PREVIEW Foam Magazine Issue #14 Meanwhile

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foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

editorial / contents


Marloes Krijnen, director Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Sometimes it seems as if the way we organize our lives is entirely determined by the issues of the day. Highly demanding work and ever-recurring domestic worries take up much of our valuable time; local, national and international­ affairs dictate our conversations, and fashion-conscious commercialism constantly stimulates our latent desire to shop. With today’s twenty-fourhour economy and the ability to contact other parts of the world at just about any time, it seems as if peace and quiet are only a memory. Yet there are some processes that take little account of current events, that have a dynamic all their own, processes that escape the limelight to some degree, have their own tempo, duration and reach, and often demand a different kind of attention in order to be experienced and appreciated. This issue of Foam Magazine, the international photography magazine published by Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam and communication bureau Vandejong, looks at work that turns its back on the affairs of the day, or that only incidentally addresses a specific time and place. Under the title ‘Meanwhile...’ we present six portfolios in which timelessness, slowing down, rest and tranquillity are important concepts. If the work in these portfolios could be said to have lost touch with the realities of life, then surely at the very least it provides a useful counterbalance to much trendy, fashionable, but perhaps essentially superficial work. We present the series ‘Sommerherz’ by German photographer Tekhla ­Ehling in which, in a seemingly playful manner, she touches upon memories of youth, melancholy and loss, and the difficulty of relating to time as it marches­ relentlessly on. In the work of Risaku Suzuki too, time is an essential element. The portfolio ‘Yuki, Sakura’ begins with snowfall in a Japanese night and ends up, via a series of almost completely white images of a snow-covered world, in the whiteness of fresh cherry blossom: from night to day, from winter to spring, from death to life. Bart Julius Peters presents work that makes subdued reference to an atmosphere of old-world chic, to a world of mild decadence and ever-present but largely unfulfilled desires. The work of Clare Richardson takes us to a small farming village in Eastern Europe, where time seems to have stood still. The change of seasons and the rhythm of day and night continue to shape the simple lives of the inhabitants of the village, which looks like a relic of times gone by. We are particularly proud of the portfolio that ­Masao Yamamoto has compiled specially for Foam Magazine. The extremely subtle way in which Yamamoto arranges his photos, powerful and fragile in equal measure, into a harmonious whole is unsurpassed. Finally, young Dutch photo­grapher Daniëlle van Ark takes us into the depots of museums of natural­ history. In long corridors and on drab shelving she encounters animals that were once full of life and even now, in their stuffed form, are embroiled in an unrelenting struggle against temporality. Along with the portfolios, this issue of Foam Magazine includes, as ­always, an interview with a notable figure from the photographic world. This time the interviewee is Kathy Ryan, Chief Photo Editor of the New York Times Magazine and one of the four curators of this year’s New York Photo ­Festival, a new photography festival that will take place in mid-May. Ryan talks about her approach and her selection. We are also extremely proud of the participants in our regular feature On My Mind..., in which people from the world of art and culture describe the photo­that has most preoccupied them of late and explain why. The magazine also ­includes the latest programme of exhibitions at Foam_Fotografiemuseum ­Amsterdam and a short book review section. As a special insert, this issue presents a poster of the work of German photo­ grapher Kai Jüneman.



On My Mind... images selected by Michiel Munneke ~ Rineke Dijkstra ~ Julien Frydman ~ Marta Gili ~ MaryAnne Golon ~ Laurence Miller

Pages 016 - 021

Interview with Kathy Ryan A Broader Conversation by Darius Himes photographs by Gareth McConnell

Pages 022 - 026


Theme introduction Meanwhile... by Marcel Feil

Pages 027 - 034

portfolio: Clare Richardson ~ Beyond the Forest text by Aaron Schuman

Pages 035 - 054

portfolio: Bart Julius Peters ~ For Mimi, Harry and their lovely daughter Flo text by Merel Bem

Pages 055 - 074

portfolio: Risaku Suzuki ~ Yuki, Sakura text by Harumi Niwa

Pages 075 - 094

portfolio: Thekla Ehling ~ Sommerherz text by Christoph Schaden

Pages 095 - 114

portfolio: Masao Yamamoto ~ Nakazora text by Sarah Maso

Pages 115 - 134

portfolio: Daniëlle van Ark ~ The Mounted Life text by Manon Braat

Pages 135 - 154

Photobooks by Sebastian Hau

Pages 156 - 159

~ Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam Daniel & Geo Fuchs ~ STASI - Secret Rooms Foam Exhibition Programme

Pages 164 - 176

Clare Richardson ~ Beyond the Forest Throughout Beyond the Forest – no matter whether her camera falls upon a weathered farmer, a fortified hilltop church, a tree-lined road, or laundry hung out to dry – Richardson generally maintains a level (and therefore levelling) perspective and forthright compositional eye; everything carries an impressive weight throughout the frame.

Bart Julius Peters ~ For Mimi, Harry and their lovely daughter Flo Decadence is a term frequently used to describe Peters’ work. He has a marked predilection for subjects that presuppose an affluent Western lifestyle: the hockey club, the golf course, the landed estate, openings. To some extent the description is accurate, but decadence is hard to define.

Risaku Suzuki ~ Yuki, Sakura

Thekla Ehling ~ Sommerherz

Imagine a pendulum with Risaku Suzuki as the fulcrum. The pendulum swings back and forth between the moment captured by the photo­grapher and the universal time and space in which his subjects or landscapes exist. The arc of the pendulum’s swing is Suzuki’s work, his photography.

For several years, Ehling accompanied her two daughters and their friends and cautiously used her familiar relationship with them to ­explore the inner and outer spheres of their experience. To her amazement, she was faced with images of her own childhood.

Masao Yamamoto ~ Nakazora

Daniëlle van Ark ~ The Mounted Life

Yamamoto demonstrates that everything in the world has a special place, consistent with the philosophy he disseminates, the notion that every existence and every element is as valuable as the next. His attitude to life shows through in the way he gives shape to his work by presenting it in careful arrangements of unframed photos.

Over the past eighteen months, Van Ark has visited more than a dozen natural history museums in the United States and Europe. She found stuffed representatives of the entire animal kingdom, often hundreds of them, even thousands, mouldering away in warehouses, never being put to use in any way. Yet apparently it is simply not done to put a monkey out with the rubbish.


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile Six well-known figures from the cultural world selected an image that has recently been on their minds... Co-editor: Addie Vassie

On My Mind...

Marine Wedding © Nina Berman, courtesy at Redux Pictures for People

Michiel Munneke Faces of War. US Marine Ty Ziegel poses with Renee Kline before their wedding in Washington, Illinois, in July 2006. Ziegel was severely wounded­in a suicide attack during his second tour of duty in Iraq. He was blinded in one eye, had his skull shattered, and most of his skin was burned off. The couple was engaged following Ziegel’s first deployment in Iraq. ­After Ziegel was injured, Kline lived with him for over a year at a hospital in Texas. For me this is one of the most iconic pictures from the war in Iraq. Far more effective than any other single image, even of combat. It brings war back home in an uncomfortably direct way. It is a standard wedding picture, but with a difference. The bride is perfect in her stunning wedding gown. She holds a lovely bouquet of flowers. The groom is, well, nearly perfect in his impeccable Marine dress blues, replete with decorations from his service in Iraq. But when you look at his face you see that he is horribly mutilated. Looking at her hollow staring eyes you start to wonder what she might be thinking. I see fear. Anxiety about what the future will bring. What makes this picture even more disconcerting is that you cannot read


his emotions. It is a photograph shot for People, though they never published­it. You might wonder why. Was it too confrontational? Was it considered too damaging to American morale? After it was awarded the first prize in the portraits category at World Press Photo it provoked an incredible response on the Internet. A rough estimate suggests that within­one week the picture had been viewed 250,000 times and stirred a wide variety of responses. What makes the picture interesting, in Berman’s­words, is that it provides space for viewers’ contemplation. + Michiel Munneke is managing director of World Press Photo. World Press Photo is an independent non-profit organization. It exists to promote and support ­professional press photography on an international scale. Promotional activities include an annual contest, exhibitions, the stimulation of photojournalism through education programs, and creating greater visibility for press photography through a variety of publications.

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile On My Mind...

From: A shimmer of possibility by Paul Graham, published by Steidl Publishers © Paul Graham, courtesy of Steidl Publishers

Rineke Dijkstra Paul Graham’s new book, A shimmer of possibility, was published last year. Or more accurately Paul Graham’s new books, since this publi­cation consists of no less than twelve separate parts. Each includes a small number of photos taken at a specific location in the United States; twelve short series in which Graham makes extremely intelligent use of the inherent­attributes of a book. With each turn of the page, something is added to what went before. Page by page, image by image, you gain further­insight into a unified whole. The way Graham achieves this is quite extraordinary. Some of the books contain only a handful of photos, but they are arranged meticulously with a great deal of space between the images. The subtle changes­ in perspective, the descriptive way in which a subject is captured and the unobtrusive passage of time mean that each situation can, so to speak, be read. The result is that you start to look at things in the same way as when walking down the street. More or less by chance, your eye falls on something that attracts your attention for a moment. You look a little more closely for a second or two before walking on. These are minute, everyday observations. This certainly applies to the two photos


selected here: in several of the images you see both the tramp and the young girl fiddling with various items, sometimes from far away, sometimes from nearby. The emphasis lies on the fact that both are entirely absorbed by their own perceptions. Another striking feature is that Graham photographs people from every layer of American society, without judging them at all. The entire publication testifies to a completely open mind, and all the photos are exceptionally well shot. + Rineke Dijkstra is a noted Dutch photographer living and working in Amsterdam. She has studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam from 1981 to 1986. Since her first solo exhibition at de Moor in Amsterdam in 1984, Dijkstra has shown her work at many different museums such as the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (1999), the Art Institute of Chicago (2001) and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2006/2007). She has also exhibited widely in group shows, including the Venice Biennale (1997 and 2001), International Month of Photography in Moscow (2000) and ICP Triennial of Photography and Video at the International Center of Photography in New York (2003).

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile On My Mind...

Portrait of Mrs. Toulietina, non-Party member Leningrad, 1932. Photographer anonymous.

Julien Frydman ‘Ticket-puncher/Drill-operator, two years’ service, works quickly and dexterously. This dynamic worker, a heroine of Soviet labour, has achieved 114% of plan objectives.’ The name of the photographer is unknown. It’s a portrait of a heroine of Soviet labour; a propaganda photo with an inscription in Russian praising the merits of the model worker. You could say that it’s the equivalent of the modern-day ‘Employee of the Month’ at McDonald’s. Yet here the photographer is playing on ambiguity and the portrait is hiding something. This photograph is all about opposites. Mme Toulietina, a worker heroine,, though not a Party member (as stated­ in the text), seems at once proud and melancholy. The left-hand side of her face, accentuated by her raised eyebrow, appears to be turning away from her sad-looking right eye, and the docile side of her face. Her hair


has been carefully styled in a feminine manner that contrasts with the unusual geometrically-patterned neckline of her V-neck pullover, setting her apart. The photographer has made a subliminal cubist portrait, utilitarian yet rebellious, turning a commissioned photo into an extra­ ordinary work of art. This may well be the reason – apart from the fact that it evokes Eastern Europe and an aspect of my personal origins­ –­that I acquired this photograph. It was the first I ever bought. + Julien Frydman is the Director of Magnum Photos in Paris.

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile On My Mind...

‘Are you Master, kilometre 4 on the R74 from Harrismith to Bergville, Free State in the time of AIDS’, August, 2005. From : Hasselblad Award 2006 catalogue © David Golblatt

Marta Gili Goldblatt is an observer who does not seek to tug at heartstrings or turn stomachs but to show those apparently inconsequential moments which concentrate all the silences of what was and what will be. Time and space, intermediate forms and places, charged with mute revelations and invisible gestures; urban settings full of rage or natural landscapes resigned to chronicling the vicissitudes of human lives. In his recent work, Goldblatt shows himself to be a tireless observer of the phenomena marking South African society after apartheid: the obsolescence of the old structures of control, the transformation of the major cities by the arrival of millions of people from other African countries, the exodus of Johannesburg’s white population to the fortress suburbs in the north, the real-estate boom, the scourge of AIDS among the black population made worse by economic precariousness and the difficulty of gaining access to medications, plus the pervasive secrecy, both official and un­ official, surrounding this plague. In this connection, I spend a lot time in


front of an apparently innocent landscape : ‘Are you Master, kilometre 4 on the R74 from Harrismith to Bergville, Free State in the time of AIDS’. I was fascinated by the interaction between title and image. It is interesting to observe the precision with which Goldblatt chooses the titles of his books or writes the texts accompanying his photos, avoiding any moralising terms or value judgements whatsoever. Goldblatt doesn’t defend beliefs or doctrines; rather, he is interested in the ways in which these are hidden, disguised in the interstices of society, and how they work to shape power structures, values and ideologies. + Marta Gili is the director of the Jeu de Paume in Paris. Amongst other she has been the head of the photography and visual arts at the La Caixa Foundation since 1992. Moreover Marta Gili was in charge of the artistic direction for the 2002 and 2003 editions of the Printemps de Septembre festival in Toulouse. Besides she has contributed to various catalogues, magazines and publications.

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile On My Mind...

November 1984: Famine refugee Mekele Camp, Tigray, Ethiopia © David Burnett/ Contact Press Images

MaryAnne Golon In November 1984, renowned photojournalist David Burnett covered the famine raging in the Ethiopian desert. This beautifully haunting image of a child sucking the last precious drops of water from a metal spigot has stayed beside me, figuratively and literally, ever since. At the time I was working as a freelance photo editor at TIME magazine and had the pleasure­ of working with Burnett in preparing his edits of the Ethiopian crisis­to enter the professional photography competitions. Burnett received several marks of recognition for this work, among them the 1984 ­Olivier Rebbot memorial award for best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines and books from the Overseas Press Club of America (OPC). As his guest at the black-tie OPC presentation in New York City,­ I­listened­raptly as Burnett graciously thanked the assembled glitterati


of journalism­for honoring him and spoke of the suffering of the people caught in a web of pain in Ethiopia. This moment defined for me the contrast between the world in which I live and work and the world in which the photographers live and work. The chasm has only deepened since then. David Burnett gave me a print of this picture and signed it for me as follows:­‘For MaryAnne, Thanks for your help and enthusiasm. You keep us honest.’ + MaryAnne Golon is the picture editor at Time magazine. She joined Time in 1983, left briefly for US News & World Report in 1996, and came back to Time in 1999. Besides she was the on-site photo editor during Operation Desert Storm, and ­directed the photo spread for the 9/11 issue of Time.

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile On My Mind...

Photographers Mole and Thomas, The US Human Shield, 1918, courtesy at Laurence Miller Gallery.

Laurence Miller The other day I was discussing with a colleague the recent trend in photo­ graphy for staged and fabricated pictures, and their historical precursors.We talked about contemporaries James Casabere, Thomas Demand, Spencer Tunick and Vanessa Beecroft. The conversation made me take another look at a picture I own, a wonderful 1918 photograph by the Chicago­team Mole and Thomas, in which they arranged ‘30,000 Officers and Men’ on a large field to form ‘The Human US Shield.’ The US Human Shield is very abstract, in a Jasper Johns’ American flag kind of way, and rich in possible meanings as well. The stars and white stripes are men in white t-shirts, the dark stripes are men in uniform with their hats on. A huge effort must have been required to get every­one into position, within a template attached to their ground glass.


How curious that many of today’s creative artist-photographers are using similar means for different ends. Or perhaps the ends are the same: the subjugating of the individual for a larger political statement, the fabrication of a fiction to be read as reality. As Yogi Berra once said, ‘it’s déjà vu all over again.’ +

Laurence Miller, owner and director of the Laurence Miller Gallery in New York, has over thirty years experience in the fine art photography market, not only as a gallerist and curator, but also as an active collector. In his earliest years as an associate of Light Gallery and now as owner/director of the Laurence Miller Gallery.

