#36 Talent Fall 2013 €19,50
Rubin / Yokota / Gordon / Sawyers Voorwinde / Rebetez / Rousset Citarella / Hannula / Danés / de Andrade Sherry / Puklus / Ahn / Brunet / Nishino
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Rubin / Yokota / Gordon / Sawyers Voorwinde / Rebetez / Rousset Citarella / Hannula / DanĂŠs / de Andrade Sherry / Puklus / Ahn / Brunet / Nishino
foam magazine # 36 talent
4 Portfolio Overview 6 On My Mind Alex Prager, Colin Greenwood, Joshua Chuang, Paul Melcher, Roxana Marcoci, Bruno Ceschel 12 Interview Emma Bowkett The voyeur’s voyeur by Tim Clark 19 Theme introduction Open roads, new directions by Marcel Feil
Portfolios 29 Charlie Rubin Strange Paradise 39 Daisuke Yokota Nocturnes 49 Daniel Gordon Portraits and Still Lifes 67 Ross Sawyers Clear Blue, Sky 77 Linda Voorwinde A glimpse of a world that exists beyond the boundaries of my everyday life 95 Augustin Rebetez HYPER-SPIRITISM 105 Thomas Rousset Praberians 123 Joshua Citarella Combination Game 133 Eeva Hannula The Structure of Uncertainty 151 Salvi Danés Black Ice, Moscow
161 Jonathas de Andrade 2 in 1 179 David Benjamin Sherry Wonderful Land 197 Peter Puklus Handbook to the Stars 215 Jinkyun Ahn Villa of the Mysteries 225 Thibault Brunet First Person Shooter 243 Sohei Nishino Diorama Map 254 Photobooks by Sebastian Hau 260 Foam Amsterdam Exhibition Programme 288 Colophon
One of our most important events, especially for young talent, is the annual international photography fair Unseen, which took place for the first time in Amsterdam last year. Unseen concentrates on presenting photographic work that has not been shown before, with an emphasis on young photographers. Organizing this unique fair has been an enormously exciting venture, and the outcome was certainly no foregone conclusion. It was greatly encouraging to see the inaugural Unseen become a success and meet with universal appreciation from participating galleries, photographers, visitors, buyers and the international press.
by Marloes Krijnen Editor-in-chief
No fewer than 1600 portfolios were sent to Foam Magazine after we put out our Talent Call at the start of this year. Every year we request young photographers from all around the world to send us their work so that we can make a selection for Foam Magazine’s annual Talent issue. The truly impressive number of responses underlines the fact that over the years this special issue has grown into a tradition that commands great international respect. We have never before received so many portfolios. The quality was extremely high. We wish to thank all the photographers who took the trouble to put together a portfolio and send it to us. Without your work and without the confidence you place in Foam Magazine, none of this would be possible. Our thanks go out to all of you. Of course we can publish only a few portfolios. In making our final selection we have to make choices, even though our special issue has almost twice the usual number of pages. Nevertheless, the fact that we were able to look at every one of these portfolios is of inestimable value, since it allows us to scout new photographic talents in the early stages of their careers and to spot new trends and the latest developments in the international world of photography. So going through this Talent issue is the perfect way to be informed about new, surprising and interesting artists. Our annual photographic update should never be missed. We have decided to keep the portfolios of dozens more interesting photographers and to hold them on a special shortlist that will be examined regularly by the editors and curators of Foam, as a resource for future issues, exhibitions, publications or special projects. The potential revealed by the Talent Call is far greater than we can do justice to in one issue and we want to make good use of it. So we are always on the lookout for opportunities to share work by new, emerging artists; the scouting and presentation of young photography talent has always been an essential part of the many activities organized by Foam each year.
The second Unseen photography fair will take place from 26 to 29 September, and it is our firm intention that it will grow into an annual phenomenon on the international art calendar. Along with fifty-three participating international galleries, Foam Magazine offers young photographers the opportunity to present their work at Unseen. This Talent issue is being launched during the fair and we are organizing a special outdoor exhibition of work by the selected photographers. So to a large extent Foam Magazine’s genetic material is shared with Unseen. The fair is a chance for everyone with a feeling for photography to catch up with current developments, to meet artists, gallery owners, publishers and curators and to discuss the latest goings on in the often astonishing world of photography. So if you have missed the 2013 Unseen, be sure to mark down the third week of September 2014 in your diary for the third fair. We’d love to see you at Unseen. •
Portfolio Overview 8. 2.
foam magazine # 36 talent
1. Charlie Rubin Strange Paradise Charlie Rubin’s images are an exploration into the ordinary with a twist, playing on the border between reality and artifice. The pictures presented in Strange Paradise are altered by adding ink or objects over photographic prints, so the images are distorted and turned into odd, lost spaces. Through this method, a certain anxiety is created which aim to reflect the current climate of our digital age. 2. Daisuke Yokota Nocturnes Daisuke Yokota’s photographs are the result of a complex and lengthy image making process, where he combines a number of analogue and digital tech niques. Stressing photography’s inability to represent events from the past truth fully and factually, he is interested in transmitting a sense of emptiness and limitation.
