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:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Destroy All Monsters Magazine 1976-1979

Formed in 1973, the Detroit band Destroy All Monsters was a wild and reckless synthesis of psychedelia, proto-punk, heavy metal, noise and performance art. The collective hailed from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and consisted of Cary Loren, Mike Kelley, Niagara and Jim Shaw (with later members including Ron Asheton of the Stooges and Michael Davis of the MC5).

Later emerging as extremely distinctive individual artists, collectively the group forged new terrain in art, music, performance, theater and video. Destroy All Monsters released very little recorded music until Thurston Moore issued a three-CD compilation in 1994, but they published six issues of a now legendary and much sought-after zine, also titled Destroy All Monsters. This publication collects those six zines, released between 1976 and 1979, and also includes parts of a lost seventh issue that never saw publication. The Destroy All Monsters zines comprise a vibrant array of collage, writing, photography and other miscellanea by Kelley, Loren, Niagara and Shaw, and together provide insight into the collective's kaleidoscopic vision of the dystopian values of their time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kenneth Price's "The Wonder Year"

This week, I am highlighting fellow artists and friends here in North Carolina. I am currently writing a piece about Kenneth Price's documentary, "The Wonder Year" which is an inside look at CEO, NAACP Ambassador, Duke University professor, and Grammy award winning producer 9th Wonder. The film follows one of soul music’s most dynamic figures from his childhood home to late nights in the studio and everywhere in between. Until the interview is complete for Modern Ink Magazine, check out more on Kenneth's website!

Natalie Nazee Abbassi

This project is a series of self portraits exploring who I am, both as an American and as an Iranian, through photographs. It has always been a struggle for me to explain myself, who I truly am, and how I should or shouldn’t act in given situations. I feel that maybe these photographs will answer some questions. Questions people might have, or even questions I have for myself as a person who has lived with two cultures her whole life. Sometimes I feel confused, proud, and sometimes even awkward about how to simply deal with the differences of the two parts that make me.

In each image I’ve incorporated myself twice, once as the Iranian and once as the American. In some of my images I see conflict and in some I see peace and calm with my two selves. This exploration is a growing one and much more work will follow this blog post.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Andy McMillan: PTL (Praise The Lord)

McMillan, a Charlotte, NC based photographer, spent time in 2006 photographing the former evangelists, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's Christian theme park, that closed in 1989.

In the early 1980s, the Bakkers had built Heritage USA in Fort Mill, South Carolina, (south of Charlotte), then the third most successful theme park in the US, and a satellite system to distribute their network 24 hours a day across the country. Contributions requested from viewers were estimated to exceed $1 million a week, with proceeds to go to expanding the theme park and mission of PTL. In justifying his use of the mass media, Bakker responded to inquiries by likening his use of television to Jesus's use of the amphitheater of the time. "I believe that if Jesus were alive today he would be on TV", Bakker said. Well, we all know what happened next...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

George and Patricia Beacher

George Beacher, b. 1930, Achnasheen, Scottish Highlands, and Patricia Beacher, née Dixon-Foster, b. 1930, Shrewsbury, England; active as artists on the South Coast of England, 1968– ?1975. After meeting at Nottingham University in 1965 (married 1966), the Beachers began to develop their body arrangements as a series of tableaux performed annually at various locations in the South of England. Documented in photographs, these works were bound into a number of albums, each taking its title from the town where the actions took place.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Viviane Sassen

I saw this work several months ago and forgot to bookmark the website. I went crazy trying to google phrases that would summon the work of Viviane Sassen. Finally, I ran across the images from what I think is her strongest series, Ultra Violet.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nikita Pirogov

For me photography is an exploration of tangible things, which I take from their place in nature and make into images with their own associations, just as functional speech lies adjacent to lyrical music in the palette of sound. This process is a manifestation of all the factors of practical experience that affect our perception: climate, race, temperament, education, and many others. This process is aided by structure and composition, as well as by formal elements rooted in our biological experience.

 The world exists in harmony. It is structured and therefore logical. I try to examine the causal principles of my own view of the world and all the information pouring out of it. I try to peer into it, and listen carefully to everything I do, be it in photography or video, or in the other things I have been doing since childhood - drama, music, painting. I am interested in looking for parallels in separate elements of various art forms. In effect, by doing this I am trying to feel my way towards some kind of visual 'poetry'. I select details (metaphors) from the immense volume of information in the outside world, that might be able to create a cohesive narrative and explore some concept , where every image is self-sufficient and harmonious in itself. For me a visual sequence is a finished poetic expression.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The L.A.F. Project

Commissioned by The LAF project for the Tsbili photo festival in Georgia to recreate the Russian invasion of Georgia through photography. These striking images tell the story of the Russian occupation and the destruction of war from primary sources gathered throughout the conflict. The LAF project tells the story of Internally Displaced People, and works to bring justice to those individuals effected by such tragic circumstances.

Edited by Vic Reznik