Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Pine Beetle" by Nina Berman

Across British Columbia, 36 million acres of pine forests are dead and dying.  The killer is a small beetle the size of a rice kernel.

Indigenous to the forests of North America, the mountain pine beetle’s population was kept in check by cold winters.  But global warming in the last two decades has allowed the beetles to thrive.
The path of destruction caused by this infestation can be seen in a cataclysmic shift in the color and shape of the landscape. 

To the untrained eye, the attack appears beautiful at first.   Swaths of green trees turn red, like autumn leaves changing.  But these pines are evergreens and a color shift is a sign of inevitable mortality. From red, the leaves turn purple, brown, and finally grey. At this point, they can no longer stand and whither to the ground, their pinecones dried out and scattered across the forest floor, their branches, ready fuel for fires.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Florian Van Roekel: How Terry Likes His Coffee

The ingenuity of Florian van Roekel’s How Terry Likes His Coffee begins with the cover. With any photobook of these dimensions, you’d expect the pictures to be laid out in landscape orientation, and this is true of van Roekel’s photos. But the cover label is set in portrait orientation. Looked at his way, the plain black cover looks like a premium legal-sized notebook, which is exactly what you get when you open the book in portrait: a series of lined pages reproduced from such a notebook, with a variety of doodles both ornate and simple. Van Roekel’s subject is the office, and these are the very kinds of doodles you’d make in the middle of a boring meeting where you can’t be bothered to take actual notes.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Uncharted Territory: Julie L. Sims

One in four adults will suffer from depression or other psychological disorders in their lifetime, yet these illnesses remain among our most misunderstood health issues. I have struggled with anxiety and depression, and am aware of how they have at times limited my accomplishments—not because I lack skills or talent, but because I am rendered unable to use the tools at my disposal. It is frustrating to be essentially crippled by your own brain, and it's difficult not to subscribe to the common misconception that I should be able to control this by sheer willpower or more positive thinking, and not to feel like a failure when I am unable to do so.

In Uncharted Territory I draw a parallel between these events and the experience of a natural disaster, when the environment becomes inhospitable beyond our control.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Amirali Ghasemi

In the series Tehran Remixed Amirali Ghasemi shows young urban Iranians socializing, their faces and other areas of exposed skin blanked out to protect their identities. The social activities depicted seem as though they could be happening in any city around the world. Yet the fact that the identities of the participants in these seemingly ordinary acts must be so starkly concealed underscores how specific the situation is to Iran.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Well, hello again! Krakow Photomonth: Alias

I've been on a blogging hiatus, but now that I am back in the teaching mode, it's easy for me to research and share. My favorite photography duo is at it again:

The incandescent female nudes featured in today's slideshow are currently on view at Krakow's Stained Glass Museum as part of new exhibition AliasAdam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin are this year's curators for Krakow's Photomonth, Poland's largest visual arts event, and their theme is the artistic alter-ego. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thinking about Billy again today

I pretty much think about William Eggleston every time I go home to Knoxville for the summer and try to take photos. I came across this introduction to his series, Ancient and Modern and thought I would repost:

"Eggleston was born and raised in the South. He has lived all his life between Mississippi and Memphis. His reputation is built on the small portion of his work that has been published or exhibited over the last fifteen years. Much of that work would suggest that he could be described as a Southern artist, an identity he is anxious to avoid. The South is the central axis of his life, the sense of locality is a vital component of his work, but it is not defined by a Southern domain. He travels frequently and explores a wider world. If one were to construct a portrait of him, he would be sitting on a porch polishing a gun or fingering a Leica - and he is explicit on the association between the two - or else he would be behind the wheel of a car, though driving seems to have little to do with transportation and much more to do with the rhythm and pattern of his observation. He is an explorer and a resident of the South."

Ricardo Cases' Pigeons

I saw a posting for Ricardo Cases' project Paloma Al Aire on Jorg Coleberg's blog, these images are definitely worth checking out, as are his other works!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Harrison Haynes LRLL RLRR, 2011

The process of creating and consuming art often gravitates towards neatly defined roles for those making work and their audience. Each decision and action, directly made by the artist, is intended for a work that lives on in a presumed immortal stasis. How does this contract change when the role of the audience is altered? Would the audience still enjoy their passive role after they are activated to join in the production process?
 How does a work change when it relies on the performance of an ever-changing cast? Non-static in nature, each work presented in this feature by Roland Tiangco,Clement Valla, Harrison Haynes, and Caleb Larsen relies upon a state that exists between inception and fulfillment. Methods and intentions differ but the realization of each piece requires the release of work into a space no longer controlled by its creator.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kevin Everson's Films at the Whitney

Kevin Jerome Everson (b. 1965) works in film, painting, sculpture, and photography. His filmic fables, the focus of this exhibition, articulate the profound within the ordinariness of everyday life. Everson, who was born in the working-class community of Mansfield, Ohio, depicts details in the lives of people living and working in similar American communities: a mechanic repairing an old car in a backyard, a black beauty queen in a segregated pageant, men boxing, snowplow operators in winter, young men walking into a courtroom, the aftermath of a murder.
 Some of Everson’s films are constructed from appropriated news and film footage, uncovering forgotten details of African-American life in the 1960s and 70s. In other films, the artist explores the waxing and waning of a community’s sense of itself and the migration of black people from the South to the North in order to find work. Everson, whose work was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, approaches race, sexuality, and economic circumstances with a poetic yet unflinching eye. Adopting the stance of an observer, his interest in labor has both a political and a formal aspect, exploring the relationship between the human body and the materiality of the labor it performs as both an expression of class and identity, and as a performative gesture. More Than That: Films by Kevin Jerome Everson is curated by Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator Chrissie Iles.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tribe of Ukranian Fighting Women by Guillaume Herbaut

French photojournalist Guillaume Herbaut spent some time with an unusual and tough group of 150 Ukrainian women who call themselves “Asgarda.” These women live in the Carpathian Mountains and follow a rigorous routine of fighting and boxing, often with medieval weaponry.

The women idolize  Yulia Tymoshenko, the icon of the  Orange Revolution and leader of the Ukrainian Fatherland party. The portraits are inspiring, bizarre, and strangely beautiful. Source: