dinsdag 30 oktober 2007

Kralingen '70 'n Grote blijde bende

Holland Popfestival in Kralingen 1970

Geschiedenis Plaats van Herinnering - Holland Popfestival in Kralingen

Het Nederlandse Woodstock

Tachtigduizend jongeren bezoeken in juni 1970 het Holland Popfestival in het Kralingse bos bij Rotterdam. Het eerste grote Nederlandse popfestival in de openlucht is daarmee een feit.
Het festival, een orgie van seks, drugs en rock-'n-roll, verliep vreedzaam. Wereldberoemde sixtiesgroepen als Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Pink Floyd en de Byrds gaven acte de présence.

Achteraf gezien werd tijdens het Holland popfestival afscheid genomen van de hippiecultuur van de jaren zestig. Na de love en peace van 'Kralingen' ontvouwde zich de harde werkelijkheid van de jaren zeventig.

zondag 28 oktober 2007

Lisette Model Aperture Reissued

Lisette Model by http://5b4.blogspot.com/

There have been many books over the years that I thought I would never own. Some I did not buy because, at the time, the work did not appeal to me then as it does now and others I thought were just too expensive. Of those later variety, I could kick myself for as the prices in today’s market are exorbitant and unconscionable; comparatively those old prices were down right cheap. The Strand Rare Book Room was (and still is) a great resource for those titles at reasonable prices. I remember seeing a copy of Friedlander and Dine’s Work From the Same House there in the pre-internet days for around $65.00 but my first thought was…there are only 16 photos and 16 pages of etchings in the book so it isn't worth it.

The Aperture Lisette Model monograph was one of those lost treasures that I did not take advantage of and it haunts me to this day. Aperture, in the late eighties, was still offering copies of the limited edition of that book with a 16 by 20 print of the sailor and woman (see my composite above) for around $300.00. I didn’t buy one. A friend of mine did and now every time I see the print framed on his wall I feel an internal punch to my stomach.
I have come across the regular edition of that book many times in many places at good market prices but I could never bring myself to buy one because if I had been in the right frame of mind long ago…I’D HAVE THE ONE WITH THE PRINT AND THE SLIPCASE AND HER SIGNATURE!

Well, there is no need to beat myself up about this matter any longer as Aperture has reissued Lisette Model as a facsimile of the original 1979 edition. There are slight changes but they are all for the better.

First, the printing is better. The paper and ink combination of the original left the reproductions often looking a bit thin and anemic. In this new edition, the black tones are richer so the photos have a healthier presence. I am not sure how what I am about to mention was achieved as technology has changed drastically since this book was first printed, but the prints, plates or separations (or something) is the same as used for the original because where there is a slight halo from dodging in the original edition, it shows up in this one too. Where there is a slight white dust line that shows up in an image in the original, it is also present in this edition. The original layout and design by Marvin Israel is the left untouched.

The other changes were necessary additions to the chronology and bibliography included at the end of the book. One very curious change is to the date of her birth. In the original edition (and everywhere on the web) it is recorded as being November 10, 1906. In this new edition, it is recorded as November 10, 1901. Lisette died in 1983 at the age of eighty-two.

This is an important book from a very influential photographer who has been treated to only a small handful of published books. All of which are out of print and difficult or expensive to find. So when a publisher decides to bring a book back to life with another printing I think it is an important act that benefits everyone. Reissues don’t hurt the market for the originals as collectors will always want to seek out first editions in preference over later editions. Libraries and institutions can once again have copies of the books available for study. And, people like me who aren’t as hung up on owning the first edition (as long as the content is the same) can get a copy without breaking the bank.

I wish more publishers would release facsimile editions of older out-of-print titles. I like that approach to reissuing more than the reworking a title like what William Klein did with his edition of New York 1954-55. Even if the book is flawed, to reissue it as the artist intended back when it was originally conceived offers something to learn for the reader. There have been a number of great books that have been reissued in beautiful editions; Gilles Peress’s Telex Iran (SCALO), Susan Meiselas’s Carnival Strippers(Steidl), Walker Evans Many Are Called (Yale). A few years back MoMA published Garry Winogrand’s The Animals and Public Relations. There is an edition of Christer Stromholm’s book Poste Restante on the way from Steidl. Bill Burke’s travel diary I Want To Take Picture is being reissued by Twin Palms. Publishers please, keep them coming.

Here are just 10 suggestions from my wish list that would no doubt be wildly successful.
Atget: Photographe de Paris
Bill Brandt: A Night in London
Alexey Brodovitch: Ballet
Alexander Rodchenko/ Vladamir Mayakovsky: About This: To Her and Me
Joan Van Der Keuken: Paris Mortel
Shomei Tomatsu: 11.02. Nagasaki (a facsimile of the original)
Michael Schmidt: Waffenruhe
Sergio Larrain: Valpariso (this is too good a book to keep a secret)
Hans Peter Feldmann: Bilder (the entire set of the small booklets)
And lastly, I would love to see all of those great Russian propaganda books that were designed by Lissitsky, Rodchenko and Stepanova. (It is my wish list after all).

Are there any publishers out there listening? Please, start doing the battle for the rights to reproduce this stuff. It is needed. We are hungry.

see for Dutch Standards in the Photobook a History Parr Badger...

