Month: November 2013

The Looking Game launches at The Photographers’ Gallery

Tonight sees the launch of The Looking Game, a book by Mirko Smerdel and M.F.G. Paltrinieri, which brings together images from Californian serial killer Rodney Alcala’s once-secret archive and extracts from British art critic John Berger’s writings. Alcala, a serial killer and amateur photographer who is currently on death row in California, adopted the alias John Berger while on the run from the police. His archive of images featuring women and children was found by police in 2010 in a storage locker in Seattle. It was made available online by the Huntington Beach Police that same year. Presented as case studies, the book, which is published by Discipula and Akina Books, sets up a series of connections between the images and Berger’s words in an attempt to read the photographs from a fresh perspective. By presenting the images and text in this way the book explores and questions the characteristics and nature of photographs as documents, their relationship with the stories they tell, and the act of taking pictures itself. It is the first installment of an …

2013-12-11T17:39:45+00:00

Photographer Saul Leiter has died [update]

American photographer Saul Leiter died on Tuesday 26 November in New York, according to Roger Szmulewicz at Fifty One Fine Art Photography in Antwerp, Belgium. Leiter, who was 89, had been ill for the past three to four weeks, Szmulewicz tells BJP. “I spoke to him just before Paris Photo and he was getting worse. It all happened quite fast.” Leiter was born in Pittsburgh in 1923 and moved to New York at the age of 23 to pursue a career as a painter. He was encouraged to pick up a camera by his friend, abstract expressionist painter, Richard Pousette-Dart. Photographing for magazines including Esquire, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, Leiter also frequently worked in and around his home city of New York. Later in his life, and arguably since the publication of his 2006 monograph Saul Leiter: Early Color, Leiter became known for his vibrant colour street photographs. Leiter was the subject of the documentary In No Great Hurry, directed by Tomas Leach and released by Moxie Pictures. In an interview published in BJP‘s sister title, Fade To Black, …

2013-11-27T17:18:15+00:00

Getty Images disappointed at $1.2m Morel verdict

Last Friday, a jury handed a landmark ruling in one of the industry’s most important legal case, finding that Agence France-Presse and Getty Images had wilfully infringed on Daniel Morel’s copyright after it sourced from Twitter and distributed the photographer’s images of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The jury awarded Morel $1.2m in damages, putting to an end a 46-month legal battle. “I think it’s fair to say that we we’re disappointed with the amount,” Getty Images’s general counsel John Lapham now tells BJP in a phone interview. “I also think it’s disappointing that it took three years to get to this point, but Morel had committed himself to achieving a certain degree of notoriety and now that he got it he should enjoy it.” As BJP reported in 2011, both Agence France-Presse and Getty Images tried to settle the case out-of-court, to no avail. “At Getty Images, we’re very interested in the proper attribution of all of our images, and we’ve spent the last three years improving our systems and our processes to prevent this type of error from happening …

2013-12-11T11:05:42+00:00

The Best Photobooks of the Year: Martin Parr takes his pick

Vagabond Photographer By Sergio Larrain, published by Thames & Hudson What a total treat! Here we have all the classic iconic images from this wonderful photographer who died only last year. On top of that, Agnes Sire has dug up many unknown Larrains that are as good as the ones we know and love. To supplement all of this is a most elegant design from the excellent Xavier Barral with stunning printing. It doesn’t get much better than this. PIGS By Carlos Spottorno, published by RM Verlag/Phree The ever enterprising RM Verlag publishers have come up with another gem here: PIGS, which stands for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, the near bankrupt European countries. The format, based on the graphics of The Economist, is used to house the images of the above countries that are starting to fray at the edges. Ahlan!  By Nuria Carrasco, Self-published Another zine which echoes a magazine format, this time Hello! magazine. The subject is the struggle for the liberation of three generations of refugees in the Sahara desert. So we are …

2013-12-11T11:06:46+00:00

French newspaper removes all images in support of photographers

“A visual shock. For the first time in its history, Libération is published without photographs. In their place: a series of empty frames that create a form of silence; an uncomfortable one. It’s noticeable, information is missing, as if we had become a mute newspaper. [A newspaper] without sound, without this little internal music that accompanies sight,” writes Brigitte Ollier, a journalist Libération‘s Culture desk. Ollier is right, and by choosing to maintain the newspaper’s usual design – with its articles flowing around the spaces where images should have been shown –Libération has succeeded in its attempt to show the power and importance of photography in our understanding of world events. The French newspaper explains its decision with these opening words, published on its front page: “Libération vows an eternal gratitude to photography, whether produced by photojournalists, fashion photographers, portraitists, or conceptual artists. Our passion for photography has never been questioned – not because it’s used to beautify, shock or illustrate, but because photography takes the pulse of our world. To choose Paris Photo’s opening day to “install’ these white …

