Magazine


Marc_Wilson_Last_Stand.jpgFindhorn, Moray, Scotland © Marc Wilson

The UK connection has been kind to me of late and Marc Wilson's beautifully pensive project is the latest series that I am honoured to publish.

This is the landscape as witness to war, a project I heard about through the crowd-funding site Indie GoGo. Receiving regular updates on something that you've contributed to is thrilling; the pleasure of publishing the final results? Priceless!

Here's Marc in his own words:

"Since late 2010 I have been researching, reccieing and shooting the photographs that make up The Last Stand, which aims to document some of the remaining physical remnants of war in the 20th century, along the coastlines of the UK and Northern Europe. These man-made objects and zones of defence now sit silently in the landscape, imbued with the history of our recent past. Some remain proud and strong, some are gently decaying. Many now lie prone beneath the cliffs where they once stood. Through the effects of the passing years, all have become part of the fabric of the changing landscape that surrounds them.

Whilst I capture the individual beauty of these objects in their landscapes, the series of photographs become much more than a set of traditional landscapes. My aim is that the collection will become a permanent photographic record of the past. A testament to the subjects physical form and the histories, stories and memories contained within, both of these wartime objects and the landscapes themselves.

With each passing year the evidence and memories fade a little more and it is especially for this reason that I have undertaken this project. I see every landscape as a witness to war and the passing time, each with a story to tell, whether it is one of unfulfilled defiance or one of tragedy.

This project takes in locations throughout the UK, from Cornwall in the south west of England to the far north west of Scotland; and along the northern coasts of Europe including those of France and Belgium.

The project is being supported by Spectrum Photographic in Brighton."

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

Follow Marc on Twitter.

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@cigaretteburns_ © Travis Hodges

When Travis Hodges joined Twitter, he wanted to meet the people he was communicating with. "I photographed the most active person I followed and asked them to select the next subject from those they follow. Online social networking is changing the way people build relationships and I set out to illustrate one thread within this interconnected web."

The project is the manifestation of an enjoyable part of online networking - actively appreciating someone you're connected to, whom you really don't know. I was surprised that Travis and I have only @JAMortram in common so I'm now following everyone in this story. With the publication of this feature, I hope to connect with more. I have had the pleasure of a cup of tea or two with people I've 'met' on Twitter - it's a great feeling to take these online relationships offline.

Follow Travis.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

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From Heidi & Ed: The fight for our children © J A Mortram

Jim Mortram is up-front about his own situation as a full-time caregiver, and in what spare time he has he photographs people in the margins, people in difficult circumstances - mentally or physically ill or just plain in-trouble. He gives them space to tell their stories, and the results are intimate and non-judgmental. Jim photographs warmly, with obvious compassion and investment in people's lives. "No matter who I shoot I want to shoot them forever!"

Mortram is a member of Aletheia Photo collective. Read a short interview with him at sevenbyfive or view his work with 'Independent Arts and Minds' over on the Beeb.

Visit his site for the full stories, be inspired - you will find yourself wanting to know how things turn out.

View the aCurator magazine full screen photography feature.

Update: a piece focusing on Jim's series Simon: Living With Epilepsy over at DuckRabbit's top blog.

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Denis Abdullah © Carlos A. Moreno

Carlos A. Moreno is a "photojournalist who has a deep passion for documentary work and likes to share his vision about social change with socially conscious organizations that share his desire to make a difference with photographs." Carlos is based out of San Diego, California and lives near the U.S.-Mexican border.

"'Picking up the Pieces' is a story about how a family and its neighbors barely survive in one of America's richest technological hubs, the Silicon Valley Area, home to the likes of Cisco and Google, and how even in such a place of success can working professionals like the Abdullahs still not make it and fall through the cracks.

The Abdullahs survive day-to-day, starting early in the morning recycling and tearing apart computer parts, copper wire, and whatever they can find to make ends meet so they can stay in the hotel they've been inhabiting for two years now and feed their son, Shadeed. With much work and sacrifice they sometimes manage to gain enough for the day's rent and for tools to make recycling a "business," as Denise and Mahir Abdullah see it. Their lives are far and apart from what they use to be years ago, when both had lucrative jobs, he as an electrical engineer at Intel Corp and she as a childcare facilitator.

