Month: May 2014

Photography Today

There have been many compendiums throughout history that attempt to capture and analyse the depth and breadth of photography over a given period – the most famous (perhaps) being art historian and MoMA head of photography Beaumont Newhall’s The History of Photography from 1839 to the present, published in 1937, which has been revised and reprinted several times. In the decades since Newhall’s history was first released, many more titles of varying size and focus have appeared, questioning and probing all aspects of photography, some more successfully than others. The latest tome (and this one is as worthy as any to be called such) to join the canon is Photography Today, compiled by academic, artist and writer Mark Durden, and published by Phaidon Press. At 464 pages it’s a beast of a book, but is as comprehensive content-wise as it is physically weighty. Choosing the 1960s to the present day as his timeframe, Durden considers photography’s relationship to art history, focusing on the diversity of approaches and forms employed by key practitioners during this period. The book features more …


Stephen Shore video gives insight into From Galilee to the Negev

Stephen Shore, a photographer whose name is synonymous with colour photography’s acceptance as an art form, is undoubtedly a giant of the photography world. In 1961, at the age of fourteen, he sold his photographs to Edward Steichen, who was at the time curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Ten years later he claimed the honour of being the first living photographer to have a solo exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His American and Canadian colour landscapes are immortalised in books such as Uncommon Places (published by Aperture) and American Surfaces, (Phaidon), and he has exhibited all over the world. Now in his late sixties, Shore continues to produce work. For his most recent book, From Galilee to the Negev, published by Phaidon, he made several trips to the West Bank and Israel, capturing the everyday lives of the people and landscapes he encountered. In a recent talk at the International Center for Photography (ICP), Shore spoke about the thinking behind the book with Jeff Rosenheim, curator of photography at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Phaidon produced a video of the event, which …


Gregory August - Cape Town © Dale Yudelman, from the series Life under Democracy

Dale Yudelman’s Cape Town – Life Under Democracy

A child in thin clothing hangs from the rifle of a public war memorial. Scarred, bare legs end in Winnie the Pooh slippers on dirty concrete. A man in a tattered coat sits at the pavement’s edge, staring up and through the camera. At first glance, Life Under Democracy is typically social-realist; the South African photographer Dale Yudelman showing the souls of men, women and children, some impoverished, some almost, on the streets of his native Cape Town. But don’t be fooled. Yudelman sees his career as an exercise in how photography “is able to escape the bounds of the real”. Life Under Democracy is specific to a place, a time and a culture – a complex and diverse study of an endlessly complex and diverse country. Inspired by an exhibition by Ernest Cole at the National Gallery in Cape Town, which showed life under apartheid, Yudelman decided to create a contrasting sequel; life under democracy, 20 years since the election of Mandela and the African National Congress. It’s a study of how much has changed in …


Stephen Shore’s book, From Galilee to the Negev, captures life in the West Bank

In his latest publication, American photographer Stephen Shore presents an intimate portrait of Israel and the West Bank, exploring the landscapes, complexities and contradictions of this multi-faceted part of the world. From Galilee to the Negev, published this week by Phaidon, features some 273 images taken across six trips to the region over a two-year period, Shore explains. His interest lies in capturing the day-to-day lives of the people who live in Israel and the West Bank – the human stories that are often obscured by media coverage that focuses on conflict in the region. The book also features a selection of texts by a diverse range of writers who each choose and respond to a photograph. Israeli-born chef Yotam Ottolenghi contributes an essay, ‘Un-brave Old World’, in which he shares his thoughts on what life is like for Israelis and Palestinians. He references an image of a house in the Arab-Israeli town Abu Ghosh, situated to the west of Jerusalem. Here we reproduce, by kind permission of Phaidon, Ottolenghi’s essay in full. ‘Un-brave Old World’ by Yotam Ottolenghi, from Stephen Shore’s From Galilee to the Negev, …



‘Lost & Found’ is the theme of BJP’s May issue

Not every project has to have a beginning, a middle and an end that is carefully researched, deliberated upon and then structured. Sometimes it’s necessary to cut loose and throw yourself to fate. This is the central theme to the May edition of British Journal of Photography, which sets out to explore why getting lost is often a necessary part of the journey, and for some, a means to an end. We begin with French photographer Charlotte Tanguy, who has been photographing in Russia for the past three years, on and off, wandering around on foot, deliberately allowing herself to become utterly disorientated in order to make the kind of pictures she treasures. “When your surroundings are chaotic and incomprehensible, your vision becomes clearer,” she explains. “It is a state similar to the extreme lucidity that manifests itself in times of emergency and allows you to react appropriately. Photographs are everywhere, all the time – it’s just a question of being open to seeing them.” And the result is a set of wonderfully strange and evocative …