2014-05-23T16:20:22+00:00

We Make the Path by Walking by Paul Gaffney

It is testimony to Dublin-based photographer Paul Gaffney’s considerable photographic skill that the landscapes in his images, which are devoid of activity, command attention through their minimal appearance. Nothing much is happening in the images and there are no people in sight, yet everything is happening; knotted, overgrown roots catch the light and weave in and out to form complex networks; a craggy cliff-side reveals an intricate patterned texture; windswept vegetation exposes an inviting pathway. Gaffney’s sensitive handling of the landscape allows his subjects to breathe, and through their very subtlety the images sing. We Make the Path by Walking is the University of Ulster graduate’s first self-published photobook and contains photographs taken in rural Spain, Portugal and France. In 2012, over the course of the year, Gaffney walked more than 3,500 kilometres on foot. The idea he explains was to explore long-distance walking as “a form of meditation and personal transformation.” The 40 images in the book deftly record the smallest details yet simultaneously offer an overview of each scene that lifts the soul; looking …

2013-12-11T11:08:52+00:00

Alban Lécuyer’s Here Soon

Here Soon, Alban Lécuyer’s latest series, originated from his previous work, in which he set up images of listed buildings being demolished among a conventional urban environment. “When I was working on that project, I came across many computer-generated images produced by architectural firms to promote the buildings that would replace the older ones,” he says. Lécuyer collected a lot of these images to unravel the basic principles used by architectural firms to promote and sell their creations. “The light is always excellent, the sun is always shining, there are blue skies, the colours are saturated, and all the trees and the people added are often transparent so as to not obscure the building,” he explains. “But the most important principle, at least for me, was the choice of characters added to these images. There’s a very conscious and commercial choice for presenting only young and attractive people, with a real emphasis on women – because the sight of a woman is reassuring. You won’t find young guys wearing baseball caps in these pictures, or …

2013-12-11T11:09:12+00:00

Marie-Pierre Cravedi’s La Réunion

French-born Cravedi began her project La Réunion two years ago, while studying for a master’s at the ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, Switzerland. Intrigued by the relationship between family and photography, she began to explore the theme in more depth. “I show my family as they are – at least how I see them,” says Cravedi. “My main interest was to tackle the place of the individual within the family group. How can each person keep his or her own identity? How do relationships work in a group? And in an environment as complex as the family, how can the camera find its place? In addition to reflecting on the family group, memory – in a global sense, including oral transmission, memory of places, objects and souvenirs – is another component of this work.” In order to tackle these themes, Cravedi concentrated on photographing in and around her family home, which she says has changed little since her childhood. “It is a landmark in a world where everything changes quickly. I have trouble accepting modifications …

2013-12-11T11:09:32+00:00

Antonio Perez Rio’s Lo Inevitable

In his series Lo Inevitable, which he started in 2012, Antonio Perez Rio photographs individual men and women against the landscape in Gambela, western Ethiopia. They are members of ethnic communities that have historically lived in the region, he explains, belonging to two major groups: the semi-nomadic pastoralist Nuer people; and the Anuak people, who mainly devote their time to fishing and agriculture. “Since the 19th century, relations between the two groups have been difficult,” says Spanish photographer Perez Rio, who is also a lecturer in the history of photography at LENS School of Visual Arts in Madrid. “But, since the 1980s, the situation has become increasingly complex, with the arrival of refugees from the war in Sudan and Ethiopians from the rest of the country who have been forced to resettle. With the government transferring land to foreign companies, the relationship of these people to the land becomes increasingly difficult and complex.” On one level, the images are intended to draw attention to the people who live on “land [which is] rife with forced …

2013-12-11T11:09:51+00:00

Eugenia Maximova’s Destination Eternity

Bulgarian-born Eugenia Maximova began her series of images in cemeteries while working on the project Of Time and Memory, for which she photographed interiors in the Moldovan capital of Chișinău. A detour through a cemetery in the capital city became the unexpected starting point for her new project, Destination Eternity. “I didn’t really choose the theme – it chose me,” she says. “It was a coincidence. I have been dealing with the subject of death a lot in recent years. My mother died suddenly from a heart attack a few years ago and it was a huge shock, which I am still trying to overcome. Death is the ultimate end in physical and psychological terms. Nobody knows what’s next – neither the optimists, nor the pessimists.” The trend for these highly decorative gravestones, which can include intricately engraved, coloured marble plaques featuring landscapes or portraits, for example is thought to have begun shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the 20th century, explains Maximova. With its roots in kitsch, which was …

2013-12-11T11:10:33+00:00

BJP Staff