Archive for the ‘Photographers’ Category

MEMORY CITY: Rochester in 36 Exposures

April 18, 2012

Alex and Rebecca's Kodak Express Heading to Rochester's House of Pictures

Until the end of April, Rebecca and I will be working on a joint project in Rochester, NY, which will be part of a larger Magnum project, “House of Pictures,”  a continuation of their “Postcards from America” project.

As two photographers who have long used Kodak film –– for me, Kodachrome; for Rebecca, Portra –– we both like the idea of  exploring Rochester, a city which has long been home of one of the U.S.’s most famous companies, Eastman Kodak, whose future –– and perhaps the future of film ––  is now in question.  We’re tentatively calling the project, “Memory City: Rochester in 36 Exposures,” and we’ll see where our creative journey leads us.

For those of you who’d like to follow our Rochester project on the blog, we’d greatly appreciate your comments and suggestions and support, which you can post in the comments section at the end of this column. We will also post photographs occasionally on the House of Pictures tumblr site, which is also a good place to see some of the work of the other Magnum photographers involved with the project: Martin Parr, Alec Soth, Susan Meiselas, Paolo Pellegrin, Bruce Gilden, Donovan Wylie, Alessandra Sanguinettii, Larry Towell, and Jim Goldberg, with Chien-Chi Chang documenting the project with a video camera.––Alex Webb

UPCOMING EVENTS: APRIL, MAY & JUNE

NEW YORK

––THURSDAY, MAY 24, NEW YORK, NY: My Dakota book launch at ICP, May 24″ href=”http://www.icp.org/events/2012/may/24/book-signing-rebecca-webb-norriss-my-dakota” target=”_blank”>My Dakota book launch, party and book signing at ICP (43d and Sixth Ave), 6-7:30.

ROCHESTER, MILAN AND BOLOGNA

––THURSDAY, APRIL 26TH, ROCHESTER, NY: “Together & Apart: The Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, Webb Auditorium, RIT, 8pm; free and open to the public.

––SATURDAY, APRIL 28TH, ROCHESTER, NY:  “House of Pictures” slide talk at GEH at 2pm

––FRIDAY, MAY 4, MILAN, ITALY: “Together and Apart: Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb,” at Forma, which will simultaneously have Alex’s The Suffering of Light exhibition in the gallery (Invitation only, but former students, friends, member of the Two Looks online community, and press are welcome.  Space is limited, so please contact Alex and Rebecca to reserve one of the limited seats: webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

––SATURDAY, MAY 5TH, MILAN, ITALY:  Two book launches, featuring the work of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the MIA photography festival, 8 pm

––MONDAY, MAY 7, BOLOGNA, ITALY: “Together & Apart: Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb. 5 pm

RAPID CITY, SD

––FRIDAY, JUNE 1, RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA: “My Dakota” exhibition opening and book party, Dahl Arts Center, 6-8pm.  The exhibition will run until October 13, 2012.

––SATURDAY, JUNE 9,  AT LOOK3 PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL, CHARLOTTESVILLE:

4-6pm Alex Webb in conversation with noted writer and cultural critic Geoff Dyer

6-7pm: Book signing with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the Second Street Gallery

NEW BOOK: Book Launch @ Aperture, June 1st

May 30, 2011

Alex Webb, cover of "The Suffering of Light" (Aperture), with an essay by Geoff Dyer

 

Please join us to celebrate the launch of Alex’s new book, The Suffering of Light, at Aperture at 6:30pm, which will include a conversation with photographer and critic Max Kozloff and a booksigning afterwards. (To take a look inside Alex’s new book, follow this link to the PhotoEye site.) And here’s a link to a portfolio of Alex’s work from the new book on the La Lettre site, courtesy of the Robert Klein Gallery in Boston, which will have a joint show of our work on Saturday, September 17th, from 2-4pm.

And below you’ll find a rough, homemade video of our Violet Isle show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, an exhibition mentioned in The New York Times on Sunday and reviewed in The Boston Globe on Tuesday, May 31st.   For those who are part of the “Two Looks” online community, please let us know if you get a chance to see Violet Isle at the MFA, Boston, which will be up until January 16, 2012.

By the way, if you visit the MFA by June 16th, be sure and stop by and see the photography show, “Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection,” which includes work by such noted photographers as Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus, Julia Margaret Cameron, Wright Morris, Alec Soth, William Eggleston, Robert Frank, Mitch Epstein, Larry Sultan, Mike Smith, and Helen Levitt.–Rebecca Norris Webb

TWO VIEWS: Alex at Alcobendas

May 9, 2011

Alex Webb, "Fort Sherman, Panama, 1999" from "The Suffering of Light"

Alex and I are in Alcobendas, Madrid, this week for the opening of his exhibition, “Selecciones: 1975-2004,” which was the result of his winning the Premio Internacional de Fotographia Alcobendas last year.  For our friends in Spain, hope you can help us celebrate Alex’s opening at the Centro de Arte Alcobendas at 7:30 pm on Thursday, May 12th.

