donderdag 28 juni 2012

Rineke Dijkstra in New York Photography

The color portraits of the Dutch photographer combine the formal rigor of August Sander, the psychological depth of Diane Arbus, and the scale and crystalline detail of Netherlandish paintings. The Guggenheim surveys her career, from the pictures of swimsuit-clad teenagers that first earned her acclaim in the early nineties to recent videos of club-going youths and of schoolchildren in thrall to Picasso. June 29 to Oct. 3.

Rineke Dijkstra, Vondelpark, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 10, 2005, 2005; chromogenic print; 59 5/8 in. x 70 1/16 in.; Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York & Paris; © Rineke Dijkstra

June 29, 2012 – October 3, 2012

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents the exhibition Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective, the artist’s first midcareer retrospective in the United States. The exhibition is co-organized by SFMOMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. This is the most comprehensive museum exhibition to date of the artist’s oeuvre, and the first major Rineke Dijkstra exhibition organized by an American museum. The exhibition features nearly 70 color photographs and five video installations, including two new video projections.

Dijkstra has revived and reexamined portraiture in contemporary art for the past 20 years. Her portraits are extraordinary for their complexity and presence. The children and adolescents she takes as subjects possess a remarkable formal classicism and psychological depth. Her method is both simple and classic: she either discovers her subjects in places they frequent—the beach or the park, for example—or she conceives of a type of person she would like to photograph, such as mothers who have just given birth or matadors just returned from the bullring, and goes about finding them. She employs the most direct and traditional of instruments, a 4 x 5 view camera set on a tripod and occasionally a strobe light to provide additional illumination.

Rineke Dijkstra, Amy, The Krazyhouse, Liverpool, England, December 23, 2008, 2008; inkjet print; 48 7/8 in. x 40 1/4 in. ; Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York & Paris; © Rineke Dijkstra

Dijkstra’s interest is in the ephemeral and the essentially unknowable. Most often, she photographs people in transition, during formative periods in their lives when change is perceivable. Her earliest sustained body of work, Beach Portraits, posed adolescents on the beaches where she found them, centered in front of an almost abstracted space of sea and sky. This intense scrutiny permitted her not only to record the outward appearance of these young people—the kinds of clothes they wear, the way they present themselves to the photographer—but also to suggest their internal selves.

The enigma and fantasy she found in the adolescents led her to examine ideas of emergence and change, sometimes the result of physical exertion (after giving birth or bullfighting, for example) or charted over time, often following the same person for a period of months or years. She realized that new mothers were experiencing change that could be seen and recorded, resulting in her study of these women immediately after giving birth (a day, a week, or hours later). Several projects are studies of the transitions apparent in young people: for instance, her pictures of teenagers entering the Israeli army or her extended portraits of Olivier, a fresh recruit to the French Foreign Legion whom she followed from France to Africa over a period of four years. Perhaps her most concentrated study is the series she made of Almerisa, a child refugee from Bosnia, who transform from looking small and very foreign in the first picture into a self-possessed young Dutch woman.

Rineke Dijkstra, Sefton Park, Liverpool, England, June 10, 2006, 2006; chromogenic print; 53 15/16 in. x 64 9/16 in.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase through a gift of Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein and the Accessions Committee Fund; © Rineke Dijkstra

In the past 10 years, Dijkstra has augmented her studies with video, as in The Buzz Club (1996–97), a moving portrait of kids dancing in a neighborhood nightclub in Liverpool; invited by Dijkstra into an adjacent room to be filmed, they enter a private world of self-absorption. Dijsktra notes, “In the process of photographing, it becomes clear to me what I am looking for. Usually it is closely related to my own experience. In the disco girls I recognize my own desire for rapture.” I See A Woman Crying (Weeping Woman) (2009) shows the artist’s sympathy and understanding of children—her great respect for their intelligence, sensitivity, and imaginative understanding of the world. The video focuses on a group of schoolchildren and a painting at the Tate Gallery in Liverpool, England, Picasso’s Weeping Woman (1937). Dijkstra’s video shows the depth of her understanding of the emotional and imaginative complexity of this painting.

Rineke Dijkstra, Olivier, The French Foreign Legion, Camp Général de Gaulle, Libreville, Gabon, June 2, 2002, 2002; chromogenic print; 49 5/8 in. x 42 1/8 in. ; Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York & Paris; © Rineke Dijkstra

Her pictures are made with a conscious combination of great empathy and respectful distance, qualities she has found in the work of her important predecessors and influences, the photographers Diane Arbus and August Sander. Her work also directly relates to the projects of conceptual artists who work with series. Furthermore, both the scale of her work and its ambition recall the earlier tradition of Dutch painting: the dignity accorded the individual, the inquiry into many and different personalities, and the inherently democratic implications evident in the portrait painting of Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and the Dutch tradition in general has played an acknowledged role in her work.

