zondag 21 september 2014

PhotoBook Collectors Unseen Photo Fair 2014 Amsterdam Photography

Eddie Peters
Owner of PhotoQ Bookshop, on the photobooks in his collection he couldn't be without.

Why Mister, Why?
(Iraq 2003-2004)
by Geert van Kesteren and Michael Hirsch

Jesus, make-up and football - Frederik Buyckx from ANI on Vimeo.

Jesus, Make-up and Football
by Frederik Buyckx

by Sebastidao Salgado

Jorg Colberg
Educator and editor of Conscientious Photography Magazine, on the photobooks that get his students excited.

The Map
by Kikuji Kawada

Michael Schmidt "Ein-Heit" from Landscape Stories on Vimeo.

by Michael Schmidt

Holy Bible
by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

Michael Mack
Founder of art book publisher Mack, on the current photobook boom.

Michael Schmidt "Ein-Heit" from Landscape Stories on Vimeo.

by Michael Schmidt

Die Regimentstochter from Evil V Z on Vimeo.

Die Regiments-Tochter
by Tacita Dean

by Lewis Baltz

Heikki Kaski
Winner of last year's Unseen Dummy Award with his dummy Tranquillity and a juror on the Dummy Award 2014 panel. He talks about one of his most satisfying finds.

Le monde et les bras; Une residence terrestre
by Michel Francois

Bruno Ceschel
Founder of Self Publish, Be Happy (SPBH), on his personal photobook favourites.

Jason Fulford // The Mushroom Collector from haveanicebook on Vimeo.

The Mushroom Collector
by Jason Fulford

Surrendered Myself to the Chair of Life
by Jin Ohashi

Grant Willing - Svart Metall from Fourteen-Nineteen on Vimeo.

Svart Metall
by Grant Willing

Erik Kessels
Curator and publisher, shares three photobooks that have made an impression.

by Christian Boltanski

Portrait Louise Anna Kubelka
by Friedl Kubelka

Regionales Leuchten
by Peter Piller

Sybren Kuiper
Founder of design and publishing agency SYB, talks about the staple photobooks of his collection.

The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus
by Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen

Aron Morel
Founder of London-based independent publishers Morel Books, on photography's 'adolescence'

A Season in Hell
by Arthur Rimbaud

Shane Lavalette
Editor of Lavalette and director of Light Work, speaks about photobook gifts that keep on giving.

The Afronauts by Cristina De Middel from DEVELOP Tube on Vimeo.

The Afronauts
by Cristina de Middel

Paul van Mameren
Director of Lecturis, on the importance of design in the photobook.

Monsters van de Peel
by Martien Coppens

Unseen Photo Fair has produced its very own magazine!

The Unseen Magazine allows you to connect with the excitement and energy of the fair, through artist interviews and critical writing on key trends at the heart of contemporary fine art photography, in a print format.

We have also brought together an impressive array of experts and commentators from the art photography arena to discuss trends and topics that go to the heart of where we currently stand as an industry. The editor of British Journal of Photography Simon Bainbridge speaks about scouting new talent and the Financial Times’ photography critic Francis Hodgson advises collectors on how to navigate the fair successfully.

We have also picked the brains of Lunch Bytes curator Melanie Bühler, Andy Adams, founder of online photographic community Flak Photo, young collector and Vice Photo Editor Matthew Leifheit, as well as Martin Jürgens who is Conservator of Photographs at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, among many others.

