issues of human rights.
Apropos presents a wide range of mediums and approaches used by contemporary artists to critically respond to current human rights issues and the role of art within that dialogue. Including collaborative and community based projects, Apropos actively engages with the broader community and facilitates the artistic expression of those directly affected by human rights violations.
The works in Apropos respond to a diverse range of human rights issues including freedom from discrimination, environmental issues, refugees, poverty, labour rights, indigenous issues, humanitarian conflict and freedom of expression.
Participating artists include:
BUS Gallery 117 Lt Lonsdale St Melbourne, Films Screening @ RMIT Capitol Theatre 113 Swanston St Melbourne.
Victoria Park's 'ART$MASH' VPG's 2nd annual fund raising show.
Opening Wednesday 19th December 2007 5.30 - 8.30pm.
Exhibition runs 20th - 22nd December 2007.
I've a couple of small pieces in there.
Scale and size, are almost irrelevant on the internet. Real in 'our hands' prints are reliant* on scale, as part of the grammar of photography.* is reliant even the right word?
Yes folks, it's that time of year, where I poke and prod all my proof sheets, put on my thinking cap and start the annual round of gallery applications, [starting with the CCP] . This year, it's the maps series. Having found a commercial scanner that scans the way I want format bit depth and with a good quality scanner, I'll be able to afford a whole series of high end scans, which I'll then then print as I can afford them.
But first, a basic edit of the low rez scans, on my work's Epson 1680, to get an idea of what I want to put in the application/s, so I can then decide what I finally want to exhibit. In this day and age of electronic organisation, why not use the notes feature in mail.app?
*The list below; is first looks, and as a rule these first look lists are always overly ambitious.
So; yesterday, I mentioned that I was beginning the annual process of applying for exhibitions. Today I feel the need to clarify a little.
The peak exhibiting body in Melbourne Victoria Australia, would be the NGV, either the International or the Ian Potter Centre. To have a solo exhibition in either place means you have been culturally accepted, [by the art system anyway and are usually invited]. To my mind there is a hierarchical system of galleries that operate beneath these 2 state owned enterprises. For art photographers, the next step down is the CCP, in this hierarchy. The CCP has a process in place whereby applications for the next year's shows must arrive by a due date, [this is what I meant by annual round of applications]. Under the CCP, is a myriad of smaller galleries some of which are also considered to be part of the larger hierarchy, there are too many to mention, but last year my solo show was at a well respected and established artist run space called Trocadero. I applied there, in 2006, after an unsuccessful application to the CCP in the same year.
In a nutshell the process is quite simple. Fill in some paperwork, scan/prepare some images and burn them to a CD, mail said paperwork and CD to a gallery and wait.
The image preparation is the easy part, for me anyway, the writing, well that's a whole other kettle of fish. Anyways, I had a successful day scanning yesterday, here's the results, now the editing and processing begins, once processed I will post to flickr.
I would like to exhibit 20 prints 1 metre square, but at $150.00 per print, plus GST, I'll be pushing it to make 10, and that's if I get a show at the CCP.The CCP actually pays you to exhibit. The other galleries in the system fall into two loose categories. Artist Run and Commercial. Artist run spaces, usually charge a nominal fee for rental of the space, and require an application process, they may also take either a small commission fee or none at all. I may in all likelihood, also need to bear some of the costs of exhibiting, such as invitations and catering on the opening night. Commercial galleries, need to want to exhibit you, or rather, you need to convince them they want you. They then exhibit you for free, but take very high commissions.
So if I don't get a show at the CCP, it will be one of the galleries further down the scale, which, depending on the gallery will have varying costs that I will need to bear, and will most likely be an artist run space.
Recently I submitted some work for consideration for a competition, HeadOn. They charge $25.00 per head to submit an electronic version of your submission. According to my recently received e-mail the competiotn received over 2400 entries, by my calculations that's 60,000 bucks minimum, nice work if you can get it.
Should I have perhaps taken someone's advice and made an image of a person on the fringes of society, would that have upped my chances? I guess we'll never know.