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile



foam magazine #14 / meanwhile


Kathy Ryan A Broader Conversation interview by Darius Himes ~ portrait by Gareth McConnell

New York City is the acknowledged worldwide nexus of commercial and fine art photography. A sprawling galaxy of galleries, magazines, museums and auction houses all dealing in photographic arts cover Manhattan and Brooklyn, and artists are scattered throughout the five boroughs, giving the photography community a pulsing, vibrant feel. It is surprising to note, then, that there has been a long-standing void in the photography landscape of the City that Never Sleeps. There has been no annual large-scale event dedicated to photography in recent memory. All of that changes this Spring. The inaugural New York Photo Festival (May 14–May 18, 2008) is poised to celebrate contemporary photography in a big way. Four prominent figures in the world of photography have been commissioned to curate exhibitions. The curators include Magnum photographer Martin Parr, The New York Times Magazine picture editor Kathy Ryan, Lesley A. Martin of the Aperture Foundation, and Tim Barber of Running concurrently with the curated shows will be a range of activities, including seminars, book signings, workshops, portfolio reviews and live performances. In February, I had the chance to speak with Kathy Ryan. Her tenure at the New York Times Magazine has been lauded by both photo­ graphers and critics, in addition to the masses of readers that receive the magazine on a weekly basis. For the New York Photo Festival she has decided to curate an exhibition of contemporary photographers all of whom she sees as being in dialogue with the disciplines of painting and sculpture. The exhibition will include new work by Roger Ballen, Horacio Salinas, Stephen Gill, Katherine Wolkoff, Julian Faulhaber, Lars Tunbjörk, Alejandra Laviada, and Andreas Gefeller.


Kathy, I’m curious about the genesis for this show. You mentioned that you wanted to bring together a group of photographers who you felt were having a dialogue with the disciplines of painting and sculpture. How did that idea evolve for you? When Daniel Power (of powerHouse Books) and Frank Evers (of the VII Agency) approached me about curating a show, there was a period of a couple months when I simply pondered what I would do. I’m new to curating exhibitions, although being a picture editor is all about bringing­ photo­graphers together in a single venue. A pivotal moment for me was seeing some new work of Roger Ballen’s­. He had visited with me last Spring to show some of his newest work, and I was just astounded by the power of the images. He had pushed the work beyond traditional photographic portraiture and seemed, to me, to be engaged in a dialogue with Picasso’s mark-­making and other cubist portraiture. Both of them have produced primal images. In Ballen’s work there is the evidence of the brush stroke and the marks on the wall; the use of old pencils and wires; cat tails and fingers coming­ in from the edge of the frame; spilled oil; a rough sense of sculpture and painting mixed together; all of these elements in Ballen’s work struck me as continuing a dialogue that Picasso and Georges Braque had begun­ early in the 20th century. I totally agree with you, in that Ballen has moved well beyond the confines of traditional photographic portraiture, or anything that is even remotely traditional from a photographic standpoint, even though his beginnings are squarely within the documentary tradition. Definitely. Ballen takes elements of the real world but adjusts them to the medium of photography, creating new pieces that seem to me to be more in sync with the thought patterns of painters than with photo­ graphers. Ultimately, the final objects exist as photographs, but at the moment of creation they are paintings and sculptures in the real world as much as a latent image exposed on a piece of film. >

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When he brought this new work in, I was immediately taken with it. They are incredibly engaging and provocative on a formal level, but at the same time they exist on a deeper psychological level. There is a playful yet nightmarish undertow to his work. I was just haunted by them in the weeks that followed. He’s like a one-man school of painting and photography. There is definitely a dialogue happening, but it’s not really with other photographers. Roger Ballen’s work showed me how to recognize the other images that would be in the show. Where did you go, then, from Ballen? How did this idea of a dialogue evolve from a ‘one-man school’ to a group show of working, contemporary photographers? Well, the next thing that sparked the same feelings was new work by Horacio Salinas. Kira Pollack, the deputy photo editor here at The New York Times had mentioned to me a new body of work that he had been working on, so I asked him to bring some of the images in to show me. I have been working with Horacio for several years, but this was something completely different. He had gone across the US on a road trip, which is a classic scenario in photography. Everybody wants to do the big road trip. But Salinas had gone out with the intention of collecting old blown out tires along the road. His thought was to take them all and shoot them in the studio, as still lifes. I fell for the very expressionist brush strokes. Seeing them in an exhibition was like walking into MoMA and seeing those wonderful Abstract­ Expressionist canvasses by Motherwell or Kline. But again, it’s more than the surfaces that I’m concerned with. I find that there’s an emotional undertow. Once you realize that these are pieces of shredded tires, you understand that there is a moment of violence in the history­of these found-sculptures. The tire blew out, the truck had to shear to the side of the road, and then this rubber just laid there for months in the sun. The photographic document of a piece of the world is the underlying foundation of the work, but Salinas has headed down the path leading toward­ abstraction, and I like that connection. Speaking of abstraction, I’d like to bring up the idea of negative space, which is so thoroughly embedded in the work of Katherine Wolkoff which you’ve decided to include. Can you tell me about that? The body of work revolves around a series of photographs of what look like patches of tall grasses that have been flattened down. At first I had no idea what I was looking at, and if I were to stumble across these in the wild, I wouldn’t know what they were either. But they are impressions made by deer that laid in the grass. Sometimes Wolkoff made the images­immediately after the deer had gotten up and moved on. There is a presence defined by the absence of the animals; it’s an irony that I find intriguing. The negative space – the literal spot where the deer was


lying and where it pressed down the grass – has a sculptural feel. There is also a real wonder with the natural world. The images have a tone of gentleness, and the grass takes on the character of tiny calligraphic brushstrokes. So, once again there is a combination of both sculpture and painting that is referenced through a photograph. There is also a real playfulness to her work; it feels lighthearted and filled with curiosity. The work of the youngest photographer in the group, Alejandra Laviada, is also filled with a certain sort of playfulness. In fact, her photographs made mostly in Mexico remind me of a constrained (and not nearly as destructive or boyish) Fischli and Weiss. I remember first seeing Alejandra’s work at SVA a couple years ago and thinking that she had a really pronounced drive and curiosity to her. Let’s talk for a minute about Stephen Gill, who’s book Hackney Wick was one of the most exciting photographic and book projects of the last few years­. Hackney Wick is a lower-income, immigrant neighborhood in London­, and a certain abandoned parking lot had been host to a weekend flea market for years. Stephen purchased a cheap, plastic camera from one of the vendors and proceeded to photograph the fair as well as the surrounding neighborhood, to superb effect. The project is perfectly circumscribed and defined by the flea market and the camera he bought there. He has since put out several more books that are equally perfect as well-defined book and photographic projects. What is it that you’ll be including in this exhibition? I will be showing two bodies of work by Gill. One is his ‘Anonymous Origami’­series. This is a series of very elegant still lives of slips of folded­ toilet paper he collected from hotel rooms around the world. The papers are shown exactly as he found them, carefully folded by the house­ keepers. They dovetail beautifully with Horacio Salinas’ work because the objects he is depicting were also picked up on journeys, as were Salinas’­tires. I like the excitement of going from the weight of the tires to the flimsiness and ephemeral nature of the toilet tissues. Both artists­ have taken detritus found on their trips and transformed it into something else entirely that takes on enormous beauty.

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~ ‘So much of the show includes artists that are riffing off the man-made world, and yet there is a real sense of abstraction.’ ~ The second project by Gill is something he is working on titled A Series of Disappointments. This series shows discarded betting slips he found in betting shops in Hackney. He was drawn to the notion that each of the papers ‘started up as hope and ended up shaped by loss or defeat before they were cast aside.’ The rejected slips are twisted, crumpled, rolled, and spiraled into all sorts of surprising shapes, by their dejected owners. It’s as though Stephen sees the world in terms of little projects, which I like. He comes across these amazing bodies of work in his mind, that then materialize. Lars Tunbjork is someone who also works in this way. My familiarity with his work is based on the most recent two books: I Love Boras which came out about a year ago, and his most recent title, Vinter. The former was filled with wit and humor, whereas the latter is much darker and more somber. I’ve always been fascinated by his work. When I saw Vinter, I was stunned because it seemed a major shift had occurred. Tunbjork’s previous work was filled with wit and humor and this book was very sad and filled with anguish. It is a very powerful book and when asked about it, Tunbjork revealed that indeed, the work was his way of dealing with the depression that besets him, as well as others, during the dark winter months of northern Europe. There are many moments in the book where Tunbjork takes something he encountered in the world – either natural or manmade, and presents it to us as a metaphor for a psychological state. Whether it is an icicle-draped boulder, a soot-darkened snowman, a sinister wooden chopping block, a person ensnared in a spider’s web of bungee-jumping cords, or a frayed rope, the images are disturbing and haunting. There is also a high level of visual complexity to the work, which reminds me

of some of the other artists we’ve already discussed, particularly, again, Roger Ballen. A major difference between Ballen and Tunbjork is, of course, the use of color. You’re presenting a correlation between marks made in the world and artists that are composing and arranging and creating their own marks on the flatness of the photographic plane. Ultimately, when you come into the exhibition this Spring, I want you to be able to make transitions from one artist to the next. It’s the use of color and broad geometric shapes that makes the best transition from Tunbjork’s photographs to the work of both Andreas Gefeller and Julian Faulhaber, who has a much more detached, sterile use of color in connection with the planes of architecture. I was hoping we could talk a little bit about Gefeller, whose work I’m familiar with from Hasted Hunt Gallery, who has represented him here in the States for the last few years. I was blown away by the grandiosity­ of the work which is coupled with a specificity of detail, something that is uniquely photographic. There is a famous quote from Friedlander, where he says, ‘I only wanted Uncle Vern standing by his new car­ (a Hudson) on a clear day. I got him and the car. I also got a bit of Aunt Mary’s laundry and Beau Jack, the dog, peeing on a fence, and a row of potted tuberous begonias on the porch and the seventy-eight trees and a million pebbles in the driveway and more. It’s a generous medium­, photo­graphy.’ But Gefeller’s work is such a flattening out of the space; at the same time, because of the sheer amount of detail, there is surprising depth. Friedlander’s ‘million pebbles’ seem to be everywhere in his photographs. >

Kathy Ryan at work with Kira Pollack, the Deputy Photo Editor of The New York Times Magazine © Stacey Baker/ New York Times


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That’s exactly right. Both his and Faulhaber’s photographs are crisp and modernist. They project everything that is a pure exploration of form, in contrast to the messiness of Ballen. That’s interesting. If you were just to say Ballen and Gefeller were in the same show and we hadn’t had this conversation, I wouldn’t know how to connect the dots. But you’ve pointed out the connections that are resonating for you. That’s good to hear, because I do see these connections. They are all individualists, and there are obsessions, but there are all of these links and connections to me. So much of the show includes artists that are riffing off the man-made world, and yet there is a real sense of abstraction­. There is a visceral, purely sensual play at work here. And yet, because it’s photography, it still relates to the real world. Well, the more traditional documentary sense of photography is that the photographer must remain as absent as possible and show us the world ‘out there.’ What you’re acknowledging through this show, and making very clear, is a stance that has been around for some years, obviously, which is that the photographer/artist is always present – that much is inescapable – no matter how objective the work pretends to be. You’re acknowledging that and putting together artists who are also aware of that. They show us bits of the world ‘out there’ but seen through the filter of what’s going on inside them. The work is unapologetic for this very interior view. Completely. The work is completely unapologetic. It’s basically saying that the entire world is available as raw material for one’s art and image­making. I like the idea of artists as alchemists. It is the one thing that connects all these artists – whether their subject matter is found or sculpted or transformed in some way. On another level, the outside world has acted­as a catalyst for making this work. It is still rooted in the real world.

these different mediums together and then is finally recorded on film, in a photograph. In many ways, photography is traditionally seen as a subtractive process­. The frame of the camera is laid over the real world, and a selection, a snippet, a frame is extracted from what is happening around us. It’s subtractive and selective in that sense. But here you’ve found a group of artists that are essentially blending the subtractive and additive process­ all in one. They have collected and presented snippets of the world, but they are placing them on the canvas and creating their own arrangements. My hope is that when people see their work collected and arranged ­together they will appreciate this wide-ranging conversation. +

Darius Himes was the founding editor of photo-eye Booklist, a quarterly magazine devoted to photography books, from 2002-2007. He is a founding member of Radius Books, a Santa Fe-based publisher of books on the visual arts, where he works as an editor. He is also a lecturer, consultant, educator and writer, having contributed to Blind Spot, Bookforum, BOMB, PDN, and American Photo. Gareth McConnell’s stunning, fragile portraiture and documentary photography has earned him acclaim as a contemporary artist and editorial photographer. He has published three books: Wherever You Go (2002), Back2Back (2004) and Gareth McConnell, a monograph of work from 1995, published in 2004 by Photoworks/Steidl. He was selected for Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography, published by Phaidon Press in 2006 and short-listed for the Recontres D’Arles Discovery Award in 2005.

In Shadow Chamber, Ballen’s most recent monograph (Phaidon, 2005) the late critic Robert Sobieszek made the following remarks about his work, which I think are worth quoting here. Ballen ‘claims that he wants his work to approach “other art forms namely theatre, sculpture and painting” whose elements become “triggers to subliminal human experience.”’ ... Like the essayist William H. Gass’s responsive novelist, a photo­grapher like Roger Ballen is led to cease pretending ‘that his business is to render the world; he knows, more often now, that his business is to make one ...’ This notion of a photographer that is clearly ‘making’ his own world while still being rooted in the real world – this seems to be central to what you’re getting at. Everything goes back to Ballen for me. There is sculpture, and drawing, and this dialogue with the history of painting for me. All of his work brings


McConnell has exhibited his photographs internationally including solo exhi-

bitions in 2007 at Charlotte Lund Gallery, Stockholm and Counter Gallery, London. His series Meditations was included in the exhibition Quietscapes at Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City also in 2007. McConnell’s photographs are held in public and private collections including the British Council and UBS.

McConnell was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland and completed his

Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art, London. He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, Surrey Institute of Art & Design and the London College of Communication. He has received commissions from the BBC, the National Portrait Gallery, London and the British Library.

McConnell is a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine and

his editorial clients include Another Man, Dazed and Confused, Details, GQ, The Journal, UK Observer, New York Magazine, W and Vogue Nippon. He is represented by Carl Freedman Gallery, London.

