maandag 31 juli 2017

Inside The Savoy Martin Parr Photography

A couture high tea, dinner dances and a menu for dogs: Martin Par takes a peek inside one of London’s most iconic hotels

“This place is a regular whispering-gallery,” wrote novelist Arnold Bennett in his 1930 book Imperial Palace, which was based on The Savoy Hotel in London. The story winds through a roll-call of wild characters in the bustling and luxurious hotel, full of whispers and goings on. Ever the curious observer of British culture and class, Magnum’s Martin Parr captured an average day at The Savoy, from the chamber maids, surely the keepers of many secrets, to the customers of the exclusive venue viewing the designs of couturier Suzie Turner, who holds a monthly high tea and fashion show for her glamorous clients.

Guests are treated to the famous cakes and high teas, and even canine companions are not left out – a dog menu serves up treats such as the ‘pupuccino’. And should a guest want to leave their opulent surroundings and head out into London, Tony, the head doorman has finessed a whistle for when he needs to alert a cab for a guest, calling over one of the waiting taxies, which are always queuing up outside.

vrijdag 28 juli 2017

Views & Reviews My Work Comes out of my Life Speed of Life Peter Hujar Photography

American photographer Peter Hujar (1934-1987) started his career in the 1950s as an assistant to commercial photographers, but became a part of the group of underground artists, poets and musicians who formed the downtown New York art scene of the 1970s and 80s. His portraits of the often outrageous characters who formed the Manhattan art and entertainment scene at that period, as well as his animal and landscape photographs, are meticulously shot and soberly composed. Peter Hujar – Speed of Life, a major retrospective presented by the Hague Museum of Photography in cooperation with the Morgan Library & Museum in New York and Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid, includes over a hundred vintage photographs made by Peter Hujar in the period between the mid-1950s and his premature death in 1987.

Nan Goldin said she believes that Peter Hujar deserves to be as famous as Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989), a younger photographer whose photos share similarities with Hujar’s work. However, Mapplethorpe fixated upon outward beauty, celebrity, sensation, shock, and self-promotion, while Hujar focused on character, experience, and the mental life of his subjects, who he encountered in intimate settings. Mapplethorpe’s commercial instincts were much stronger than Hujar’s. Many witnesses describe Hujar as a difficult man and well-known photography critic Vince Aletti – one of his best friends – reports that “he could never sell himself”. But despite his horror of commerce and regular quarrels with major galleries, Hujar spent his life fighting for wider public recognition of his work.
Like artist Alice Neel (1900-1984), the subject of a recent large-scale retrospective at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Hujar was among the people who hung out at Andy Warhol’s Factory. It was there that he met flamboyant figures and transgender individuals like Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling – stars of Lou Reed’s song Walk on the Wild Side. Hujar himself also displayed the courage it took to be openly gay at that time – one of his most important love affairs was with American artist Paul Thek (1933-1988).
Hujar always established a relationship with the subjects of his portraits. He believed it to be a portraitist’s task to elicit the sitter’s singularity. Thus the subjects of his photos always are extraordinary and eye-catching characters, like himself. “My work comes out of my life. The people I photograph are not freaks or curiosities to me. I like people who dare. (…) I photograph those who push themselves to any extreme. That´s what interests me, and people who cling to the freedom to be themselves.” Apart from making portraits of the people around him, Hujar also made photographs of animals and landscapes. These too he approached as a portraitist. A Hujar photograph of a dog is never just any dog; it is a portrait of a genuine individual.
In the 1970s, Hujar acquired a measure of public recognition with his only book, Portraits in Life and Death (1976), for which Susan Sontag wrote the introduction. In Hujar’s work, death is a constantly recurring theme. One of his most celebrated photographs is that of Candy Darling calmly posing for him on her deathbed. His focus on mortality intensified in the 1980s as the AIDS epidemic tore through the New York gay scene. Peter Hujar was only 53 years old when he himself died of the disease on Thanksgiving Day 1987.
After leaving The Hague, Peter Hujar – Speed of Life will go on show at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York (from January to late May 2018). The exhibition is accompanied by an English-language catalogue containing texts by Joel Smith, Philip Gefter, Steve Turtell and Martha Scott Burton (Aperture, €50).
Peter Hujar – Speed of Life is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid in cooperation with the Hague Museum of Photography. It has been made possible by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Aperture presents “Speed of Life,” the first major survey of Peter Hujar, a seminal figure on the downtown New York scene during the 1970s and 1980s.

