I met Samantha Geballe at Photolucida last April and I was impressed with her ability to speak about her incredibly intimate photographs, at her young age. She has a wonderfully frank attitude, and both I and two of my fellow reviewers, who will be thrilled to see the work here, were knocked off our feet.
Better known for his aerial photography, Floridian Bill Yates recently revisited a box of negs and prints from two seasons of photographing at the Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink in the 70s. Editing 800 shots could not have been easy - I've had a hard enough time choosing what to publish in the magazine. Thanks to Bill for making the effort to get this fabulous body of work digitized and out there. An exhibition showed recently at Gallery Kayafas in Boston, and it was just announced that images from the series have won a place on The Fence in Atlanta and Houston later this year. An exhibition will also be opening at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, on Oct. 3rd, 2015. Expect to see more!
"I had just purchased a medium format, twin lens camera and, as usual, I was out riding around looking for something to shoot. I happened upon an old wooden structure built in the 1930's in the Six Mile Creek area of rural southern Hillsborough County, Tampa, FL. The sign on the building read "Sweetheart Roller Skating." The owner was just driving up. "Mind if I shoot some pics?" I asked. "Sure, but if you want some good ones, come back tonight - this place will be jumpin'." That weekend in September 1972, I ran eight rolls through the camera. After that I photographed nearly every weekend until late spring of 1973. I was twenty-six years-old.
"That first weekend I was met with curiosity and suspicion by the skaters. The next weekend I returned with proof sheets which I stapled to the wooden siding of the rink's interior. For some, complete disinterest in the images. For others, it was as if they were staring at themselves in the mirror for the first time, as though they had rarely seen photographs of themselves -- they couldn't get enough. The skaters became like actors parading their bodies, confronting one another, competing for an audience -- the camera. Though the skaters may not have thought of themselves on a stage, they were no less explicit and physical in their stagecraft. Some of the scenes were unapologetically theatrical. Young men aggressively wrapping arms around their girlfriends' necks, gesturing uncomfortably for the camera -- a sexual come-on, an uncensored performance. Yet others were deadpan. I soon became wallpaper -- I was there, but I wasn't -- just snapping the shutter." Read more on the Sweetheart website.
May all our future children be so encouraged! In 2007, Lindsay Morris began attending a summer camp for gender-creative kids where they could have the freedom to be as fabulous, or not, as they wish, whilst partaking of the usual summer activities. Over the years, Lindsay has made a wonderful series of intimate and real and loving photographs, which appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine in 2012, and which have subsequently been widely published. Many have been collected into a book: 'You Are You' is out now from KEHRER.
A new generation has arrived and is ready for acceptance.
You can catch an exhibition in San Francisco at RayKo, beginning mid-May, and in New York, at ClampArt, in July. Or, if you're on the other side of the pond, the work will also be on show at the Hamburg Triennial, also in June. And visit the You Are You website.
In Natan Dvir's beautifully composed series, "Coming Soon," the effrontery of New York's mammoth advertising hoardings, garishly peddling their goods to a seemingly captive audience, is juxtaposed with the daily life that obliviously potters on beneath them.
"This new series of pictures continues to explore the relationship between the near-future illusions and physical reality. While new and advanced ways of consuming information create a growing world of virtual, mobile, and personalized ads, the city itself becomes an advertising medium. The immense billboards gradually permeate the whole city, from SoHo to Time Square. Always in the peripheral vision, these ads turn pedestrians into passive spectators. People inhabiting the space underneath are pulled, unaware, into a staged set, as the reality of the street merges with the commercial fantasy of the advertisements."
Images from the series have been widely exhibited and published and their popularity is not wavering. Catch the latest show at Anastasia Photo, in New York's Lower East Side, on now through April 30, 2015.
Italian photographer Stefania Notizia is educating us this week. The Turkish Yörüks live in the eastern part of Macedonia. The Yörüks are referred to as nomadic tribes of Turkmen origin who had emigrated from the steppes of Central Asia to Anatolia, and from there, in several waves, settled the eastern part of the Balkans. Their name derives from the Turkish verb yürü-, which means "to walk".
According to an essay by Elizabeta Koneska, ethnologist at Museum of Macedonia, Skopje, they were first noted in the Balkan region by the end of the 14th century. Their gradual immigration went on during the 15th century, it intensified by the first half of the 16th century and concluded by the end of the 16th century. "The opinion prevailing among most researchers suggests that the migration of these nomadic-farming tribes mostly had to do with the conquering ambitions of the Ottoman Empire."
Prolific portrait and music photographer Justin Borucki adopted the old wet plate collodion process to record changing New York. With his necessary mobile darkroom, Borucki has embraced this tricky* process to make magical images of the city he loves. We've been colleagues over many years since he signed up for representation at the photo agency - props always to Kellie McLaughlin, now of Aperture. It's a pleasure to see how photographers progress and change with the times, coming into their own.
