Kurt Kaindl @ Fotohof

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Kurt Kaindl: Travelling in No Man’s Land
19 7 – 24 8 2014

In 1989 the Iron Curtain fell. Today, 25 years later, the next generation has scarcely an idea of ​​the significance of this border, and especially by the great influence of her disappearance on the European development.

Geographically Kurt Kaindl s photo report follows the intra-European border line from Lubeck to Trieste. He has, at the suggestion of the “Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs” (BMEIA) started this project in 2008 and continued to the present day. Retrieved from “both sides” – from the East and the West – he approaches the (former) border and represents the special atmosphere is photographically: The situation created by the vast no man’s land landscape that remained, but also destroyed settlements and especially the people, still or now live again only at this limit.

Fotohof
Inge Morath–Platz 1-3, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

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Andreas Müller-Pohle @ Prague City Gallery

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Andreas Müller-Pohle: Coincidences
22 July—28 September 2014

Opening 21 July at 6:00 pm

Prague City Gallery
House of Photography
Revoluční 5, Prague 1, Czech Republic

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Hiroshi Sugimoto @ Cahiers d’Art

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
through July 30, 2014

Cahiers d’Art
14 RUE DU DRAGON
75006 PARIS

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DEAD RINGER @ Exhibit No.9

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Opening Reception
Saturday, August 2, 7-10pm

An experimental photography exhibition, featuring works of international artists:

MING MURRAY SMITH
ZELKO NEDIC
RENÉE MUNN
BERNHARD HANDICK
ALBERT GRØNDAHL
ROBERT PAUL KOTHE

Exhibit No.9
550-102 Cookman Avenue
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

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Group Exhibition @ London Photo Gallery

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29th July – December 2014

the following photographers were selected:
Andrew Hawkes
Andrew Lalchan
Anthony Cash
Joerg Karrenbauer
Laura McGregor
Linda Wisdom
Mark A Paulda
Mark Heathcote
Paul Bate
Robin Baumgarten
Stuart Cashmore

London Photo Gallery
Bridge Lounge Dining Room 186 Tooley Street, London SE1 2TZ

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Colin McPherson @ Free Space Gallery

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Book Review: Pamela Littky’s Vacancy

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Welcome Cowboys, Beatty, Nevada

“Perhaps it was the dramatically macabre title – the Gateway to Death Valley – that sparked my curiosity. I found myself wanting to explore these small towns and observe the kind of people who would live in the middle of nowhere where temperatures hold at 120 degrees for several months of the year, where the nearest grocery store was 45 minutes away, and where there is seemingly nothing to do,” photographer Pamela Littky writes about Vacancy.  I can easily identify with that. In addition, I find it significant that she points out that she wants “to explore these small towns and observe the kind of people” there.  In other words, she does not tell us what the people she photographed told her, she shows us images of what she decided she wanted us to look at – and I very much liked what I was looking at: the Country Store in Baker, California, Kids in Beatty, Nevada, Socks hung to dry in Baker, California, the Ensenada Grill in Beatty, Nevada … all the photographs in this book were either taken in Baker, California (“a central strip, a few sit-down restaurants, and most of the residences are trailers”) or in Beatty, Nevada (“another small town that also claimed the title of Gateway to Death Valley.”)

Many years ago, I was driving from Las Vegas to LA and quite a few of the scenes pictured in Pamely Littky’s Vacancy brought back mental images and some of the accompanying feelings from back then. Spending time with this well-done book also triggered memories from a more recent trip through Death Valley that included a night at Marta Becket’s Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley Junction and a visit to a casino at the Nevada border – the pics that Littky took in Beatty brought vividly back this casino visit.

Although photography is said to bring time to stand still, the pics in this tome radiate a strange absence of time and that probably has to do with the sensation of eternity that one can feel in the desert. “The desert air clears everything away,” as Pamela Littky observes.

Country Store, Baker, California

Country Store, Baker, California

“I wanted to know why people made their homes in such an extreme environment,” she writes.  I would have also liked to know that but, unfortunately, pictures do not offer an explanation. Too bad that Littky did not jot down the conversations she had with the people living there but opted for showing us only pictures with not exactly helpful captions (“Flatbed, Baker, California” for instance, or “Burned Out Truck, Baker, California”). Nevertheless, this is a book I like. For these photographs make me recognise somewhat familiar scenes. But also because they trigger longings for the desert.

I thought it particularly significant that Pamela Littky put her Vacancy-project into a wider context. During the time of her taking the desert pictures there was “the economic crash, the housing and employment crisis, the long wars still going” that however did not affect the small towns of Baker and Beatty. Her explanation? “The gateways to the big desert have never had much to work with in terms of big job-drivers; the people there make it work for themselves.” It might very well be that this is the reason they have chosen, and are capable of living in, such an extreme environment.

