Author: BJP Editor

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

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

Make your photography more fun, say Aperture authors

Worried that your pictures are boring and predictable? Here’s Justine Kurland’s advice: “When a student makes conventional or cliche photographs, I suggest they do a Google image search to find how many other people have made the same pictures.” Kurland chips away at other forms of predictability. She dreads students who make “Francesca Woodman-inspired work”, rejects commercially influenced projects, and has railed against portraits she describes as a “pinned butterfly – those perfectly centred, well-lit frontal topographies that treat subject as specimen”, she explains. “I encourage students to try to animate their subject inside the frame by using a more complicated geometry in composing the picture.” Her approach exemplifies that of two new books from Aperture – one by Larry Fink and the other edited by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern. Larry Fink on Composition and Improvisation, part of a new series called The Photography Workshop Series, examines how the photograph can be animated through composition, engagement and passion; Fulford and Halpern’s The Photographer’s Playbook contains 307 assignments designed to inspire, enlighten and educate students, …

2014-08-20T16:17:25+00:00

Advertorial

I, the undersigned Attila Pőcze, as Director of the Vintage Gallery based in Budapest, Hungary, recognise that I acted incorrectly during the sale of photographs taken by Hungarian photographer Dezső Révai (alias Turai, 1903-1996). I further recognise that my actions caused emotional and financial distress to the copyright holders and therefore wish to extend my apologies. The Metro Madrid series of photographs taken in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War and the bombardment of Madrid is currently owned by the University Museum of Navarra in Spain (Museo Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona). Gurs, another series of photographs taken after the Spanish Civil War in the internment camp in France in 1939, is now owned by the Immigration History Museum of Paris (Musée de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, Paris).

2014-07-16T15:53:25+00:00

BJP Staff