For the TWO VIEWS column this month,  below is another one of my rough, homemade videos of our curating a wall of the exhibition this afternoon, even though we were somewhat jetlagged from a night flight from New York (Talk about intuitive editing!). And secondly, above you’ll find a rather mysterious image of Alex’s from his Alcobendas exhibition — and one that’s also in his new book — that was taken in Ft. Sherman, Panama, in 1999, a photograph of a U.S. military jungle warfare training camp.

Lastly, I’d like to leave you with a quote I came across this evening from one of my favorite poets, the Spanish poet Lorca, a quote which seems a fitting end to our first day in Madrid:  “Only mystery allows us to live, only mystery.”–Rebecca Norris Webb


DARK HORSES: “Killed” by William Jones

April 6, 2011

We are pleased to have guest blogger, Michael Itkoff, a founding editor of Daylight Magazine, launch our first column of DARK HORSES.  We asked Michael to choose a book that he felt has been overlooked or underappreciated in the photo world.  He chose the book, Killed: Rejected Images from the Farm Security Administration by William Jones.  Besides Michael’s column, you’ll also find a five-minute video piece, “Punctured,” directly below, which was recently exhibited at the Andrew Roth Gallery in New York. As always, please leave your comments at the end of this column.

In addition, we’d like to remind our online photography community about the annual Daylight/CDS Photo Awards, for both established and emerging photographers, whose deadline is MAY 1, 2011.  You can read more about the awards on Daylight’s blog.

Lastly, for photographers in the LONDON area, we wanted to let you know that we’ve added a last-minute weekend workshop in London, Friday evening, June 17th, through Sunday afternoon, June 19th.  Space is limited, so we’ll fill it on a first come basis.  Here’s a link to the Magnum Events page for those interested in having more information.–Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Punctured from The Paris Review on Vimeo.

History is widely understood to be a malleable record. The dense reams of paper-work and documentation that amalgamate into historical record are generally controlled by a ruling party, selectively shared and highlighted as needed. The inaccessibility of such archives can deter all but the most devoted pursuers of information. In the United States, the Freedom of Information Act coupled with the searching power of the internet have added a level of transparency few regimes have matched. Recently, the undiscerning publication of sensitive government documents by Wikileaks have forced us to evaluate the line between open-source accountable governance and potentially negligent loose lips.

The control of information has long been a significant historical hinge. Figures from Martin Luther to Thomas Paine have helped to sway public opinion with their influential publications. In his new book, Killed: Rejected Images from the Farm Security Administration, the artist William Jones has reexamined the well-known historical record left us by Roosevelt’s New Deal. While searching for homoerotic elements in the FSA archives, Jones stumbled on a series of rejected photographs and assembled them into a video.

Between 1935-44, under the watchful eye of American economist and government official Roy Stryker, a number of photographers were sent into the interior of the United States to bring back a record of the Great Depression. The results of this campaign have been shown widely around the world and become emblematic of America’s dignified suffering during this difficult period. The photographs we have come to know and love were, of course, vetted and approved by Stryker himself but little is known about the others. Until now. Combing through the archives, Jones has presented us with 157 images rejected by Stryker.  The images are compelling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the negatives themselves were ‘killed’ by Stryker’s hole punch. In the book, photographs appear by Walker Evans, Theodor Jung, Carl Mydans, Marion Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn, John Vachon, John Collier, Jr., Russell Lee and David Myers.

Stryker’s circular redactions serve to bind each image with the next both formally and conceptually. Looking through the photographs one cannot help but think about why Stryker chose to reject them. In one pair of photographs, two little girls stand in a farers field with flowered dresses. Their clothing matches the squash blossoms around them and the photographer adjusts his viewfinder to catch their wary father as he walks by. This strange dynamic is highlighted by the girl’s expression, which changes from cherubic to awkward as the father approaches. Another rejected image features a pair of young African-Americans picking cotton. A self-portrait by John Vachon is definitively marred by two hole punches over his face. In one of Walker Evans’ images, a sad looking barefooted child sits in the dirt next to a man with ragged pants.

In the images described above, and many more, underlying tensions are magnified by the sheer weight of the historical context. Despite the magic of photography, the documentary process is imperfect at best. Coupled with the gesture of governmental rejection, the photographs in Killed make for a potently loaded experience.–Michael Itkoff

Michael Itkoff is a photographer, writer, educator and a Founding Editor of Daylight Magazine. Michael’s monograph, Street Portraitswas published by Charta Editions in 2009.  His website: www.michaelitkoff.com

TWO LINKS: BLUE Exhibition

January 31, 2011

Alec Von Bargen, "Everyone is Gone," Jurors' Selection

As curators of the “Blue” exhibition at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, Colorado, we’d like to thank the 38 photographers who participated in the exhibition, as well as extend our thanks to executive director, Hamidah Glasgow, for asking us to co-curate the show.

