Laurie’s website here
“When trying to describe physical feelings of any kind, we find ourselves shortchanged by language. I arrived at this conclusion after several, always hopelessly crude attempts to describe
fundamental moments in Hannah Villiger’s oeuvre. The public-at-large is quite capable of registering feelings of repulsion or extreme empathy when blood flows in the movies, when some-one is cut or surgery is performed, or when faced with eroticism, vertigo on a lookout tower or sports—all points on a scale that are clearly designated and defined. But in between lie immense micro-regions, dead lands, where words fail. This is the territory that Hannah Villiger explores. With a well-honed consciousness she masterfully negotiates the overall system of obstruction (of hindrance and enfeeblement). When communication is constantly kept in check, metaphor comes to the rescue. Perhaps this is why Hannah Villiger’s work seems so womanly and so strong.
It is conceivable that the vertigo caused by verticals (at the edge of the abyss) has a gentle partner in horizontals. A kind of window feeling. When it is very intense, you feel it in your nostrils, your ears, your chest or (in connection with speed) your bottom. The fixed point is not the abyss but the horizon. When I was a child and we went for a drive on Sundays, I would sit in the backseat and imagine—especially in fast curves—that I was riding a bicycle because I was never given one. Hannah Villiger can do it without a bicycle. That’s what I have to think of when I see her photographs of gushing water, swift birds or colliding boccie balls. And there is also the mute, squat airship, suspended in the sky, or the burning palm leaf thrown into the air. Here pleasurable and extremely subtle use is made of the potential of empathy, which in turn makes us aware of our own potential and position as part of a greater whole.
Hannah Villiger’s much enlarged color Polaroids no longer record the vehemence of directly transmitted physical sensations; they have quieted down. “He had teeth like luxury hotels on the beach in Florida and when he closed his mouth, there was a big scar.” (Laurie Anderson) These color photographs, usually one meter square, gradually turn into boxes the longer you look at them. Boxes into which you poke your head very, very slowly without noticing, because the pull is so gentle. And damp fog, pointed palm leaves, skin or gazes brush against us, passing by. But there are also pictures whose energy is directed outwards, pictures that radiate, so that we already notice from afar that we are being kept at bay. These are the cold pictures, like the eye with a razor-sharp gaze. Once you have stood in front of them, you know that the format of these photographs is incontestable.
Sometimes the subject matter of a picture ignites feelings; other times it is a vessel or a catchment for them. In memory such distinctions are often utterly irrelevant. For this reason, Hannah Villiger’s wooden or plexiglas objects crop up again in her photo works. Is Hannah Villiger the fog creeping around the mountain, or is the fog enveloping her? Movement back and forth, sudden clashes and leaps, simultaneous flowing and flying flit through Hannah Villiger’s work until a compact whole emerges—like her name HANNAH…” HANNAH and the Horizon, by Bice Curiger
more of Hannah‘s work here
“The airplane begins to descend. Madeira is down there. From far we can understand the feeling that the fifteenth century discoverers had when they saw Madeira (= Wood) for the first time, and from there we can easily guess the origin of the name. An intensive tropical vegetation fills and covers the island of green, but I cannot help but noticing the various urban clusters, scattered houses, roads and highways and the megalomaniac construction of the new airport. The constructed confronts the natural on a dual mode. Large scars are open, but the consummation of the act makes the built elements part of the landscape. This new landscape causes both fascination and disbelief and it is as beautiful as ugly. (…)”
09/11/11 – (1st Day) – *Excerpt and Polaroids from my Travel Diary do Madeira Island
To see more of Tiago‘s work go here
“Porto Santo is a summer tourist destination on the island of Madeira, appreciated for its natural resources, particularly for its beaches. However, in winter, this fascinating place is forgotten and left to cry (…) The title “Palm Trees don’t belong here” is a metaphor for the occupation of the territory and the marks left by humans in nature.
The Palm Tree, an exotic imported species, is a counterpoint to the Dragon Tree, a local indigenous species and one of the symbols of Porto Santo. The work focuses on the control and occupation of a space with its geographic, physical, social and economic limitations.”
Ana Marta’s statement
Despite her young age, Ana Marta has been working with photography for more than a decade. During these last few years, the expected mutations of a path made out of enthusiasm and discovery, have given way to a strong aesthetic and a very cohesive evolution in the way she is learning to deal with her subjects.
Today, the way in which Ana Marta merges social matters with a careful composition of the landscape where they belong denotes the same careful way with which she observes the world and the place each occupies in it.
