Friday, August 31, 2012

Rinko Kawauchi - book-making performance, Photographers' Gallery...

On Saturday September 8th, Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi will present a book-making performance - Approaching Whiteness - at London's Photographers' Gallery. Rinko will make use of a form of traditional Japanese scrolls to present her images, she is joined in this performance by a screen-printer and calligrapher. The scrolls will be available to purchase by attending audience members.  Total edition, 300 scrolls.

You can find out more HERE.

Rinko Kawauchi is recognized for masterful editing and sequencing of her images to generate a rich body of photobooks. In response to this, presenting her photography as a sequence of frames on a scroll — a form with a rich history in Japan — is a new photobook form for the photographer that draws out some of the ideas at the core of her work. The sequence of frames flow from right to left and connote the passage of time as an uninterrupted sequence. This idea extends to a larger philosophy that all things are connected.

Approaching Whiteness presents nine different sequences that each focus on a specific theme, as shown in the videos to the right. Participants of the event will chose one scroll and select a pattern to be silkscreened onto the underside of the scroll. Once the pattern has been printed onto the scroll, the title will be written in brushstroke by Kawauchi's mother. The photographer, seated beside her mother, will then stamp her seal onto the scroll before placing the object into a custom-made box and handed to the participant. The entire process, including the silkscreening, will be carried out inside the Studio Floor of the Photographers' Gallery while the participant watches.

The event is open to the public and no reservations are necessary to attend. To receive a scroll, participants will need to purchase a ticket either on the day of the event or in advance. The scrolls are in limited supply so advance purchases are strongly recommended, particularly if there is a specific sequence that the participant wants.

Height: 220 mm, Width: 2.1 meters
Recto: Digital Printing by Edition Works, Tokyo
Japanese paper by Awagami
The scroll wraps around a Katsura pole with a diameter of 44mm and 236mm in length.

66 x 66 x 255 mm, Paulownia wood
Laser-cut lettering

Approaching Whiteness is a production by Ivan Vartanian / Goliga.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

European Month of Photography, October 19 - November 25

The European Month of Photography kicks off October 19 over 100 locations, showing the work of 500 photographers. Their site is well worth a look HERE.

The NY Art Book Fair...

Printed Matter presents the seventh annual NY Art Book Fair, from September 28 to 30, at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens. A preview will be held on the evening of Thursday, September 27.

Free and open to the public, the NY Art Book Fair is the world's premier event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by more than 250 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from over twenty countries.

Lucy Lippard and Paul Chan are the keynote speakers for this year’s Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference - a dynamic, two-day symposium on emerging practices and debates within art-book culture. The Classroom - a curated series of artist-led workshops, readings, and discussions -will engage visitors in lively conversation all weekend long. The NY Art Book Fair will also include special project rooms, screenings, book signings, and performances throughout the weekend.

Over 15,000 artists, book buyers, collectors, dealers, curators, independent publishers, and other enthusiasts attended the NY Art Book Fair in 2011.

The NY Art Book Fair is free and open to the public.

Preview: Thursday, September 27, 6–9 pm
Friday, September 28, 12–7 pm
Saturday, September 29, 11 am–9 pm
Sunday, September 30, 11 am–7 pm

22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue
Long Island City, NY

Auckland - the last of the winter light...

Here are a few photographs I made last Sunday in a walk through St Marys Bay and into the city... Spring is in the air here and not before time!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

German Photography today...

Thomas Ruff "Nudes“, 2001
The Goethe-Institute have published a comprehensive overview online, outlining the state of German photography. It's well worth a read. Topics covered are: How’s photography doing at the dawn of the 21st century? Who are its foremost German exponents? How does it relate to other arts? Why it’s become so hard these days to talk about photography in art or, for that matter, art in photography. The leading Schools of Photography in Germany. The increasing blurring of borders between photography and other pictorial spheres. And more...

I was struck by this piece on conservation by Grant B. Romer, director of the Conservation Department at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, made at a conference on the conservation of photo-archives. Romer's aim was to draw a clear-cut distinction between all the processes used to create computer-generated images, on the one hand, and photography in its ur-physicochemical “analog” form. Later there was even a conference on “The Original in Photography”, which was deemed “a concept in dissolution” – in terms of both photographic artwork and everyday use of the medium. The picture collectors attending were shocked by the announcement that they should either lay up their pictures in dark cold storage or accept a shorter life expectancy for their cherished prints. 
This reminded me of curator Quentin Bajac's comment when he told me that they at Centre Pompidou,  no longer regard contemporary prints as "objects" - rather items that by virtue of their potential impermanence will come and go from their collection.  

You can go to the  Goethe-Institute's overview HERE

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sacha Maric - Good Mother and Father

I came across Sacha Maric's new (and second) book Good Mother and Father at Printed Matter in New York.  I liked it hugely, immediately. It's simple, edgy and direct without compromise. A highly personal series of WTF pictures dealing with parenthood and a meditation on life, death and sex. Topics with which we are all familiar. 