This week on the “Two Looks” blog, we are featuring a selection of work from the exhibition, including photographs by Alec Von Bargen (Jurors’ Selection), Andrea Tess (Jurors’ Honorable Mention) and Kirsten Hoving (Jurors’ Honorable Mention), as well as Erin Sweeny (Director’s Selection) and Jamie Saunders (Director’s Honorable Mention).  Here’s where you’ll find the complete “Blue” exhibition selection, and below is our Juror’s Statement for the show. Lastly, here’s a link to a Q&A with us at the London Telegraph online, which also features additional work from the “Blue” show.

We enjoyed meeting all the participants through their work, and regret we couldn’t attend the opening due to our hectic schedule this winter overseeing the production of Alex’s upcoming survey book. — Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Andrea Tess, from "After," Jurors' Honorable Mention

BLUE:  Jurors’ Statement

As the economic recession continues to linger, it colors our already fragile landscape of environmental, societal, and personal loss.  Unlike many of its sister arts, photography is uniquely suited to capturing the delicate palette of that which is in the process of vanishing out of sight –– be it endangered species or cultures, people or places, lifestyles or landscapes.  In addition, the medium also records the individual photographer’s specific and sometimes complicated response to this diminishing.  If our current time –– this 21st Century “loss zeitgeist” –– was tinged with a color, it makes sense it would be blue.

Blue is a many-faceted jewel of a color, each facet suggesting a different shading of color and mood, concept and association, not unlike the many faces of loss itself.  Blue –– and “the blues” –– can bring to mind a deep longing, an ache even, an emptiness that paradoxically has heft, too.  Blue can also suggest those light, ethereal, nearly transparent hues lying at the far side of grief –– inspired, spiritual even –– shades able to mesmerize, to transport us into the wide blue yonder of reverie.  The more we try to describe the multitudinous blue in words, however, the more it seems to confound and, ultimately, escape us.

So, what better way to catch a glimmer of blue’s crystalline quality that to present multiple points of view of this elusive, many-faceted jewel of a hue?

Together, the 38 diverse and talented photographers in this exhibit have done just that, given their personal interpretation of blue –– from its various hues to the many moods and concepts and associations that can accompany it.  Since collaborating with the world is also one of photography’s unique strengths, this exhibition also includes images taken in some 20 different countries.  Blue –– and its often companion, loss –– can be international, too.

What remains after “Everybody’s Gone”?  This is the question Alec Von Bargen’s spare Icelandic landscape seems to ask the viewer.  Taken after the country’s recent economic collapse triggered a mass exodus, Von Bargen’s image is solely peopled by two faceless cowboys painted on a mural, one astride a rearing horse, one standing in the background, both beckoning nonexistent tourists to fill in the blanks with their own smiling camera faces.  Instead, the two empty holes stare silently off into the distance, one filled with blue sky, the other, with ocean.  Is this the answer to the photograph’s quiet question?  Could it be that absence itself is blue?

Andrea Tese’s interpretation of blue feels more visceral –– like the fresh, blue-black bruise of recent loss.  Tese’s moving portraits –– including the raw, vulnerable portrait of a young woman who looks like she’s been crying  –– are part of her series called “After,” which explores those moments that occur in the long shadow cast by loss and love and life’s many complicated experiences. “These images are scenes of loss, decay, and departed desire,” writes the emerging photographer, who recently had her first New York City solo show.

“Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness,” the Italian writer, Italo Calvino once wrote.  This line aptly describes the mood of Kirsten Hoving’s surreal and mesmerizing interpretation of blue, “Fallen Angel.”  This image, although taken recently at her local Vermont county fair, blurs the boundaries between now and then, dream and reality, like the dim light of dusk itself, thanks in part to Hoving’s intelligent, surprising, and whimsical eye. “In the past,” Hoving notes, “the edge of the midway was the site of ‘girlie shows’ and strip-tease acts.  Today, the fallen women can be found bungee-jumping.”–Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, jurors of the “Blue” exhibition.

Kirsten Hoving, "Fallen Angel," Jurors' Honorable Mention

Erin Sweeny, Director's Selection

Jamie Saunders, "Come and Go," Director's Honorable Mention

TWO QUESTIONS: On Photographs that Inspire and Confound; On Birds and Returning

January 4, 2011

This month’s TWO QUESTIONS column features questions posed by two U.S. photographers. Based in Austin, Texas, BILL MCCULLOUGH makes his living predominantly from photographing weddings.  However, he is far from your typical wedding photographer — his pictures are witty, surprising, spontaneous; they take us into social worlds not often seen so perceptively.  His humor is gentle and good-natured, very much like Bill himself.  EMILY PEDERSON is currently studying photography, languages (she has mastered Portuguese, Spanish, and Czech), and social justice at New York University.   Her grandfather was a noted underwater photographer, so she grew up with photography in her life.   She has photographed in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and New York, as well as in her home state of Rhode Island.--Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Robert Frank, "Elevator Girl, Miami, 1955" from "The Americans"

BILL MCCULLOUGH: In photography, music, painting, and many other forms of expression, there is work that strikes the perfect balance of technique and emotion that can leave one in awe.  You may ask yourself, “how did they do that?” You are both photographers who have been in the trenches and attempted many things; therefore, you also have insight, understanding, and respect of what is truly difficult to accomplish.  Is there a photographer, dead or alive, who both inspires you and stumps you?  If so, who and why?

