maandag 20 mei 2019

Views & Reviews Home is Where the Dog is Artists Book Erik van der Weijde iPhone Photography

Four white walls that enclose a tropical garden set the limits for this carefully directed view that photographer Erik van der Weijde offers us. Bathing cousins, a posing wife, the undisturbed dog, a dead rat, a playing son, the smoking mother-in-law and a stoic cat all become actors in a play about the boundaries of what's private and what's public. The images were shot with an iPhone during the first hours of dusk over the course of almost two years.

woensdag 15 mei 2019

中醫舌苔圖譜 [Catalogue of Tongue Coating Diagnoses in Chinese Medicine] The Chinese Photobook Curated by Martin Parr and WassinkLundgren Photography

中醫舌苔圖譜 [Catalogue of tongue coating diagnoses in Chinese medicine].

Auteur/ Illustrator: Song Tianbin ed.
Boektitel: Catalogue of tongue coating diagnoses
Publicatiejaar oudste item: 1984
Druk: Eerste druk
Taal: Chinees
Originele taal: Ja
Uitgever: People's Medical Publishing House, Beijing
Band: Harde kaft
Extra's: Met slipcase
Afmetingen: 21×13 cm

Each page of this atlas of the tongue, released by the People's Medical Publishing House, features a close-up of an individual tongue, accompanied by a description of it's appearance and diagnoses of posible underlying health issues. Analysis of the tongues appearence as an indicator of physical dysfunction dates back - according to this book - to The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, which dates from the second century BCE.

The Chinese Photobook, Parr/WassinkLundgren, page 259

maandag 13 mei 2019

Bill Henson a Controversial Career Photography

by John Elder May 25, 2008
Bill Henson's photo of a  nude 13-year-old girl, which has drawn a reaction from police and the Prime Minister.
Bill Henson's photo of a nude 13-year-old girl, which has drawn a reaction from police and the Prime Minister.

FOR more than 25 years, Bill Henson has been called controversial — and bombastic, melodramatic and overwrought.

But it was only the art world that cared. Occasionally it voiced some discomfort, but mostly there was admiration for an artist whose moody use of light and dark subject matter was in the spirit of bad-boy painter Caravaggio and hard-drinking poet Baudelaire.

Excerpt from this 26 min documentary on controversial Melbourne photographer Bill HENSON, set against the Venice Arts' Biennial where he was the Australian Artist representative with a major exhibition.

But this time the police have stepped in, a prime minister has called his pictures "revolting", and "that Bill Henson" has come close to being a notorious household name.
In 1983, he photographed a group of young nude junkies lying about in European museums. The toughest criticism he received was being called "obvious".

About 15 years he ago he produced a series of teenage nudes sprawled across car bonnets. Not titillating; more akin to a nightmarish car wreck. Some of this series of nudes are on show at the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, where they have barely raised an eyebrow, let alone a scandal.
Director of the gallery Ron Ramsey said yesterday: "When that series first went on show, internationally, there was more concern with the way they were presented … with rough edges and some of them actually torn. We have a couple in the collection and there has never been, as far as I know, any concern or complaints from the public.

"They had to go through the (Newcastle) council and the acquisition committee, and there were no objections raised. That's what's shocking everybody — that works similar to what we've put on display are now the subject of a police investigation and all this controversy. We're gobsmacked."
Forty years ago, artist Martin Sharp was famously tried for obscenity because of a piece he wrote for Oz magazine. Last week he received an invitation to Henson's exhibition, which features a topless 13-year-old.

"It was a powerful image. I would call it very beautiful in its vulnerability rather than 'revolting' as the Prime Minister has done," Sharp said. The photograph suggested the girl "gave her trust to Henson … and this trust has been violated by the police and Kevin Rudd's comments."

See also

Review - Mnemosyne
by Bill Henson
Scalo, 2005
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Aug 23rd 2005 (Volume 9, Issue 34)

Bill Henson was born in 1955 and had his first exhibition of photographs in 1974.  An Australian artist, his work has been rather difficult to find in the USA, at least until the publication of his previous work, Lux et Nox, also published by Scalo.  So there is reason to be very grateful for this retrospective of his work, in a large-format book of about 500 pages, containing 493 photographs.  The collection reveals both a consistency in quality and a diversity of styles and themes in Henson's work, and shows him to be one of the most interesting contemporary photographers.

