woensdag 31 januari 2018

Human Nature Lucas Foglia Sure One of the Best PhotoBooks of the Year 2017 Exhibition Foam Amsterdam

LUCAS FOGLIA | Human Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59005-464-2
Hardcover, 9.5 x 12.5 inches, 92 pages, 58 four-color plates.

"A lyrical meditation on the complex dynamic between humans and the natural world at what may prove to be a critical time for both." — Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian

Foglia grew up on a small farm bordering a wild forest, thirty miles east of New York City. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy flooded his family’s fields and blew down the oldest trees in the woods. On the news, scientists linked the storm to climate change caused by human activity. Foglia realized that if humans are changing the weather, then there is no place on earth unaltered by people.

The average American spends 93% of their life indoors. With this in mind, Foglia photographed government programs that connect people to nature, neuroscientists measuring how time in wild places benefits us, and climate scientists measuring how human activity is changing the air. Many of the scientists included in the book are now facing budget cuts and censorship by the Trump administration.

Human Nature begins in cities and moves through forests, farms, deserts, ice fields, and oceans, towards wilderness. Funny, sad, or sensual, the photographs illuminate the human need to connect to the wildness in ourselves.

Foglia’s photographs are held in major collections in Europe and in the United States, including Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Denver Art Museum, Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, International Center of Photography, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Victoria and Albert Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pier 24, Portland Art Museum, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Foam presents the work of American photographer Lucas Foglia in the exhibition Human Nature.

Lucas Foglia (b. 1983, US) deftly navigates the strange conceptual territory, where wild nature is both a quenching oasis and a shimmering mirage. His photographs show people gazing at nature, touching it, submerging themselves in it, studying it, nursing it, killing it, profiting off it, and, often just barely, surviving upon it. Foglia is a storyteller in the tradition of the great American photographers who show social commitment without losing sight of the aesthetics. His series Human Nature brings together stories about nature, people, government, and the science of our relationship to wilderness.

Esme Swimming from the series Human Nature © Lucas Foglia

Lucas Foglia grew up on a small family farm surrounded by forest, just outside New York City. The starting point for his latest project Human Nature is Hurricane Sandy. In 2012, this hurricane flooded his family’s fields and blew down the oldest trees in the woods. On the news, scientists linked the storm to climate change caused by human activity. Foglia realised that if humans are changing the weather, then there is no place on earth unaltered by people.

Human Nature begins in cities and moves through forests, farms, deserts, ice fields, and oceans, towards wilderness. At a time when the average American spends 93% of their life indoors, Foglia photographed government programmes that connect people to nature, neuroscientists measuring how spending time in the wild benefits us; and climate scientists measuring how human activity is changing the air.

Foglia graduated with a MFA in Photography from Yale University and with a BA in Art Semiotics from Brown University. His work has been widely exhibited in the United States and in Europe. His prints are in collections including the Art Collection of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, Foam, International Center of Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Foglia was chosen as one of the Foam Talents for Foam Magazine in 2014. He lives and works in San Francisco. His earlier books, A Natural Order (Nazraeli Press, 2012) and Frontcountry (Nazraeli Press, 2014) were published to international critical acclaim. Foglia is represented by Frederick & Freiser Gallery, New York, and Michael Hoppen Contemporary, London.

Human Nature by Lucas Foglia review – into the wild
Man’s impact on the planet is revealed in Foglia’s dramatic portraits of people interacting with the natural world

Sean O'Hagan
Sean O'Hagan

Tue 10 Oct 2017 08.00 BST Last modified on Sat 2 Dec 2017 16.52 GMT

Lava flowing into the sea on the coast of Hawaii.

“I grew up on a small farm, 30 miles east of New York City,” writes Lucas Foglia in his short introduction to Human Nature. “Growing our food and bartering, my family felt shielded from the strip malls and suburbs around us... In 2012, Hurricane Sandy flooded out fields and blew down the oldest trees in the woods. On the news, scientists linked the storm to climate change caused by human activity. I realised that if humans are changing the weather, then there is no place on Earth unaltered by people.”