ALEX WEBB:  Ever since I first picked up a copy of Frank’s The Americans –– sometime in the late 1960′s –– my favorite photograph in the book has always been the mournful elevator girl.  I hesitate to say much of anything about it because Jack Kerouac in his introduction to the book said just about everything that needs to be said:  “And I say: That little ole elevator girl looking up sighing in an elevator full of blurred demons, what’s her name and address?”   What Kerouac latches onto is what has always most intrigued me about Frank’s work, its emotive heart.  Somehow, Frank managed to make deep and surprising poetry out of the mundane stuff of the world of America.

That quality is still what interests me most about Frank’s work. But looking back now at this photograph, I am also intrigued by how it speaks of another era in America.  I can’t recall when I last saw an elevator girl.  The notion seems quaint.  It makes me almost nostalgic, nostalgic, among other things, for a more intimate world, where human beings –– including those in more menial positions –– somehow seemed to count.  Now, soulless elevators in Miami gleam of burnished chrome.  Chimes denoting each floor have replaced the human voice.  Modern demons may sometimes stalk these elevators, but mournful elevator girls are long gone.   I guess today, Kerouac would have to go elsewhere to find a name and number.

Robert Frank, "Barber shop through screen door, McClellanville, SC, 1955," from "The Americans"

REBECCA NORRIS WEBB: From the moment I first saw a print of Robert Frank’s barbershop in McClellanville, South Carolina, the image has lingered with me, a sign –– I’ve learned to trust over the years –– of a truly poetic image.  Like the strongest and most resonant poems, the image sends me into a kind of reverie each time I view it.  I think this has something to do with the fact that it’s a reflection, one that blurs inside and outside, like a daydream. So, for me at least, Frank’s mysterious barbershop blurs into the barbershop in my small town in southern Indiana where I was born.  Like Frank, I, too, have pressed up against a small town barbershop’s screen door, have seen into the interior thanks to my own shadow.  Come to think of it, the screen door itself seems somehow quintessentially American (I don’t recall coming across that many screen doors in Europe, for instance…).  The screen door is welcoming yet protective, practical yet vulnerable, luring both june bugs and photographers alike.

ROBERT FRANK LINKS:

Link to NPR story:  “Robert Frank’s Elevator Girls Sees Herself Years Later”:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112389032

Link to Robert Frank’s book, “The Americans”:

http://www.amazon.com/Americans-Robert-Frank/dp/386521584X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294157675&sr=8-1

Link to reviews of the “Looking In: Robert Franks” The Americans” show:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/14/090914fa_fact_lane

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/2009/sep/29/looking-in-robert-franks-emthe-americansem/

Links to reviews of Robert Frank’s,  “The Americans”

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100688154

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/01/0082794

Rebecca Norris Webb, Havana, 2008, from "Violet Isle"

EMILY PEDERSON: Rebecca, what is it about birds?  In Violet Isle, birds are constantly appearing in your photographs. Why is that? What is it that draws you to birds?

RNW:  As someone who comes out of the street photography tradition, I only photograph what I come across in the world, and the most common creature I found in Cuban menageries was the bird –– from roosters and peacocks and woodpeckers to cockatiels and pigeons and parrots.  I love the rich and resonant questions this suggests:  Of all the creatures, why are birds the most popular animal in Cuban menageries?  What does this suggest about the individuals who have these menageries?  What does this suggest about Cubans and their relationship to nature?  And what does this suggest about Cuban culture more generally?

What I love about photography –– and poetry –– is that sometimes images have the ability to suggest these sorts of questions.  One of my favorite lines about birds is by the poet, Li-Young Lee:

Only birds can reveal to us dying by flying.

And just yesterday I came across these two wonderful lines by T.S. Eliot in his poem, “Four Quartets”:

…a hollow rumble of wings…

…wait for the early owl…

Personally, when I first started photographing birds in Cuba, it was a period in my life that roughly corresponded to my acquiring my first pair of professional birding binoculars, inspired in part by the red-tailed hawks in Prospect Park near my apartment, the same kind of hawk that’s also found in my home state of South Dakota.

During one of my last trips to Havana, I remember the delight of watching a hawk attempting to open her wings just inches away from me –– instead of my observing the raptor from the usual distance of my field glasses.  Yet simultaneously I also felt a something catch in my throat as I watched the hawk fumble, unable to spread her wings fully in so small a cage .  Looking back, I realize that I often had this complicated and seemingly contradictory emotional response –– delight and discomfort –– while photographing caged birds throughout Cuba.