Currently the CCP in Arizona, is having an exhibition that has pertinent points to be made about the current state of photographic art.
A little known fact amongst amateur photographers is that the way photography is perceived is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of the medium, way way back, last century, in 1930, there were 2 types of art photography, Pictorialism, and Straight Photography.
The CCP in Arizona is holding an exhibition that attempts to revive the debate that surrounded the 2 styles.This is the first exhibition to provide a substantial consideration of the group since 1992, and is unique in its inclusion of pictorialist examples to illustrate the debate.
Some great work on show for sure, but I can only wonder how that kind of debate would be handled in this day and age, of phone-cameras, out selling DSLR's and internet forums bursting with opinions?
Thanks to beek for this heads up.
Which of corse begs the question, what makes a good photograph these days?
One of my teachers from my under-grad years is having a show. I found out through facebook of all places. Here's his description of the show.
'Some feeling' explores the act of an emotionally driven exploration of the landscape at night as a documentation of things that can’t be seen, but instead felt. Instead of searching for a location that would evoke a specific feeling, I have allowed the way I feel emotionally to direct me toward a landscape that I recognise as being representative of a certain emotion. Some Feeling is the result of documenting external representations of internal feeling states.
"Opening night - Tuesday 30 September, 5.30 - 7.30pm"
Tuesday, September 30 at 5:30pm - Saturday, October 11 at 5:00pm
First Site - RMIT Union Gallery, Storey Hall Basement
This just in, my inbox [from Photospace in Collingwood]
The spring exhibition program at PhotoSpace starts with an exhibition in September titled "In a Moment".
This is an open entry exhibition of original work by artists who enjoy the unexpected quality and playfulness of instant film such as Polaroid or Fujifilm. If you would like to be involved in this exhibition please email the gallery asap.
Also during September Lynette Zeeng will be running a workshop at Gold Street studios in Polaroid transfer. For more information please visit www.goldstreetstudios.com.au or ring Ellie Young on (03) 5424-1835
'In a Moment' runs from 3 to 20 September 2008.Viewing hours: Wed to Sat 12 to 5pm, Sun to Tue by appointment
34 Dight Street, Collingwood
PO Box 1612, Collingwood VIC 3066
Contact details: Veronica Hodgkinson
T: (03) 9415-6139
As a consequence, I've revisited roid rage from a couple of years ago, and now am in the process of editing the set down to 4, currently, I'm at 9, pretty surprised I managed to get it to that so quickly really.
"The social role of sport is to provide an outlet for intelligent people to behave like brainless people"
... Nothing is achieved outside the game; noone is wiser or can add a benefit to the world beyond the fury of the struggle.*
Here here, Robert Nelson.
Thursday's Age has a review of an exhibition, the Basil Sellers Art prize, where Robert Nelson eloquently describes the function of sport in Western Culture. I'm still trying to find and online reference that I can link to. But he very eloquently describes the middle classes fascination with gladiatorial contests.
I dream of the day when art and sport get equal footing in our media.*Robert Nelson, page 16 the Age 13.08.2008
A review of a show of work by Hiller & Becher at MOMA, this is a rarely seen pictorial landscape that gives some context to the whole body of work, that unexpectedly ceased recently, with the death of Becher
[From Industrial-Strength Art]
These two photographers are secondly only to robert adams in my Photography Book collection.
A few days ago I posted a mention about an exhibition review in 'The Age', it seems the author, Robert Nelson found my article and sent me it, in it's entirety. So with much fanfare, here is the article.
‘Basil Sellers Art Prize’, Ian Potter Museum, University of Melbourne, Parkville, until 26 October
The social role of sport is to provide an outlet for intelligent people to behave like brainless people. Everyone knows that there’s no intrinsic point in shifting a leather ball from one post to another, no matter how energetic or invested the contest. Nothing is achieved outside the game; no one is wiser or can add a benefit to the world beyond the fury of the struggle.
Intelligent people also recognize the costs of sport, severe and permanent injuries, which burden our hospitals every weekend. But sport is a sanctioned release from responsible thinking, and all these scruples are put aside. The whole point of sport is to insulate you from things that matter.