3. Daniel Gordon Portraits and Still Lifes Referencing the history of photography and visual arts in general, Daniel Gordon’s work is made out of life-sized, three-dimensional collages composed from found images, photographed with a large-format camera. He feels it’s vital to approach appropriation with a certain optimistism, celebrating naivety. 4. Ross Sawyers Clear Blue, Sky By constructing model rooms that amplify the design compromises common in new construction, Ross Sawyers tries to highlight a tension between housing as a sellable commodity and the home as a place of solitude and retreat. In these pictures, notions of privacy and community are continually pushed and reformed by referencing and exaggerating the actions of humans as we build, destroy and rebuild the structures that we live in and call home. 4
5. Linda Voorwinde A glimpse of a world that exists beyond the boundaries of my everyday life Found images from the Internet often function as a starting point in Linda Voorwinde’s work. Here she makes use of an option on Google Images, called ‘Visually Similar Images’. She then pairs them with images made by her, gaining her own territory within the constant flow of images online. 6. Augustin Rebetez HYPER-SPIRITISM For Augustin Rebetez, photography is part of a bigger plan, like a still extract from a movie which contains sounds, movements, characters and narration. While staged, his work obeys to intuitive explorations influenced by dreams, rites, energy, spiritism, automatic language, subconscious, circus, contortionists, monsters, birds, houses…
11. Jonathas de Andrade 2 in 1 Jonathas de Andrade works with installations, videos and photo researches to investigate social, political, cultural and ideological matters that are at risk of disappearing from the collective memory. 2 in 1 is a step-by-step carpentry manual showing how to make two single beds become a double bed.
12. David Benjamin Sherry Wonderful Land Sherry’s work ranges from landscape and studio photography to collage and sculpture, often with a strong focus on colour. His series Wonderful Land, made with a large-format, handmade, wooden analogue film camera over the course of several months, explores the topography of the American West through multiple processes.
7. Thomas Rousset Praberians This artistic project is the result of four years of research developed around a unique place: the village of Prabert. The images offer an ambiguous overlapping of representations and realities, a mixture constantly flirting with the limits of real life and imagination, resulting in a staging device that plays with the codes of both fairytales and realism. 8. Joshua Citarella Combination Game Joshua Citarella aims to make images which critically explore photographic conventions; those that hold the greatest discursive influence and shape the culture(s) in which they circulate. Combination Game is an allegory toward photographic activity, or rather all technical image activity, whose initiative is to carry out its given program and generate all manners of possible and improbable combinations.
9. Eeva Hannula The Structure of Uncertainty In The Structure of Uncertainty Eva Hannula deals with the uncertainty of observations, feelings and essences. To her the image is an uncertain matter located between fact and fiction, language and body. By combining personal archive material with staged photography and pure poetry, she attempts to shake the essence of things and their everyday meanings.
10. Salvi Danes Black Ice, Moscow Black Ice, Moscow speaks about the mood of a society and its implicit political situation. By focussing on the citizens’ individual feeling and on the alienation of personality, it gives a glimpse of the complex power relations in contemporary Moscow. 5
14. Jinkyun Ahn Villa of the Mysteries Jinkyun Ahn’s work consists of performances that are choreographed and then ‘placed’ exclusively onto the photographic image. It is a deep investigation about his parent’s preparation of their afterlife and him, as a son and as a photographer, under the light of Confucian culture. 15. Thibault Brunet First Person Shooter Brunet’s photographic research generates from his wandering through the virtual worlds of videogames, questioning reality and its limitations. By oscillating between different practices his images create ambiguity, reaching an interstice where individual and collective imagination meet fiction. 16. Sohei Nishino Diorama Map By painstakingly cutting and pasting thousands of photographic particles, Sohei Nishino creates a mesmerizing artificial metropolis. We look up while looking down; we look down and see the sky. Nishino’s maps remind us that cities, for all their giddy chaos, are essentially miraculous human achievements.
13. Peter Puklus Handbook to the Stars Dreamlike symbols, mock-ups, instal lations, ready-mades; with Handbook to the Stars, Peter Puklus built a photodocumentation of a sculpture experiment. Resembling the form and light exercises of the 20s avant-garde, it is an attempt to visualize the infinitely flexible and tricky associative capacity of our brain.
foam magazine #â€‰36 talent
Since 2009 Emma Bowkett has worked as the Photo Editor of the Financial Times FT Weekend Magazine. Tim Clark catches up with her in London to talk about finding that ‘representative picture’, how she discovers new talent, and why a strong sense of authorship is still so important for photographers.
by Tim Clark
The voyeur’s voyeur photographs by Norbert Schoerner 13
to have an immediate impact on the viewer. It should intrigue them and invite them in. An image from a series can be chosen, but it will need to hold it’s own. Portraits make great covers. One of my favourites was a recent cover story interview with Martin Amis. We were shooting at his home, which is very photogenic but also very photographed. So I commissioned Pari Dukovic because his work has a unique cinematic style and I knew he would bring something fresh.