In the coming years, I would expect Ana Marta’s craftiness and courage will help her portray, report, denounce and add content to our visual realm. The documentary style can be redundant, and so can be working in series, though here we will not run that risk given that these images now made cautiously will soon become fearless and turn out to be what they were always meant to…
by Sofia Silva
The rest of the series can be seen here
“There’s a lot that could be said about Marc Fichou’s Origamis within the context of art theory and photographic history. His images probe the age-old debate about where art exists, what part the photograph plays in the dialogue between artist and viewer and how our own perceptions of surface, depth and space manifest themselves in our understanding of an artwork. The theorising is almost endless.
But that’s not why these photographs are great. There’s a very instant pleasure to Marc’s images – you see a shark, it’s made of folded paper but in fact it’s been superimposed on the folds that lead to its creation in the first place. Simple, elegant, poetic work.”
words by James Cartwright, as seen in It’s Nice That
More of Marc’s here
“Having grown up reading a multitude of home and lifestyle magazines, my work confronts the expectations that developed from buying into the alluring photographic fantasies of the pristine and perfect domestic life. I devoured every issue of Martha Stewart Living that I could find. Drawn in by the beautiful eye-catching photographs, I absorbed all of the tips, tricks and how-tos in those pages because I was convinced that I would need them someday.
Using the skills that I learned from years of reading these magazines, I bake elaborate cakes which I then throw into carefully constructed scenes and photograph the aftermath. By appropriating the lush, brightly colored imagery of magazines and perverting it, I explore the aftermath of unfulfilled expectations.
This disillusionment manifests itself in a playful, yet irreverent defiance. I subvert the delicately crafted trompe l’oeils found in commercial and editorial photography by corrupting domestic strategies. Through the intermingling of creation and destruction, I explore the reality beyond the glossy varnish and the destructive consequences of disappointment.
Using a cross-disciplinary approach that combines aspects of performance, sculpture, and painting, I create colorful domestic scenarios that serve as the stage for my actions. I photograph these scenes using a 4×5 camera. Afterwards, I scan the film and create large-scale digital c-prints. My work is an ironic commentary on the picture-perfect world created in the glossy pages of lifestyle magazines and the frustration that ensues from trying to attain it.”
more of Rachel’s work here
More of Rachel’s here
“Edmund Clark’s Still Life: Killing Time is a quiet meditation on the slowness, the fabric and the accoutrements of prison life for elderly inmates. It was two years in the making.(…)
The only statement I can find directly from Clark, the photographer, is worth meditation.
What you can see in the pictures is to what extent they are engaged with their routine, and on top of their regime and what sort of engagement they have with time. One man, who wore a long grey beard, coped with the passage of time, as far as I could see, by disengaging with it completely. He spent most of his time sitting in his chair … He just sat and disappeared within himself. After about a year I could go and talk to him, and this man was clever, he’d been a captain in the merchant navy and had sailed around the world. I asked him once what was the best place he’d been to and he lifted his head and said, ‘Sao Paulo, I loved Brazil …’ And then suddenly this life came out, his life was all there, hidden away. The bulldog clock on the book cover belonged to him, it was one of his prized possessions.
Apparently, Clark created this body of work spurred by reports from the USA about mandatory sentencing under “Three Strikes Laws” and the consequent swelling of America’s prison population. Clark engaged with Britain’s aging prison population in direct response to demographic disasters in American penal policy.(…)”
excerpt of article by Pete Brook, in Prison Photography. continue reading here
More of Edmund’s work here
“Simmons, as an artist, doubles down. She captures the fiction/truth dialectic as well as anyone, disarticulating assumptions about the quietly composed and staged images she makes. She’s a Brecht of the photographic endeavor. In her work, Simmons is not so much documenting the performance before the camera, but the performance itself. In one image from the series If We Believe in Theory, Simmons captures a young girl in the woods dressed like Little Red Riding Hood. It’s an example of Simmons using the suggestion of performance to capture the explicit and contradictory nature of individuality. Her subject becomes herself, and also a dismembered characterization of what we’re accustomed to look at. Still, it is not simply Simmons’s understanding of the imagistic theater of photography that is useful, but her way of using form to acknowledge that image is at the center of the creative construction of collective and personal histories. Simmons is a lexicographer who fuses live material and conceptual conceit; she deconstructs and retains a relation to specific times and places. Perhaps paradoxically, she often achieves this through unabashedly excessive detail, like in One Day and Back Then (Standing), where her character stands in a field of sea reeds in blackface, looking out at us, wearing all black (including stiletto boots), ready for a night out on the town.”