Krakow Photomonth Festival 2014

Last year Charlotte Cotton took over C Photo and devoted it to “Photographicness”, showcasing 14 image-makers who’ve each developed a portfolio that “reveals their work processes, emphasising the way in which they carry out their current investigations and specific projects”. This summer she’s taken over Foam Magazine and titled it Under Construction – New Positions in American Photography, focusing on “nine young visual artists for whom the creative process can be as much subject of an image as its final result”. Back in 2011 Cotton told Aaron Schuman in Foam’s What’s Next? 2 that: “I feel really lucky to be working within a science museum, which is streets ahead (or streets behind, whichever way you want to think about it) arts institutions, because they understand experimentation. They understand the idea of the laboratory, and they’re comfortable with the notion that the jury may not be entirely out on something.” Cotton is a perceptive thinker, and it seems she’s hit the zeitgeist. From Gregory Halpern and Jason Fulford’s The Photographer’s Playbook – 307 Assignments and Ideas (recently published by Aperture) to emerging photographers using work-in-progress blogs (such as Nico Krijno, whose Tumblr is entitled “pure research”), contemporary photographers are emphasising experimentation, process and play. Now Schuman …


Italian photojournalist dies covering conflict in eastern Ukraine [update]

Freelance photojournalist Andrea Rocchelli, 30, was killed on Saturday in Slavyansk while covering clashes between government forces and pro-Russia insurgents, reports the Italian Foreign Ministry. 60-year-old Andrey Mironov, an avid human rights activist who was acting as Rocchelli’s Russian interpreter at the time, was also killed. French photographer William Roguelon was wounded. Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini expressed her condolences to relatives of both Rocchelli and Mironov, whose bodies are to be formally identified, reports Associated Press. In a news bulletin broadcast on Russian television, Roguelon said he and his companions had come under mortar fire while seeking shelter in a roadside ditch. “We went to the area because there had been a bombing next to a neighbourhood,” Roguelon told reporters at Slavyansk hospital, according to news wire agency Reuters. “So, there was nothing when we arrived. We were an Italian journalist, a fixer, a driver. After we arrived we got shot at; we threw ourselves in a ditch after they shot at least 40 shells at us and the vehicle.” Slavyansk in the north of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region has been at the centre of intensified fighting within …


Prix Pictet winner dies [update]

German photographer Michael Schmidt has died, aged 68. Schmidt died on Saturday 24 May in Berlin. His death comes only days after the photographer won the fifth Prix Pictet, an award that focuses on photography and sustainability. It has not been disclosed how the photographer died, but a statement from his gallery, Nordenhake, said he had been suffering from a serious illness. “We are mourning the loss of long time friend and distinguished artist Michael Schmidt. He died last Saturday after serious illness in Berlin.” As reported in BJP, Schmidt was awarded the 100,000 Swiss franc (£66,200) prize for his series Lebensmittel, which explores the global food production industry. Kofi Annan made the announcement at an awards ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Wednesday evening. Photographer Luc Delahaye, recipient of the fourth Prix Pictet and a member of this year’s Jury, praised Schmidt’s work prior to his death. “With Lebensmittel, Michael Schmidt shows us how people, animals and nature are exploited in the agro-business,” writes Delahaye on the Prix Pictet website. “What’s important is that Schmidt does not accuse, …


Magnum Photos Workshop Showcase: Luiz Paulo Furia

Last year, Magnum Photos and British Journal of Photography announced a special partnership around education that sees the world’s longest-running photography magazine work with the participants of Magnum Photos’ international workshop programme to showcase selected portfolios online. Initiated in 2007 as part of Magnum’s 60th anniversary celebrations, the workshops provide opportunities for photographers at different stages in their careers to benefit from the vast experience of Magnum’s established professionals. Recently, Magnum photographer Abbas hosted a workshop in São Paulo, Brazil. At the end of the event, he selected Luiz Paulo Furia’s portfolio to be featured in British Journal of Photography. “On the first day of my workshop, when students present a previous folio, we all marvelled at the photos Luis presented of his daughter: the love and the complicity between them were expressed in elegant compositions,” says Abbas. “He said he never took any photos besides her. I was excited at the prospect of Luis’ shoot for the workshop, but unfortunately he was caught in urgent personal matters and could not attend the workshop except on the last day. …


IdeasTap and Magnum Photos announce award winners

Abbie Trayler-Smith, Souvid Datta and Lee Price have been named winners of the 2013 IdeasTap and Magnum Photos Photographic Award. Each photographer wins £5000; in addition, Datta and Price will receive paid placements with Magnum Photos in London or New York. Panos Pictures member Trayler-Smith won the 31+ age category with The Big O, a long-term personal project that looks at childhood obesity; Mumbai-born Datta won the 16 to 22 category with his series that looks at the human cost of pollution in China; and Manchester photographer Price was named winner of the 23 to 30 category for his series, Against the Order of Nature, which explores LGBT communities in Uganda.  The announcement was made last night at the Truman Brewery, off Brick Lane in east London, where an exhibition of work by all nine shortlisted photographers is on show until 25 May. The award, now in its fifth year, aims to identify, showcase and celebrate emerging documentary photographers, and to help them “take their careers to the next level”. Self Publish, Be Happy founder Bruno Ceschel, who was one of the judges, said: “We were looking for projects we felt were heading in an …


BJP Staff