Monday, October 27, 2008

Paris, colette and four new books

To Paris this week to launch my new series of four artist books at colette (if you're around the address is at: 213 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris) with a book signing on November 14th.
These new editions (published under my own imprint FAQEDITIONS) continues the main thrust of my practice which has been through published work. Each full colour, hard-back book, produced as a limited edition of 300, is conceptually based. China Story investigates the contemporary anthropology of China, I Look At You, You Look At Me is a series of portraits where the subject was also asked to photograph the photographer, Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar looks at how images are read and what the reader brings to them and Text Book is a series of photographs each with text in the frame and sequenced alphabetically to give random connections and narratives. Shown here are the book covers and the first image from I Look, no doubt I will be hearing from Martin's lawyer, again!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Paris Photo 2008, 13 -16 Nov, Carrousel du Louvre

I'll be at Paris Photo again this year... among other things I'll be meeting with John Gossage and Alec Soth to talk about our January 2009 AUT St Paul Street gallery workshop.

About Paris Photo from their web site:

Since it first began more than a decade ago, Paris Photo has won recognition as the world's premier fair for still photography. This unique event offers a panorama of fine art photography from its early days to the present day, and presents a forward-looking overview of global trends and expressions available in this medium.

The 2008 edition, which brings together some one hundred galleries and publishers from around the world, will coincide with Paris Photography Month, making the City of Lights the international epicentre of art photography.

* 40,000 visitors (40 % from abroad).
* 120 exhibitors - galleries, publishers and magazines - from some 20 countries.
* Work by more than 500 international photographers.

I'd add the book signings.. always interesting always good to see new books.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Andre Kertesz on the block at Phillips de Pury NYC

Phillips de Pury auction house New York are having a photography sale tonight and amongst the various lots are several of my all time favourite Andre Kertesz photographs. The works are all signed and are open editions, but none-the-less the estimates, (between US$6,000-8,000) seem quite low to me. Also in the sale are several Eggleston dye transfer prints and another image that always knocks me out, O Winston Link's Hot Shot Eastbound.

Here are the three Kertesz images that caught my eye.
Meudon, 1928; Satiric Dancer, 1926 and Chez Mondrian 1926

John Gossage talks about books on photo-eye

I came across this conversation between John Gossage and Jeffrey Ladd in the magazine section of photo-eye's site...

What I read reinforced my view about how much I like John's thinking, not to mention his work. And of course how special it is that he and Alec Soth are coming here in January for the AUT St PAUL Street gallery workshop.
Clearly I'm not the only one who has this view as the workshop was fully subscribed with 48 hours of it being made public.

Here is the start of John and Jeffrey's conversation.

Jeffrey Ladd: I'll ask the silliest question first. With all the books that you are surrounded by, if you had to pick one — if you had to pick just one of your favorite children which would it be?

John Gossage: A funny way to answer that is that the most classic ones — ones that have meant the most to me — are pretty much ingrained into my brain now. So I really don't need to carry Robert Frank's The Americans with me to our desert island because I can pretty much go through it page by page in my head. But the ones that are most special are all of the classics.

Jeff: The usual suspects.

John: Exactly. I would probably pick something I felt I hadn't grasped yet. Again it's one of those hard to answer questions except in a glib way — I take one of my own books of course. (laughter) Probably at this moment, I would take Shimmer of Possibility because I own it and I've looked at it some, but I think it has more to offer. Especially in how Paul is dealing with the pictures and everything and I don't have it addressed to memory. I think it's a serious work and I would like to understand it more.

Jeff: That gets into my next question of what are the contemporary book works that you consider to be important in the past few years.

John: I'll turn the question a little - one of the things that Martin Parr and Gerry Badger and I would talk about during their extended process of editing the Photobook History was about doing a section based on the major bookmakers like Ed Ruscha and these people who pull off things that engage me. Where the next book always adds something to change the rules of the game. I am always interested in seeing what Christian Boltanski does, he's one of the major book artists - not a photographer per se - but who would ever thought of doing the Scratch book that he did where you have to scratch everything off like a lottery ticket? He's continually thinking out of the box and that always educates me.