The 2000 dot-com bubble destroyed their chances of getting ahead and with Mahir's skills now outdated and with a current and long-lasting economic slump neither has a chance of getting back on their feet. Though the odds seem stacked against them, they still persevere and even after facing such hurdles, help their neighbor, Tasha, a single mother who has a severe case of fibromyalgia and who is also struggling financially.

Both families face making rent and not having the needed resources to break the cycle of poverty; they are hoping with their determination and ingenuity that they will not end up homeless, but can slowly pick up the pieces of their lives one part at a time." - Carlos A. Moreno

View the full screen magazine photography feature.

Follow Carlos on Twitter.

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The Meal Back Then, Self Portrait. Rockport, Maine, 2003 © Cig Harvey

Cig Harvey is a fellow ex-pat Brit, living in Maine. Cig's images are breathy, expansive, dreamy, and packing a colorful punch. After a personal introduction Cig posted me a copy of her new bright-red book 'You Look At Me Like An Emergency' and I consumed it like a tube of fruit gums.

'Emergency' is "A book of photographs and text about a life being lived." The storybook opens with the statement "Photography is my way of slowing the world down and creating order from chaos" and interspersed throughout are snatches from a personal diary. "He said, 'Your hair is so wonderfully disheveled.' I thought 'you should see the inside of me.'"

View the aCurator full screen magazine photography feature.



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Li, China, Brazil © James Mollison

"Where Children Sleep" is an important, beautifully executed book and exhibition from photographer James Mollison. aCurator is publishing a selection in two parts.

View the full screen magazine photography feature, part 1.

View the full screen magazine photography feature, part 2.

"When, in 2004, Fabrica (Benetton's creative research centre) asked me to come up with an idea for engaging with children's rights, I found myself thinking about my bedroom: how significant it was during my childhood, and how it reflected what I had and who I was. It occurred to me that a way to address some of the complex situations and social issues affecting children would be to look at the bedrooms of children in all kinds of different circumstances. From the start, I didn't want it just to be about 'needy children' in the developing world, but rather something more inclusive, about children from all types of situations. It seemed to make sense to photograph the children themselves, too, but separately from their bedrooms, using a neutral background.

My thinking was that the bedroom pictures would be inscribed with the children's material and cultural circumstances - the details that inevitably mark people apart from each other - while the children themselves would appear in the set of portraits as individuals, as equals... just as children.

Millions of families around the world sleep together in one room, and millions of children sleep in a space of convenience, rather than a place they can in any sense call their room. I came to appreciate just how privileged I am to have had a personal kingdom to sleep in and grow.

For me, the project became a vehicle to think about issues of poverty and wealth, about the relationship of children to personal possessions, and the power of children - or lack of it - to make decisions about their lives. But this book is not a campaign. There's nothing scientific about the selection of children featured: I travelled where I could, often alongside other projects, and many of the pictures result from chance encounters, following my photographer's nose. I am not qualified to give anyone a lecture on the state of childhood today, or the future of children's rights. Although I have relied on the help of Save the Children, Italy, there is no agenda to the book other than my own journey and curiosity, and wanting to share in pictures and words the stories that I found interesting, or that moved me.

In the end, I hope the pictures and the stories in this book speak to children. Yes, so that lucky children (like I was) may better appreciate what they have. But more than that, I hope this book will help children think about inequality, within and between societies around the world, and perhaps start to figure out how, in their own lives, they may respond." James Mollison Venice, May 2010

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Alex, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil © James Mollison

"Where Children Sleep" was published in 2010 by Chris Boot and is available for purchase.

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Unknown Soldier, 2011 © Marcin Owczarek

And now for something completely different. "My name is Marcin Owczarek and I am an artist who creates in the spirit of Surrealism."