Sacha Maric is a Fine Art graduate from Saint Martins College, London. His editorial work has appeared internationally in ArtReview, Dazed and Confused, Nylon, WAD and Wallpaper, amongst others.  And his photographs have been exhibited widely in Europe. Sacha divides his time between London and Copenhagen.

Pleasingly Sacha agree to make a book swap and my copy of Good Mother and Father arrived today. My initial reaction holds good. A book of substance, one of my favorite titles for 2012. Love it!

You can order a copy for yourself by going to Sacha Maric's site HERE.

Now some images: 

exclusivity.... a collaboration

My new bookwork is a collaboration with Auckland based poet Sam Sampson.  Sam's poem ...exclusivity dwells in habitat... was part of an exhibition where he had worked with artist Peter Madden. With this bookwork I  saw the opportunity to expand the reading of both the poem and my work. 

Here is what contemporary avant-garde American poet Michael Palmer had to say about the book, 'What a pleasure to receive your... collaboration, where word and image offer such a provocative dynamic of conjunction and disjunction, the rich play between, space between.'

The book is 195 x 155mm and is printed on 120gsm art paper, 28 pages with 16 photographs. The edition is limited to 100 copies, each book numbered and signed by both Sam Sampson and myself.

Copies can be obtained directly from me at:
Prices are, €20 / £15 / US$25 which includes packing and postage. For payment you can simply log on to my PayPal account using my email address above.
Here are some pages.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Photobook, all you ever wanted to know about making one...

Save the dates January 12, 13 and 14, 2013, in New York. Fifteen fortunate participants will have the opportunity to attend a hands-on photobook workshop - The Book Dummy: A non-stop process - conducted by photobook experts Victor Sira and Shioro Kawaski.

Established in 2011, Victor Sira and Shiori Kawasaki are founders and directors of bookdummypresss. Their studio is located in the West Village of New York City. 

Victor Sira: / blog: The Book as a Studio as an Idea as an Object

Is a Venezuela-born artist/photographer whose work has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. He curated the show Photography Book Dummies at the School of International Center of Photography. His work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions, including the Rencontres d’Arles 2005 and the show De l’Europe in Luxemburg 2007. Sira is on the faculty at the ICP-Bard MFA Advanced Photographic Studies Program in New York, where he teaches the course The Book: Imaginary Studio, A Non Stop Process.

Shiori Kawasaki: / blog: Draft of Ideas

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Moved to New York in 2006 to attend International Center of Photography and studied Documentary and Photojournalism. After graduating from ICP, she has been exhibited in several group shows both in NY and Japan include Sombra Project and 126 Polaroid, which held in Yokohama Museum of Art. Her work is shown in major Japanese magazines such as Coyote, BRUTUS, GQ Japan, LAST, Tokyo Calendar, UOMO and more. 

For more information and a complete rundown on the workshop you can go HERE.
For my money the workshop looks amazing, only wish I could be in New York at that time!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The PHOTOBOOKSTORE UK - A guide to best photobooks for 2012, so far...

The UK's Photobookstore specializes in rare, signed and out of print photobooks. Here is a list of what they see as the "greatest hits" so far for 2012. The list is Part 2, Part 1 must be lurking on their site somewhere, however I couldn't find it.
Antoine d'Agata - ICE
Favourite Photobooks of 2012, Part II
We have recently put together the 2nd in our guides to the best photobooks so far of 2012. Check out our blog to see the full list with accompanying video previews HERE.

1. Anders Petersen – Soho
A brilliant look at contemporary Soho, London with all the grainy tones of the 1970s.

2. Anders Petersen – City Diary
A highly recommended 3 book set of Petersen’s unnerving gaze at an intimate chaotic existence world.

3. Found Photos in Detroit
Thousands of abandoned “found” photographs skillfully assembled into an enigmatic ghostly archive.

4. Takuma Nakahira – Circulation, Date, Place, Events
A previously unpublished set of images from 1971 beautifully brought back to life in this elegant production.

5. Antoine d’Agata – Ice
Not for the faint-hearted, but nobody makes images quite like d’Agata.

German master Michael Schmidt’s long term project on the food production chain impeccably presented in this huge limited edition slipcased hardback.

Another expertly sequenced and subtly detailed photobook by Gerry Johansson.

One of the finest Araki productions of recent years in this photobook event.

Other notable releases include Paul Graham - The Present, Lucas Foglia - A Natural Order, Max de Esteban's Elegies of Manumission and Daido Moriyama titles Journey for Something, Okinawa and Color. Please do let us know what your favourite photobooks have been so far in 2012.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Torinaomi - a webmag from Brooklyn but not necessarily of...

