#45 / 2016
international photography magazine
24 young artists shaping the future of photography
What’s new? Self Portrait Snapshots Toolbox Interview Unexpected Marriages Talent 2016 Introduction Daisuke Yokota Paolo Ciregia Taejoong Kim Ilona Szwarc Louise Parker Alexandra Hunts Sam Contis Nicoló Degiorgis Bubi Canal Stefanie Moshammer Maxime Guyon Felicity Hammond Samuel Gratacap Leo Maguire Andrés Felipe Orjuela Daan Paans Juno Calypso Andrejs Strokins Katinka Goldberg Sofia Ayarzagoitia Nico Krijno Andrea Grützner Jack Davison Antonio Ottomanelli
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by Marloes Krijnen Editor-in-chief
For the editors of Foam Magazine, the first half of the year is traditionally dominated by the annual Talent issue. It starts with the announcement of the Talent Call through our website and social media platforms, inviting young photographers from all over the world to send us their work. It’s always an exciting time, not least because we can never predict beforehand how many portfolios we will actually be sent or what their overall quality will be. We were quite happy with the number of submissions, since almost 1,500 photographers from no fewer than seventyfive different countries sent us their work. After a long and intensive period of examining, assessing and discussing all the portfolios we concluded that the overall quality was higher than ever. In the end we decided that this year we would include the work of twenty-four young and very talented artists. The average high standard was one important reason for picking a larger number of artists than in previous years, whilst the expansion also goes some way
towards doing justice to the diversity, quality and richness of the submissions. I would like to mention, as I have in the past, that the importance and value of all the other submissions is equally great, and that the work of a far greater number of artists than we are able to include was found to be very much worth keeping in our database. Besides this, a number of photographers whose work has been published in previous Talent issues are now to be found in the new features that were introduced in the last issue of Foam Magazine. In ‘What’s New’ you can see what several previous talents are currently working on, and in ‘Toolbox’ Daniel Gordon, a photographer from the 2013 Talent issue, offers us a glimpse of his studio and his working methods. In our regular feature ‘Unexpected Marriages’, Yoshinori Mizutani, a photographer from the 2014 Talent issue, shows how his work became a source of inspiration for designers at the fashion house Issey Miyake. We are delighted to see that these young and
promising photographers are indeed continuing to develop, bringing their great potential to fruition, and that their talents have not gone unnoticed. This was clear during the symposium that we organized in Atelier Neérlandais in Paris during the latest ParisPhoto, where we spoke with all kinds of representatives of the professional field about the importance of scouting and presenting young artists at an early stage. Our conversations took place in the same hall in which we presented an exhibition of works by an array of fascinating young talents, a show that later travelled to Brussels and London. We attach great importance to the showcasing of young talent, whether in Foam Magazine or in the form of an exhibition, and to continually reassessing the state of affairs within contemporary photography, about new developments, specific works and artists. It is our strong point and will remain a major focus of our efforts. May this issue serve as a fine illustration of that fact. We hope you enjoy looking and reading.
M A FO eNT L A T LL A C 7 1 0 2
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NOW FOR OP UNT EN EN IL 1 TRIE 9M S ARC H
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Daniel Gordon Still life with Zig-Zags in Black and Red, 2015
How does a project come to life? What does it take to create it? From different tools to inspiring materials, each project needs a number of ingredients in its recipe. Here, Daniel Gordon (b. 1980, US) offered us a behind-thescenes view of his studio, and a closer look at the tools and materials on which he relies to create his vibrant, collage-based works. Daniel was selected as a Foam Talent in 2013 before receiving the Foam Paul Huf Award in 2014.
In 2014, Japanese photographer Yoshinori Mizutani was selected as a Foam Talent for his Tokyo Parrots series, which followed a colony of escaped domestic parakeets now inhabiting small pockets of the Japanese capital. As Jörg Colberg wrote when the body of work first appeared in Foam Magazine, there is something ‘unsettlingly artificial’ about the images, in which the birds – lifted ‘powerfully out of their surroundings’ by the photographer’s flash – form a ‘multi-coloured cloud against a non-descript sky’. Mizutani’s work soon caught the attention of Yusuke Takahashi, designer of menswear at the renowned Japanese fashion house, ISSEY MIYAKE. Using Tokyo Parrots as a starting point, and culminating in the production of an exciting SPRING SUMMER 2016 collection for ISSEY MIYAKE MEN, the unlikely collaboration that followed is a prime example of how creativity in one arena can be harnessed and applied in another.
All images © Yoshinori Mizutani
At first, I was surprised to be able to collaborate with ISSEY MIYAKE MEN, but at the same time it was also something for me to look forward to. ISSEY MIYAKE MEN is one of the world’s leading brands that originated in Japan, so I thought it was a great opportunity for a young practitioner like me to introduce my work to a larger audience. Another thing was that I always considered the outcome of my work to be a square frame or a piece of paper, so I was curious to see what ISSEY MIYAKE MEN would create using my work. The photo shoot backstage and on the production site, as well as the in-store exhibition were great experiences for me. ISSEY MIYAKE MEN continues to collaborate with young artists. Difficulties may occur when different disciplines are combined, but I do hope this kind of collaboration will go on, especially if both disciplines improve and inspire each other. I believe it will also contribute to the development of the world of photography.