The book shows selections from different periods in Henson's work, interspersed by reprints of essays by critics and one interview with him.  It is beautifully produced, and while the reproductions of the photographs cannot match the size of the originals (especially of his more recent work, which is typically well over 1 meter wide or high), it is possible to a good sense of his intent.  While it is not possible for me to compare the reproductions with the originals, the colors of the book are rich and the detail is subtle.  While a book can not duplicate the experience of seeing big pictures in an exhibition space (especially since Henson insists the room is kept quite dark) it is the only way that most people will get to see his work (apart from even smaller reproductions available on some websites).  Even the current retrospective major Australian exhibitions of his work will not contain all the images reproduced in this book.

It is clear that Henson has always prioritized composition and visual beauty, even when his pictures seem to depict pain, despondency and the results of violence.  He has often concentrated on youthful subjects, and in recent years he has tended to depict young naked people who seem desperately unhappy, and console themselves with sex and drugs.  In the context of his other work though, we can speculate that even in these more recent pieces, he has been preoccupied by larger themes.  Despite the sense of "gritty realism" and voyeuristic documentation in previous book Lux et Nox, it is possible to find allusions to the history of art in those photographs, and his connection with high culture and modern art is brought out through examining his earlier work.  It is worth keeping in mind that the title of the book, Mnemosyne, refers to the Greek goddess of memory and the mother of the Muses.  Henson in his interview shows himself to be well versed in modern literature and obviously he is well aware of the history of art and photography.  So in interpreting Henson's work, one aspect that deserves inspection is how his work relates to other art and literature.

The allusion to high art is especially obvious in the series "Untitled 1983/84" which has several panels of photographs juxtaposing classical painting and ornate architecture or furniture with various images of teens.   In the "Paris Opera Project 1990/91" Henson depicts a number of people dressed up in formal evening wear, young and older, looking as if they are at a concert, interspersed with images from nature, such as clouds and mountains.  In other series, Henson brings to mind more modernist approaches in modern painting.  For example, in "Untitled 1979/80," some of the images are half pictures, torn along one edge and others look as if there is a cut right down the middle of the picture.  In several of "Untitled 1977/87" Henson uses double exposure, doing his juxtaposition of images in one frame.  In "Untitled 1992/93 - Untitled 1996/97," Henson goes to his greatest extreme in making the viewer aware of his manipulation of the image since he cuts out different photographs and tapes them together leaving many odd shaped gaps in the final product.  In interviews, he explains how for all his photography, he spends a great deal of time in the dark room working on the look of his photographs, and this becomes very clear from looking through this collection.  He is acutely aware of the composition of images, and he occasionally forces the viewer to share this awareness and the artist's role in forming the image.

One question that is unanswered in the book's text is the extent to which the images of people are posed.  Henson's most recent work, such as in Lux et Nox, has an almost documentary feel showing the interactions between drunk and miserable teens at night.  However, looking at his prior work throws into doubt the idea that Henson was an invisible observer taking pictures, since so much of that work is obviously posed.  This issue is significant because nearly all Henson's work raises the question of his relation to his subjects, and less directly, the viewer's relation to them.

For example, in "Untitled sequence 1977," there are 16 images of a young naked man lying on a floor.  One of the pieces included in the book describes him as masturbating, which goes beyond anything that we see, but several of the pages show his face looking sexual and internally preoccupied.  The pictures are highly personal, but they seem very different from Nan Goldin's friends in sexual situations, for instance, and they make the viewer wonder what is going on between the photographer and the subject.  One can reframe the issue by asking what kind of voyeurism we are being implicated in when looking through Henson's pictures.  Certainly this seems to be a theme that preoccupies Henson himself and focuses on in various series.  In "Untitled sequence 1979," he shows details of crowds -- with no context to show why people are gathered together, although it looks like a busy street corner -- with most people in the frame looking elsewhere, but one person, often in the background, looking directly at the photographer.  When one sees the person in the crowd looking back at one, while other people are oblivious, one gets a sense of connection with that person.  Henson is not taking revealing pictures of ordinary people like Tom Wood, but is engaged in a more abstract or conceptual enterprise.

