Friday, February 26, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Augenblick, Blog on Photography, Books : The Face of Forgiveness

The Face of Forgiveness is an excellent book as a result of a project which took american photographer  Steven Katzman in different places shooting the cult of religion on the matter of forgiveness. Here the introduction of the book:
Prayer is an interesting social phenomenon. At the basis of every major religion is found the admonishment to 'turn to God' and offer prayer. In that abstract sense it is universally upheld around the globe. But the particular manifestations of prayer-how groups of people have defined for themselves the proper practice of it-are wildly diverse. For some, it is an extremely private act, something to be performed in the privacy of one's own chambers. For others, though, the act of praying in public, in a group setting, is an intensely confirming experience. Katzman's photographs bear witness to this. Working with a flash equipped hand held 35mm camera, Katzman has frequented the prayer/revival meetings of western Florida, in particular the Brownsville community. The specific congregations are Southern Baptist; sociologically they are racially and economically diverse. But to look at this body of work objectively, from a position of distance, as though we are to 'learn' about a culture foreign to us, is to miss the uniqueness of the project. What Katzman offers is a view from someone who is part of the community, a participant, a 'believer' so-to-speak. This necessarily raises numerous questions. How does this affect his photographic abilities or sensibilities? And further, what can photographs tell us of an abstract, interior, spiritual experience (as prayer must surely be defined)? If nothing more, I can at least guarantee that this book will raise more questions than not, and that no two people will get the same thing from this body of work

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Augenblick - Profile : Frauke Thielking

German Photographer Frauke Thielking has worked in a project while visiting China by photographing people in uniforms and putting herself in the middle in a "camouflauge" attempt. Is a funny project called "My name is Frauke but you can call me Flauke" .
Here a statement on the Project :
Uniformity, integration and role taking are the thematic levels of this project, which has been developed during a workshop and cultural exchange program between the University of Applied Sciences Dortmund, Germany, and the Tshinghua University, Academy of Arts and Design, Beijing, China.
The concentration is on professional groups wearing uniforms who were portrayed in a group picture and me myself was part of this staging. For a limited time, I took the role of a waitress, a construction worker, a stuart, a High School student and a security guard and I posed with the respective uniform in this group picture.The integration of myself is favoured by the uniformity; if you look closer there is an irritation due to ethnical differences.The putative uniformity is questioned in depth, because every single picture allows looking for differences regarding the body language and other outer signs of people.

“We are all different“ - the uniformed people grow to individual personalities.

Frauke will also be part in a group exhibition at Raum.201 in Essen which will open today.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Augenblick , Blog on photography - My Blog

I started to write this blog exactly one year ago , 18th february 2009, I started to write because I wanted to use it a reminder and as an educational tool for myself...
It has been a good tool for me and perhaps for some others. Well my written english did not improved... but more than 200 articles is at least  a good rate of posting which has enriched Augenblick to a surprising good number of people who, daily , come to visit the blog.
It is not an easy task, looking at articles, photographers and choosing the right event to publish and in the meantime following my profession of editorial and corporate photographer.. but it is worth to keep posting. I discovered many things  this year , that kept me away from the isolation derived by living in China. I never activated the comments box in my blog but I do have some feedback and discussion in my facebook page where my posts are automatically appearing.
For the cover of this post i choose a new photo from my never ending project on Chinese Cosplayer - Fallen Angels of China.
Thanks to all for the many visitors that have a look at my blog, it is a success if I think that in China blogspot is censured .. I am pretty sure I would have even double visitors without this censorship..

Friday, February 12, 2010

Augenblick, Blog on Photography , Book : The Chinese

Approaching Chinese New Year in China is like to look at a picture , elements of happiness but also element of movements , people reaching their homes , 700 millions of people on the road. China is a different "world" and perhaps hard to describe , also photographically speaking only Chinese can describe better themselves, the book "The Chinese" from Liu Zheng is a good project in that sense, showing the diversity of the society of this immense country.
Here a small introduction of the book from essay of Christopher Phillips and Gu Zheng:
In 1994, Chinese artist Liu Zheng conceived of an ambitious photographic project called The Chinese, which occupied him for seven years and carried him throughout China. Inspired by the examples of August Sander and Diane Arbus, he has captured a people and country in a unique time of great flux, providing a startling vision of the deep-rooted historical forces and cultural attitudes that continue to shape China and its people. Liu seeks out moments in which archetypal Chinese characters are encountered in extreme and unexpected situations. His photographs are divided among a number of topics which betray a dark vision, albeit one that is laced with mordant humor. His main subjects to date have included street eccentrics, homeless children, transvestite performers, provincial drug traffickers, coal miners, Buddhist monks, prison inmates, Taoist priests, waxwork figures in historical museums, and the dead and dying. This is the first monograph of his work to appear outside of China and will accompany Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, a major exhibition at the International Center of Photography, New York.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Augenblick, blog on Photography : Profile - Pablo Chiereghin

Italian Pablo Chiereghin has produced different projects using photography as media . He is currently exhibiting in Vienna at the "Das Weisse Haus" presenting his latest "HI I'am Pablo Chiereghin I come from Adria". I like to post a photo from his concept "Birthday Suit" done in London where he has paid people to have a photo done by him while naked, here the statement of this project :
Birthday Suit is photographic action project that explores social acting boundaries. People have been paid to have portrait taken by a nude photographer, who stood inside a gallery shop window in a central street of London. Playing with voyeuristic attitudes and exploring cause-effect interactions of the photographic medium, Birthday Suit reveals, through models eyes, the nudity that is on the other side of the camera. The situational agreement is a dualism of power: the artist seduces the model engaging him in a voyeuristic situation where the spectator has a strong advantage: being dressed. On the other hand, the photographer has the power to determine the situation through the photographs. When the shutter opens, it is the spectator that suddenly looks naked.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Augenblick, Blog on Photography , Profile : Yijun Liao