I had already been interested in contemporary art for some time, and my interest in photography was growing in particular when I came across his photographs. I was instantly captured by their powerful and vivid colours and their flat picturesque compositions. It seems to me that Mr. Mizutani is trying to find new ways of photographic expression without being particular about the quality of the printing paper, the storyline for a photographic series, the place where it is exhibited and so forth, by uploading countless pictures on social networking sites daily. At the same time, in the last few years it has become easier to combine fashion and photography, thanks to the inkjet printers which produce textile that looks like a photograph. With this in mind, I brought the proposal to Mr. Mizutani, expecting that he would like the idea of creating something new by combining his artistic photographs with ISSEY MIYAKE MEN’s characteristic textile expressions. That is how this collaboration started.
YOSHINORI MIZUTANI (b. 1987, JP) lives and works in Japan, where he graduated from the Tokyo College of Photography. Yoshinori has published four photobooks, whilst his images have appeared in an array of magazines internationally. His work has been exhibited worldwide, and was the subject of a recent solo exhibition at London’s Webber Gallery (2016). Yoshinori was featured as a Foam Talent in 2014.
YUSUKE TAKAHASHI (b. 1985, JP) joined Miyake Design Studio and engaged in several projects since 2010, such as 132.5 ISSEY MIYAKE, under Issey Miyake’s guidance as a member of Reality Lab. Takahashi has been the designer of ISSEY MIYAKE MEN since SPRING SUMMER 2014.
TAlent STARTS heRe
LOUISE PARKER, P. 81 Text by Daniel C. Blight, p.113
BUBI CANAL, P. 121 Text by Marcel Feil, p.153
DAISUKE YOKOTA, P. 41 Text by Mirjam Kooiman, p.73
PAOLO CIREGIA, P. 47
ALEXANDRA HUNTS, P. 91
Text by Max Houghton, p.75
Text by Kerry Doran, p.115
STEFANIE MOSHAMMER, P. 127 Text by Tom Seymour, p.155
TAEJOONG KIM, P. 55 Text by Russet Lederman, p.77
SAM CONTIS, P. 95 Text by Duncan Wooldridge, p.117
MAXIME GUYON, P. 135 Text by Daniel C. Blight, p.157
ILONA SZWARC, P. 63
NICOLÃ“ DEGIORGIS, P. 105
FELICITY HAMMOND, P. 145
Text by Max Houghton, p.79
Text by Colin Pantall, p.119
Text by Liz Sales, p.159
SAMUEL GRATACAP, P. 161 Text by Kim Knoppers, p.193
JUNO CALYPSO, P. 201 Text by Tom Seymour, p.233
NICO KRIJNO, P. 241 Text by Jorg Colberg, p.273
LEO MAGUIRE, P. 171 Text by Karin Bareman, p.195
ANDREJS STROKINS, P. 213 Text by Taco Hidde Bakker, p.235
ANDREA GRÜTZNER, P. 251 Text by Jorg Colberg, p.275
ANDRÉS FELIPE ORJUELA, P. 177 Text by Kim Knoppers, p.197
KATINKA GOLDBERG, P. 221 Text by Karin Bareman, p.237
JACK DAVISON, P. 259 Text by Duncan Wooldridge, p.277
DAAN PAANS, P. 185
SOFIA AYARZAGOITIA , P. 229
ANTONIO OTTOMANELLI, P. 269
Text by Taco Hidde Bakker, p.199
Text by Liz Sales, p.239
Text by Mirjam Kooiman, p.279
TAlent Since the first Talent Call in 2006, Foam Magazine has presented more than a hundred promising young photographers. We are proud to be able to offer an international platform through which they can show their work to the world. This year we are presenting no fewer than twenty-four talented young photographers, selected from a total of almost 1,500 submissions.
BY MARCEL FEIL Adjunct director for artistic affairs
By the time the Talent Call closed at the start of May, 1,472 artists had taken the trouble to put together a portfolio and send it to us. This overwhelming number of portfolios came from no fewer than seventy-five different countries across each and every continent. We can certainly claim, therefore, that in the space of ten years the Talent Call has grown into a worldwide phenomenon that offers an annual global update on the work of a new generation of artists, on new trends and developments. Looking at, discussing and assessing all these portfolios is therefore an equally overwhelming but truly inspiring exercise, for which the editors set aside plenty of time. After all, it is rare to be able to see, during a single session, work by artists from, say, Moldova, Namibia, New Zealand, Ecuador and Uzbekistan. It makes the judging process unique and extremely instructive. Based on all this work, is it possible to say anything meaningful about something as abstract as ‘the state of contemporary photography’? The honest answer has to be ‘no, very little’. The medium of photography is far too multifaceted, rich and versatile to be captured in generalities. And much of contemporary photography prides itself on avoiding easy characterization. So is it possible to detect any contrast with the submissions of previous years? Perhaps. Along with the many good but reasonably traditional ways of photographing, the past three or four years have brought us many portfolios that are specifically focused on the investigation and interrogation of the ontology of the image: what is photography in an era of unrestrained, technologically determined image production? What is the value of photographic images and photographic processes? How should photography
be understood? These are essential questions with which many ‘image makers’ are rightly preoccupied. At that point photography seemed to be in a transitional phase, trendy or not, of radical reconsideration of the fundamentals of the medium. This year there were noticeably fewer submissions from artists specifically concerned with their own medium who are addressing questions that suggest a degree of uncertainty, by no means always unpleasant, about the nature of photography. It is as if there is a new desire to turn the medium to face the outside world again, to make work that does not point primarily to itself as a necessary but limited variation on art for art’s sake, but that tries to relate in a concrete sense to hard reality once more. It is a particularly interesting development. After a period of critical reconsideration, in which photography changed course and there were fascinating experiments with what photography can be as it liberated itself from sometimes fairly narrow photographic traditions, it seems to have turned outwards again. Freedom is fun, after all, but what is being done with it? How can a new understanding and use of the medium be deployed to help us relate to a reality that is far more complex than the medium itself? A new language is a wonderful thing, but what is being said with it? It’s fascinating to see an emerging new generation of photographers that, using all the attainments of recent years, is seeking a new photographic way of dealing with reality. A generation that wants to make work that is relevant, has a sense of urgency and exhibits sincere engagement. All this makes us eager to see the developments that await us in years to come.
