2017 Contest Photos: Smartphone Images
Black & White FOR COLLECTORS OF FINE PHOTOGRAPHY
Duane Michals: Moments of Proof
Rosalind Fox Solomon: Disquieting Encounters Cristina Garcia Rodgrigo: Hidden Spirit
Issue 121 June 2017 US $7.95 Can $9.95
“I’m working with traditions that date back four or five hundred years. I’m working with a different time schedule than everybody else.” –Cristina Garcia Rodrigo ˚
2017 Contest: Looking Back– Looking Forward: CRISTINA GARCIA RODRIGO: HIDDEN SPIRIT — 38
ROSALIND FOX SOLOMON: DISQUIETING ENCOUNTERS— 60
Born in Puertollano, Spain in 1949, Rodrigo has for decades been one of the world’s foremost photo essayists. Her ethnologically rich images of traditional religious rites and festivals balance keen social insight with an almost otherworldly poetic expression of the psyche and spirit.
Over the past five decades, Solomon has made photographs that take viewers outside their comfort zones and into the lives of people beset by social, political, sexual and other challenges. Her photographic encounters with people the world over are filled profound empathy and understanding of the complexities of what it means to be human.
MARK RUWEDEL: PHOTOGRAPHIC EXCAVATIONS— 50 Landscape photographer Mark Ruwedel describes his work as “an inquiry into the histories, cultural and natural, of places that reveal the land as being both a field of human endeavor and an agent of historical processes.” By documenting the recent past, he transforms it into a visual record of loss that is both poignant and romantic.
HENRYK ROSS: ONLY THE PICTURES REMAIN— 70 At great personal risk, Henryk Ross clandestinely photographed life in the Lodz Ghetto from 1940 to 1944, then buried his negatives so that “there should be some record of our tragedy.” The unearthed images portray a vivid and tragic record of death and survival under the Nazi regime.
“I love doing what I’ve never done before. Most people love staying in their comfort zone and enjoying the security of doing what they’ve always done.” –Duane Michals
82 Smartphone Images — 18 FREDERICK CARNET: IN AND OUT OF TUNE WITH NATURE — 82 In October 2011 Frederick Carnet photographed the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake and the tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. But his real postulate was to show “what nature gives and what nature takes back when it becomes violent and uncontrollable” while extolling the spirit and stoicism of its victims.
DUANE MICHALS: MOMENTS OF PROOF — 92 Michals’ seminal sequences and written-on images resonate with unique and mysterious power while offering still-relevant lessons in photographic creativity. He remains true to the philosophy of following his imagination and imprinting a personal resonance on every photograph he makes.
SVEN MARTSON — 102 DANIEL JODER — 106 VLADIMIR KABELIK — 110 KEN BALL — 114 MILAN BOBYSUD — 118 SILVESTRE MACHADO — 122
SINGLE IMAGE SPOTLIGHTS PHILIP GORNICKI — 34 ELLEN G. INGRAM — 35 MICHAEL MEDRANO — 36 BAHMAN P. TABEI — 37 BOOK REVIEWS — 6 WHAT’S IT WORTH— 10 COPYRIGHT — 14 BACKSTORY — 16 EXPOSURE SECTION — 126
Modernism Past and Present
Dean Brierly, Mark Edward Harris
Moholy-Nagy: Future Present Art Institute of Chicago 324 pages | HC | $65
“Moholy-Nagy’s goal throughout his life was to integrate art, technology and education for the betterment of humanity.” Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895–1946) was a multimedia artist a half-century before that nomenclature came into existence. The avant-garde Hungarian used photomontages, photograms (he coined the term), straight photography laced with strong graphic elements, painting, sculpture, design, typography and film to express his inner visions and outwardly critique postWorld War I society. Moholy-Nagy saw his photomontages—which he called fotoplastiken (photo-sculptures)—as a “compressed interpenetration of visual and verbal wit; weird combinations of the most realistic, imitative means which pass into imaginary spheres.” A touring retrospective of the pioneering artist and educator’s oeuvre, Moholy-Nagy: Future Present—which kicked off in 2016 at the Guggenheim and culminates this year at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art—is the catalyst for an exhibition