At the same time, Henson always makes his images engaging and attractive, even when he deliberately counteracts this by cutting up the picture or using double exposure.  He loves people's faces and naked bodies, and nearly all of his pictures project a feeling of sensuality.  All through his career, he has been preoccupied by adolescents, and surely this partly stems from the beauty and promise of youth.  However, much of his work also highlights the suffering and vulnerability that exists before adulthood.  For example, in "Untitled 1983/84" we see young women crying, lying naked, dirty and bleeding, and one young face with staring open eyes that suggests death.  One beautiful picture shows a young person getting ready to shoot up drugs.  All these are interspersed with images of formal beauty from high art.  It is open to the viewer to interpret what Henson intends by this contrast, but it is clear that his real concern is human life rather than inanimate objects.  One possible interpretation would be that Henson is ridiculing the pieces of high art by showing the vastly greater emotional power that comes from the images of vulnerable or hurt youth, but at the same time, he seems to be objectifying the humans by showing them in the same frames as the objects.  This series is perplexing and mysterious, yet the visual pleasure it provides is undeniable.

"Untitled 1985/86" signaled a return to color photography, continuing his juxtaposition of faces with things.  The faces are mostly of young people, and the things are mostly clouds and buildings.  Most of the pictures are taken at twilight.  The images here are more naturalistic and the use of color is melancholy and even eerie, and invites comparisons with Gregory Crewdson.  While Crewdson completely composes his images and makes them artificially odd, Henson evokes an uncanny feel by more ordinary images carefully composed and contrasted.  This sense of strange beauty is also strong in "Paris Opera Project 1990/91" with Henson clearly working very hard to control the lighting of faces from below, using a bluish tinge and capturing a certain tension in body language.

Henson's recent preoccupation with emotionally-charged images of naked adolescents has probably brought his work more into public view, but they fit in perfectly well with the rest of his work.  The dark moody sensuality of his pictures is appealing even when they seem to show drunkenness, degradation, and misery, and presumably that is partly his point.  He could portray the same topics in far more shocking and disturbing ways, but he chooses to emphasize texture, light, and arrangement in his compositions.  One might worry that he is aestheticizing and thus trivializing human suffering, or indeed he might even be accused of eroticizing unhappiness.  While such worries cannot be dismissed, it would be simplistic to condemn Henson's work altogether on such grounds.  He is a thoughtful and extremely careful artist, and his pictures are extraordinary subtle.  He always has the option of deflecting such criticisms by arguing that his pictures raise questions for the viewer, and if they disturbing in some ways, then this is at least partly because the viewer is ready to be so disturbed.  One of the advantages of being able to see Henson's work as a whole in Mnemosyne is that this complexity and subtlety becomes especially apparent, and we can see how he has worked to approach some central themes in a variety of ways over the decades.  This is a wonderful book which makes a strong case for including Henson among the most important photographers currently working.


·        Scalo Publishers

·        Bill Henson at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

·        Pavement Magazine article on Bill Henson

·        Ego Magazine interview with Bill Henson

·        Metapsychology review of Lux et Nox

 © 2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.

zaterdag 11 mei 2019

Views & Reviews 10x10 American Photobooks Photography

10x10 American Photobooks Paperback – 2013
by Matthew Carson (Author), Russet Lederman (Author), Olga Yatskevich (Author), & 10 more
Printed in a limited edition of 500 copies, 10x10 American Photobooks is an ongoing cross-cultural dialogue that presents selections of contemporary photobooks from the last 25 years. Stunning in its breath and assortment of contributors, the book features a wide array of photobooks selections from numerous specialists that include writers, photographers, book dealers, collectors, librarians, curators and publishers. The book is full of images of American photobooks published after 1987 and is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the contemporary photobook.

About 10×10 American Photobooks
10×10 American Photobooks is a multi-platform photobook event with a reading room, online component and publication that presents American artists’ photobooks from the last 25 years. The project previewed in New York and Pittsburgh in May 2013. It traveled to the Tokyo Institute of Photography for a 4-week run, which coincided with the Tokyo Book and Photo Fairs in September 2013. At the end of the project, all the books from the reading room were donated to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography’s Library. 10×10 American Photobooks is co-sponsored by the International Center of Photography Library, Tokyo Institute of Photography and the Photobook Facebook Group.

10×10 American Photobooks presents 100 contemporary American artists’ photobooks selected by 10 specialists in a reading room and an additional 200 books online from the perspective of 10 American and 10 Japanese photobook specialists, who have each been asked to select 10 books. The project is accompanied by a bilingual English-Japanese publication, designed by bookdummypress, which documents all the selected books along with essays highlighting different aspects of contemporary American photobooks. In addition, Self Publish, Be Happy has produced two pamphlets for 10×10 American Photobooks Tokyo reading room, featuring newly commissioned work by American photographers and writers.