Japanese photographer Daisuke Yokota is the winner of the 10th Foam Paul Huf Award. He is in the vanguard of a new movement of Japanese experimental photographers and has a meticulous and demanding approach to photography. His work is that of an obsessive. He shoots on a compact digital camera, before printing and re-photographing the images on medium-format film. He then prints and reprints again and again using heat and light, or applying acid or naked flame to the end results. The images become distorted, warped, otherworldly. Yokota has established a formidable reputation as a young artist with the ability to take photography forward into ever more original directions; from prints to artist’s books, installations and collaborative performance, and always with an unmistakable visual language.
In the last five years, Paolo Ciregia’s artistic research has been focused primarily on Ukraine, documenting the RussianUkrainian conflict through a series of photographs that he later manipulates and reworks. By decontextualizing both his photographs and found materials he creates a new iconographic register that is linked to war and political propaganda. Political ideologies, alienation and means of mass control are topics on which he has based his research for Exeresi. By dissecting and reworking the language used by totalitarian establishments, Ciregia’s aim is to reveal the atrocities behind war and to destroy the false and arrogant patina created by propaganda.
South Korean photographer Taejoong Kim is enthralled by the layered depth of forests, which have served as a backdrop for a number of his projects, and where he searches for an antidote to the mediated experiences of contemporary life. Beyond the dense pine trees of his native Korea, wherever Kim has travelled in the early years of his career, the forest has so often followed. The woodlands of France, Poland and most notably Germany’s Black Forest – where Kim shot his Solitas series in 2011 – have helped shape his sense of place, as well as his sense of proximity to his mother country. In Foresta – reverse, Kim’s prints, characteristically accompanied by video installations, immerse the viewer between the trees, capturing two sides of a forest scene.
Taking inspiration from stage make-up tutorials, Ilona Szwarc plays with the surfaces that we construct to produce and affirm our identity. The intersection of painting, cinema and theatre allows her to adopt a directorial mode and test the nature of our physical self. By following instruction manuals and reinterpreting them through her female gaze, often mimicking the persona of a male make-up artist, she is able to see what happens when gender roles are reversed and lines between passive and active bodies are blurred. By dismantling these constructs, by taking apart the language of identification, she gives birth to hybrid identities and in-between spaces ripe with the tensions, breakthroughs and catharsis that exist within the sphere of possibility.
Pieces of Me is a self-portrait series of collages that Parker, both an artist and a professional fashion model, began working on in 2015. She sourced original images of herself exclusively from magazines. Each collage begins with a meticulous dissection of parts before Parker begins to rearrange and reassemble the pieces into a new and original composition. One work is an arrangement of arms and hands on a simple paper background, as a way to represent a recurring sense of detachment from her own body. Another work sources all the elements of her body from a twelve-page magazine spread, cut up and rearranged to create a disproportionate and contorted figure.
Alexandra Hunts is interested in invisible phenomena, constructed logic, commemoration and memory, as well as the loss of memory over time. She set out to photograph the long process of evaporation. Her experiment involved photographing a glass of water every twelve hours, day after day, until the water had disappeared. Her series of images was assembled to create a time-lapse sequence, a photo archive made up of 154 printed and folded photographs in chronological order that gives a graphic representation of the evaporation process in a single image. Her camera becomes our time machine. Substance of Time and Space is a scientific documentation of a physical effect, a change of substance over time, captured as a photo-object.
Between 2013 and 2015, Sam Contis made a series in the Deep Springs Valley of California, where one of the country’s last remaining all-male colleges sits just east of the Sierras and a few miles north of Death Valley. The college is very isolated; the closest gas station is an hour’s drive away. The students, twenty-six in total, came to this remote desert wilderness to seek an alternative form of education. Aside from their studies, they spend long hours of every day working the college’s alfalfa farm and cattle ranch. Deep Springs is motivated by Contis’ desire to offer a new perspective on the American West and its inhabitants, as well as to find a place where she feels at home. She is interested in questioning the old-fashioned notion of masculinity in the West and making space for a broader discussion of gender and identity.
There are 1.35 million Muslims in Italy but only eight official mosques in the whole country. Despite being the second largest religion after Catholicism, Islam is not formally recognized by the state. There are hundreds of unofficial Islamic places of worship hidden away behind the anonymous facades of sports centres, warehouses and apartment buildings. Unless you know where to look these places of worship are invisible. Degiorgis set out to photograph them for Hidden Islam. In some you sense the temporary nature of the transformation of these spaces, where carpets, prayer mats and minbars will be in place only for a short while. In others, the tiling, the taps and the water troughs mark a more permanent transformation of space.
