04 April 2013
developments in photography
All content in this magazine is ÂŠ 2012 of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale and participating artists, and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the BIFB. Inc save for fair dealing for the purposes of research, study, criticism, review, reporting news. All other rights are reserved.
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6 Yurko Dyachyshyn Carpathian Shepherds
32 Basil Al-Rawi Façade
52 Galina Kurlat Inherent Traits
68 Peter Dunphy Show Synopsis
82 Rina Vukobratovic The girl who sees the verses
98 José Diniz The Sea
photography from asia, Australasia and the pacific rim, promoting photography throughout the region www.asiapacificphotoforum.org
â€œWhen words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.â€? Ansel Adams
the asia pacific photoforum, a collaboration of festivals of photography from asia, Australasia and the pacific rim, promoting photography throughout the region www.asiapacificphotoforum.org
My introduction to this edition of ‘BETA – developments in photography’ is less about this month’s content, in fact I make no reference to this month’s artists, but it goes without saying that it is all top quality material, but more a response to a salutary tale brought on by the demise of Foto Freo, and something that touches on the broader implications of festivals such as the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, the organisation behind this wonderful publication. Foto Freo, by any objective analysis was a fantastic event. A festival of the highest standards, bringing world quality photography to the W.A. public and presenting it an exemplary fashion to a substantial and growing audience, local, interstate and overseas. Great photography, great venues, great publications, great supporting programs, great ethos! So why is Foto Freo no more? FF, like all of our photographic festivals, was run by virtue of the grace of a small cohort of individuals prepared to do what was necessary for little or no recompense based on their passion for photography. If commercial imperatives were to be the cornerstone of photographic festivals, there would be no festivals of photography in Australia, nor anywhere else in the world I expect, without major government or third party subsidies.
But back to ‘BETA – developments in photography’. Our four issues to date have more than exceeded the BIFB’s expectations in terms of presentation, content and readership. The only unmet need is that of anticipated, indeed expected, paid advertising. The question for us now is – how do we grow, or even maintain the standards we have set for the publication? As with the bigger picture of the festival itself – will you, our audience, accept backward steps? Would you still come to Ballarat if there were no international artists in the BIFB Core Program? Or if we no longer had a printed program and instead the only way you could navigate around the festival was to download and print your own program? Or if our venues were only open on weekends during the festival instead of every day? Likewise, would you still be a fan of BETA if there was no design ethic? If the standard of work that BETA currently attracts was downgraded because photographers could no longer expect their work to be given respect in the quality of presentation that BETA currently affords?
Foto Freo ticked all the boxes. The Ballarat International Foto Biennale ticks all the boxes. ‘BETA - developments in photography’ ticks the boxes. The sad loss of Foto Freo has demonstrated that it is not enough to simply be fan. So what can you do? Become a member or patron of the BIFB. Put your hand up and show that you are a believer and supporter of the initiatives the organisation promotes and advances, including the ongoing viability of ‘BETA – developments in photography’. One click away at www.ballaratfoto.org We need your support!
Jeff Moorfoot Festival Director Ballarat International Foto Biennale
Carpathian Shepherds www.dyachyshyn.com
Carpathians, Ukraine, 2005-2011 This is a story about shepherds, Gutsuls, living in the Ukrainian Carpathians, their everyday’s life, household and seasonal work in the Carpathian meadows, called polonynas. They ride herds high in the mountains producing cottage and brinsen cheese, just like their ancestors did hundreds and hundreds years ago. The Ukrainian Carpathians border with Romania, partially with Poland and Slovakia. Their total area is almost 40000 sq. km, which is almost the territory of Switzerland with its area of nearly 41277 sq. km. The height of the mountains is up to - 2000 m. above the sea level. The territory of the Ukrainian Carpathians is inhabited mainly by the Gutsuls, which is in fact the only Ukrainian ethnical group for which sheep-breeding has always been the main household activity. This has been influenced by the natural environment which is unsuitable for agriculture. Sheep, cows and goats have been giving food and clothes to Gutsuls.
