Conditions for homeless people in San Francisco, California are thought to be among the worst in the world. Though it consistently ranks among the top three most expensive places to live in the US, in a report from September 2018, UN special rapporteur Leilina Farha condemned the “cruel and inhumane treatment” of homeless people in San Francisco as “a violation of multiple human rights”. German photographer Jana Sophia Nolle first visited the city in 2016, and was struck by this shocking disparity between the rich and poor. According to the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, on any given night, more than 7,000 people experience homelessness, with at least 4,000 sleeping unsheltered. At the same time, the city is home to Silicone Valley, and half of all the tech billionaires in the world. “I noticed that although these two worlds share a sidewalk, they are so disconnected in daily life,” says Nolle, “For me, this whole project was about forming human connections and relationships”. Nolle has spent the past two years travelling between Berlin and San Francisco, making …
“I got into photography because I’m a little restless, and I liked that it was fast,” says Brazilian photographer Mona Kuhn, who has just published her sixth book with Steidl, She Disappeared Into Complete Silence. Even so, the speed of photography haunted her, as Kuhn feared that her photographs would be consumed then discarded – like so many of the magazines she read and tossed away. “I wanted to stop time with photography,” she says. “That’s another reason I got into nudes, for the timeless aspect.”
She Disappeared Into Complete Silence is an experimental project shot in Acido Dorado, a reflective house in the middle of the Californian desert designed by American architect Robert Stone. Inside it are mirrored ceilings and walls, which refract sheets of golden desert light that flood the house. Here, Kuhn presents a solitary nude on the edge of the desert, removed from any symbols of time, creating “an abstraction of being,” and “a space where our mind resides”.
This month, we present a small selection of work that will be shown at Format festival, which returns to the Quad Arts Centre in Derby, England for its ninth edition this March. Under the theme Forever/Now, our edit of notable projects emphasises the festival’s slant towards ‘crooked’ documentary practices, where a lack of subject or search for the unknown is filled by fiction and interpretation.
When Kanghee Kim started making photographs, it was out of frustration. Due to visa complications, Kim hasn’t been able to leave the US for 10 years, even to visit her relatives back home in Korea, because her entry back into the states isn’t guaranteed. Now 27, Kim moved to New York with her family when she was 14. Getting a green card should have been simple – at the time there was a need for more nurses in the states, and her mother was helping to fill that gap – but their lawyer missed a deadline, and Kim was never able to secure a citizenship. Eventually, she was protected under the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy, but her status has made leaving the country too much of a risk. “I really miss Korea, especially over the last few years,” she says. “Korea is the motherland. Whenever I see photos or hear about it I feel a bit torn.” Kim didn’t get into photography until her final year of studying painting at Maryland Institute College …
Brant Slomovic leads a double life: he is both a photographer and accident and emergency doctor. A recent commission in California allowed him to reflect on his relationship with the former
So far the wildfires in California have claimed the lives of 94 people and laid waste to 1,667,855 acres of land this year. And, according to Dutch paper NRC Handelsblad, they’ve also consumed a world-renown library of photobooks, put together over the last six years by Dutch collector Manfred Heiting.
Based at Cutberth Road, Malibu, Heiting’s collection included vintage photographs, posters, ceramics and art deco furniture – and at least 36,000 photobooks. Residents in this area were told to evacuate a week ago, and the coastal town is now “a war zone”, Heiting told NRC Handelsblad. At the time of the report on 20 November, Heiting has not yet been given the green light to visit his house but he stated that: “On satellite photos I can see that everything in my neighborhood has disappeared. Two or three houses may have survived. The rest was pulverized in a ten-minute fire storm.”
“I am so fortunate to be able to step into someone’s life, enter their world, and experience it, if only for a minute”
In the media “Asian Americans are rarely depicted. If we are, we are often forced into these clichéd tropes: the nerdy Asian, the submissive Asian, the exotic Asian. I am looking to create a genuine representation”
Clément Chapillon spent 10 days immersed in the Californian wilderness. The work he created embodies his journey as much as the people and places he encountered along the way
Ricardo Nagaoka, Francesca Allen, Clément Chapillon and Brant Slomovic will travel across California and document the lesser-know sides of the Golden State