Get to know the Unseen 2014 premiering artists and their work and learn more about the photography art market by picking up a copy!

zaterdag 20 september 2014

Review Unseen Photo Fair 2014 Amsterdam Photography

Unseen photo fair: the Amsterdam weirdfest jampacked with genius

From barbecued photobooks to inflatable bouncy-castle clouds and the madcap brilliance of Augustin Rebetez, many shades of weird are converging in Amsterdam for the 2014 show
Untitled, from the series Arrière-Tête (Mécanismes) by Augustin Rebetez/
Tasty … Untitled, from the series Arrière-Tête (Mécanismes) by Augustin Rebetez. Photograph: Rebetez/Galerie Nicola von Senger and Festival Images
This year’s Unseen photo fair in Amsterdam is unusally surreal.
In the entrance hall, an escalator takes punters one by one up to a giant inflated cloud, which explodes with light when you leap on it. A picture of every jumping person is instantly loaded on to an ever-growing photographic cloud for the project, Trust the Cloud.
In the main square, a large sculpture is taking shape over the weekend: giant brightly coloured lightbulbs and spools hanging from gnarled branches covered in a fishing net. It is called A Durian Growing a Swinging Sponge on a Fractal Evening and is unmistakably the work of set painter-cum-artist Lorenzo Vitturi. There he is, perched on a crane, drill in hand, adding another bulb. An outgrowth of his Dalston Anatomy project (which saw him take strange, saturated shots of vegetables to show life on east London’s Ridley Road Market), the sculpture is the symbol of this year’s Unseen, which undercuts the commerciality of most art-photography fairs with moments of high mischief.

An installation by Lorenzo Vitturi at Unseen 2014.
An installation by Lorenzo Vitturi at Unseen 2014. Photograph: Tsuyoshi Yamada

As night fell on Thursday, smoke filled the air outside the former gasworks. It was wafting from a barbecue bucket tended by London-based artist Melinda Gibson, who was inviting passersby to partake in a performance called The Smoke House. In four small smoke houses, copies of her new book (the latest Self Publish, Be Happy book-club offering) were absorbing wood and coal smoke. Once hot, they were sealed and sold to the public. It was, so the programme says, “a ritual act of defiance” linked to an actual fire that damaged Gibson’s studio recently – but it became a large gathering of revellers drawn to the campfire atmosphere. I went to dinner reeking of smoked photobook.
Earlier on, I had been introduced to Augustin Rebetez with the words, “You should check out this guy’s work. It’s pretty wild.” I did. It is. Rebetez makes photographs, drawings and films obsessively. At the Galerie Nicola von Sanger, his work covers two walls: primitive paintings, collages and photos of strange things that show a singularly dark imagination. Children look like zombies. A bald woman with kohl-rimmed eyes could be their undead mother. The legs of what look like a row of homemade electric chairs sprout shoes.

Another piece by Rebetez.
Another piece by Rebetez. Photograph: © Augustin Rebetez/Galerie Nicola von Senger and Festival Images

On a third wall, a bizarre single-frame animated film plays on loop: a dead crow flies from a wooden case and flutters around a house, in which bodies emerge from drawers, slither across bare floorboards and up a flight of stairs then disappear. Makeshift machine-men whirr frantically as though they are trying to take flight. It is as if Rebetez’s photographs and drawings have come to life in homage to the Quay Brothers. (Watch some of his videos here.)
Over at the book market, RVB books are selling Rebetez’s new bookAnthill Memories, which captures his relentlessly active imagination. Like the films, many of the the photographs were constructed around his house in the Swiss Jura mountains with the help of his friends – many of whom seem to be circus performers. Strangeness abounds: there’s a collapsing caravan, a crumpled house in a field of snow and the outline of Nosferatu on a battered fence. It is hard to know what is real and what created, but the sense of playful pranks is present in all his work. His website he tells us, “My father also publishes my books. My cousin has a brewery. My sister is a dancer and many other stuff ...” The “many other stuff” betokens a strange and singular creative imagination that is one of the highlights of the richest and most surprising Unseens so far.