catalog of the same name. The hardcover edition is produced with a PVC plastic jacket and a foil-stamped case wrap. This extensive examination of Moholy-Nagy’s life, working methodology and imagery includes scholarly essays offering new insights and over 500 illustrations. LACMA curator Carol S. Eliel writes, “Moholy-Nagy’s goal throughout his life was to integrate art, technology and education for the betterment of humanity; he believed art should serve a public purpose.” Particular emphasis is given to Moholy-Nagy’s later years in the United States and his creation of the New Bauhaus in Chicago in 1937, which evolved into the present day Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Uppermost in MoholyNagy’s approach to the medium was an emphasis on what he termed “the use of light as a creative agent.” His innovative manipulation of light was crucial to both his visual and theoretical output, through which he sought to confound and overturn hidebound conceptions of what photography could be and what it could express pictorially, socially and politically. He remained active as an artist and a teacher until his untimely death from leukemia in 1946. MoholyNagy: Future Present is a potent reminder of how relevant his work remains. —MEH
Absence of Being Susan Burnstine Damiani 112 pages | HC | $50
Burnstine’s latest book reveals a preoccupation with the question of what remains of someone after they die and their physical presence is just a memory. She brings a uniquely contemporary visual slant to this existential quandary that philosophers have wrestled with for ages. In her words, “These images capture fleeting memories, spotted from the corner of an eye that vanish the moment we turn to really look. And yet they remain, for the imprint remains with us. We are living in the present, but the past reminds us that it is part of us, too, as is the future, and we of them.” Using her trademark array of hand-made cameras and lenses that produce fascinatingly unpredictable results, Burnstine has fashioned haunting and mysterious images that truly seem to emanate from somewhere beyond traditional notions of where life begins and where it ends. — DB
Frederick Carnet: In and Out of Tune with Nature Dean Brierly
Towards the end of a decade spent doing advertising photography, Frederick Carnet found himself at a creative dead end, increasingly distanced from his beginnings as a fine art photographer. Mentally and spiritually burned out from the effort of chasing clients and churning out unfulfilling commercial assignments while doing personal projects on the side, he realized that he no longer enjoyed photography. He remembers waking up one morning in January 2011 and asking himself a simple yet telling question: Did he become a photographer just to make advertising imagery? His answer was a quick and emphatic no.
With that Carnet informed his agent he would no longer accept advertising work and stowed his cameras under his bed. There followed a couple of directionless months with no income, no place of his own and no idea what to do next. Then came March 11, with news of the magnitude 9 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami
Frederick Carnet (self-portrait)
and, two days later, the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Stunned by the immense human toll of these tragedies, and dealing simultaneously with illness and death within his own family, Carnet realized that in order to find peace within himself he would have to make peace with photography. With a small legacy left to him by his godmother, Carnet travel to Japan that October to try and recapture the freedom and purity of expression that initially drew him to the medium. (He had visited Japan in 2008 to take photographs for his book Budoka no Kokoro, and vowed to return one day.) Unlike many photographers who flocked to Japan to document the aftermath of the disasters in straightforward documentary terms, Carnet had a broader focus in mind. “The series would be a tribute to Japan, and nature would be my main subject,” he says. “The postulate was to show what nature gives and what nature takes back when it becomes violent and uncontrollable. I planned a three-month trip and knew approximately where I wanted to go, although I didn’t really know what I would find, photographically speaking, and how I would capture it. But I
Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture. Seki Motohiro with his daughter Mina in a contaminated area. (1.05 microsieverts-h) December, 2011
On National Route 45 to Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture. Tsunami-devastated area. November, 2011
“The postulate was to show what nature gives and what nature takes back when it becomes violent and uncontrollable.”