The job of a shepherd has always been considered an honourable men’s trade. Nowadays, sheep breeding, glorified in legends and fairy tales, is no longer romantic and attractive. The exhausting work, household and natural conditions at seasonal sheep breeding farmyards demand from shepherds not only experience but also physical strength. Progress and globalization have also reached the highest Carpathian peaks, changing their landscape, household and culture. However, in some regions of the Carpathians sheep breeding still exists in its original features and modern civilization has not touched the lifestyle of the shepherds. They manage sheep breeding farmyards the way it was many centuries ago. On average, the season lasts from 4 to 5 months, starting in May and ending in the middle of September. The working day starts at 3-5 a.m. The shepherds live and work in polonynas high in the mountains often with their whole families and children, who work no less hard. The shepherds ride their herds in all weather conditions, milk the cattle three times a day and produce cheese, brinsen, vurda and buts. They take water from springs with buckets and cook dinner on fire.
The village men climb the mountains to exchange cheese and brinsen for food products, cigarettes and alcohol. The latter is now a part of everyday’s meal of a shepherd. Nowadays, the traditional sheep breeding in polonynas is gradually decaying and changing to exotics. The livestock of the herds is now dozens and hundreds times less than before. Neglected cattle-runs overgrow with forest, and on slopes, where once the sheep and horses grazed on, people build skiing resorts. Instead of stables and wooden huts, where shepherds used to live and make cheese, there remain only piles of rotten logs which remind about people’s presence.
Yurko Dyachyshyn. Born 1980, Lviv, Ukraine. Took up photography in 2002. 2004-2007 – photographer for the “Expres” newspaper (Lviv, Ukraine). Since 2007 – freelance photographer. Works as a photographer for Ukrainian and international media, advertising and PR photography. Autor more than 15 One Person Exhibitions in Ukraine and Poland. Prize winner and awardee of more than 20 photo contests. Lives and works in Lviv, Ukraine.
My interest centered on one of the most tangible and stark manifestation of the crash: thousands of incomplete or vacant dwellings which stretch to almost every town in the country, known as ‘ghost estates’. What I found most compelling as I researched and traveled around the country was the recurring imagery used in the marketing brochures of housing developments; architectural renderings of apartments blocks and housing estates contrasted with clichéd lifestyle photography. Both the CGI imagery and the photographs appear to function on a virtual, hyperreal level, constructing an illusion through hype and seduction. One of the concerns of this project is to explore and attempt to comment on this territory between the virtual and the real, between the construction of fantasy and represented reality.
This project originated out of a desire to respond to the impact of the property crash and subsequent economic crisis on the social and physical landscape in Ireland. Much reflection has taken place across media, literature and the arts on the repercussions of neo-liberal free market excess and the decline of the Celtic Tiger economy. Reportage of the ensuing social distress precipitated by the crash became a daily ritual in Ireland and living within this climate roused a compulsion to respond.
Many of the abandoned developments I encountered were still encircled by their original hoardings, adorned with the same imagery from the brochures, garishly displaying promises for ‘a new way of life’. They appear like relics of the rhetoric of boomtime, monuments of desire and promise now rendered ironic and absurd. These hoardings obstruct our view and perform like screens, projecting one reality while simultaneously concealing another.
The Irish property bubble burst in 2008, precipitating the ongoing economic crisis in the country. As credit dried up and developers went into receivership, developments were abandoned at various stages of completion. Empty housing estates, skeletal buildings and zoned wastelands now mar the landscape. Many sites on the periphery of towns and cities remain encircled by hoardings, some covered in hyperreal imagery and grandiose slogans which belie the reality. These fences obstruct our view and act like screens, projecting a fictional past over the present actuality. They have become part of the topography of the country, relics of an illusionary age.
Intervention was critical to my photographic approach as I was motivated by a desire to reinterpret the reality of these structures, primarily to refresh our observation of them and encourage reflection upon the ideologies that governed the era represented, when happiness and social mobility was inextricably linked with property ownership. Furthermore, through a process of detachment and dislocation I hope, on one level, to convey a sense of the surreal disruptive impact of these structures on the landscape. On another level, I wish to create space for the viewer to contemplate the visual rhetoric at work on these hoardings and in turn photography’s implicit role in the construction of illusion. Hence the title of this project, which also implicates my own photographs in this theatre. The word ‘façade’ recurred during my research, especially with regard to the idea that art, and specifically photography, is a medium of illusion which can provoke us into questioning the real. Mike Kelley wrote that ‘art must concern itself with the real, but it throws any notion of the real into question. It always turns the real into a facade, a representation, and a construction.’1 The images in this series seek to intervene in the real in order to encourage reflection on fictional constructs from the past which continue to haunt the present.