Todd Hido, born in 1968 in Kent/Ohio, studied at the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts and at the Tufts University. He graduated from the California College of Arts and Crafts with his M.F.A. in 1996. Since 2001, when he published his first monograph‚ "House Hunting" he became a rising star of the American art scene. His photographs have been exhibited internationally, and are included in well-known museum collections like the Whitney Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, George Eastman House and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama is one of the most important Japanese artists in photography today. His work has had an enormous influence on the development of modern photography. Moriyama (1938) began taking pictures at the age of 21. After moving to Tokyo, he worked with the eminent photographer Eikoh Hosoe. In 1963, he went freelance and began his extensive and now-legendary oeuvre, which continues to expand to this day.
Moriyama generally uses a compact 35mm camera, taking photos on the streets of Japan's main cities. The images betray the speed at which they are made. Often the horizon is crooked and the photo is blurred, or the grain is visible and there is too much contrast. His subjects range from underexposed, obscure bars to strip clubs and dark alleys. He seems to be interested more in the suggestion of form than in a clear, well-delineated figure. His visual idiom is rough and ready, and he often directs the lens at details that are out of context, thereby evoking a fragmented and stifling atmosphere.

For the second year, ING Private Banking presents the New Talent Photography Award to showcase the work of five top talents from Dutch photography- and art academies. The finalists created a photograph according to the theme 'vooruitstrevend' (or 'innovative') under the supervision of Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra (b. 1959). The winner was announced this after at Unseen: Anne Geene (b. 1983, Netherlands).
Five finalists were selected by a jury consisting of Frits Gierstberg (head of Exhibitions for the Dutch Photography Museum in Rotterdam), Marloes Krijnen (director of Foam), Roos van Put (adviser on Visual and Performing Arts for the Council for Culture) and Karien van Gennip (General Manager ING Private Banking & Investments). The finalists this year were Maurice van Es (b. 1984, Netherlands), Anne Geene (b. 1983, Netherlands), Alexandra Hunts (b. 1990, Ukraine), Lana Mesić (b. 1987, Netherlands/Croatia) and Jan Rosseel (b. 1987, Belgium).

The jury selected Anne Geene as the winner of the 2014 New Talent Photography Award. Her work provides us with a different approach to the world around us. She has combined the reality of the street and the stubbornness of nature with a sharp eye and a hint of imagination. 

Michael Wolf (Munich, 1954) grew up in the United States, Europe and Canada, and studied at UC Berkeley and at the Folkwang School in Essen, Germany. Wolf's work has been exhibited extensively in galleries and at art fairs throughout the world since 2005, including shows at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, at the Museum Centre Vapriikki in Tampere, Finland, and at the Aperture Gallery in New York. Michael Wolf won a first prize in the World Press Photo Award Competition in 2005 (Contemporary Issues Series) and in 2010 (Daily Life Single), on both occasions with topics photographed in Asia.

Dana Lixenberg (1964, The Netherlands) divides her time between New York and Amsterdam. She studied Photography at the London College of Printing in London (1984-1986) and at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam (1987-1989).
Lixenberg pursues long-term personal projects, with a primary focus on individuals and communities on the margins of society, such as Jeffersonville, Indiana, a collection of landscapes and portraits of the small town’s homeless population, and The Last Days of Shishmaref, which documents an Inupiaq community on an eroding island off the coast of Alaska.
Her work is part of many corporate and private collections. She has exhibited extensively and her work has appeared in publications such as Vibe, The New Yorker and TIME.
Her books include United States (2011) Jeffersonville, Indiana (2005), The Last Days of Shishmaref (2008), Set Amsterdam (2011) and De Burgemeester/The Mayor (2011).
In spring 2015, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, will host the first large scale exhibition of Imperial Courts, a series of portraits and landscapes photographed at Imperial Courts housing project in Watts, Los Angeles; a series spanning 20 years, 1993-2013. The show will also include video work and the book of the work will be published by Roma publications.

