2nd Annual Photography Now Group Show
August 1 – September 5
Reception: August 1, 5 – 7 PM
548 Chestnut St.
Reception: August 1, 5 – 7 PM
548 Chestnut St.
Opening Reception: August 7, 5:30 – 8 PM
David Weinberg Photography
300 West Superior St.
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 15th, 2015, 6-8 pm
Baxter St at the Camera Club of NY | 126 Baxter Street | New York | NY | 10013
Photographer Lukas Felzmann, born 1959 in Zürich, Switzerland, lives in San Francisco and teaches photography at Stanford University.
“Gull Juju” shows photographs from the Farallon Islands, a group of small volcanic islands, situated about 45 kilometers west of San Francisco in the Pacific Ocean. From a press release I learn: “At this position the ocean floor drops to abysmal depth, which results in an upwelling of cold nutrient rich water. Because of this the entire oceanic food chain is present, from the microscopic plankton to the biggest animals on earth; the grey whales. The Farallon Islands are the densest seabird colony on the Pacific Coast outside of Alaska. On its edges sea lions and seals are hunted by great white sharks. The islands and the Gulf of the Farallon became a protected marine sanctuary in 1969 and are closed to visitors.”
There are scientists working on the islands; Lukas Felzmann was invited, together with a poet and a painter, to make their own work there. Since there is no good harbor, “visitors are pulled onto the land by a crane that dangles a net over the arriving boat. Throw in your gear, climb in yourself, keep your balance and hold on. My gear included a sleeping bag, a 5 x 7 inch camera, boxes of sheet film, a sound recorder and some bottles of wine for the scientists.”
I thought the sound recorder particularly interesting. And, needless to say, it actually makes a lot of sense for the Farallons are, in Felzmann’s words, “as much soundscape as they are landscape. The wind and the pounding waves weave together with a cacaphony of animal sounds. Elephant seals grunt in a deep sonorous bass that carries across the island. The gulls are always talking.”
Felzmann documented the geology and the animals of the island. One day, he came across an old box with a label that said “Gull Juju Archive. Strong Juju”. It contained very diverse objects – from buttons to plastic turtles to parts of credit cards – that gulls had swallowed along the coast and around the bay and regurgitated in their nests on the Farallon islands.
“Gull Juju” is an inventory of what Lukas Feldmann has found on the Farallons. I thought it most extraordinary (for artists usually seem to believe that pictures always speak for themselves) that although there were no captions (and, as far as I’m concerned, for good reasons) this nicely done work comes with lots of textual information (that also includes a species list). I especially liked that Felzmann elaborates on what motivates him, and explains how he goes about his work. And, I very much warmed to his approach: “I did not edit them (the objects the gulls had brought back to the islands) according to which objects might be photographically interesting, because I felt that the gulls had already done the editing. It was their selection.”
It is a well-composed book that starts with black and white photographs of the surface of the ocean and ends with colour photographs, again of the surface of the ocean. To me, “Gull Juju” (by the way, Juju is a West African word for objects used in witchcraft) demonstrates convincingly that by noticing, and documenting, what is there our world-view is altered. I, for one, would have never assumed that gulls could be collectors of plastic. And, learning about it, made my mind also wander to “the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area believed to be as big as Central Europe in which small plastic particles are endlessly gyrating…”.
by Lukas Felzmann
Lars Müller Publishers, Zürich, Switzerland 2015
For more information and to purchase the book: http://www.lars-mueller-publishers.com/en/gull-juju-lukas-felzmann
F-Stop Magazine: How did you first become involved in photography and what led to you working in this medium as an artist?
Jiaxi Yang: I’ve been influenced by my boyfriend Zhe Zhu who is a truly talented and passionate photographer. And he is the one who encouraged me to start taking photographs with a camera. I immediately fell in love with this medium.
F-Stop: The current issue of F-Stop Magazine includes images from your project “The Horizontal Mode of A Waking Life,” can you tell us about this project? How did this project come about?
JY: This project is composed of still-life photographs of arranged food and objects such as octopus, pig’s blood cake, papaya seeds, coffee sleeve, cooktop. I began this project in 2014 as experiences of sleepwalking through the daily life, explorations of the barely recognized traces of desire. Theatrical, and often absurd, my living space becomes a stage set on which I perform my own little creation. I animate what I have on hand. I relocate the subjects from their original contexts in order to call attention to the waste, the decay and the delicacy, that would otherwise be overlooked and lifeless.
F-Stop: What were you looking to capture?
JY: I am fascinated by the context, in its affect performed on the perception and meaning of the objects. My work places careful attention on the context and challenge the line between photography and sculpture.
F-Stop: What do you hope people see or feel or perhaps learn when they look at your photographs?
JY: I want people to see the beauty in the unremarkable, to perceive habitual existence in a completely new way. I want these displaced objects to prompt the viewer to imaginatively reconstruct fictional narratives of the owner’s life or even their own lives.
F-Stop: Are you working on any other projects currently?
JY: I am also working on another project which starts from an abandoned beach located at the far corner of the city. It used to be a landfill for New York City garbage. I use the remnants of the past garbage found
there to tell a story that sits between the past and the uncertain future. A project comes with an adventure
F-Stop: What photographers or other artists inspire you?
JY: I’ve always been inspired by minimalist artists such as Fred Sandback, Agnes Martin, and Carl Andre. And photographers such as Thomas Demand, Barbara Kasten and Kenji Aoki. To name a few.
To see more of Jiaxi Yang’s work: Jiaxiyang.com
Opening, Artist Reception, and Book Signing: Friday August 28 from 5–7 pm
541 South Guadalupe St
Santa Fe, NM 87501
All Selected Artists | Rhonda Harris Baines, Helen Barrette, Angie Brockey,
Eleanor M. Brown, Ellen Cantor, Hsien Chih Chuang, Anne Connor,
Walter Crump, Darcy Dangremond, Ricardo de Vicq De Cumpitch, Mary Dondero, John DuBois, Klaus Enrique, Carol Erb, Anna Eroshenko, Cynthia Fleury, Alan Gaynor, Jose M. Gomez-Ros, Cecil Gresham, Carol Hayman,
Victoria Herring, Alyssa Hobson, Tracy Hoffman, Katsy Johnson,
Emily Laura Kirkpatrick, Sue Lezon, Joyce P. Lopez, Yasuaki Matsumoto,
Pete McCutchen, Brian Patrick Miller, Caroline Nicola, Alice Ohashi,
Wayne Palmer, Keith Parks, Eric Rennie, Lia Rothstein, Ken Sanville,
Diana Schoenfeld, Vicky Stromee, Kathleen Taylor, Robert C. Tetro,
Lynda Tygart, Joanne Urban, Frank Sherwood White, and Mitsu Yoshikawa.
The Center for Fine Art Photography
00 North College Ave. | Fort Collins | CO | 80524
FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE Cultural Institute – Barbara Hall Braganza, 13 Madrid Spain
Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs
962 Park Avenue at 82nd Street in New York City
The Print Center is located at:
1614 Latimer Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103