Lisette Model (November 10, 1901 in Wien as Elise Amelie Felicie Stern - March 30, 1983 in New York City) was an Austrian-born American photographer
Lisette Model was born Elise Felic Amelie Stern in Vienna, Austria. Her father was an Italian/Austrian doctor of Jewish descent attached to the Austrian Imperial Army and, later, to the International Red Cross; her mother was French and Roman Catholic, and Model was baptised into her mother's faith. Two years after her birth, her parents changed their family name in Seybert. According to interview testimony from her older brother Thomas, she was sexually molested by her father, though the full extent of his abuse remains unclear.

She was primarily educated by a series of private tutors, achieving fluency in three languages. At age 19, she began studying music with composer Arnold Schönberg, and was familiar to members of his circle. "If ever in my life I had one teacher and one great influence, it was Schönberg," she said.

Model left Vienna for Paris after her father's death in 1924 to study voice with Polish soprano Marya Freund. It was during this period that she met her future husband, the French-Jewish painter Evsa Model. In 1933 she gave up music and recommitted herself to studying visual art, at first taking up painting as a student of Andre Lhote (whose other students included Henri Cartier-Bresson and George Hoyningen-Huene). She also took up photography, taking basic instruction in darkroom techniques from her younger sister Olga Seybert (herself a life-long professional photographer), though Parisian portrait photographer Rogi Andre was the person Model credited with providing her primary instruction in camera techniques.

Visiting her mother in Nice in 1934 (she and Olga had emigrated from Vienna several years prior), Model took her camera out on the Promenade des Anglais and made a series of portraits which are among her most widely reproduced and exhibited images. These close-cropped, often clandestine portraits of the local privileged class already bore what would become her signature style: close-up, unsentimental and unretouched expositions of vanity, insecurity and loneliness.

She married Evsa Model in 1937 and the following year they emigrated to join her husband's sister in Manhattan. There she supported herself as a photographer, having work published regularly in Harper's Bazaar by editors Carmel Snow and Alexey Brodovitch. Model eventually became a member of the New York 'Photo League,' which would host her first dedicated showing.

In 1951, Model was invited to teach at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where her longtime friend Berenice Abbott was also teaching photography. Model's best known pupil was Diane Arbus, who studied under her in 1957, and Arbus owed much of her early technique to Model's example. Model continued to teach until her death in 1983.

vrijdag 26 oktober 2007

Geert van Kesteren Why Mister, Why? Every picture tells a story

Book Description by Amazon.
Featuring more than 250 images, Why Mister, Why? is a compelling account from photojournalist Geert van Kesteren. For the most part of 2003 and into 2004, van Kesteren made these images in a struggling Iraq, intertwining them with his personal experience of the situation in diary-like notes. In that way, this body of work resonates with an honesty found only when the narrator and photographer of a story are one and the same. The situation in Iraq, following the declaration of "mission accomplished," represented a culture clash of rare proportions, and van Kesteren was witness to what went wrong. He saw clouds of sadness coming from the mass graves created by the Saddam regime, while Shi'ites enjoyed their awakening freedom. Embedded within the ranks of US troops, he witnessed disgraceful raids on Iraqi citizens. And these accounts are presented here for the reader to see, feel, and try to understand. In a clear photojournalistic way, van Kesteren outlines why it will take a long time before the Iraqi people can enjoy the semblance of peace. Accompanying the images is an introduction by Newsweek senior editor Michael Hirsh, with whom Van Kesteren shared several tense moments in Iraq.

Every picture tells a story, April 6, 2005
Luan Gaines "luansos" (Dana Point, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Photographs of Iraq, 2003-2004. This extraordinary series of photographs was taken to document scenes of the war in Iraq, 2003-2004, each chapter dealing with an issue: "Iraqis Proclaim Victory as US Leaves Falluja"; "WMD Contradictions: Bremer and Blair at Odds"; "Who Was in Charge at Abu Ghraib"; and "Bush Says Terrorists Will Not Shake America's Will". The text is written in Dutch and Arabic in the copy I have, but explanations are unnecessary, thanks to the quality of the photographs.

Whether tinted by night-vision goggles into an eerie bright green that gives a sheen of otherworldliness or the shadowy forms huddled in lamplight, the photographer has reached deep inside a country involved in turmoil, attacks and counterattacks, occupiers and insurgents. Most notable and heartbreaking are the faces of the children, always victims in this world gone awry, the desperation exposed to the camera's avid lens, hungry for the human face of war. There are pages of shabby rooms, frightened family members huddled in corners while soldiers search for weapons or explosives, the darkness shading everything more sinister, threatening.

Soldiers stand in sharp contrast to the others pictured, weapons at the ready, their faces stoic, determined to complete an unsavory task without incident, children watching wide-eyed as their homes are ransacked, burqa-covered women staring at these young men in army fatigues searching under beds, behind curtains. It is clear that language is a barrier, wives pointing to the handcuffed male relatives, asking questions the soldiers cannot answer. Captive men stand against a wall, hands tied behind their backs, linked to one another, waiting patiently.

There is no bias in this collection, at least none that I can see, since only the chapter titles are in English; I will leave it to those who read the small amount of text that accompanies the pictures to make that judgment. I prefer to make my assessment of the humanity in these photographs: careful, circumspect soldiers, men of all ages with identity tags duct-taped around their heads, all silent, hands bound. Family photos strewn over colorful patchwork quilts, the occasional soldier stopping to leaf through the album, perhaps with his own memories of family gatherings.

