zaterdag 28 augustus 2010

Changing ideals of Beauty and moral Perceptions Nude Visions: 150 Years of Nude Photography

The representation of the unclothed human body has exuded a great fascination ever since time began. The exhibition Nude Visions invites visitors to embark on a journey through a collection of depictions of the human body spanning 150 years. More than 250 original photos, books and folders with studies from the nude will be on view, including masterpieces from each period: from photographs dating from the 19th century which seek their models in Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance, up to Surrealistic experiments and fashion and lifestyle photography. The exhibition illustrates changing ideals of beauty and moral perceptions, and reveals once again the constant attempt to balance between educational openness, titillation and curiosity. 

“Without any doubt, there is nothing which draws the attention of the observer to it so much as the naked human body“. This comment of the journalist and photographer Kurt Freytag in1909 is as true today as it was then. The exhibition turns this fact to its advantage and deals with the historical, aesthetic and ideological development of images of the human body in photography. The show is divided into seven chapters devoted to the meaning and function of the unclothed human body in photography, and tracing the history of the medium: “Academies and Exotic Pictures in the 19th century“, “Art photography around 1900 (Pictorialism)“, “Avant-gardes of the 20s and 30s“, “Artistic positions after 1945“, “Naturism”, “The Male Nude“ and “Glamourous Nudes“. The first coloured Daguerreotypes of curvaceous ladies with blushing cheeks dating from 1855 meet the unflatteringly in-your-face and voyeuristic self-portrait of the photographer Frank Stürmer from 2004. These two photos mark the two ends of the spectrum covered by the exhibition, which illustrates the evolution of nude photography over sixteen decades by the example of more than 250 eminent works. 

Nude photography is always, too, a process of negotiation between revealing and concealing. This exhibition makes clear the ambivalence of what is visible and what is unseen, of shame and curiosity, of legitimation and provocativeness. How nakedness is treated is closely bound up with the specific social context in which it occurs, the ideas of morality and the aesthetic ideal of an era. The motif of the nude is always influenced here both by the historical artistic tradition and reactions to contemporary impulses, which are interpreted by the photographer. Thus the movement for women’s emancipation, for instance, led to new ways of looking at both the female and the male body, as seen for example in the work of Herlinde Koelbl. Images which were still regarded as being scandalous at the beginning of the 20th century, triggering moral misgivings and controversy about a subject perceived as being delicate, would hardly bring a blush to the face of anyone living today. It is not only the motifs which have moved on, but also the reproducibility of the images and the extent of their media coverage impact on the awareness and significance of nakedness in society. 

The origins of the history of nude photography lie in the so-called “academies“, which provided painters, graphic artists and sculptors with study objects in the 19th century and which followed the historical artistic models of Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance. Nude photography soon increasingly became emancipated from being a mere model for painting and sculpture, and developed artistic ambitions of its own: photographers discovered in the art of the fin de siècle, with its debt to Symbolism, the nude as a reflection of emotional states and yearnings. In the outgoing 19th century, with its bias towards the exact sciences, the human body served as an object for the study of movement, such as in the celebrated series shots by Eadweard Muybridge showing the sequence of motions in human movement. 

Whereas historically staged scenes and compositions are still created in the sheltered environment of the atelier at the beginnings of photography, we find the first open-air nudes after 1870. Wilhelm von Gloeden, Guglielmo Plüschow and others took advantage of the light in the Mediterranean South to stage their visions of an earthly Arcadia. As a feature of the Lebensreform back-to-nature movement which gained ground from the turn of the century onwards, especially in Germany, nude photography became a torchbearer of the Naturist movement. The ornamentally arranged groupings of naked dancers which Gerhard Riebicke for example photographs, mainly in the German countryside, became a symbol for the liberation from the moral constraints of civilization and industrialization. The aesthetic of athletic bodies engaged in sporting activities or dancers in motion was taken up in the heroic physical ideal of the National Socialists and can later still be found in the cult of bodybuilding. 

A new, more radical vision was developed by the Avant-garde movements after the 1920s, with their abstract and surrealistic experiments, such as the stories narrated in a play of light and shadow by František Drtikol or the deformed bodies in the works of Hans List. The theme of “glamour“ plays a crucial role above all in fashion photography. That chapter poses the question as to what role is played in the debate on fashion by the way of showing the unclothed female body, by male desire and how perceptions change in the course of cultural history. Glamour can be seen in the erotic images from the Atelier Manassé, shown in soft focus, in Bert Stern’s portraits from the “last sitting” of Marilyn Monroe, up to and including Helmut Newton’s photos. In addition to these, selected works by amateurs as well as the male nude as an expression of gay emancipation will also be presented in pictures, particularly by Will McBride or Herbert Roettgen, who placed the representation of the naked male body in the focus of their work as an expression of their homosexuality, an emblem of their coming-out. 