Miss Rosen Apr 10th, 2017

Photo: (l.): Peter Hujar, Self-Portrait Jumping (1), 1974; from Peter Hujar: Speed of Life (Aperture, 2017.  (r): Peter Hujar, New York: Sixth Avenue (1), 1976. Both photos; The Morgan Library & Museum, The Peter Hujar Collection. Purchased on the Charina Endowment Fund,(l):  2013.108:1.37, (r); 2013.108:1.58.

The Man. The Myth. The Mystery. Photographer Peter Hujar (1934-1987) was a fixture in the downtown New York scene during the 1970s and ‘80s, creating a seminal body of work that was quietly captivating. He was a fixture in the East Village, where he lived and worked, when it was a magnet for bohemian artists, writers, performers, musicians, and iconoclasts. Back in the days, the neighborhood was rough and raw, in a perpetual state of poverty that bred the avant-garde.

Perhaps the most telling word in the neighborhood was the word “village”—it was truly a community of friends, families, comrades who were constantly in the mix. Much of New York had been abandoned throughout the decade, leaving the bold and the daring with the run of the place. There was overlap and interplay between the arts as personalities mingled freely in an ongoing dialogue of the times.

Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowcz Reclining (2), 1981; The Morgan Library & Museum, The Peter Hujar Collection. Purchased on the Charina Endowment Fund, 2013.108:1.28.

Hujar began his career in the 1950s as a commercial photographer but soon left the market behind, preferring to focus his energies on the creation of art. In an era when the cost of living was cheap, Hujar was able to set up a studio in his Twelfth Street loft and go from there. Best known for his portraits of some of the most iconic figures of the times, from Susan Sontag, William S. Burroughs, and Gary Indiana to Candy Darling, Rene Ricard, and David Wojnarowicz, Hujar also created nudes, landscapes, cityscapes, photographs of animals, and documentary scenes.

But Hujar was not one for self-promotion. It didn’t suit him at all. Where others like Warhol invented branding strategies way ahead of Madison Avenue, Hujar simply kept to himself, doing his work. “One thing I won’t answer is anything about why I do what I do,” Peter Hujar told David Wojnarowicz in 1983.

This aversion to explaining himself envelops Hujar and his work in an air of mystery, in simply a series of facts and artifacts through which we know his work and his name. Now Aperture introduces Peter Hujar: Speed of Life, the first major photographic survey of his famous and lesser-known photographs. With essays by Joel Smith, Steve Turtell, Philip Gefter, and Martha Scott, the book brings the life of Hujar together in between two covers.

Featuring 160 photographs from Hujar’s archive, the book presents a stunning collection of disparate works that, when taken together, tell a powerful history of a time, while invoking a curious sensibility of autobiography. Hujar’s gift for the classic formal techniques of photography is underscored by his taste for the unexpected, the unconventional, and the compelling beauty of that which is not always the traditional subject of art. There’s a quiet tension between the attractive and the grotesque, continually compelling us to look. A Hujar photograph is striking in more ways than one, perhaps above all for his ability to lay life bare without a sense of judgment. It simply is: alluring, disconcerting, or simply just uncomfortable, but he always seems to make you want more.

Before he decided to cease explaining himself, he took a stab at verbalizing his motivations in an untitled typed paragraph from 1976 in which he wrote, “PETER HUJAR makes uncomplicated, direct photographs of complicated and difficult subjects.” He further illuminated this in an entry for an unidentified directory of photographers in the late 1970s, revealing, “My work comes out of my life. The people I photograph are not freaks or curiosities. I like people who dare.”