Bubi Canal is an artist who has created his own fantasy world, against the trend and oblivious to fashion and hype. In his work he uses materials from his immediate surroundings, with a clear fondness for brightly coloured objects, ranging from children’s toys to plastic cutlery, or the costumes that he designs and makes himself. With the aid of photography, video, installation and performance, Canal creates a universe where the sun always shines, where there is space for dreams, fantasy and a magical reality lost to most of us along with the innocence of childhood. It is a place where that innocence and astonishment can still exist, an innocence all too often foreign to the world of the arts.
The favelas of Rio de Janeiro have their own rules, their own rights and their own unique dynamics. It’s a place full of underlying tensions, and one with a volatile and ever-changing mood. For the Land of Black Milk series, Austrian photographer Stefanie Moshammer sought to portray the myths and contradictions that define a place that is simultaneously at the city’s very core as well as its periphery. The body of work marks an attempt to displace the imagery of traditional – and often predictable – reportage with that of beauty, whilst rarely shying away from the social context of a place that is so often defined by conflict. The Land of Black Milk is a place where people love, grow and develop, and also where they suffer, hate and cry.
The work of Maxime Guyon encompasses research on the constant evolution of technological functions in today’s society and on the role of the photographer in a post-internet era. By adopting aesthetic codes representing the era of hypercommercialism, the series analyses a number of standardized commodities as well as high technology. Guyon’s project Technological Exaptation addresses the concurrent evolutions of commodity, industry and photography by revealing the aesthetic mores of new technologies. Through a synthesis of overwrought commercial lighting and a detachment of technological objects from their functionalist contexts, he begins to reveal the sickly pallor of a world teeming with biomimetic yet alien forms.
Capital Growth is a large collage of photographic images of industrial decay and urban development printed on a canvas that explores a space in which reality is fused with the virtual world, an area where manufacturing and industrial processing has been discarded, and where computer-generated imagery of luxury living stands in its place, and speaks of an unobtainable capital that proliferates without labour. The work therefore stands for both progress and error, revealing its relationship with urban temporality. For Felicity Hammond, the work begins by addressing the changing sociopolitical landscape and then uses the fabric of the city to explore loss in a more autobiographical sense, with particular reference to her family’s relationship with industrial decline.
ANDRÉS FELIPE ORJUELA
Samuel Gratacap is keenly interested in North-South and South-South geopolitical issues, and by transitory spaces on the map of migratory routes in the Mediterranean area. Using investigation and immersive methods on site, his work ranges from still and moving images to installations and book-making. He went to Libya in December 2014, focusing on Choucha, a refugee camp five kilometres across the border in Tunisia. While Libyan refugees are welcomed into Tunisian families, settling temporarily in Tunis or in the camp of Remada, refugees of subSaharan origin go to Choucha. Nobody wants to stay there and the refugees protest. But what is the point of protesting in the middle of the desert? The wind sweeps everything away. The connection to time is no longer the same, the days are pointless. The sand destroys everything, including the fragile fabric of the tents. Some refugees have gone mad.
In 2011 a man found several boxes full of photographs on a street in Bogotá, in front of the former building of the newspaper El Espacio de Colombia. Andrés Orjuela’s resurrection of this press archive was the starting point of the projects Archivo Muerto and Archivo Iluminado. He made high-resolution scans of some of the originals, particularly images of violence, criminality and death. He employed a large black-and-white format without any digital retouching, then began the painstaking process of adding paint to recreate the original. Orjuela’s body of work ponders the nature of power; it alters the sensationalist meaning of the journalistic image through graphic and colour interventions which act as a veil that hide the image either partially or completely. It includes processes of gathering data and direct interventions in communication platforms to interfere with the mechanics of media circulation and consumption.
Dogging is British slang for the practice of engaging in outdoor sexual acts in secluded public areas. Lay-bys, woods and picnic spots around the UK often double as dogging locations once darkness falls. The practice generally involves sexual acts between complete strangers. Increasingly though, participants make arrangements to meet at dogging sites via the internet or through social media. Dogging has no rules; it may take place between couples or in groups. Some like to watch, some are exhibitionists, others just like to talk, but most are there for the thrill of having sex with strangers. With a special custommade camera, Leo Maguire reveals an otherwise unseen world.
Visual artist Daan Paans explores blind spots in our visual historiography. With the inquisitive mind of a scientist, he aims to undo the distorting mechanisms of image-making by producing counter-images in response to images from the past, present and future, implicitly disclosing the contradictory nature of the original images. For the work Rhinoceros, Paans photographed hypothetical archetypes from the natural, scientific and sciencefiction worlds. One by one Paans meticulously modelled each of his photographs on the striking representations that coloured our perception in the past, or will do so in the present or future.
After two decades of taking pictures of herself in private, Juno Calypso began a series of self-portraits in which she staged herself as a fictional character named Joyce. Joyce re-enacts the concealed life of a woman consumed by the laboured construct of femininity, carrying it to the point of ritualized absurdity. The Honeymoon is a continuation of the Joyce series, for which Calypso spent a week alone at a couples-only honeymoon resort in Pennsylvania. With a suitcase of wigs and wedding lingerie, she posed as a travel writer to gain access to every suite in the resort, which she used as stages for new self-portraits. In each room we find Joyce in solitary moments of preparation and anticipation. Seduction has begun in secrecy. A green clay body-mask beauty routine becomes a science-fiction metamorphosis. Joyce appears alone, absorbed and exhausted by her own reflection.