stuck to this conception, which evolved during the time I was there.” Carnet traveled by bicycle, a flexible and economical mode of transportation that allowed him to stop whenever he chose, and gave him time to meditate and think about how best to shape his photographic narrative. Although he doesn’t speak Japanese, the lack of communication didn’t hinder his ability to capture the thematic and emotional objectives he had in mind. And although he was denied access to the Forbidden Zone—an evacuated area consisting of a 20 kilometer radius from the power station—he didn’t consider this a drawback. “If I had been able to get into the Forbidden Zone, I could have shot some nice postapocalyptic pictures, the kind that excite people. But in my opinion it would have been totally useless. I wanted my photographs to be more humble and closer to the reality of the thousands of people who were still living in Fukushima, apparently safe but surrounded by invisible radionuclides 24 hours per day. My pictures show banal landscapes, but hidden behind this banality is a very real danger.” Although on his own for much of the time, Carnet did hook up with Jun Onozawa, a journalist with Japan’s national television channel NHK in a village in the Tohoku region
that had been destroyed by the tsunami. “He proposed to film a story about my trip if I would go to Fukushima. As I was planning to go there, I accepted, and we spent four days together. He and his team followed me around, and as Jun spoke very good English, he was able to translate everything the people I met were trying to tell me. Without Jun, some of my Fukushima pictures would have been much different.” [The documentary aired on December 14 while Carnet was still in Fukushima City.] He also received assistance from Wataru Iwata, who created the Citizen’s Radioactivity Measuring Station (CRMS), which helps people in Fukushima take measurements to help protect themselves and make informed decisions about their health and safety. Iwata introduced Carnet to farmers who lived near the Forbidden Zone. In Nihonmatsu, a city located 60 kilometers from the Fukushima power station, Carnet met mushroom grower Tatsuhiro Ono, whose entire crop was contaminated, and who faced the prospect of being unable to sell any mushrooms for the foreseeable future. In the city of Minamisoma, which was partially inundated by the tsunami, Carnet encountered Atsuko Mishima, then 69 years old, living at the limit of the restricted area. The road that passes in front of her house had become a dead-end. She had no more neighbors and almost no social life. She had a garden but couldn’t plant anything for fear of growing contaminated vegetables. In Carnet’s portraits, Ono seems to wear a bemused expression, and one can discern a twinkle in Mishima’s eyes as she peers at the photographer over her white face mask, but Carnet wasn’t misled by these and other displays of stoicism. “Being strong and selfaware doesn’t mean that you aren’t vulnerable. No one is stronger than a radioactive particle. It’s very difficult for those who haven’t directly experienced it to really understand a nuclear catastrophe. Every single little thing in the lives of Fukushima’s residents changed after the explosion. “Radioactivity is odorless and totally invisible, so it’s easy to say think that everything is fine. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. A radioactive particle is one of the most perfidious elements. Thankfully, many inhabitants were fighting for their rights by creating their own association to deal with the radioactivity threat.”
Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture. November, 2011
On National Route 45, Iwate Prefecture. Buddhist walking from Fukushima to Aomori to pray for people affected by the tsunami. November, 2011
Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture. Contaminated area. Mrs. Atsuko Mishima, 69 years old, who lives at the limit of the restricted area of Fukushima power station. December, 2011
“Radioactivity is odorless and totally invisible, so it’s easy to think that everything is fine. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there.”
Carnet took radiation measurements every day, and included the readings in some of his photo captions as a reminder that even inhabited areas outside the Forbidden Zone were subject to radiation contamination. It’s well to keep in mind that this is still the case for people living in Fukushima Prefecture, even in 2017. Carnet’s Geiger counter beeped frequently with readings of over 1 microsieverts per hour. While people can absorb nonlethal doses of radiation without noticeable effect, long-term absorption does contribute to the risk of cancer. That’s why Carnet considers his photograph of three children wearing face masks and dosimeters to be the most violent in the entire series. “This picture seems very banal, even trivial. But it has to be talked about in context. I took it in Minamisoma, in the car park of a fast-food restaurant on a Sunday. It was full of families, with kids everywhere shouting, playing and running—just like any American fast-food place on a Sunday. Except that every single child wore the same necklace. Not jewelry, but a dosimeter. Thousands of children from Fukushima are part of a big
epidemiological study. The Japanese government wants to see the impact of low-level radioactivity on children through the years. But we’ve all known what the consequences are since the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986: cancers, multiple sicknesses, heart disease, etc. It’s tough to face, but the three kids in this picture are just three little guinea pigs who didn’t ask for anything bad in their lives.” Carnet is quick to point out that this series—which served as the basis for an exhibition and book under the title Nippon 2011— isn’t focused solely on tsunami and radiation damage. It’s divided into five discrete and related sections. “The first part is dedicated to nature, its beauty, its serenity. What nature gives. It was mainly shot in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. The second part shows the power of nature when it becomes violent. For this I focused on the region touched by the tsunami to express my feelings. “The third part, photographed in Fukushima Prefecture, is probably the most ambivalent and subtle of the five parts. How to show the
Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture. Tatsuhiro Ono, a mushroom farmer unable to sell his contaminated crop. December, 2011
“People think that they have enough power to control nature by surrounding it with concrete. However, if we keep on destroying nature, Earth won’t give us the opportunity to keep living.”
