Mark Peter Drolet Selects

© Kalpesh Lathigra, from the series "Lost in the Wilderness"

Today we start what will be an ongoing series. The premise is simple: to ask a curator, blogger, editor, photographer or other person involved in contemporary photography to select five portfolios of work that they are currently interested in and excited about to recommend us, placing emphasis on work that hasn't seen heavy rotation on the Internet. The portfolios are not presented in any sort of ranking or order.

The series comes from a belief that the Internet has a tendency to briefly cohere around certain projects and, longer-term, establish its own canon of photographers, distinct and separate from the gallery and museum canon. While these phenomena have advantages, it also has the expense of promoting a limited number of projects on a large scale, overshadowing other projects that deserve to be seen. This series, then, seeks in particular to look for great photography that counterbalances heavily distributed projects. It also is part of a general interest I have for this site to go behind the limits of my single vision and time.

It seems appropriate to start the series with Mark Peter Drolet. Drolet is a photographer as well as a blogger-curator who consistently, with a polished eye and at an incredible pace, uses Tumblr as a creative vehicle, forming long visual strings of interconnected images as narrative commentaries and visual investigations.

1. Kalpesh Lathigra's Lost in the Wilderness
Lathigra takes a look at modern day life on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Made over several visits, it exposes a place rich with history and people who live in the aftermath of conflict while retaining hope for a more prosperous future. (Image above)

© Timothy Dollard, from the series "Rice Pudding at the Golden Temple"

2. Timothy Dollard's Rice Pudding at the Golden Temple
This body of work is the result of a one-way ticket to India. Dollard traveled through the north and claims to have tried to focus on "smaller things." The result is a series of very meditative and quiet observations.

© Birthe Kaufmann, from the series "The Travellers"

3. Birthe Kaufmann's The Travellers
An interesting study into the everyday life and traditions of Ireland's nomadic traveller group and their search for identity within the scope of 21st century Europe.

© Brian Driscoll, from the series "Political Prisoners of a Revolution"

4. Brian Driscoll's Political Prisoners of a Revolution
A powerful look at people imprisoned for their political affiliations during the Egyptian uprisings. Driscoll attempts to expose the psychological scars of detained civilians and their families as they struggle for their rights in a rapidly evolving post-revolutionary climate.

© Martina Hoogland Ivanow, from the series "Far Too Close"

5. Martina Hoogland Ivanow's Far Too Close
Ivanow's seven-year personal investigation of her relationship to travel. Encapsulating a nuanced and painterly nostalgia, these photographs are contained little short stories that speak to the sense closeness that home provides while also uncovering the narrative found in the landscape of distant lands.

© Fyodor Savintsev, from the series "Water as a Weapon"

6. Fyodor Savintsev's Water as a Weapon
A look at the tensions and struggles associated with increased water consumption and shortages of Central Asia's independent states.