With Latvia’s capital, Riga, as its backdrop, Andrejs Strokins’ Cosmic Sadness series started life as a photographic diary shot entirely by mobile phone. Since 2011, the artist, who himself has a background in documentary practices, has shared via Instagram well in excess of 200 images that expose the oddities of daily life, accompanied by the hashtag #everydayerror. Strokins underlines the extraordinary within what may at first glance appear relatively mundane. Underpinned by a prevailing feeling of melancholy, though also by a subtle sense of ironic humour, Strokins’ work is attributed further layers of meaning by the reactions it elicits amongst his online following; an aspect of his process that is by no means unimportant.
Goldberg’s ongoing series, Bristningar (Rupture), is the second part of a trilogy of works in which she is ‘exploring the tension between closeness and distance’, trying to locate herself within herself and within the world. The trilogy began with her book Surfacing (2011), which examined the relationship between herself and her mother, in a complex and highly poetic way. In Bristningar, she makes collages, which, like Bellmer’s, deconstruct and reassemble the body with a healing rather than a destructive or pathological purpose in a process of addition and subtraction, or rather, of adding in order to subtract.
Sofia Ayarzagoitia has refined her approach to photography over many years of experimentation. She began taking pictures obsessively at just eight years of age. Mbagne – one sub-chapter from a broader project of interrelated encounters – is characterized by contradiction, as Ayarzagoitia’s subject appears to perform for the camera, though in a manner that is wholly unselfconscious. Perhaps this is testament to the artist’s close personal connections with those she depicts: the man we see in the series was her lover for a time. Rejecting digital techniques in favour of 35mm film, Ayarzagoitia is forced to limit the number of frames she takes, instilling her intimate images with a heightened sense of transience and spontaneity.
Nico Krijno creates a photographic language that reflects the experience of viewing images online through platforms like Tumblr and Instagram. Krijno layers, clones and blurs his images, distorting forms that revel in the rich history of still life. He constantly goes against what we expect from a picture, toying with the spatial illusions created by the camera and challenging the materiality of photography itself. Sometimes a landscape he captures is erased by Photoshop’s brush tool. Elsewhere his brush breaks apart a wood veneer to make it threedimensional. The result is an intuitive way of looking at what surrounds us. Krijno’s subject matter is eclectic, ranging from vegetables and abandoned furniture to plastic waste. His work is at once hyperreal and magical, pointing with humour at the banality of our existence.
The Erbgericht in eastern Germany has been a guesthouse for more than a hundred years. The house is a projection screen for generations of memories and emotions. Grützner uses photography to create a tension between abstraction and the actual existence of a place. The installed filtered flashlights produce a moment of de-familiarization in the house itself, not clearly visible to the eye. In the fragmented photographic spaces the viewer cannot be sure whether she or he perceives objects or glowing shadows. As an imperfect representation or trace of a real object, shadows are closely related to photography: both show things which are or have been there as a distorted version of reality. Based on the photographs, the viewer reconstructs the place in a different manner; a process similar to the way we recall spaces in our memory. The real house echoes in the pictures, in which any sense of time and space becomes lost.
It is significant to the practice of Jack Davison that he did not receive formal education in photography, allowing him the time and space to take pictures without the pressures, rules and stigma that can come with studying art. His work is full of investigation and play, as he jumps between cameras, mediums, styles and genres. There is at the same time a distinctly archival feel to his photographs. From an early age, Davison valued literature and art before later starting a collection of found photographs while traveling through the USA. His work reveals a diverse range of inspirations derived from the historical canon of photography. Davison’s oeuvre nevertheless has something characteristically contemporary to it when brought together in one place.
During Afghanistan’s 2010 parliamentary elections, Afghan security officials watched over the capital with a new security device known as the Persistent Ground Surveillance System, which is able to rotate 360 degrees, closely monitoring activity throughout the city. When used with surveillance data from other security inputs the system allows security officials to better anticipate threats. Suspended hundreds of feet in the air by a helium-filled tethered balloon, the aerostat provides high-resolution imagery and video, and can detect potential enemy activities in the making using its high-definition, infrared and thermal imaging technology. Ottomanelli is particularly interested in the effects of the contemporary relationship between protection strategies aimed at a common security and forms of protection for private freedom.
BUBI CANAL Dreamtime
STEFANIE MOSHAMMER Land of Black Milk
— Text by Marcel Feil The magical and colourful world created by Bubi Canal vividly celebrates the maintenance of a healthy dose of naiveté and optimism. When working through the countless photographs that present themselves each day, it’s rare to be suddenly jolted awake by an image totally different from all the others you’ve seen. It happened to me with an image by Bubi Canal, an artist who originally comes from Santander in Spain but has lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York, for some years. It stood out for its deployment of bright, primary colours and geometric shapes to create a unique and fantastical show: colourful, naive, simple, but extremely direct and powerful. Although it caught my attention immediately, I honestly didn’t know
P.121 what to make of it. Was there an element of irony or cheap kitsch? Was it serious? No idea. At any rate it wasn’t like anything I knew or had seen before. Welcome to the universe of Bubi Canal. Bubi Canal is an artist who creates a fantasy world all of his own, against the trend and oblivious to fashion and hype. In his work he
uses materials from his immediate surroundings (with an obvious fondness for brightly coloured objects, ranging from children’s toys to cheap plastic cutlery) or costumes he designs and makes himself. With the aid of photography, video, installation and performance, he creates a universe where the sun always shines, where there is space for dreams, fantasy and a magical reality lost to most of us along with the innocence of childhood. It is a place where that innocence and astonishment can still exist, an innocence all too often foreign to the world of the arts. The characters in his work are usually played by close friends of the artist or by Bubi himself, a bearded young man with big brown eyes. As well as appendages and weird and wonderful dolls, which he makes with the greatest possible
care in his small New York studio, he constructs tableaux that, although unique in the art world, contain countless references – to the world of Disney and to the Japanese children’s series that Bubi watched as a child, for example, but also to stereotypical images of fairies, magicians and priests, with all their accompanying spiritual and religious paraphernalia. Through his work Bubi Canal hopes to make a real contribution to the creation of a better world and greater positivity among people. Naive? Perhaps. But it is a laudable artistic aspiration and one that he pursues with passion. Under the title Manual he has published a kind of visual manifesto in which he combines black-and-white images with hope-filled, cheerful messages.