invisible? My photographic response was to leave it invisible. To remain as perfidious as a radioactive particle. The landscapes I show are exactly the same as the ones I showed in Hokkaido. They are peaceful, even beautiful at times. But each time I took a picture in Fukushima, I measured the radioactivity at the place I was shooting. The only difference between these pictures and the ones shot in Hokkaido are the captions with the radioactivity readings. “This leads directly to the fourth part, in which I wanted to show nature in Tokyo, Japan’s largest city. People think that they have enough power to control nature by surrounding it with concrete. However, if we keep on destroying nature, Earth won’t give us the opportunity to keep living. The fifth and final chapter depicts the Tottori sand dunes partly covered with snow. They are Japan’s only large sand dune system. I used this ‘desert’ as a symbol of ‘sterility.’ Some people might say that’s naive, but if we take the time to look at the state of our world, it’s also naive to think that we can keep on going like we do, consuming more and more every day.” Carnet expresses his deceptively simple themes through a straightforward, uncluttered visualization of people and landscapes. Using a Mamiya RZ67 with 65mm lens, often mounted on a tripod, he generally posed his
subjects formally, center frame, looking straight into the camera. The landscape images possess a similar simplicity and purity of vision that is at once modern and timeless. The formal quality is reminiscent of traditional Japanese art. Carnet credits Raku, Budo and Wabi-sabi with helping him arrive at this way of shooting pictures and building a series; all are connected with time-honored Japanese culture. “During my last years in advertising photography I needed to get back to the essentials. The same friend who helped me to become a photographer, Nadja LaGanza, introduced me to the art of Raku, a Japanese ceramic technique that helped me achieve a deeper connection with the earth. “Before shooting my Budoka no Kokoro series, my friend Leo Tamaki gave me a lot of information about Budo. Through him and several Budo masters I learned to express a complicated feeling or idea in a very simple manner. And Wabi-sabi is an aesthetic that teaches acceptance of transience and imperfection. So if I had to define my photography, I would say it consists of a high concentration of ideas put inside a rectangle with only a few lines and shades of grey.” Carnet followed up Nippon 2011 with projects in Iceland, Spain, Germany and France, all of them exploring themes of nature and the infinite ways we think about and interact with the natural world around us. The 2011 series also changed his life in other ways. “I grow most of the vegetables I eat from organic reproducible seeds. My electric energy is from renewable energy. I do my best to explain to people around me that nuclear energy as fuel energy belongs to the past. We all need to reconnect to nature.” Addendum You can see more of Carnet’s work at www.frederickcarnet.com. All images © Frederick Carnet.
Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture. Contaminated area. December, 2011
Kushiro, Hokkaido. Woman walking her two dogs. October, 2011
Tokyo. December, 2011
Tokyo. December, 2011
Soma, Fukushima Prefecture. Children with masks and dosimeters. December, 2011
Oku-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture. Tsunami-devastated area. November, 2011
Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture. Mao at Kushihiki Temple. November, 2011
Rosalind Fox Solomon: Disquieting Encounters George Slade
During a 1981 journey through India, Rosalind Fox Solomon spent time in the city now known as Kolkata. Her wanderings brought her to a scrappy, al fresco factory of sorts, where roughly hand-made female mannequins stood arrayed on posts, airing out in the crisp, midday sun. The patched-together figures pose in mid-gesture, hips and arms akimbo, their understated faces conveying nothing special. One might envision these as attendant figures in the company of a Hindu deity.
The outstanding features of the photograph she made of this workshop—“Calcutta, India, 1981”—are not the modest assembly of blithe spirits or the tactile quality of bright earthiness, though by themselves these would have made for an intriguing image. There are two extraordinary characters that give this scene added dimension. One is a very young child, not much more than a toddler, standing hip-high to and nearly hidden among the mannequins, peering out at us with an unreadable expression.