The habit of getting excited and screaming for no good reason creates a momentary dome of ignorance; it’s a hallowed asylum of folly, a carnevalesque institution of mania against the onus of wisdom. Important and urgent questions should be discussed, like global warming; but the clamorous distraction of sport assures even the brainiest people that they too can enjoy the mind of an idiot.
I was therefore skeptical of the ‘Basil Sellers Art Prize’. Why conceive a lucrative prize around sport? Sport is the antithesis of art, because art is all about a purpose beyond the work.
Art engenders speculation, a portal to new insights and imaginative growth. Like music, science and philosophy, art promotes an intoxicating wonder for where the mind can reach. Sport offers no similar transcendence, because it lacks any admirable purpose beyond its own arbitrary exertions.
Once inside the show, however, I had to admit that some of the works are brilliant. The masterpiece is ‘Bicycles’ by James Angus, which should have won the prize. The sculpture is a track-bike that merges three separate frames, with three tyres, train-drives, handlebars, pedals and spokes. The machine is throbbing with a sense of immanence, as if growing through speed. As its form is replicated, the bike is caught in its own vibrations, as if each shudder and thrust in a stressful ride causes the bike to reproduce itself, to project more versions of itself as tremors of staggering zeal.
The craftsmanship of this sculpture matches the concept. I hope that the artist can gain one of Elvis Richardson’s trophies, which amount to a gaudy army, like a field of slayers, such as little boys might play with. So many wins! The copious ripper victories, represented by a horde of trinkets, makes you reflect on the utter futility of winning, unless you get financial reward (in which case you could do something valuable with the prize money).
Elsewhere, Richardson’s trophies reveal their own entropy, as her noble cups are rotting away, just as they deserve. It’s the neglect to which all sporting victories are destined, because they’re essentially trivial and ultimately give history nothing to remember.
Kate Daw & Stewart Russell celebrate a marvellous moment from the Olympics in 1968 when Peter Norman rose to the podium, performing a black power salute with a black athlete. You feel that Norman really earned the beautiful monument that Daw & Russell create for him. Tellingly, Norman’s brave political action completely displaces any memorableness of his athletic achievement.
Some of the works are cheeky, such as Scott Redford’s hilarious video, which shows men spraying the word ‘dead’ onto surfboards only to cut them up. On another monitor, two young women in bikinis come into a luxurious apartment to perform this morbid office. Laying the boards between the floor and foot of the bed, the beach-babes clumsily hack the wobbling boards with a saw, which sticks and jambs the further they get into it. The bodies of the women convulse erratically in this sacrilegious castration of surfing prowess.
I felt that the winner, Daniel Crooks’ video, ‘Static no. 11 (man running)’, maybe deserved eleventh place. It shows a man on a running machine in a gym. But something odd happens. The integrity of the filmed image is stretched across a vertical gulf, which yields a slippery fill of reciprocal flows, as in an irregular mirror. The director of the Potter, Chris McCauliffe, gives a clever analysis of the work, “like an eerie photo-finish caught up in a time warp”.
It made me reflect that maybe this “abstract ballet” deserves to win after all, because it’s the closest to sport and the furthest from art: it doesn’t reveal a purpose beyond its own tricks, an electronic banality striving for hermetic excellence.
robert.nelson @ artdes. monash. edu. au
It's about time some one told it like it was
'A photograph is not an opinion. Or is it?' asked Sontag in the introduction to Leibovitz's Women, lightly implying that the photographer might have some opinions of her own. If she does, they are not discernible in the portraits for which she is famous. George W Bush, the exhausted surgeon in Sarajevo, Scarlett Johansson in gold knickers: they are all one in Leibovitz's drastically neutral view of human nature. All the energy spent on celebrating the outward appearance of her subjects leaves little for what goes on inside
[From Too many stars in her eyes]
It's all about self promotion really
The photography show at Workshop, runs till the 14th of December.
While we're on the subject of photography and art exhibitions, it's the crazy time of year for art and photography shows as all the graduates from the major art schols are showing around town.