1. Kelly, M., (1999). The Meaning Is Confused Spatially, Framed. In Mike Kelley, Exhibition Catalogue. Grenoble: Le Magasin. P. 62
Basil was born in 1981 and grew up in Ireland where he studied English and Sociology before focusing on image making. He received his MA with distinction from the University of Westminster in 2012 and has exhibited at the PhotoIreland Festival in Dublin and in the UK. He was selected for Axiswebâ€™s MAstars for his graduate exhibition FaĂ§ade, which was awarded the audience prize at the 6Th Annual Westphoto Photography Prize in 2012. He has been published in Der Grief, Der Spiegel and LandEscape Art Review.
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Inherent Traits www.galinakurlat.com
Inherent Traits began as a yearlong project during which I set out to photograph myself a hundred times. Slight variations in gesture, expression and posture become significant once the photographs are compiled. This kind of long-term methodical reflection allows subjects and themes, which would otherwise be overlooked to come to the surface. The process of photographing oneself can be physically and emotionally uncomfortable, yet the work allows little room for consideration. This quick pace during the shooting process combined with the inherent steadfast qualities of the collodion process force an honest approach to the often-deceptive practice of self-portraiture. These photographs are made using the wet collodion process, which was introduced in the 1850â€™s, this involves coating a glass plate with collodion then sensitizing it by dipping it into a bath of silver nitrate, while still wet the plate is placed in the camera and the photograph is made. Within a few minutes of exposure the plate must be developed, fixed and dried in order to create the Ambrotype, a positive image on a sheet of glass.
Galina Kurlat was born in Moscow in 1981 and emigrated to the United States shortly after the fall of communism in 1989. She received her Bachelor of Media Arts Degree from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute in 2005, she currently lives and works in Houston, TX. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in a number of public and private collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include: 12th Annual Joyce Elaine Grant, West Gallery at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX; Artopia, Winter Street Studios in Houston, TX; #19, Emergency Room Gallery, Rice University in Houston, TX; Onward Compé ’12 in Philadelphia, PA; Urban Decay, Ravi Gallery in Hyderabad, India; Artist Dialogue, Houston Center for Photography in Houston, TX; The Big Show 2011 and The Big Show 2012, Lawndale Art Center in Houston, TX; Annual Print Auction, Houston Center for Photography in Houston, TX; Landscape, Black Box Gallery in Portland, OR; Reclamation/Inherent Traits, College of the Mainland Art Gallery in Texas City, TX; Narratives, PG Contemporary in Houston, TX.
Show Synopsis www.peterdunphy.com
Iceland..... Ten Shots In Ten Days I had only ten days in Iceland as a result of the volcanic eruption upon my arrival. I’ve had a desire to shoot in Iceland for more than 20 years, but something or somewhere else has always come first. Finally I had the chance to go, and the images produced were reward for the years of anticipation. We’re sorry Mr. Dunphy, Icelandic airspace was closed fifteen minutes ago, Grimsvotn volcano has just erupted. This was the Icelandair welcome at Heathrow which was not on my list of uplifting news options for the day. Fortunately I was stranded only 36 hours in London and finally made it to Reykjavik just in time for Scotland and Germany to deal with the volcanic ash fallout.
Having been stuck in tunnel vision work mode for as long as I can remember, what was to follow was a self assigned project which had been on the back burner for many years. The volcanic ash presented shooting opportunities as well as difficulties, not the least of which was the fact that one of the key areas I wanted to shoot was shut down because of a massive volcanic ash fall covering the whole area, and concerns about continued eruptions. I managed to get there immediately the road was opened on the last two days of the shoot. Iceland is unlike anywhere else I’ve travelled, vast volcanic vistas and surreal landscape, but often subtle and not initially easy to shoot. Large numbers of kilometres were driven to pick out the gems. It’s a most unusual place, on the edge of things, with expanses of surreal tedium contrasting with areas of breathtaking beauty and darkness. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the project was twenty hours of daylight each day, golden hours which lasted three, and horizontal rain with extraordinary wind which added to the fascination. The images show my small adventure.