In this context, Foglia’s choice of title is an interesting one. Is he suggesting that human nature is essentially destructive? Or that nature itself is now shaped by human agency, whether it’s the melting polar icecaps or America’s last remaining protected wildernesses? His book provides few clear answers, but lots of clues. As in his two previous publications, A Natural Order (2012) and Frontcountry (2014), Foglia’s portraits occupy that tricky, slightly heightened hinterland between documentary and staging. (He studied at Yale, where one of his tutors was Gregory Crewdson, the master of grand-scale cinematic fabrication.)

Human Nature opens with an image of a naked man swinging between trees above a stream in Lost Coast, California, a place in which several communities live in seclusion on mountainous coastal terrain accessible only by hiking paths. Is this latterday Tarzan attempting to release his primitive inner self on an Iron John-style retreat? Again, Foglia is not telling, but his book is punctuated by individuals interacting with the landscape in often surprising ways. Another young man, clad only in Speedos, gazes out from the manicured foliage that surrounds his hotel infinity pool. Around him, the skyscrapers of downtown Singapore loom large. The juxtaposition of urban architecture and faux-nature is now a constant aspect of contemporary city planning, as evinced by the next image of two landscape gardeners tending a branch of McDonald’s in Singapore – the first one to have a “green” roof sprouting grass. Perhaps one day cows will graze on it.

Whether in the scientifically created rainforest environments of eco theme parks, such as the Eden Project in Cornwall, or the vast “urban greenways” that are now a feature of the South Korean capital, Seoul, nature is increasingly reinvented for our benefit. Foglia ranges far and wide to collect evidence of this ongoing human-nature interface: a scientist taking samples from a geyser in the world’s largest geothermal field in California; a young volunteer sleeping on a rocky outcrop next to a glacier as part of a research project undertaken by the Juneau Icefield research programme in Alaska. There are several startling images in the book, but none more so than a volcano spouting a flow of lava from a cliff face into the sea on the coast of Hawaii, while a boatful of tourists passes by below. Here, and elsewhere, an almost National Geographic approach to the wonders of the natural world is undercut by a conceptual artist’s eye for the absurd.

Into the ice: humans get closer to nature – in pictures

This is the kind of hybrid terrain that Foglia has made his own and his often large-scale digital images are even more dramatic – and even more unreal – when viewed as prints in a gallery. (A selection of his work is on show at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London until 21 October.) The final image shows a naked young couple, Goda and Lev, making love in a field of plants and wild flowers, seemingly oblivious to Foglia’s presence. Apparently, their sexual abandonment is genuine, which, paradoxically, adds another layer of unreality to a photograph that already seems as if it has been carefully choreographed by an art director.

The image was made in Hawaii, where eco scientists have identified some of the cleanest air on the planet. This Edenic location, with its own Adam and Eve, is a symbolic place to end what is a lyrical meditation on the complex dynamic between humans and the natural world at what may prove to be a critical time for both.

zondag 28 januari 2018

Maria Austria Fotografe Anne Frank Het Achterhuis by Martien Frijns Photography

Multifaceted oeuvre of photographer Maria Austria at the Jewish Historical Museum
On 26 January 2018, an exhibition opens at the Jewish Historical Museum with a survey of the work of the Amsterdam Jewish photographer Maria Austria, one of the Netherlands’ most important 20th-century photographers. Maria Austria: Living for Photography will present the first comprehensive picture of her large and diverse oeuvre, produced in the years 1930 to 1975. The Jewish aspects of her life and work will also be referred to, for instance with her series of photos of the abandoned and dilapidated Achterhuis, made in 1954.

Maria Austria (1915-1975) was best known as an innovative photographer of the experimental and avant-garde theatre of the 1960s and 1970s. What is less well known is that she also made countless social documentary photo-reportages on the reconstruction of the Netherlands in the post-war decades and that she also specialised in portraits.

Maria Austria’s photography encompassed a remarkable variety of subjects. She felt just as comfortable on the stage, documenting plays, ballets and operas, as she did around ordinary people in their homes or in factories. She focused on documenting history, in all its rich layers. Thanks to her wide-ranging interests, her work is now an inexhaustible visual source of the ways in which normal life was gradually rebuilt in the post-war Netherlands: socially as well as culturally and economically.