VCA, are showing at the VCA gallery, RMIT Fine Art graduating students are showing at the Brunswick st Gallery, the First Year Students next month Tuesday 2nd December 2008, 6-8pm @ Hogan Gallery, 310 Smith Street, Collingwood just to mention a couple.
The Rennie Ellis show was somewhat timely this year, several students used a similar approach with a more personal focus in their folios, but what I really found interesting about that was that they predominantly used film. Food for thoughtwhen I get time, some time ANY time!
This looks like it will be worth a visit
A new photographic exhibition featuring many never seen before works by legendary Australian photographer, Max Dupain (1911-92) is opening for the first time at the Victorian Archives Centre.
The inaugural issue of altfotonet.org has been launched.
The process has me wondering now about the differences between brick and mortar galleries and e-zines, and website and blogs. What differentiates a magazine from a gallery, a blog from a website, a website from a bricks and mortar gallery, a blog from an e-zine?
My plan with altfotonet, is to build a repository of photographic art work that represents the current focus of where people are trying to take photography, with the help of the other members of the selection committee. A kind of beacon for others to follow.
The tyranny of distance, and idea proposed by, Geoffrey Blainey, is to some extent still in place, and sometimes the internet amplifies it, other times it diminishes it. Sometimes, both.
These exhibitions all look interesting, I found out about them via the internet, but of course it is not possible for me to visit any of them.
Of course seeing screen versions of these images, if the galleries in question have an online exhibition, in no way replaces the experience of seeing them in the flesh.
Or does it?
Take that pomos!
An exhibition no less. Thanks to 3 thousand.com.au.
C3 Contemporary Art Space, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford
Launching Wed April 1, 6-8pm, Exhibition runs until April 19
New and Used is the shared title of Warwick Baker's collaborative publication with writer TB Hemingway and his upcoming show at C3. While the publication contains the thoughtful transience of the American realist painter Edward Hopper, the exhibition channels the wild and ever-creepy eccentricities of his surname-sake, Dennis Hopper.
The photographs to be presented in New and Used were taken across California and Arizona and are the artist's response to a land of virtual realities. Some works are saturated, clinging and claustrophobic, while others are odd, even unaware.
Yet, like air conditioning after arid heat, or perfume after petrol fumes, it is the softness of Baker's lens that provides balance and relief. Image by image we witness the drift of this mild-mannered Australian through an American landscape, which fluctuates between the austere and the absurd.
The CCP has joined the 21st Century, and now publishes it's quarterly online. Complete with blogging, feedback and track backs.They even have RSS links, and an option to subscribe via e-mail, another reason to open my RSS reader more often.
Well done CCP.
Soon to show Sony 2008 Photography Awards. Opening night, 14th of April, 7:30 -9:30pm, runs for 2 weeks
[From Obscura Gallery]
My apologies, as this is a flash driven site I can only link to the front page. Once there, click on either the right hand panel or the exhibitions link.
Thanks to "sergemarx" on twitter for the heads up.
This exhibition focuses on a collection of 9,000 picture postcards amassed and classified by the American photographer Walker Evans (1903-1975), now part of the Metropolitan's Walker Evans Archive.
The picture postcard represented a powerful strain of indigenous American realism that directly influenced Evans's artistic development. The dynamic installation of hundreds of American postcards drawn from Evans's collection will reveal the symbiotic relationship between Evans's own art and his interest in the style of the postcard.
This is also demonstrated with a selection of about a dozen of his own photographs printed in 1936 on postcard format photographic paper. Accompanied by a publication.
Postcards and books I've always found interesting, there's something delightful about an image designed to sit on your fridge, or just dash off a quick note to friends elsewhere.