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No.10. 13.7.2002, exp.time: 3h 2min, divided between 20 rooms, camera obscura, ciba chrome paper, 141,5 x 126,3 cm


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Meanwhile... ~

by Marcel Feil ~ curator Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Five orange cables, nothing more. Five cables, roughly the thickness of a wrist and divided into groups, with two on the right and three on the left. Each of the two groups of cables emerges from a small round hole in the floor and is fastened to the wall at the back. The diameter of each hole is about fifteen centimetres and the distance between the two holes around twenty. That’s just about all there is to see in this photo, taken by American artist Taryn Simon at the VSNL International Headquarters in Avon, New Jersey. The picture belongs to her extensive project An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, part of which is now on show at Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam. I walk past this photo almost every day and each time it seems more engrossing and intriguing. It’s not so much the photo itself that fascinates, although the cool, businesslike way in which Simon has photographed the cables undoubtedly contributes to the power of the image. No, it’s more the five cables themselves, those five simple cables. They form one of the most important connections between the North American continent and the rest of the world. VSNL is one of the largest international providers of telecommunications services in the world, owning a network of fibre-optic cables with a total length of more than 200,000 kilometres. These networks encompass the globe. The VSNL telecom cables photographed by Taryn Simon connect Saunton Sands in the United Kingdom with New Jersey and run almost entirely along the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The cables emerge from the ground through the holes shown in the photograph, right inside the VSNL headquarters, where the signals are amplified and split into distinctive wavelengths before being sent on their way. The cables depicted here simultaneously transmit no fewer than sixty million conversations, making transatlantic telephone traffic and internet connections possible. It is this that makes the cables so intriguing. Sixty million messages­ shooting along fibre-optic cables at exactly the same moment. How many people are connected to them? How many emotions? How much cause and effect, supply and demand, profit and loss? A large proportion of the All images: © Gabor Ösz /Van Zoetendaal Collections Courtesy the artist and Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Amsterdam


world economy – the twenty-four-hour economy that no longer takes any account of time zones or cultural differences – the often so abstractsounding ‘global village’ and today’s media society are all abruptly reduced to the concrete form of five paltry, fragile cables. The thought of a well-honed hatchet is irrepressible. A single well-aimed blow and the cables are severed. Instant panic and chaos, economic crisis, top-level international talks or worse – the consequences would be disastrous. As if to indicate that VSNL is aware of this, the holes from which the cables­ emerge are surrounded by a small fence. Completely inadequate, of course, to provide any real protection, but the fence is there for no other purpose than as a symbol of security in the otherwise heavily guarded headquarters, to which few people have access. The cables captured by Taryn Simon are an excellent metaphor for contemporary society, where speed is of the essence in almost all we do. We can communicate literally at the speed of light, apart from the fact that human beings still have a few limitations of their own. Time and distance are so compressed these days that they are barely relevant. Should a bomb go off on one side of the world, the other side of the world will ­receive the news a few split seconds later. Before we know it, the first images will arrive via the digital highway at the picture desks of major press agencies, and the first reports from eye-witnesses will appear on the internet, with photos taken on mobile phones. It’s almost impossible­ as a member of Western society (whatever that means nowadays) to avoid global news and the discussions that take place world wide, usually­ covering only a limited number of subjects. Everyone reacts to everything and everyone reacts to everyone else. In the landscape of modern media, we are subjected to one hype after another and opinions are ­often more important than facts. In the business world too, the speed at which knowledge is acquired and transformed into action is more important than ever. Sometimes it seems as if the electronic revolution that began over a century ago has triggered an almost unstoppable process of ­acceleration, and some people are finding it impossible to keep pace. Even for those not constantly connected to the rest of the world by laptops, blackberries, satnavs and other state of the art devices (and how

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No.14. 24.8.2002, double windows, exp.time: 3h 10min, divided between 18 rooms, camera obscura, ciba chrome paper, 188,1 x 246,7 cm


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No.16. 26.9.2002, exp.time: 3h 5min, divided between 20 rooms, camera obscura, ciba chrome paper, 150,9 x 126,5 cm


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~ ‘The eternal battle with time, the sense of irrevocable loss and feelings of melancholy recur in almost all the work in this issue.’ ~

many of them are left?), the influence of this merry-go-round spinning at top speed is evident. In the west of Holland where I’m writing this, the huge amount of diffuse light emitted by streetlamps, cities and industry­ means it never gets properly dark. Real silence belongs to the past as well, or to some very far off place. There’s always the sound of a car, a plane or some kind of machinery. True, the distinction between day and night still exists, but it is dissolving more quickly than we realize. Nighttime here is daytime somewhere else, and we always need to be online and available. Speed, as we know, is everything. At one and the same moment, innumerable things happen. They play themselves out, in a word, simultaneously. Each individual event occurs at its own location, in its own space and time. This has always been so, only now we’re far more aware than ever before of things that happen in other places. It can easily make us restless. We want to act, or need to act, in response. For huge tracts of our time we’re focused on things that are happening elsewhere, or that lie in the future and have yet to occur, which means that our today, our here and now, is dictated by events going­ on behind the scenes that we nevertheless want to influence or participate in. This has a considerable impact on our perception of time. In fact it usually means we’re short of time. All of this presumes that time is an objective, measurable entity, to be read from the traditional clock. Whenever we feel we’ve too little time for something, this feeling expresses itself as haste and, if we’re not careful, as stress. If we have too much time, we quickly fall prey to boredom, meaning more time is available than we really want or are able to use. In either case the ‘now’ loses out, squeezed between ‘beforehand’ and ‘afterwards’, whereas it is precisely an awareness of now that contains the possibility of experiencing time as something subjective, independent of the clock, not as something that defines us but as something we can define for ourselves. The sense of being chronically short of time that afflicts people today expresses itself as an increasing need for peace and tranquillity. ‘Stop the world, I want to get off’ is a feeling that lies at the root of the so-called Slow Movement, for example. This ramified and decentralized movement assumes many guises, from light-hearted associations to deadly serious quasi-religions. They are united by their reluctance to go on participating in the rat race, and by their need to pay attention to things their members regard as of greater value. They claim this is only possible by slowing


down. ‘In Praise of Slow’, ‘The World Institute of Slowness’, ‘Slowness for Sustainability’ and ‘SlowDownNow’ are only a few of the groups that address­themselves to reducing the pace at which we live and fulfilling the expectation that life surely has more to offer than an exhausting race to the finish. But what are they hoping for? Professor Guttom Fløistad, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oslo and one of the driving forces behind the Slow Movement, summarizes their aims as follows­: ‘The only thing that’s for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you’d better speed up. That’s the message we’re given today. It might however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated. The need to belong. The need for closeness and care, and for a little love. These are attainable only through slowness in human relationships. If we are to master change, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. That is where we will find real renewal.’ Here the professor reveals himself to be a classic cultural pessimist, presenting in a single breath a redemptive solution to all our problems. One thing many adherents of the slow movement have in common is their criticism of contemporary society and, as a direct result, a longing­ for the past. Everything was better in the old days. ‘Of course, there was hunger and poverty, and yes, people had to work very hard. But has modern­technology really made us any happier?’ This is what many of their arguments boil down to. The essential things in life, they believe, were better in the past: people were strongly connected to their own cultures and communities, to their surroundings and their personal lives. And that connectedness is a precondition of a proper understanding of core values such as, to quote the professor, ‘closeness, care and a little love’. They believe that a lack of connectedness inevitably translates into looser relationships and a superficiality that must surely lead to disengagement and decline. Although it can do no harm to meet this analysis with a degree of scepticism, much cultural criticism contains a grain of truth. The Slow Movement­is no exception. Speed can certainly mean a lack of sustained attention, which sometimes results in superficiality. Lengthy, carefully­ composed essays are increasingly replaced by brief summaries and attention-­grabbing sound bites. Our attention spans are short, after all. Serious newspapers launch special editions aimed at a young readership, in quick and convenient formats. These days we communicate mainly by e-mail or by firing off short SMS messages, composed in a special idiom designed for speed and ease of use. But these days we communicate above all through visual images. More than ever, pictures connect people – or, undeniably, drive them apart. The digitalisation of photography has made the medium more democratic than ever. Anyone can take photos and anyone can distribute them with lightning speed across the world wide web. A veritable torrent of images is the result. Although it is now common knowledge that photo­graphy can be manipulated to serve any purpose, this has done nothing to reduce its influence. On the contrary. A single image may not always say more than a thousand words, but its impact is usually far greater. The time when a photographer set out into the field weighed down by a heavy camera just to ‘make a few exposures’ seems like centuries ago. Photography was a slow medium then, certainly compared to the contemporary experience of time. How else could a photographer go to work, knowing he could take only a few shots and that they could be turned into stable images only through a time-consuming and expensive process­? He took a second look more than once before pressing the shutter. He literally­needed to take his time about it. Instead of the objective time on the clock, the photographer had to appeal to a subjective form of time, an extended present in which he became as completely bound up with his subject as possible. This often showed through in the image. >

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Sufficient time to look properly; a concentrated gaze; a careful decision as to the point of view; a meticulous framing of the image combined with a thoroughly individual vision of the surrounding world – these seem increasingly rare in photography today. Technical advances are immediately­ translated into new pictorial techniques. The demands of speed and the new trends that arrive with increasing rapidity have begun to dictate the imagery produced by professional photographers. Fortunately this still renders up some wonderful photography, and more photos than ever are fascinating as a portrait of our era, have a critical relationship to the medium­, or will clearly stand the test of time. But it remains essential to pay attention to photographers who are carving out a path entirely their own, turning their backs on the issues of the day. Their photos often­ demand a different approach in order to be seen and evaluated. Such work seems more and more important. In this issue of Foam Magazine we have put together six portfolios of work in which current events play no direct role, photos in which the time and place they were taken is not immediately apparent and which convey a sense of timelessness. This is the very opposite of journalistic­ work. The identification of who, what and where, which would reinforce the relationship between the picture and visible reality, is almost entirely absent. The images in this issue do not so much point to the reality­outside themselves as to the reality they themselves represent. In this sense they are truly autonomous photos; they do not depend for their value and significance on elements other than those inherent in the work itself. Any good photo possesses autonomous visual qualities, enabling the image to exist as an image rather than purely as the depiction of a concrete social reality, but some photographers take this a step further­. In his series ‘Yuki’ (‘White’), Risaku Suzuki photographs a night’s snowfall. The white snowflakes contrast with the deep black sky, their blur of movement making them seem unobtrusive and immaterial. They are little­ more than light against darkness, a scatter of abstract flecks against a dark background. Only later in the series, when the white covering of snow on the ground becomes visible at the bottom of the picture, is it possible for us to orientate ourselves, to feel the earth beneath our feet and focus our eyes again. This is short-lived. Suzuki points the camera directly at the fallen snow and pure snow is all we see in subsequent shots. The distance between the camera and the snow-covered ground is hard to gauge. Only slight changes in the light and the idea of ­luminous


snow crystals give us any indication of depth and space. Otherwise we are left with nothing but a white patch, containing minimal and extremely­ subtle nuances of colour. The most abstract photos in this series by Suzuki force us to adopt another way of looking. It is no longer possible to direct our gaze, since there is little or nothing to focus on. No part of the picture catches the eye, nothing gives us any basis on which to identify what we are looking at and therefore nothing enables us to characterize the work. Looking soon becomes staring, and staring quickly causes our gaze to turn inwards. It becomes a contemplative form of looking, in which the ­perception of time is no longer tied to the clock but becomes subjective­. In this sense there are similarities between the way these photos by Risaku Suzuki function and, for example, the work of Mark Rothko, in which the existential, cathartic experience of the viewer forms the ­essence of the work. The dimensions of the photos and how they ­relate to the human scale is of great importance here – an illustration in a book or magazine can never be an adequate substitute. This contemplative way of looking makes the viewer aware, much more than with other kinds of photography, of the space he occupies as a physical ­being, of the time he spends in front of the work and ultimately of his own finite nature. The power of this work by Suzuki lies in the way it makes us conscious of the relentless march of time and therefore of our mortality, yet at the very end we are comforted by new life in the form of cherry blossom. The eternal battle with time, the sense of irrevocable loss and ­feelings of melancholy recur in almost all the work in this issue, whether­ the series by Daniëlle van Ark, who shows us stuffed animals in museum­ depots, the mildly decadent world presented by Bart Julius Peters, or the meticulous compositions of Masao Yamamoto. Perhaps such feelings­are inherent in the medium of photography, no matter what sort or genre­. In a fraction of a second a tiny fragment of reality is extracted, fixed and carried into the future. Every photo points to the past, to its own past and ours, and by the same token, sometimes subtly yet always in­exorably, to the future of us all. +

The photos that accompany this text are from The Prora Project – Window with Rooms, a large-scale photographic project created in 2001-2002 by Gabor Ösz (b. 1962, Hungary). Prora is a geographical location on the island of Rügen, which is situated at the northernmost point of Germany. Here the building commonly known as Prora was erected. Officially named KdF-Seebad and destined never to be completed, it was built between 1936 and 1939 as the future holiday resort of the new Germany. The architect’s plans show that the five-storey complex was to have two blocks, each two and a half kilometres in length, which would offer accommodation to an astonishing 20,000 holidaymakers at any one time. After just three years of construction work, the basic structure was in place by the time work was suspended in 1939 due to the outbreak of war, never to be resumed.

The building really has only two aspects: the façade with the rooms overlooking­

the sea and the back view where the corridors are. The exposures were made in the corridor. To achieve the desired effect, Ösz built what he called ‘a spatial partition unit’, precisely fitted to the corridor’s dimensions, thereby turning a segment of corridor into a moveable darkroom. The apparatus was fitted with a device capable of holding photo-sensitive paper and the whole unit was on wheels, which allowed him to move it from door to door, superimposing images of consecutive rooms as many times as circumstances permitted. The dimensions of the building determined the size of the picture. See also

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Clare Richardson Beyond the Forest

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Clare Richardson

Clare Richardson (London, England, 1973) studied in Bristol for her BA in Fine Arts. She worked as an assistant for several leading fashion photo­ graphers including Liz Collins and Rankin, before returning to fine art practice. Her projects have explored marginal communities rooted in the idyllic and mythical; social groups beyond the mainstream who occupy alternative territories associated with another time, place and ideology. Behind this work resides the legacy of Richardson’s own background of perpetual relocation that has instilled an ongoing fascination with a sense of belonging. She has shown her work in many group exhibitions includ­ ing: Arcadia, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York (2006); Other Times, City Gallery, Prague (2004); Collection Agnès B, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse; Summer­Life, Alice Austen’s House, Staten Island, New York (2003); Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2002). Past solo exhibitions includes: SYLVAN, White Cube, London (2003); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2001, 2005); Harlemville, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. Her work has been included in


several books and catalogues, including: ­Beyond the Forest, Steidl Verlag (2007) and Harlemville, Steidl Verlag (2003). In 2008 Richardson will have solo shows at Foto Gallery, Cardiff (Beyond the Forest), in March followed by the Goethe Institute, Hamburg.

All images: © Clare Richardson, courtesy Steidl Publishers.

Aaron Schuman is an American photographer, editor, lecturer and critic based in the United Kingdom. He has exhibited his photographic work internationally, and has contributed to publications such as Aperture, ArtReview, Modern Painters, Foam, HotShoe, Creative Review, The Face, The Guardian, The Observer and The Sunday Times. He is a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the Arts Institute in Bournemouth and the University of Brighton, and the founder and editor of the online photography journal, SeeSaw Magazine (

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Clare Richardson, from the series Beyond the Forrest, 2007 © Clare Richardson/Steidl Publishers

Let the Longing Begin ~ Clare Richardson’s Beyond the Forest

by Aaron Schuman

‘My parents were always going on expeditions and adventures,’ Clare Richardson reminisces, with a touch of bittersweetness in her voice. ‘Throughout my childhood we were constantly moving all over the world, especially after my father returned to the Army. That’s definitely why I take the photographs that I take. All of my pictures are about people who have a sense of place – people who belong in one place, and have a strong relationship with the place where they live. I’ve always been desperate to have that myself; it’s really a longing.’ In his introduction to Landscape and Memory, the historian Simon Schama asserts that, ‘Although we are accustomed to separating nature and human perception into two realms, they are, in fact, indivisible. Before it can ever be a repose for the senses, landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock.’ This proposition – that our understanding of landscape is dependent on memory and vice-versa – poses a difficult dilemma to someone who has led a life dominated by transience. How can one under­stand oneself without a sense of place, or without a place one can sincerely call one’s own? Perhaps photography, a medium that fundamentally encourages its practitioners to both express and define themselves by looking everywhere other than at themselves, is the perfect solution to such a quandary. For it could be argued that photographers are an inherent part of

every one of their pictures, despite the fact that they are rarely actually depicted in any of them. ‘You see, when we were abroad, we were never really there,’ Richardson explains, rather cryptically. ‘We lived in these homogenized barracks that were surrounded by really high fences, and as kids my friends and I couldn’t go beyond the fence, so we spent a lot of time trying to look over it. That’s definitely where my photography comes from.’


Richardson reckons that she’s been taking pictures since the age of eight or nine, but her photography first gained critical attention in 2001 when a selection from her portfolio Harlemville was exhibited at Jay Jopling’s original White Cube, on Duke Street in London. Harlemville explores a rural community in upstate New York where the principles of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner are followed in an effort to emphasize creativity, imagination and one’s relationship with nature, most notably in the education of children. Over the course of working on the project, Richardson became particularly captivated by the younger members of the community, and began to focus exclusively on their strikingly physical interactions with the surrounding landscape. ‘I’m always drawn to young people,’ she notes, ‘maybe because I was always quite a grownup kid myself, and wasn’t very good at being a teenager.’ Her Harlemville subjects swim in babbling brooks, bury themselves in rotting leaves, smear themselves with thick mud, and wander meditatively through fields and woods. At first glance the photographs seem to simply capture the everyday interactions between the children and their environment in a rather straightforward manner, yet through this clarity and simplicity Richardson cultivates an immediate sense of trust in her viewer. It’s as if the children took the pictures themselves; rather than adopting an outsider’s perspective – or worse, an adult’s perspective, laden with overbearing notions of innocence, sentimentality and burgeoning sexuality – the photographer seems to have wholly assumed the role of her subjects, and consequently the photographs ring extraordinarily and dangerously true.

