vrijdag 1 oktober 2010

Martin Parr's New Documents Viviane Sassen Wout Berger Photography

From the series, Moshi © Viviane Sassen, courtesy of Motive Gallery, Amsterdam.

Amsterdam-based photographer Viviane Sassen studied fashion design, but after an early collaboration with artist/photographer Martine Stig, began shooting her own work, quickly gaining the attention of cutting-edge stylists and art directors, such as David James, who commissioned her as a newcomer for a campaign for Miu Miu.

She’s now recognised as one of the most original new talents in fashion photography, and is regularly commissioned by the likes of Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton and Pop magazine.

But it’s the more overtly idiosyncratic approach to her personal work that’s bringing her to wider attention and, in particular, the word-of-mouth created by last year’s book, Flamboya, published by Contrasto.

“Sassen spent her early days in Kenya as her father was a doctor there, and for the body of work, Flamboya, she has returned to Africa to shoot these photographs,” explains Parr. “Mainly portraits, both set up and natural, they are also interspersed with small observations of plants and roads. Her portraits are quite unique, as well as having strong graphics (interestingly, Sassen worked as a fashion photographer before). They are also quite unsettling in their accumulative effect, the direct shooting cutting through the normal way we read portraits of African subjects.”


From the series, Like Birds © Wout Berger, courtesy of Van Kranendonk Gallery, The Hague.

Born in the Netherlands in 1941, Wout Berger is one of the more established names in Parr’s exhibition, with more than a dozen books to his name, and more than 50 exhibitions (although only three of these were in the UK).

“Berger has been shooting for many years, but his new project is a most refreshing take on landscape,” says Parr. “Entitled Like Birds, various images are arranged together to create a weird tapestry of shape and form. The combination of rather flat images, almost scientific in their approach, exerts a strange and surreal tableau, when seen together.”

He has been working in this manner since the mid-1980s, following a commission from the city of Amsterdam, during which he came across a stretch of land contaminated by chemical waste, flowered by blooms of wild orchids. Finding unexpected beauty in such hostile terrain, he embarked on a major series for which he visited 1200 chemical waste dumps to produce Poisoned Landcape.

Since then he has continued to explore the theme of nature through “real” and “artificial” landscapes on the periphery of town and country, such as his series on greenhouse horticulture, or the seed plantations that form the first wave of housing development besides some of Holland’s most picturesque villages, all shot in beautiful, close-in detail on his view camera.

 Read more: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/profile/1736785/martin-parrs-new-documents#ixzz1184aCZEG

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