And this is what comes across—a deep affinity and empathy for the subject, as though the two speak as one. Perhaps it is in the creation of the photograph that Hujar gives voice to that which words fail to convey, creating a timeless series of moments that equal parts ephemeral and eternal.

All photos: From Peter Hujar: Speed of Life (Aperture, 2017). © The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC. Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Miss Rosen is a journalist covering art, photography, culture, and books. Her byline has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Whitewall, The Undefeated, Dazed Digital, Jocks and Nerds, and L’Oeil de la Photographie. Follow her on Twitter @Miss_Rosen.

Tot in de dood zit briljante fotograaf Peter Hujar zichzelf dwars
Fotografie Fotograaf Peter Hujar was net als Robert Mapplethorpe een centrale figuur in de underground van New York in de jaren zeventig en tachtig. Hij zocht met iedereen ruzie.
Tracy Metz
30 juni 2017

Peter Hujar, Gary, 1979.
Peter Hujar, ‘Speed of Life’ T/m 15 okt. in Fotomuseum Den Haag, Inl.
Boek € 39,90.


Hij leed aan depressies en woede-aanvallen en maakte met iedereen ruzie, ook met de conservatoren en galeriehouders die hem in zijn carrière hadden kunnen helpen. Hij wilde nooit zijn werk uitleggen maar voelde zich miskend omdat hij, anders dan zijn tijd- en stadgenoot Robert Mapplethorpe, nooit bij het grote publiek doorbrak. Maar bij de undergroundscene in het New York van de jaren zeventig en tachtig werd fotograaf Peter Hujar wel een centrale figuur. Bij hem vielen tijdsbeeld en zelfbeeld naadloos samen.

Voor het eerst is er nu een groot retrospectief van zijn werk, een samenwerking van vier jaar van het Morgan Library & Museum in New York, de Fundación Mapfre in Madrid en het Fotomuseum Den Haag. Je zou kunnen zeggen dat Hujar nu eindelijk – hij stierf in 1987 op 53-jarige leeftijd aan aids – de erkenning krijgt die hij verdient.

Maar zelfs deze ambitieus opgezette tentoonstelling van bijna honderd vintage zwart-wit prints en het fraaie boek kunnen niet verhullen dat zijn oeuvre, net als zijn temperament, onevenwichtig was.

Dieren en landschappen

Zijn beelden van dieren en landschappen bereiken zelden de diepgang van zijn portretten. En zijn groepsportretten mogen als genre bijzonder zijn voor die tijd, ook die missen de zeggingskracht van zijn up close and personal-portretten. De portretten van zijn naasten, en ook zijn zelfportretten, behoren tot zijn beste werk. ‘Ethyl’ Eichelberger als Minnie the Maid in drag maar ook, ontwapenend, als man, zonder een spoortje makeup en met kort stekeltjeshaar. Een van de beroemdheden uit de New Yorkse scene die Hujar voor zijn lens kreeg was Susan Sontag, die hij achteroverliggend op bed fotografeerde. Van zijn geliefde David Wojnarowicz maakte hij een intens portret, liggend, met een sterk clair-obscureffect. Het had zomaar een Mapplethorpe kunnen zijn.

Soms kon Hujar zijn homoseksualiteit uitbundig vieren, zoals met de foto van een jongeman die met filosofische blik naar zijn eigen indrukwekkend stijf lid kijkt. Maar juist de noodzaak om in het verborgene te leven bracht hem ertoe de geportretteerde voor de foto op een of andere manier te versluieren. ‘Gary Indiana’ draagt op de foto een sjaal met glitters strak over zijn gezicht getrokken als een sluier getrokken. De schone jongeling Beauregard houdt een hondje vast en samen zijn ze in plastic verpakt.

Rand van de samenleving

Als homoseksueel in een tijd waarin die geaardheid niet werd geaccepteerd bewogen Hujar en de zijnen zich letterlijk langs de rand van de samenleving. Een paar jaar geleden toonde het Reina Sofia in Madrid een reusachtige tentoonstelling van foto’s van Peter Hujar van de bouwvallige kades en havengebouwen bij New York die zij als ontmoetingsplekken gebruikten. Ze tonen een ruige, gesloten, geheel eigen wereld, waarin je moest oppassen niet door de vloeren te zakken.