The common thread in this diverse oeuvre is the central place of individual human beings. Maria Austria was a photographer of people, and depicting their emotions and experiences was key to her work. She did this work with exceptional dedication, compassion, and love of her profession. She truly lived for photography.

The exhibition displays over 250 photographs (both vintage and new prints), as well as newspapers, magazines, books, and personal documents. It is based on the work of the AFdH publisher Martien Frijns, who spent years researching for his book Maria Austria, fotografe. This sizeable monograph will be published at the same time as the exhibition and runs to 768 pages, over 600 of which are filled with Austria’s photographs. Frijns discovered many unknown photos that have modified the existing public perception of Maria Austria.

The exhibition will be on view until 2 September 2018 and has been prepared in close cooperation with Martien Frijns, the Maria Austria Institute (MAI) in Amsterdam, and Helly Oestreicher. The MAI preserves, administers, and operates the archives of Maria Austria and those of many other well-known photographers. www.maibeeldbank.nl

Maria Austria (Marie Oestreicher)
Marie Oestreicher was born in Carlsbad (now Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic) during the First World War in 1915, two months after the death of her father. Her brother, twenty years her senior, was a medical student and her elder sister was already at secondary school. After attending secondary school in Carlsbad, she studied photography in Vienna. Because of increasing anti-Semitism in Vienna, she went to Amsterdam following her final exams in 1937. There, her sister Lisbeth Oestreicher had established a studio for knitwear designs. They worked together under the name ‘Model en Foto Austria’ for several Dutch magazines. It was then Marie adopted the professional name Maria Austria.

In 1942 the Nazis decreed that all Jews in the Netherlands had to report to the Westerbork transit camp. Hans Bial, whom Maria had recently married, did go to Westerbork but Maria joined the underground resistance to work as a courier and to assist in forging identity papers. It was there that she met Henk Jonker, who would become her second husband. She taught Henk photography.

Directly after the 1945 liberation, they established the photo agency Particam Pictures (a contraction of Partisan Camera) at Willemsparkweg 120 in Amsterdam. There they were joined by the photographers Aart Klein and Wim Zilver Rupe. The agency’s portraits and photographs of post-war reconstruction gained widespread recognition. In 1948 Particam Pictures became the main photographic agency for the newly established Holland Festival, an annual festival of music, theatre, opera and ballet. When Aart Klein and Wim Zilver Rupe left Particam Pictures to go their own way, Maria and Henk remained the most important photographers for the festival.

From the start, Maria was highly active in promoting photography within the Gebonden Kunsten in de federatie (GKf), an organisation that represented the interests of artists. She pleaded with the Ministry of Culture to recognise photography as an art form in its own right so that subsidies would also be available to photographers.

She was very demanding of her clients, insisting that she be credited for her photographs published in newspapers and magazines and, more importantly, forbidding cropping of her images.

Gradually Maria focused on her true passions: contempory avant-garde music, theatre and dance. She documented performances at the Mickery Theater from its inception in 1965 and photographed the cultural protests of the 1960s such as the Aktie Notenkraker and Aktie Tomaat. She continued to document all aspects of the Holland Festival until the end of her career.

In 1962 her marriage with Henk Jonker ran aground and she continued Particam Pictures alone with the assistance of Jaap Pieper, Vincent Mentzel and Bob van Dantzig. She died unexpectedly at home at the beginning of January 1975 from a bout of flu that she had not taken seriously.

For the outside world she was a wel-known photographer, a champion of avant-garde theatre and music, but for the three of us she was a wonderful aunt who documented family events, gave great presents and drew us into with her enthusiasm for music, theatre and ballet.

She left an extraordinary archive of negatives and prints that had to be preserved and made accessible. In consultation with friends and family, the Stichting Fotoarchief Maria Austria-Particam was established. With the help of assistants Bob van Dantzig and Jaap Pieper, the aim was to maintain the archive so that it could still be a source for publishers and exhibitions. One of the founding statutes of the Stichting Fotoarchief Maria Austria-Particam was the establishing of the Nederlands Fotoarchief (NFA) the aim of which was to care for the archives of important photographers in the Netherlands. Maria Austria was practically the first photographer of her generation to leave behind an important photographic archive.

