All posts filed under: Photobooks

Google Naps. From the book Shapeshifter © Marco Pietracupa

Q&A: Marco Pietracupa on his new book, Shapeshifter

Born in the Italian South Tyrol in 1967, Marco Pietracupa moved to Milan in the early 1990s, where he studied at the Italian Institute of Photography and swiftly started working in the art and fashion industries. His work has been published by L’Officiel, L’Uomo Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Wallpaper and Rolling Stone, and he has also shown at Vice’s Milan Gallery, the Brownstone Foundation in Paris, the Asni Gallery in Addis Ababa, among others. He recently published his first monograph, Shapeshifter, with Yard Press.  BJP: How did you get into photography? MP: My passion started a long time ago, when I was very young. I felt the need to communicate in some unique way, with my own language. Photography seemed to me the best medium to express myself. BJP: How did you get into fashion photography? MP: I studied at the Istituto Italiano di Fotografia (Italian Institute of Photography) in Milan, which has a fashion photography course. Fashion’s visual aesthetic was shifting to a style similar to mine at the time and, even though I was new to …

2017-03-22T13:14:29+00:00

Face Off, 2010, Roger Ballen, courtesy of Hamiltons

Q&A: Roger Ballen’s new show The Theatre of Apparitions

The photographer of the psyche, Roger Ballen, is in London to show his latest work, The Theatre of Apparitions, the first time he’s exhibited the series. Based in South Africa since the early 1980’s, the New York-born photographer has worked in photography for over thirty years, starting with ‘straight’ documentary but latterly moving into more abstract forms representing the relationship between human and beast, and harking back to the ancient shamanistic visions and symbols which he believes are embedded in us all.  The Theatre of Apparitions is inspired by hand-drawn carvings he saw on blacked-out windows in a women’s prison in South Africa. “The images occupy a perceptual realm – a fragmented world of part – objects where fears of annihilation and chaotic perceptions merge reality and fantasy, self and other,” says Ballen. “These silhouettes are flickering archetypes originating from the collective unconscious of human kind.” BJP: This work is quite different to what you have done before, what inspired it? RB: At the beginning of 2005, I was making a video in a women’s prison in South Africa, in Johannesburg. I went into one of the cells, and …

2017-03-22T13:05:44+00:00

Illustrated People #14, on show in Düsseldorf. Images © Thomas Mailaender, courtesy NRW-Forum Düsseldorf

On show: The Fun Archive by Thomas Mailaender

As I enter the main entrance of the NRW-Forum museum in Düsseldorf, I do a double take. Just above me, caught at the periphery of my vision, is a poster from the museum’s upcoming exhibition, featuring a hairy bare arse emblazoned with a freshly raw tattoo simply stating the word ‘FUN’. Its juxtaposition against the backdrop of this elegantly conservative 1920s German building only heightens the strangeness of this vision. It also confirms that I must be in the right place. The multimedia artist Thomas Mailaender is in the process of installing his first solo museum show, The Fun Archive, opening in time for Düsseldorf Photo Weekend. We have met before but struggle and fail to remember when. Walking through the gallery space is like entering into the organised chaos of a building site as workers in overalls construct various makeshift walls, boxes and rooms. This is going to be no ordinary exhibition. Mailaender guides me into a room and explains that this is to be the ‘bunker’. It’s not yet painted but will be a concrete …

2017-03-16T17:39:00+00:00

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Dougie Wallace goes live and direct on BBC4

The inimitable Dougie Wallace comes out from behind the camera on 16 March, in a 30-minute documentary screened on BBC4 at 8.30pm. Part of the mini-series What Do Artists Do All Day? the programme follows Wallace on the streets of Chelsea and Knightsbridge as he shoots the images for his forthcoming book, Harrodsburg; it also shows him at work in Blackpool, and includes walk-on parts for photographer Martin Parr (who collects his work), and Dewi Lewis (who is publishing Harrodsburg). Born in Glasgow and serving in the army before getting into photography via selling used camper vans and backpacking, Wallace started Harrodsburg after reading that a man born in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea has a life expectancy of 84.4, the longest average lifespan of anywhere in the UK; boys born in Calton in Glasgow – near where Wallace grew up – have a life expectancy of just 53.9. Harrodsburg won the inaugural Magnum Photography Award in 2016, and the series will be exhibited at the printspace in Shoreditch, where the book will also be launched at 7.30pm on 21 …

2017-03-16T11:54:16+00:00

From the series The Pierhead © Tom Wood

Exhibition: Tom Wood’s The Pierhead, 1978-2002

As a young man in the late 1970s and 80s, Tom Wood regularly found himself among the crowds waiting for the ferry at Liverpool’s Pier Head. Commuters weary after a long day’s toil, elderly couples gazing out at the Mersey in comfortable silence, teenage girls sporting shell suits, hair swept into side ponytails. “There were always loads of people at the Pier Head because it’s a terminus for the whole of Merseyside,” Wood says. “Coming home I’d find I’d just missed a ferry. You’ve got at least 20 minutes to wait for the next one so what do you do? You take pictures.” Now some 70 of Wood’s photographs of the Pier Head, shot between 1978-2002 and never previously exhibited, have gone on display at the Centre Photographique at Le Pôle Image Haute-Normandie as The Pierhead – L’Embarcadere, 1978-2002, part of a mini season of shows. Previous exhibitions by Stephen Gill, Michael Wolf and Eamonn Doyle also focused on very small geographical areas – the latter just two streets, explains the exhibition’s curator, Raphaëlle Stopin. “I was interested in …