Eastman House is not only re-running the New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape, from 1975; but this exhibition, entitled, Nature as Artifice: New Dutch Landscape in Photography and Video Art
The description “Dutch landscape” may evoke an idyllic vision reminiscent of Dutch landscape paintings, but today the Netherlands is known for its planned, manipulated landscape. In the last two decades a number of Dutch photographers and filmmakers have taken contemporary Dutch landscape and nature as their point of departure. George Eastman House presents a major survey of this new work, titled Nature as Artifice: New Dutch Landscape in Photography and Video Art, on view June 13 through Aug. 16. It is a companion show to the Eastman House summer exhibition New Topographics, originally mounted in 1975, illustrating the profound influence of that exhibition on the generations that have followed.
The tyranny of distance lingers.
I am currently putting together a selection of work for the online publication 'Second Nature', published by RMIT. Part of the process requires I write an artist's statement, which I am in the process of writing. Part of my statement, refers to a time in Melbourne, if not Australia, somewhere in the 80's, where Artists, were beginning to question the nature of the photographic 'document'. Given that this is pre-web, I'm not having a great deal of luck finding much online. I do know the CCP published several postcards, one in particular, by Janina Green. The image's title from memory was something like, 'Northcote Baths, Melbourne [with a date]. I putting it out there does anyone from my readership, if your still hanging around here, have one of these postcards? If they do and know my contact details, could they contact me or, leave a comment. Thanks in advance.
16 October 2009 – 4 April 2010
Photography Gallery, Level 3
[In 1967, the NGV established the first separate curatorial Department of Photography in an Australian art gallery and since that time we have delivered a continuous program of exhibitions and publications featuring the rich history of photography. The heart of our activities is based on the permanent collection which now numbers over 15,000 photographs, of which 3,000 works are by international artists. This year marks the 40th anniversary of our first acquisitions to the collection and, as such, it is timely to ‘re-view’ what has been achieved. National Gallery of Victoria]
I will be visiting this exhibition over the coming months I hope to use it for some inspiration in at least blogging, we shall see.
I recently bemoaned the lack of portraiture in the altfotonet.org pool on flickr. And during a discussion with one of my co-editors, came across a link to the Saatchi online site, in the top right corner is a video of the evolution of portraits, a series of well known portraits from the history of art that morp together seamlessly giving the impression of a timeless person drawn and painting from the beginning of time.
Some amazing images, from the Guardian, a series entitled 'Eyewitness'
Interestingly, they have 'pro tips' for aspiring photographers, helping to decipher and understand how to make better pictures.
Today, I have begun the ball rolling for two projects, an application for a PhD, and a show at the CCP. The show application, will focus on a body of work, I shot recently and may form a larger project, over time; one day a book I hope. The PhD, is at such an early developmental stage, I am reading a book that will help me decide where to go., the book is entitled, The Craft of Research. It has already proved to be a great help.
It is becoming apparent to me that, as I shoot more of the new Doorways to the West Project, I find more to shoot, which leads to the next question , how big will this project get, what form will it ultimately take?
As I review and edit, the numbers change; usually down, and I have currently 30+ images suitable I feel for printing and exhibiting, this will grow as I scout other nearby areas for more imagery.
It has some excellent work on display, including series of images that look at the destruction of subway cars, car racing and hidden 'landscapes' of New York.
I slipped a white A4 envelope in the mail today, now the long wait begins.
I Recently signed up for another book publishing idea, this time over at, SoFoBoMo, the challenge is to produce 35 images in a pdf format book in one month. So I plan on uploading a book of 35 images minimum by the 19th of July. "SoFoBoMo is short for Solo Photo Book Month - a group event where a bunch of photographers all make solo photo books start to finish in 31 days.
SoFoBoMo 2010 is running from 1st June to 31st July."
Fingers crossed, I've a busy month ahead, a return to the EOTOB program for 2010, albeit a short 7 day stint this time, and a few days off to make images, in what can be gorgeous winter light.
I was fortunate recently to spend some time in my darkroom at home. A rare treat, and a fruitful exercise, a surprising one in one sense too. Surprising in that I have no planned exhibitions on the horizon.
One of the joys of printing in a wet darkroom context is the sense of isolation, unless it is a communal darkroom. With that isolation comes, time to think, watching a print slosh around in a tray of chemistry allows your mind to wander, and wonder. I often concoct titles and other snippets of text for and about the images I'm printing in this situation. All of this is of course compounded by the fact, I need to write these things down, before I forget them, and this is one of the few times on the last 3 or 4 years where I have returned to my hard copy journal.
