zondag 30 december 2012

Ed van der Elsken Back Home Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Photography


Why Is This Museum Shaped Like a Tub? ...















ED VAN DER ELSKEN: PARIJS, 1951
Parijs
© Ed van der Elsken/Nederlands Fotomuseum
Een vrouw zit met gesloten ogen op een caféterras, een jonge vrouw en man staan rechts van haar, hun blik is leeg, starend. Drie bolvormige hanglampen en hun reflecties verlichten de nachtelijke scène die in fluwelige zwarttinten is afgedrukt. Het is de openingsfoto van Een liefdesgeschiedenis in Saint Germain des Prés, de fotoroman waarmee Ed van der Elsken in 1956 internationaal doorbrak. Ann en Manuel, de staande personages, zijn de hoofdrolspelers in dit verhaal over een tot mislukken gedoemde liefde. De context is het leven aan de zelfkant van een groep jongeren in het naoorlogse Parijs. Zij hangen drinkend en hasj rokend rond in cafés, dansen uitzinnig op jazzmuziek en leven op straat of in goedkope hotels. De fotograaf was persoonlijk betrokken bij zijn onderwerpen. Eigenlijk was Manuel Van der Elskens alter ego en het boek een ode aan kunstenares en muze Vali Myers. Zij domineert dit, vanuit een laag standpunt vastgelegde, beeld – en vele anderen in Een liefdesgeschiedenis.

ELSKEN, ED VAN DER. CATALOGUS 1966. - Ed van der ElskenAmst., Stedelijk Museum 1966. Unpaginated [16 pp]. Ills (b./w. photographs). Soft cover. (SM cat. no. 399 [= no. 400]).*Typograpy by Wim Crouwel, text by Ed van der Elsken.


Ed van der Elsken Back Home Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Photography


Why Is This Museum Shaped Like a Tub? ...















ED VAN DER ELSKEN: PARIJS, 1951
Parijs
© Ed van der Elsken/Nederlands Fotomuseum
Een vrouw zit met gesloten ogen op een caféterras, een jonge vrouw en man staan rechts van haar, hun blik is leeg, starend. Drie bolvormige hanglampen en hun reflecties verlichten de nachtelijke scène die in fluwelige zwarttinten is afgedrukt. Het is de openingsfoto van Een liefdesgeschiedenis in Saint Germain des Prés, de fotoroman waarmee Ed van der Elsken in 1956 internationaal doorbrak. Ann en Manuel, de staande personages, zijn de hoofdrolspelers in dit verhaal over een tot mislukken gedoemde liefde. De context is het leven aan de zelfkant van een groep jongeren in het naoorlogse Parijs. Zij hangen drinkend en hasj rokend rond in cafés, dansen uitzinnig op jazzmuziek en leven op straat of in goedkope hotels. De fotograaf was persoonlijk betrokken bij zijn onderwerpen. Eigenlijk was Manuel Van der Elskens alter ego en het boek een ode aan kunstenares en muze Vali Myers. Zij domineert dit, vanuit een laag standpunt vastgelegde, beeld – en vele anderen in Een liefdesgeschiedenis.

ELSKEN, ED VAN DER. CATALOGUS 1966. - Ed van der ElskenAmst., Stedelijk Museum 1966. Unpaginated [16 pp]. Ills (b./w. photographs). Soft cover. (SM cat. no. 399 [= no. 400]).*Typograpy by Wim Crouwel, text by Ed van der Elsken.


vrijdag 21 december 2012

Photographic Art and the Food System Lebensmittel Michael Schmidt Photography


Michael Schmidt: untitled, # 17.145. aus: LEBENSMITTEL, 2006 – 2010, C-Print, 54,1 x 81,6 cm. © Michael Schmidt
Photographic Art and the Food System Lebensmittel
German photographer Michael Schmidt, like Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma who was profiled in the previous post, spends several years on a single project. Schmidt is best known for Waffenruhe (Ceasefire), a study of Berlin immediately before the fall of the Wall, which is widely considered one of the greatest contemporary photobooks. 

Schmidt's latest obsession is the mechanized, industrialized food system of contemporary Western culture.  The project has resulted in a book, Lebensmittel (Food), and is currently being exhibited in Europe




Using his trademark style combining social documentary and urban topographics, he explores the fascinating topic of how we feed ourselves, from the farm to the table (or the fast-food restaurant).