But things did not proceed as envisioned. The trustees of the Stichting Fotoarchief Maria Austria-Particam established the NFA with a state subsidy that was granted on the condition that the NFA be based in Rotterdam. The trustees of the Stichting Fotoarchief Maria Austria/Particam were unwilling to comply with this condition and decided to keep Maria’s and Particam’s archives in Amsterdam together with those of Hans Dukkers and Carel Blazer. To this end, they applied for a subsidy from the City of Amsterdam. Meanwhile, the NFA went to Rotterdam. The City of Amsterdam granted the subsidy in 1992 for the Stichting Maria Austria Instituut (MAI), in which the archives of the Stichting Fotoarchief Maria Austria-Particam were housed. Since then the MAI has grown to become a leading organisation for photography with fifty archives of important photographers, housed in the Amsterdam City Archives. In 2009 the archives of Maria Austria, Henk Jonker, Particam and Hans Dukkers were donated to the MAI on the condition that they remain in Amsterdam. The partnership between the MAI and the Amsterdam City Archives promises a healthy future for the photographic archives maintained by the MAI.

Biography of Maria Austria (Marie Oestreicher) 1915-1975

1915 Marie Karoline Oestreicher is born in Carlsbad (now Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic)
1932-1937 studies at the Höhere Grafische Bundes Lehr und Versuchsanstalt in Vienna
1937 partnership with her sister Lisbeth under the name ‘Model en Foto Austria’
1942 marries Hans Bial
1943 joins the resistance under the assumed name Elizabeth Huijnen
1945 founds ‘Particam Pictures’ with Henk Jonker and others
1950 marries Henk Jonker
1956 Aart Klein and Wim Zilver Rupe leave ‘Particam Pictures’
1963 divorces Henk Jonker
1963-1975 continues working under the name Maria Austria-Particam
1975 dies at home in Amsterdam
1976 establishment of Stichting Fotoarchief Maria Austria-Particam
1992 establishment of the Maria Austria Instituut (MAI), Amsterdam
2009 the archives of Maria Austria-Particam and Hans Dukkers are donated to the MAI

Gebonden met leeslint
ISBN 9789072603890
ca. 768 pagina's
in kleur

Maria Austria wordt in Karlsbad (Bohemen) als Marie Karoline Oestreicher geboren. Zij is fotografe met een Weens fotovakdiploma en woont en werkt tussen 1937 en haar plotselinge dood in 1975 in Amsterdam. Zij is in kringen van fotografen en theater- en muziekliefhebbers vooral bekend vanwege haar theater- en podiumkunstfotografie.

Drie jaren uitgebreid en diepgravend onderzoek in het MAI (Maria Austria Instituut) en in het Stadsarchief Amsterdam levert een verrassend boek op waarin het veelzijdige en omvangrijke oeuvre van deze fotografe voor het eerst bij elkaar wordt gebracht.

Tijdens haar leven waren Austria’s foto’s zeer gewild. Ze verschijnen regelmatig in dag- en weekbladen, tijdschriften, programmaboeken en jaaroverzichten. In tegenstelling tot haar vakbroeders heeft zij echter geen fotoboeken met eigen werk nagelaten. De enige brochure waarin zij een prominente plek inneemt, is Foto’ 48, de catalogus bij de gelijknamige tentoonstelling in het Stedelijk Museum. In deze brochure staan onder andere foto’s van Sem Presser, Henk Jonker, Aart Klein, Ad Windig, Carel Blazer, Emmy Andriesse, Cas Oorthuys en Eva Besnyö opgenomen.

Na haar dood zijn haar foto’s nog in twee thematische fotoboeken gepubliceerd, namelijk Maria Austria (1976) met daarin vooral ‘de mooiste foto’s’, en Holland zonder haast (2001) met daarin de documentaire fotografie.

Het derde boek dat 25 januari 2018 verschijnt, is het eerste breed opgezette overzichtswerk van haar fotografie. In het boek staan een groot aantal historische fotoreportages die tot nu toe weinig of niet bekend waren, zoals: Het Achterhuis, Terugkerende joden uit Westerbork, De watersnoodramp, Ilaniah: het joodse kinderkamp, Nijmegen in verval, Josephine Baker en twee Isräel-reportages.