Bubi Canal’s work has at its core the power of transformation and an ability to create a world that is entirely his own, a world defined by willpower and by faith and confidence in our innate creativity. Or as he puts it himself: ‘You can change whatever is around you and create whatever you dream.’ Bubi Canal’s dream of confidence, faith, love and positivity might be called childlike and naive or seen as pure escapism, but in today’s world, in which so many people are trying to escape everyday routine by means of a virtual reality that is anything but hopeful, his is a voice as refreshing as it is infectious.
Alongside works that feature characters and often contain a loose narrative, Bubi Canal also creates playful still lifes constructed from colourful toys. These cheap items are rearranged, stacked and transformed into totem-like objects that each have a mysterious aura. On the one hand these works have a connection with surrealism and the use of the objet trouvé, on the other hand they refer to objects with a magical charge that feature in the rituals of non-Western cultures – once, unsurprisingly, a source of inspiration to many surrealists.
All images © Bubi Canal, courtesy of the artist BUBI CANAL – (b. 1980, ES) is a Spanish-born, Brooklyn-based artist whose work deals with recurring themes of love, dreams and magic. Canal received a BFA from Bilbao’s University of the Basque Country, where he focused on audio-visual arts and sculpture. His work has appeared in the British Journal of Photography, and has been exhibited at the likes of New York’s Aperture Foundation as well as the Centre Pompidou in Paris. MARCEL FEIL – (b. 1968, NL) is adjunct Director for artistic affairs at Foam.
Land of Black Milk — Text by Tom Seymour ‘I used to dream about a land. A land in a white cocoon, and a black soul; a land of seduction and corruption, land of stimulation and frustration, land of desire and gunfires. You are a different kind of wild, if you are from here. [...] A craze that jumps across your glimpses. To be so perfect, but there is no sophistication here; no quest for an ideal. Land of deep wildness, deep freedom, long heat full of silence.’ The poem comes from the beginning of Stefanie Moshammer’s new photography book Land of Black Milk, the resulting photography series from the months the Austrian photographer, educated in Denmark, spent embedded in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian city
P.127 preparing for the Olympic Games. ‘Multiplied realities of one place and the space in between. A twoness, two thoughts, two warring ideals in one body,’ Moshammer writes in the introduction of the book. It’s a remarkable showcase for one of the leading conceptual photojournalists of her generation;
a polyvalent, fractional collection of still images, one that does not seek for self-imposed clarity, but rather invites the complexities, dualities and contradictions that are so integral to the experience of an urban metropolis like Rio. ‘Everything, it seemed, was built on opposites, on division,’ Moshammer writes of the city. ‘No breath could both be in and out, none could be free and yet orderly. Always the one paid for the other, though each was equally essential.’ The first chapter of the photobook showcases a beautiful, largeformat image of birds flying over the city; they’re heading to roost as the sun sets behind Sugarloaf mountain. In the next image, a small hand – one of a child, we can deduce – holds a magazine of bullets. We see, from way above, circular blue parasols dotted
amongst the rooftops of the favelas, like tiny flowers poking through concrete. And then a portrait of a child with his face painted in pastel colours, engaging intensely with her camera. A triangulation between document, aesthetic and human, between observation and active participation, is evident here. Tiny shreds of graffiti, or the shadow of a flower on a wall, or the scar on the shoulder of a teenager, are given the same weight as huge, blockbuster images of sprawling tower blocks, or unfolding cityscapes, or the more conventional portraits of the people she met along the way. Land of Black Milk did not emerge in a vacuum. Indeed, there’s a clear continuity between this new work and Moshammer’s earlier, namemaking series Vegas and She, her first photo-book, published in the early spring of 2015 – the sign of a photographer developing a methodology which she might be able to apply to any subject. The series again began with a poetic introduction: ‘It‘s the desert with its burning breeze, a man-made oasis in the middle of its wide valley with the mountains around. It‘s the downtown with its faces shaped by life, and the suburbs with its tract homes, tireless and sprawling. A city as a furious beast with many heads, innocence of the past is caught in there, no ability to escape.’ These words, a celebration of how beauty can often be found in the most depressing of contexts, appeared before any of her photography. Vegas and She, published by the renowned Fotohof edition, came from a two month stretch Moshammer spent in Nevada’s shimmering capital of sin. ‘Las Vegas is the strip-club capital of the world,’ Moshammer has said of the series. The city is a tourist town, a Disneyland for
dysfunctional people – one of the most garishly visual cities in the world. Photographers have long endeavoured to capture the unique attractions, the strange underbelly, of the City of Lights. But what is it like to live there permanently, to call Vegas your home? What do you do, in a city often defined by vice, when the consequences of untrammelled indulgence become excessively clear? Moshammer’s ability to explore this question is remarkable. Moshammer describes her work as playing ‘on the the boundaries between documentary and art, touching on subjects of subculture, intimacy and ambiguity.’ A lot of photographers make similar claims. Yet Vegas and She fulfils her ambitions, and more. Moshammer’s series was part documentary, part something else entirely. ‘My portrait of this place is a mix of my experiences and the world that was going on around me,’ she wrote of the series. Slight, almost imperceptible gradations of perspective, from the uniquely personal to the coolly subjective, lie at the core of Moshammer’s work. She asks us to guess at the dynamic that somehow developed between this cool photographer educated in Scandanavia, and the often down-on-their-luck yet powerful, alluring women who have become reliant on such a lifestyle, such a place. Moshammer imbued her series with geometric studies of shapes and shades that recall David Hockney’s early works in Los Angeles. She focuses her frame, with unusual angles and an intense focus on colour that would not look out of place in a Harry Gruyaert photobook. The resulting is a fragmented, surrealist photography series, as if we’re seeing strange, nebulous flashbacks from the morning after the night before.
