untitled, from the series "Neither"
Neither is an exploration into the hearts of young women in Kaliningrad. The first generation to have grown up after the collapse of the Soviet Union, they look to define their identity in this small 'island' within Europe. The women I have been living with and sharing with have generously opened up their homes and their minds to allow me to better understand this link between place, identity and history.
The region has had a short but complex history only becoming Russian after WW11 and then with the collapse of the Soviet Union, being severed from mainland Russia. This has left Kaliningrad in a fragile position but this fragility is countered by the strong, independent women that have guided me through the stories of this region and the lives of the individual telling me of their dreams and fears. Caught between their strong Russian roots and the new Europe these women search out their place amidst these two worlds.
February 16, 2006
February 2013 – There wasn't Sun for two months. Everything was still and silent, covered by the last dust. There wasn't any memories of Sun or life and there was nothing to wait for.
"Endgame" is a documentation of this dark winter and history of Earth without light. The documentation of a moment where everything found their last and final place.
My work involves the intersection of still life and nature. My interest in still-life and installation goes back many years. It changed dramatically when my mother was dying of cancer. Inexplicably, my cat and dog started bringing me dead animals. Baby rabbits, mice, rats, birds of all kinds became part of my daily exchange with them. It was if to say it is okay to look at death.
Juicy Couture 01, from the series "Coming Soon"
In recent years, a kaleidoscopic net of huge billboards has enveloped the commercial hubs of New York City. The branding of the cityscape has become so ubiquitous, that the colorful, monumental advertisements, looming over the narrow streets, seem to be virtually unnoticed by the passersby. Giant billboards both dominate the urban landscape and blend into the background. Always in the peripheral vision, these ads turn the people moving through the space into passive spectators. The grasp is democratic and compulsory –the outdoor advertisements cannot be turned off and are able to reach a diverse public whose movements through the city momentarily overlap.
The effectiveness of outdoor billboards is juxtaposed with their impermanence; most are replaced after several weeks. The ephemeral nature, massive size and saturated colors of the ads create a fluid cinematic experience for the observer. People inhabiting the space underneath are pulled, unaware, into a staged set, the reality of the street merging with the commercial fantasy of the advertisements. "Coming Soon" is an exploration of our visual relationship with the branded city centers and the commercial environment we live in.
Smoke, from the series "Spirit in the Night"
The theme of this photographic series called "Spirit in the Night" is the urban landscape of the city of Montreal. In this work, I was interested in how the light sculpts the city at night, choosing these places based on the quality of their strangeness, which sublimate the banal to give them a new character. Faced with the reality of the routine and the loss of the sense of discovery, the journey continues through walking and photography, where at night I rediscover my city.
Under construction for nature recompensation, from the series "Unsettled (2007-2012)"
The project "Unsettled" questions the worldwide phenomenon of industrial expansions and its consequences, shown in the study of the Belgian village Doel and the surrounding polder area.
The place is threatened by vast expansion plans of the neighboring port of Antwerp and related compensation plans, required by EU law to compensate the expanding industry. Originally meant to balance these nature compensation areas create in fact an artificial contrast between nature and culture.
As a photographer I was born at the Dutch side of the border with Belgium, just a few miles from the village Doel. The big changes - fed by political and economic weight - interested me and motivated me to start a series on this local story, which can be seen as an example of a global tendency.
In the image above you can see the expanding industry and the new container terminal "Deurganckdock" (finalized in 2005) in the back, with in the foreground one of the contrasting created "wild" nature areas.
In the series you’ll find these landscape images combined with portraits of young inhabitants of the area. Leaving a sourish taste by contrasting the young with the local changes, they symbolise the international tendency of global political and economic shifts and the way they manifest themselves to the people and their surroundings.
Through the series I’d like to raise question marks at the "progress" character of these changes, happening worldwide.
"Unsettled" will be shown in exhibition format and published as a book scheduled for Fall 2013. The next upcoming exhibition is a solo show at Photofusion London (March 15 – April 26th 2013).