Image: Behind the Japanese embassy, Kobisstre 1989 from Berlin in the time of the wall.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

John Gossage and Alec Soth for AUT workshop

A unique opportunity to spend 3 up-close days with John Gossage and Alec Soth two of the most influential American photographers working today.

Friday January 16th - Sunday January 18th 2009 AUT School of Art and Design, ST PAUL ST Gallery, Auckland City

Facilitated over three days by Harvey Benge, John and Alex will talk about their working methods and outline the strategies they have developed to shape their own unique photographic styles and approaches. From a position that "anything is possible" the workshop will look at photo based art practise in a post-modern digital cyber world where the possibilities for making and showing work are endless. Participants will also have the opportunity to have their work constructively reviewed by John and Alec who will offer feedback and suggest ways forward.

Photographer Bruce Connew comments on a previous workshop.."I must congratulate the AUT School of Art and Design for hosting an extraordinary workshop with Harvey Benge, Peter Biolabrezski and the incomparable Antoine D'Agata. All are world class, at the top of their respective games, while one in particular is on his way to greatness - should he survive the journey. These workshops offer a rare and honest insight into world class photographers practices and the varied and complex world of photo art. They give each participating photographer a way forward, no matter the stage of career. That AUT should be involved in assisting Harvey Benge to bring such an intellectual and accomplished level of photographer to New Zealand is an absolute credit to the School's commitment to photography. Very, very well done....these workshops are career-defining days for any photographer."

John Gossage born in Staten Island New York in 1946 is noted for his artist's books and other publications using his photographs to explore under-recognised elements of the urban environment and themes of surveillance, memory and the relationship between architecture and power. He has shown his photographs in solo and group exhibitions since 1963 and his work is held in numerous private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C His publications include Berlin in the Time of the Wall (2004), The Romance Industry (2002), Empire (2000), There and Gone (1997), The Things That Animals Care About (1988), Three Days in Berlin 1987 (1987), and Hey Fuckface! (1984). After a number of years with Nazraeli Press his usual publisher is now Loosestrife Editions and Steidl Verlag. He has taught at the University of Maryland, College Park, and curated several photographic exhibitions. He lives and works in Washington, D.C.

Alec Soth born in 1969 and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is the recipient of several major fellowships from the McKnight and Jerome Foundations and was awarded the 2003 Santa Fe Prize for Photography. His work is represented in major public and private collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Soth's photographs have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney and São Paulo Biennials, Jeu de Paume (Paris, France) 2008 and Fotomuseum Winterthur (Winterthur, Switzerland) 2008. His first monograph Sleeping by the Mississippi, was published by Steidl in 2004 to critical acclaim. Since then Soth has published Niagara (2006), Fashion Magazine (2007), and Dog Days, Bogota (2007). Soth is represented by Gagosian Gallery in New York, Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis, and is a member of Magnum Photos.

This is the fourth in AUT's series of photographic "master-classes" and promises to be as rewarding and exciting as the previous.

As interest is high and places limited to secure a place please contact Neil Cameron Registrar AUT School of Art and Design on email:

Fee for the Gossage / Soth workshop is $600 payable by November 7th. Payment can be made direct to Gossage/Soth Workshop ASB Bank Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand, Account No 12-3019-0770674, cheques to Gossage/Soth Workshop PO Box 47373 Ponsonby, Auckland.

Charles, Vasa, Minnesota, 2002. From Sleeping by the Mississippi series.
Copyright Alec Soth

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Shanghai Zoe

One of my projects in Shanghai this last week was to make a series of portraits with locals and my daughter Zoe. This was all about chance encounters, really just waiting to see who might come along, who might like to be photographed. The idea fits with my on-going investigation into "parallel lives" culture here another one are four pictures.

Shanghai People

It's the people that makes China so special. Always a smile. Always welcoming. Always curious. As China becomes more westernized hope that these values never change.

Shanghai Daze

Just back from a week in amazing Shanghai. The city busier and faster than ever. Setting out everyday from the central and solid 1930's Metropol Hotel, always something new around every corner. This my third visit and I'm sure not are three images.