I received this email the other day: 

Hi Harvey, My friends, Neilson Tam, Meron Menghistab and I, Nicholas Ludwig, have been working on an online magazine that we put together each month. The project stems from an idea to keep photographing and generating new ideas about photographs and traveling and living. We all attended university together in Rochester, NY at the Rochester Institute of Technology. We now live in Brooklyn and hang out a lot and love looking at new photographs. We have three issues we put together over the past couple months and our most recent issue is about Roosevelt Island. Roosevelt Island is a strange island smushed in between Manhattan and Queens with no land bridge to Manhattan, only accessible by car from Queens, we enjoyed exploring it. We hope you enjoy our photographs. 

Apart from liking much of the work it made me want to get back to Brooklyn and explore some more. More ideas and more photographs. 

You can see Neilson's, Meron's and Nicholas's work for yourself by going to Torinaomi HERE. It's well worth a look. And oh, there are no white, twenty-something Upper East-siders running naked in The Hamptons! Thank God!

Here are some pictures:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Martine Franck died this last Thursday

 Martine Franck - Le Brusc, France, 1976
Martine Franck (1938-2012) was a Belgian photographer, and a member of the Magnum Photos agency. She was the second wife of photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson after his divorce from Ratna Mohini, and was president and co-founder of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, which administrates his estate. She died 16 August 2012. Born in Belgium, Franck grew up in the United States and England, and studied art history at the University of Madrid and at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. From 1963 she worked at Time-Life in Paris as an assistant to photographers Eliot Elisofon and Gjon Mili. Martine Franck met Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1966 when she was photographing Paris fashion shows for the New York Times. They were married in 1970. She worked at Vu (photo agency) in Paris from 1970 to 1971, and co-founded the Viva (photo agency) in 1972. Franck is not only known for her contribution to the promotion of Cartier-Bresson, but as a photographer in her own right. She became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1983, and had worked for Vogue magazine, for which she completed a series on women. She has been the official photographer of the Théâtre du Soleil since 1964 thanks to her friendship with Ariane Mnouchkine. In 1983 she completed a project for the French Ministry of Women's Rights and in 1985 she collaborated with the International Federation of Little Brothers of the Poor. In 1993 she first traveled to the Irish island of Tory where she documented the ancient Gaelic community. She also traveled to Tibet and Nepal, and with the help of Marilyn Silverstone photographed the education system of the Tibetan Tulkus monks. In 2003 and 2004 she returned to Paris to document the work of theater director Robert Wilson who was staging La Fontaine's fables at the Comédie Française. At the time of her death she lived in Paris.

 Martine Franck -Tulku Khentrol Lodro Rabsel and tutor Llagyel Shechen in the Bonarth Monastery, Nepal, 1996

Thursday, August 16, 2012

John Gossage and Kazuo Kitai - double signing at Dashwood NY

John Gossage - The Code
This coming Monday, August 20, Dashwood Books NYC, presents a signing of new books by John Gossage and Kazuo Kitai, published by Harper's Books.

American photographer John Gossage is known for his numerous book projects and has long been a lover and admirer of Japanese photography. Gossage was asked to design Kitai's book, and to join the project by contributing his own photographs to Kitai's exhibition, being shown at Harper's Books August 18 through October 1 in Easthampton, NY. In September 2011, Gossage traveled to Tokyo to meet with Kitai and shoot the images for his new book, The Code. These color photographs signal a departure from Gossage's usual territory. While his revelatory sanctification of the banal is inescapable, here we see a subtle shift to a more accessible perspective, with several luminous street scenes, and a host of pictures that capture the irrepressible beauty rooted in the fabric of the Japanese experience.
Kazuo Kitai began his photographic career in 1965 at the young age of 22. Japan was on the cusp of a sea change in its photographic culture, and Kitai stood at the vanguard of this transition. After being persecuted by the police who thought he was a radical, and abandoned by the leftist radicals of the protest movement who saw him as a traitor, Kitai found himself embedded within a cadre of ordinary students who took over the Art Department at Nihon University in Tokyo. For four months, Kitai manned the barricade and photographed the protesters in and around the University, focusing more on the quotidian nature of their struggle, rather than on images of police dispersing students in a haze of tear gas. The Barricade series, shot in 1968, the pivotal year of global protest, has never been published before outside of Japanese magazines.

Kazuo Kitai - Barricade
Monday August 20th 2012, 6 - 8 pm, 33 Bond Street (between Bowery and Lafayette) New York, NY 10012 

You can order the deluxe edition of The Code HERE and Barricade HERE


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

LOVE STORY, NY premier, this friday night

If you happen to be in New York this Friday night you can catch the New York premier of Florian Habicht's LOVE STORY. And a chance to catch up with Florian who will be at the showing.