Michael de Kooter
untitled, from the series "Périphérique"
In the project I brought together my passions for street photography and more formal documentary photography to analyse the border area of a modern, central-European city - Lausanne, Switzerland. The project investigates the counteracting forces of the stubborn and creative persistence of nature versus the unavoidable expansion of city-outskirts, carefully laid out by urban planning. This struggle is displayed through often metaphorically layered images which also shine a further light on the ambiguous way humans - both individually and collectively - deal with nature in the artificially created border environment. The Swiss in particular are an extremely organised people when it comes to city planning, which is visible in the confined and tame form nature is forced into. It appears that the constructed has not lost against the organic - yet. It is exactly that delicate, lingering determination that can be found woven throughout the fabric of the whole project. Despite the perfect execution, the busy-as-worker-ants expansion of our territory, there is a tangible feeling that the forces of decay and plant life are eternally stacked against us; just waiting for us to weaken, to slow our efforts - tired.
Direct Object 13
I use the environs where these pictures are made as sets to create narrative potential outside the normal. I work at night to heighten the cinematic potential of the images using the found stage lighting of the urban environment. I focus on discrete isolated spaces, looking for marks of human actions and evidence of daily routines. I photograph in constructions sites, loading docks, and smoke break nooks behind run down strip malls. This is an archeology of the day to day: the remnants and ephemera - crumpled paper lunch bags, styrofoam cups, and piles of snow are suspended in a state of arrested instability. To quote Matthew Thompson, photography, “is an inherently analytic discipline”, the hyperrealism of large format photography magnifies the subjects material nature, creating a paradoxical ambiguity existing between presence and absence, the material and it’s representation.
2012, Jessheim, Norway
The pageants of Colombia are a petri dish for examining the nature of beauty and how we cope with adversity. Set against a backdrop of poverty, crime, and the decades of armed conflict, nowhere are the contests more ubiquitous and revered than in Colombia. In these carefully scripted shows of fantasy, beauty as a concept, commodity and singular goal is stripped to its raw elements. There is no ambiguity or pretense that anything else matters.
The queens are celebrities. Many of the roughly 400 contests a year can shut down a small town for days as thousands jam plazas and parade routes for a glimpse of them. Icons of a rigidly defined ideal, the contestants highlight the conflated relationship between beauty and attraction. Many of them seem familiar, stirring recollections of the same perfect features seen elsewhere, along with the identical flirtatious laughter, mock surprise and relentless optimism. In their quest for adoration, they erase nearly all traces of individuality.
While the inherent objectification of the contests and the values they convey to young women often provoke outrage and ridicule elsewhere, in the Colombian context the issue is more complicated. The millions who pack stadiums and follow dozens of national contests on live television often have a vicarious relationship with the queens, clinging to the Cinderella fantasy of magically transcending poverty.
The popularity of the pageants ebbs and flows with the level of violence in the country. The contests project an image of normalcy and vitality in the face of social upheaval and fear, a refusal to be defined by the violence or to live as if besieged. In a country rife with conflict, the pageants are a form of both denial and defiance.
Cat, from the series "Tokyo Hotel Story"
Nathalie Daoust’s latest project, Tokyo Hotel Story, continues her exploration of female sexuality and gender stereotypes. Spending several months living in Alpha In, one of the biggest "love hotels" in Japan. Daoust made intimate portraits of 39 women in hotel rooms, surrounded by the specialist equipment and dressed in the regalia that define their trade. Daoust believes numerous challenges still exist in terms of confronting deep-rooted stereotypes of gender-roles. Her work helps her to delve beyond taboos while showing the universal human desire to escape reality and create fantasy worlds that often oscillate between dream, reality and perversion.
John Lusk Hathaway
Little Stony Creek, Watauga Lake, TN, 2011, from the series "wild|life"
This photographic body of work loosely explores the topography of a southeastern broad leaf forest, but as integral as the forest is, the natural setting becomes a backdrop and secondary to the human element, and how we the people, live out lives in and around the public and private landscape of the Cherokee National Forest. This component inevitably comments on recreation, class and the role of this natural setting within rural Appalachia, an area that has been misunderstood for generations.