Shanghai born Yijun Liao got sick of being a graphich designer and ended up in an MFA in Memphis where she develop her talent for photography. She has produced interesting topics such as Stills from Unseen Film and Experimental Relationship. Have a look.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Augenblick, Blog on photography - Auction : Shijuku 1965-97 by Katsumi Watanabe

I like to follow auction , especially on fine art photography, prints and rare books, reason is not because i can effort to buy some of these precious stuff but because is interesting to see how good photography can reset his value with years. Bad photography is often forgotten, used for one or two publication, perhaps fashionable photo editor who were able to make it famous for a couple of years and then out of fashion and not good anymore...
I was looking at this rare book of Japanese Photographer Katsumi Watanabe Shinjuku 1965-97 which has been put it on sale with an opening Bid of 150 dollars, I don't know how ended up (by the time i am scheduling this post the auction is still on ) .
Here a brief description of the book :
The subjects in Watanabe's photographs are the prostitutes, street people, Drag Queens, entertainers and gangsters (Yakuza) that populated Tokyo's notorious Shinjuku district at night. Essentially, Watanabe made his living by selling the photographs to his subjects. He would offer three prints for 200 yen. A modest gentleman, Watanabe had a keen sensitivity to the natural posturing of his subjects which allowed them to uninhibitedly reveal their identities. He saw Shinjuku as a kind of stage and his photographs as documents the performers.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Augenblick, Blog on Photography , Profile : Alison Brady

Alison Brady explore women's world through some staged situation. Here the explanation from her Bio :
My work is a series of color photographs that work to stimulate unconscious emotions, desires, and sexual compulsions, all unified within a dynamic that vacillates between the real and the fantasized. I explore issues related to madness and alienation as they exist in contemporary culture, concentrating on expressions of neurosis, on feelings of anxiety, displacement, and loss of identity.These emotions are depicted in terms of visual conflict through my imagery, and manifested in terms of grotesque exaggeration. While investigating issues related to the unconscious, elements such as eroticism, twisted humor, and horror come across. I strive to create dichotomies between the sensual and the horrific, the beautiful and the destructive; the result, I hope, is a body of work comprised of deeply emotional and disturbing depictions of the unknown, staged imagery that functions on a metaphorical level, and inanimate objects and settings serving to illustrate the inner workings of the unconscious.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Augenblick, Blog on Photography , Profile : Riitta Päiväläinen

February is the month where Winter is going to speak its last word, it warns us that might be not over but that spring will arrive soon. I always loved the idea that is a short month to live and therefore make me feel positive that is over soon... well I went to look at some series on winter to put it as first post of this february 2010 and I found the interesting project from Finnish Riitta Päiväläinen . The series are different photo of clothes on the snowy landscape. I added her thoughts in this post :
Several years ago, an old black dress made of velvet caught my attention in a second-hand shop. I examined the garment carefully. There was no label. The style of the dress was from the twenties. The seams revealed the dress was handmade. The owner of the shop told me that she had bought it in Paris. I tried the dress on and it fitted me perfectly. I became intrigued by the history of the dress. Who was the woman who had had the dress made? What was her life story? Our daily life is full of history. I am fascinated by the history that you cannot find in library books, official files or archives. This "unwritten history" surrounds me all the time. I can feel its presence in various ways: as a rip in a coat; as a place worn thin in an armchair; as a light footprint on an inner sole of a shoe. The main theme and primary driving force of my work is my interest in old clothing. In my photographs, I use discarded clothes from second-hand shops and flea markets. I am interested in old garments, because they carry silent, unknown stories and histories. The unavoidable fact that I will never know the actual stories and personal histories connected with the clothes arouses my curiosity. The clothes remain silent withholding their secrets. Little by little, personal histories are absorbed into the collective history. Who or what is historically remarkable enough to be recorded or remembered. I do not want to emphasise the historical significance or the importance of remembering everybody and everything. As much as I need to remember, I need to be able to forget. The idea of having only "one historical truth" would not make alternative truths possible. In this sense, forgetting can be regarded as a positive potential. Instead of thinking what or who we have lost, I want, through my photography, to concentrate on what is still to be found. For me, a piece of clothing represents, above all, its former wearer. It tells you that somebody has been present. However, the person who wore it is now gone. The faded colours and tears in the fabric show the signs of the time passed. By freezing the garment or letting the wind fill it with air, I am able to create a sculptural space, which reminds me of its former user. This "Imaginary Meeting" represents, for me, the subtle distinction between absence and presence. In the series "Wind","Structura" and "Camouflage" landscape plays an essential role. Landscape is not only a topographical, objective phenomenon. For me, it is personal and subjective. Working with a landscape means going into it: experiencing and sensing the place. When I place clothes into a landscape, I create an installation. In this sense, landscape can be considered as a stage. Bringing these two elements (landscape and clothes) together, I create a dialogue - an interaction. My aim is to suggest and bring forth potential stories, mental images and associations.