Female soldiers hunker down next to their male counterparts, exercising, riding in Humvees on patrol, staring into empty pits where the earth has been blown out by bombs. Then there are the mass graves, row after row of bodies wrapped in sheets of plastic, tied with rope fragments, tagged with names when possible. Watching the soldiers, a group of children stand nearby, some faces shy, others smiling and curious, all dressed in mismatched, ill-fitted clothes, bright-eyed. Walls of buildings etched with bullet holes. Soldiers seek shade against rickety buildings in the desert heat, feet outstretched in the sand, scribbling letters to loved ones back home. A pile of abandoned, rusted artillery in the middle of a verdant palm grove, an anomaly.

The photographer has done an exceptional job, using his talents to capture the harsh realities that seem so far away and are so seldom addressed in the media now that we have grown used to war once more, to soldiers sent across the world in our name. The pictures in this book speak volumes, addressing the nature of war and those who endure it, civilians and soldiers, the living and the lost, but especially the faces of the future, the children. Luan Gaines/2005.

Geert Van Kesteren
see for the photographs... http://www.paradox.nl/index.php?PKY_PROJECTOID=40

Dutch, b. 1966
Born in Amsterdam, Geert Van Kesteren first worked as a photojournalist in Iraq during Operation "Desert Fox" in 1998. He returned to Iraq in April 2003 and spent several months working on assignment for Newsweek and Stern magazines. His work has been published in many other international magazines, and has led to two books: Mwendanjangula! Aids in Zambia and Why Mister, Why?, about his experiences in Iraq. In 2004, he received the Visa d'or at the Festival Visa in Perpignan. He joined Magnum the following year.
Geert Van Kesteren is based in Amsterdam.
2006 Photojournalist of the Year, Netherlands2005 World Press Photo, Hard News/3rd Prize Story Category ("US raids in Samarra, Iraq")2005 Primo del Libro Anno, PhotoEspana: book of the year (Why Mister, Why?) Included in Photo District News Annual New York/best book category (Why Mister, Why?)2004 Kees Schrerer Prijs, book of the year 2003-04 (Why Mister, Why?), Netherlands 2004 GRIN il Libro Nel, book of the year (Why Mister, Why?), Italy2004 Best Book Design 2004 (Why Mister, Why?), Netherlands2003 American Annual Photography Award 2003 ("Bomb at U.N. headquarters in Baghdad")2002 Hansl Mieth Preise (2nd, "Polisario") 2000 Pictures of the Year International, Magazine Division/Issue Reporting Picture Story (“Aids in Zambia")2000 Unicef Photo of the Year (2nd, “Aids in Zambia”) 1998 The Silver Camera Picture of the Year (“Aids in Zambia”) Photojournalist of the Year, Netherlands1994 Utrecht Prize for most talented young photographer of the year, Netherlands
2005 Mwendanjangula! Aids in Zambia - Intern. Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Langhans Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic 2005 Why Mister, Why? - Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Beurs van Berlage,Amsterdam; Recontres de la Photographie, Arles, France; Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France2004 Beirut International Book Fair, Lebanon 2002 Child Trafficking & Slavery - World Arts Museum, Rotterdam, the Netherlands 2002 Traveling exhibition through the Netherlands 2000 World Aids Congress, Durban, South Africa (exhibit was banned)
2004 Why Mister, Why?, Artimo, Netherlands2000 Mwendanjangula! AIDS in Zambia, Mets en Schilt, Netherlands

see for the Dutch description...

Dutch Standards in the Photobook a History Parr Badger

donderdag 25 oktober 2007

14 to 42 - 14th Street Photographs by Sy Rubin & Larry Siegel

Dynasty Coffee Shop, 600 E. 14th Street at Ave. B (2002)

Disco Donut and Carmelita's Reception House, 150 E. 14th St. at 3rd Ave. (1986)
Photographs by Sy Rubin & Larry Siegel Introduction by Paul Goldberger

Photographs such as those in Sy Rubin’s 14th St. series show buildings, restaurants, and stores that no longer exist and capture the gritty street life and colorful characters of neighborhoods stretching from the East River to the Hudson.