Vacancy Cover

Vacancy
by Pamela Littky
Kehrer
September 2014
For more info: http://www.artbooksheidelberg.com/html/detail/en/pamela-littky-978-3-86828-479-9.html

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COLLECTORS’ FAVORITES @ Leica Gallery LA

Mike Brodie, #5060 Period of Juvenile Prosperity 2006-2009  Courtesy of PAC LA member Michael Hawley

Mike Brodie, #5060 Period of Juvenile Prosperity 2006-2009
Courtesy of PAC LA member Michael Hawley

COLLECTORS’ FAVORITES
JULY 12 – 26, 2014

Reception Saturday, July 12, 7 – 9pm

WORKS FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF MEMBERS OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS COUNCIL / LOS ANGELES

Leica Gallery LA
8783 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048

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Interview with photographer Russ Rowland

Through The Looking Glass 12

Through The Looking Glass 12

Yvette Meltzer: How did you first become involved in photography and what led to you working in this medium as an artist?

Russ Rowland: It happened very slowly and very late in my life. I worked in PR and one of my accounts was a camera company. They gave me a little digital camera and I just started playing with it. After a few years I realized I really wanted to learn about photography and cameras in a more disciplined way so I got my first DSLR and enrolled in a course at ICP. That was in 2010.

Through The Looking Glass 11

Through The Looking Glass 11

YM: When did you know you wanted to pursue photography as a career?

RR: I never intended to be a photographer. Ever. I rarely looked at photography or cared about it. But once I found it, it really felt like the thing in life I was meant to do. Now I work, play and eat photography pretty much 24-7 and I’ve never been happier. You know how people say “do the thing you love and the rest will follow”? I always thought that that was a load of BS…until I started working as a photographer. Things have really fallen into place and keep encouraging me along the way like some guiding force. It sounds dumb I know. I’ve never experienced this with anything else in life.

YM: The “Open Theme” issue of F-Stop includes images from your project “Through the Looking Glass”. Can you tell us about this project?

RR: It brings together a number of things that continue to fascinate me: shooting portraits…the ways photographing through glass alters and enhances faces…my love of paintings, abstraction and the texture of brush strokes…and trying to find something transcendent in the utterly mundane (in this case using a shower as a medium.)

YM: So the whole is more than the sum of the parts?

RR: YES!

Through The Looking Glass 2

Through The Looking Glass 2

YM: What led to this project?

RR: Basically I just love the way glass, water and steam can be manipulated to create a painterly look, and evoke texture and emotion. It creates a look I covet. Also, I’ve been taken with creating images in camera that look like they must have been photo-shopped. It’s a challenge that fascinates me (probably because I was doing a lot of photo-shopping and wondered if I could save myself some time.)

YM: Can you discuss your process for making these images or your creative process more generally?

RR: It’s a bit like theater and a chemical process. I use the same exact set up each time, but I never know what I will get. There is ample room for anomalies, kismet and surprise. Each session lasts about 45 minutes and is collaboration between me, the subject, and the water on glass. It’s like a performance: we play and improvise as I move around the single light. Then we take a bow and go home.

YM: What is the intended end or purpose for the project?

RR: A gallery show would be nice…or even Bed, Bath and Beyond.

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

RR: I hope that they see beauty, something that grabs or touches them in some way before they run off to the next thing. I’m not really here to teach.

Through The Looking Glass 5

Through The Looking Glass 5

YM: Do you have a favorite image in this series?

RR: The ones that make the cut are all favorites in a way.

YM: What are you working on now?

RR: More altered faces! I’m shooting a lot of theater productions and I think that keeps inspiring me in ways. This spring I’ve been taking advantage of the blooming foliage to shoot another portrait series in the park, late at night, with a projector. It’s called “Force of Nature” and they are like a “non-humans of New York.” I’ve turned everyone I know into a sprite from a Shakespearean play.

YM: What photographers or other artists inspire you?

RR: Throughout my life paintings have always inspired me. In fact, I always refer to photos as paintings and have to catch myself. The works of Picasso, Di Chirico, Monet, Van Gogh (to name some obvious starters) have been in my head as far back as I can remember. It’s only recently that I’ve immersed myself in the world of photography. And there is so much knockout work that inspires me every day.

YM: What is the best career advice you have ever received?

RR: The best – and most liberating – advice I ever got was: “Go ahead, Make a mess.” Boy did that free me. You have to try stuff…even the silliest notion. If it all falls apart, and comes to nothing, so what? No one will die or bleed. But if you don’t push, experiment and play, you will never get anywhere interesting or meaningful.

YM: What is the most challenging work you have ever done?

RR: I don’t think I’ve done it yet. Hopefully that’s what I am working towards.

YM: Thank you, Russ for responding to all of these inquiries.