Geheel in Hujars geest, die een aversie had tegen het uitleggen van zijn werk, is er geen toelichting bij de foto’s behalve de thematische teksten waarmee het werk in hoofdstukken wordt verdeeld – maar voor de bezoeker is dat een groot gemis. Tot in de dood blijft deze bij vlagen briljante, eeuwige misfit zichzelf dwars zitten.

donderdag 27 juli 2017

the Importance of the Performative Process in Photography Nokturno Andrej Lamut


Andrej Lamut – Nokturno
ISBN 978-961-93414-5-2
Dimensions: 17 x 24 cm
Pages: 80 pages
Paper: Munken pure rough cream 150g
Binding: sewn hardcover with open spine
Design: Andrej Lamut & The Angry Bat
High quality offset duotone printing
First Edition of 300 books
Publication date: 2017

Nokturno is a concretization of the ambiguity of photography – photography that has renounced both a demand to be a truthful imitation of an objective external reality, as well as a demand for the projection of a creator’s inner experience on the object of representation. With this project, I would like to encourage the viewers to think about their role in creating meaning through photography and particularly about the importance of the performative process in photography.” – Andrej Lamut

Andrej Lamut, born 1991 in Ptuj, Slovenia, is a Master of Visual Communications Design and recipient of the Prešeren award for outstanding execution of his masters project Performative Process of Photography – Nokturno. In the academic year 2011/12 he received an Award for outstanding achievement and excellence from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Between 2013 and 2015 he was the recipient of the Slovenian Ministry of Culture scholarship grant for his postgraduate studies. In 2016 he was selected as the highest achieving student of post-graduate studies in the Municipality of Ptuj. He is the winner of the international photo competition First Shot / Prvo okidanje 2013 and an ESSL Art Award 2015 Nominee.

Andrej Lamut - NOKTURNO - DummyBook from Lamut on Vimeo.

zondag 23 juli 2017

Views & Reviews Unlovely but very Beautiful A New Map of Italy The Photographs of Guido Guidi Photography

A New Map of Italy.
The Photographs of Guido Guidi.
Photographs by Guido Guidi.
Loosestrife Editions, 2011. 120 pp., 64 illustrations, 10½x12".

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2011 by:
Martin Parr
Horacio Fernández
Adam Bell
Marco Delogu

Italian photographer, Guido Guidi began experimenting in the late 1960s with pseudo-documentary images that interrogated photography’s objectivity. Influenced by Neorealist film and Conceptual art, in the 1970s he began investigating Italy’s man-altered landscape. Working in marginal and decayed spaces with a (8”×10”) camera, Guidi creates dense sequences intended as meditations on the meaning of landscape, photography, and seeing. Later he investigated the life and death of modernist architecture, with projects on Scarpa, van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier. Photography for Guidi is something autobiographical. It is synonymous with inhabiting, and the camera is the instrument that allows him to observe, appropriate and collect what lies beyond his doorstep.

From the essay by Gerry Badger: “What seems certain is that Guido Guidi’s “ugly” photographs, as he calls them, are original, complicated in their simplicity, artful and deeply felt. They may be unlovely, but-they are also very beautiful.”

Guido Guidi / Veramente
past / 14 June 2014 / 7 September 2014

Guido Guidi (born in 1941, in Cesena, north-eastern Italy) had originally wanted to be an architect or a painter, but during his studies at the University of Venice he began to develop an interest in photography. By the mid-1960s he had devoted himself entirely to photography. Guidi directs his camera towards urban architecture, industrial landscapes, and periurban environments in an entirely original way. His approach is poetic and attentive, and could also be said to be descriptive in nature. His photographic work has given rise to a rich visual archive of the landscape of Italy, both natural and man-made. In 2013 Guido Guidi won the prestigious PixSea Oeuvre Award, resulting in his international breakthrough.