The focus of the event is to offer both the general and photo-specific public the opportunity to see photobooks, which are rarely seen beyond private libraries or independent American photography circles. By emphasizing the selections from the 10 reading room specialists and 20 online specialists, along with essays from noted writers, 10×10 provides a concise and well-researched selection for both the seasoned and new viewer of contemporary American artists’ photobooks.

Some recent 10×10 American Photobooks press:
American Photo by Dan Abbe (May 8, 2013)
Foam Magazine by Ken Schles (September 24, 2013)

The 10×10 American Photobooks publication can be found in the permanent collections of these libraries:

The Victoria and Albert Museum (London)
The Museum of Modern Art (NY)
George Eastman House (Rochester, NY)
The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (NY)
Amon Carter Museum (Fort Worth, TX)
Carnegie Institute (Pittsburgh)
Pratt Institute (Brooklyn)
Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland)
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Japan)
International Center of Photography (NY)
Guggenheim Museum (NY)
Fotohof (Salzburg, Austria)
Brooklyn Museum (NY)
Lancaster Library, Coventry University (UK)
Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Virginia Commonwealth University Library (Richmond, VA)
Cleveland Museum of Art (Ohio)

Here is a fun video showing the 10×10 reading room previews in NYC and Pittsburgh!

10×10 American Reading Room Specialists
Shannon Michael Cane / Printed Matter
Lindsey Castillo, Rebecca O’Keefe, and Grant Willing / The Camera Club of New York
Bruno Ceschel / Self Publish, Be Happy
Christina Labey / Conveyor Arts
Larissa Leclair / Indie Photobook Library
Leigh Ledare / Photographer
Harper Levine + John Gossage / Harper’s Books and Loosestrife Editions
David Senior / Museum of Modern Art Library
David Solo / Collector
Alec Soth and Brad Zellar/ Little Brown Mushroom

10×10 American Online Specialists / English Language
Adam Bell / Photographer and writer
Tom Claxton / Claxton Projects
Jörg Colberg / Conscientious
Matt Johnson / The Photobook Club
Melanie McWorter / photo-eye Bookstore
Eric Miles / photo-eye Auctions
James Pomerantz / The New Yorker
Heidi Sanders / 6 Decades Books
Douglas Stockdale / The Photobook
Philip Tomaru / Arts & Sciences Projects

10x10 American Photobooks. Selections by Eric Miles from photo-eye on Vimeo.

10×10 American Online Specialists / Japanese Language
Kazuhiro Yamaji / Flying Books
Takayuki Kobayashi / flotsam Books
Yumi Goto / Reminders Project
Taka Kawachi / amana photo collection
Standard Bookstore in Osaka
Ihiro Hayami + Atsushi Hamanaka / PHaT PHOTO & twelvebooks
Sawako Fukai / Artbeat Publishers
Mika Kobayashi / The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Akira Higashikata / Nitesha
Yoshikatsu Fujii / Photobook Club Tokyo

10×10 American Publication Writers
Bryan Formhals / LVP Magazine
William E. Jones / Artist, Filmmaker and Writer
Evan Mirapaul / Photobook Collector and Blogger
Andrew Roth / PPP Editions + Roth Gallery
Michael Saur / Writer
Ken Schles / Photographer and Writer
David Levi Strauss / Writer + Chairman, MFA Art Criticism & Writing, School of Visual Arts
Miwa Susuda / Dashwood Books + Session Press
Tony White / Decker Library at the Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art
Bernard Yenelouis / Photographer and Writer

10×10 American Photobooks Team

Matthew Carson / ICP Associate Librarian & Archivist
Russet Lederman / ICP Library Blogger and School of Visual Arts Graduate Faculty
Olga Yatskevich / Founder of the Photobook Facebook Group and phot(o)lia blog
Ihiro Hayami / Director of the Tokyo Institute of Photography
Victor Sira and Shiori Kawasaki / Founders of bookdummypress
Mathieu Asselin / Videographer and imaging specialist
Jeff Gutterman and Tina Nacrelli / Copy editor and installation Specialists
Rie Imanaka / Researcher and Project Coordinator, Tokyo Institute of Photography