The underlying questions and concerns generated by the work are paramount in the process of learning about ourselves, and the interaction we have with a landscape that has been set-aside as a recreational outlet and a commodity for the infrastructure of our consumer based nation. Why do we as humans tend to migrate to natural environments? Why have we blocked off lands for our enjoyment and commodification? Why do we as humans look to the natural world for answers to questions that are as old as the forest itself? Is there something intrinsic in the forest that elicits our undivided attention? Is it beauty? Is there an element of the sublime? These are all questions the photographs contained within wild|life seek to distill into a form that is approachable.
It is my main goal that this body of work is a springboard for further thought and contemplation on who we are as a people and how we recruit nature to be our comforting shoulder and adumbration of meaning pointing toward something greater than the singular self and the experiences contained within this maddening jumble of post-modern life. By wielding my camera in a deliberate yet subtle manner, paying utmost attention to framing, light, space, and metaphor, I create a complex environment were the landscape and cast of characters coalesce and vie for attention within the public and private landscape of the Cherokee National Forest. The forest becomes a stage where human life is acting out a poetic form of wild living. Even if this exchange is mediated and flawed, these photographs continually show an interaction between humans and wilderness that is real and felt. It is imperative that we truly understand the importance of this relation, and mend our tattered and egocentric affiliation with the wild.
The forest disturbed, from a series of the same name
In 2007 we moved from England to a remote area of Sweden, near to the Norwegian border in an active attempt to rid our lives of as much of the nonsense of modern living as we could. However, even in a seeming wilderness the outside world can catch you and in a moment everything is changed. The forests here are old, but they are also a commodity that allows communities to exist. The shock of modern forestry is that something that has taken a century to develop can disappear in a day. Places of incredible atmosphere and beauty where we spend time of a quality that can only be found in wild nature. I realise now that the pictures I have been taking here are a requiem or a reflection on loss in a much wider sense.
Hell and Backwards, from the series "Do the Priest in Different Voices"
My most profound childhood memory involves reading a family bible. The illustrations, mostly Baroque-era paintings, did not function as a mere visual embodiment of the text. Rather, the pictures communicated in a far more powerful language, evoking both comfort and trepidation. The words of the book provided little interest, but the imagery moved me to contemplate the unseen. It is the pictures I remember - not the words.
The imbalance remains when I consider the possibility of a personal faith. While I am ambivalent towards the old established narratives, the semblance of the mythical in the mundane enthralls. I identify this conflict in the everyday: objects and situations that are alternately ineffable, laughable, and at times terrifying.
#11, from the series "33 Horizons"
Soon after I came to Switzerland, I was puzzled by the idea of a country hemmed in by Europe, without any direct access to the sea. I wanted to collect in a catalogue landscapes evoking a sense of isolation. So I left to photograph places located along the border.
However, it soon became evident that there was a discrepancy between what I initially imagined and my actual experience.
During this journey, I saw only other horizons.
Gagny Christmas Nativity, outtake from the series "Contours"
This image never quite fit in to the the edit of my most recent project, Contours, however it has become important in the last few months as I consider what I would like to work on next. It was taken at the Christmas nativity in the town of Gagny in Seine-Saint-Denis, France. The nativity included all the usual figures in the foreground and this out-of-place gorilla in the back. I am currently in the process of re-examining my archive with a view to making ever stronger, more interesting work. This image has certain qualities that I would like to expand on in the future.
City Bus, from the series "Urban Ecology"
As a young boy growing up in Akron, Ohio, I lived in a pink house beside a forest. “The Woods”, as it was known to me and my friends, was, for us, vast and mysterious. Its tall trees, open fields and muddy bogs were there for us for the discovery. During those years we roamed where we wanted, but we never found where the forest ended.
In those innocent days, to look around an oak tree -- for the pleasure and experience of finding what was on the other side -- was just a game. But today, when I look back, I realize it was also instructive and formative.