Petra Stavast - Ramya

17 x 24 centimeter / 224 pages / fc / hardcover / EN / Design: Hans Gremmen / co-published by Roma Publications / €32,00  (excl. verzendkosten) / isbn 978-94-90119-27-0 /

Petra Stavast has brought enormous care and devotion to documenting the life of her former landlady, Ramya. When the photographer moved into Ramya's home in 2001, the camera became their means of communication. The result is a series of quiet, intimate photographs of the house and its inhabitant. Following Ramya's death in 2012, the project gained a new dimension. Stavast delved deeper into her former landlady's life story and discovered not only Ramya's private archive, but also photographs taken from time to time by a neigbor. In her committed photo book, Stavast traces events such as Ramya's membership of the Rajneeshpuram commune, established between 1981 and 1985 by followers of the Bhagwan (Osho) in the no-man's-land of Oregon, USA. Now, as Stavast's photographs reveal, the only on-site reminder of that period is a wide asphalted road. A video shows Ramya, back in Amsterdam, at a workshop given by a new guru. Together, these documents constitute Stavast's biography of ramya: a record of an unusual life.

Theo Niekus

zondag 14 september 2014

Paupers Plague victims Pagodas in China Among the Celestials Photography

Among the Celestials: China in Early Photographs (Mercatorfonds)

The flourishing of photography as a medium in the mid-19th century coincided with a rise in curiosity about China on the part of the Western world.  As the number of foreigners living and traveling in China increased, early photographs of China were taken by and for an international audience. Among the Celestials assembles 250 fascinating images of China in the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th, captured by the Western camera lens. The photographs portray the gritty side of the country as well as stunning views of palaces, temples, harbors, and gardens. This juxtaposition of the sordid and the serene provides a multidimensional picture of Chinas physical and social landscape before Mao Zedongs ascent to power changed the country forever. The photographs, many published here for the first time, are both beautiful and moving, and together offer a new understanding of a social and cultural history associated with a time of significant historical change. 

Paupers, pestlijders, pagodes in China

Ook de mens van nu kijkt met open mond naar de 200 foto’s van het straatleven, de opiumschuivers, de openbare executies in 19de-eeuws China. Twee verzamelaars doken ze op in Europa en Amerika.


Negentiende eeuws China. Wie kan zich er een beeld van maken? Sinologen natuurlijk, maar wil je echt zien hoe het leven er in dat ‘Hemelse rijk’ aan toe ging dan is Among the Celestials een eye-opener. Een caleidoscopisch fotoboek, met zo’n tweehonderd landschappen, stadsgezichten, straattaferelen en portretten uit een wereld die 19de-eeuwse westerlingen, nog vertrouwd met gravures, verbijsterd moeten hebben. Ook de 21ste-eeuwse mens overkomt dat: Zie de massa's paupers, de openbare executies, de organische architectuur, de opiumschuivers. Loop langs een bijna droge kreek in Shanghai, zoals hierbij afgebeeld, en prijs je gelukkig dat er uit foto’s geen geuren opstijgen.
De sepia opnamen – van ca. 1860 tot 1950 – komen uit de collecties van Ferry Bertholet (1952) en Lambert van der Aalsvoort (1955). Bertholet schrijft, schildert, restaureert en is al jong verliefd geraakt op Japanse prenten, erotische kunst en historische foto’s van China. Van der Aalsvoort is psycholoog, fotograaf, publicist en antiquaar. Beiden verzamelen afzonderlijk en kochten hun foto’s in Europa en Amerika. In China vonden ze ze niet.


