Month: September 2014

Photojournalism Foundation resolves Award disagreement

A dispute between French-based photojournalism organisation Carmignac Foundation and photographer Newsha Tavakolian came to a positive resolution today following a series of lengthy discussions. As reported in BJP, Iranian photographer Tavakolian was awarded the 2014 Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award in July this year, but later announced she was handing back her Award, including the €50,000 prize money, due to “irreconcilable differences” with the Foundation and its patron, Edouard Carmignac. [bjp_ad_slot] In her statement, the prize winner claimed that her “artistic freedom” had been compromised, and accused the Foundation of interfering in the presentation of her work – a series of images depicting life for young people in Iran. Tavakolian added that Carmignac had changed the title of her project to a name she did not agree with, and had wrongly claimed she had been threatened by the Iranian Government. But in a statement posted to her Facebook page today [29 September], Tavakolian said she accepted new conditions offered to her by the Foundation, which will see the photographer resume her relationship with the organisation, and work with jury president Anahita Ghabaian and jury member Sam Stourdzé (incoming director of Les Rencontres d’Arles festival), on a touring …

2014-10-01T13:07:51+00:00

Great Heights

Are these photographs for real? Yes, they certainly are – Korean photographer Ahn Jun may sometimes use a harness if she’s leaning over the side of a building to photograph her feet, but she really is leaning over the side of a building, or leaping up onto its edge. Her project is titled Self-Portrait and, she says, it’s a kind of performance without an audience. “There was a day when I recalled my adolescent years,” she explains. “I was sitting on the edge of my apartment in New York and looking over the cityscape. I had a thought that suddenly my youth was coming to an end and I could not figure out the future. I sat on the edge and looked down. Then I saw the empty space, the void, and there was a sudden change in my perspective on life and death, present and future. The vision of the cityscape I was witnessing was not real for that moment – I felt the illusion of beautiful buildings was just like the future, or …

2014-10-01T18:31:04+00:00

Human Simulacrum

Luisa Whitton first became interested in what she describes as “technology and its effects on identity, in particular its ability to create a double self ” while working on a project during the second year of her BA degree at London College of Communication. Soon after, she came across a documentary on Japanese scientist Hiroshi Ishiguro, who had constructed a robotic double of himself, and she was instantly compelled to meet him. Whitton spent several months in Japan interviewing Ishiguro, as well as other scientists, and photographing their laboratories. The images that make up her series, What About the Heart?, focus heavily on the eerily lifelike faces that were constructed for the robots as a way to question the humanistic aspect of the subject. “In my photographs I am trying to subvert the traditional formula of portraiture and lure the audience into a debate on the boundaries that determine the dichotomy of the human/not human. The photographs become documents of objects that sit between scientific tool and horrid simulacrum.” [bjp_ad_slot] Whitton’s images are accompanied by …

2014-09-26T13:52:50+00:00

Building Sight

One of the first subjects photographers turned to when photography was invented was architecture. Given the limitations of early cameras, it was crucial that buildings, unlike people, did not move. Or talk back, for that matter. And, importantly, if you argue that a primary mission of early photographers was to symbolise the imperialist enterprise by making an inventory of the material things of the world – which the colonialist powers largely owned – then architecture was one of the camera’s most vital subjects. [bjp_ad_slot] For example, PH Delamotte’s 1855 album about the removal of the Crystal Palace to its final site in Sydenham is not only one of the great examples of early architectural photography, it is first and foremost a company report. It provides the first example of the qualities the writer David Campany invests in the photography of architecture – that it is document, publicity and commentary. Actually, Campany also adds art, but we’ll come to that later. His thoughts on photography and architecture appear in the catalogue Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture …

2014-09-24T16:08:47+00:00

Frédéric Chaubin provides the cover image for our special issue on architecture and the built environment

BJP #7828: Constructing Worlds

“One of the first subjects to which photographers turned with relief when photography was invented was architecture,” writes Gerry Badger in September’s issue of BJP, which went on sale on 03 September. “Of course it was. Given the limitations of early cameras, it was crucial that buildings, unlike people, did not move. Or talk back, for that matter…. Ever since the 19th century, photographers and architects have had a symbiotic relationship. A surprising number of people in photography, myself included, studied architecture, or even practised it. Many leading photographers of the built environment have taught on architectural courses, such as Lewis Baltz and Guido Guidi at the celebrated architecture school in Venice. And architecture was the primary subject for both the greatest photographer, and the most important photographer of the 20th century, Eugène Atget and Walker Evans respectively.” [bjp_ad_slot] Much of issue #7828 is devoted to the creative interplay between the two disciplines; a celebration of photography and the built environment in response to two major new surveys coming this autumn – Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture …

2015-04-23T18:25:29+00:00

Art and War

In the centenary year of World War I, the Art Institute of Chicago is marking this important milestone by celebrating the work of American pioneering photographer Edward Steichen. Currently on show across four of the Art Institute’s galleries is a selection of aerial war photography attributed to Steichen, and his later fashion and glamour portraiture for Condé Nast publications. Featuring photographic material from the Art Institute’s collection, the exhibition was inspired by a single album of more than eighty aerial photographs belonging to the museum. [bjp_ad_slot] “I came across this album and became curious about it,” Michal Raz-Russo, assistant curator in the department of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, tells BJP in a telephone conversation. “Steichen had annotated and captioned almost every page in the album, and I wanted to learn more about what it was and where it came from. The deeper I dug, the more fascinating it became, and that’s when the question emerged – how does a photographer go from being a champion of fine art photography to making aerial photographs in World War I and then become the highest paid, …

2014-09-24T19:02:44+00:00

The Reason of Oranges

“Three or four years ago, I had a tragedy in my life,” says Ricardo Cases over Skype from his home in Spain. “My mother and a good friend had just died. I was angry with life. I was angry with my friends. I lost a lot of friends at that time, so I moved to Valencia, where I knew nobody. I came here to change my life because I had become a monster.” Cases started El porqué de las naranjas [which translates loosely as ‘the reason of oranges’] while living there. “One of the symbols of the Levante region [the eastern side of the Iberian Peninsula on the Mediterranean coast] is oranges, but also tourism and construction. I needed to start something really open, so as a starting point I chose this question, ‘el porqué de las naranjasʼ. I used it to help me make pictures; I used it to act as a kind of therapy for everything that was happening in my life.” With that in mind, Cases began walking around his new hometown, …

2014-10-03T11:51:36+00:00

Rebecoming exhibition

Currently on show at Flowers gallery in London is the inaugural 1000 Words Photography Magazine exhibition, Rebecoming: The Other European Travellers. The exhibition features new work by four photographers who won the 1000 Words Award for European photographers back in August 2012. Henrik Malmström from Finland, Lucy Levene (Great Britain), Czech photographer Tereza Zelenkova, and Virgílio Ferreira from Portugal, each took part in an eighteen-month mentorship programme, which included workshops with photographers Jeffrey Silverthorne, Antoine d’Agata and Patrick Zachmann. [bjp_ad_slot] The winning photographers were chosen by a panel of photography experts: Simon Baker, curator of photography at Tate; Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers’ Gallery in London; Dewi Lewis of Dewi Lewis Publishing; and Tim Clark and Michael Grieve, editors at 1000 Words Photography Magazine. The Award is an initiative with The Other European Travellers, a project co-ordinated by Cobertura Photo and co-organised by Atelier de Visu and 1000 Words. “We are delighted to unveil never-seen-before works from the four winners of the inaugural 1000 Words Award,” says editor and exhibition curator Clark. “The commissions were produced over the course of three very intense workshops during 2012 and 2013, and intend to …

2014-09-24T14:45:26+00:00

Belle Époque

BJP

The hats and scarves are a few steps away from the perfect shade of lipstick; the children’s department is on top of three floors dedicated to cutting-edge women’s fashion. Elegant lingerie, hardy cookware, bestselling books and plush linens – all of these must-haves can be found in the 70,000m2 of the consumer heaven that is Galeries Lafayette, one of France’s best-known department stores. First established in the 19th century, department stores have long inspired creatives. Emile Zola first published Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Paradise) in 1883, for example (after its serialisation in the Gil Blas periodical), tracing the rise of a draper’s shop – from humble beginnings to Paris’s number one shopping destination. “By increasing sales tenfold, by making luxury democratic, shops were becoming a terrible agency for spending, ravaging households, working hand in hand with the latest extravagances in fashion, growing ever-more expensive,” wrote the French author. Those words still ring true 150 years later. So when Philippe Jarrigeon was asked to celebrate 25 years of innovation in fashion, the fantastic and …

2014-09-23T16:12:13+00:00

Building Sights

BJP

Gerry Badger writes in this month’s issue of BJP about photography and the built environment, responding to Barbican Art Centre’s upcoming exhibition, Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age  (25 September—11 January), and Phaidon’s book covering similar territory, Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography, published 29 September. Here follows an extract of his article: There is too much artsy fartsy in contemporary photography, and architectural photography seems particularly adept at bringing out the portentous and the pretentious. There is much contemporary pictorialism, flights from naturalism and the document into the realms of the abstract and constructed – partly because this is a tendency, and partly because it seems easier, and in some ways more fun, to mess about with Photoshop. Making meaningful straight photographs is extremely difficult. [bjp_ad_slot] It is one of the great paradoxes of photography – the ‘art of the real’ – that so many seek refuge in pictorialism in the desperate desire to make photographic ‘art’ that is seen to be art. For example, are Hiroshi Sugimoto’s soft focus images of modernist …

2014-09-22T13:19:03+00:00

BJP Staff