That experience gave me a model for my photographic searches when I was a young man and was living in San Francisco. There I looked -- literally and figuratively -- to discover who or what was, not around the next tree, but rather around the next corner. Crowded streets replaced forest paths, but the conclusion was the same: to wander the streets, like playing in the woods, would give me the opportunity for discovery. A camera could sometimes be, a ticket to worlds different from mine and always a way to record where I had gone and preserve what I had seen.
Today, here in the Historic Center of Mexico City, that exploration continues, motivated by an unfulfilled curiosity and a blind trust. I trust that the city will always tell me its story. One just has to be open to its light, its odors, its sounds, its movements. I don’t go to the Centro with a preconceived notion of what I want to photograph. Rather, I let the streets divulge what they will. The difference resides in the ability to see urban scenes not as static sets, but as something in process that begins and ends every day. I try to be a witness as to how people relate among themselves, and more importantly, how they relate to each other given their immediate environment: the streets, the buildings and the public spaces.
Although it is ‘historic’, the Centro is a modern and truly dynamic space. As Jane Jacobs, the noted urbanologist has stated: “ A city ecosystem is composed of physical-economic-ethical processes active at a given time within a city and its close dependencies.” Being a photographer of this ecosystem with unique characteristics, those urban ‘processes’ give a basis and a reason to my search. To be able to express them photographically, accords a rich narrative that encompasses, in the best of cases, past, present and future. And in place of one simple representation -- as if the image were a mathematical equation -- or one simple truth, hundreds of interpretations are possible.
Those adventures of long ago, that I thought I was just kid’s games, are still part of the same, continuing process: a personal chronicle that rescues me from the immensity of this city without limits that surrounds me.
- Keith Dannemiller
17 October 2012
Field (Verse I) #2, from the series "Field"
Having sought previously to create a primordial forest in central London, it seemed an appropriate next step to remove myself to a more remote location in order to further examine the human relationship with nature. At the outset of a two-year period spent in the far southwest of England I determined to restrict my attention to only that which lay within my immediate vicinity and was accessible by foot. In line with previous attempts to work within a defined space I made a field bordering my home the arena of my activities. Submerging myself within this space satisfied my desire to restrict my impact on the Earth, for in place of travel to new and exotic destinations I sought the new and exotic at home.
From the series "Light Drizzle"
Me gusta pensar que el espacio urbano es como un estudio, donde todos los elementos - incluyendo la gente - están para recrear la escena que tengo en mi mente. Hay un componente adicional de casualidad y suerte, no puedo controlar a la gente, sólo la iluminación. La intención era la de crear una percepción paralela de la realidad que representan, una recreación teatral del mundo.
La teatralidad de la vida en la ciudad y los espacios urbanos me ha interesado de forma constante. Mi trabajo pone al espectador como testigo de un "espectáculo", construido con múltiples fragmentos, donde las imágenes son meticulosamente ensambladas como componentes narrativos, y se encuentran en la frontera entre la realidad y la ficción.
I like to think that urban space is like a study, where all of the elements - including the people - are there to recreate the scene I have in my mind. There is an additional component of chance and luck, I can not control people, only the lighting. The intention was to create a parallel perception of the reality they represent, a theatrical recreation of the world.
The theatricality of city life and urban spaces has consistently interested me. My work places the viewer as the witness of a "show," built of multiple fragments, from images that are meticulously assembled of narrative components, and that are at the border between reality and fiction.
Misha de Ridder
Wissen Brünnen, from the series "ABENDSONNE"
Courtesy Juliètte Jongma Gallery
ABENDSONNE was published in 2011 by Schaden.com as an artists book. Sometimes natural phenomena can become so estranged and mysterious, that we are inclined to describe them as unreal realities. It might be the extraordinary shape of a tree, a mountain, a shadow, a cloud or the mirroring reflection of nature in a lake, but it is foremost the unfamiliarity of the natural aesthetics of reality. The photos in this book literally refer to such an unfamiliar natural phenomenon, a phenomenon that appears twice a year during the end of the autumn and the beginning of spring for the period of one week in an area in the Swiss Alps. During the winter season a village is permanently covered by the shadow of a high mountain in the west, which eliminates all direct sunlight. A week before darkness falls, the sun appears one more time after it has set every evening. A mysterious phenomenon known as 'Abendsonne'.