I love beauty, darkness and brevity.
The girl who sees the verses www.rinavukobratovic.weebly.com
Through a game of written sensations (haiku verses) and current sensations (visualisation of the the same) I create a completely new world. Through a creative game of picturing words from haiku verses I learn experiences of early childhood and the forms of personal development and behaviour. By reading each haiku separately, I am trying to visually construct and note down the moment by living through it again. Although they belong to the past, I am making an effort to ‘watch’ them still from a child’s perspective. But they inevitably get the sense of some other reality and go through a transformation. At that point a fantastic metamorphosis occurs from ‘me – a child’ to ‘a child inside of me’. I am not a haiku poet. As most of the children I noticed and expressed my inner sensations. I was lucky to have them written down then, published and kept. In 1991 an article about my haiku verses was published.
The title was „A girl who sees the lyrics”. This article encouraged me to try to visualise some of the most characteristic haiku lines through the medium of photography. The basis of work is imaging and recording the objects I made. The process connects sculpture, installation, directing and photography, imagination of the audience in same manner as imagination of the creator. A haiku poet and a photographer see the world in the same way. Each moment, experience, each sensation has its value. Each glance is special, each interpretation and perception of this world is different and special, for a photographer and for a haiku poet. They contain the same special moment when a person sees the things, caught and recorded (especially things already seen), in a new manner.
Rina Vukobratovic is a freelance photographer and visual artist with Master Degree in Fine Arts from Academy of Art in Novi Sad. She was born 1986 in Novi Sad (Serbia). Her photographs has been included in several exhibitions in Serbia and abroad. Some of them are Phodar Biennial (2011), Bulgaria; Unreal: Directed, Designed and Surreal images (2011), 1650 Gallery, Los Angeles; 9 Art Market “12 rooms 24 artists”, Belgrade; ”New Visions” (2012) Belgrade; International Meeting of photography Plovdiv (2012) Bulgaria; 34 Zagreb Salon, Museum Mimara, Croatia; Super Market Art Fair Stockholm (2013)… Awards include: Annual Award for the best artwork in the field of photography, Academy of Art in Novi Sad (2010); Commendations on “Sony World Photography Awards” (2011;2013); Shortlisted in London International Creative Competition (2012). In her works she avoid usual provocative and shocking stimuli, she isolate herself from general ugliness and meaninglessness and search for harmony and spirituality in hidden subtle features of her being.
The Sea www.josediniz.com.br
My relationship with the visual arts began when I was a child. My father was a fine artist and a Geometry university teacher. He motivated me to take classes at the painting school at The Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for 4 years and I had the Brazilian artist Ivan Serpa as a teacher, who is one of the most active representatives of the Brazilian Concrete Art.
In “The Street Photography”, I always focus on my daily route of a mile when I go and come back from work. During this apparently dull routine, many changes happen and make me wonder about time, space and connections with the reality of the environment, culture, people, history and other relations that enrich the development of my research in the area.
My grandfather was one of the founders of the Fluminense Association of Photography, which is one of the oldest associations in Brazil. He gave me my first camera when I was 10 years old. From that moment on, my relationship with photography has been intense.
In the theme “The Sea”, the concrete becomes a dream, almost abstract. It deeply reflects my childhood days, with my feet on the beach sand and it has reinforced my eternal passion for the sea day after day. In the images, men, women, lighthouses and boats are main characters of this universe. A great deal of this work, is made in the water as an attempt to share the physical experiences of movement, immersion and instability,making the propagation of sensations and emotions possible in the photos essays.
In 1996, I was working with internet technology and I took a course in graphic design at The School of Visual Arts of Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro. Soon after, I started at printmaking at that same school. Since then, I’ve established a relationship with digital technology photography, video, printmaking and installations, producing work in multiple media where the main themes are “The Street Photography”, “the Sea” and others.