Li-Young Lee link:  http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/291

LInk to T.S. Eliot’s poem, “Four Quartets”:  http://www.tristan.icom43.net/quartets/

Alex Webb, Havana, 2008, from "Violet Isle"

 

EP: Alex, when you photograph you seem to go back again and again to a particular place. You don’t move there for a while to carry out your work, but you return over and over. How does that affect the way you see, the way you work?

AW: My meanderings in a country are rarely planned.  For instance, in Havana, even when I find myself working in the same neighborhood, it is often somewhat by chance: I wander into the same locale three days later –– or even, perhaps, a year later.  And even if I contemplate returning to a specific area, it is often a spur of the moment decision: I find myself completing work in one street or block and suddenly decide to return to somewhere that I have been before.  Sure, sometimes I may decide that a street or a market that I photographed in the morning might be more interesting in the afternoon or vice-versa, but as often as not the return to a particular locale is serendipitous.

For instance, the above photograph was taken during my last of 11 trips to Havana over 15 years.  Who know how many times I had walked down this particular street during my other trips.  But the particular mood and color and feel of the street caught my eye in fall 2009.

EMILY PEDERSON

Emily Pederson, Prague, 2009

I was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1989. I study photography, Portuguese, and Spanish at the Gallatin School at New York University.

My grandfather was an undersea photographer and cinematographer, and documented undersea life in the Bahamas in the 50s and 60s. So there were always neat old cameras in my house as I was growing up, and I started to take photographs early on. The summer after my junior year in high school I lived in Peru for a month doing volunteer work at an orphanage. It was my first true experience of life elsewhere, and it played out like a fever dream. I took thirty rolls of film, and after that was significantly more fascinated by photography.

After graduating high school, I moved to New York City and have lived there since, except for four months last year, which I spent studying in Prague, learning Czech and traveling in Eastern Europe. I’m currently working with Alex Harsley at the 4th Street Photo Gallery, which he established in 1971, helping him distribute his work and documenting the history the gallery has witnessed. I see photographs as agents of information and as records of light. What allures me the most is how photography gives us the ability to freeze time.–Emily Pederson

My website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/emilykpederson/

BILL MCCULLOUGH

Bill McCullough, Waco, Texas, 2005

American photographer Bill McCullough was born in 1963, in Dickenson Texas. He graduated with a degree in Plan II economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. He is a self taught photographer. His work has been published in Spot (Houston Center of Photography), United States; and Photonews, Germany. In 2008,  his work was purchased for the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His first solo show will take place at the SRO gallery at Texas Tech University in March, 2011. He has been chosen as a 2010 Fotofest discovery. He currently resides and works in Austin, Texas.

Bill’s webswite:  www.billmccullough.com

FOUR CONTINENTS: 17 Photographers

December 21, 2010

We invited photographers we’ve met in workshops around the world — and through this blog — to help us celebrate the holidays by posting a photograph and giving us an update about their work.  So here are images from 17 photographers from FOUR CONTINENTS around the world.

To everyone in our online photographic community, we’d like to wish you a holiday season filled with joy and love. –– Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Matthew Goddard-Jones, New York, 2010

 

Congratulations to Australian photographer, MATTHEW GODDARD-JONES, whose above photograph was a finalist for a National Geographic prize.  Matt took this photograph during our Master Class this past May in New York.

Matthew Goddard-Jones website

Bill McCullough

Austin-based photographer, BILL MCCULLOUGH, often finds moments on the edges of the weddings he photographs professionally — and passionately, too.  “I love and am obsessed with what I do,” says Bill, who is also a musician. The above is from his limited edition book, “Technicolor Life: American Wedding,’ which you can peruse (and order!) online.

Bill McCullough website

Wenjie Yang, "Low City" exhibition

Chinese photographer, WENJIE YANG — who some of you know as “BaiBai” from the Oslo Magnum Workshop — has been quite busy working on personal projects as well as photographing for clients since she graduated recently from the ICP photography program.  For those in New York, be sure and visit her current exhibition, “Low City, Photographs from Chongqing,” at the Chinese-American Arts Council in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Wenjie Yang website

Wenjie Yang blog

Magdalena Sole, from her upcoming book, "New Delta Rising"

New York-based photographer, MAGDALENA SOLE (who some of you know from the Magnum New York Workshop or the Venice Workshop), is finishing her first book of photographs, which is about the Mississippi Delta.  Called “New Delta Rising,” the book will be released next year by the Dreyfus Health Foundation and distributed by the University of Mississippi Press.  It includes a essay by southern writer, Rick Bragg, and was one of those rare books by another photographer that we chose to edit this year.  You’ll read more about Magdalena’s book next year on this blog, after it’s released.

Magdalena Sole website.

Lisen Stibeck, Palestinian refugee camp, Beirut, Lebanon, 2010

Swedish photographer, LISEN STIBECK, is working on a recent project that has taken her to this refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut (above), as well as to other struggling neighborhoods around the globe, including those in Syria, Lebanon, and, next year, Mexico.  Lisen’s project arose from the work she’s been doing at an orphanage in Marrakesh, where she is currently mentoring teenaged girls.

