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ICP graduate, Barcelona/New York-based photographer and teacher, Lauren Hermele made this noteworthy series whilst on a Fulbright fellowship in Romania last year.

Crit is a village in Transylvania, population 900.

"It took me a few days to get used to the rush hour traffic in Crit. Every morning and evening, the cows and sheep would take over the roads. It was there that I confronted many of the preconceived ideas I had about whether Romania's small agricultural villages were changing since it joined the European Union. For better or worse, I discovered that there was little if no change. Living in Crit is a tightrope walk between extreme beauty and what the locals refer to as "mizerie." Are the villagers prisoners of paradise like one of my colleagues suggested? I'm not sure, but that poignant statement has echoed in my mind louder than I care to admit."
 
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"The majority of the villagers are Roma (Gypsy), but really are just poor Romanians with little in common with the caravan dwelling Roma of popular imagination. Even though Romania joined the European Union in 2007 after being marginalized from Western Europe for so long, little progress has been made. The local schools lack resources and are in poor conditions, alcoholism is prevalent; children start working in the fields and take on adult responsibilities early in life. Malnutrition and illiteracy also weave their way in and out of many households. Like many small villages in rural Romania, within the lyrical chaos and beauty in Crit, there is a structure that is inherently falling apart."

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Great stories about Lauren's work on her blog where we find Lauren teaching photography to the kids in Crit.

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All images 2010 © Lauren Hermele


Marco_Zecchin_Motorpool.jpgMarco Zecchin's series 'Fort Ord (ret.)' consists of images from the decommissioned Army post near Monterey, California. I'd like to thank him for sharing this story.

"...driving past Fort Ord army base along the Monterey Bay in the late 50's and 60's, I was fascinated by the soldiers moving in convoys, marching in formation, and practicing shooting their rifles along the road we traveled.

In the late '60s and early '70s, approaching draft age, I found this fascination in conflict with my feelings about the Vietnam War and the men who trained there. The protests I witnessed as we drove by... along with the news of the war, confused me. My fascination with the military was confronted with the realities of war.

In the fall of 2005, during an annual reunion of photographic friends of Morley Baer's in Monterey, some of us wandered onto the now decommissioned Fort Ord army base. Walking around the base, my youthful fascination and the stories of military duty and war shared with me by my veteran friends, opened me to the energy of this place: the energy of men training and preparing for war lingers in these barracks."

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All images © Marco Zecchin

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The intro: "aCurator is dope!"

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The web bio: "Dayv Mattt was born in Toronto on April 28th, 1977. He is addicted to cursing, simple white dress shirts, and shooting street photography. Dayv is very handsome and currently lives in Seoul with his equally gorgeous wife. They are both ultra-wicked-awesome. There is nothing poignant Dayv wants to say about this photography."

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The artist's statement: "What I capture is the essence of Seoul, and many Koreans don't like my photography because they feel that it's too dark, negative, and somber. This is in direct contrast with people outside Korea who have said that my photography of Seoul displays a dynamic and interesting city they never knew existed. Opinions aside, I love shooting street, and will continue doing so regardless of whether I am published, noticed, or respected." 

Well, Dayv, aCurator gladly noticed, published and respects you.  

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All images © Dayv Mattt

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Megan Kathleen McIssac's images are timeless, her writing is unassuming, and her website is good fun. "throughout everything that has happened, i genuinely consider myself lucky and i'm not sure what else to say about it. i discovered a passion for making photographs when i was seven or eight years old and i continue to make ends meet so that i can support my travels and photography and truly live. being stubborn, i only like to shoot film and torture myself by carrying around my heavy mamiya c330 wherever i go, often by foot. currently i'm working on self publishing my first photo-book while contemplating where and how id like to travel to next."

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When Manjari told me about this project I was really moved. She talked of the many trips she took with her family to visit Hindu temples and the ubiquitousness of imagery of deities in India, and that when she relocated to the States, art galleries and museums became her pilgrimages.