For more of Russ Rowland’s work: www.rrsnapshop.com

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Book Review: Danny Lyon’s The Seventh Dog

Crossing the Ohio, Louisville / Chicago, 1966–64

Crossing the Ohio, Louisville / Chicago, 1966–64

Danny Lyon is a rebel with a cause. He has spent his career documenting American counter-culture. Every body of work a political statement, the goals of which were to create conversations about social change. His photographs individually are as strong as they are as a whole, THE SEVENTH DOG breaks down a number of his books to their barest forms. He honestly expresses his feelings and intent behind his most well known bodies of work. The books, like visual literature, are Lyon’s true form.

THE SEVENTH DOG is a diary, of sorts. It is organized in reverse chronological order, the cover is an upside down Kodak box,  with a Kelton Labs mailing label (Chuck Kelton has been Lyons printer for decades).  This collaboration is honored by incorporating the Kelton mailing label w a self portrait. The design and packaging of the book allows us to feel like we are opening one of Lyon’s personal “boxes”, containing prints, ephemera and memories. It’s an intimate, visceral and aesthetic experience. The book begins with Occupy Wall Street in 2012, and ends with what is likely one of his first photographs made in 1960, an abstract that, brings Minor White to mind.

Occupy demonstration on Broadway, Los Angeles / Occupy, 2012-2011

Occupy demonstration on Broadway, Los Angeles / Occupy, 2012-2011

In 1962, at the age of 20, Lyon became a member the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Alabama so as to work against segregation. This began the development of his signature style, his photographs, formal but always intimate. As a witness and a participant Lyon delivered what we now know as some of the most important images documenting the virulent racism and  the Movement.

Whatever one’s background, race or social status, to go down south in 1962 to support and document the civil rights movement, was to risk arrest, extreme violence or even death. Lyon’s left Chicago, while he was in the middle of working on BIKERIDERS: one of the great photo books, and the work that began Lyon’s career, not only as a photographer but as an author. Admirable, to say the least, because he went down south not for his personal creative purposes, but to honor a political and social commitment, and to work for the Movement. I’m not sure his desire was to make political statements with his work, rather it was to document, for history what was happening right in front of him. In addition, his images helped to visually define the Movement. In the chapter entitled ‘SNCC Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee 1964-62’  we see SNCC posters using Lyon’s images, and he mentions in the text that some of his photographs are part of a permanent exhibit on the civil rights movement at the Library of Congress. He says this is one of his proudest accomplishments.

Crowds along the funeral route of the four girls murdered in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist church, Birmingham, Alabama, September 1963 / Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), 1964–62

Crowds along the funeral route of the four girls murdered in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist church, Birmingham, Alabama, September 1963 / Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), 1964–62

The most revealing part of the book is learning about Lyon’s relationships to his subjects. He enjoyed a rare status…one of witness and participant. Lyon was an artist of a certain age. Coming of age during the turmoil of the 60’s informed his choices in subject matter, as much as it did his politics. The text in THE SEVENTH DOG is highly personal, and tinged with sadness.  Lyon lost quite a few friends and colleagues. He writes about Danny Seymour, friend, colleague and legend among a certain generation of artists and filmmakers(Seymour was Robert Frank’s assistant on COCKSUCKER BLUES). Danny Seymour made a photo book, A Loud Song (Lunstrom Press, 1971) which is spoken about on mythic levels and perhaps Lyon gives Seymour a new life here, as he introduces his work to a new generation. You can see how Seymour influenced Lyon and Robert Frank and visa versa. A Loud Song, is Seymour’s first and only photography book. Danny Seymour disappeared in The Caribbean in 1973.

Danny Seymour with his Arriflex and John Lennon / Danny Seymour’s loft, Bowery between Prince Street and Spring, 1970

Danny Seymour with his Arriflex and John Lennon / Danny Seymour’s loft, Bowery between Prince Street and Spring, 1970

Other chapters of the book look at BIKERIDERS, CONVERSATIONS WITH THE DEAD and THE DESTRUCTION OF LOWER MANHATTAN. Also strewn throughout the book are Danny Lyon’s collage works. Most of this work is personal. They are travelogues, family albums and some appear like sketches for larger bodies of work.

Introducing his most recent photographs, in the first chapter entitled “New York, 2012”, Lyon says:  “Many years ago I was being driven along Central Park West in a New York taxi with Robert Frank. When I spoke of using texts with words with photography, as part of what were then called ‘photography books,’ Robert said, ‘Well, then that’s the end of it.’ The year was 1969, and it was not ‘the end of it.’ As a young photographer deep into a career of making picture books with texts, I couldn’t help but feel that Frank’s comment smacked of kicking out the ladder.” Spoken like a true iconoclast.

 

9780714848532-Lyon-The-Seventh-Dog-2D
The Seventh Dog
by Danny Lyon
Phaidon
To purchase the book: http://www.phaidon.com/store/photography/the-seventh-dog-9780714848532/

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