123: Mohammadreza Mirzaei, untitled, from the series "Rewind"
122: Sebastian Lemm, strata #2
121: Céline Clanet, Morning sun over tundra, Mazé, 2009
120: Metehan Ozcan, Zoe
119: Alba Bran, Refugiado
118 Natalia Lopera, Perry
117: Cindy Morrissey, Home Coming, from the series "Watching the Weather Change"
116: Stella Kalaw, Lola's Kitchen, from the series "Cubao"
115: Matthew Swarts, Beth, Long Beach Island, New Jersey, 2012, from the series "Open Water"
114: Octavio López Jiménez, Zautla
113: Beth Dow, Standard, Little Moreton Hall, from the series "In the Garden"
112: Joshua Dudley Greer, Pond 6, Point Pleasant, West Virginia
111: Sharon Boothroyd, The Awakening, from the series "Edelweiss"
110: Thomas Jorion, Blizka, from the series "Silencio"
109: Alexander Binder, untitled, from the series "Allerseelen"
108: Olya Ivanova, untitled, from the series "Gorelovka"
107: Maureen Drennan, Shasta
106: Chloé Meunier, Pauline
105: Jaime Permuth, untitled, from the series "Yonkeros"
104: Chris Round, untitled, from the series "Fragile Beast"
103: Tammy Mercure, Bristol TN, 2010 from the series "Cavaliers"
102: Dara McGrath, Liskova German-Czech Border, from the series "Edgelands"
101: Ashley Kauschinger, Self-portrait Without You, from the series "Hot Skin"
100: Cynthia Henebry, Lisa and Sophia, from the series "Waking State"
99: Nataly Levich, Bereshit, from the series "Tekoa D"
98: Luis Pedro de Castro, Prince of Turkey
97: Jamie Campbell, A Light Within
96: Thomas Locke Hobbs, untitled, from the series "River Bank | Barranca"
95: James Wasserman, New City 1
94: Eva Lépiz, Preparando el Jineteo
93: Giorgi Shengelia, moving, from the series "four room"
92: Emma Gluckman, blindfire, from ther series "distance (real and imagined)"
91: Elisabetta Cociani, Eldar, from the series "Svetlana"
90: Justin Fiset, Untitled (#0197), from the series "WLA"
89: Anthony Rush, untitled, from the series "Of other spaces"
88: Ruhollah Mahmoudi, Ashura in Bijar, Kurdestan, Iran
87: Jamie Furlong, Smokin'
86: Tabitha Soren, Running 000823, from the series "Running"
85: Mark Townsend, Santacon, from the series "In public"
84: JA Mortram, Jimmy at Home, from the series "Small Town Inertia"
83: Cynthia Bittenfield, IED, fom the series "The Home Front"
82: I-Hsuen Chen, untitled, from the series "Nowhere in Taiwan"
81: Martin Gremm, Goodbyes, from the series "Instants"
80: Bruno Quinquet, Ueno Park, from the series "Salaryman Project" (2006-present)
79: Natasha Gudermane, Leela, from the series "Mademoiselles"
78: Nancy Newberry, 09 11 19, 2010, from the series "Mum"
77: Natan Dvir, Amona, 2006 from the series "Belief"
76: Walker Pickering, Hole
75: Arturo Soto, Untitled, Queens, NY, from the series "Blind Views"
74: Lucia Herrero, untitled, from the series "Tribes"
73: Mariela Sancari, Two-Headed Horse
72: Nina Mouritzen, The Noisettes, New York
71: David Lykes Keenan, Car Wash, from the project "Fair Witness"
70: Orhan Tsolak, untitled
69: Jennifer Loeber, Camp Photo Day, from the series "Cruel Story of Youth"
68: Nur Moo, Edipo Re_*, from the series "Le due madri"
67: Arianna Sanesi, untitled, from the series "Urban Resistance"
