Magazine


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Nick Gleis is clearly a prolific photographer of craft. He has provided photographic images for heads of state and royalty worldwide including Japan, South Korea, UAE, Turkmenistan, Dubai, Cameroon, Mexico, and China - his expertise lies in photographing the most exclusive private jet aircraft. With Martin Parr having selected Nick's work for exhibit at the upcoming Brighton Photo Festival in England, and with his photographs being published around the world, Nick agreed to publish these images full screen in aCurator. With understandable sensitivity to the privacy of the clients, we know little about who and where; we can only gasp at the sheer opulence and let our imaginations run wild within the frame. 

Nick sent in a statement: "In the last decade the field of photography has seen a complete revamp in the way we do things. When I was studying photography with Ansel Adams and other noted photographers there was an important phrase which I believe was first stated by Minor White. 'When combined with The Zone System, pre-visualization makes the photographer's vision a reality.' Ansel had developed a method of exposure, development and printing that produced what the photographer intended to be seen. It wasn't necessarily a literal version of what was there. Pre-visualization is the photographer's vision of the final image.

This pre-visualization is the single most important step to achieving a great image in today's world. Pre-visualizing the final outcome - then assembling the necessary elements - is the way to create lasting images, whether one is photographing an aircraft or a sports car. Virtually all photographs taken by me involve pre-visualization. Far too many photographers today rely on digital tricks and software to produce technically good images, but images that neither excite nor inform the viewer. I would advise all up and coming photographers to slow down and look at the scene very carefully. Is there a better angle? Is the lighting optimal? After all, lighting is everything." - Nick Gleis, September 2010

View the magazine full screen photo feature.

Visit his site Biz Jet Photos for more great images.

Stretch DC-8 © Nick Gleis

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I noticed Leah Giesler following me on Twitter, and visiting her website I found a young woman from Philadelphia undertaking a wonderful project - traveling across South America taking photographs for 25 non-profit organizations while she's 25 years old. I'm pleased to present a selection from her series in Colombia.

"The 25twenty-five Project is a long-term, online, documentary photo series telling stories across and about South America. I am creating a space to re-imagine this continent by combining poignant photo essays about 25 non-profit organizations along side of other contextual cultural observations, posted to a bilingual website.

My motivation for the 25twenty-five Project comes from my interest in finding creative, effective forms to adapt the way we Westerners look at others around the world. After completing a project working to this end with images from India, I wanted to move onto a new challenge and tackle the misunderstood and under-imagined continent of South America. So, I created the 25twenty-five Project in order to educate and engage audiences over the course of one year and ask the question, how much do North Americans really know about this 'other America'?

By consistently posting these works to the 25twenty-five bilingual website over the span of one year, I will be gradually illustrating more positive parts of these countries and creating a dialog that travels between the two Americas. So many of us North Americans lack relation and consideration to the countries and people of South America. And often, when we have no information to go off in imagining this place, we rely on the negative information we do have. Through this project, I will be gradually building a new (and more positive) relationship between both North and South American audiences."

View the full screen magazine photo feature

Basic pediatric exam, Corporación Condor, Providencia © Leah Giesler

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From the new book by Aperture Foundation.

"On the fifth anniversary of the storm, 'Destroy This Memory', photographs by Richard Misrach, offers unique, revealing human perspectives on the devastation and shock left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. 'Destroy This Memory' presents previously unpublished and starkly compelling material, all of which Misrach shot with his 4 MP pocket camera. Created between October and December 2005, this haunting series of images serves as a potent, unalloyed document of the raw experiences of those left to fend for themselves in the aftermath of Katrina."

Artist's royalties for this project are being donated to the Make It Right Foundation, which is currently rebuilding the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

The images truly speak for themselves, containing the only text in this heart-breaking series.

View the magazine full screen photo feature.

Buy the book.

Exhibitions: Museum of Fine Arts Houston, August 7 - October 31, 2010
New Orleans Museum of Art, August 28 - October 24, 2010
Artist's Lecture and Book Signing
August 29, 2:00 pm

© Richard Misrach

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aCurator is proud to support Aperture Foundation.

"Following the success of 2005's groundbreaking book and exhibition 'reGeneration: 50 photographers of tomorrow', 'reGeneration²: tomorrow's photographers today' turns the spotlight yet again on the next generation of potential stars. reGeneration² proves that the art of photography is alive and well, and that practitioners of extraordinary talent are well on their way to making their mark. The selection was made with one key question in mind: is the photographer likely to be known in twenty years' time?

Through over two hundred images, reGeneration² showcases the inspiring creativity and ingenuity of eighty up-and-coming photographic artists. The variety of subjects and techniques on view in this remarkable reflects the astonishing diversity of worldwide tal­ent that has newly emerged. Useful reference materials include biographical details of each of the eighty photographers included and updates on the winning photographers from the first edition, many of whom have since forged impressive international careers, including Pieter Hugo, Idris Khan, Angela Strassheim, and Nathalie Czech."