zondag 21 oktober 2007

Paradiso Stills by Max Natkiel & Diana Ozon Photography

Paradiso Stills by Max Natkiel

Paradiso, Amsterdam’s pop-temple in Leidsplein, which once stood for flower-power, was stirred into renewed activity by new bands, which transformed the sleepy hippy-temple into a punk-hell in the second half of the seventies, while playing their fingers to the bone with unstoppable fast music.
In the meantime all of this became history, a lot has changed, and many have changed, only that which has been recorded remained as a snapshot. A fanzine review from 1979 (KoeCrandt 32):‘The audience radiated action, pogoed furiously, dozens of punks climbed the stage; at first they were still thrown back into the audience, but later on they couldn’t be stopped. During the second encore the stage was crowded with people, but the band was in no way hindered by that…’The audience sacrified spurts of beer, extinghuising foam, spitstreams, garments, rebellious leaflets, heaps of water, fireworks and paint all over the place, though an inscription above the band - Solo Deo Gloria - only gave God all the credits for this. Passing car-lights shone through high church-windows. In the sweltering dark the outrageous mass, running with sweat, jumped madly about on a slippery dance-floor. By the side-entrances, people were busy trying to open these from the inside, either because tickets were sold out, the ones standing outside were broke, or just for some fresh air. Joints were rolled, while standing at the cloakroom, on top of the pin-ball machine, next to the telephone, and on the ledges of the neo-classic architecture, as the times of laying down relaxed were over, and were considered too passive, just like sitting on the floor. I won’t dwell on blood-curdling fights, as they’re all too repulsive. Most of the people came to dance, have a smoke, a drink, and to meet others. Everywhere in the hall were regular places, where the various clans of friends would assemble during crowded concerts. A good conversation usually was not possible, as the music was so loud, that your ears would still be ringing even hours later at home, and you would lose your voice, while attempting to scream over it. ‘Why are you so hoarse?’ ‘Well, I went to the par’ last night.’ For news and business you would go into the corridor, whereas most of the discussions would take place near the toilets, where some even spent half the night. There was a guest-book at the inside of the toilet-doors, graffiti however was strictly forbidden, whoever got caught had to submit to painting-duties, and a local graffiti-artist was refused entrance for a while.
The staff ruled the place with a severe boarding-school mentality. Closing time could be stretched up by chumming up with the bouncers, who personally knew all the stickers, and whenever there was a deliberate slow -down action, we were asked to leave one by one. By that time the floor would be covered in squashed beercups, and in the end we would be directed to the exit, accompanied by the sounds of squeaking plastics. The young and beautiful had left ages ago, only the scum of the town stayed behind.
One of the fanatic visitors was MAX NATKIEL. While having fun, he became aware of the temporary nature of all this, which he had been partaking in with so much pleasure. From 1980 onwards he decided to bring his camera along, when going to concerts and other occasions, as if to try and stop time. He was only just in time to capture the end of the first punk-wave and the transition into the eighties, with its diversity of Skins, Rude Boys, Rasta’s, Rockers, Mollucans, Teds, Mods, Autonomists, Heavy Metal Hardrockers and once more the Punks in their international sub-cultural meeting-centre. Many of the thus immortalised are Max’s nameless friends. It wasn’t going to be a documentary on Paradiso, there are no pictures of the packed pop-temple, but rather a set of thousands of portraits of its visitors, taken over the years, which reflect the mood of a generation, and have been taken in such a way, that they radiate a certain loneliness. Paradiso attracted individuals, who dissented from ruling fashions and created new wild tribes, by their mutual tastes in music.The outside image became a mode of communication to mirror feelings within. Mirrors, which by the way, could be found anywhere, while waiting at the crowded beer-bar you could see yourself standing pale-faced in the harsh lights amidst the others waiting. Mirrors to check yourself in, because you were born to direct the movie, in which you played the leading part. A movie, in which everyone created his own lines, costumes, make up and hair-do and where the scripts were never based on the free flow of imagination, but on a strong realism. From this movie, which took place in the Paradiso, Max took the show-window pictures, the STILLS in professional terms. This book is like a glass-window for a movie-house entitled: ‘The human brain’, where the screen is filled with snowy interference, until a clear picture starts appearing, triggering a film of reminiscences from our minds. Pictures always belong to the past.
Diana Ozon

see for more Amsterdam...

donderdag 18 oktober 2007

Imagery & Our World

Kayaker admiring the intense blues of the glacier ice ~ Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska
by John Hyde

see for more Imagery & Our World...

Many residents in Trinidad have opened their homes up to modest forms of commerce. Barber Orestes Ramirez Soa’s shop is in the front bedroom of his home.

David Alan Harvey is a photojournalist’s photojournalist. His work is in the tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson and W. Eugene Smith. He never uses a press card or long lens. He never stands behind ropes at a “photo op.” He tends to use a single Leica body with either a 35mm or 50mm lens. He has the eye of painter and the soul of a poet.

woensdag 17 oktober 2007

Jim Goldberg Raised by Wolves on YouTube by Bumdog Los Angeles

Name: Bumdog, Age: 38
I am a career homeless Bum living in downtown LA, and in the process of making a feature film. This is the first 30 minutes of it.
City: Los Angeles, Hometown: Los Angeles, Country: United States

Occupation: Bum/Writer/Director/Philomath
Website: http://www.myspace.com/bumdog

Wait 15 seconds for "Like A Rollin Stone".

The first time I really HEARD this song I was I think about 16 or 17. I had this vision of a photography montage of homeless teenagers in Hollywood (I grew up in Los Angeles). I unfortunately didn't know anything about photography. If I ever got a chance to make a video of the song I would have to find someone who could do the photography for me.

Flash ahead ten years or so, its 1997 and Im in LA County jail for some offense (I think it was for battery). In the daily newspaper that they provided the cell, I saw a review of an exhibition at the LA County Museum of Art called "Raised By Wolves" by a photographer named Jim Goldberg. The whole exhibition was photos of homeless teens living in Hollywood and San Fransisco. I realized immediately that that was the kind of photography I was looking for to make "Like a Rolling Stone".

When I got out I was living in an alley in Santa Monica. and it just so happened that right across from the parking lot I slept in there was this guy named Andrew, who I always used to say hello to coming in and out of his alley adjacent apartment. One day I struck up a conversation with him, and it turns out he worked on commercials and short art films. I told him the idea I had for "Like A Rolling Stone", and he said he that he could actually help me realize it. He in fact had what was known as then as a Ken Burns machine. The device Ken Burns made famous with his documentaries. It created motion with still photography. It costed $10,000 at the time. It really blew my mind that just by coincidence I would be sleeping in the same alley as a guy who owned such rare equipment.