As commonplace as paintings and sculptures of Hindu deities are, there are no photographs. Manjari intends to change this by creating a series of photographs of specific gods and godesses, with every detail included, created from scratch. Just take a look at what she achieved for Maa Laxmi. Manjari's Kickstarter campaign is already 25% fulfilled; there are plenty of rewards available so why not consider helping to fund this project and we can all go see the enormous results in a gallery near us soon!

Maa Laxmi © Manjari Sharma




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Some of my favourite features come about when one photographer refers another. Dara McGrath was referred by Miriam O'Connor, whose blog article was mentioned in the Life.com Photo Blog Awards in June. He submitted 'Boundaries', his series on Eastern European border crossings.

"My central concern lies in exploring transitional spaces, those in-between places where architecture, landscape and the built environment often intersect, and where a dialogue - of absence rather than presence - is created. My practice is driven by explorations of these charged, shifting entities - buildings that have come to the end of their functionality, the changing functionality of a landscape, human interruptions in the landscape - that exist in urban, rural and suburban contexts. The resultant photo works are realised both with the gallery space and as site-specific installations and interventions.

One of my most recent projects involved documenting the deconstruction of the former Maze Prison in Northern Ireland, culminating in a site-specific installation at the prison facility itself. Previous work has also included interrogating the dystopic architecture of the Parisian suburbs, the changing face of the new motorway system in Ireland, and the physicality of the planning system in the rural west of Ireland. I am now engaged in a long term and ongoing documentation of the European Borderlands, with a recent emphasis on Eastern Europe.

The deserted spaces of the East European national borderlands are spaces in flux. Devoid now of controls, they are in the process of being decommissioned and abandoned. No longer points on a map, but neither fully blank spaces, they are spaces-in-between, and are difficult arenas to absorb and comprehend. This photographic documentation looks at the transitory nature of the present day European border checkpoints and crossings and what it says about the relationship between society, identity architecture and the landscape in a united Europe."


Kudowa Zdroj Czech-Polish Border © Dara McGrath

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The one and only Betty Ford, 1918 - 2011



















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Calgary Stampede © Yousuf Karsh

Prince William and Duchess Catherine attended the annual Calgary Stampede this year. Mr Karsh took this photograph in 1953.

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Stella Kramer, Julie Grahame, and Allegra Wilde are excited to announce IN THE LOUPE, a WebTV show that will premiere at the end of July. It's TV with the three of us, talking about everything photography.

IN THE LOUPE has information, attitude, interviews, reviews and real photo news. We're not shy about telling you what we think, and we'll have special guests talking about their work. Nothing is off-limits. Agree or disagree, but you won't be bored.

If you've got a project or a book coming out you'd like to promote, a show about to open, a Kickstarter or Emphas.is project you need to raise money for, or just have an idea or suggestions to make, let us know! If we think it's interesting, we'll put you on the air.

And of course, if you've seen some amazing work you think we should know about, tell us!

Should you want to sponsor or advertise with us, drop us a line.

We've got a Tumblr blog here and you can get a taste of what's to come by watching the trailer. IN THE LOUPE plans on being THE place for photography talk. Join us!


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This is a blog in love with photographers. Scroll down aCurator's page and you'll see one photographer's name after another in bold, black letters with sharp, seductive images in between. These posts often link to glorious, full-screen features -- free of surrounding navigation bars and text -- on the main aCurator.com site. ("Frustration with a lack of full-screen images led me to publish aCurator," explains founder and editor, Julie Grahame.) But the signature strength of the aCurator blog is, in fact, suggested by its name. Grahame is a curator with a flawless eye and, in her assessment of the work she presents, an immediately trustworthy, no-frills tone. ("Miriam O'Connor is my latest crush," she writes, introducing one young photographer's pictures. "Her [series] 'Attention Seekers' filled me with joy; it's refreshing, smart and humorous.") aCurator's triumph is a clarity of purpose wedded to a keen intelligence, and a willingness to let its stunning photographs largely speak for themselves.

- Life.com, June 2011

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