Vegas and She was circulated widely, but Moshammer has remained coy about her other projects. This is not a photographer set on self-promotion, of constantly updated social media feeds and extrapolations of her work. Beyond a single, unexplained image on her website, few will know as of yet about Land of Black Milk. But expect this series, in a year where the ‘multiplied realities’ of Rio are under more scrutiny than ever before, to go far in the public consciousness. It is the work of a photographer beyond her years, an artist with the ability to capture our shared existence, the essential insecurities of comparing one’s life to another as we increasingly live in smaller and smaller spaces, with an eye as sharp and intense as any of her generation.
All images © Stefanie Moshammer, courtesy of the artist STEFANIE MOSHAMMER – (b. 1988, AT) lives and works in Austria, where she received a BA in Graphic Design & Photography from the University of Art and Design. Her work - which has been exhibited in Austria, France, Portugal and Italy – has been published by the likes of Collector Daily, Purple Magazine, i-D, GUP Magazine and VICE. In 2015, Moshammer’s first photobook, Vegas and She, was published by Fotohof edition. TOM SEYMOUR – (b. 1985, UK) writes regularly about arts and society for the likes of Time Out, The Guardian, VICE, The Independent and BBC Culture. He is also the Online & Social Media Editor at The British Journal of Photography. He lives and works in London.
SAMUEL GRATACAP Empire
— Text by Kim Knoppers Between the sparse trees lie improvised furniture and clothes, which have been carelessly tossed about by the wind. The view of the horizon is obstructed by a beigecoloured haze of sand. Not a soul can be seen in the barren landscape. Other images from Samuel Gratacap’s Empire series however document a place that, despite the limitations of its geography, remains very much alive. Since the spring of 2011, at the peak of the Libyan civil war, thousands of people have sought shelter in the Choucha refugee camp, twenty-five kilometres from the Tunisian harbour city of Ben Gardane and seven kilometres from the Libyan border. The UN’s refugee agency – UNHCR – decided to close the camp in the
summer of 2013. All the NGOs also left. But 300 people remained in the desolate expanse of sand, lacking water and food supplies. Some had acquired refugee status but could then not find any country that would allow them entrance. Others were the so-called déboutés: the rejected. They chose the harsh living conditions in the desert above returning to their own, unsafe countries. ‘At least Choucha is free, the desert is free’. Somewhere between these two benchmarks in the recent history
of Choucha, the French photographer Samuel Gratacap chose to get involved. In early 2012 he made his first trip to Choucha, accompanying a news reporter. But due to the time pressure and the complexity of the situation, he wasn’t satisfied with the photos that he took there. So he decided to return. He lived in Choucha and the border city of Ben Gardane for twelve months, spread out over a two-year period. Via a Danish NGO he gave a photography workshop for young people in the camp so that they could depict their own situation. This made easier Gratacap’s access to the camp, as well as to the fragmented reality of life within it. In the first months, the photographer struggled with taking pictures: it felt either too direct or too evasive. But slowly his work became more
focused. Gratacap: ‘How to speak about the hostility of this place, of its abandonment and of the loss of identity? This frustration quickly transformed itself into the desire to capture, as closely as possible, the issues of the construction of the place with its rules and organisation. A place overexposed to light and with people underexposed in the media.’ He documented the place in a principled, non-spectacular way, as a hostile setting where the sand permeated everything. It’s a place where there is nothing to do and the days consist of endless waiting – waiting for the day of departure, waiting for time to pass. But it’s also a place where people sometimes let their voices be heard during demonstrations, with cardboard protest signs in the middle of the desert. The stream of migrants on their way to Europe is a subject that can count on constant, breathless attention from mass media. However, this attention is often superficial and translates into emo-journalism and visual clichés. After the Libyan crisis had reached its climax and its dictator Gaddafi gruesomely killed, the media directed most of its focus towards other spectacular events in the region. Choucha was the junk left over from the Libyan War, stagnating in a permanent state of invisibility. Moreover, the camp’s closure was neatly used to prompt the media to look the other way, and with it the world. When something is closed, it’s like it no longer exists. Both the UHNCR and the media erased the presence of the people left behind and the space they occupied. But Gratacap remained and Empire gave ‘the rejected’ visibility as well as a
voice. He resists the easy beauty of aesthetic poverty and leaps handily over the pitfall of exoticism. The long period of time he spent in the camp helped. But at the same time his photos maintain a certain distance. This gives them integrity and shows that although Gratacap felt involved, he always remained an outsider – someone who could choose to come or go. Empire is a logical sequel to Gratacap’s earlier work. He has been following the lives of refugees and migrants since 2007, documenting the transitory spaces they came to occupy after crossing the Mediterranean Sea. ‘I felt that I was moving away from reality by reading the newspapers.’ The desire to understand how the French judicial system dealt with illegal immigrants and what it meant to be locked up was the motivation for Gratacap to observe a detention centre in Marseille, the city where he lives (La Chance, 2007-2012). Many of the people he met there had entered Europe through the Italian island of Lampedusa, a transit area that plays an important part in his Castaway series. It is often suggested that the power of photography has been drained because of its pervasive presence and the superficial, instantaneous action of pressing a button on a device. But Gratacap demonstrates that photography can still be a powerful medium. Empire is a timeless document that tells the specific story of déboutés in the Tunisian desert, and at the same time tells the story of refugees in Calais, in the camps of Gaziantep and Urfa in Turkey and throughout the wider world.
