Reading Shortlist 7.19.13

"Hidden Mother" Cabinet Photo, From "Old portraits of children with creepy 'ghostmothers'
in the background show how far mums would go for a good photo"

I'm back in Medellín after six weeks of travels which has also served as a natural summer break for fototazo. With vacations behind, today we start the second half of the year by taking a look through my ridiculously long "to read" tab to begin catching up on articles and posts to recommend from the summer...and before.

The Reading Shortlist is an occasional post with an eclectic listing of recommended sites, readings, and links. A recommendation does not necessarily suggest an agreement with the contents of the post. For previous shortlists, please visit the site links page.

Wayne Bremser, It's Never Summer, Free Garry Winogrand. Bremser's Tumblr page is worth following. His write-up on the recently closed Winogrand exhibit at SF MoMA takes issue with several other reviews, but also discusses working with Winogrand's untended archives as the central feature, not "problem," of Winogrand and his career.

FOTOTA. I can't include this site in the ongoing International Site Profiles because one of the requirements for that series be that the site provide at a minimum tabs in English. This new French-language site provides an important place for African perspectives on photography that substantively augments the very narrow list of sites focused on disseminating contemporary African photography. It has a links page with more sites to explore.

Mail online, Old portraits of children with creepy 'ghostmothers' in the background show how far mums would go for a good photo. While in Minneapolis a couple weeks back, my friend Emily told me about "Hidden Mother" Cabinet Photos which also are called "ghost mother" photographs. These are images of children in which the mother is present in the image to help hold the child still for the long exposures required by early photography, but who have been hidden by sheets, blankets, or curtains. According to Emily, the images would be mounted in such a way that the mother would be largely cropped out. Taken from the mounting, however, hidden becomes a relative term, producing odd images like the image above. Here is a link to a second article with more images.

Henry Peach Robinson, Fading Away, 1858

Meghan Maloney, HENRY PEACH ROBINSON AND THE COMBINATION PRINT- BEFORE DIGITAL, In the In-Between. The Shortlist's dose of history: an overview of the career of the photographer who refined combination printing (does that mean he's responsible for Jerry Uelsmann?) and - perhaps more importantly - presented early arguments for photography's place alongside painting. One of many early photographers who died as a result of the toxicity of early photographic processes.

© Rä di Martino

Sammy Medina, Co.DESIGN, A Photographer Rediscovers The Crumbling Remains Of Tatooine. Photographer Rä di Martino chanced across the original Star Wars sets rotting in the Tunisian Sahara with Google Earth.

Brad Troemel, The New Inquiry, Athletic Aesthetics. Well-written look at the photographer as brand and the new breed of contemporary artist marked by their use of social media and constant production.

Richard B. Woodward, The Wall Street Journal, Snapshot of a Curator. Woodward interviews the MoMA chief curator of photography Quentin Bajac who was appointed last year. Bajac is only the fifth curator - and the first non-American - in the 83-year history of the position and little was known of where he planned to take the department when he was hired.