Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Street Art

                                  artist? | photocredit?

Ivé always been a fan of street art [Banksy, Seen, Sickboy, EINE ...] - so couldn´t resist in borrowing this photo from here. Fantastic piece of art!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Low ... lands

                              .... not Petersen ..... but Martin Bogren.

In 2011 photographer Martin Bogren received the photography agency Scandix´s major prize for his book Lowlands (maybe a title that works best for a small village in south US or ..). In conjunction with this prize, Fotografiska in Stockholm, had an exhibition based on a selection of photograph´s taken from Bogrens 4-year long project where he tried to capture the essence from the small village (Skurup) that he longed to get away from as child. This exhibition, "Lowland", has now reached Landskrona konsthall. Loads of photographs and not [?] surprisingly I see blurred, contrast-rich graininessly and raw black and white images of a rural landscape and some of its residents. Unfortunately, I find the images as something of cliche repetitions Ivé seen several times before. I won´t go into detail about this .. all I can write is that this exhibition (and book) lacks the nerve that I, for example, can experience in Anders Petersens/JH Engström depictions of Värmland in "From Back To Home". So in all, this exhibition/book is not my cup of whatever, I prefer Bogrens excellent photographical story "Ocean" [2008] where he followed a few men from the middle of India, who travelled to the coast to see the ocean for their first time.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Johnny goes London

..... worth a look and purchase

I recently picked up a book by London photographer "alias" Johnny Stiletto. "Vintage 80´s - London Street Photography" is a book which documents London of the ’80s  through a 35mm camera. Wandering around like a Stray Dog in London´s Soho and Chelsea areas, Johnny captured and documented the daily life of average people as well as ...... Find out more here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Dungeons Are Calling!

                                            Eeire feeling ....

Jan. 22:nd was the grand opening of August Strindberg´s "Strindberg och fotokonsten" exhibition. Blood-red walls, foam/dark lighting in a small room fueled with forthy, mostly in small format, vintage photograph`s by August Strindberg [and friends] greeted me when entering the exhibition space. Immediately I felt that this, my first exhibition in 2012, was an instant success ... and it was.
The exhibition is produced by the Strindbergmuseet and is more or less a complete look at Strindberg:s career as a photographer [but where is the Wundercamera], works spanning from his first "photographic" period in 1886 (mostly self/family portrait taken in Gersau) to his last in 1907-08. The most striking feature of this exhibition is his last period, when he with the camera's help, sought to document "recurrent cloud formations" which he and swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg interpreted as "high places on earth where powerful beings dwell." Looking at these photographs transforms you into a state of eerie mind .. just like watching Fritz Arno Wagner´s cinematographic work in Murnau´s masterpiece Nosferatu. So, this exhibition is well worth a visit but beware .. the dungeons are calling!

                                   Nosferatu |  F.W.Murnau [cinematography by: Fritz Arno Wagner]

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

August Strindberg ... The Photographer!

 Mandatory reading anno 2012 ... "Ockulta dagboken" by August Strindberg

August Strindberg [1849-1912] is most famous/celebrated for being a playwright, novelist, poet, misogynist but feminist, alchemist, occultist, painter et cetera .. but not so well known as a photographer. So I was gladly surprised when a Strindberg-collector told me that during various periods of inactivity in his writing, he was  doing experimental photography. My favorite Strindberg-period is what is known as the "Inferno Years". During this period  [1890`s], he built his own camera, experimented much with alchemy and corresponded with occultists as well as studying the swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. As a result, many of his later photographs during this and forthcoming period have a creepy and eerie feeling .....which we all like. Don´t forget the upcoming exhibitions; "Strindberg och fotokonsten" at Kulturen in Lund/Sweden and "Strindberg. Författare, målare, fotograf ..." at Nordiska Museet in Stockholm. Recommended literature [but before purchasing this book - learn swedish]: "August Strindberg som fotograf"
                                                               Photo: August Strindberg | Selfportrait 1906

                                                        Photo: August Strindberg | Clouds 1907

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Zarina Bhimji

                                         Photo:  Zarina Bhimji

The Ugandan-born [living and working in London and Berlin] photographer and filmmaker Zarina Bhimji, who was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2007, will soon have premiere of her new film, Yello Patch at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. In conjunction with this exhibition [19 Jan. - 9 March] the gallery will also show works that explore 25 years of photographs and large-scale film installations. You can also see her "Out of Blue" film at Moderna Museet/Malmö between 1 Feb.-11 March.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

One year with Fire-cracker

The online platform for European women photographers celebrate one year of existence this month. Fire-cracker was created and established in jan. 2011 by Fiona Rogers to promote European women working in photography. She currently also works at Magnum Photos in London. According to their website FC assists the promotion of women photographers by showcasting their work in a series of monthly online gallery features ... On their nice archives you can find great artists like Polly Braden. Find Polly´s brilliant "China Between-book" here.

                               © Polly Braden

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kenneth Gustavsson

                               INDICIER  | Strömholm, Petersén, Gustavsson

Photo:  Kenneth Gustavsson

According to various rumors this upcoming spring will give a retrospective exhibition of the eminent Swedish photographer Kenneth Gustavsson [1946-2009]. Finally I would say! He has until now received far too little national and international recognition. In my amateurish eyes Kenneth was the most talented and best photographer to emerge from mastermind Christer Strömholm´s legendary [?] photography school in Stockholm. Unfortunately, not much is written or documented about his life or photography work/art. Not even a decent Google search can provide much information on this great photographer. However, more rumors indicates that in conjunction with the exhibition there will be a book published. Hopefully also with an extra small limited edition incl. a print .. or two. Until then, try to get hold of "Incident". This book was published in connection with an exhibition in 1996 "Incident - Strömholm, Petersen, Gustavsson". A real collectors item ....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Koji Onaka

                                               © Koji Onaka

In the beginning of the ninetíes respected Japanese photographer Koji Onaka travelled around and photographed rural area and urban landscapes in the historic region of Sanriku, located on Japans northern east coast. Two decades later small towns like Kesennuma, Rikuzen-Takada, Kamaishi were destroyed by "The Great Higashinhon Earthquake". Many buildings, areas that Onaka immortalized on picture does not exist anymore and lost forever. Onaka is now selling various prints at a special " for charity Umimachi" price. Fifty percent of the proceeds will be donated to the fund of Orphan. More here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Best of 2011 ....

                                         Gerry Johansson |  Pontiac (Mack Books) 

                                         Daido Moriyama |  Gekijo (Super Labo)

A new year ... and thus a series of "Best Photography Books - 2011" lists. If you follow various photography-blogs it appears that Rinko Kawauchi´s "Illuminance" and Yukichi Watabe´s " A Criminal Investigation" are the winners of 2011. Maybe worthy winners .. but as a hobby collector, with a clearly limited budget, of photography books and prints, my top-books of 2011 are the limited editions (which include a signed silver gelatin print) of Gerry Johansson:s "Pontiac" and Daido Moriyama:s "Gekijo" releases. Perhaps not milestones in the history of photo-books .. but still affordable books incl. nice prints as bonus. I would suggest trying to get your hands on these gems before it´s to late ... maybe they will appear in new "Photobook: A History Vol.3 "... in near future ..