2017-03-07T16:40:38+00:00

Patient Care Bay (Bigfoot dewar being filled with liquid nitrogen), Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. October 2006. From The Prospect of Immortality © Murray Ballard

Murray Ballard shoots cryonics in The Prospect of Immortality

BJP

As debut projects go, Murray Ballard could scarcely have chosen a more intriguing subject than cryonics. The practice of preserving dead bodies at very low temperatures, in the hope of bringing them back to life far in the future, is commonly thought to exist only in science fiction, where it is generally known by its technically inaccurate name of “cryogenic freezing”. Yet as Ballard (no relation to his namesake, the sci-fi author JG) discovered during his five- year investigation, hundreds of people around the world have already invested in what he has calls “The Prospect of Immortality”. The 27-year-old began documenting cryonicists while studying photography at the University of Brighton, after he discovered there was a group of British believers based just along the Sussex coast in Peacehaven. He was soon making much longer excursions, his work taking him to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona three times, the rival Cryonics Institute in Michigan twice, and the burgeoning Kriorus facility just outside Moscow on a further two occasions. Having worked as an assistant to Magnum photographer …

2017-03-07T11:11:03+00:00

From the book Dalston in the 80s © Andrew Holligan

Q&A: Andrew Holligan on his new book, Dalston in the 80s

Now known as a hip place to be, Dalston was then a cheap place to live ill-served by public transport. While living in the neighbourhood, Andrew Holligan shot the people he came across with a 1950s Rolleiflex, creating an archive of images which has now been published as a book. BJP: Why did you move to Dalston? AH: I moved there because a friend had offered me his flat while he was away. A lot of friends were moving to East London in the 80s because it was cheaper than elsewhere in central London. There were also a lot of empty commercial/light industrial buildings available for studios. I then spent a year in Australia, then moved back into a live/work space near London Fields, Hackney. BJP: Had you known anything about it before? AH: I had never been to Dalston before and knew nothing about the place, even though I had spent some of my childhood in Islington. I had been living in New York City for three years prior to moving to Dalston. BJP: Were you …

2017-03-06T15:21:00+00:00

Garage, 1975 © John Myers.

The World is Not Beautiful – But It’s There, by John Myers

“I believe photographers have got to come to terms with the world we live in, not the world journalists like, which is spectacular and exciting and makes good copy,” says John Myers. “Photographers and sub editors and journalists, all kinds of journalist want a story. They want to sell papers, and what sells is something unusual. ‘Man with three legs marries 86 year old widow’, it makes a terrific headline. They’re not so interested in what’s going on down the road at number 83.” With photographs of garages, TVs, electricity substations, new builds and his neighbours, Myers’ images of urban life bear him out. Shot within walking distance of his house in Stourbridge between 1973-1981, his archive was part-funded by an Arts Council award, when he was an emerging photographer who’d also just shown at the Serpentine Gallery. But then it lay almost forgotten for 30 years – until Pete James, then-curator of photographs at the Library of Birmingham, came across it, and helped get Myers solo exhibitions at the Ikon Gallery in 2011, and the …

2017-03-02T16:05:28+00:00

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Guy Martin shoots The Parallel State in Turkey

On 20 April 2011, Guy Martin was seriously injured in a mortar attack while covering the conflict in Libya. Two fellow photographers, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, were killed, and it was a year before Martin could walk again. It was another six months before he wanted to take pictures again. By the end of 2012 he had moved to Istanbul to start a new photographic project but his experience had fundamentally changed him. Until then enjoying a burgeoning career in photojournalism, shooting conflict in Egypt, Libya, Ramallah and Georgia for The Wall Street Journal, Time, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Der Speigel and many more, he decided to take a step back. “To not learn from that event in April 2011, I couldn’t do that to myself,” he says. “I couldn’t justify it to my family, I couldn’t be put in that same situation again. The starting point was to take control of my photography, to use my photography instead of letting it use me. “I come back to this thought again and again – until …

2017-03-01T11:19:29+00:00

Iraqi refugees in a low income housing community in Portland. The area is home to several thousand Iraqi refugees. One of the main community organisers is Dr. Baher Butti, who fled Baghdad in 2006 after his community activism made him the target of local militias. A psychiatrist, activist, and writer, Dr. Butti spends much of his free time helping the recent immigrants adapt to life in America. Many of them don’t speak much English and don’t understand their rights within the web of bureaucracy. Although he is constantly overworked, he sees it as his responsibility to help his people get on their feet as fast as possible. Portland, Oregon. 2015 © Peter van Agtmael/Magnum Photos. From the book Buzzing at the Sill

Q&A: Peter van Agtmael on his new book, Buzzing at the Sill

Born in Washington DC in 1981, Peter van Agtmael studied history at Yale before moving into documentary photography. Largely focusing on America, his work considers issues such as power, race and class; he also works on the Israel/Palestine conflict and throughout the Middle East. He has won the W.Eugene Smith Grant, the ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographers and many more, and joined Magnum Photos in 2008. His book Disco Night Sept 11, a study of the USA post-9/11, was published in 2014 and named a Book of the Year by titles such as The New York Times Magazine and Time Magazine. His latest photobook, Buzzing at the Sill, is the sequel.  BJP: Where does the title Buzzing at the Sill come from? PvA: It’s from a Theodore Roethke poem called In a Dark Time. I heard an excerpt of it in a play called The Nether and afterwards looked it up. I was profoundly moved. The poem made me feel like it was somehow related to me and the work I’d been doing, and so I kept it in the back of …

2017-03-06T12:26:57+00:00

BJP Staff