that requires further exploration, so the book is really good. I have been to two Julian Stallabrass talks recently and am keen to get started on the essays. I watched a brilliant documentary about Anton Corbijn and was recommended Star Trak. To wrap up, what advice would you give photo graphers who would like to see their work grace your pages? For example, is it best to pitch finished projects or should they aim for a commission? I would say both depending on the work. I’m easily contactable and always interested to hear about new projects. I like a concise pitch, three paragraphs of text at most, and an edit of pictures. I will always ask for more if I’m interested.
foam magazine # 36 talent
Aside from the onslaught of digital photography, what are the most critical changes that you’ve witnessed with our medium over the last 10 years or so? Aside from digital and social media, I would say that the selling price of photography has been most critical change I’ve witnessed. Andreas Gursky’s Chicago Board of Trade III (1999) was sold in June at Sotheby’s for over £3.2million, making it the 5th most expensive photograph ever sold, his Rhein II is still at the top of the list. 23 out of the 25 most expensive photographs ever sold have been in the last 10 years.
And for anyone out there wishing to become as a photo editor? What’s the best route into the industry? Do you think one can learn to train the eye? There’s no pre-ordained route in, because it’s different for each person. I suggest getting to know the industry, and where to look for work. Internships are always very helpful, and can open doors. Social media groups are also a good way to hear about work. For photographers and photo editors looking to work for magazines, I would advise working out which ones they like and respect, and targeting them specifically. It’s always more effective than sending out random pitches and CV’s.
Thinking about those at the other end of the market from Mr Gurksy… Can you name some up-and-coming photographers who you are keeping your eye on? Of course, with the graduate shows and folio reviews fresh in my mind: Jasper Fry, Charlotte Tanguy and Paul Gaffney are three on my radar right now. Also, the Central and Eastern European collective Sputnik. This July we were both at Les Rencontres d’Arles in the south of France, where you were giving portfolio reviews. How important are events such as these for discovering new talent? Would you say these are a good investment for photographers? It is very important. I really value this time I can devote exclusively to face-to-face discussions with photo graphers in one location. I have commissioned work directly from these meetings, so I know it’s a great investment for those photographers. It’s not for everyone, but for me it’s essential. Charlotte Tanguy wasn’t even on my list at Arles, but she came by to see me in a free moment. I think her work in Russia is really interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing more of it.
All images © Norbert Schoerner, courtesy CLM UK, London Emma Bowkett (b. 1973, UK) is Photo Editor of the Financial Times FT Weekend Magazine. Prior to this she worked as first assistant to a commercial London photographer. She is also a visiting lecturer and regularly participatesat international portfolio reviews, awards and festivals. Emma has a Masters degree in Image and Communication from Goldsmiths University London. She lives and works in London. Tim Clark (b. 1981, UK) is the editor-in-chief and director of the contemporary photo graphy online magazine 1000 Words. His texts have appeared in The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The British Journal of Photography, Next Level, Hotshoe, Foto8, Time Lightbox and in several exhibition catalogues. In 2011 he joined the Academy of Nominators for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
Who did you vote for as part of the festival’s Discovery Award, and why? Clare Strand was an obvious choice for me. I love her monochromatic worlds. Which photobooks have you bought lately? Ahlam Shibli’s Phantom Home, Documentary and Memory of Fire both by Julian Stallabrass and Anton Corbijn’s Star Trak.
Norbert Schoerner (b. 1966, Germany) is a photographer and a director who lives and works in London. He produces images for brands such as Prada, Lacoste and Comme des Garçons and shoot editorials for magazines like The Face, ID, Vogue, Dazed & Confused, Another Magazine, Numéro, 032c, Harper’s Bazaar, NY Times Magazine, Interview and T Magazine. Assembled as a cinematic narrative, his most recent photobook, Third Life, has been published in 2012 by Violette Editions.
That’s certainly a unique mix. What were the particular qualities that drew you to them? I went recently to listen to a conversation between Palestinian artist Ahlam Shibli and Jean-François Chevrier at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. Her work uses photography to explore the conditions of people living under oppression. The book contains all of the major series produced so far. It’s incredible work
foam magazine #â€‰36 talent
How does a new generation of photographers relate to the photographic medium? This seventh Talent issue of Foam Magazine showcases once more 16 photographic projects which give us a broad and inspiring overview of what the next generation of photographers and image makers is up to. After carefully looking at more than 1600 portfolios from more than 50 different countries, one thing became very clear: the impossibility of generalizing about ‘the new generation of photographers’.