View the magazine full screen photo feature.

The Cloud, 2008 © Liu Xiaofang from the Aperture book entitled reGeneration²

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In conjunction with ClampArt, aCurator Magazine is honoured to publish a selection of photographs from Dave Anderson's project 'One Block', a series about a single city block, post-Katrina, whose residents are attempting to rebuild their homes. 

"'One Block', Anderson's third show at ClampArt, is a powerful body of work which follows the reconstruction of a single New Orleans block in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, delivering a compelling portrait of the storm's ongoing physical and psychological impact on the city and its residents. Using portraiture, still life, and abstract images, Anderson documents the evolution of both the street and its houses as residents literally rebuild their lives, exploring the very nature of community while testing its resilience. 

Anderson's compassionate treatment of the neighborhood's straitened financial circumstances and its courageous reconstruction has drawn comparisons to coverage of the Great Depression by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and other Farm Security Administration-funded photographers. Seventy years later, between the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the crippling recession, the stability and permanence of the American home is once again at stake." - ClampArt

'One Block' is exhibited at ClampArt through August 20th and the monograph is now available from Aperture.


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"My ongoing body of work, 'Still Points in a Turning World', explores our universal cross-cultural truths: the importance of family, community, ritual and the amazing diversity of its expression.

My earliest memories are of spinning a globe, always drawn to the last mysterious corners of the world. Photographing the people, festivals and sacred sites in the tribal areas of Asia, my passion is to visually capture the rituals that define our lives and to create images that explore our human connections as they are formed. This series is from my travels in the Winter of 2010 to Southern Rajasthan & Gujarat exploring the tribal cultures of the Rabaris, Garasias, Bhils, Wadha and the reclusive Jats. Highlights of the trip were visiting villages where the traditions of different millennia co-exist side by side and the Baneshwar Mela where the tribal Bhil women performed early morning bathing rituals.

My work is interpretive in nature. The photograph is the first step in the process. My technique often involves creating imagery using the invisible infrared light spectrum. I shot infrared film for many years. Now, I use a digital camera converted to infrared and the digital darkroom to create the split-toned imagery. It adds an element of mystery when creating the work, which, I feel, suits the subject matter and the timeless quality of the images.

The differences between our many world cultures are fading away. We all lose when ancient skills and visionary wisdom are forgotten. As a 'visual archeologist', photography has become my way to honor and celebrate an existence that may soon vanish and what it is that makes a people unique. I believe that sharing these stories and rituals can have a positive impact by providing a window on our common humanity." - Terri Gold, July 2010

View the magazine photo feature.

Gujarati Shepherd © Terri Gold

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"I stumbled upon this a few summers ago while driving out to the beach, taking the back roads through Brooklyn. As I sped down the Highway I thought I caught a glimpse of these two black cowboys, trotting out on the grassy strip alongside the road. I was going too fast to get a good look, and there was nowhere to turn around but I went back a few days later, and found this unbelievable place. It's a few acres of land which consists of horse stables (they have about 30-40 horses that live there year round), a riding ring, a bunch of junked up trailers, a clubhouse (which was shut down by the DOB last I saw), and a large grassy area. The people I met there were very welcoming, mostly of an older generation, mostly from the south, and consider themselves real cowboys. 

The place is really special because it's nothing like New York City, yet it's really buried deep in the boroughs - right by East New York, Howard Beach, and Ozone Park. But when you're standing there, you really feel like you could be in South Carolina or some far off place." - Dennis Kleiman, July 2010

"The Federation of Black Cowboys was created in 1994 by a group of diverse people looking to share and promote knowledge of the 'Black West'. Seeking to create greater understanding of African American culture and heritage, we endeavor to provide educational opportunities for the young public of New York."



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"I became fascinated by the life-and-death survival struggle of the trees of Angkor and the ancient temples upon which they grow. I used infrared filters and slow shutter speeds to capture the otherworldly light and power of the trees." - Viviane Moos.

The temples of Angkor were built by the Khmer civilization between 802 and 1220 AD. From Angkor the Khmer kings ruled over a vast domain that reached from Vietnam to China to the Bay of Bengal. More than 100 stone temples survive. Angkor Wat, built during the early years of the 12th century honors the Hindu god Vishnu and is a symbolic representation of Hindu cosmology.




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Jiri's personal perspective:

"I first came across the Alberta tar sands on assignment for WWF in 2007 and again in 2009 on several trips on behalf of Greenpeace. My first impression of the industry in northern Alberta was one of grandiose developments, in a negative sense of the word. Mining and energy extraction are never pretty, but the scale and pace at which big oil is operating in Canada is truly staggering. How could it be that Canada, widely regarded as a friendly, environmentally conscious and 'nice' country condones such destructive projects in its own backyard?