A Conversation with Rineke Dijkstra

Interviewer: Jennifer Blessing, curator, photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Leading museums across the country are celebrating contemporary women photographers in a number of solo exhibitions this year. Among the most widely-anticipated shows is a retrospective of the work of Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra. This interview with the internationally-recognized photographer offers a rare opportunity to hear her inspirations and thoughts before her exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in June 2012.

donderdag 21 juni 2012

Anthropology of the PhotoAlbum Album Beauty Erik Kessels Collector Photography

Album Beauty - Erik Kessels 29 June - 14 October 2012
Album Beauty is an ode to the vanishing era of the photo album as told through the collection of Erik Kessels (1966, The Netherlands). Once commonplace in every home, the photo album has been replaced by the digital age where images live online and on hard drives. Photo albums were once a repository for family history, often representing a manufactured family as edited for display. They speak of birth, death, beauty, sexuality, pride, happiness, youth, competition, exploration, complicity and friendship.  Album Beauty is an exhibition about the visual anthropology of the photo album.
Walking through the exhibition will be like leafing through a photo album.  Erik Kessels is known for his unorthodox manner of installation and Album Beauty is no exception.  On display will be hundreds of photo albums, all telling different but familiar stories. Some albums will be exaggerated in size and exhibited as wallpaper while others will be displayed in their original format.  There will be interactive albums to flip through and life size cut outs for the viewer to walk around.  Album Beauty features the endless formats of analogue photography many of which are no longer manufactured as well.
Erick Kessels is a collector of vernacular photography and has spent many a Saturday at outdoor markets and junk stores collecting these amateur narratives. He is often drawn to their imperfections.  These flawed executions and/or scared appearances of old age tell another part of their story.  According to Kessels: "A long and dedicated search through photo albums will occasionally reveal something less than perfection, something other than an entry in the competition to appear normal. And in these cracks, beauty may be found."
Kessels has published several books on vernacular photography. He is also an editor of the alternative photography magazine Useful Photography in which various forms of applied photography are presented. This includes images posted on eBay, pictures of missing persons, photos used in advertising, and failed amateur snaps. He has curated exhibitions such as Foam's inaugural exhibition Dutch Delight in 2001, and co-curated the New York Photo Festival in 2010, and From Here on at Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles in 2011. Kessels is co-founder and creative director of KesselsKramer, an independent international communications agency located in Amsterdam and London.



Frits Abrahams
Column Column | Dinsdag 21-08-2012 | Sectie: Achterpagina | Pagina: NH_NL01_024 | Frits Abrahams
De vraag begint alweer prangend te worden: wat doen we met onze vakantiefoto's? Het hele zootje digitaal opslaan of toch maar een selectie afdrukken en keurig verzamelen in zo'n lijvig fotoalbum?
Voor veel mensen, vooral jongeren, is dat al geen dilemma meer, zij kiezen voor digitaal, maar de ouderen ervaren dit soms nog als een te ingrijpende breuk met het verleden. Zij hebben hun hele picturale hebben en houden opgeslagen in dikke ringbanden.
Op de tentoonstelling Album Beauty van Erik Kessels in het Amsterdamse Foam kunnen we zien waar dat toe kan leiden: een kerkhof van afgedankte albums, ideaal materiaal voor een verzamelaar als Kessels. Vooral die berg opeengestapelde albums, halverwege de tentoonstelling, maakte veel indruk op me. Het lijkt het failliet van een illusie, een afrekening met onze bewaarzucht. Maar is dat zo?
Waarom zijn deze albums op de rommelmarkten terechtgekomen waar Kessels ze oppikte? De albums blijken soms niet ouder dan twintig, dertig jaar. De schrijver Gustaaf Peek constateert in de Volkskrant dat de tentoonstelling het impliciete verzet toont dat mensen plegen tegen het confronterende verleden door hun oude foto's weg te doen. Hij geeft geen voorbeelden, maar ik vermoed dat hij vooral doelt op relatieproblemen en fysiek verval. Dat is geweest, of daar is toch niks meer aan te doen - weg ermee.
Peek heeft gelijk, dat zal zeker in een aantal gevallen een motief zijn. Maar zijn ze representatief? Ik vermoed dat de dood de hoofdschuldige is van die reusachtige berg fotoalbums. Want de nabestaanden, die zitten er maar mee.
Ik heb navraag gedaan bij mijn vrouw, berucht fotocollectioneur. Zij begint binnenkort haar 27ste familiealbum samen te stellen. Ze fotografeert digitaal, maar bewaart analoog. Haar kinderen zullen er ooit met een wanhopig makende mengeling van weemoed en ontsteltenis naar kijken. Waar moeten ze het allemaal laten? Ik vermoed dat de weemoed nog de doorslag zal geven, maar ook bij h�n kinderen? Daar mag je niet op rekenen.
Toch wil ik een pleidooi houden voor het vermaledijde fotoalbum. Net als Kessels en Peek, die erop wijzen dat de digitale opslag ook zijn schaduwzijde heeft. De sites waarop ze zijn ondergebracht verdwijnen, zegt Kessels, of de computer gaat naar de filistijnen of een harde schijf wordt een overbodig iets.
Precies. Dan zijn we weer af bij heel vroeger, toen er in gewone gezinnen bijna geen foto's werden genomen. Uit mijn jeugd resteert maar een handvol foto's, terwijl van mijn kleinkinderen - ik klaag niet, ik stel vast - �lles wordt vastgelegd, van het eerste lachje tot de laatste braakneiging. Dat gebrek aan fotomateriaal over haar verleden was voor mijn vrouw zelfs reden om aan die verbluffende verzameling te beginnen.
En met succes. Ik hoef maar een van die eerste albums door te bladeren om de onvervangbaarheid ervan te begrijpen. We schrijven 1962, een groep enthousiaste Brabantse jongens en meisjes van tegen de twintig gaat op georganiseerde reis naar Oostenrijk; de meesten zijn voor het eerst in het buitenland. Het is niet zomaar een album, het is een in zwart-wit gevat tijdsbeeld. Brave jongeren nog, geen drank of disco te bekennen, ze liepen van berghut naar berghut en dichtten aan het einde van de dag: Moe, maar voldaan, kropen we in bed/ Wat zou ons morgen worden voorgezet?
Gelukkig zijn ze niet allemaal zo braaf gebleven.
Waar moeten onze kinderen het allemaal laten?
Op dit artikel rust auteursrecht van NRC Handelsblad BV, respectievelijk van de oorspronkelijke auteur.