Lisen Stibeck’s website

Alessandro Marchi

Italian photographer, ALESSANDRO MARCHI, who some of you met in the Lucca Workshop, has photographs that will be exhibited as part of the Format International Photography Festival from March 4, 2011- to April, 3, 2011, in Derby, UK.   Here is a link to the series that will be shown called, “Floating Between Possible Breakdowns.”

You can also see a multimedia presentation of his work from another project, DZMK, in which Alessandro has been photographing many of the workers in a steel factory in southeastern Kazakhstan.

Alessandro Marchi website

Dimitri Mellos, New York, 2010

Above is an image from a long-term street photography project by Greek photographer, DIMITRI MELLOS, on New York City, called “Its Strangest Patterns,” a title inspired by a wonderful quote by novelist Joseph O’Neill.  Some of you met Dimitri at either the Magnum New York Workshop or the first Photo Project Workshop in Dumbo, Brooklyn, this past fall.  We will feature more from his project on the blog next year in an upcoming UNBOUND column.

Dimitri Mellos website

Tone Elin Solholm, cover of her new book, "The Giants' Living Room"

Norwegian designer and photographer, TONE ELIN SOLHOLM — from both the Venice and Barcelona workshops — had her new book, “The Giants’ Living Room,” featured in a recent NEW BOOK column on the blog, a book with a prose poem written by Rebecca called, “Remember When the World Had Seven Rooms…”  To see more images from Tone’s book — and to order a copy of the trade edition or the limited edition of the book — visit Tone’s website below.

Tone Elin Solholm website

Yvonne Liu, Toronto, 2010

Some of you met Chinese photographer, YVONNE LIU, at the Toronto Magnum Workshop in May this past year, in which she took the above photograph.  Although relatively new to photography, Yvonne’s enthusiasm and grace and compassion inspired many of us who have been photographing much longer.   She’s currently working on a new project in Tibet, and will be, we’re sure, an invaluable member of our upcoming Hong Kong Workshop in January.

Yvonne Liu website

Shea Naer

LA-based photographer, SHEA NAER, from our New York Master Class last May in Dumbo, had seven portraits from her series, “Pugilists” published in the NYC journal, Canteen, this past summer.  This coincided with a group exhibition, which included some of this same work, at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn last August.

Shea Naer website

David Bacher, Sud Tirol, 2010

“At least once a year I visit the South Tirol, which is the area where my father was born. It is like a pilgrimage back to his roots and mine as well, as my parents often took me there when I was growing up. This past October I spent a week near the town of Brixen with my father. One of the neighboring valleys is called the Vilnösstal. It is where the mountaineer Rheinhold Messner grew up and is the location of one of the most famous and breathtaking massifs in the Dolomites, the “Geislergebiet.”

Being near the mountain fills me with an overwhelming source of energy, purpose, and place. It is the most beautiful place I know.” — David Bacher

David Bacher website

Francois Dagenais

Canadian cinematographer and photographer, FRANCOIS DAGENAIS, currently has work included in three group exhibitions in the U.S., including “HumanKind,” a juried invitational photo exhibition at the powerHouse Arena that opened on December 17th, and “Scene on the Street: Photos from Public Places,” at the Vermont Photo Space Gallery, an exhibition which was curated by National Geographic photographer and VII member, Ed Kashi.

Francois Dagenais website

Justin Partyka, Isleham, Cambridgeshire, 2010

“This year I was commissioned by the publishers Full Circle Editions to produce a new photo essay to appear in their reissue of the classic oral history collection ‘Fenwomen,’ first published by Virago in 1975.

The essay I have produced, ‘Black Fen they call it….’ (taken from the first line of the book) was made in and around the village of Isleham in the Cambridgeshire Fens, where the oral history was originally collected by the author Mary Chamberlain. Twenty-three photographs will be featured in the book.

The book went to press on 29 November, and will be available in January. A series of events and exhibitions are currently being planned for 2011. Details of the book are available from the publishers website, where the book can also be ordered.”–Justin Partyka

Justin Partyka website

Thomas Lindahl Robinson, Cuba

THOMAS LINDAHL ROBINSON is continuing to work on his long-term project on Cuba, and the above photograph is from this series.  Thomas is also working on a project on China, which is not yet up on the website below, as well as blogging.

Thomas Lindahl Robinson website

Thomas Lindahl Robinson blog

Steinar Haugland, cover of his Blurb book, "Aloneliness"

Norwegian photographer, STEINAR HAUGLAND, who some of you met during the Venice Workshop, has published his first Blurb book, “Aloneliness,” and you’ll find the cover above.