Marcin Owczarek was born in Wroclaw, Poland in 1985 and studied photography there. He admires Dadaism as well as Surrealism. "I regard my critical collages as the prediction of human degradation. Man is imperfect. Man is a savage, greedy rebel of Nature. I stress the present process of dehumanization, mechanization and standardization of human race, false norms and illusional values that are given as the truth to society by religion, governments, laws, propaganda, the false mirror of the television..."

Focusing on the issues of mechanization and standardization, he tackles them in an antiutopian style, depicting the total capture of the spirit by the machine world. He reflects: "In the times of old Celtic celebrations there were enormous figures made of wood or cane, filled with living people and them burned. I have the impression that nowadays we have superseded these Celtic figures by concrete blocks of flats, dead peninsulas, where we undergo geometrical unification and from which we shout 'like martyrs being burnt alive while still giving songs of life from their stakes'. (Artaud)"

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

Visit Marcin on Facebook.

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© Ted Morrison

With this marvelous series, Ted Morrison demonstrates the importance of personal work. Fully embracing a challenge he set for himself, the results prove that personal projects can rejuvenate your creativity, broaden your interests and perhaps keep you sane. Ted, who might spend months on a project with a client, suggests being busy with paid work tends to lead to a death of proactivity outside of the job you're doing. Hearing how I bang on about the importance of coming up with and embracing ideas for new projects, Ted literally got off his chair and headed to Maine accompanied only by his cameras and a new obsession.

Only accessible under certain conditions, Ted made trips to Acadia during summer and autumn last year. The results are beautiful and dramatic. I'd like to be under the sea!

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

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In The Final Throes, New Jersey, 2011 © Michael Massaia

Michael Massaia is an incredibly productive, young, self-taught, technically impressive photographer. He doesn't look like a stalker, he isn't creepy, but he does sneak about a lot in the wee hours in places he probably ought not. Obviously Michael works with large format cameras; there is no trickery, just patience and masterful film processing and printing techniques. Michael describes his images as one-shot scenes that have been pushed to their limit. He talks about developing with Pyro allowing for huge, grainless prints that he makes himself. 

Michael has already been on the walls at AIPAD so I suspect all he needs to continue on this stellar path is a few more hours in the day (or night). At Gallery 270 in New Jersey, they reckon he eats only occasionally and may sleep just two or three hours every other day...

See Michael's work in its best format - large prints from the compelling series Seeing The Black Dog, Massaia's project on long-distance trucking will be on view at J Cacciola Gallery in NYC, opening May 3rd. 


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Untitled from the series 'Channel 247' Brooklyn, NY, 2011 © Hye-Ryoung Min

I met the delightful Hye-Ryoung Min at a portfolio review and she got me hooked on the show she'd been covering on Channel 247.

In her teens, Hye-Ryoung couldn't help but think that somebody was watching her all the time. "I had to act as a main actress in some kind of movie which made me feel self-conscious wherever I went. This might be typical of many other teenagers and it might even play a part in how one creates a sense of self. I remember when the movie 'The Truman Show' came out in 1998. It opens with the question: "What if you were watched every moment of your life?" It completely matched my imagination. The movie went on to show how Truman would really feel after he realized the truth of his condition. Which leads me to ask: how different is our behavior when we are conscious of others around us? And what do involuntary actions tell or reveal about us?"

"I had five television sets at home. Three of them were in the living room and two were in the back, one in the bedroom and the other one in the kitchen. By "televisions" I actually mean windows. The three windows in the living room had the most interesting and varied shows and actors, since they give out on the main boulevard with its constant flow of people and situations. But I also enjoyed the daily shows in the backyard featuring a more regular cast of actors and private moments.
 
This kind of programming had a loose schedule and no guarantees that shows would play on time. For the most part, it was all silent film and the story lines were pretty much repetitive. However, I started noticing subtle nuances and differences from day to day. Repetition helped me understand actors' basic characters; nuance and difference offered me clues into their hidden stories." Hye-Ryoung Min, 2012.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

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