Rosalind Fox Solomon (photo by Tara Wray)
The other notable is an imposing figure whose frighteningly spindly outstretched fingers cast imprisoning dark bars across the child’s face. Though its body resembles the benign figures around it, the creature’s face is the most disturbing element of Solomon’s photograph. Whereas other visible faces are shadowed or inscrutable, this face is vivid and fiercely real, more alive than the child, a demonic virago straining against the thin membrane of the picture plane to size up the space we occupy and determine if there’s something out here for her to devour. For nearly 50 years, Solomon has brought extraordinary intensity to her photographic examinations of the human world and its infinite strangeness. Her desire seems akin to that of the demon. During her global travels Solomon has encountered and recorded huge chunks of the occupied world, enough to qualify as an expert on the topic of “civilized” life. Remarkably, though, her voraciousness is accompanied by the perpetual, insatiable and essentially blame-free curiosity of a child. The Kolkata photograph symbolizes the yin and yang of Solomon’s vision—an innate, ongoing compulsion to see and an uncompromising desire to record evidence of an authentic encounter. “I began taking pictures when I was 38 and for five years I fumbled around. I had no tech-
occasionally seems as spellbound and speechless as we are, confronted with an alleged fact—it was there, in front of her lens, so it must be real—that defies knowledge and reiterates that truth, no matter how fragile, is often stranger than fiction. “I see the world as anything but logical. People and situations are complicated. Sometimes my pictures seem pleasant, but look closely and they may take you to a dark place. I want viewers to be puzzled; if they don’t get an emotional charge, they may sense that I do.”
Havana, Cuba, 2016
“I began taking pictures when I was 38 and for five years I fumbled around. I had no technical training. I found out that I had a deep need for personal expression.”
nical training. I found out that I had a deep need for personal expression. At a [certain] point, I learned what I needed to know to make expressive pictures.” Like the young Indian observer in her photograph, Solomon gazes intently but does not judge, questions but does not insist on answers, and lingers long enough to know that a fair exchange of energy and respect has taken place between the individuals on both sides of the shutter. The inquisitive child walks side-by-side with the embattled adult. The two support and rely on each other to reach an understanding, however fleeting, of human coexistence in a given moment. Solomon’s photographs can seem impolite. Sometimes it has to do with a knowing transgression; her image-making gaze strips away defenses and pretension, leaving us with evidence of a kind of stunned truth. Other times we are aware of the questions being asked, questions that might seem too personal, too probing or boundary-crossing. Questions a shy viewer would hesitate to ask in the same situation, questions that might send an average person running to hide in a closet. On the other extreme, the photographer
Solomon’s work epitomizes photographer Garry Winogrand’s observation that “there is nothing as mysterious as a fact clearly described.” Solomon’s photographic technique renders very lucid descriptions owing to her use of medium-format cameras in concert with flash lighting to access and peer into shadows. But her heart, soul and uncompromising inquisitiveness are her most important tools. Given the formal consonance her images have with conventional documentary work, it is not surprising that collections of her photographs typically center on time and place (or, in the case of her AIDS portraits from 1987 and 1988, a significant, impactful event [see postscript, below]). Such presentations are broadly comprehensible. Some of the most revelatory work Solomon has accomplished since the turn of the millennium involve editing and conceptually reframing her own images. In her books Chapalingas (Steidl, 2003) and Got to Go (MACK, 2016), Solomon accomplishes something quite remarkable. While her images are undeniably tied to certain moments, by stripping away dates, locations and other standard caption information she presents a very different set of facts. Her focused, intuitive efforts over time render a narrative tied to intangibles; she uses what’s visible to summon up impressions of what’s not. These recent publications are not conventional monographs. They are an artist’s books, conveying Solomon’s input of words, images and design to a greater extent than they reflect input from a curator, editor or outside writer. When the obligation to tell a story about a place and time is erased and those familiar supports removed, the photographer pushes her images out onto a much less stable tightrope to walk by themselves. At this moment the images truly come alive. As the aerialist Karl Wallenda said, “to be on the wire
New York, 1987
Calcutta, India, 1981
“Sometimes my pictures seem pleasant, but look closely and they may take you to a dark place. I want viewers to be puzzled; if they don’t get an emotional charge, they may sense that I do.”
