Interview with photographer Erin Geideman

Ian on bloodstained bed

Ian on bloodstained bed

F-Stop Magazine: How did you first become involved in photography and what led to you working in this medium as an artist?

Erin Geideman: I started studying art photography at Syracuse University in the beginning of 2010. Although I had been interested in the medium since high school, I thought it was easy and didn’t require much effort. My opinion quickly changed when I was first shown the works of Nan Goldin and Larry Clark. I saw that these photographers were making breath taking images of the grittier side of life and using them to create complex and interesting narratives. In spring of 2012 I took a class taught by Doug Dubois that focused on photobooks and sequencing. We spent four hours a week looking at pivotal photobooks created over the last century and learned how to use our own images to create meaningful layered narratives. This cemented my interest in the medium as I believe photobooks are one of the most effective mediums to portray narrative, my main interest in art.

F-Stop: The current issue of F-Stop Magazine includes images from your project “I Can See Right Through You,” can you tell us about this project? How did this project come about?

EG: Following in the tradition of the snapshot aesthetic I first started photographing my friends in the winter of 2009. It wasn’t until my best friend Ian was shot on August 20, 2010 that my work had a direction. I was so disgusted by the tragedy I witnessed that the only way I knew how to process the event was by making pictures. I photographed Ian and his family for the next three years as they learned to cope with the trauma they endured. In the end I created I can see right through you an 84-paged photobook. Over time I saw how they gradually grew apart, fighting circumstances and personal traumas that rendered them depressed but not hopeless. I created a family album laden with themes of intimacy, alienation and pain.

Kristen and Ian

Kristen and Ian

F-Stop: Can you discuss your process for making these images or your creative process more generally? What were you looking to capture?

EG: I had two distinct approaches while creating I can see right through you. In the aftermath of the trauma my friends and I would frequently get together for alcohol-fueled parties. Here I would shoot with my DSLR and external flash, making thousands of snapshots over the span of three years. As time progressed however, I realized I needed to utilize other techniques in order to best tell our story. In 2011 I first started shooting medium format film. I would expand upon themes I saw in my snapshots and use those as jumping off points for my staged portraits and still lives. I wanted to capture the emotional and psychological impact of the event to show how we had been changed by it.

Ian in blue chair, I

Ian in blue chair, I

F-Stop: What do you hope people see or feel or perhaps learn when they look at your photographs?

EG: I’ve always been bothered by the brevity and emotional carelessness of news stories. Ian’s story for instance appeared on the news for one day, “Man shot in apartment robbery” and then it forever disappeared from the public consciousness. I want to change that; to show that an event as minuscule as a single man getting shot has long term ramifications and consequences. I want my audience to gain an understanding of the emotional, physical, and psychological impact an event like that has, long after the news story dissipates.

F-Stop: Do you have a favorite image in this series? If so, which one and why is it the image that speaks to you most?

EG: My favorite image is Ian on bloodstained bed. It was made on Ian’s 22nd birthday, our last photo shoot together. Ian hated being photographed and would often become angry with me for making pictures. On this day he was so confrontational he actually made me cry. Afterwards, I made this photograph. I wanted to show him as an innocent martyr with the bloodstain on the bed functioning as a reminder to the trauma that stole his innocence.

Bloodstained bed, close up

Bloodstained bed, close up

F-Stop: Are you working on any other projects currently?

EG: I recently started another project, again focusing on themes of trauma and loss. In January my good friend’s two month son Benny was murdered at the hands of her husband. Since his death she has had a difficult time coping with the loss of her child and husband, while struggling to remain strong for their five-year-old daughter. I want to make pictures with her and her family to help aid the grieving process as well as to create lasting memories of her son whose life was cut far too short.

F-Stop: What photographers or other artists inspire you?

EG: Nan Goldin and Larry Clark were my early favorites, but recently I’ve been looking at a lot of photobook makers. Valerio Spada is excellent; I love his use of color and his creativity in bookmaking. I’m also a big fan of Alec Soth, Doug Dubois, and Leigh Ledare.

 

To see more of Erin Geideman’s work: www.eringeideman.com

 

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Gail Albert-Halaban @ Kopeikin Gallery

unnamed-1Gail Albert-Halaban: Paris Views
September 12th – October 17th 2015

‘Paris Views’ is a follow up to Albert-Halaban’s “Out My Window’ – a conceptually similar series shot in New York City in 2009. These projects invite the viewer to see inside and outside at the same time. The glass panes of a window somehow become even more transparent with the blending of two worlds. The outside world whizzes by, as the inside seems immune to the passage of time. Loneliness is examined simultaneously through multiple windows – a man sits in solitude on his bed, a woman alone at her desk, a child practices her wind instrument solo – leading to a sense of relation among them all. With Albert-Halaban’s staging of this project, strangers become neighbors – individuals form a community.

Kopeikin Gallery
2766 South La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90034

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Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy @ Fontana Gallery

unnamedGhislain & Marie David de Lossy: Not Alone
Opening: Saturday 26 September 16.00 – 18.00 hours

Fontana Gallery, Lauriergracht 11, Amsterdam

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SECRET AGENT @ Finnish Museum of Photography

unnamedSECRET AGENT
4 September 2015 – 16 October 2015

Judith Barry
Beth Collar
Chiara Fumai
Mathilde ter Heijne
Maud Sulter
Niina Vatanen

Secret Agent is a group exhibition composed from the viewpoint of feminist authorship and forms of collaboration in contemporary photography and film making practices. The six artists in the exhibition actively challenge the institutional structure of history and patriarchal authority – and imagine alternative narratives through the specificity of lens-based media. Acts of image-making, archiving, and guerrilla information tactics enable visibility and challenge relationships between author and authority.

Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki

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Robert Shults @ The Rangefinder Gallery

unnamedRobert Shults: The Superlative Light
September 4 – 26

Opening Reception: September 4 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Robert Shults’ intimate photos of the people and processes of the Texas Petawatt Laser in the University of Texas laboratory show the rarely seen inner workings of a fascinating scientific pursuit.

The Rangefinder Gallery
300 West Superior St
Chicago, IL

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Interview with photographer Hwa-Kyung Kim

ALTER EGO 1

ALTER EGO 1

F-Stop Magazine: How did you first become involved in photography and what led to you working in this medium as an artist?

Hwa-Kyung Kim: I started photography without any experience or knowledge of it. I just instinctively wanted to do it, so I learned basic B&W film and print techniques and found myself in it. Seeing an intangible idea in my head manifest itself onto paper was so exciting. Those moments in the darkroom made me realize that photography was the right medium for me.

F-Stop: The current issue of F-Stop Magazine includes images from your project “ Alter Ego II ” can you tell us about this project? How did this project come about?

HKK: This ongoing series, Alter Ego, explores the inner self through fashion which acts as a metaphor of personas. Through my journey in search of the concealed self, I perceived self as multiplicities— a group of different personalities, memories or appearances existing in a time passage. By applying a notion of personas to fashion, I investigated how personas create the ego. In the images, the woman is facing, passing, or surrounded by her personas. Through moving and overlapping, different forms of personas are created into new forms. In these reinterpretations, new perspectives are created of the self. I call it an “Alter Ego”.

ALTER EGO 5

ALTER EGO 5

F-Stop: Can you discuss your process for making these images or your creative process more generally? What were you looking to capture?

HKK: I often change my role between the maker and observer in the process. When concepts and sensations are projected onto objects, I discover that the objects expand their territories of meanings, and begin to evolve or change in their forms and meanings. I play with those possibilities and put them in work; so the results of the work are always unexpected. When fixed ideas are deconstructed and recomposed is when I’m most excited about the work.

ALTER EGO 6

ALTER EGO 6

F-Stop: What do you hope people see or feel or perhaps learn when they look at your photographs?

HKK: My work is an effort to see a new world born from different perspectives of reality. I hope viewers discover new possibilities to interpret the world we live, and expand them in their worlds through my work.

ALTER EGO 7

ALTER EGO 7

F-Stop: Do you have a favorite image in this series? If so, which one and why is it the image that speaks to you most?

HKK: My favorite images vary day to day. My interpretation of my images often changes and differs as time passes while I continue to grow as an artist. For now, I would say that the image of three egos overlapped and the image of one figure overlapped by hands speak to me most.

F-Stop: What photographers or other artists inspire you?

HKK: I’m inspired by artists working in different mediums such as painting and sculpture. A few of my favorite artists are Francis Bacon, Egon Schiele and Ann Hamilton. Their work stimulates and challenges me to think of endless possibilities beyond photography and my own imagination.

To see more of Hwa-Kyung Kim’s work: www.hwakyungkim.com

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BRASSAÏ AND HENRY MILLER’S PARIS @ Howard Greenberg Gallery

Brassaï, Paris (from Henry Miller's Quiet Days in Clichy), c. 1930s

Brassaï, Paris (from Henry Miller’s Quiet Days in Clichy), c. 1930s

BRASSAÏ AND HENRY MILLER’S PARIS
SEPTEMBER 10 – OCTOBER 24, 2015

Howard Greenberg Gallery
41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406, New York

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MELODIE MCDANIEL @ SPOT PHOTO WORKS

unnamed-1MELODIE MCDANIEL: AMERICAN SPECTATOR
Sept 19 – Nov 9, 2015

reception 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday September 19th.

n her photographic journey McDaniel explores the intersections of faith, culture and race. Her masterful portraits reflect on a citizenry where white and black, large and small, young and old seek solace and community at church services, in diners, on their stoops, in dark bars of towns whose prime is past and whose present is marred by hard economic times.

SPOT PHOTO WORKS
6679 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

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Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity @ Silver Eye Center for Photography

unnamed

Silver Eye Center for Photography | 1015 East Carson Street | Pittsburgh | PA | 15203

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Michelle Sank @ The Royal Albert Memorial Museum &Art Gallery

unnamedMichelle Sank Touch-Line: A Photographic Record of Rugby World Cup 2015, Exeter
19 September to 4 November

Urban and rural landscapes complement portraiture to give a comprehensive visual record of the preparation for the World Cup in Exeter. The photographs of signage, organisers, players, spectators and fans reflect the diversity of interest and importance of Rugby in Exeter’s communities. Her photographs differ from the mass of imagery that circulates around Rugby World Cup 2015. She eschews the conventions of sports photography to present a surprising and touching perspective on a highly physical sport. There are images about people playing Rugby, yet the focus of the collection is on the culture, the group dynamics and the ritual that surrounds the sport.

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum &Art Gallery is in Queen Street, Exeter EX4 3RX. Phone 01392 265858

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