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Clare Richardson, from the series Beyond the Forrest, 2007 © Clare Richardson/Steidl Publishers

Writing about the photography of Paul Strand in a 1963 edition of The Observer, John Berger remarked that, ‘[Strand] is unusually self-effacing as an artist because he wishes only to speak for his subjects in turn to speak only about the basic, elementary facts of their lives.’ During the latter half of his life, from 1930 until his death in 1976 – whilst his contemporaries turned their attention to the Second World War, the postwar boom, urban street-life and the proliferation of suburbia – Strand repeatedly and rather insistently pointed his camera in the direction of long-established agrarian communities throughout the world, as far afield as Mexico, France, Italy, Egypt, Ghana and the Outer Hebrides. In his introduction to Time in New England Strand wrote: ‘In this region were born many of the thoughts and actions that have shaped America for more than three hundred years. It was this concept of New England that led me to try to find present-day New England images of nature and architecture and faces of people that were either part of or related in feeling to its great tradition.’ Richardson’s most recent portfolio, Beyond the Forest – published by SteidlMACK in 2007 – bears an uncanny resemblance to Strand’s later work, and shares with it the stoic idealism of a photographer enamoured with the visual and existential simplicity of traditional rural life. Over the course of four years, Richardson made more than twenty trips to the remote ‘Saxon villages’ of Transylvania, in central Romania. (Unbeknown to


Richardson, Strand travelled to the same area in 1968, and took some startlingly similar photographs.) But at the beginning of the project, her interest in the region was fundamentally practical, and virtually unrelated to photography. ‘I married a farmer, but I didn’t know anything about farming, so rather than actually going out and chasing sheep, I read books about the history of farming. We were practicing biodynamic farming, which is an anthroposophical method, and I read that in Eastern Europe they still used the medieval farming systems. So in 2002, I went with a camera to learn more about it; to see farming in its pure, medieval form.’ When listening to Richardson describe the development of this work, it becomes disconcertingly obvious that both the no-nonsense pragmatism of a farmer’s wife and, paradoxically, the hopeless romanticism of an artist, are embedded within her approach. As with Harlemville, this apparent contradiction in temper is cunningly resolved through a deeply respectful sense of clarity in the photographs themselves, which manage to gently celebrate the subject matter whilst remaining impressively restrained, rather plain, and therefore seemingly honest. ‘I didn’t want it to be too National Geographic,’ she says. ‘In National Geographic you see all of these projects on the Amish or whomever, and they all become so stereotypical and derivative. This place was so untouched that, at first, I couldn’t help but take a postcard, but I wanted to make it something more raw than that; something quieter and more spare.’ Throughout the series – no matter whether her camera falls upon a weathered farmer, a fortified hilltop church, a tree-lined road, or laundry hung out to dry – Richardson generally maintains a level (and therefore levelling) perspective and forthright compositional eye; everything carries an impressive weight throughout the frame, so much so that even grazing sheep appear solidly grounded within the landscape. Of course, Berger’s reading of the photographer as a humble artist procuring ‘basic, elementary facts’ is an extremely precarious and longoutdated one, and it is important to note that Strand himself sought to represent the ‘feeling’ of century-old traditions found within a place –

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the ‘strata of memory’, so to speak – rather than to accurately document a place itself. Similarly, Richardson is also well aware of the many misconceptions surrounding the photographic medium, and within Beyond the Forest she employs a somewhat radical strategy to illustrate that fictions exist in what might otherwise be misconstrued as fact. When the images are reproduced, they always bear a faint yellow cast – as if they’ve been fogged or have aged prematurely – which, to someone who has dedicated years to admiring and slavishly attempting to produce perfect c-prints, appears to be a serious error on the part of the printer. But as the book unfolds, the consistency and ensuing effectiveness of this deliberate flaw progressively intensifies. ‘The yellow cast removes the pictures from photography,’ Richardson explains: ‘They become much less real. I wanted the work to look more pictorial, and not like photographs. The first time we descended into the valley it was twilight, there was a heavy fog in the air, there were horses and carts and old dirt paths, and I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t a film set or a Breugel. Also, you can’t help but look at a few haystacks and think of the Old Masters, so maybe there’s a bit of that in there.’ Since its invention, photography has fought a long, bitter battle to distinguish itself from painterly traditions, to be understood as an entirely separate but equally legitimate visual interpretation of the world. As


Berger’s reading of Strand points out, this battle was nearly won more than four decades ago. Yet looking at Richardson’s latest work it’s hard not to suspect that perhaps something incredibly valuable has been lost along the way – an ability to employ myth, imply fantasy and stir the imagination beyond the limits of visual reality. In the book’s subtitle, Richardson tells us that the villagers portrayed in Beyond the Forest claim descent from the children of Hamelin, Germany, who in the thirteenth century were led out from the town by the Pied Piper, never to be seen again – a fable recorded most famously by the Brothers Grimm. ‘You see, it’s a real place, but it’s explained through this folkloric tale. Every folktale has a bit of truth in it, but there’s a lot of twisting of that truth through word of mouth, so the surface of the reality changes. Ultimately, I wanted the book to be like that – something that you’d read as a bedtime story.’ Following Richardson’s intentions literally, I read Beyond the Forest with my son as he sipped warm milk before bed, on the eve of his third birthday. Much to my frustration, at this stage in his life he generally prefers illustrated books to photographic ones, but he was surprisingly captivated by Richardson’s tale. His response: ‘I like that place, where they wear tiny hats, climb trees with sticks, and make haystacks that look like pears; I’d like to go there.’ Let the longing begin. +

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Bart Julius Peters For Mimi, Harry and their lovely daughter Flo

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Bart Julius Peters

All images: untitled Š Bart Julius Peters

Bart Julius Peters (Koeweit, 1971) is a cosmopolitan vagabond, wandering around, photographing places, faces and things without any sense of specific location or time. Peters studied at the Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam). He published in magazines like RE-magazine and Fantastic Man. BJP recently released a teaser publication made together with Erik Kessels. The follow up is the book Hunt in collaboration with Linda van Deursen that will be published during his Foam’s photoshow next year in the Museum van Loon.


Merel Bem studied Art History at the University of Amsterdam. She is a free lance art and photography critic, writing regularly for the Dutch daily newspaper De Volkskrant, CBK Noord-Holland and ArtReview.

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Eternal Decadence

by Merel Bem

Timeless is the perfect name for a bar. Not just because time is as fluid as drinks gliding down throats, but because talking and drinking together belongs to all eras. It has always been done, by people everywhere, and is not peculiar to any one period in history. Viewed from this perspective, a person in a twenties hat and a fifties coat can seem timeless, radiating an air of timelessness despite the direct references to past decades. Timelessness is a form of quality and anything timeless escapes the obligation to follow the fickle dictates of fashion; it is itself because it does not comply with what is trendy and ‘in’ at that moment. It is permanent and unchanging, unaffected by the whims of the day. The photographs of Bart Julius Peters (Kuwait, 1971) are often described timeless and nostalgic. Their grainy black-and-white appearance (with a wide range of grey tones in between) makes the prints look older than they are. These adjectives are also applied as a result of the subjects Peters chooses to photograph and the way he does so.


Bart Julius Peters loves beautiful people. He photographs them with backlight to bring out the contours of their faces. He watches them showering after a swim, their bodies luminous inside a haze of water droplets. He photographs chic ladies at launches, dinner parties against a backdrop of expensive-looking wallpaper, hockey players at dusk and majestic old trees, like preening women in the reflecting surface of a pond, a Mickey Mouse mug with a cartoon-like picture of the sun scattering kitschy rays of light. His images are reminiscent of those of Lartigue, who in his early years was an enthusiastic photographer of the milieu he grew up in: that of a well-to-do French family during the belle ĂŠpoque, when leisure time was not an extravagant luxury but was spent playing cards and watching motor races. And just as Peters is obviously fascinated by the sunlight flooding a scene, so Lartigue concentrated primarily on recording movement, with people and animals jumping and dancing. The work of both men gives the impression of having been created out of a mixture of boredom and fascination with the photographic medium. No doubt the boredom came first. The camera does not record social abuse or world events. It has no documentary function, but instead plays a personal role, emphasizing simple things and the everyday, which the photographer personally experiences as grand.

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Here may lie part of the secret of the timeless character of both Peters’ and Lartigue’s photographs: images that are familiar and refer only to themselves. Time and place seem irrelevant. A closer examination of Peters’ work shows that in many ways it is less timeless than it seems, or seeks, to be. A close look at these photos reveals two things , each of which in their own way contradict the apparent timelessness. The first could be called decadence. This is a term frequently used to describe Peters’ work. He has a marked predilection for subjects that presuppose an affluent Western lifestyle: the hockey club, the golf course, the landed estate, parties, dinner parties, openings. To some extent the description is accurate, but decadence is hard to define. It is a word with a long history whose meaning changes over time; one we all use without having a clear description in mind. It could generally be said to denote the decline of the moral values across some chosen period.


An example of contemporary decadent chic is the fashion series photo­ grapher Steven Meisel presented in Italian Vogue last year. Make Love Not War consisted of images that looked as if they had been shot in Iraq but were in fact entirely staged. It showed drunken American soldiers having sex with beautiful women dressed by Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein. Meisel became the target of an outburst of indignation. His se­ ries was pilloried as a typical expression of Western moral superiority and decadence. The vehemence of the reaction was of course largely­ attributable to the conflict in which the West was embroiled in Iraq. The photographs and the decadence portrayed were products of the spirit of the times. The decadence of Peters’ photographs negates their timelessness. The images are so bound up with the here and now, with the prevailing moral values that we all recognize, that their timelessness is cancelled out. There is nothing wrong in this. It does not detract from Peter’s photos­. If anything, it makes them even more intriguing. A second striking fea­ ture of his work is its highly confessional nature. Every series inevitably reflects the personality of the maker. Not that Peters uses his work as a therapeutic outlet, not in any obvious sense at least. But the longer you look at his photographs, the more you become conscious of an inner con­ flict, one that becomes clearer as you learn more about his life. >

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From his work it is clear that Peters is familiar with the codes of specific social elites to which he does not belong. He photographs hockey players on the pitch, not out of a love of sport, but out of some sort of classical Greek approach to sportsmanship. He steals through gardens and over golf courses when no-one is around to capture elegant elderly ladies when they are not looking. He records a stately home from afar, and photographs a group of polo-players, in jackets and white trousers, their arms round each other, but he does so rather furtively, from behind. He himself is present, as a hard-up Rietveld Academy student, but even though he knows their social code, he is not one of them. Recording these different worlds, in which a photographer will always be an outsider is a timeless activity that challenges every generation afresh. Bill Brandt did this from a documentary angle in the first half of the twentieth century; Johan van der Keuken adopted a much more personal approach in the fifties.


Bart Julius Peters’ images, however, are more bound up with the present than with any other specific period. By photographing people who today exhibit a primarily traditional and reactionary lifestyle alongside those from the world of art, fashion and advertising with a broader mindset about homosexuality, for instance, the photographer portrays decadence more probingly than even he may realize. What is regarded as normal in one world is seen as decadent and deviant behaviour in another. Peters’ work can be seen as an exploration of the crossover between the moral values of two very different social groups. And by seeing how far he can go, Bart Julius Peters negates, no doubt unwittingly, the timelessness of his photographs. +

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Risaku Suzuki Yuki, Sakura

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Risaku Suzuki

List of works (in order of appearance): p.01 - p.14: Risaku Suzuki, ‘Yuki’ (White), 2007 p.15 - p.16: Risaku Suzuki, ‘Sakura’, 2002 All images: © Risaku Suzuki, courtesy of Gallery Koyanagi

Risaku Suzuki (Wakayama, Japan, 1963) studied at the Tokyo College of Photography from 1982 to 1987 and is now one of Japan’s most pro­­mi­­n­ent young photographers. Currently he is an Associate Professor at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Seeing Risaku Suzuki’s work is a truly visceral experience. He frames and places his work in an unusual context and his bold presentation is a welcome change, providing dynamism to what might otherwise end up being another exhibition of merely pretty imagery. In 2000 he received the 25th Kimura Ihei Commemorative Photography Award and in 2006 the 22nd Higashikawa Prize and the Wakayama Prefecture Culture Award.


His work has been widely published in Japan, and exhibited in Asia, Europe­and the United States. Amongst other he has held solo exhibitions at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2007), at the Yoshii Gallery in New York (2006) and the Photo Gallery International in Tokyo (2001). His work was also included in the following group exhibitions and public collections: Heavy Light: Recent Photography and Video from Japan at the International Center of Photography, New York (2008), Come Ciliegi in Fiore at the Museo del Risorgimento Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome (2005), at the International Center for Photo­graphy in New York and at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Suzuki released his work in publications such as Kumano, Yuki, Sakura published by Tankosha Publishing Co and Nazraeli Press in 2008, Mont Saint Victoire by Nazraeli Press in 2004 and in 2001 DOCOMOMO 20 published by Tankosha Publishing Co. Harumi Niwa is curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo.

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The Photographer ­ as ­Pendulum ~ The Arc between the ­Moment and Eternity

by Harumi Niwa

Suzuki has said that when he selects a place to photograph a unique rhythm, flowing like an endless melody, develops between him and his subject. Like the sun rising and setting in the same place, like the fires of the Oto Matsuri festival held in Kumano every winter, the present engraved in Suzuki’s photographs is intimately linked to both the past and the future. His works repeatedly revisit the same subjects, and by placing them in seasonal order, we gain a new understanding of the artist, seeing him as pendulum constantly swinging between the moment and eternity as he engages with his subjects. I Kumano Risaku Suzuki was born in 1963 in Shingu City, Wakayama Prefecture. Shingu is located at the foot of Kamikurayama, the mountain where one of the three main shrines of Kumano, kumano Hayatama Taisha is located. A sacred rock, Gotoboki Iwa, at which the Shinto gods are said to have descended, is located at Kamikura Jinja, subshrine of Kumano Hayatama Taisha. The giant boulder can be seen from Shingu city, and


the famous Oto Matsuri­festival, in which white-robed men run down the mountain from the rock carrying torches, is conducted in February each year. It is a very well known ‘fire festival’ in Japan, famous for its stirring drama and beauty. From 1995, Suzuki began to attend the Oto Matsuri festival. His first collection of photographs, Kumano (1998), records the journey to the festival. It is a kind of ‘road movie’, as it were, starting in Tokyo and leading to Kumano. The photographs do not in any way explain the sacred or document the sacred site of Kumano. It starts with the photographer lighting a torch and proceeds toward the torch festival, showing ordinary sights along the way, the photographs proceeding from the spaces of everyday life to the sacred, as if the photographer is slowly drawing in a fragile thread leading to his chosen destination. ‘I aimed my camera at places where I think something might happen and pressed my shutter. It was a very natural act, and that’s how the work and the sequence emerged,’ the photographer says. He points his camera at something he glances, and before making any attempt to compose a shot, clicks the shutter. The sequence of several photos is created in the interaction of the conscious and unconscious, tracing the pendulum swings of the photographer’s constantly shifting eye. II Back to Kumano After Kumano and Piles of Time, a project published in 1999, Risaku Suzuki­ worked on the series Mont Sainte Victoire. Mont Sainte Victoire rises outside Aix-en-Provence in Southern France, and is perhaps best known as the subject of a famous painting by Paul Cezanne (1839-1906). This series was presented at the exhibition ‘Looking at the Wind, Touching the Mountain’ held at the Photo Gallery International in 2001. But Suzuki also continued to photograph Kumano and showed photographs of the area in the 2004 exhibition Beyond the Realm of Time and the 2005 exhibition ‘Between the Sea and the Mountain – Kumano’. He continued working on the series in 2007 and included the newest works in the exhibition Kumano,