is life; the rest is waiting.” When Solomon sequences the work and adds her own pithy texts—sometimes poetry, sometimes stream of consciousness anecdotes or fragmentary recollections—the collective end result is greater than the sum of the parts. And Solomon’s efforts have a compelling, ongoing sense of urgency; this current selection, arrived at in conjunction with the artist, covers a wide geographic and chronological swath of her work and serves as a statement by the artist about the times we live in now. Knowing this allows one to experience the images with a more tuned mindset. Assuredly, a selection made to reflect the times in mid-2016 would have manifested a very different gestalt. In a 2016 artist statement Solomon says that her goal in photography is “to connect with the inside.” Her pictures, therefore, “come out of my gut”; the most satisfying of them reflect her conviction that “tension between me and the people I am photographing yields something complex.” She values the weighty implications of a shared glance
Jerusalem, Israel, 2011
and understands that catching someone’s eye creates an immediate and intense exchange of history, emotions, self-projections and reflections. Solomon is uninterested in spoon-fed answers or thinning out the implications of an image. Her pictures achieve a certain yet disquieting denouement. The before and after, the prelude and ramifications of closure, are left to our imagination. Her fascination is for the intersection, for the place where the symbolic expressions of life experiences coalesce. Her photographs amplify and complicate, risking the rolling, gray waves as opposed to the safe, monotone shorelines. She is troubled, like so many, by the fact that her country seems to be clinging to the shorelines, afraid to be in the churning middle. Life is not simple. Solomon’s photographs allow the complexity of existence to peek around a curtain. In contrast to the Wizard of Oz, we have far more to dread in what’s not immediately visible. “I have learned to work not only with photographs,” Solomon says, “but I’ve also made unique books and short video pieces; I write and have performed my own work.” Her reading list is full of observations on human behavior, including the recent books Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance and Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan. She admires other literary figures, including Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Mary Oliver, Elfriede Jelinek, Oliver Sacks, anthropologist Margaret Mead, filmmaker Satyajit Ray and choreographers Mark Morris and Pina Bausch. She draws sustenance from the 19th-century photographic portrait work of Julia Margaret Cameron. She finds Richard Avedon’s “unembellished” portraits “insightful and disturbing.” She acknowledges a feeling of “kinship” with Diane Arbus and Larry Fink; all three of them studied with the influential photographer and teacher Lisette Model. “Each of us is very different, but we are connected through Lisette.” Anyone doubting Solomon’s attitude toward the reportage aspect of photography, or toward the accessing of subject matter, should note the following, expressed in specific response to an insinuation about the “story” embedded in a given image (“Guatemala, 1979”). “The story within any of my photos is the mundane story of how I got there and man-
Tel Aviv, Israel, 2011
New York, 1986
“Tension between me and the people I am photographing yields something complex.”
aged to take it, which is a story that I consider as uninteresting as telling you how I Googled your name. The key to this picture can be objects that represent a society and a culture and illustrates extreme contrasts. It could be what we value in life that expires with us. It is also how my own life and emotions connect to it. I leave the interpretation to the viewer, who will bring to it his own point of view and concerns.” Pay attention to the open-endedness of her comments. “Can be.” “Could be.” Everything is subjective, there are no absolutes. Author’s Postscript Solomon’s most topical images, from a series that made a huge impact on me when I lived in New York City 30 years ago, were compiled in Portraits in the Time of AIDS, a catalogue for a 1988 exhibition at the Grey Art Gallery and Study Center at New York University. Because it seemed to me to sit apart from much of her work I asked her for some specific explication. The following exchange offers some insight into her process and moti-
vations in this context. GS: Did you have a particular motivation for this series? Other books you’ve done, largely concerned with places—examples include Poland and Israel—allow and encourage readers to focus on place-time linkages. But the AIDS portraits seem to have evolved from another wellspring. Time, attitudes and conditions as place, perhaps? RS: I began this project in 1987, with the objective of humanizing people with HIV and AIDS, after reading a front-page article in The New York Times that quoted the suggestion that anyone with HIV should be isolated away from others. At that time, the virus was generally perceived as an illness that you could “catch” merely by being in the presence of someone diagnosed with the virus. I believed what doctors reported: it was spread by sexual contact and needles. I had a personal interest in making photographs of young men with HIV/AIDS. My son had been diagnosed with a progressive kidney disease. At that time, the prognosis for him was not good. I felt akin to the people I photographed. We talked for a while about their concerns about their plight. Tragically, this included changes in their relationships with their families and friends. Addendum All photographs © Rosalind Fox Solomon. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. Experience more of Solomon’s visual perspective at www.rosalindfoxsolomon.com.
New York, 1984
South Africa, 1990
Miami, Florida, 1994
Miami, Florida, 1994
“The ‘mere’ landscape can serve as a bookmark of climate change, species extinction, human overpopulation and environmental degradation.”
Fact File Daniel Joder Boulder, CO danieljoderphotography.com goneflying58@yahoo. com Signed prints are available at 8.5x11 (6x9 image size) for $125 and 13x19 (12x18 image size) for $295. Contact the photographer for larger print options.