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Open roads, new by Marcel Feil
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You would think it must be possible to say something meaningful about the current state of photography after looking at more than 1600 portfolios by as many photo graphers from more than fifty different countries. The portfolios were the direct result of a call we put out to young photographers at the start of this year on our website and via social media. The number of photo graphers who responded by sending us their work ex ceeded our wildest expectations and confronted us with a task both huge and challenging: the careful viewing, discussion and evaluation of that astonishing number of extremely diverse portfolios. The editors spent many, many hours looking at new work, reading the state ments accompanying it and, in the process, getting to know new, young photographers most of whom we had never encountered before. More than anything else this was exciting – a great way to gain an impression in a relatively short space of time of how a new generation of photographers relates to the medium of photography.
tion. For Jinkyun Ahn the linear nature of photography resembles the way a family’s legacy is passed down from one generation to the next. Just as an image trav els from the lens to a negative, and from a negative to a print, the unique qualities and traits of his parents have been transferred to Jinkyun Ahn, leaving an indel ible imprint. He photographs his parents in carefully choreographed performances, making use of mirrors, reflections and doublings. The individual photographs are presented in well-considered linear order as links in a chain, addressing the unavoidability of family ties, the unbridgeable distance between the seen and the eye, mortality and the nature of photography.
foam magazine # 36 talent
Thibault Brunet Brunet’s work is a photographic investigation inspired by the topic of reality and its imitations. Thibault Brunet focuses on virtual universes, and on images of pretence, fakes and look-alikes. By developing alternative tech niques for taking pictures he aims to create ambiguities of genre, for instance by drawing upon the universes of video games, inspired as they are by American popu lar, historical and political culture. The games involve accomplishing missions: murder, blackmail, theft and escape, enemy liquidation, bombing, even the occupa tion of territories such as parts of Afghanistan. All the pictures presented here were taken over the course of his walks in these virtual universes. First Person Shooter was produced during a ‘training session’ in an American camp in Afghanistan. Brunet took pictures of soldiers he met from close up, then from further away. He broke open those synthetic faces, looking for light. All the elements of the reality of war are here, but we can sense a strange sensitivity in the looks. The marks of horror and suffering are on the soldiers’ faces, yet beyond this hyper-realistic anthropomorphism, we can also detect a vague sort of indifference.
Sohei Nishino By painstakingly cutting and pasting thousands of pho tographic particles, Sohei Nishino creates a mesmer izing artificial metropolis. The creation of a Diorama Map takes place as follows. He walks around the cho sen city on foot, shooting from various location with film, then pastes and arranges an enormous mound of pieces. Compiled from thirteen cities, Diorama Map is still ongoing and will be developed in cities all over the world in the future. Nishino reinvests cities with won der, and far from incidentally he cites eighteenth-cen tury cartographer Inō Tadataka, who also carried out his surveys on foot, as an influence. Streets bustle, buildings tilt and sway. The Cubists would have adored these maps: we look up while looking down; we look down and see the sky. Nishino’s maps remind us that cities, for all their giddy chaos, are essentially miracu • lous human achievements.
All images from the series How to be a photographer in 4 lessons © Thomas Vanden Driessche At the start of 2012, an old photo booth film machine was installed in Brussels in a cultural venue situated close to the home of Thomas Vanden Driessche. In the style of Topor, Thomas decided to use this medium and its constraints to narrate through strips of 4 images, stories about the small world of photography that he had become familiar with over several years. This project will be published by André Frère Editions in the form of a fac-simile booklet. The book launch will take place at Paris Photo in November 2013. Thomas Vanden Driessche (b. 1979, Belgium) is a freelance photographer and a member of the Out of Focus group. Rewarded with five PX3 awards in 2010-2011, his work has received a double nomination to the Pictet Prize 2013 and was among the finalists of the Bourse du Talent and the Manuel Rivera Ortiz Grant for documentary photography in 2013. His work has been displayed recently in international festivals around Europe. In 2011 Thomas Vanden Driessche was a member of the Jury of the Humanitarian Visa d’Or. He currently lives and works in Brussels.
Charlie Rubin Strange Paradise
All images ÂŠ Charlie Rubin Charlie Rubin (b. 1986, USA) owns a BA from Haverford College in Pennsylvania (2008) and recently earned an MFA from Parsons the New School for Design in New York City for which he was given a Deanâ€™s Scholarship (2012). He lives and works in New York City. Through an assemblage of various and unsystematic techniques, such as hand-painting, collage, and digital effects, he traffics the ordinary and often blurs the lines between artifice and reality, underlying the intimate details of different cultural cues. Recipient of a Pingyao International Photography Festival Fellowship, he participated in the 2011 edition of the event. His work is often presented in self-published artist book format and has also been featured in several group exhibitions around the USA.
Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? A good photograph blurs the line between reality and fantasy. When I look at a picture, I love it if I don’t know how it was made or if it has a dreamy quality to it, as if it transcends the real life moment when it was taken. Given that you mention Lee Friedlander and William Eggleston in your statement I am curious about how and where you place yourself in the photographic tradition in general and how your work relates to either Friedlander's and/or Eggleston's in particular? I connect to very different eras in the photographic tradition. Both Friedlander and Eggleston’s photographs have the ability to translate quiet corners and simple still lifes, such as street signs or motel cei lings, into a social and cultural landscape of a specific time and place. Like them, my work builds from an ever expanding archive of photographs that I take. My surroundings become my subject, and I strive to expose a certain vernacular out of these everyday scenes. Here, these scenes can tell me something about the history, and hint at the future of a place. In contrast, I also associate with more current artists such as Roe Ethridge and Kate Steciw. I can relate to these photographers because of the way they layer and re-contextualize their photographs. Their style also confronts this post-internet/digital world we inhabit. I guess this is the social and cultural landscape of our time though, so expanding the way we make images and describe our surroundings makes sense somehow.