Tegelijk met het boek is er in het Joods Historisch Museum een uitgebreide expositie over haar werk te zien. De opening is 26 januari 2018. De tentoonstelling duurt tot 3 september 2018.

Maria Callas, Amsterdam, 1959
© Maria Austria / MAI

Maria Austria's perfecte oog voor entourage

Een speelgoedbeertje voor een operadiva, de cellokoffer van Rostropovitsj: fotografe Maria Austria had een perfect oog voor zulke details. Tijdens het Holland Festival is een tentoonstelling te zien van haar werk. ,, Wat deze tentoonstelling zo goed laat zien, is hoe groots haar afgeleide blik was, haar oog voor de entourage van het theater.''

door Bas Heijne
Een cellokoffer, losjes vastgehouden door een man, die begroet wordt door een vrouw met een handtas aan haar arm. Hun hoofden zie je niet, ze vallen buiten het kader van de foto. Je hebt geen idee wat ze tegen elkaar zeggen. Het is de koffer die je blik trekt. De aandacht van zijn eigenaar is even op iets anders gericht, even is er niemand die op de koffer let. Alleen de fotograaf heeft oog voor zijn stille aanwezigheid. Anders dan de handtas aan de vrouwenarm houdt de koffer er een eigen leven op na.

De foto is gemaakt door de bekende theaterfotografe Maria Austria (1915-1975) , bij de aankomst van Mstislav Rostropovitsj op Schiphol, in de zomer van 1964. De Russische cellist gaf een recital in de Amsterdamse Westerkerk, in het kader van het Holland Festival. Ook daarvan is een foto opgenomen in de kleine tentoonstelling die het Maria Austria Instituut heeft samengesteld met foto's uit de eerste vijftig jaar van het festival; daarop zie je Rostropovitsj mèt zijn instrument, geconcentreerd spelend, zijn ronde, deegachtige gezicht naar de camera gericht. Een mooie foto, maar het is de foto van zijn koffer op Schiphol waarnaar je blijft kijken.

Waarom? Maria Austria (ze vormde een maatschap met haar echtgenoot Henk Jonker en Aart Klein) maakte talloze foto's van theater, muziek en operavoortstellingen, maar wat deze jubileumtentoonstelling zo goed laat zien, is hoe groots haar afgeleide blik was, haar oog voor de entourage van het theater. Niet de voorstelling wordt vastgelegd, maar de mensen die de voorstelling maken. Dat gaat verder dan een kijkje achter de coulissen, deze foto's zijn veel meer dan sfeerbeelden rondom het podium. Je ziet zangers, musici, toneelspelers aan het werk, één stap of meer verwijderd van wat een voorstelling of optreden zal worden, halverwege hun metamorfose in hun kunst. Je ziet de dirigent Bruno Maderna in overleg met de volledig opgetuigde Franse zanger Michel Sénéchal, tijdens wat een de generale repetitie moet zijn geweest van Rameau's opera Platée, de hoofden van Luciano Berio en Cathy Berberian in discussie, een zelfbewuste foto van de jonge Pavarotti en Giacomo Aragall tijdens een repetitie van Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi. Of Austria brengt het moment ná de metamorfose in beeld: het voldane, genietende gezicht van de Spaanse mezzo Teresa Berganza na haar recital, de achteloze triomfblik van Maria Callas na haar optreden in het Concertgebouw (1959), naast de bijna tastbare verering van fans Lord en Lady Harewood en festivaldirecteur Peter Diamand, een doos chocolade van banketbakker Pott onder zijn arm (die hij de afgeslankte diva vast de hele avond niet heeft durven geven.)


En de blik van Austria en de haren reikte nog verder: ook het publiek speelt op sommige van deze foto's een vitale rol. Je ziet de blije bewondering van de fans die Benjamin Britten in 1949 bij de artiesteningang van het Concertgebouw opwachten, waar hij zijn eigen Spring Symphony heeft gedirigeerd. Er is een foto van een La Scala-diva die bestormd door uitgelaten vrouwelijke fans, van wie er een een eigengehaakt speelgoedbeertje zal gaan aanbieden aan haar idool.