Risaku Suzuki, ‘Between the Sea and the Mountain – Kumano’, 2007 © Risaku Suzuki

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Yuki, Sakura showed in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography late 2007. This latest series concentrates entirely on Kumano and its various attractions – the Oto Matsuri festival, the forests, waterfalls. For these photographs, Suzuki has abandoned the 6x7 inch medium-format camera for a larger 8x10 inch large-format camera (except for the Oto Matsuri festival which imposes restrictions on photographing). With this larger equipment, the interval between shots also become longer. And in this larger format, each print naturally contains more information. The photographs in Between the Sea and the Mountain - Kumano are not the captured glances of Kumano, but represented a longer, more intens gaze. This represents a new way of engaging with his subject that the photographer acquired from his experience of photographing of Mont Sainte Victoire. The photographs have a continuity that extend even to the time after the shutter is pressed. As Suzuki says, ‘I continue to look at the subject, even after taking the photograph.’ The sound of streams rushing through the forests of Kumano, the cool touch of moss and lichen draping the trees, the brisk spray of a wa-


terfall – in order to allow these objects to speak for themselves and affirm that they remain unchanged even after they have been photographed, the photographer moves his gaze caressingly from tree to stream to waterfall, takes the photograph, then passes on to the next subject, repeating this visual dance. This is the unique rhythm between the photographer and his subjects mentioned earlier, which ties all these independent visual moments together into one extended scene or field. In this way, to bring the eternal rhythm of nature and his own breath into harmony, the photographer merges himself with Kumano over the repeating cycle of the seasons. The space ‘between the sea and the mountains’ is also the space between life and death. It is a journey from the sea, where death is enshrined, to the forests, symbol of the worship of life, and on to the waterfall. By repeating this journey, the photographer meres with Kumano. Within the great roar of life that is Kumano, Suzuki, needless to say, is the starting point of Suzuki’s art, and will probably always be an integral part of his work. III Snow, Cherry Blossoms In recent years, when the Oto Matsuri festival is over in Kumano, ­Suzuki travelled to Tokachidake in Hokkaido. He was first lead here by the words of the physicist Ukichiro Nakaya (1900-1962), who wrote in an essay ‘snow crystals are tidings from heaven.’ He began taking photographs of snow in 2005, which resulted in the series White. White seems to be a challenge to our unconscious acceptance of the process of taking a photograph, recording a scene or object, viewing, and then recalling that image in our minds. The subject of the photo­ graphs in White is snow, made up of utterly unique snow crystals, an accumulation of absolute moments that can never be repeated or duplicated. When we discover a shimmering snowflake in the midst of the white of printing paper, white with its implications of nothingness, we are drawn from the great roar of life present in Suzuki’s earlier works into a microscopic world. >

Risaku Suzuki, ‘Between the Sea and the Mountain – Kumano’, 2007 © Risaku Suzuki

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The recent series Sakura (Chery Blossoms) seems to emerge visually from White. Suzuki began travelling to Yoshino in Nara Prefecture from the spring of 1996. There are some 30.000 wild cherry trees on Mount Yoshini, and in the spring the entire mountain is gradually cloaked in blossoms, which bloom starting from its foot and rising to the summit, offering a truly remarkable view. Suzuki has visited the area repeatedly and in 2003 showed his photographs of cherry trees in bloom at an ex­ hibition at Gallery Koyanagi. His newest series Sakura (2007) is based on those photographs. Many photographers take pictures of cherry trees, but Suzuki’s continued sessions of photographing the cherry trees of Yoshino is not an expression of the beauty that Japanese find in the cherry blossoms or a love of the cherry as a symbol of life and death. Yoshino was a tra­ ditional pathway for the practitioners of the ancient Shinto discipline of austerities called Shugendo, and leads, through the Omine Okugake Trail to Kumano. When the Oto Matsuri festival of Kumano is over, and winter turns to spring, Suzuki moves from Kumano to Yoshino. Suzuki confronts the cherries to return to Kumano.

After photographing the cherries of Yoshino, as if to seek respite from spring’s arriving warmth, he returns to Kumano. There, in the mossy shad­ ows of the rocks and beyond the thick forests, he senses an aura that he hadn’t noticed before. He aims his camera at what is as yet unconscious and brings it into consciousness through the process of photographing it. Lead on to the sacred site as yet unknown, but to be revealed in the next instant, Suzuki continues his journey through Kumano. IV An Endless Melody Imagine a pendulum with Risaku Suzuki as the fulcrum. The pendulum swings back and forth between the moment captured by the photo­ grapher and the universal time and space in which his subjects or landscapes exist. The arc of the pendulum’s swing is Suzuki’s work, his photography. It moves back and forth, never remaining in the same place for an instant, never travelling exactly the same path, tracing its arc through space and time, like life itself. Capturing life, which cannot be captured, in a photograph and leaving­a record of its being. Photographs, which are chemical traces of the path of light, eventually fade, their images disappear, only the blank white of the paper they are printed on remaining. But even then, ­Kumano, snow, and cherry blossoms will continue to exist, as the seasons shift and change in their unending cycle. The photographer accepts this and creates his photographs out of the relationship of everything to photo­ graphs – time, place, existence itself – to himself. Risaku Suzuki’s dynamism is increased by his constant shifting be­ tween phases – the ordinary and the extraordinary, reality and memory, the moment and the eternal, life and death, the macro and the micro, be­ ing and nothingness. When we allow ourselves to submit to the swinging of the pendulum marked by his works, we, too, begin to hear an endless melody. Risaku Suzuki’s photographs are like a pendulum, swinging back and forth between the perception of the viewer and memory, a ­vision that gives a continuous thrill. +

This text is a shortened version of the essay with the same title published in the catalogue ‘Risaku Suzuki – Kumano, Yuki, Sakura’, Tankosha Publishers, 2007. This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Kumano, Yuki, Sakura’ in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in 2007.


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Thekla Ehling Sommerherz

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Thekla Ehling

All images: © Thekla Ehling, courtesy

Thekla Ehling (1968, Bielefeld, Germany) lives and works in Köln, Germany.­ She studied from 1990 until 1996 at the FH in Dortmund. In 1994 she contributed for the project Hotel Futura, organized by Galerie in der Brotfabriek (Berlin) and held at the Salon Futura at the Biennale in Rotterdam. Beside the solo exhibition nah-stehend in the Kleine Humboldtgalerie in 1995, Thekla Ehling has held several exhibitions in Galleries in different German cities. Since 2006 she is a member of the Agency Focus in Hamburg. In 2007 together with the artist Nicola Schudy and the photo­grapher Sandra Stein she set up the projektraum weiss in Köln. Moreover she presented this project at Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2007. Recently her first book Sommerherz was published by the publisher and an exhibition was held, showing pictures from her book in the Robert Morat Gallery in Hamburg.


Christoph Schaden (1967) studied Art History, Psychology, and Modern German Literature at the University of Bonn, and obtained his degree in 2000. Since 1997/1998 he has been a partner at Schaden Verlag and of Bookstore in Cologne. Since 2005 he has worked freelance in photography and art, producing numerous photographic publications. Christoph Schaden lives and works in Cologne.

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Summer Heart, Later

by Christoph Schaden

‘My heart, upon which my summer burns, short, hot melancholy, overblissful: how my summer heart longs for your coolness!’ ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

A season, a bodily organ. Combined into a word which contains only three syllables and yet has its own poetic sound: the German word Sommerherz (Summer Heart). It is an artificial word, full of promise that ultimately almost demands to be associated with those sumptuous hot days of July and August that are etched into our memories of childhood, days that make our hearts beat faster. Summer Heart: An evasive memory and therefore a promise, perhaps even a task which causes pain. That is because those who decide as adults to search for the full scope and depth of life cannot achieve their goal without looking back at their own early years, reawakening those spheres of childhood experience in which everything was permeated

Nabel 02, 1997 © Thekla Ehling, courtesy


with the magic of experiencing things for the first time. It was a magic that could sometimes be a thorn in your side. ‘There is no age in which everything is experienced in such an amazingly intensive way as childhood,’ Astrid Lindgren once noted while at the same time indicating a collective task for development in later life. ‘We grown-ups should remember how things were then.’ Today, because the societal construct of childhood is reduced to a mystery of intensity in an abbreviated, naive way, retrospective thought can become a distorting projection screen. Being a child takes different forms in retrospect, bounded by glorification and taboo, the folly of longing and surreal trauma. Overcoming one’s own childhood identity, which is supposed to shape the personality so strongly, is so emotionally charged that it is only possible through a distorting mirror that holds the memory for us. It is a mirror which shows those images of the ego which are generally considered gaps when seen in retrospect, as you flip through your first photo album. Losses are inherent to them. That which was remains strange, that which is cannot be explained. At the beginning of her novel Kindheitsmuster (Patterns of Childhood), Christa Wolf writes: “The past is not dead; it never even passed. We separate ourselves from it and estrange ourselves from it.” My Heart is Missing Something Summer Heart (Sommerherz) is the title of a photo book by portrait photographer Thekla Ehling published as a limited series in 2007. She lives in Cologne. Actually, as she noted at our first meeting, she originally in-

Nabel 03, 1997 © Thekla Ehling, courtesy

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tended to give the book a different title. ‘ My Heart is Missing Something’ (‘Es fehlt etwas im Herzen’) is what her daughter said when she felt melancholy for the first time; a childhood loss which was then experienced on a physical level and later served as the leitmotif of the photo project. For several years, Ehling accompanied her two daughters and their friends and cautiously used her familiar relationship with them to explore the inner and outer spheres of their experience. To her amazement, she was faced with images of her own childhood. She emphasizes that there were moments of déjà vu everywhere, and not only because the retro look of the 1970s had come into fashion. On the contrary, she rediscovered images which had long been etched on her memory. They were images full of questions. Who was I then? Who am I now?

Carmen, Portraits 2002 © Thekla Ehling


When asked about her own childhood, Thekla Ehling talks about the period when she grew up in the rural environment of Bielefeld in Westphalia­. People banded together back then. The world of children was their own while adults remained on the outside. Later, in her early twenties, she worked as a camp counselor on a camping trip on Vogel­ Mountain and was amazed that so little had changed for children in their leisure time. ‘The world simply continued to exist.’ After interrupting her training as a bookbinder, Ehling studied photo­ graphy in Dortmund under Gisela Scheidler and Arno Fischer. She stresses that she learned a great deal from both of them. Fischer, who frequently visited from Berlin, once dropped by with an impressive photo­ portfolio. It was by Margrit Emmerich, she remembers, and Fischer­was able to make photos of the photos themselves before the photographer escaped to the West. Her main theme addresses puberty. It became more and more obvious to the student that she too could not escape this theme. In her thesis project, however, she focused her efforts on documenting several youth clubs in Berlin and Cologne. It had the char­ acteristic title Interim Time Span (Zwischen Zeit Raum). I’m There in All of Them Superficially, Thekla Ehling’s Summer Heart (Sommerherz) makes use of a genre of photography prevalent in the 19th century, a con­ scious dialogue­ with one’s own flesh and blood being sought in the technically-­determined medium. In 1865, for example, Julia Margaret

Bibiana, Portraits 2002 © Thekla Ehling

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Cameron photo­graphed her sleeping grandchild Archie in a sequential photo series.­She later used the intimate motif as a preliminary study for religious­depictions of the Holy Family. As her current sources­of influence, Ehling mentions in particular Susan Andrews and Robin Grierson­ from Great Britain and Nicholas Nixon and Sally Mann for the US, who attempt to capture powerful images of their children in pointedly situational indoor settings. The photo collections Family Pictures and Immediate Family by the two Americans are among the bibliographic­ milestones of a reflective view of the family from within, exploring the complex relationship of identity, closeness and distance by focusing on the photographer’s own child. To create such intimate studies, it is important that the photographer should in no way find himself on the outside of his individual position within the family structure. Araki became aware of this when looking at a photo of his dying wife Mrs. Yoko and noted, ‘...photographers have to love their subject.’ Lee Friedlander summarized what becomes evident from photos of people whom he loves within his own environment: ‘I’m there in all of them.’ Summer Heart makes clear that Thekla Ehling has long internalized the specific premises of family photography. She has identified the two Dutch photographers Hellen van Meene and Rineke Dijkstra as points of reference. She says that her portraits are ultimately about doing justice to her subjects. She feels that whether she is working with adults or children is irrelevant. Finally, Ehling mentions that her favorite book is Robert Frank’s retrospective photo collection The Lines of My Hand, which has been reprinted in various versions over the years. Instinctively,­one thinks of the plane crash in which Frank’s daughter Andrea perished in 1973. It is she who led the photographer to create the intense work that represents an artistic expression of grief. His son Pablo died several years later. Yet very little mourning is detectable in Ehling’s images. ‘Melancholy can smile but mourning cannot,’ she says, spontaneously citing a German expression.


Empty Glances It is perhaps the melancholy of this saying itself that best captures the tone of the atmosphere prevalent in Summer Heart. Ehling’s images­ often­ show moments of isolation in which a young soul appears to glance at itself, as if in a trance. There are empty glances in which a current experience is clearly compared with something previously experienced. Ehling, however, emphatically refuses to decide how far these mechanisms of the unconscious are associated with the discovery of one’s own identity. Whatever the case may be, the stuffed rabbit remains tightly in the child’s grasp. The scenarios of daily life encountered here forcefully reflect the reality that everything is in a state of flux in the early phases of life. There are images of the raindrops that trickle­down the window pane, obscuring the view out, snowflakes that get almost imperceptibly caught in long hair and a wading pool that beckons on a green summer meadow. Ehling continually finds new motifs, fragile embodiments that have an almost mythical way of consolidating­elements of natural moments. Childhood to her, it seems, is a question of temperature. In almost every cycle of the seasons, an intense experience for which Summer Heart provides the structure, the question arises of where one is coming from and where one is going, almost inevitably giving the photos an existential dimension. Thus, the series of images begins and ends with black and white photographs each of which show a human navel. In Omphalos, the core meaning can be found in children’s identity – or at least this is what the photo collection suggests. Let Them Be At the end of the conversation Thekla Ehling finds herself faced with the question of how her children would have reacted to the photos. ‘Very differently,’ she says, as she speaks of the sensitive relationship of closeness and distance that portrayal of one’s own children entails. During a vacation in Ireland, for example, her older daughter refused to be photographed from the front. Of course, Ehling accepted this, she says. After all, it is essential to let children be themselves. One photo she created during that holiday shows the girl in the middle of a green landscape, glancing into the distance. The sky is blue, only a few clouds are visible. Her hand attempts to grasp a wire fence. +

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Masao Yamamoto Nakazora

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Masao Yamamoto

Masao Yamamoto (Gamagori, Japan, 1957) originally trained as a painter has been a free-lance photographer since 1975. His images are essentially vignettes of nature and the human intersection with it, ruminating over the passage of time and memory. His finished prints are miniature treasures - averaging 3 x 5 inches and smaller - that are toned, stained, torn, marked, rubbed and creased. His marring and tainting of the prints in this manner results in a kind of accelerated aging. Yamamoto has had many solo exhibitions including: Yancey ­Richardson Gallery, New York (2008); Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan (2007); Galerie Camera Obscura, Paris (2006), at the PDX Contemporary Art in Portland (2005) and in 2000 at the Santoka Gallery Sincerite in Toyohashi and at Sepia International in New York. The work of Masao Yamamato was as well presented in group exhibitions including: Chorus of Light Photo­graphs from the Sir Elton John Collection at the High Museum­of


Art in Atlanta (2000), at the Modena per la Fotografia 1999, Modena and at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (1999). His work is currently displayed among the following collections: Harvard University Art Museum, Cambridge, The International Center of Photo­graphy, New York, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and at the Portland Art Museum. The work was also included in different publications such as: The Pass Of Green Leaves (2002), Nakazora (2001), A box of Ku (1998) and é (2007) all published by Nazraeli Press.

All images: © Masao Yamamoto, courtesy Galerie Gabriel Rolt.

Sarah Maso completed her masters degree at the VU in Amsterdam, majoring in modern art and land art. She now works as a freelance art editor and has written for the Stedelijk Museum Bulletin and Kunstlicht.