Steinar Haugland Blurb book, Aloneliness

Uwe Schober

“This summer in Spain, I have been working on a series that I have named ‘Perturbadora Pasión | Disturbing Passion | After Francisco Zurbarán.’ The idea came when I was walking through the streets of Barcelona at night and saw all the homeless people sleeping in church entrances, on benches, shops and restaurants. The characteristically yellow light reminded me of Goya and especially of Zurbarán. So I decided to photograph the homeless in just that way with a reference to Spanish masters of the 17th century – not to mock the homeless, quite the opposite: to give them a different voice.  I will exhibit part of the series in a group exhibition this winter in the ‘atelier freier fotografen’ in Berlin.”–Uwe Schober

Uwe Schober’s website

David Belay, Istanbul, 2010

 

“I was drawn to Istanbul both by Alex’s book and by the many things I had heard about Istanbul from so many different people. I found a city that is so complex and multifaceted that, in my opinion, the best way to try and capture its spirit is just to ‘sample’ it, as in this wonderful enumeration of places, moments, etc. in the essay by Orhan Pamuk featured at the end of Alex’s book. It seems to me that a collection of pictures is just the visual equivalent of that, and therefore that photography is a great medium to approach this unique city.”–David Belay

To see more of David Belay’s photographs

WEBB LIBRARY: New Additions

December 13, 2010

In this new column, we’ll occasionally mention some of the books we’ve added to our ever-growing and eclectic library, which is gradually taking over our Brooklyn apartment.  (We were both English majors in college, so we have 100′s of poetry, nonfiction, novels, and photography books.)

We recently added the following four books of photography — Lee Friedlander’s America by Car, Alec Soth’s From Here to There, Jason Eskenasi’s Wonderland, David Taylor’s Working the Line — and one book of poetry: Charles Simic’s Lingering Ghosts.  They are all very different books, reflecting five fascinating and unusual ways of responding to the world and human existence. What they do all share, however,  is a sense of individuality: one cannot imagine anyone else making these books except these particular authors. It’s what both Rebecca and I prize about each of these books.

Trent Bailey’s photograph of the five books on our library’s mantelpiece also shows a detail from an early Patrick Webb painting, as well as an unusual new addition — Phinneas the Pheasant — a specimen of a ring-tailed pheasant, which happens to be the state bird of Rebecca’s home state of South Dakota.  We acquired Phinneas this fall while driving back from the  Black Hills to our Brooklyn neighborhood.–Alex Webb

NEW HONG KONG WORKSHOP ADDED MIDJANUARY:

We’ve added a two-day workshop in Hong Kong next month, in which we’ll feature the first unbound copy of Alex’s upcoming survey book, The Suffering of Light, hot off the press from the printing plant in Hong Kong.  If you’re based in Hong Kong or the area — or have photographic friends that are — please feel free to email them this link to the workshop, which is on the Magnum site.

To read more about this workshop in Chinese, please visit this link.Rebecca Norris Webb

Webb Library, 2010

UNBOUND: Maes and Roberts

November 29, 2010

This week we are featuring the work of S.M. MAES and SHAUN ROBERTS, two participants in the THE PHOTO PROJECT WORKSHOP that we conducted this past October.  In this workshop, we work with the participants to help them shape a project into a more coherent form, ultimately into a handmade book dummy.  This process involves working with participants to edit and sequence their work, and pushing them to try to come to grips with the core or heart of their project.   In addition, Rebecca, who is a writer and text editor as well as photographer,  helps the participants write an artist statement and find a title.  Lastly, we introduce workshop participants to the process of working with a designer.  Each photographer meets with a designer early in the week, who then creates two covers for their work-in-progress by the end of the workshop.

Here are two of these cover selections –– along with their accompanying artist statements and titles ––one from Belgian street photographer, S.M. Maes, and the other, from the San Francisco-based photographer and director, Shaun Roberts.  Over the course of the next six months or so, we will publish the other covers produced in the workshop. There will also be an exhibition in New York, hopefully next spring, of all the covers plus one framed print from each of the projects at the Caption Gallery in Brooklyn.

We expect to give the workshop on an annual basis in Brooklyn the last week in October.  To stay updated about this and other Webb Workshops, please request to be  added to the WEBB WORKSHOP EMAIL LIST.  You’ll find the details at the end of this blog posting.––Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

AMBIGUOUS CITY: Photographs from Antwerp

By S.M. Maes

S.M. Maes, cover-in-progress for "Ambiguous City"

“[Antwerp is] ambiguous—a vibrant blossoming culture on top, and a rusty brown sentiment beneath the cobblestones…Like every city, there is a visible one, and one where only its inhabitants can lead you.”––Ramsey Nasr, city poet of Antwerp

“..the people who move through the streets are all strangers. At each encounter, they imagine a thousand things about one another; meetings, which could take place between them, conversations, surprises, caresses, bites. But no one greets anyone; eyes lock for a second, then dart away, seeking other eyes, never stopping…something runs among them, an exchange of glances like lines that connect one figure with another and draw arrows, stars, triangles, until all combinations are used up in a moment, and other characters come on to the scene… ” ––Italo Calvino, from “Invisible Cities

 