Hard copy journals, or sometimes visual diaries are the back bone of many art courses and Artists sketch books can be as revealing as the work they produce. My journal has suffered badly over the years, I keep and organise almost all my creative ideas and input using a variety of disconnected computer based systems and applications.
Has this impacted on my ability to focus on projects, perhaps, I know it hampers my ability to see connections in my work when I am not able to have a tactile process in place that allows me to look and see photographs side by side.
I have no idea what this all means, but I do know, that a large creative outburst maybe on the horizon.
I am currently reading this book.
"The Pleasures of Good Photographs (Aperture Ideas)" (Gerry Badger)
One particular chapter has been very refreshing, apart from discovering a couple of names I'd not heard of before, elsewhere in the book. The chapter or rather essay entitled, 'From Here to Eternity: The Expeditionary Artworks of Thomas Joshua Cooper', has been very refreshing. In this essay, Badger, loos at Thomas Joshua Cooper, his work and some of his large ongoing projects, all made on a 5x7 film camera and made as exquisite contact prints. It is an intersting insight inot a photographer I'd never heard of, but who sounds deliciously interesting.
He rounds off this essay of Thomas Joshua Cooper's life & work. A photographer I'd never heard of but am suitably interested in to see more of his work. The essay covers a lot of ground, from Aperture, the Magazine, to Minor White, Zen & Transcendental Photography, Modernism and back. A great read indeed, I might even go so far as to say, as good as John Szarkowski, and Robert Adams' writings.
Another essay; entitled It's 'Art, But is it Photography? Some Thoughts on Photoshop', was really inspiring as Badger talks about the highjacking of the art scene and the value placed on a piece of Photographic Art work by large scaled and or staged works. He talks about how art and photography dance a lurid dance over ideas about objects, veracity, connoisseurship, the art market and galleries all have produced a 'look' quite common in art circles these days, one, that is the large scaled staged and often highly manipulated prints. Compared to to say the more understated; 11x14 or 16x20 that is the trademark of some older photographers, whose contribution has been as long lasting and more profound than some of the newer players on the market.
Mr. Badger very adroitly argues that, somewhere in the whole art market, connoisseurship, object d'art game; photography; has kind of lost some of it's power. He talks about using digital tools to make cosmetic and aesthetic changes in a manner that reminds me of the story Goliath and his hair.
For those of you unfamiliar, the story goes something like this.
You back, now? Good.
I think it is awfully brave of him to do things like announce the perfect size print, being about 20 x24 inches, and uses Cézanne, as a spring board for his argument.
A great Sunday morning page turner indeed.
On Friday the 3rd of December, I visited ARI King's Gallery. There are 3 shows on there at the moment, I was particularly drawn to John Billan's work. It was a real refreshing sight to behold, such an elegantly crafted body of work presented in a manner that was aesthetically pleasing while still holding a little mystrey.
Here are my notes jotted down on the day I was there.
Beautiful yet eclectic mix of images on the wall from classic landscapes to obscure objects / still lives, and re-photographed etchings, circa 1800s ? Strange yet evocative video sound piece as well. But the Frederick Sommer traditions live on. Just beautiful is all I can say, gorgeous prints superb installation and, mystery to boot.
The gallery itself is small and intimate, good for a single person show, there are three in total. Odd location though, with traffic noise factoring in as I sit here typing. I can however faintly hear John's piece in the background a haunting piece e it is. I wonder how long it took John to collate the images they seem to have come from all over the world! One is a strange half dome possibly a cold war radar left over? Which suggests Europe, and one reminds me of New Zealand, the caravan image. A cone repeats throughout the wall in several incarnations, combined with the video sound piece I'm reminded of space and maps, and ideas like quantum mechanics, or something like that?
Beautiful, just beautiful, in a deep resonating kind of way.
The image above was made at the gallery on the day, and emailed to the artist from the spot.
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