Currently, I’m engaged in a research into the countless islands along the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Being adjacent and quite close to each other, these islands are practically uninhabited and untouched what gives them a wild and ineffable feature preserved by their discontinuity with the continent. As a constant observer, these fragments of land in the horizon induce me daydreams and curiosity about their hidden side. They put me away from the concrete and arouse a wish to experience solitude and detachment from the real world and feel isolated from the daily chaos that afflicts us. The artists that influence me: Robert Frank, Stephen Shore, The photographers of Dusseldorf school, Bernard Plossu, the Japanese photographers as Hiroshi Sugimoto, Eikoh Hosoe, and Daido Moriyama. In Brasil Miguel Rio Branco, Claudia Andujar and Pierre Verger.
José Diniz (1954) was born in Niterói and lives in Rio de Janeiro. He studied photography at UCAM (Cândido Mendes University) in Rio de Janeiro. He also studied Marketing, Internet Technology and Knowledge Management. He attended several courses at Image Atelier (Rio de Janeiro) , Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and School of Visual Arts in Parque Lage (RJ), where he’s currently studying Contemporary Art and Prints Workshop. In 2013, january was your portfolio published by British Journal of Photography as the “Ones to watch – The talent issue”. In 2012 won the prize of Marc Ferrez FUNARTE (National Art Foundation, Ministry of Culture) with the project MARESIA which will show the exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Federal Court in Rio de Janeiro in 2013. In 2011 participated in the exhibition International Discoveries III, a bienal selection of 12 photographers in the world by the Fotofest curators.
In 2008, he published the book “Literariamente” in São Paulo. He also contributed to the books “SAARA Carioca” in 2010 and “VAI-E-VEM” in 2011. Exhibited his photos individually in Galeria Quirino Campofiorito - Rio de Janeiro (2012), Ulko Gallery – Anapa – Russia (2012), Centro Cultural Recoleta Buenos Aires (2012), Sala CDF - Montevideo (2011), São Paulo (2008), Paraty (2007) and Rio de Janeiro (2006). He has participated in collective exhibitions in the Paraty em Foco (2011), Museo de Arte Contemporâneo – Salta – Argentina (2011), Casa de la Cultura del Gobierno de Buenos Aires (2010), Centro Cultural Borges – Buenos Aires (2010), Parque Lage School of Visual Arts (Rio-2010), FOTORIO (2011, 2009 and 2007), Foto Arte Brasília (2009 and 2007), Botanic Garden of Rio de Janeiro (2008 e 2007), among others events.
Some selected exhibitions and awards: Mention Honored in Concurso Fotolibro Iberoamericano (2012), Encuentros Abiertos – Argentina (2010); Prize Diário Contemporâneo de Fotografia – Belém – Pará (2013, 2011 and 2010); “deVERcidade” – Fortaleza (2010); Prize LeicaFotografe (2009); Prize Almirante Tamandaré – Ministry of Marine – Salvador, Bahia (2009); Vivo Artemov – Festival de Arte em Mídias Móveis – Belo Horizonte (2009); FESTFOTOPOA – Porto Alegre (2010, 2009 e 2008); Photography Exhibition of Recife (2007 e 2008); Prize Marc Ferrez de Fotografia – SESC – Brasília (2007). He has photos in private collections and at Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro/ Joaquim Paiva Collection Brazil, Museum of Fine Arts of Houston – USA , Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Franklin Rawson – San Juan – Argentina, Museum of Contemporary Art in Salta – Argentina and Museum of Contemporary Art of Porto Alegre.
pictures under discussion
image © Jackie Ranken from the series ’Flights of Fancy’
BETA developments in photography 04 features folios by Yurko Dyachyshyn, Basil Al-Rawi, Galina Kurlat, Peter Dunphy, Rina Vukobratovic and J...
Published on Apr 13, 2013
BETA developments in photography 04 features folios by Yurko Dyachyshyn, Basil Al-Rawi, Galina Kurlat, Peter Dunphy, Rina Vukobratovic and J...