You also speak of a certain anxiety, without giving away too much about it. Can you talk about the anxiety a bit more? Yeah, I’m subtle about these explanations because I want everyone to have their own experience with the imagery. It’s subjective, it can be about everything or nothing to different people. An anxiety or tension stems from this rapid technological change we’ve witnessed and the contradictions of daily life it’s revealed. One part real, one part digital; one part connected to the world from the touch of a screen and the other part disconnected – like living in a country that’s been at war almost my entire life
I had a breakthrough when I used the same inkjet ink that the photo was printed with to alter it. The new colors I added seamlessly integrated into the photograph and became a part of the overall image. The two forms were conflated and the result was a transforma tionof the ordinary, giving a psychedelic or occult-like aura to the images. Pairing these pictures with straight photographs made the facture of them unclear. I like how it became complicated. Right now I am really into painting and altering images, by changing the negative itself, adding to a photographic print, utilizing photographic materials, digitally through computer programs, or by adding found objects. In a reverse process, I take the photographs first and use the archive of images to make observations. I then can shoot more to support the discovery made with those initial photos.
foam magazine # 36 talent
A good photograph blurs the line between reality and fantasy.
In what way does this style confront the world we inhabit? There's a physicality to the images, or construction of images, that reference sculpture and a three-dimensional space or plane. In my practice, this brings an importance to the photographs that I believe is lacking in images made with, for example, a cell phone camera. (As if anyone with the right tool could have made it.) The aesthetic points to a changing relationship between physical objects and their two-dimensional representations, like the difference viewing something in a book, on paper, or a screen. There’s also an impulse to visualize, or reflect on, changes happening in popular culture.
interview by Jörg M. Colberg with little direct affect on my daily experiences. I’m fascinated at the fact you could be looking at your phone at an image from another continent in one second, and then look up and you’re in the middle of dinner at a restaurant in New York. Or, how you can find out that an old friend went to a concert last night but you haven’t seen them in months. And on top of that you find out about a far-away tragedy without even having to scroll down. It’s pretty eerie, as if everything is just floating along, content, on these multiple, disconnected planes. A whole other space is created, and there’s this nostalgia for something that doesn’t exist. Maybe the novelty is wearing off though. How did you arrive at producing the work you do? How did you connect these observations with a starting point to make these photographs? It was a response to the snapshot aesthetic and the digital camera, an attempt to bring value back to my photographs through constant experimentation with materials and processes. I’m always trying new methods of pairing and marking on the surface of pictures. At first I threw white paint on the images, as if to take away some color and try and bring attention to what I found interesting in the images. As this developed, I wanted to make it look like you couldn’t tell what I had changed in the photo and what was already there.
You appear to create your images by staging or creating interventions on preexisting photographs, be it by adding ink or objects. How did you develop this approach to working with images? I wanted to fill a void inherent in the realism of photography by adding an expression. I mean expression as in expressionism – like distorting the physical reality of the photo to evoke another mood or emotion. These marks are influenced by graffiti. I used to be obsessed with it; the fact that you can create a line on a wall or vehicle and make this record that you existed there at some date, and add another layer to the history and fabric of the city, I was really impressed by it. When I alter my photos, this act similarly creates a new history of the image. Time is consolidated from when the picture was taken to when it’s marked and rescanned, all the way up to the moment you’re standing right in front of it. What is the ‘void inherent in the realism of photography’? It’s directly connected with the act of photographing. You take a picture and that’s the end of it. You can’t go back and add to the image recorded that very second, like you can with a painting or a sculpture, unless you manipulate it somehow or add another layer to it. This is an obstacle that I felt like I needed to find a way around. •
Daisuke Yokota Nocturnes
All images ÂŠ Daisuke Yokota Daisuke Yokota (b. 1983, Japan) lives and works in Tokyo, and is currently enrolled at the Nippon photography Institute. He is part of the international artist collective amprojects.org and of the Japanese creative group mp1.jp. Earlier this year, his work has been presented at G/P gallery in Tokyo, at the Belfast Photo Festival and at Noorderlicht in the Netherlands. Creating a haunting imagery by the recourse of layers of manipulation (photocopy, photoshop and re-photographing), Daisuke Yokota plays with effects borrowed from music such as delay, reverb, and echo to challenge the photogÂ raphic representation of duration and the sensation of time. After producing numerous self-published books, he will soon release Site/ cloud with abp-artbeat publishers and Untitled with Goliga Books.