So outta of the library I got a catalog book of the exhibition. and with stickies I marked out all the pictures that went with particular lyrics of the song (I was simply amazed at how many of the pictures fit the lyrics) and gave it back to Andrew.And outta of that he created a video of "Like A Rolling Stone", directed by Bumdog. My first credit as a director. I was so proud. I sent it out to some people thinking maybe I could get some work as a video director with it, but it came to naught.Sometime in 2004 I realize that technology had evolved to a point that even though I was homeless, I could technically make a "movie".

Digital video cameras were now fairly common, and watching a friend of mine use iMovie, to make a little homemade music video, I realized how easy it was to edit video (ironically the same technology of the "Ken Burns" camera that cost $10,000 just a few years earlier, was now given away free as a part of iMovie as the "Ken Burns Effect"). So all I needed was access to a digital camera and a Apple computer and I could make a movie if I wanted to.What would this movie be about? Well it would be about anything I could shoot with just using a digital camera and a Mac. I call it "Sketches of Nothing By A Complete Nobody". I was thinking it would be the first feature film by a homeless bum, but since Ive started I heard of other films done by the homeless.

So this was the first piece I actually made for the film. I went to the library and got the book again (it was actually the SAME book, I notice my handwriting imprint from the stickies on some of the pages) and on a friend's scanner and Mac made a preliminary video in two days.

This is actually part 1 1/2 (for the first part see John Coltrane's "My Favorite Things"). For the piece after this see "Bumdog Begging" and also Bob Dylan's "Its Alright Ma (Im Only Bleeding)"

see for more Jim Goldberg...

Leonard Freed Worldview Amsterdam the Sixties

"Photography is a visual language still in its infancy. Just as the poet adds meaning to words, so the photographer adds to visual symbols. But, whereas the other arts developed in time over centuries, photography has yet to mature and define itself. The fact that millions of people can see the same visual images on television, in films or photography is communication; is language.The first appearance of spacemen on the moon made history as did Christopher Columbus's first steps in the new world. The first is a visual fact, the second is a literary one. For Columbus we mst imagine the scene while for the astronauts the details remain for all of us exactly identical. We speak the same language in China, India or Africa when we say, "First man on the moon." We all have the same visual image. Photography (i.e. reproduction) has become the universal language.To be a poet-photographer is both saddening and challenging. Saddening to think that literary traditions are being lost to a language that is only in its infancy. Challenging in that one is free to be orignal." Leonard Freed.

"Born into a working class family of radical Jewish Eastern European immigrants, Freed at first wanted to become a painter. After trips to Europe and North Africa, he returned to the US and in 1954 studied in Alexei Brodovitch's "design laboratory." Brodovitch told Freed he "needn't pay, just attend". Edward Steichen, Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, bought three of Freeds photos for the Museum. Telling him after a conversation of two hours, that he was one of the three best young photographers he had seen and advised Freed to remain an amateur as the other two were now doing commercial photography and were not now interesting, "preferably, be a truck driver", he said. Freed became famous first for his involvement with the American civil rights movement, then with the 1980 publication of his book Police Work which made, in words and pictures, statements about brutality while questioning our need for authority. Photography became his way of exploring complex issues such as societal violence and racial discrimination (including a study of the Ku Klux Klan), German society and his own Jewish roots in numerous books and films. He joined Magnum in 1972 and since then has worked on assignment for the major international press." Magnum

Tijdloze breekbaarheid van een humanist
Door Eddie Marsman

Leonard Freeds foto’s zijn ouderwets zwart/wit, zelden groter dan een vel notitiepapier en tamelijk eenvoudig. Het onderwerp is netjes los getild uit het decor, meestal rond het kruispunt der diagonalen. Het decor betreft steevast een contrast of een handvol tegendraadse details. Maar die eenvoud is bedrieglijk want enkel te bereiken door veel geduld en zorgvuldig kijken.
Juist dat maakt van Freeds retrospectief in het Fotomuseum Den Haag (160 foto’s) een indrukwekkende tentoonstelling. Niet ondanks maar dankzij dat gebrek aan spektakel en visuele krachtpatserij dus.

Het oeuvre van de Amerikaan, zoon van joodse immigranten uit het Russische Minsk, omspant iets meer dan een halve eeuw, van zijn eerste foto uit 1952 – een wandelaar langs de Seine, gevat tussen kale winterbomen – tot vijf foto’s van een kat kuierend over een dakrand, een reeksje dat hij in november vorig jaar vastlegde vanaf zijn sterfbed. Kort na het maken ervan overleed hij, 83 jaar oud.

Freed was een typisch naoorlogse, humanistische fotograaf. Degelijk, veelzijdig en begaan met het lot van mensen die zich, meestal tegen de stroom in, staande proberen te houden. Het is een levenshouding die ook in zijn geval gevoed werd door de herinnering aan de wereldbrand van zijn jeugdjaren.
Gebeurtenissen, ontwikkelingen, omwentelingen; telkens bracht hij ze terug tot kleine visuele verhalen op menselijke maat. En steevast bevatten ze vingerwijzingen naar context en geschiedenis.

Freed begon rond 1952 te fotograferen tijdens een rondreis door Europa. Op die reis deed hij ook Nederland aan. Hij zou er tot 1970 blijven wonen. Hier publiceerde hij zijn eerste foto (in het Algemeen Handelsblad) en zijn eerste boek (Joden van Amsterdam, uitgegeven door de Bezige Bij) en had hij zijn eerste tentoonstelling (in Rotterdam).