Presented by ROOF TOP FILMS
the location is Open Road Rooftop, Lower East Side, 350 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002 F, J, M, Z to Delancey Street-Essex Street; B, D, Q to Grand Street

Love Story (Florian Habicht | New Zealand | 91 min.)
New York in the summer is a wonderful place to fall in love. The city is filled with dynamic locations for escapades, from the Brooklyn boardwalk to downtown dive bars, from Chinatown parks to local bodegas. Millions of strangers pass each other every day: native weirdos, everyday Americans, tourists from New Zealand, Russia and everywhere in between. It’s a huge and fast-moving metropolis, but following a chance flirtation, fate and the city will bring you back together. Although we have a reputation for being gruff, New Yorkers are the most open and interested people in the world when an adventure comes their way.

So when transient artist Florian Habicht spots on the subway a beautiful woman carrying a piece of cake on a plate, he begins to film her. And to fall in love. Unsure how to court this mysterious siren, Florian takes to the streets: he asks a wild collection of passerby how to craft this love story. Real New Yorkers respond with pleasure, surprise and distaste, but they’ve always got an opinion: what to do on a first date, how to treat her after a taxi accident, how to lure her into bed...He even enquires (while on a late-night condom run, wearing nothing more than her striped tights) how to handle the inevitable failures and sexual twists. Overseeing the entire endeavor, like a Brechtian director on stage, is Florian’s father, Skyping in his blockbuster movie advice.

As Florian and the woman continue on their romantic collaboration, all the lines of fiction and fantasy are blurred, and a natural dramatic tension develops among the madness. The perfect avant garde New York summer romantic comedy, this unique and charming film is a love story between two people, between a multitude of ideas, and between all New Yorkers and the city we live in. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Robert Hughes R.I.P.

My favorite (and for many others) art critic Robert Hughes died in New York on Monday aged 74. Known for his tell-it-like-it-is approach to art writing, avoiding art speak and wading in with contentious opinionated criticism. Not afraid to say things like Hockney was the Cole Porter of painting and openly hating, among others, Schnabel and Basquiat. Like him or not his reviews were a joy to read, never descending to wishy-washy vapid description. His writing will be missed.

Michael McNay has written an obituary in the guardian, below is the opening paragraph, you can read the full piece  HERE

Robert Hughes, who has died aged 74 after a long illness, dismissed the notion of Crocodile Dundee as a representative Australian figure as "macho commedia dell'arte". All the same, Hughes as the Crocodile Dundee of art criticism is too good a parallel to reject: burly ocker from the outback, tinny in left hand, confronted by New York aesthete armed with stiletto, reaches with his right hand for his own massive bush knife, commenting slyly to his terrified assailant: "Now that's what I call a knife."
I described him in the Guardian once as writing the English of Shakespeare, Milton, Macaulay and Dame Edna Everage, and Hughes enjoyed the description. His prose was lithe, muscular and fast as a bunch of fives. He was incapable of writing the jargon of the art world, and consequently was treated by its mandarins with fear and loathing. Much he cared.

Here are a few typical quotes from Hughes:

The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.

The new job of art is to sit on the wall and get more expensive.

What does one prefer? An art that struggles to change the social contract, but fails? Or one that seeks to please and amuse, and succeeds?

Most of the time they buy what other people buy. They move in great schools, like bluefish, all identical. There is safety in numbers. If one wants Schnabel, they all want Schnabel, if one buys a Keith Haring, two hundred Keith Harings will be sold.

I have never been against new art as such; some of it is good, much is crap, most is somewhere in between.

The hallmark of the minor artist is to be obsessed with style as an end in itself.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lichtblick School, Arles Photobook Masterclass, the results

Back in July at Les Rencontres d'Arles the Cologne based Lichtblick School team, Markus Schaden, Wolfgang Zurborn, Nina Poppe, Frederic Lezmi and Tina Schelhorn, presented an intensive week long photobook workshop to a small and dedicated group of photographers.
The school has just posted the results on their site and there are some stunning book works to be seen, well worth a look... you can see more HERE

Paco Mesa and Lola Marazuela - 45

Christine Rose Divito - Out of the Blue

Josef Schulz - Poststructure

Friday, August 3, 2012

NYC - a new Benge bookwork

Following an amazing 2 weeks in New York, the opportunity to produce a bookwork seemed too good to pass up. So here it is. There are 28 photographs, over 28 pages, printed on 120gsm art paper, 226 x 160 mm. The edition is limited to 75 copies, each book signed and numbered.

For the first 20 copies of NYC ordered I will include a signed and numbered print of my New York table image (after Edward Hopper). First come first served.

Copies can be obtained directly from me at:
Prices are, €28 / £22 / US$35 / NZ$42, which include packing and postage. For payment you can simply log on to my PayPal account using my email address above.
Here are some pages.