And how did you develop the process? There are several reasons, but the biggest one was an experience of illness – I couldn’t leave the house for a year. I wondered how to produce work in that condition, and this process seemed like the best way to do it. Of course I’ve continued to produce my work in this way until today, but I think it’s natural for me, because I’ve been interested in darkroom experiments and Photoshop for a long time.
Can you talk a little bit about your artistic influences? Where do you position yourself in the area of photography? Up until now I have spent nearly my entire life in Japan. Like many other students around me, when I first started photography I was greatly stimulated by photographers like Daido Moriyama, Takuma Nakahira, Kikuji Kawada, Nobuyoshi Araki and Masahisa Fukase. Even if I wasn’t conscious of it, I was influenced by major Japanese groups like VIVO and Provoke. However, after I graduated from college, everything became digital, and I think that freed me up from this tradition. Through the internet I came to know many powerful works by other photographers of my generation; there was practically enough stimulation (and information) to make me forget about these older photographers. As a result, I think I’ve been formed in a somewhat disjointed way, so it’s difficult to speak about the proper context in which I might belong. I see alternatives to the monochrome work I’m currently producing; I don’t yet know in what way my photographs will change, but I can say for sure that I won’t stand still. I want to find new and challenging positions for myself, different media like music or moving images could find their way into my work. I am interested in all sorts of elements that I encounter in my life, and in considering how could they be absorbed into photography. •
I’m quite interested in dreams.
foam magazine # 36 talent
interview by Jörg M. Colberg Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? Ah, this is a difficult question. There are a lot of things to consider, but for me a good photograph might be one where the subject can be perceived as a form that is functionally separated from its meaning. Or perhaps one where – whether because of a sense of chance, or the use of space and margins – there is something left for the viewer to do. On the other hand, I feel bored when I see works which are simply well-produced, or do not express anything beyond the particular interests of the photographer. It always feels as if the magic is gone a little bit once you get a glimpse behind the curtain. But still: can you talk about your photographic process? How do you make these images? For the most part, I make my work out of photographs that I took between 2007 and 2008. At various intervals, I return to these photographs and edit them once again. I print them out in black and white, and photograph them with a medium format camera. I then use boiling water to process the film, and vary the developing time in a way that gives me little control over the result. Because of the high temperature, the film has perhaps crystallized. Exposing the film to light would clear it up, so I scan it immediately and make a print. Of course the process varies for different works, but since Site, I’ve been starting from a photo, repeating this process a number of times, and using Photoshop to layer the results into the final image.
I mean this as a compliment: your photographs look like what I want to think my bad dreams look like, certainly feel like (I don't know whether I dream in color or blackand-white). That dream-like atmosphere in your pictures, that uncertainty and occasional dread – is that part of what you're trying to create? Yes, I think so, because I’m quite interested in dreams. As I mentioned before, I spent a really long time at home, and so even now I spend long hours at night in front of my computer. This has led me to confuse my dreams and my real life. Perhaps it is because my daily sphere of activity is so small and repetitious, but I tend to get stronger impressions from my dreams. I’ve heard that dreams organize our memory, but I wonder which memory that might be. In other words, my experience of yesterday includes other memories I recalled yesterday, and today, I can think back to that experience of recalling. This nested sense of time r elates to my interest in dreams. In any case, I think I have to be careful not to express only anxiety or fear, but to give some other impression through my works. What other impressions do you want to give? I hope that my work will allow the audience to feel some kind of physical sensation like dryness, lightness, coolness or something like this. It’s not that my work is about transmitting impressions, but if I were going to express it more strongly, I might say that I am interested in transmitting not so much a sense of atmosphere as a sense of emptiness or limitation.
Daniel Gordon Portraits and Still Lifes
All images ÂŠ Daniel Gordon Daniel Gordon (b. 1980, USA) is based in Brooklyn, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Bard College in 2004, and a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Art in 2006. He creates threedimensional lurid collages from found images which he then photographs. Deliberately raw and unpolished, his compositions questions the notions of artifice and authenticity. Some of his notable group exhibitions include Greater New York 2010 at MoMA PS1 in New York City and Out of Focus (2012) at Saatchi Gallery in London. He is the author of Still Lifes, Portraits, and Parts (MĂśrel, 2013), Flowers and Shadows (Onestar Press, 2011) and Flying Pictures (powerHouse Books, 2009). He is represented by Wallspace in New York City.
Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? Ah good, glad we’re starting with an easy one! Hmm... Well, I guess the first thing I would ask is what is the context? Are we looking at a print, a reproduction in a book or magazine or newspaper, a billboard, or are we looking at a photograph online? I think that the venue, as well as the photographs intended purpose greatly changes the criteria with which we judge quality. Generally speaking though, I start with the physical qualities. How is the color functioning in relation to the image? Does the black-andwhite print have a wide tonal scale? If it’s a print, what kind of paper is it printed on? What kind of print is it? I find that if there’s something wrong with the print – something that stands out as a mistake – I have a hard time getting to the next level of viewing. It seems to me that the optical features of the lens seen through elements such as focus, framing, depth, time, and perspective are the photographer’s language. Through these technical elements a photographer creates an image consisting of certain formal characteristics that convey meaning. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that for me, regardless of what is being photographed, form is the biggest factor that delineates a successful photograph. In other words, a person could take a great picture of a boring thing, or on the other hand, make a terrible picture of an incredibly exciting thing. Ultimately, there’s no method or formula here – I actually find that the pictures I usually like are more than the sum of their parts, and can’t really be described with words.
junky at all in the photographs? How does photography do that? I’m attempting to transform space, light, and time photographically to create something that never really existed the way we see it in the resulting photograph. I make everything for the camera, which is therefore seen from a specific angle, with specific light, at a particular moment in time – sometimes the flattening out of three-dimensional space creates a convincing illusion, and other times not.
interview by Jörg M. Colberg
Given the richness in references in your work it seems obvious that you are very aware of the history of your medium and of art in general. How important do you think is such knowledge for the visual arts in general and for photography in particular (especially given how obsessed large parts of today’s photography scene appears to be with the idea of originality)? It’s completely dependent on who is making, and who is looking. For me, understanding art history is important because it gives me a deeper understanding of art. This in turn helps me understand what I am trying to do better. So for me, it’s not so much about referencing, as it is an investigation.
Why is appropriation important for you? You could, after all, take your own photographs of objects, people, and landscapes and then use them as the raw material for your collages. What does appropriation add to the work that you wouldn’t get from your own images? I used to take all of my own photographs, and then use them as raw material, but I would get bogged down in the tediousness of the process and my images as a result were inherently about the labor. I found that once I began a ppropriating images, whole worlds of possibility opened up to me, and I was able to create a more exciting way of working that involved a kind of improvisation. I like to think of the way I am appropriating images as optimistic, as opposed to critical. In other words, instead of critiquing, I’m attempting to celebrate.
I’m interested in your artistic influences. Can you give some names and talk about how or why they are important to you? It’s so hard to say what an influence is. I like so many different things, and somehow I think they all find their way into the work, though it might not appear so on first glance... Recently I’ve been looking at a lot of Cézanne and Philip Guston, along with Dutch still-life painting. Also Alice Neel, and Mary Heilmann. I’ve been super into Matisse – his use of color is so inspired. I particularly like the Georgia O’Keeffe pictures by Stieglitz. Eggleston and Outerbridge are some favorite color photographers. And Robert Creeley’s poetry, Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Common Things, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Robert Cumming, Stephen Shore, Tod Papageorge, Cindy Sherman, Amy Sillman, Laura Letinsky, Roger Ballen... •
Your work references the history of collage and appropriation, yet the images themselves are photographs of your collages, not the collages themselves. Why this extra step? Why not exhibit the collages? I make life-sized, three-dimensional objects and photograph them with a 4 × 5 or 8 ×10 large-format camera. I do this because in life, the objects I make are just junk – they only become emotionally convincing through photography’s transformation.
Why would you rather be optimistic than critical? Can’t one be both at the same time? Sure, one can definitely be both at the same time – and conflict is good. I think what I was trying to say is that I don’t find appropriation to be a political, or even a critical gesture within my work. It’s part of the vocabulary, and an option for anyone making art today, no questions asked – in other words, it’s an available strategy or working methodology. But within my work, it feels most vital to approach appropriation with a certain naivety, as though the critical discussion has come and gone, and we are left with the possibilities.
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Instead of critiquing, I'm attempting to celebrate.
What is it that photography does that transforms your junk objects into something that doesn’t look
Linda Voorwinde A glimpse of a world that exists beyond the boundaries of my everyday life
All images ÂŠ Linda Voorwinde Linda Voorwinde (b. 1986, the Netherlands) graduated from Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam, in 2012 with a bachelor in Fine Art. For the past 3 years she has been living in Berlin where she initially studied Contemporary Photography the UniversitĂ¤t der Kunsten, thanks to an Eramus Exchange (2010-11). She was recently accepted to the Master programme Art Direction at ECAL, Switzerland. By combining her own photographs with commercial photographs she collects, her practice deals with consumption habits, ours relationships with material goods, economic life and the role played by photography in that system. Her graduation project Observations do not Seem to be About Reality was nominated for the Drempelprijs of the city of Rotterdam.
Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What separates a good photo from a bad photo? That's a question you could get many varied answers to, simply because I think it has to do with personal view and interests. But I guess we could all agree on the fact that it would be a photograph that grabs the attention, that for what ever reason demands to be looked at longer than a split second, and that is surely an image which is able to call up an emotion. In my own photographs I try to achieve that effect by ab stracting reality, which requires the viewer to look longer at the image to be able to place it.
offline behaviour, which I think holds us back from being who we really are. We use Facebook because our online charac ters give us a sense of freedom, but in fact it only seizes our free time without giving us a single good memory in return. Google works with the images it can get access to online, which excludes, for example, private Facebook galleries and other archives that don't allow Google's search engines to look around. To what extent do your results of Google Image Search reflect this fact? It doesn't really reflect that I think, because even though there are websites which are protected, the web is still full of imagery that comes from unprotected blogs or Facebook pages. And even images from pro tected pages find their way onto the public web. For example, Facebook itself might protect your images from being made public, but it doesn't protect you from your Facebook 'friends', who can do whatever they want with them. To a degree it's true that you won't find every single image that exists online through Google Image Search, but it does have access to all sorts of images. So I don't think you can con sider that my results, to any great extent, show commercial images because the others are all protected. Perhaps it says more about the quantity of commercial images the internet has, or more clearly: what has become its biggest purpose.•
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Through advertising ourselves we're in search of the happiness of being envied.