Nederland heeft in Freeds werk uiteraard de nodige sporen achtergelaten (stratenmakers in Amsterdam, schippers op het water, handelaren op de beurs) maar afgezien van enige lokale herkenbaarheid vallen de Hollandse foto’s eigenlijk nauwelijks op. Verbazen doet dat niet. Freed zou zijn leven lang blijven reizen: naar Engeland, Frankrijk, Duitsland, Italië, Noord Afrika, het Midden Oosten, dat alles keer op keer, zoals hij ook in Amerika zelden lang thuis kon zitten. Maar overal zocht hij op de keper beschouwd naar hetzelfde: beelden die vorm konden geven aan de stugge maar breekbare volharding waarmee mensen altijd en overal proberen hun bestaan leefbaar te maken.

De expositie, tot stand gekomen in samenwerking met het Musée de l’Elysee in het Zwitserse Lausanne, toont daarvan de neerslag, gevat in een strakke chronologische presentatie. Die rangschikking werd ingegeven door Freeds overtuiging dat zich in zijn werk in de loop der jaren geen enkele ontwikkeling heeft afgetekend; een naar huidige artistieke maatstaven weinig enerverende, maar desalniettemin verdedigbare (en respectabele) opvatting. Hier en daar worden enkele thema’s uitgelicht, zoals het politiewerk in New York of de positie van zwart in blank Amerika; het zijn de onderwerpen van zijn meest bekende boeken.

Maar Freeds foto’s werken ook los van chronologie, reeks of thema. Een oude man in een ziekenhuisbed, doodsbang starend naar de apparatuur die zijn leven moet redden. Een jonge zwarte vrouw die haar kind de fles geeft, starend naar de metro die aan haar voorbijrijdt. Een zwart jongetje dat even stoer zijn onzichtbare spierballen toont. De begrafenis van 200 mijnwerkers in Charleroi, door de opengeslagen ramen vanuit een huiskamer gefotografeerd om zo terloops te wijzen op de impact van een ramp. Stuk voor stuk zijn het foto’s vol tijdloze breekbaarheid.

Leonard Freed Amsterdam the Sixties

see for AMSTERDAM in the SIXTIES Provo Happenings Paradiso John Lennon

dinsdag 16 oktober 2007

Manufactured Landscapes -- Edward Burtynsky

Industrial China’s Ravaging of Nature, Made Disturbingly Sublime
Published: June 20, 2007

At one point in the absorbing if unsettling documentary “Manufactured Landscapes,” about the work of the Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, a few unnamed voices try to assure a couple of Chinese officials not to worry. Mr. Burtynsky, these voices say, will make everything — meaning the mountains of coal that seem to stretch on forever behind them — beautiful. And so Mr. Burtynsky does. Whether in a coal distribution center or a garbage dump, he turns the grotesque into something beautiful, or at least something that looks good on a gallery wall.
It’s unclear if those Chinese officials are government minders or work for the enormous company that funnels those mountains of coal first into factories and then into the environment. “Manufactured Landscapes” is one of those contemporary documentaries that put a premium on their visuals (which are estimable) and their conceptual underpinnings (a bit vague), and pay rather less attention to nominally irrelevant details like dates and names, facts and figures, history and politics. Thus, while some black-and-white video images of Mr. Burtynsky (shot by Jeff Powis) during his photographic safaris is time-stamped to a few years ago, much of the film takes place in a nonspecific present.

In this present, Mr. Burtynsky and an indefinite number of helpers trot across China taking glossy, large-format, generally long-view color photographs of factories, welding sites and recycling centers, with an abbreviated side trip to the Bangladesh coast where young men disassemble oil tankers, at times ankle-deep in sludge. Directed by Jennifer Baichwal and sensitively shot in 16-millimeter film by Peter Mettler, “Manufactured Landscapes” (which is also the name of a 2003 book of Mr. Burtynsky’s photographs) is partly a Great Man documentary, a record of an artist immortalized at the moment of creation: point, shoot, voilà! Rather more interestingly, at times, it also appears to be a rather tentative, perhaps even unconscious, critique of that same artist and his vision.

Critique may be too strong a word. Still, at its most arresting “Manufactured Landscapes” does suggest that Ms. Baichwal and her excellent cinematographer are not entirely at ease with Mr. Burtynsky’s work, which tends to subordinate the human form to the harmonious use of color, the balance of graphical forms and the overwhelming man-made and man-ravaged environments. In many of these landscapes (which I have looked at only in this film and online), scores of anonymous workers become specks of canary yellow and blots of bubble-gum pink, a pointillist population. The angles of their bowed heads and raised arms, carefully arranged before assembly lines, are just some of the decorative, precise formal elements. Note how those angles dovetail with those of the machinery.

What’s missing from these photographs, those populated and not, is any sense of process, of context and consequence. For the most part, the film remains equally silent on the same, though the film’s repeated close-ups of the workers’ faces locked in Mr. Burtynsky’s sightlines suggest that Ms. Baichwal is more concerned with people than the subject is. In this film, at least, a mountain of coal is strictly an aesthetic subject for Mr. Burtynsky, not an index of the miserable conditions of its mining or a ghastly reminder of the nearly 6,000 workers who died in Chinese coal mines in 2005, the year the film was shot. Or a warning of the pollution that wafts from China’s smokestacks to the Western United States, coating mountains in Oregon, California and Washington State.