First-ever retrospective
For Guido Guidi photography is a way of life and the extension of his gaze. In the early years of his career Guidi shot in black-and-white, making series that were strongly influenced by the conceptual art of the period. In the ’80s and ’90s he started using a large-format camera, shifting his focus towards landscape photography. It marked a turning point in his career, after which he would devote increasing attention to his own, innovative approach to photographing his surroundings. The same interest characterized the work of his contemporaries –  including Luigi Ghirri, Mario Cresci and Olivo Barbieri – who, like Guidi, were inspired by the work of Walker Evans and the American photography of previous decades. Veramente is the first-ever retrospective of the 40-year career of this leading Italian photographer, showing Guidi’s experimental black-and-white photos from the 1970s alongside the colour series that have become emblematic of his oeuvre, such as In between cities, A new map of Italy, and Preganziol.

Architecture and photography
The young Guido Guidi studied architecture at the IUAV (Università di Venezia) – an institution founded in 1926 and specialized in architecture and design – and then attended the Corso Superiore di Disegno Industriale in Venice. His teachers included such famous architects as Carlo Scarpa and Luigi Veronesi, whose work has continued to strongly influence his own.

As a photographer of the urban environment, Guidi concentrated on the changes he saw taking place in the contemporary landscape. He wanted to document the Italy nobody knew; life in the margins of Italian culture at its urban ‘edgelands’, border areas that defied conventional description and for which a new idiom needed to be invented. Working outside the constraints of an established viewpoint, and with no prescribed iconography to follow, Guido Guidi developed an entirely original vision of this environment. He looks at it as if he were ‘to one side of his subject, or in its shadow’, as Marta Dahó writes in the exhibition catalogue.

Guidi’s earlier photographs were mostly of his own surroundings: Emilia-Romagna, Ravenna, and Porto Marghera, the industrial area close to Venice.  However, from 1993 onwards he undertook travels through Europe, in the company of the architect Marco Venturi, to document the expansion of the European Union and its newest urban areas. Over the course of three two-week journeys they travelled from Saint Petersburg to Fisterra in Spain. The journey led, in 2003, to the publication of In between cities. Un itinerario attraverso L’Europa 1993–1996. In this series of photographs – a number of which are included in this exhibition – we can already see Guidi’s interest in the marginal: the fragmented, minimalist facets of a landscape in continual motion.

Guido Guidi’s close relationship with architecture can be felt in much of his photography, such as the series he made of the Brion Tomb sanctuary built between 1970 and 1978 by the architect Carlo Scarpa, who had also given Guidi lessons in photography. Guidi has spent years photographing this monument at different moments during the day and in different seasons, using his camera to explore the building’s fundamental principles and the glimpses it affords of the relationship between time and space.

An oeuvre in books
Outside Italy Guido Guidi’s oeuvre has remained comparatively unknown. His photo books, however, are greatly sought after, and form part of the exhibition. The most important titles include Varianti (1995), which spotlights the photographer’s early years, and the monograph A New Map of Italy (2011). A number of photographs from both these titles have also been included in the exhibition. Guidi prefers not to photograph Italy’s familiar holiday destinations, but instead its ‘ordinary’ spots. He focuses on everyday reality, and avoids the country’s stereotypical folkloric and historic subjects. In doing so Guido Guidi has succeeded in creating a magnificent and entirely personal oeuvre – one that has set the tone for many other photographers.

The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue Veramente, containing an introduction by the exhibition curator Agnès Sire and an article by the photographic historian Marta Dahó.
Guido Guidi, Veramente / texts by Agnès Sire and Marta Dahó / published by MACK / 172 pp. / isbn 978 190 794660 8

MACK published Preganziol in 1983. This original photographic series, made thirty years ago in an abandoned garden house in Preganziol as a study of light, time and environment, has also been included in the exhibition.