 Here is what Artforum has to say about the associated exhibition:
With his current exhibition, “Lebensmittel” (Food), which consists of 177 photographs, Berlin-based photographer Michael Schmidt debuts the results of his research into agribusiness, which between 2006 and 2010 took him to many different locations throughout Europe. Schmidt sought out places where edibles are produced, packaged, distributed, and sold. Yet the specific locations are never revealed, neither in the exhibition nor in the accompanying catalogue. Thus the mostly uninhabited cultivated fields and plantations, the motifs of fish, pig, and cattle breeding, of large-scale bakeries as well as supermarkets, appear to be anonymous and exchangeable: everywhere and nowhere.
Michael Schmidt // Waffenruhe from haveanicebook on Vimeo.

Schmidt’s interest in a nonspecifity of place should come as no surprise. He is known not for single images but for vastly conceived series, as in the case of “EIN-HEIT” (Unity), 1991–94; “Waffenruhe” (Ceasefire), 1985–87; and “Irgendwo” (Somewhere), 2001–2004. In the present show, which can be seen in Innsbruck this summer and in Berlin next spring, it is precisely a multitude of images that Schmidt pursues. Within the series, an image forms of the maximally rationalized production of edible goods.

There are nonetheless two narrative lines to be read: On the one hand, the observer is confronted with technical equipment which one only recognizes after a closer look as a fish farm or mussel bank. One sees sheer endlessness: one part of a stripped field, fenced-in production facilities that reveal nothing as to what will be processed there. Other shots reveal the subject under investigation at close range: broken eggs behind glass, shrink-wrapped and labeled beef, swollen udders with milk stools set at the ready, greased griddles from which tumble french fries, a great green apple in front of Styrofoam. In this time of food scandals, one might suspect these photographs to be a means of agitation. But this is clearly not Schmidt’s intention. “Lebensmittel,” in all its clarity, comes across instead as the cool image-record of a complex system on the brink of collapse.
The following video, even if you don't speak German, provides a wider look at the images and, more significantly, illustrates the comparative power of the exhibition relative to the presentation of the same images in book form.


Photographic Art and the Food System Lebensmittel Michael Schmidt Photography


Michael Schmidt: untitled, # 17.145. aus: LEBENSMITTEL, 2006 – 2010, C-Print, 54,1 x 81,6 cm. © Michael Schmidt
Photographic Art and the Food System Lebensmittel
German photographer Michael Schmidt, like Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma who was profiled in the previous post, spends several years on a single project. Schmidt is best known for Waffenruhe (Ceasefire), a study of Berlin immediately before the fall of the Wall, which is widely considered one of the greatest contemporary photobooks. 

Schmidt's latest obsession is the mechanized, industrialized food system of contemporary Western culture.  The project has resulted in a book, Lebensmittel (Food), and is currently being exhibited in Europe




Using his trademark style combining social documentary and urban topographics, he explores the fascinating topic of how we feed ourselves, from the farm to the table (or the fast-food restaurant).





 Here is what Artforum has to say about the associated exhibition:
With his current exhibition, “Lebensmittel” (Food), which consists of 177 photographs, Berlin-based photographer Michael Schmidt debuts the results of his research into agribusiness, which between 2006 and 2010 took him to many different locations throughout Europe. Schmidt sought out places where edibles are produced, packaged, distributed, and sold. Yet the specific locations are never revealed, neither in the exhibition nor in the accompanying catalogue. Thus the mostly uninhabited cultivated fields and plantations, the motifs of fish, pig, and cattle breeding, of large-scale bakeries as well as supermarkets, appear to be anonymous and exchangeable: everywhere and nowhere.
Michael Schmidt // Waffenruhe from haveanicebook on Vimeo.

Schmidt’s interest in a nonspecifity of place should come as no surprise. He is known not for single images but for vastly conceived series, as in the case of “EIN-HEIT” (Unity), 1991–94; “Waffenruhe” (Ceasefire), 1985–87; and “Irgendwo” (Somewhere), 2001–2004. In the present show, which can be seen in Innsbruck this summer and in Berlin next spring, it is precisely a multitude of images that Schmidt pursues. Within the series, an image forms of the maximally rationalized production of edible goods.

There are nonetheless two narrative lines to be read: On the one hand, the observer is confronted with technical equipment which one only recognizes after a closer look as a fish farm or mussel bank. One sees sheer endlessness: one part of a stripped field, fenced-in production facilities that reveal nothing as to what will be processed there. Other shots reveal the subject under investigation at close range: broken eggs behind glass, shrink-wrapped and labeled beef, swollen udders with milk stools set at the ready, greased griddles from which tumble french fries, a great green apple in front of Styrofoam. In this time of food scandals, one might suspect these photographs to be a means of agitation. But this is clearly not Schmidt’s intention. “Lebensmittel,” in all its clarity, comes across instead as the cool image-record of a complex system on the brink of collapse.
The following video, even if you don't speak German, provides a wider look at the images and, more significantly, illustrates the comparative power of the exhibition relative to the presentation of the same images in book form.