The depiction of the naked torso is shrouded in an aura of scandal and has always been a political bone of contention, whereby images of the bare human body send signals which differ according to their historical context: the photographic artists of the 1970s, working within the framework of body art and performance events, declared the directness of their own physical experience to be a political necessity. In retrospect, their work can be seen as a last desperate attempt to grapple with the vanishing concept of the subjective personality before the transition to the post-modern age. The private spaces of life too are meanwhile also illuminated in a quite different way than 25 years ago. The photographer Thomas Ruff deals in his works, which he imbues with a diffuse haziness by digital means, with the theme of the exhibitionism which can go as far as pornographic exposure of one’s own and others’ nakedness in internet forums. Nude Visions shows that the representation of the naked human body always also has something to do with the quest for insight into what human beings (and one’s own self) really are and what role they play in society. Theodor Her, Roberto Rive, Wilhelm von Gloeden, Guglielmo Plüschow, Vincenzo Galdi, Lehnert & Landrock, Frank Eugene, Alfred Stieglitz, Clearence White, Fritz Witzel, Thomas Ruff (about photography), Guy Bourdin, Cheyco Leidmann, André Gelpke, Herbert List, George Hoyningen-Huene, Horst P. Horst, Will McBride, Herbert Roettgen en Norbert Przybilla  See also Dutch Books of Nudes Alessandro Bertolotti Sanne Sannes Anthon Beeke Ed van der Elsken Ginger Gordon Diana Blok Graphic Design Typography Photography ...

vrijdag 27 augustus 2010

Land – Country Life in the Urban Age & Warzone Noorderlicht Photofestival 2010 Photography

Evzen Sobek

Impression / Photofestival 2010

The Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2010 will open on Sunday, 5 September, in the Fries Museum. In Land - Country Life in the Urban Age, Noorderlicht looks at the consequences that urbanisation has for the countryside. Simultaneously, Warzone, an exhibition examining the experience of war on the part of soldiers dispatched to conflict areas, is to be seen in the Blokhuispoort. 

Land – Country Life in the Urban Age

Since the beginning of the 21st century, more than half of the world's population live in cities. What are the consequences of this shift for the countryside? Is it possible, against all economic logic, to accord new value to rural life? 3 photographers of the Agency VU ' are present on this event : Brigitte Grignet with "Chiloé - La Cruz del Sur", Ian Teh with "Traces" and Munem Wasif with "Munem Wasif (Bangladesh) – Blood Splinter of jute / Stone workers of Jaflong".


On the basis of work by top photographers including Ad van Denderen, Martin Specht, Paul Seawright, Peter van Agtmael and Antonin Kratochvil,Warzone pauses to examine the experience of soldiers who have been dispatched to conflict areas in recent history. 
Philippe Lopparelli

Nadav Kander

Katharina Hesse

Jackie Nickerson

Eva Gjaltema

George Awde

Laura El-Tantawy

woensdag 25 augustus 2010

At Work & Play Lee Friedlander Hans van der Meer Documentary Photography

Work -- we spend the better part of our lives on the job in a factory, an office or somewhere else in the assembly line of service and commerce.

Over a period of 16 years, Friedlander captured American workers in locations as diverse as factories, offices, telemarketing centers and corporate offices. The images show the relationships between objects, people and places and reflect the mundane bits and pieces of our lives new, surprising and sometimes humorous ways.

Friedlander's photographs also reveal the secret of work, which is that work shapes who we become. Through the visual net of his lens, we witness changes in workers, in work and the evolution of the American workplace. Though Friedlander is known for his jazz musicians, urban landscapes and stone memorials -- the people and things that make up the American social landscape - -workers became an ongoing subject.

The six projects include Factory Valleys (1979-1980), manual labor in cities in Ohio and Pennsylvania; Gund (1995), blue collar steel workers in Cleveland, Ohio; Cray (1986) workers at first super computer in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; MIT (1985-1986) computer workers on Route 128 in Boston; Dreyfus (1992), trading floor and offices in New York City; and Telemarketing (1995) in Omaha, Nebraska.