One answer I found whilst talking to people was cultural: whilst most Europeans, and indeed many peoples around the globe live with a notion of resource scarcity, Canadians apparently take the opposite approach: abundance. The mining pits, steam and upgrader plants north of Fort McMurray are truly gigantic, the impression of a stinking moonscape poisoned with toxic tailings and the sounds of cannons designed to scare off migratory birds apparent to anyone who ventures half an hour north along Highway 63. How on earth would anyone in their right mind condone this doomsday scenario?

Apparently, Canada has plenty of it all, and wasting an estimated 10% of its boreal forest, one of the last prime forests left on the planet, is not an issue. In my own cynical mind, this scene would have not surprised me if it had been in say Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Kazakstan, Bangladesh or any other place governed by big oil - I have seen similar sights in other parts of the world - but to witness this in the First World, where one would assume the existence of a functional society with a healthy respect for civil rights, for its environment and its people, was humbling.
 
You can take a view on the destruction of the land, the size and scale of things to come in the next decades - the projects already designed, approved and underway will occupy an area the size of Florida. However, the province of Alberta alone is roughly equivalent to the size of France: if you take off from Calgary, you'll fly for at least two hours before reaching Fort McMurray, the epicentre of oil development, and you're still in Alberta. To sacrifice a proportion of that for petrodollars, jobs and prosperity is an obvious and well-rehearsed choice seen the world over.

However, what got me most is the blatant disregard for the people living downstream from this deadly industry: Canada's First Nations. Gentle, soft-spoken, patient, suffering, yet by and large indecisive, they are the true losers here. Several communities living along Lake Athabasca have been ravaged by cancers unheard of before oil developments began on a large scale. Their water is not safe to drink; the numbers of fish, migratory birds, moose, bear and other wildlife have shrunk and are no longer safe to eat; their ancient way of life seems to be over for good. I find it hard to accept and reconcile this with the notion of the democratic, First World government that Canada claims to have - this scenario feels more at home in the darkest periods of colonization many of us have hoped were condemned to a chapter in the history books.

I hope that the images I present will give you a notion of how alive that history still is today."
- Jiri Rezac, July 2010

View the magazine photo feature.

© Jiri Rezac


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"Alberta's tar sands are arguably the world's most destructive energy project in progress today. Being Canada's main economic driver, and a favourite source of 'safe' energy for its big neighbour down south, the tar sands are a hotly contested issue between the provincial and national government, environmental groups and the indigenous people of Canada who by and large are opposed to the breakneck speed of oil industry developments.

Stretching from the town of Fort McMurray northwards and as far as Peace River to the west, the confirmed deposits of bitumen in the ground take up an area the size of England. To date, only three to five per cent of the existing deposits are being mined or extracted, by inserting high-pressure steam into the ground. Turning bitumen into synthetic crude oil is no easy task: it requires vast amounts of energy and water, and the yields have only become viable with an exploding per-barrel oil price. For thousands of years, Alberta's prime resource has lain idle in the ground, oil companies patiently awaiting their turn until prices went rocketing in the last decade. The once sleepy town of Fort McMurray has been turned into the new frontier of the latest gold rush, absorbing the gains and ills that come with it: rapid growth, high prices, a huge influx of workers, crime, drugs and pollution. Walking down the bland main drag of the aptly nicknamed 'Fort McMoney', you can't help but notice that anybody who is anybody in the oil business has set up camp here: Shell, Total, Chevron, Syncrude, Suncor, CNRL, BP, Husky, Statoil and numerous others have bought up leases to extract the black gold from Alberta's land.

This comes at a high cost, both in terms of investment and natural resources as well as to the environment and the people who live there: the divisive issue is one of land rights and health concerns of Canada's First Nations who live downstream from the tar sands. Is Canada to respect aboriginal land rights, as enshrined in their treaty with the Crown over a hundred years ago which grants the First Nations the freedom to hunt, fish and trap according to their ancient ways? Or is it more interested in oil developments with their consequential destruction of the boreal forest, bringing of employment, and ultimately, money?

For many years, the First Nations in northern Alberta have been complaining about grave health concerns and unusually high cancer rates in their communities - a concern apparently not shared by the Province of Alberta. On another level, several First Nations have begun to legally challenge the status quo and the sale of their lands to oil companies. It is a fight that is synonymous of the classic David vs. Goliath: small and mostly poor communities on the one side; big oil, government, and heavyweight lawyers on the other.

One thing is for sure: the future is set to be challenging, and a mighty struggle is looming."
- Jiri Rezac, July 2010

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