See also

Martin Parr: how to take better holiday photographs Photography ...

woensdag 20 juni 2012

Hyde Koos Breukel Mirelle Thijsen's Choice of Photobooks on Care environments and Matters of Life and Death Photography


/ Koos Breukel

The series of portraits of Michael Matthews might almost be described as a manifesto, so strong are the lines of force prefiguring Koos Breukel’s later work.
He originally responded to a request from Matthews, an 
HIV-positive poet and performer who saw these 
photographic sessions as his ‘last performance’ before his 
death. These are sombre images of dry, dark, cracked skin, 
of the pure lines of a delicate bone structure, capturing the 
light falling on the ultimate beauty of a changing human body 
from which Koos was to make an artwork in its own right
 – with the little book composed by Willem van Zoetendaal forming its delicate yet powerful punctuation. (text Elisabeth Nora)
  • YEAR1996
  • SIZE18x15
  • COLOURDuotone + Gold and Silver ink
  • BINDINGHardbound
  • PAGES36
  • TEXTMichael Matthews (1958-1996)
  • CONCEPTWillem van Zoetendaal
  • DESIGNWillem van Zoetendaal
  • ISBN90-75574-03-7

Photobooks on care environments and matters of life and death in post-war Holland: THEN and NOW

This exhibition focuses on the meaning and significance of photobooks concerning health care environments. Heart-rending, intimate stories on matters of life, sickness, death and personal loss, are observed and experienced by consecutive generations of photographers working in the documentary tradition. Martien Coppens (1908-1986), Koos Breukel(1962), Carel van Hees (1954), Rince de Jong (1970), Roy Villevoye (1960), and Albert van Westing (1960) unveil various aspects of the everyday lives of their friends and family, as well as people in their professional environment who suffer from a severe illness or find themselves facing grim adversity. The photographers record how these people, some of whom are very dear to them, try to deal with their illness or misfortune with a need to hold on to memories of a happier past, and to understand their slow deterioration and the bewilderment that comes with it. There is often a great sense of urgency: the clock is ticking.

The world of the loved one, the patient, is turned upside down. Suddenly, life is built around medical care and attempts to find a new sense of meaning and purpose. A new dimension is added to the concept of ‘home’: ‘home’ is no longer a safe and protected place, and consequently the patient no longer experiences it as such. ‘Home’ turns into a health care environment. Simultaneously, a different kind of reality suddenly becomes of vital importance close to home: the care facility. That turns into a new ‘home’ of sorts, in the shape of a transitory location of controlled care and attention. The hospital, the nursing home, the mental institution; they are like hotels – a temporary accommodation, often born out of necessity, sometimes unwanted; a place to meet fellow sufferers. The photographer infringes upon that environment; he/she considers the ‘home away from home’ his/her work environment.