The act of taking a picture to me is an attempt at transforming the city around me into the city I ‘feel,’ as it were. This city is out there, imagined by me somehow, and reveals itself in glimpses. It’s a city that is characterized by a strange and an alluring complexity –– a city in which different people, situations, actions, moods, and emotions intersect. Because of this complexity, there is no singular story to be told, but two or three or multiple stories, all existing simultaneously. Hence there is no need to search for a single ending or resolution or meaning. One would only get lost. ––S.M. Maes

S.M. MAES WEBSITE

AUDEN’S WORDS

Photographs by Shaun Roberts

Shaun Roberts, cover-in-progess for "Auden's Words"

 

“Healing,” Papa would tell me, “ is not a science, but the intuitive art

of wooing nature.” – W.H. Auden


This project grew from a need to make sense of the world around me after having suffered a personal loss in my life. A close friend and poet offered the above W.H. Auden quote to consider. I found comfort in these words that quietly stuck with me, even if I didn’t fully grasp their meaning.

Again in again, in Shanghai, Bangkok, San Francisco, New York, where ever I traveled for the next few years, I found myself drawn to the undeniable grace of strangers. Some passed me in a fraction of a second, barely enough for an exposure — while others eventually I had the privilege of getting to know.

The images they offered me  – gathered together in this book – mysteriously but consistently wooed me away from the pain and the isolation. They showed me how to fall in love with the world –– person by person, moment by moment, frame by frame –– all over again.––Shaun Roberts

SHAUN ROBERTS WEBSITE


To stay updated about the next PHOTO PROJECT WORKSHOP, which is not posted yet, please request to be added to the WEBB WORKSHOP EMAIL LIST by emailing Rebecca at rebeccanorriswebb@yahoo.com.

TRENT’S PICKS: Friedlander at the Whitney

November 14, 2010

TRENT DAVIS BAILEY is a young photographer from Colorado who recently moved to New York.  He recently received a BFA in photography and a BA in art history from the University of Colorado.  Besides photographing and working with us on a variety of projects, he is also currently reviewing exhibitions for Daylight Magazine.  We have each chosen a photograph to accompany Trent’s review of the current Lee Friedlander show at the Whitney, “America By Car,” which is up through November 28th.––Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb

Lee Friedlander, “Alaska, 2007,” represented by Fraenkel Gallery

LEE FRIEDLANDER (b. 1934) has long been recognized for his compound street photographs, which document “social landscapes” through a complex arrangement of reflections, shadows, street signs, and self-portraits. For his latest book and current exhibition, “Lee Friedlander: America by Car,” the photographer went on a decade-long succession of road trips driving on US highways, city streets, country roads, and thoroughfares. In the tradition of other itinerant street photographers, such as Robert Frank and Garry Winogrand, Friedlander’s work examines the expanse of infrastructures and social constructs that pervade the United States. And now, at age 76, Friedlander is still demonstrating his ability to revisit, challenge, and extend his well-established photographic vocabulary.

By photographing through car windows with a Hasselblad Super Wide, Friedlander uses his camera’s foreshortening perspective to methodically construct images that operate as a frame-within-a-frame (often with rear-view mirrors and side-view mirrors acting as additional frames). The photographs focus on the makes, models, and hardware of his rental cars while also considering the environments beyond the cars’ interiors. As consistent with his past work, Friedlander is not at all timid about including himself in these photographs either. Whether it is the flare of his flash or his reflection in a mirror, his presence is felt in every image.

Pictured beyond many of Friedlander’s cars’ windows are especially bleak locales such as dilapidated Rust Belt factories, suburban homes in California, and a car graveyard in Arizona. In this context — when gazing through a rental car window — the visual contrast trades cynicism for wit. And even though each photograph is muddled with information, Friedlander is still able to establish a compositional order. The physical and figurative relationship that coexists between the car interiors and the momentary scenes beyond each window provides a timely, often-satirical commentary on contemporary America.––Trent Davis Bailey

Trent’s review via Daylight Magazine

Lee Friedlander: America By Car
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
September 4 – November 28,  2010
http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/LeeFriedlander
To see more of Lee Friedlander’s work, visit the Fraenkel Gallery website.


Lee Friedlander, “California, 2008,” represented by Fraenkel Gallery

NEW YORK AND BEYOND: OTHER NOTED PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITIONS:

–The Mexican Suitcase: Rediscovered Spanish Civil War negatives by Capa, Chim, and Taro
The International Center of Photography, New York, NY
September 24, 2010 – January 9, 2011
Exhibition: http://www.icp.org/museum/exhibitions/mexican-suitcase

More about the suitcase: http://museum.icp.org/mexican_suitcase/

–From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
September 12, 2010 – January 2, 2011
http://calendar.walkerart.org/canopy.wac?id=4673

–Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century
SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
October 30, 2010 – January 30, 2011
http://www.sfmoma.org/exhibitions/409
.
–Chicago Cabinet: Views from the Street
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
October 16, 2010 – January 16, 2011
http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/exhibition/Street
 

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