Lee Friedlander has had a distinguished career and is recognized as one of the most important photographers of everyday life in America. Among his many awards are a MacArthur Foundation Award, grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and three Guggenheim Fellowships. He has previously published dozens of books, among them the seminal Self Portrait and The American Monument, and more recently, American Musicians, Letters from the People, Little Screens, The Desert Seen and Kitaj.

See for Hans van der Meer Work & Play a Retrospective Photography ...

dinsdag 24 augustus 2010

Over Here Photie Man Street Photography Tom Wood New Brighton

Photie Man. 
Photographs by Tom Wood. Edited by Manfred Heiting. 
Steidl, Gottingen, 2005. 224 pp., 106 color illustrations and 680 duotones, 8½x11". See for a review ... & we-english ...

For 25 years Tom Wood lived in New Brighton, just across the river Mersey from Liverpool. He became known locally as 'photieman' because everyday he was out on the streets with his camera. Most of the pictures collected in this book were taken within a 5-minute walk from Wood’s home. The work focuses on the inhabitants of the town and its regular visitors, from Liverpool daytrippers to clubbers who attended the Chelsea Reach nightspot. Roberta Smith from the New York Times writes that 'Each of his images seems to diagram a specific emotional exchange (and) are surprisingly individual in their composition and nuance. Neither ironic nor intrusive, they provide a poignant sense of the carefully disguised insecurity and age old rituals of youth.' Wood presents over 170 dazzling color and tritone photographs of cocky youths, friends, lovers, fathers, mothers, and babies that provide insight into the area, its inhabitants, and the rites of passage inherent in growing up. 

More about Street Photography Lessons to learn Street Photography Joel Meyerowitz ...

Tom Wood - Photie Man from Matej Sitar on Vimeo.

maandag 23 augustus 2010

Faces of Love Sanne Sannes Photography

by N ...
I've been looking at The Face of Love by Dutch photographer/late 60s cult-figure Sanne Sannes.

Sannes described his approach like this: "There are many men who'll never see a woman in ecstasy. They change from one thing to something else completely different. Human emotions are my subject matter. I photograph people. They're what interest me, obsess me. I want to know what pushes them to do what they do. I don't look for them in the street; I don't do random photography. I direct them and record the moment they open up and become naked. I chose the most emotionally charged moments, the point of no return. I'm fanatically zealous!"

Photographer Anna Beeke posed for Sannes and describes him as a "voyeur and provocateur, adding that he was like a boy who'd got old too soon and was never free of the obsessions that preoccupied him"

Indeed, for many older men, there's a fine line between being sensual and becoming a pervert. Photographers, I believe, most often make this transgression. (And, may I add, it's not just with women.)

If those quotes don't make you want to read the book, you might want to get your hormone levels checked. Sannes' innovative techniques make for some really amazing images. 

Read more about it in Paradis Magazine Issue #3 (page 277) & See for Dutch Books of Nudes Alessandro Bertolotti Sanne Sannes Anthon Beeke Ed van der Elsken Ginger Gordon Diana Blok Graphic Design Typography Photography ...

Sanne Sannes Diary of a Erotomaniac Photography | Promote Your Page Too

zondag 22 augustus 2010

Promised Land Groningen Anders Petersen Photography

Starting in 2001, Noorderlicht has asked five internationally acclaimed photographers to sketch an image of the city of Groningen. The project was finished in the Fall of 2004.The assignments all had the same theme: the 'undercurrent' of the city. Anders Petersen, Antoine d'Agata, Ken Schles, John Davies en Adrienne van Eekelen were asked to look for those facets of the city that form the character of Groningen but are at the same time so common that even the inhabitants hardly notice them. In other words, we asked them to be strangers in a city we think we know.

The photographers form a select group. Originating from The Netherlands, France, United States, Sweden and Great Britain, they have received numerous awards for their methods and accomplishments. Noorderlicht offered them free reign in choosing their subjects and locations.
The result: Promised Land. A book and an exhibition about Groningen and its people. But not like any tourist brochure. A book about the streets and the light, the travellers and the distance, the walls and the people, the views and the darkness, the little secrets and the big mysteries, the life on stage and in the wings.
The book Promised Land contains an introduction by Jacques Wallage, Mayor of Groningen as well as contributions by local writers Tommy Wieringa, Gerrit Krol, Peter Middendorp, Ruben Van Gogh and city poet Bart FM Droog.With further essays by the photographers themselves and by Frits Gierstberg (Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam, on the work of Adrienne van Eekelen) and architect Jurjen van der Meer (Groningen, on the images of John Davies)