The almost freakishly, crystalline detail and obsessively exacting compositions of Mr. Burtynsky’s work can bring to mind that of Ansel Adams, though the subject matter means that it more rightly belongs to the technological sublime than to the natural sublime. In his book “American Technological Sublime,” a study of manufactured sublime experiences — beautifully represented by Walker Evans’s celebratory photographs of the grandeur and engineering feat that is the Brooklyn Bridge — the historian David E. Nye writes that “one person’s sublime may be another’s abomination.” As this film indicates, intentionally and not, an artist may not always be able to gauge the difference between the sublime and the abominable, but with knowledge and a will to conscience a viewer just might.

Edward Burtynsky
Edward Burtynsky was born in 1955 of Ukrainian heritage at St. Catharines, Ontario. He links his early exposure to the General Motors plant in his hometown to the development of his photographic work. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of 15 major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Bibliothèque National in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

dinsdag 9 oktober 2007

Dubrovnik Photography by Lana Slezic

Lana Slezic is a freelance photographer based in Toronto. Her mother was born in Dubrovnik and with the exception of the war, Lana has visited there every year since she was a small child. She is fascinated by the old city and its people and as a result has decidedly focused her effort on publishing a photography book in the next few years. With that in mind, Lana travels to Dubrovnik at least once a year to try to capture unique moments that collectively aim to show the unfettered spirit of this town. Otherwise she freelances in Toronto for the New York Times, Macleans Magazine, Canadian Geographic Magazine and others.

Forsaken Photography Afghanistan by Lana Šlezić


In March 2004, when award-winning photographer Lana Šlezić went on assignment to Afghanistan from her native Canada, she never dreamed she would stay for two years. At the time she believed that since the ousting of the suffocating Taliban in 2001, Afghan women and girls were living under considarably less oppressive conditions. She soon discovered that life for Afghan women was not as she expected and felt compelled to stay and document their story. With the help of a young female Aghan as her friend and translator, Šlezić photographed women all over the country. Over endless cups of tea in sitting rooms from city to village, she learned that Afghan women are still living in a harrowingly oppressive society where forced marriage, domestic violence, honor killings, and an unpalatable lack of freedom still exist. Even today many are not allowed to leave their houses or go to school, and the burka remains a common sight on the dusty streets of the war-torn country. Forsaken is a collection of photographs and vignettes that documents Šlezić’s journey over the two-year period during which she lived and worked in Afghanistan.

Lana Šlezić was born in 1973 in Toronto, Canada to Croatian parents. She was selected for the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gold National Magazine Award of Canada for Photojournalism (2005), the International Photography Award for an editorial feature story (United States, 2006), and the Luis Valtuena Humanitarian Photography Award (Spain, 2007). Forsaken is her first book.

maandag 8 oktober 2007

Stephan Vanfleteren Belgicum

Stephan Vanfleteren - Belgicum van 28 september tot 6 januari 2008
‘Belgicum’ is een fotoproject over het unicum België.

Stephan Vanfleteren
His radical black-and-white documentary work covers the disappearance of small, anarchic worlds and the phenomena of everyday life in his homeland Belgium as well as events from world's conflict zones to every day life around the world. He also interested in portraying artists, actors, writers, directors, musicians and all other people that express themselves by their profession.
Vanfleteren won several national and international photo awards and his work has been shown in numerous exhibitions across Europe.
He published several books like 'Flandrien' (Merz/Luc Derycke), Tales of a Globalizing world (Thames&Hudson), Elvis&Presley (Kruse Verlag), Buren/Neighbours (De Verbeelding).

Geen objectieve weerspiegeling van een land maar een subjectief, zwart-wit fotodocument door mijn donkere ogen. Een ontdekkingstocht door een klein landje in het centrum van Europa tijdens de eeuwwisseling. Niet de kleurige prentjes van toeristische plaatsen of folklore in Vlaanderen of Wallonië maar een eigenzinnig, tegendraads en nostalgisch beeld. Zelden fotojournalistiek van politiek of historisch belang maar eerder de rafelrand van dit vaderland.

‘Belgicum’ is niet een visie op het hedendaagse België van shopping malls, verkeersrotondes of verkavelingswijken maar wel van getroebleerde landschappen en gehavende gebouwen. ‘Belgicum’ is niet de verpersoonlijking van de ‘moderne’ Belg in de file, op kantoor of achter zijn barbecueset op een warme zomeravond maar eerder een blik achter de gordijnen tussen het behangpapier van armoede en eenzaamheid. Meer dan vijftien jaar heb ik doorheen het territorium ‘Belgicum’ geslenterd, verdwaald en gejaagd met ontroering en vaderlandsliefde.

Eerst als actualiteitsfotograaf voor de dagkrant, later meer op mijn eigen tempo. Doorheen het vlakke land, over de taalgrenzen, door vervallen industriebekkens langs oneindige lintbebouwingen en zelfs af en toe over de landsgrens in Frans-Vlaanderen. Een tocht door een land met littekens op zoek naar een onvindbare identiteit maar met de melancholische ziel van een 177 jaar oude natie. Vanwaar die manier van kijken? Dat achterna hollen op het perron van de verglijdende tijd en ruimte? Waarom kan ik niet voluit genieten van een nieuw opgetrokken mooi gebouw zonder die ene altijd wederkerende gedachte te moeten trotseren dat het ten koste van iets anders was, iets dat er eerder was, iets met een oudere ontstaansdatum? Of het nu een braakliggende grond is, een huis of wat dan ook. Is het angst voor het afscheid? Angst voor het nieuwe? Angst voor verandering?