All images © Samuel Gratacap, courtesy of the artist SAMUEL GRATACAP – (b. 1982, FR) lives and works between Paris and Tunis. He has previously worked as an assistant for both Bouchra Khalili and Antoine d’Agata. Gratacap’s research focuses on North-South geopolitical issues, and much of his work is conducted in zones of migratory transit. His featured Empire series was co-published by LE BAL and Filigranes Éditions in 2015, whilst his work has been exhibited widely in his native France as well as elsewhere in Europe. KIM KNOPPERS – (b. 1976, NL) is an art historian (University of Amsterdam) and curator at Foam. Since 2011, she has worked on exhibitions including Collaborate: On Artists’ Collectives. Knoppers is founder of Artists’ Recipes which explores the intersection of art and food. She lives and works in Amsterdam.
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Colophon ISSUE #45, TALENT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Marloes Krijnen CREATIVE DIRECTOR Pjotr de Jong (Vandejong) EDITORS Marcel Feil, Pjotr de Jong, Marloes Krijnen, Elisa Medde MANAGING EDITOR Elisa Medde EDITORIAL INTERN George H. King ART DIRECTOR Isabelle Vaverka (Vandejong) DESIGN & LAYOUT Isabelle Vaverka, Bas van Bentum (Vandejong) TYPEFACES Arial, Haarlem AM, Otik Neue, Times CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ARTISTS Sofia Ayarzagoitia, Juno Calypso, Bubi Canal, Paolo Ciregia, Joshua Citarella, Sam Contis, Jack Davison, Nicoló Degiorgis, John Edmonds, Katinka Goldberg, Daniel Gordon, Samuel Gratacap, Andrea Grützner, Maxime Guyon, Felicity Hammond, Alexandra Hunts, Taejoong Kim, Nico Krijno, Leo Maguire, Lesley A. Martin, Yoshinori Mizutani, Stefanie Moshammer, Andrés Felipe Orjuela, Antonio Ottomanelli, Daan Paans, Louise Parker, Alice Quaresma, Ross Sawyers, Marleen Sleeuwits, Stefano Stoll, Andrejs Strokins, Ilona Szwarc, Lorenzo Vitturi, Manon Wertenbroek, Daisuke Yokota
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© Photographers, authors, Foam Magazine BV, Amsterdam, 2016. All photographs and illustration material are the copyright property of the photographers and/or their estates, and the publications in which they have been published. Every effort has been made to contact copyright holders. Any copyright holders we have been unable to reach or to whom inaccurate acknowledgement has been made are invited to contact the publishers at firstname.lastname@example.org. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishers. Although the highest care is taken to make the information contained in Foam Magazine as accurate as possible, neither the publishers nor the authors can accept any responsibility for damage, of any nature, resulting from the use of this information. The production of Foam Magazine has been made possible thanks to the generous support of paper supplier Igepa Netherlands BV. The annual Foam Magazine Talent Issue and the related Talent Program is supported by the Niemeijer Fund.
A NOTE FROM US This spring, the moment of the year in which we focus on the Talent Call and the production of the issue you have in your hands, we have been deeply saddened by the loss of two important people in our lives: Antonio Zambardino, a Foam Talent in 2013, and Lout Coolen, Project Manager for Vandejong and Foam Magazine. We all would like to take a moment here to remember them, and raise a glass in their memory.
Antonio Zambardino (1981-2016, Italy) was selected as Foam Talent in 2013 with his series Climate Ground Zero. A passionate and talented documentary photographer, and a gentle soul, his research focused on social and environmental issues and his images have been published worldwide.
Lout Coolen (1987 - 2016, the Netherlands) has been the project manager for Foam Magazine since 2012. During the past 4 years, her pure energy, luminous force and beautiful laugh made crazy deadlines suddenly doable, last minute problems into minor “thingies”, and bad days into better evenings. We miss her, and think of her, every single day.
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Each year, Foam organises an international Talent Call to identify young, emerging photographers under the age of 35. The 2016 Talent Call f...
Published on Sep 6, 2016
Each year, Foam organises an international Talent Call to identify young, emerging photographers under the age of 35. The 2016 Talent Call f...