*Wikipedia: "Collodion process" is usually taken to be synonymous with the "collodion wet plate process", a very inconvenient form which required the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field.
A small round-up of portraits that Giles Clarke made in 2014. Giles is a social documentary photographer based in New York City who is known for his work, among multitudinous other topics and places, in Haiti, Bhopal, and with the Occupy movement. Just lately he has been producing for UNHCR, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as being a Featured Contributor to Getty Images Reportage.
These portraits will take you on but a portion of Giles' journey through last year.
In September 2014 a young woman was molested and her boyfriend beaten up by 10 fellow students of Jadavpur University, Kolkata. The general student body demanded an unbiased investigation but were denied. Protests followed in Kolkata, and other cities. The police were called in and beat the protesters. Avinandan Sthanpati is in Kolkata and recorded one of the demonstrations.
"...The general students' body of the university demanded an unbiased investigation committee. They continued to stay at the campus until the university authorities wanted to talk to them but all in vain. Instead of that, the Vice Chancellor of the university called up the police into the campus at night, who in turn beat up the students mercilessly, irrespective of male and female. Several of the female students were infact molested in the hands of the police. Several students were arrested and taken to the police station.
"But the police had no idea how this action of theirs could backfire on them. The students got united and within an hour, massive numbers of them went outside their campus and sat on the roads just in front of the Jadavpur Police station. With time, their number grew exponentially and students from other universities also started to join them.
"Rapid Action Force were summoned by the police and things were just going to get ugly when the student representatives took a mature decision and decided to go back to the campus only after the arrested students were released from the police custody. The police thought that this was over. They forgot that students were like seeds. They cannot be suppressed by throwing them on the grounds.
"The next week, almost 40,000 students gathered and started a protest march towards the Governor's house , demanding the resignation of the Vice Chancellor. The Governor had a closed door meeting with a few student delegates and assured them that he will look in to the matter on a serious note.
"Three months have passed after that assurance but alas, nothing has been done from his end. Tyranny is still present inside the university. But the students are getting more and more organised day by day and vouching for a revolution on a massive scale.
"This series is a collective of the photographs of the students from the night when they showed protest in front of the police station and also on the night of that historic march.
"I name this series "Hok Kolorob" - "Let's make some noise" (or "Let there be noise" - ed) in accordance with the name that was given to this protest movement. I, along with scores of people all across the world, am in soliditary with "Hok Kolorob.""
A perfect project statement from Indian-born, New York-dwelling, SVA grad Supranav Dash, about his pensive series 'Marginal Trades':
"Trades and professional practices have always been intertwined with the caste system in India. Each caste and its sub-sets would stereotype an individual and dictate their occupational practice. Since the early 1800s, people were not allowed to deviate from their fixed professions or they would be outlawed by society, which at the time, social morals reflected ignorance and strong attachment to orthodox beliefs."
"The tradition of professions and trades being passed down the line from father to son, continued for generations until recently when globalization and rapid socioeconomic change resulted in the problem of enculturation and automation. At that point, many of the age-old practices faded out, while others are currently on their way to extinction. The modern Indian generation refuses to stick to their ancestral professions and trades; they have become more daring and switch to the more lucrative business possibilities.
The abandonment of the traditional practices also result from insufficient incomes, a desire to escape the caste stereotypes, the constant neglect of the privileged classes of the society these people serve, and a government that is not open to social reforms.
Global trends are constantly changing; therefore, in these frantic times, it's very easy to forget our past, culture and traditions. I am not opposed to modernization, but at the same time, I want to slow things down, force one's self to recognize and remember the beauty of these analog practices.
As a photographer, I want to use my craft to pay respect to these tradesmen and bring them to light.
When photographing the Tradesmen, I note down how much they earn in a week and tally it with the number of family members they support; which brings up a political dialog about exploitation, deprivation, neglect and lack of social reforms. India chooses to overlook the plight of these helpless masses who earn below the minimum wage mark and are rapidly falling below the poverty line.
The images are informed by the works of Eugene Atget (Les Petit Metiers), Irving Penn (Small Trades), August Sanders (People of the Twentieth Century), and by the Indian ethnographic images of Sir John F. Watson and John W. Kaye (The People of India, 1868-75)." - Supranav Dash.
Storyteller Francisco Salgueiro captures both the backstage banality and the front-of-house excitement at circuses across Portugal. This prolific Portuguese photographer, and beloved author, has been spending many hours at the circus, and after we published two blog posts of his images there was so much attention we decided to go full screen with a feature in the mag.
Recently selected on more than one occasion by Vogue and well published and exhibited elsewhere, here's to a good year for Francisco!