Misschien is het een overgebleven ‘traumaatje’ van een jongen die de kust heeft zien ombouwen tot een betonnen draak. Ik word triest van dat neurotisch gedoe, van snel vooruitgaan en drastische verandering. Onze economie gelijkt op een Canadese populier die maar blijft groeien tot hij te hoog komt en door zijn gewicht bij de eerste grote storm afknakt. Jammer dat onze wereld niet meer een oude eik is, of een treurwilg. Ik herinner me als scholier in een streng college het moment dat de geschiedenisleraar vooraan in de klas de woorden uitsprak: ‘wie kan er nu iets tegen vooruitgang hebben?’ Ik wilde nog mijn hand opsteken om wat tegen te sputteren maar ik durfde niet. Nu wel.

"Why do you own a gun?"

In 2004 after a fractious election in which the gun argument played a significant part, photo-journalist Kyle Cassidy hit the road to learn why so many people owned so many guns. His search for answers took him on a journey that extended over two years and 15,000 miles. Ultimately, more than a hundred gun owners opened their doors and their lives to him, answering the single question he asked: "why". The result is a collection of striking and thought provoking photographs: ARMED AMERICA: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes.
Few issues generate as much debate as firearms. Without taking a pro or con stance, ARMED AMERICA shows the faces of American gun owners and gives voice to each individual "why"...without ancillary comment, editorializing, or judgment. These "everyman" portraits reveal people from different backgrounds, living in various locations, with one common connection.

"I tried to remove 'gun owner' from my mind as much as possible when making the actual photograph," says Cassidy. "I would go into someone's house and immediately start thinking 'how can I capture this person or this family fairly?" While it would be very easy for any photographer to pose a man with a military weapon in a stern and menacing way, light it dramatically and come away with a shocking photograph, Cassidy chose another more accurate and startling route. "I would ask myself 'What's this guy like every day? How do his friends and family see him?' He's a guy who owns a parakeet, or two cats, or a poodle, he's got two kids--he doesn't frown all day long because he's got a gun."
This riveting collection of 100+ photos will capture every reader's attention--whatever their stance on gun control.

KYLE CASSIDY Has been a freelance writer and photographer since 1999. His photographs have been published in the New York Times, Baaron's Financial, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He writes frequently about technology and has been an outspoken voice in the area of practical modern photographic theory. Largely known for his fashion and portrait photography, he became interested in photographing gun owners during the 2004 Presidential Election.

Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes

zondag 7 oktober 2007

Bag news Notes Getting Between The Point And The View

Welcome to "The BAG", a progressive blog dedicated to the political picture, and the discussion and analysis of news images.

woensdag 3 oktober 2007

Photography Cas Oorthuis Madrid Spain

Foto’s van Cas Oorthuys in Madrid te zien

Fotografie uit de tentoonstelling Madrid, mayo 1955. Cas Oorthuys in Madrid. Hier is een selectie te zien uit de ruim 1300 foto’s die Oorthuys in 1955 maakte in Madrid voor de populaire reisgidsenreeks van uitgeverij Contact. De tentoonstelling is een eerbetoon aan de stad Madrid.

Duizenden Hollanders kochten de reisgids Hart van Spanje, met daarin de foto’s die Cas Oorthuys maakte van Madrid en andere plaatsen als Ávila, Toledo, Segovia of El Escorial. De Nederlandse dichter Bert Schierbeek, die Oorthuys vergezelde op zijn reis over het Spaanse schiereiland, schreef de teksten bij de foto’s. Hierin heeft hij oog voor juist de details die ook de Spanjaarden van nu verrassen: de sereniteit, de schapen in de stad, sigaretten “Ideales”, de populaire “caldo de gallina” [kippensoep] die de metselaars aan de steigers bevestigden.
Cas Oorthuys Bar Sol, Madrid, Spanje (ca. 1955)

De Oorthuysfoto’s laten ons een heel ander Madrid zien dan het Madrid dat wij tegenwoordig kennen. Voor de tentoonstelling is een selectie gemaakt uit de 1305 foto's die Oorthuys maakte voor het boek Hart van Spanje en die in beheer zijn bij het Nederlands fotomuseum. Bij de tentoonstelling verschijnt een gelijknamige catalogus (Spaans).

De tentoonstelling was georganiseerd door Fundación Carlos de Amberes, met medewerking van Consejería de Cultura y Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid, de Nederlandse ambassade, de Vereniging van Europese journalisten en Teléfonica, onder leiding van Horacio Fernández. De tentoonstelling is mede mogelijk gemaakt door Ferran Bach van Diptíc, Bureau voor culturele projecten. Madrid, mayo 1955. Cas Oorthuys, van 18 januari tot 5 maart 2006 in La Fundación Carlos de Amberes te Madrid, Spanje.

Madridfoto’s van Oorthuys bekijken op de website van het Nederlands Fotomuseum. Er zijn in het kader van deze tentoonstelling een aantal collectiethema's gemaakt. Hieronder vindt u de links naar deze thema's. De galerijweergave geeft een mooi overzicht, door op de foto's te klikken kunt u inzoomen (vooral prettig bij de contactafdrukken).