66: Sarah Moore, Spring, from the series "Expanse"
65: Alireza Abbasy, untitled, from the series "Streets, Amsterdam"
64: Yanina Boldyreva, untitled, from the series "Glass"
63: Julia Kozerski, Ruins No. 1, from the series "Half"
62: Rachel Barrett, Cassidy
61: Ole Elfenkaemper, untitled
60: Alison Turner, Christmas Bingo In Colorado, from the series "Bingo Culture"
59: Juergen Buergin, NYC, The Umbrella
58: Luis Circa Melgarejo, Felipe and Pupé Quazar Drag
57: Juan Margolles, untitled, from the series "No context"
56: Juan Camilo Bedoya Vargas, untitled
55: Clara Patricia Machado, Mi Espacio
54: Stefany Cruz, untitled
53: Lorena Endara, Don Manolo
52: Zisis Kardianos, Untitled, from the series "Still Going"
51: Marie Quéau, Untitled, from the series "Paillasse"
50: Greg Girard, Aircraft Beacon, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 1985
49: Natalia Lopera, Abuelos
48: Jordanna Kalman, August
47: Garvan Gallagher, Anne F., from the series "My Way" (2010-2011)
46: Julia Schiller, Blank, from the series "Almost There"
45: Dimitris Triantafyllou, Basi
44: Chiara Tocci, untitled
43: Oliver Schneider, Bittersweet
42: Miriam O'Connor, untitled from the series "Attention Seekers"
41: Christian Rodriguez, Cindy, from the project "Mujeres Migrantes"
40: Matt Johnston, Ratliff Stadium, Odessa, Texas 'Permian Panthers Vs Midland Lee Rebels, 17,800 in attendance
39: James Friedman, #249, from the series "Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing"
38: Aura Lambertinez, Niña
37: Blake Andrews, Emmett
36: Matt Eich, Peter Swimming, from the series "American Solstice"
35: Christin Boggs, Kale and Row Cover, Mud Creek Farm
34: Nguan, Singapore
33: George Nebieridze, Untitled, from the series "Fresh Meat"
32: Nayeli Cruz, Untitled
31: Anastasia Cazabon, 1st Rib, from the series "Neurosis"
30: Scot Sothern, Drive-By Shooting - Hollywood Blvd.
29: Barry W. Huges, Untitled (Body), from the series "Falling Down"
28 Chrissy Deiger, Onna
27 Irina Rozovsky, Untitled, from the series "One to Nothing"
26 Jess T. Dugan, Mom, Chris, and Abby, Watertown, Massachusetts
25 Ayala Gazit, Diving Board
24 Gregory Halpern, Untitled
23 Daria Tuminas, from the series "Ivan and the Moon"
22 Dina Kantor, Andre, Helsinki, from the "Finnish and Jewish" series
21 Erika Ritzel, Ogden Street, Englewood, CO (Ceramic Statue)
20 Michael Werner, Mum Jan's Back Yard, Forster NSW
19 Amani Willett, The Smoker
18 Yves Choquette, Pointing
17 S. Billie Mandle, Saint Joseph, from the series "Reconciliation"
16 Phil Jung, Emerald City
15 John MacLean, Biggy
14 Juan Posada, Indomitable Will
13 Suzi Livingstone, Grey Wings
12 Serge Campo, Untitled Portrait
11 Dawn Roe, Goldfield Study (Burned Log)
10 Lydia Panas, Insect
9 Michael Cardinali, Blooming Tree Against Sky
8 Cori Pepelnjak, Roxo (Purple)
7 Alexander Harding, Oil Spill
6 Aline Smithson, Not As Interesting, from the series "Shadows and Stains"
5 Kevin McCollister, Man With Infected Nose
4 Kevin Thrasher, Patched Brick Wall
3 Dina Litovsky, Bride , from the ongoing project "Untag This Photo"
2 Khaled Hasan, Acid Fatality
1 Shen Wei, Untitled self-portrait (Touch)