A NEW MAP OF ITALY: The Photographs of Guido Guidi
by Adam Bell
A New Map of Italy: The Photographs of Guido Guidi
(Loosestrife Editions, 2011)

Covering the last 20 years, Guido Guidi’s new book A New Map of Italy is an excellent introduction to a seminal Italian photographer. Edited and designed by the photographer John Gossage, A New Map of Italy draws from Guidi’s vast archive of images and past books, but also contains many previously unpublished photographs. Like his influential forefather and near contemporary Luigi Ghirri, Guidi is a photographer whose gritty Neorealist-influenced documentary work is little known and underappreciated in the United States. Working in the tradition of Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, and Stephen Shore, Guidi’s large format color photographs are full of surprises and pictorial sophistication.

Using an 8 by 10 view camera, Guidi’s work is largely concerned with the contemporary Italian social landscape, eschewing the picturesque and romantic. For the past several decades, Guidi has photographed the liminal and man-altered landscapes of contemporary Italy and Europe. While this is a well-trod (and often cliché) subject for photographers, Guidi’s work is distinct and compelling. Along with portraits of strangers and friends, A New Map of Italy focuses on the rugged back roads, trash heaps, scratched walls, dilapidated villas, and abandoned construction sites of Italy to form a complex portrait of a country in decline and flux. Deadpan, weatherworn, and elegant, Guidi’s photographs offer a grim metaphor for the state of Italy.

The view camera that Guidi employs is an awkward but highly precise instrument. Prized for its hyper-real clarity and rich tonal rendition, it also allows users to manipulate the camera’s plane of focus and correct convergent lines in architecture. Heavy, cumbersome and notoriously difficult to master, the camera is handled effortlessly by Guidi, resulting in images that resemble casual snapshots. At the same time, Guidi’s pictures are visually astute and complex—the minor distortions and shifts of focus subtly drawing our attention to the act of looking. Even Guidi’s restrained palette, a muted sun-bleached cyan tone, seems to defy the camera’s intended purposes and matches the images’ restrained, utilitarian aesthetic.

Measuring roughly 10 by 12 inches, A New Map of Italy’s elegant design allows the photographs to take center stage. The book’s end-pages are an especially nice touch. On both the front and back endpages are paired photographs of walls and corners—first leading readers in and around a corner into the book, and then ushering them out at the end. The book also contains two essays by Gerry Badger and Marlene Klein. Badger is one of the preeminent photography critics, and his essay is especially worthwhile. Too often essays in photo books are disposable, pedantic filler. Fortunately, Badger is insightful, astute, and thankfully, free of academic or theoretical jargon.

Quoting Lincoln Kirstein’s afterword in Walker Evans’s seminal book, American Photographs, Badger draws a direct parallel with Evans’s work of the 1930s. As Kirstein wrote, “here are the records of an age before an imminent collapse. [Evans’s] pictures exist to testify to the symptoms of waste and selfishness that caused the ruin and to salvage whatever was splendid for the future reference of survivors.” Like Evans, Guidi’s images are brutally honest, but also deeply affectionate. At the same time that they indict the “symptoms of waste and selfishness,” they celebrate the quotidian beauty of the land and its people.

Another major influence in Guidi’s work—along with Italian Neorealist film, Conceptual Art, and other large-format documentary photographers—is the photographer Luigi Ghirri, a towering figure in Italian photography whose influence can be seen throughout Guidi’s work. The two not only share a similar palette, but also an appreciation for their native Italy’s quotidian beauty. The book’s use of the map can be read as a nod to Ghirri, who not only photographed and loved maps, but also produced a body of work on the subject entitled Atlante.

As the book’s title and the cover photo of a faded map suggest, the work is a remapping, or alternative mapping, of modern Italy. Dense and complex, Guidi’s self-professedly “ugly” pictures provide a deeply nuanced exploration of the contemporary Italian landscape. The broken landscape, buildings, and solemn portraits of Guidi’s work form a narrative of contemporary Italy in flux, but rooted in the commonplace. As Italy and its European neighbors plunge into economic and political turmoil, Guidi’s images point beyond the mythic past or turbulent present to an honest and gritty reality of his subjects and the country he loves.