Dat beertje, die doos bonbons, de stevige handtassen van de dames en die koffer van Rostropovitsj; dat zijn de details op deze foto's die ontroeren, omdat ze hebben vastgelegd wat verdwenen is. Kunst heet tijdloos te zijn, maar niets is zo vergangelijk als de voorstelling, het optreden, de uitvoering. Het sublieme moment gaat voorbij, niets blijft. Kunst blijft, maar uitvoerende kunstenaars worden oud en gaan dood. Mooi emblematisch heeft Austria die tragiek gevangen in een foto van een ongenaakbaar Grieks toneelmasker op een stoel, een grote kop met een eeuwig tragische open mond. Hij werd gemaakt tijdens een repetitie van Euripides' Iphigeneia; daarachter, een beetje onscherp, zie je twee menselijke figuren die herkenbaar in 1951 thuishoren, een van hen een vrouw met de onvermijdelijke handtas.

Het zijn kunstwerken, deze foto's. Ze verbeelden het tijdelijke van het theater, de inspanningen die mensen zich getroosten om een kunstwerk tot leven te wekken. Hoe groot hun kracht is, blijkt uit de bijna magische aantrekking die ervanuit gaat: hoe graag had je niet zelf dat vereeuwigde moment meegemaakt, zo ongeveer als Woody Allens alomtegenwoordige personage Zelig uit de gelijknamige film. Je wil in de zaal zitten terwijl Joan Sutherland en Huguette Tourangeau Händels Rodelinda repeteren, de hautaine blik van Elizabeth Schwarzkopf over je hoofd heen zien gaan tijdens een receptie, en achter Stravinsky en Robert Craft zitten tijdens de repetitie van Oedipus Rex. Graag had je de cello van Rostropovitsj naar de auto gedragen.

De tentoonstelling Holland Festival Foto's, met werk van Maria Austria, Aart Klein, Henk Jonker en Jaap Pieper, is tijdens het Holland Festival te zien op de begane grond van de nieuwe vleugel van het Concertgebouw te Amsterdam.

De Rijksacademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, 1962
© Maria Austria / MAI

De Belgische schrijver Hugo Claus (1929-2008), in Nederland ter gelegenheid van de opvoering van zijn toneelstuk Een bruid in de morgen, Amsterdam, 1958
© Maria Austria / MAI

Mojin Shokan van de Japanse experimentele theatergroep Tenjo Sajiki in het Mickery Theater in Amsterdam, 1973. Collectie Joods Historisch Museum
© Maria Austria / MAI

James Baldwin tijdens een bezoek aan Nederland, 1965. Collectie Joods Historisch Museum
© Maria Austria / MAI

The George Jackson Black and White Minstrel Show van de Pip Simmons Theatre Group uit Londen in het Mickery Theater in Amsterdam, 1972. Collectie Joods Historisch Museum.
© Maria Austria / MAI

Ellen Edinoff, 1965. Collectie Joods Historisch Museum
© Maria Austria / MAI

Jazzclub Casablanca op de Zeedijk, Amsterdam, 1948
© Maria Austria / MAI

Theatre Unlimited, Kampala, Oeganda; Ama Virikiti van Robert Serumaga (Mickery Theater), 1974
© Maria Austria / MAI

Amsterdam, 1950
© Maria Austria / MAI

De harpist Rosa Spier (1891-1967), 1950
© Maria Austria / MAI

Zomer, 1955
© Maria Austria / MAI

Maria Austria tussen twee mannequins bij een modeshow, 1958
© Maria Austria / MAI

Het Nationale Ballet repeteert buiten, 1963
© Maria Austria / MAI

Wim Sonneveld in de kleedkamer bij een repetitie van de musical
My Fair Lady, 1960 © Maria Austria / MAI

Maria Austria met camera, 1946
© Henk Jonker / MAI

Holland zonder haast 4 , 2001
Maria Austria (1915-1975)
1e druk uitgegeven door Voetnoot in 2001
90 zwart/wit foto's op 90 pagina's
22 cm x 24 cm