Daniel Joder Portfolio Contest Winner
America’s cities have always been a source of creative energy for artists. This is particularly true of New York City, which has been at the center of American culture for the past two centuries. Life, both on the streets and in the blocks and rows of towering buildings, has been the grist for every art form, with photography at the forefront. Beginning with Paul Strand’s early work, New York has become the undisputed hub these past 100 years for the art of American street photography. Photographs of people have predominated, but buildings have also been an important subject matter when it comes to representing life in the Big Apple. Each generation of artists brings new ways of visually rethinking cities in general and New York in particular. This process of interpretation is apparent in the photography of Daniel Joder, whose series An Orwellian New York offers fresh perceptions of the streets of Manhattan. Often, it takes someone from outside an area so intimately known by its inhabitants to provide a new perspective of a visually well-worn place. Living in Boulder, Colorado, Joder made a trip to New York ready to document life on the streets, but instead found the compressed space of its sun-blocking buildings more compelling and symbolic of 21st century city life. “I originally visited NYC with the idea of doing some street photography—after all, it is the mecca for that,” says Joder. “However, I immediately felt drawn to the imposing and solitary heights of the massive skyscrapers instead, so I followed my intuition. To me, the bustling, consuming and teeming human masses crowding the street existed in stark contrast to the towering steel and glass structures above, the latter seemingly designed to impose a certain degree of separation, conformity and alienation. From there, it wasn’t hard to imagine a 1984-type world of control and consumption.” To create his dystopian vision, Joder used a telephoto lens and began to shoot images from street view, looking up, compressing space and positioning billboards and signs against buildings and sky. These diptych-like
photographs (they are not combined images in Photoshop, but painstakingly framed to appear so) ask us to see the city in a politically charged way. Art that comes from such a viewpoint is an important element of Joder’s approach. “I think all art is a political statement to a greater or lesser degree, even the simple landscape, as demonstrated in the American West in the 19th and 20th centuries by Watkins, King, Jackson, Adams, Cole, Moran, Bierstadt, et al. Today, the ‘mere’ landscape can serve as a bookmark of climate change, species extinction, human overpopulation and environmental degradation. It’s a matter of what you as the viewer choose to read into a particular piece as well as the artist’s intentions. I find my work gravitating more and more toward political and social commentary, often through simple documentation and sometimes through creative photographic collages, as I feel very strongly that the next 100 years will be critical for our survival as a species.” Joder’s images are at once disorienting and disquieting. The disorientation is due to the angle at which the photos were shot and the scale of the human forms next to the buildings, usually provided by the adjacent billboards. They are disquieting because the human element is sometimes in opposition to the building (read, power structure) next to it, as in “Quiet Desperation,” or in “The Spy Next Door,” with the position of the Big Brother-like visage (read, all-seeing eye) violating the sanctity of privacy by peering into an apartment window. Even Joder’s photographs of buildings without advertising images project, through structural uniformity, feelings of unassailable corporate or governmental power. Most important, Joder gives us a personal view of the present, documenting our time, an era that will in future provide evidence of our conflicted political and social climate. — Larry Lytle
Building #76 (Monolith), New York City, NY, 2015
A City Burns, New York City, NY, 2015
Quiet Desperation, New York City, NY, 2015
The Spy Next Door, New York City, NY, 2015
Heavenly Release, New York City, NY, 2015
Silhouettes of Separation, New York City, NY, 2015
Ellen G. Ingram Single Image Winner ARCHITECTURE/INTERIORS
Ellen G. Ingram Toledo, OH augustamoonphotography.smugmug.com secorgardens@hotmail. com
Sunlight and Symmetry, Mansfield, OH, 2016 Finding the unexpected in unusual places is one reason I love photography. This image was taken at the abandoned Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, built in 1896. Historians are uncertain if architect Levi Scofield designed this space knowing that the sunlight would form an X, or whether it was an acci00
dental occurrence. Either way, encountering this anomaly in such a severe environment is an unexpected surprise. Nothing prepares visitors for the OSRâ€™s massive scope. For me, it was difficult to reconcile the stark brutality of the prisonersâ€™ lives with the hauntingly beautiful architecture that remains.
Another fantastic issue featuring amazing work acclaimed Magnum photographer Cristina Garcia Rodero, Rosalind Fox Solomon’s disturbing yet a...
Published on Mar 4, 2018
Another fantastic issue featuring amazing work acclaimed Magnum photographer Cristina Garcia Rodero, Rosalind Fox Solomon’s disturbing yet a...