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Seeing and Experiencing ~ The suggestive work of Masao Yamamoto

by Sarah Maso

Flashing orange lights, a squeal of breaks followed by the noise of smashing glass. In the twilight of a late-December afternoon, the Amsterdam City Council is emptying the large bottle-bank containers in the street. It’s a daily occurrence in Amsterdam and it doesn’t normally make anyone turn to look. Artist Masao Yamamoto (b. 1957 in Gamagori, Japan), busy installing his latest exhibition, immediately reaches for his Nikon F100 camera, walks over to the gallery window and starts taking a range of shots of the ungainly truck. The gallery staff watch the artist in amazement. They’ve never taken any notice before of the emptying of the bottle bank into the body of a truck. If anything the racket accompanying the event annoyed them. That changes, however, the moment Masao Yamamoto starts to photograph it. Conscious observation or looking at a subject from a different angle

can produce fresh insights. It may even contribute to the enrichment of our personal lives and in that respect Yamamoto’s work offers a helping hand in various ways. To Masao Yamamoto, photography is a way of taking the world in; he consumes life by photographing it. So it seems natural that much of his work takes his home environment in Japan as its subject. The artist lives at the foot of Mount Fuji, an hour’s drive from Tokyo. This mountain (3,776 m. or 12,388 ft.) has one of the most beautiful symmetrical peaks in the world, is surrounded by lakes, waterfalls and virgin forests, and boasts an enormous variety of mountain plants. This environment has inspired a collection of delightful little palm-sized photos of dreamy landscapes, birds, elegant women, skies, waterfalls or trees, most of them taken from unusual viewpoints that result in extraordinary compositions. It is an approach that enables Yamamoto to capture even the less beautiful things in such a way that they form completely aesthetic images. He has an ability to depict even quite unpleasant features of the modern era, such as telephone wires or smoking factory chimneys in a landscape, in romantic images that give rise to an agreeably dreamy state of mind. His work evinces a talent for combining virtuosity as a photographer with the fresh gaze of a child. The smoke rising from factory chimneys enters into an almost symbiotic relationship with the sky it stands out against. He thereby demonstrates that everything in the world has a special place, consistent with the philosophy he disseminates, the notion that every existence and every element is as valuable as the next.

Installation shots. Exhibition Masao Yamamoto at Galerie Gabriel Rolt 2007/08 © Masao Yamamoto/Galerie Gabriel Rolt


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Yamamoto’s attitude to life shows through in the way he gives shape to his work by presenting it in careful arrangements of unframed photos. Take his latest exhibition, Nakazora, at Galerie Gabriel Rolt in Amsterdam in December 2007. Nakazora is a term derived from Buddhism and means roughly ‘being unable to choose between two things’, which again points to the idea that all things are of equal value. At the same time it’s a word that refers to ‘the space between sky and earth’ or ‘emptiness’. The empty space between his photos is an extremely important aspect of the work. One prevalent idea in Buddhist teaching is that what we regard as things and events have no substance in reality but are composed of phenomena. This idea is derived from the conviction that every­thing depends on everything else and is connected to everything else, in a perpetuum mobile of cause and effect. It is a philosophy lucidly expressed

in Yamamoto’s installations. Far from attaching his work to the wall at random, he carefully composes a rhythmical cohesion, such that those areas of wall left bare are no less important than the photographs themselves. The way in which the photos relate to each other on the wall is an important aspect of our experience of the work and our personal experience of the space. ‘When looking at my installation, I would like the viewer not to try to understand. Rather, as with a landscape, for example­, please just view or take a look.’ The emphasis on personal experience and the viewer’s own interpretation applies to each individual photo as well, rather in the way haikus work. Haikus are those curious three-line poems with a fixed number of syllables (5-7-5), originating in seventeenth-century Japan. Often inspired by the teachings of Zen Buddhism, they do not tell the reader a concrete story but turn on the experience of the moment. There is little room for analysis or description. They simply convey a certain atmosphere, which has a personal effect on each individual. Anybody looking at one of Yamamoto’s photographs will immediately comprehend what the effect of a haiku can be. Each photo, whether it shows a collection of worn-out cobble-stones, a waterfall or a naked woman, evokes a particular cerebral state comparable to meditation. Each print has the power to transport you into a specific ambience, so that it seems as if you’re looking at a place where you’ve been in the past, or where you would like to be in the present. Remarkably, they evoke a reality from which you cannot see yourself as separate. Looking at any one of these photos affirms a relationship between your own being and the imagi-

Installation shots. Exhibition Masao Yamamoto at Galerie Gabriel Rolt 2007/08 © Masao Yamamoto/Galerie Gabriel Rolt


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

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nary place that appears before you. This experience demonstrates the astonishingly multi-layered nature of the work: from photo, to mental image, to space, to installation, to a personal world portrayed by means of visual stimulation. The process by which the work is created and its later treatment contribute to its romantic, dreamlike appearance. Yamamoto takes extreme care with the materials he uses to present his subjects. He prints all his photos himself in his darkroom at home, using the traditional silver-gelatine process invented by R.L. Maddox in 1871 and printing on barite paper. One characteristic of this type of paper is that it suggests greater depth, which is essential to the effect Yamamoto aims to produce. Each photo is printed in an edition of 20 to 40 copies, yet no two photos in any given edition are the same. The artist often uses different shades for each number in an edition and each photo differs from the rest in size. Some are so small that visitors have to come a step closer to see what is actually being portrayed. In this way Yamamoto makes the viewer really look, really see, projecting onto his audience his own way of looking. He also gives each print a different finish. He adds ‘defects’ to some, such as a scuffed edge or a creased corner. It’s not unusual for him to walk around for a while with a photo in his breast pocket. He even adds tiny flecks of paint to some prints in carefully chosen places. Each photo is unique, a tool he has made his own, which he can take with him on a journey, so that it serves as a window with a view of wherever your mood may take you. Possessing such a work within you means posses­ sing part of Yamamoto’s soul, which converges with your own and becomes bound up with your own memories and desires. Another unique feature in this regard is that he allows people to rummage around in a box of loose photos without wearing white gloves – to a Westerner a very unusual way of experiencing art.


Yamamoto started out in 1993 with an exhibition of his work in installations entitled A Box of Ku, or emptiness, air, space. That series enabled him to experiment endlessly with the placing of elements within a space, reflecting a world constantly subject to change. His work underwent a gradual transformation until this title was no longer satisfactory and it slowly flowed over into Nakazora. His 2007 series demonstrates another shift: at first his main emphasis was on the interconnectivity between different images, but gradually Yamamoto has come to concentrate more on the specific effect of a single image. From these photos it is not hard to deduce that Yamamoto first trained as a painter; in their abstraction they are the most painterly he has yet produced. The series is no longer presented as an installation of loose photos; each is framed as a purely individual work. ‘Up to now I’ve been working in the form of installation. What overflows from one photograph would flow into the next piece, and in twos and threes the groups would create a combined effect, like the layered notes of an orchestra. But recently my touches are more focused on the individual incident, the urge to delve more deeply into each element is rising slowly.’ This shift in no way negates Yamamoto’s original point of departure. He still starts out from the traditional Japanese conviction that all plants, animals and people are equal in value and he attempts to breathe new life into this idea. He hopes to provide a counterbalance to the speed and decadence of the contemporary Japanese and Western worlds and to produce a calm, peaceful state of mind in his audience. He continues to achieve this, but now from yet another perspective. +

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DaniĂŤlle van Ark The Mounted Life

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Daniëlle van Ark

Daniëlle van Ark (Schiedam, the Netherlands, 1974) graduated in 2005 from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. She has spent the past few years living in New York, where she was an assistant to Dana Lixenberg and worked for various clients. She recently moved to Amsterdam. She has exhibited her work at the Riviera Gallery in Brooklyn and SBK’s Galerie 32-34 (2006), and was nominated for the Steenbergen Grant in 2005. In 2006 the series For Art’s Sake was shown in 3h at Foam. This year Van Ark is due to take part in the group exhibition Delirious Design Show in Vienna, organized by Showroom MAMA Rotterdam. She is also a participant in a group exhibition at the Fotomuseum Rotterdam show


ing photographs that have appeared in NRC Handelsblad’s colour supplement M over the past ten years. A selection of ten pictures from The Mounted Life is on sale in Foam Editions.

All images: © Daniëlle van Ark (

Manon Braat has worked at a contemporary art gallery in Amsterdam for the past several years. She has also written reviews of fine art for NRC Handelsblad and other publications. She currently works as a freelance writer for various media and clients.

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From the series For Art’s Sake, 2005 © Daniëlle van Ark

Daniëlle van Ark ~ Appearances are Deceptive

by Manon Braat

At zoological taxidermist’s Jac Bouten & Sons in Venlo, in the Dutch Province of Limburg, Daniëlle van Ark photographed a stuffed donkey. Hastily put aside for the time being in a store-room, facing a closed door, its eyes fixed on the door-handle, the animal looks full of hope, as if anticipating the moment the door will open and it can step out into freedom. This is the first photo Van Ark took of a stuffed animal and the first in what would become a series, The Mounted Life. Over the past eighteen months, Van Ark has visited more than a dozen natural history museums in the United States and Europe. She found stuffed representatives of the entire animal kingdom, often hundreds of them, even thousands, mouldering away in warehouses, never being put to use in any way. Yet apparently it is simply not done to put a monkey out with the rubbish. Museums were not particularly eager to welcome Van Ark. Custodians feared that their animals, some of them centuries old, might get damaged. A member of staff at a museum in Hamburg pointed out to Van Ark that her photos could provoke outrage. He said that when people saw a folded ear or a ripped belly they did not always realize they were looking at a hide stretched over an artificial body. Van Ark has some sympathy with this: ‘Because the animals are so lifelike, they look familiar and people project their emotions onto them.’


The American Museum of Natural History in New York was among those that turned down Van Ark’s initial request for access; with its more than three million stuffed vertebrates, the museum is the absolute acme of zoo­ logical taxidermy. On her second attempt, Van Ark decided to speak first not to the museum director but to a young office worker there, who sug­ gested the artist come back on a public holiday. All the staff would be taking the day off, but she could surreptitiously come and open the door for the photographer. The deer among the flayed skins and the tapir with its nose sticking out from the shelving are the silent witnesses to that visit. Above all, Van Ark now wants to visit England, since the series is by no means finished. ‘In Great Britain there’s a big taxidermy culture, far more so than in the Netherlands. Here you generally see nothing but stoats, pheasants or foxes.’ The interest in stuffed animals does seem to be a feature of our time, Van Ark says. ‘You often notice it making a comeback in art and design these days: a stag’s head in the interior of a fashionable restaurant, for instance. A lot of animals are now being shot for this kind of reason. But that’s not what interests me. I only photo­graph the antique ones.’ Van Ark briefly considered stuffing animals herself, as British artist Polly Morgan has been doing for several years, with great success. Morgan, a professional taxidermist whose clients include Kate Moss, stuffs animals that have died a natural death and places them in unnatural settings – a rat in a champagne glass. Van Ark did once have her hamster stuffed when it died. She still has it. But she quickly rejected the idea of taking up taxidermy. After all, she became a vegetarian be­ cause of her love for animals, and she feels queasy even at the thought of blood and entrails. The idea of photographing stuffed animals in museum depots came to her while she was making two other series, For Art’s Sake and What’s the Big Deal Anyway, about the world of galleries and contemporary art

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portfolio text

From the series For Art’s Sake, 2005 © Daniëlle van Ark

fairs. The gallery visits she made for those series awakened her interest in the spaces used to store art. Works that would cost a buyer many thousands of dollars are often wrapped up in a makeshift fashion and stacked untidily against one another. Such places are not meant to be seen by the public. The Mounted Life brings together, in reality, the warehouses and the animals. Although stuffed animals and the art world seemed at first to be two entirely distinct subjects, the sociological slant that characterizes all Van Ark’s work once again proves capable of uniting divergent themes. Until the end of last year Van Ark lived in New York and there she attended many openings, especially in Chelsea where the crème de la crème of the commercial art world is based, in galleries like Gagosian and Gladstone. ‘In contrast to the Netherlands, where at the very most people change out of their jeans into more festive outfits when they go to an opening, the art world of Chelsea glitters with opulence. New York audiences love to show off and to demonstrate their wealth extravagantly.­ The result is that people pay more attention to each other than to the artworks. The arts scene fascinated me enormously, but I found going to those events difficult because I didn’t quite know how to behave. So I started taking my camera, which made it legitimate to be there without talking to anyone.’


Van Ark is mesmerized by wealth and status, not by the glitter and glamour itself but by the human behaviour that goes with it. Her fascination was fuelled by the celebrity culture that is so prevalent these days, but at the same time it repelled her. Her love-hate relationship with the rich and famous reflects her own standpoint as a photographer: ‘On the one hand I’d love to have that degree of recognition and to become part of that elitist world, but on the other hand I’m against the arbitrariness and superficiality of it.’ That probably explains why she always goes looking for the reverse side of the glamour. Her series After the Lights Go Out... is another example. Van Ark has been a fan of pop music since childhood and it was the work of Anton Corbijn that inspired her to become a photographer when she was still in her teens. She has seen the whole world by touring with bands. She decided to do something with music, but with a difference, and began searching for the best way to strip a pop star of his image. The concept is both simple and effective: when a musician comes off stage after a concert he or she immediately sits in front of Van Ark’s camera. The performer is exhausted; this is perhaps the only moment when image is irrelevant. Among the stars she has photographed are Iggy Pop, Cat Power and Juliette Lewis. Her idea for a new series once again involves contrasts. She discovered that the doormen at New York shops selling luxury goods, such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel, are always black men who live in small, humble apartments in the Bronx or Harlem. They are paid a pittance and could probably not afford even to buy a belt from their own shops. Van Ark’s great interest in sociology shows through in everything she does. Her work reflects her unceasing observation of human conditions and behaviours. She works in narrative series, which lend themselves best to this task, and because her stories have no ending, her series are

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never finished. Van Ark observes, studies, and only then presses the shutter. She takes polaroids. She will never work with a digital camera; that all goes far too fast. She likes the repose and concentration that ana­logue photography demands. ‘The downside is that I sometimes have to go all the way back to Brussels because an image is not sharp enough. Plus the fact that it’s very expensive, far more so in the Netherlands, actually, than in the US. Still, that means I take fewer photos and I’m forced to think more carefully before pressing the shutter.’ In The Mounted Life the sociological aspect comes through perhaps more emphatically than ever, although in this case it concerns la condition animale. She has spent hours, even days scouring museum depots in search of compositions in which the animals appear to interact with each other or with their surroundings. None of her pictures are posed. It would be easy to put two bellowing apes face to face for comic effect. Van Ark simply cannot see the fun in that: ‘I make it very clear beforehand that I won’t touch anything, partly to win the trust of the custodians. In any case, the best compositions arise when staff casually plonk an animal down somewhere. With that monkey somebody probably thought: “Oh, that’s handy, I’ll stick him in that chair for a bit.” ’ In the Netherlands this is less likely to happen. Here Van Ark found museums well organized, with everything carefully packed away in drawers


and cupboards. Best of all she likes old or impoverished museums, since the animals tend to be jumbled together all over the place. ‘I’m often reminded of the film Night at the Museum which is supposedly set in the American Museum of Natural History. When one of the guards is on night duty, all the animals come to life. Sometimes, when I’m walking around in the bowels of a museum, I have a sense that the animals have just frozen in front of me.’ That feeling is exactly what makes The Mounted Life so impressive. The animals in the photos have stronger facial expressions and more human features than they do in a forest or a meadow. Despite being stone dead, they seem more animated than ever. This has to do in part with the theatrical postures in which the taxidermists have placed them and the large, compelling eyes that you would never normally be able to look at for long, since the animal would walk off or turn away. But mainly it results from the carefully chosen compositions and the suggestive way the prints have been cut. Hanging above the radiator over there, that could be the stuffed head of a buffalo, or it could equally well be a living buffalo walking dejectedly through a doorway just out of sight, in an abattoir where it will meet its death. The deer is fleeing a predator and has hidden between two crates in a barn. The tapir too is peering out from its hiding place to check if the coast is clear. Our imaginations as viewers can easily run away with us, because we cannot see the entire situation. Although a chimpanzee’s natural habitat is not a room with fitted cupboards, it is easy to imagine that he has slipped inside while someone was moving house, to contemplate his sins in private. The fact is, the surroundings in which the animals are photographed do not seem particularly odd. Images of animals in the circus, the zoo or the laboratory are at least as familiar as pictures of them in the jungle or savannah. Most moving of all is the little Bambi seeking comfort under dad’s imposing antlers while the females lament the death of their leader. The brown bear addresses the captive troops in a stirring speech: tomorrow they’ll stage a breakout. +