The core of the exhibition is shaped by photobooks published by and on the Dutch public health care. In addition, photobooks on consumer driven health care and loss within one’s domestic circle and circle of friends are put on view, self-published by modern day photographers. Those publications are considered to be an extension of the genre. Within the genre, photobooks since post-war reconstruction constitute a category of their own.

After World War II photographers recorded their fascination of the harsh reality of human suffering in a number of photobooks. Each of the 25 photobooks selected for this exhibition represents a photographer’s strategy regarding the documentation of medical and personal care in public and private space, then and now. Not only do they show the progression of personal tragedy; they also display the development of care environments in The Netherlands, and the birth of a genre in documentary photography. In this exhibition you will find visual narratives on academic hospitals by the first generation of photographers to work in a tradition of humanist photography and who were members of the Dutch photographer’s guild (GKf). Among them are Eva Besnyö (1910-2003) and Ad Windig (1912-1996). Photobooks that were published after the Second World War are composed around the verb ‘to live’. Moralistic and patronizing in tone they speak of nursing and nurturing in a confined workplace; mental bewilderment and daily care; a ‘day in the life’ of a patient in a care environment that tries to mimic a home life. These publications subsequently make way for self-published and digitally produced book projects. The personal involvement reflected in those projects is domestic and local in nature, focused on the photographer’s own environment and family. Books on display by contemporary author-photographers like Linda-Maria Birbeck (1974), Annelies Goedhart (1979) and Jaap Scheeren (1979) reveal that approach.

Photobooks are selected that were groundbreaking in their day and in the way they depict the socially, often highly sensitive, themes of health care in text and images. Further, the books stand out for their technical execution, layout and way of photographic storytelling. In sum, this exhibition is about commissioners, photographers, graphic designers and graphic industry that have played an important role in the history of photography and graphic design. 

Signing photobooks Koos Breukel Tweede Schinkelstreet Amsterdam from duringworkinghours on Vimeo.

Koos Breukel (The Hague, 1962) studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague from 1982 to1986, after which he began working as a freelance photographer based in Amsterdam. He specialized in portrait photography and his work was soon being published in magazines and newspapers in the Netherlands. He had his first solo exhibition at the Noorderlicht Festival in Groningen in 1991. In 1994 he published his first monograph, The Wretched Skin. The book Hyde , with photographs of his good friend Michael Matthews who was terminally ill, was published in 1997, to be followed in 2001 by Photo Studio, and Cosmetic View in 2006, all published by Basalt/Van Zoetendaal Collections. For his exhibition Among Photographers at the Museum of Photography in The Hague in 2007, Breukel combined portraits of 58 photographers with one or more photos from the oeuvre of each of them. Koos Breukel has held solo exhibitions at the Nederlands Foto Instituut in Rotterdam, Museum De Hallen in Haarlem, the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, Pori Art Museum in Finland and Bergen Kunstmuseum in Norway, plus other venues. He has participated in many group shows in institutions worldwide, including Ropongi Louis Vuitton, Tokyo; Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul; Institut Néerlandais, Paris and Maison Européene de la Photographie, Paris. Koos Breukel is represented by Van Zoetendaal Collections in Amsterdam.

donderdag 14 juni 2012

Destroyed Wealth Here lives my home Eddo Hartmann Photography

Hier woont mijn huis /Here lives my home

ISBN: 978 94 014 02248
Formaat: 24 x 30 cm 74 pag.
Uitvoering: full color druk met hardcover linnen omslag
Vormgeving: Sonja van Hamel 
Uitgeverij Lannoo:

A gripping visual testimony
On 15 March 2008, the photographer Eddo Hartmann went through something that, for other people, will only remain a thought-experiment. After twenty-one years, he stepped inside the rooms of his childhood once again and saw that, as he did so, everything and nothing had changed. Everything – because a thick layer of papers, folders, letters and books covered the floors, tables, sofas and chairs. Nothing – because under that layer everything was still intact, everything was standing or lying exactly as it did when his brother, his mother and he had left the place in haste on 17 October 1987.

What effect does the confrontation with the rooms, objects and interiors of your childhood have on your memories? And what if those memories are of traumatic events? Hartmann confronts the house and registers in this impressive work in minute detail what he discovers in each room.

Eddo Hartmann (b. 1973) was educated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. Apart from his personal oeuvre he also works as a freelance photographer for advertising agencies and design studios in the Netherlands and abroad. His work can be found in various Dutch photo collections and has received several awards. Early 2012 he was nominated for the prestigious Swiss ‘Prix Prictet’.