excerpt of an article by Adam Pendleton, in Bomb. continue reading here
More of her work here
“The poet Keats spoke of how the ‘cold philosophy’ of science would, by explaining the mechanics of the physical world “unweave a rainbow”. In a sense the aim of this series of photographs was to display the falsity of this claim when related to colour. Colour is often thought of as something solid, immutable and objective. Certainly objective colour exists as measured in wavelengths of light, but this does not mean humans are able to view it objectively. The physiology of human sight is one easily susceptible to outside influence, and all manner of environmental factors can affect our perception of colour. In fact recent discoveries made by molecular biologists have found that miniscule differences in the amino acids of eye can occur between individuals, and as a consequence there is the potential for us all to perceive colour slightly differently. Colour as we perceive it has no physical reality of it’s own, instead it exists solely within the neural pathways of our brains.
It is this idea of colour as a liminal space on the threshold of existence which interested me. Inspired by early spirit photographers, with their use of slow shutter speeds and double exposures to create apparitions of the deceased, in these images I have created ‘ghostly’ shapes using coloured fabric and a prism filter to break the light into it’s constuent spectral colours, with no post-production editing. In doing so I have tried to use the camera to pin down the idea of colour as bridge between tangible and intangible, subjective and objective. Despite Keat’s claims against science the very nature of colour means it will always remain an essentially unknowable world – something I have tried to reflect in the work.”
More of Robbie’s work here
© Jane O’Neal, Persimmon #1, from the project Environmental Memory – Part I – Home Grown, 2009
“Jane O’Neal acquits her flatbed scanned portraits of flora and root systems with whiffs of the semi-clinical, sexualized near-abstractions of Edward Weston—an obvious comparison if for no other reason than subject matter. Due to advances in technology, the feats of the flatbed scanner, and her eye for fleshy, saturated palettes, her images are undeniably literal and escape all sentimentalism. There remains a bit of a lepidopterological feeling due to the march across the wall of mostly same-size/scaled, identically-framed specimens. There is also a definite anthropomorphism to her images of roots, flowers, and vegetables, which is hardly a scarcity in art’s big book of thematic tactics, yet never gets old.
O’Neal’s subjects (aside from the fact that her real subject is photography itself,) in any case her “sitters” or pretexts are, so to speak, natural models, photogenic at every instant and from any angle. But eerily, it is also clear that nothing on display is still alive. It’s all been plucked, pulled from the earth, harvested in some way; it may be ripe and even edible, but it is all already dead and dying. That’s where some of the most humanity in the work reveals itself—not on the explicitly formal level of a Weston, but on the spiritual, existential level of an organic life.”
excerpt from an article by Shana Nys Dambrot, taken from Whitehot Magazine. Continue reading here
More of Jane’s work here
More of Véronique’s work here
Information about David needs to be updated. Almost everywhere he is described as a traditional photographer working almost exclusively on sepia-toned gelatin silver prints (the exception being a group of platinum prints). I’m happy this ceased to be the case. Although his traditional still life compositions are etherea-like wanders in the realm of simple things I find his awakening for colour even more delicate and surreal.
“Whether traveling to a foreign land, wandering through a neighborhood market to shop for food, or engaging in convivial conversation with a friend at his home, David Halliday is easily charmed, intrigued, excited, or amused by all that surrounds him. An artful documenter of life, Halliday uses his camera as a tool for recording the multitudinous special moments that capture his attention. Once in the darkroom, he editorializes his finds, subtly embellishing each image until it somehow evokes the sensation that led him to photograph a subject in the first place.
With the exception of a series of platinum print portraits, Halliday produces all of his photographs as sepia toned silver gelatin prints. Both processes are highly trad- itional and, in requiring that the artist avoid the use of any color other than sepia, they stand in sharp contrast to splashier modes such as Cibachrome, Polaroid, or digitally produced Iris prints […]. For Halliday, the warm tones afforded by age-old processes reflect his desire to reclaim the past or cherish the present in the form of
soft, tranquil, frozen moments in time.”
excerpt from the essay by David S. Rubin for the catalog of the exhibition When Time Stands Still. The Photographs of David Halliday
“My central theme is uselessness. I feel that life is ridiculous. The products and arrangements I show are a reflection of investments of time and effort by men. They show the development of our society just like the old 17th century famous Dutch still lives did. But I don’t see this development as something to be proud of, I think it is way over the top. So I criticise it. I often wonder what on earth people are occupied with while there are so many better things to do. I don’t want to define these better things, because it’s up to people themselves. But I am quite sure it won’t be creating another plastic peach.”
source: Triangulation blog
Wyne’s site, full of beautiful and creative imagery (on the topic, of course)