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

paper selection

Foam Magazine’s choice of paper from ModoVanGelder Amsterdam

Clare Richardson is printed on PhoeniXmotion Xantur 135 g/m2

Bart Julius Peters is printed on Pioneer 135 g/m2

premium coated paper and board, FSC-certified

premium offset

Risaku Suzuki are printed on Mega Gloss 150 g/m2

Thekla Ehling is printed on Mega Silk 130 g/m2

coated fine paper and board

coated fine paper and board

Masao Yamamoto is printed on Romandruk blauwwit 100 g/m2

Daniëlle van Ark is printed on Mega Matt 135 g/m2

bulky bookpaper

coated fine paper and board

The paper used in this magazine was supplied by Amsterdam paper merchant ModoVanGelder. For more information please call +31 20 5605333 or e–mail



foam magazine #14 / meanwhile


Christophe Bourguedieu: Les Passagers


In France today there are a few young photographers who don´t hesitate falling for American culture. Take for instance Jérome Brézillon, Nicolas Descottes and Christophe Bourguedieu. They are openly­ interested in American culture and sub-


culture and are strongly influenced by Eggleston and Shore. Bourguedieu has been quite prolific, having so far published four books. Les Passagers is an oversized book, well printed by La Point du Jour and cleverly designed. The series might seem to be a commentary on particular images

Thomas Dworzak: MASH Iraq

by diCorcia and Todd Hido, and apart from a certain eerieness one immediately supposes it to have been shot in the US. But no, all the images are from Australia,

Dworzak is one of the new young mem-

taken over a long period. The people por-

bers of Magnum. His earlier work in-

trayed, who are no longer youthful, don´t

cludes an impressive series on the Taliban

look directly at the camera, and it´s diffi-

and their visual culture. From 2003 to

cult to fix their gaze. Bourguedieu sees

2005 he was embedded with the 44th and

them as passengers in the contemporary

50th Medical Command of the U.S Army

post-heroic landscape, which on the most

in Iraq. This book is a montage of his re-

pragmatic level means that this is a book

portage photographs offset by screen shots

searching for orientation. T 06‘04 2007 —

lifted from the MASH tv-programme,

18‘06 2007. These people are looking, not

which in the seventies satirized the

into the past, but into an uncertain future

American­engagement in Vietnam. The

that holds no direct promise of hope or

book opens with a sequence of the med-

glory. He explains his choice of the people

His first book Vilnius failed to get its full

ceeds in presenting a post-Soviet town

ical unit transporting wounded soldiers

portrayed as guided by an idea of finding

share of attention because publication

(or is it? He´s not interested in politics)

to the surgery, then moves on to infantry-

in Australia, hiding in between the simi-

came shortly before the untimely dis­

in a way that makes it seem irresistible.

men patrolling the streets. He relaxes

larities to our not so different culture,

appearance of the Artimo publishing

Instead of burdening us with dialectics

with the soldiers during their spare time.

some hints about what this life at the

house. Odessa follows the same course

and historical references he instead visits­

The interspersed dialogue and captions

­beginning of a new century is about.

in design, intent and content. A young

and photographs the grave of Anna

from MASH reflect the war imagery and

His photographical vision has been

Dutch photographer visits an old historic­

­Achmatova, the light-hearted poet. The

question heroism and the rationale of

described as osmotic, and it´s not just the

town in the east, meets young people,

book closes with images of the Odessa

war. Dworzak does not look for strong

inscrutable portraits and details he

visits the art academy and clubs, walks

docklands and a nocturnal view of the

and heroic images, rather he presents, as

photo­graphs, but rather the walls and

the streets, looks for forgotten sights.

city by the sea. Thomas Manneke is pre-

does van Kesteren, daily procedures of the

backgrounds that seem to be sucking up

The new book is excitingly fresh, ranging­

pared to let himself be guided by chance

medics and the fighting units. There are

light and color, that explain the fascina-

from fashion photography to portraiture

and seems to be imbued with a secret

no certainties to be found here beyond

tion of his otherwise very cool and non-

and documentary photography, all very

knowledge of what makes our hearts

the movement of dust in the storm.

commital book.

sharply edited. It often seems that the

beat faster.

Thomas Manneke: Odessa

kids sleeping on the pavement. If you are ready for a quick love affair, this book draws you in very quickly. Manneke suc-

photographer has fallen for the young

Thomas Dworzak

Christophe Bourguedieu

women he portrays or has become lost

Thomas Manneke:


Les Passagers

in the nightlife, but Manneke seems to

Odessa 06‘04 2007 - 18‘06 2007


ISBN : 2-912132-567

be detached enough to follow up some

ISBN-13: 978-1904563600

Le Point du Jour

very sexy images with street scenes,

ISBN: 978-3-932187-61-2

96 pp.


family­ gatherings and photos of street

44 pp.


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile


Camera Austria: 100th issue, I am Not Afraid

Pieter Hugo: Hyena & Other Men

Camera Austria is probably the single least commercial magazine on photo­ graphy in Europe. Based in Graz, the

This series and the book that accompa-

gallery­and magazine have been connec-

nies it have already garnered a lot of

ting American, Japanese and European

praise­and will now be reprinted for the

photographers for more than 25 years.

third time. Hugo, a young white South-

The project is run by Manfred Willmann

African photographer shot these portraits

and Christine Ferlinghetti whom we

in Nigeria.His subjects are the members

strongly congratulate for their serious,

of a travelling group of animal trainers, a

high-quality engagement. This issue, con-

street circus. The book documents two

centrating on the South African Market

separate meetings, by the second of which

Place photography workshop, brought

the photographer has become a lot closer

into existencein the eighies by David

to the circle of friends and family. Apart

Goldblatt, shows all their qualities. Re-

from being a great story of animals and

search, interviews and portfolios are well

humans and surviving on the streets, the

balanced, the printing is very good and

strength of this visual essay is derived

the magazine, as were their editions on

from something other than the quality of the images. Hugo shows his respect for this group of hard-working men by allowing them proudly to present themselves,

Joakim Eskildsen & Cia Rinne: Roma Journeys

to chose the way they define their appear-

Japanese and Chinese photography, is an last page Eskildsen comes up with

independent source on today´s less well-

incredibly­ well-shot photos. Some of

known currents. So while you will not

these tend to be cinematic, other tend

find here those photographers every­

­towards tableaux painting, or are simple

body is talking about, you will find

ance, and this is clearly one reason for

In 1995 Eskildsen published his first

still-lives, comical or rather distanced. In

­precisely those photographers you

Hugo´s success in South Africa. Having

book, Nordtegn, now a collector´s item.

all of them the intensity and the quality

should know about. The selection of

worked with David Goldblatt and Guy

The young Danish photographer printed

of his work are visible. His color photo­

younger photographers of recent years

Tillim, he knows how to treat with care

this book about the Nordic countries

graphy defers to the quality of such very

is, as always, surprising, and a lot of

the African people he photographs, and

himself. The black-and-white landscapes

early exponents of this style as Saul Leiter

images­ exhibit the qualities of ardour,

from his studies at Benetton´s Fabrica cen-

and his portraits of the inhabitants of iso-

or Evelyn Hofer. Eskildsen succeeds in

engagement, concern and experimen­

tre for visual studies in the north of Italy,

lated villages along the coasts of Norway

closely documenting the lives of a minor-

tation. A few examples: the work of

he has become an able photo­grapher of

are impressive. The book was exception-

ity that has been expelled to the outer

Zanele­Muholis about the South African

color, precise in his use of light tones and

ally well printed. Over the past few years,

fringes of our society, he is rewarded with

lesbian movement is as radical as it is

melodious in his choice of backgrounds.

however, Eskildsen has turned away from

portraits full of emotion, prideand

playful, Jodi Bieber documents the life of

While the book may not fully earn its

fine art photography, and with Roma

strength, sadness, pain and anger.

a poverty-stricken white suburb in a

praise as one of last year’s best photobooks

Journeys he took on a very ambitious

­direct way that calls to mind early Larry

that is purely because he has chosen to

project. Between 2000 and 2006,

limit himself to what he knows best.

­accompanied by the writer Cia Rinne,

Joakim Eskildsen & Cia Rinne

Velekos portraits have the poignancy

who has contributed the travel descrip­

The Roma Journeys-(Le romané

we´ve recently come to admire so much

Pieter Hugo

tions, he visited small Roma communities


of Alec Soth´s work.

Hyena & Other Men

in Hungary, India, Greece, France, Russia

Steidl Publishers


and Finland. Steidl willingly published

ISBN: 978-3-86521-371-6

Camera Austria 100

ISBN: 978-3791339603

this very well-produced book of 416 pages­,


Camera Austria

80 pp.

impressive for the fact that right to the

416 pp.

ISBN 978-3-900508-70-8


Clark pictures, and the Nontsikelelelo


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile


Angel Marcos: China We seem to still be hungry for books


about China and the changes going on there. After books by Burtynsky, Thierry Girard, Michael Wolf, Sze Tsung Leong and Greg Girard, highlighting landscape and architectural photography, and Bertien­van Manen´s overwhelming and intimate book on everyday life, some imperatives for books about China become apparent: the book has to be of large format and the clash between tradition and modern life must be the main theme. Marcos, whose well-printed book has been published by Actar in collaboration

Joan Fontcuberta: Deconstructing ­Osama, the Truth About the Case of Manbaa Mokfhi

with a Castillian museum, positions him-

characters the media and governments present us as terrorists is played by

Stephan VanFleteren: Belgicum

­Fontcuberta and set in the sort of images we see in the news. his simple format is

Vanfleteren documents Belgium in a fas-

of Arabic-looking men conspiring,

cinating way. Not through any romantic

waving­ guns, lecturing, praying. The

or nostalgic longing for past times but

self in between. He limits his photo­

First of all, this is a surprising and quite

book asks who is infiltrating whom

out of a heightened need to document

graphic essay to city life, generally taken

beautiful book. Bound in leather, like a

here? Which images and stories can we

that which is fading. His photos take us

from street level. No dominant concept

private journal or an official document,

trust? And as Fontcuberta is not out to

to Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels;

dictates his travels and his images have a

with mostly Arabic text and all images

look for friends, his jokes ridicule the

places­ on either side of the language

flaneur-like quality. Shot in large or

set against a mosaic relief, Spanish pub-

Islamic­culture as much as our own.

barrier­, the awkward horizontal fault

­medium format he succeeds in combining

lisher Actar has produced an impressive

A discussion in French, Spanish

line that runs right through this small

small but very telling details within his at-

object. The book, like all of Fontcuberta’s,

and English between two Al-Azur jour-

country. Vanfleteren tells his story by

mospheric street scenes. Although the

aims at nothing less than the truth. In

nalists provides the backdrop of informa-

means of beautiful still lifes — the ­poetic

work is not entirely convincing, this pas-

this case not about art or science but the

tion, conspiracy, illusion and truth. This

tranquility of a single wave at Oost-

sionate and professional photographer

goings on around the Al Queda myth,

book’s opposition to everything we want

duinkerke; a tree dusted with snow in

does his best to satisfy our ever-growing cu-

which still so strongly influences con-

to believe, showing us the failings of the

the fairytale landscape of Wellin. But

riosity. So one finds oneself, setting criticism­

temporary politics. Fontcuberta is one of

way we perceive the world, must surely

most impressive of all are his discerning

aside, enjoying the luscious printing, the

the most innovative artists and photo­

make it one of this most important pub-

portraits of fishermen and of the regu-

panoramic views, scrutinizing the detail,

graphers in Europe today, and in his re-

lications of the season.

lars at the café Chez Pierrot in Brussels

and wondering about the depth and con-

cent political work his sharp anger and

who have been coming there for very

sequences of the changes taking place.

irony impress upon us the righteousness

of an artist who grew up during the

Joan Fontcuberta

Franco dictatorship. All the images in

Deconstructing Osama

Doctor Roncero, Rafael, Helena

this book, however manipulated they

ISBN: 8496540901


Angel Marcos China

may be, work against the currents of the

Subtitle: The Truth About the

Stephan Vanfleteren


conventional dominant visual media

Case of Manbaa Mokfhi

Uitgeverij Lanoo

ISBN: 9788493535698

­culture we live in. A ficticious character,


ISBN 90- 209 -7121-7

136 pp.

who is no more convincing than the

124 pp.

204 pp.


many years. His work portrays grinding poverty but gives it immense dignity.


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile



Asako Narahashi: Half Awake and Half Asleep in the Water Nazraeli press has invited Martin Parr to edit ten debut books by unknown photo­ graphers, and this is the second. Japanese­

Chris Coekin: The Hitcher

photographer Narahashi worked on this series from 2000 to 2003 to critical ­acclaim in Japan. Maybe because she her-

A few years ago Dewi Lewis published

the main question, Why did you take me

self is a little afraid of swimming and the

Coekin´s book Knock Three Times,

along? The answers are dispersed

sea, her work is very evocative. To ­explain

which went largely unnoticed. Focusing

throughout the book. Chris Coekin

the concept, however, is to explain noth-

on a working class social club and com-

clearly­ aims for the road less travelled.

ing: a series of daylight images, each

bining reportage, portraiture and found

The book is partly self-published, its

­taken from the sea, sometimes with

material, it was an excellent book.

­design and lay — out are excitingly fresh

­waves, sometimes calm, looking at the

Coekin´s strong photographic eye for

and personal, and his images reveal

mainland. The images could be called

gesture is again noticeable in this new

themselves to the inquisitve viewer only

melancholy or frigthening, or dreamlike,


book. Over the last few years he has

after repeated browsing. Most impres-

but mostly they attract us with a

All images are reprodutions of book

been hitching all over Britain and The

sively, however, is that the photographer,

­particularly well-articulated mood.

covers, unless numbered. Credits for

Hitcher could be considered as his travel­

through travelling (we see nothing of his

Browsing the web one can find a lot of

the numbered photos:

logue, though this is neither an explora-

actual travels) questions what he´s doing,

praise for this series, and much poetic

tion nor a following of intuition and

and by accepting the challenge of chance

expressions of admiration. So we´ll not

1 © Thomas Dworzak, Magnum

chance. The simple and convincing struc-

meetings, sometimes in a comical way,

add to the metaphor-ridden praise, just

Photos / Hollandse Hoogte, courtesy

ture of the book is composed of a

exposes himself to the whims of those

recommend this compelling work.The


­sequence of self-portraits on rainy and

who can decided not to pick him up.

book offers you a chance to see for your-

2 © Christophe Bourguedieu, courtesty

clouded motorways mostly, stretching

And so an image of his sore feet can be

self. Despite not being printed in quite the

Le Point du Jour

out a sign with his destination, plus por-

far more moving than documentary

great way Nazraeli normally produces

3 © Thomas Manneke, courtesy

traits of the drivers who picked him up,

images­of pain and suffering.

books, it´s a fascinating series.

little details of the debris along the road-

Text by Sebastian Hau

4 © Joan Fontcuberta, courtesy Actar

side at places he stood waiting for a lift,

Chris Coekin

Asako Narahashi:

5 © Stephan Vanfleteren, courtesy

and scraps of paper with obscure hand-

The Hitcher

Half Awake and Half Asleep in

Uitgeverij Lanoo

writing. Only on closer examination do

Walkout Books/

the Water

6 © Chris Coekin, courtesy Walkout

these messages reveal their meaning. As

The Photographers’ Gallery

Nazraeli Press

Books/The Photographers’ Gallery

part of his concept, Coekin asked his

ISBN: 9780955596209

ISBN 978-1-59005-215-0

7 © Asako Narahashi, courtesy

drivers to fill out a questionnaire, with

128 pp.

80 pp.

­Nazraeli Press


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

back issues

Missed an issue? You can still order back issues of Foam Magazine. The first two editions of Foam Magazine doubled as exhibition catalogues, to be enjoyed by those who had missed the exhibitions or who wanted to savour the images again in a different context. Since the release of #3, Foam Magazine is no longer linked to the exhibition programme of the museum. Foam Magazine has become an exhibition space in itself. Each edition features a specific theme, which unites six diverse portfolios of 16 pages each.

Curious about a back issue? Order at

foam magazine #9 / eden Joel Sternfeld Kai Wiedenhöfer Michael Reisch Stephen Gill Jessica Dimmock Ata Kando

foam magazine #10 / stories Larry Burrows Alessandra Sanguinetti Suky Best Raphaël Dallaporta Hunter S. Thompson Wendy McMurdo

foam magazine #13 / searching Stephen Shore Wolfgang Tillmans Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin Thomas Ruff Philip-Lorca diCorcia Hans Aarsman

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile Clare Richardson Bart Julius Peters Risaku Suzuki Thekla Ehling Masao Yamamoto Daniëlle van Ark


foam magazine #11 / young Raimond Wouda JR Lauren Greenfield Oliver Sieber Viviane Sassen Ryan McGinley

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Photograph ~ © Jaap Scheeren

Call us! We won’t call you Are you a talented young photographer? Get your images published in a 16-page portfolio in Foam Magazine #16, the ‘Talent’ issue! Go to for submission requirements.

Ladj Ly as seen by JR, Cité des Bosquets, Montfermeil © JR /, 2006

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Foam exhibits all genres of photography: fine art, documentary, applied, historical and contemporary; a museum with international allure. Along with large exhibitions of established (world) famous photographers, Foam also exhibits emerging young talent in smaller short-term shows. Keizersgracht 609 1017 DS Amsterdam tel +31 20 5516500 Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Foam is supported by the VandenEnde Foundation and Stichting DOEN


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Untersuchungs-Haftanstalt Hohenschönhausen, erste Anhörung, 2004 © Daniel & Geo Fuchs – ‘STASI - Secret Rooms’


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Daniel & Geo Fuchs ~ STASI Secret Rooms ~

14 March – 4 June 2008

Foam_Fotografemuseum presents STASI – Secret Rooms by the German artists Daniel & Geo Fuchs. The exhibition opens up the hidden rooms once used by the STASI, the infamous East German secret service, in a series of monumental photos. While much of the former DDR infrastructure has been destroyed, or given an entirely new function, the secret spaces that Daniel and Geo Fuchs photographed are still in their original condition. Offices, cell complexes, bunkers, living quarters and interrogation rooms: everything is exactly the way it was before ‘Die Wende’. The typical East European interiors, with their functional furniture and sober colours seem remarkably stylised in retrospect. Yet above all, what this massive, intriguing project shows is the symbiosis of architecture, power and impotence. In January 2004, the Starke Foundation invited Daniel and Geo Fuchs to participate in an artists-in-residence programme in Berlin. Following their successful Conserving and Famous Eyes projects, it was only now that they discovered the full extent of the DDR’s structural heritage in Berlin. Besides the Palast der Republik (the DDR parliament) this consists primarily of offices of the Ministry of State Security (STASI). Even today many of these places remain practically untouched and unknown.


Daniel and Geo Fuchs researched the historical background of these locations and photographed them meticulously with a large format camera. They used a strict system, photographing each room from the same perspective. Thanks to the subtle framing, apparently insignificant details acquire a new importance and give each picture an unusual interpretation. A red phone, a large, archaic intercom, typically East German furnishings, a solitary calendar: it all seems as if it were deliberately put in place by a fashion-conscious stylist. That the reality is rather more sinister gives these pictures their typically bitter aftertaste: the places we see here are checkpoints, prison cells, and for example the residence and offices of the former minister of state security. Daniel and Geo Fuchs’s extremely precise pictures gradually draw us into the maelstrom as we realise the frightening absurdity of this most recent chapter of German history. This exhibition has been made possible thanks to the support of the Allianz Kulturstiftung, the Stiftung Aufarbeitung, the Goethe Institut Amsterdam and the Duitsland Instituut. Foam is sponsored by Stichting DOEN and the VandenEnde Foundation.

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Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Mielke Etage, Vorzimmer Erich Mielke 2004 © Daniel & Geo Fuchs – ‘STASI - Secret Rooms’


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Mielke Etage, Raum des Personenschützers © Daniel & Geo Fuchs – ‘STASI - Secret Rooms’


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Untersuchungsgefängnis Potsdam, ehemalige Zelle 2004 © Daniel & Geo Fuchs – ‘STASI - Secret Rooms’


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Untersuchungsgefängnis Potsdam, Häftlings-Bibliothek 2004 © Daniel & Geo Fuchs – ‘STASI - Secret Rooms’


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Untersuchungs-Gefängnis Potsdam, Fotostuhl, 2004 © Daniel & Geo Fuchs – ‘STASI - Secret Rooms’


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Bunker Frauenwald, Vorraum Bunkerkommandant 2005 © Daniel & Geo Fuchs – ‘STASI - Secret Rooms’


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Sonderhaftanstalt Bautzen II, Treppenaufgang 2004 © Daniel & Geo Fuchs – ‘STASI - Secret Rooms’


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Sonderhaftanstalt Bautzen II, Badezelle 2004 © Daniel & Geo Fuchs – ‘STASI - Secret Rooms’


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

29 February - 9 April 2008

Foam_3h: Ruth van Beek ~ Reconstructions As part of the Foam_3h exhibition series, Foam presents Reconstructions by Ruth van Beek. Van Beek collects random snapshots, passport photos, slides and albums as well as pictures from newspapers and old books. By folding and cutting the material she gives the images a new meaning, creating a hybrid which combines photography and drawing. In Reconstructions Van Beek offers a whole range of images in which dancers fight, double portraits overlap, faces disappear, flowers morph into spaceships and wrecks are transformed into carcases of extinct machines. Van Beek treats the photos she collects as objects. She cuts open the once treasured pictures and rearranges them to find what she thinks is the story behind the photo. By matching photos in actual size and connecting similar elements in different pictures she allows the form, scale and colour to interplay. The resulting image is a credible picture of something that never existed.

Untersuchungs-Haftanstalt Hohenschönhausen, erste Anhörung, 2004 © Daniel & Geo Fuchs

14 March - 4 June 2008

Daniel & Geo Fuchs ~ STASI Secret Rooms

Untitled, 2006 © Ruth van Beek


The exhibition STASI – Secret Rooms by the German artist duo Daniel & Geo Fuchs opens up the hidden rooms once used by the STASI, the infamous East German secret service, in a series of monumental photos. While much of the former DDR infrastructure has been destroyed, or given an entirely new function, the secret spaces that Daniel and Geo Fuchs photographed are still in their original condition. Offices, cell complexes, bunkers, living quarters and interrogation rooms: everything is exactly the way it was before ‘Die Wende’. The typical East European interiors, with their functional furniture and sober colours seem remarkably styled in retrospect. Most of all, what this large, intriguing project shows is the symbiosis of architecture, power and impotence.

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

14 March - 1 June 2008

Jessica Dimmock ~ The Ninth Floor In 2006 in Milan the young American photographer Jessica Dimmock (b. 1978) won the first F Award for socially-engaged photography for her series entitled The Ninth Floor. This disturbing portrait features a group of young heroin addicts living in a ninth-floor apartment in Manhattan, New York. Dimmock takes a disconcertingly close view of her subject, at the same time sympathetic and ruthless. The result is a series that centres on human emotions, in which despair makes way for anger, reconcili­ ation and then bliss in quick tempo. In addition to The Ninth Floor the show also features a short film about this project, including interviews and video recordings. Jessica Dimmock charted the lives of the people living in this ninthfloor flat in Manhattan apartment for almost three years. They are addicts, whose everyday lives are filled with buying and selling drugs, sleeping, rowing and sex. When she was a child, Dimmock’s father also wrestled with drug addiction. Her sense of recognition gave her a special connection with this lonely, isolated community. Dimmock focused on the emotional and social side of their life. The result is a series of intense and innovative images with an intimate and simultaneously unpolished feel.

11 April - 22 June 2008

Virtual Museum Zuidas ~ ZOOM Collection From its inception, the development of Zuidas, Amsterdam’s top international corporate location, retained an essential place for art. Creativity and commerce are bound inextricably together, especially in Amsterdam. To ensure the durability and quality of this art, Amsterdam appointed a supervisor of visual art in 2001, assisted by a programme committee chosen by the supervisor. This resulted in 2003 in the establishment of a Virtual Museum Zuidas. Zuidas has expanded in both area and time, and has undergone so many changes that the Virtual Museum decided to commission artists to document these transformations. Since 2001 two to four photographers and artists have been invited each year to offer their vision of the district and the ongoing changes. The result is a record of the genesis of an area and a growing collection that reflects current trends and developments in photography. In 2006 it was decided to transfer the entire collection – photos already taken and all future photos – to Foam. The transfer of the collection is marked with an exhibition.

Photographs, 2007 © Jessica Dimmock / The Ninth Floor / Contrasto

© Gerco de Ruijter


foam magazine #14 / meanwhile

Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

11 April - 21 May 2008

Foam_3h: ~ Stella Faber – Foliage The exhibition Foliage presents the work of Stella Faber who photographed the mountainous rainforests in Ecuador and Costa Rica. With Foliage, Faber researches the inner landscape of the rainforest in all its original complexity and dignity. Her choice not to display its fauna and the human influence on its surroundings, results in images of a timeless dreamscape; an image that seems silent, untainted and pure. One may ask how long it will be possible to experience and photograph these forests. Through this exhibition Faber shows her involvement in the future of these unique mountainous rainforests. In the beginning of March 2008 she will travel to the southwest of Rwanda where she will photograph one of the last and most ancient mountainous rainforests of Africa. A selection of these works will also be exhibited.

Nuit du 7-7-1973 © Malick Sidibé / association GwinZegal

13 June - 8 October 2008

Malick Sidibé ~ Chemises

Cloud forest, Ecuador, 2006 © Stella Faber 2008

7 June - 22 June 2008

Gina Kranendonk ~ Do me a garden, please! Gina Kranendonk took a journey alongside the Dutch railways and photographed gardeners and their allotments. Keeping such a small garden, away from your house is a typical Dutch cultural phenomenon, in which tradition and nature fuse. The project consists of a series of portraits of people from different nationalities that cultivate their own crops on small bits of land.


Malick Sidibé was born in 1935 at Soloba, near Bamako (Mali). He was the only child of his family to be sent to Bamako to be trained at the Ecole des Artisans Soudanais. Gérard Guillat, a French photographer settled in Mali hired him as his assistant and taught him the basics of photography. Guillat asked Malick to do reports on the parties thrown by the middle-class youths of Bamako. When Malick set up his business in 1962 he quickly became famous and was sought after for all the happening events and ceremonies in Mali, including football matches, weddings, Christmas Eve celebrations etc. Striking where the surprise parties he photographed, thrown by groups of youths belonging to “clubs”, named mainly after their idols and after the records of Western music (Los Cubanos, Les Caïds, Les Las Vegas, etc.) which just started being sold in Bamako. Malick sometimes did up to five reports in one night before returning to the lab to develop the negatives and display the index prints for the party guests that came around to select the photos they wanted to buy. In the mid-seventies, Malick shifted his activity to studio portraits and camera repairs, but there are still over a 1000 folders of this type. Some of them are already part of private collections but most still remain neatly piled in a corner of Studio Malick in Bamako. They are a unique testimony to the Malian society of those years. +

Marcus Koppen, Hong Kong No 5, 2006. 50 x 70 cm Giclée C-print. Edition 10.

Also in Foam Editions: Daniëlle van Ark, Fleur Boonman, Mitch Epstein, Marnix Goossens, Marrigje de Maar, Daido Moriyama, James Nachtwey, Sanne Peper, Bart Julius Peters, Yeb Wiersma, Raimond Wouda and Vincent Zedelius Open Wednesdays – Fridays 1.00 pm – 6.00 pm Saturdays 11.00 am – 6.00 pm and by appointment Foam Editions Keizersgracht 609 NL-1017 DS Amsterdam T +31 (0)20-5516500 W E

Publisher Foam Magazine BV Keizersgracht 609 1017 DS Amsterdam - NL T +31 20 5516500 F +31 20 5516501

foam magazine #14 / meanwhile


Colophon Foam Magazine International Photography Magazine Issue #14, Spring 2008 March 2008

Binding Binderij Hexspoor Ladonxseweg 7 5281 RN Boxtel – NL

Editorial Advisers Christian Caujolle, art director VU, Paris / Kathy Ryan, photo editor The New York Times Magazine, New York


Editor-in-chief Marloes Krijnen Editors Marcel Feil / Pjotr de Jong / Marloes Krijnen / Markus Schaden / Tanja Wallroth Managing Editor a.i. Mirjam Grothusen / Marcel Feil Concept, Art Direction & Design Vandejong, Amsterdam – Pjotr de Jong / Marcel de Vries / Hamid Sallali Typography Marcel de Vries & Hamid Sallali Contributing Photographers Clare Richardson / Bart Julius Peters / Risaku Suzuki / Thekla Ehling / Masao Yamamoto / Daniëlle van Ark Cover photograph Daniëlle van Ark, from the series ‘The Mounted Life’ © Daniëlle van Ark ( Special thanks to Jaap Scheeren Contributing Writers Aaron Schuman / Merel Bem /­ Harumi Niwa / Christoph Schaden­/ Sarah Maso / Manon Braat / Sebastian Hau / Marcel Feil Copy editing Pittwater Literary Services, Amsterdam – Rowan Hewison Translation Liz Waters (Pittwater Literary Services) / Sam Herman / Karen Gamester / EuroNet Language Services, Inc, New York Lithography & Printing Drukkerij Slinger Strooijonkerstraat 7 1812 PJ Alkmaar – NL

ModoVanGelder, Amsterdam For this edition the following paper has been selected: Pioneer offset 300 g/m2 Pioneer offset 80 g/m2 Pioneer offset 70 g/m2 PhoeniXmotion Xantur 135 g/m2 Pioneer offset 135 g/m2 Mega Gloss 150 g/m2 Mega Silk 130 g/m2 Romandruk blauwwit 100 g/m2 Mega Matt 135 g/m2 The production of Foam Magazine has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Drukkerij Slinger, Binderij Hexspoor and ModoVanGelder, Amsterdam.

Editorial Address Foam Magazine Keizersgracht 609 1017 DS Amsterdam - NL T +31 20 5516500 F +31 20 5516501 Advertising Eric-Jan de Graaff Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam Keizersgracht 609 1017 DS Amsterdam - NL T +31 20 5516500 F +31 20 5516501 Subscriptions Bruil & van de Staaij P.O. Box 75 7940 AB Meppel - NL T +31 522 261 303 F +31 522 257 827 Start your subscription to Foam Magazine (4 issues per year / incl. airmail) The Netherlands e 50 Rest of World e 55 Club_Foam members / students The Netherlands e 40 Rest of World e 44 Order single issues at The Netherlands: e 13,50 Rest of World: e 15 (incl. airmail) Foam Magazine #1 is out of print

ISSN 1570-4874 ISBN: 978-90-70516-09-3 © photographers, authors, Foam Magazine BV, Amsterdam, 2008. All photographs and illustration material is 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 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. Distribution The Netherlands Betapress BV, Gilze T + 31 161 457800 Belgium Imapress NV, Turnhout T +32 14 44 25 01 Specialized bookstores and galleries UK Central Books, London T +44 20 8525 8825 International newsstand distribution: Johnsons International News Via Valparaiso, 4 20144 – Milan, Italy T +39 02 43982263 F +39 02 43916430 Supplies the following countries: Austria Morawa Pressevertrieb Ges. Mbh T +43 1 51562 190 Brazil Euromag T + 55 11 36419136 Denmark C2D T +45 3252 5292


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