Chinezen waren halverwege de 19de eeuw niet zo happig op vreemd volk, zo blijkt uit de inleiding, die vakkundig de foto-historische achtergrond belicht. De actieradius van de eerste westerse fotografen, die al snel moesten concurreren met Chinese collega’s, bleef beperkt tot havensteden als Shanghai, Hongkong en Nanking in de delta van de Jangtse. Vandaar die riviergezichten, waarin alles wat drijven kan, ronddobbert, met in de verte de waaier-zeilen van de jonken of het pagodedak van een theehuis.
Vrij reizen was nog link. Boeren en buitenlui wantrouwden buitenlanders, zeker die met een camera. Want hoe leg je uit dat mensen bij een te korte sluitertijd in ‘schimmen’ veranderden – op papier althans. De hogere klasse keek daar anders tegenaan. Bij hen waren westerse fotografen wél welkom, vandaar dat we Baron Raimund von Stillfried-Ratenicz tegenkomen. Hij was net als Felix Beato ook in Japan actief. Hun foto’s werden daar zo knap naar de natuur ingekleurd dat hun 19de-eeuwse ‘vintage’-drukken op 20ste-eeuwse vervalsingen lijken. De Chinese opnamen in dit boek geven geen spat kleur te zien. Sterker nog, over landschappen en stadsgezichten ligt een grauwsluier. Maar wie weet hoe blauw de hemelkoepel was boven de ‘Bedelaarsbrug’ in Peking? En hoe rood de banieren, waar een meubelboulevard in Hongkong mee behangen was?
Net als op straat, waar het steeds krioelt van karretjes, draagkoetsjes en sjouwers, ontbreekt op familieportretten elke zweem van modernisme: meisjes met ingebonden lotusvoetjes, vrouwen in traditionele zijde gehuld en zilverachtige oorkapjes, mannen die zich thuis dikbuikig een beetje de broer van de keizer zitten te wanen. Families staan soms net zo frontaal en statisch afgebeeld als op de klassieke rolschilderingen van hun voorouders. Niet zo gek, want zo’n fotomoment kon ook ‘a once-in-a lifetime-experience’ zijn.
Wat op deze pagina ongezien moet blijven, gezien de huidige hobby van sommige moslim-extremisten, zijn de foto’s van openbare terechtstellingen in Peking en elders. Jonge jongens staan geketend in een rij om onthoofd te worden, bij anderen is de straf voltrokken. Het volk kwam er nieuwsgierig op af. Minder zware jongens kregen een houten blok om hun nek geklemd en werden als pestlijders op straat gedumpt. De burger was gewaarschuwd.
Zo te zien is er in de eerste decennia van de 20ste eeuw, waar de laatste foto’s in het boek over gaan, nog niet veel veranderd, al is de keizer vertrokken (1912) en de republiek uitgeroepen. Op de stoep zitten nog steeds rijen naaisters kleren te repareren, kooplui torsen hun jukken en boeren ploegen voort in wegwaaiende stofwolken. Eén foto is visionair: een gezin op weg naar de paardenraces van Shanghai, met meisjes zonder lotusvoetjes en jongetjes met een keurige herenhoed op. China leek een stap vooruit te zetten, ware het niet dat intussen Mao zich warm liep om met zijn Grote Sprong Voorwaarts het rijk terug in de tijd en in de waanzin te katapulteren.

1209bb cover china.jpg
Boven: Ambtenaar met concubines en bediende, ca.1865-1875. Onder: Droogstaandekreek in Shanghai. ca.1900
Foto’s uit besproken boek


Dit fotoboek, over twee privé-collecties, ook in Duitsland, Frankrijk en de VS uitgegeven, voert je mee naar vele facetten van het 19de-eeuwse China, dat soms wel middeleeuws lijkt.

Uit NRC Handelsblad van vrijdag 12 september 2014, 774 woorden (leestijd ongeveer 3'06) Op dit artikel rust auteursrecht van NRC Handelsblad BV, respectievelijk van de oorspronkelijke auteur.

 Bridge, environs of Shanghai, c 1900

 Creek at low tide, Shanghai, c 1900

 Family at the horse races, Shanghai, 1927

 Gate to the old city, Shanghai, 1890s

 Great Wall, 1880s

 Inside the Old City of Shanghai, circa 1900

 Island and harbour, Foochow, 1870s

 Lady in winter dress, Shanghai, Kung Tai, 1870s

 Main street, Meng tse, c 1900

 Merchant and his family, Canton, Milton Miller, 1860-62

 Pearl River, Canton, A Chan, 1880s

 Street with shops, Peking, 1875-80

Wanham Canal, Canton, Afong, 1870s