In your statement you speak of ‘the constant flow of images online.’ Before we go any further, let's talk about this. Is this constant flow of images a good thing or a bad thing? How can we approach the flow? I will narrow down this answer to the results of my project, to the flow of com mercial images: if you think of that flow as a reflection of a global occupation with material goods that contributes to an unstable economy, increases the gap between high and low societies, dam ages our natural habitat then I could define it as a bad thing. But I don't think you can separate it so easily as good or bad, it is simply too complicated. Be cause all these commercial images are coming from countless companies or independent sellers. The internet allows them to provide their services globally, resulting in numerous jobs and incomes worldwide, and so this can be consi dered a good thing. As for how to ap proach this flow, I think you first have to recognize and treat it as one. After that it depends on the intention you have for it, and you can try to insert it in alterna tive ways, ways other than it was ini tially meant for.
Can you talk a little bit about what specifically interested you in G oogle Image Search? I've always had an interest in collecting images, and Google Image Search helps a great deal with that on a wide scale. When I discovered the option Visual Similar Images I started using it to get to a more categorized feeling towards this flow I was speaking about. The option gives you an impression of the quantity and repetition of things swarming online and their images. Then I thought about
interview by Jörg M. Colberg the ability to use it in a more personal way by testing it with my own images. So what’s interesting is that it allows you to interact with it, by comparing your world to the World Wide Web. What in terests me even more is that by doing this you can gain your own territory online. This in turn enabled me to con vert the slightly terrifying results into something positive. Because by consum ing just the images of objects instead of real things, I achieved the same satisfied feeling as I did from the actual act of consuming, and I’m convinced that it can truly be an alternative way of con suming. It reminds me of the joy and satisfaction I used to get from collecting stickers as a child in elementary school, and how we used to trade them with other kids in our class. It was all about the image. Saying this actually traces my thoughts to Facebook, which could be considered an advanced version of that. Concerning Facebook, could you expand your thoughts about this? In what ways does Facebook mirror our offline behaviour, and what might this say about us? Facebook is just a digital extension of the image we're already trying to give to the rest of the world. Through adverti sing ourselves we're in search of the hap piness of being envied. We act less and less intuitively, and concentrate more on a calculated form of communication. It doesn't only reflect an uncertain image of our offline lives, it even influences our
Ross Sawyers Clear Blue, Sky
All images ÂŠ Ross Sawyers Ross Sawyers (b. 1979, USA) finds inspiration in the common architecture of domestic housing. He explores the tensions and anxieties inherent in these spaces by exaggerating and manipulating the architecture of these structures. His photographs have been acquired by public and private collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago. He received a BFA in photography from the Kansas City Art Institute (2002) and an MFA in photography from the University of Washington in Seattle (2007). He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Photography at Columbia College Chicago, where he lives and works.
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Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? If this is a simple question I would hate to see a difficult question. There is no simple, objective answer. There are many criteria that one can use when trying to determine the overall strength of a photograph, but none of them can be applied across the board. My very subjective answer to this question is that good photographs allow me the space to interpret them, whereas bad photographs tell me everything I need to know up front. Good photographs challenge my understanding of the situation that has been photographed; bad photographs reinforce everything I think I already know. Good photographs make me think about them long after they have left my gaze and make me want to return to them time and again; bad photographs don’t exist unless I am looking directly at them. Ultimately these are the things I think about in regard to my own photographs. If they meet some or all of the above criteria for me, I’m hopeful that they will have the chance to do so for others.
Why the use of models instead of actual houses, let’s say abandoned ones? The answer to that question is control. By constructing and photographing models I get to control everything in the studio. I can execute my vision for each photograph in a way that is much more loyal to the original idea than if I was photographing spaces that already exist. Many of the spaces I construct and photograph are exaggerated in subtle but important ways compared to the spaces that I’m referencing. I can also control and use light in a much more expressive way than if I was photographing in actual houses. To what extent do you start out with preconceived ideas of a space, and to what extent do you discover (if that’s the word) images while looking at and photographing your models? Pre-visualization is a very important part of my process. For the most part I start out with a very solid idea of what the space and resulting photograph will look like. I usually start with sketches and dimensions of the space and then build the model. Since the space is constructed
of privacy and community. Early on, single-family homes were razed to make way for multi-occupancy dwellings. Where there were yards separating houses, now there were walls and curtains separating one private space from another. As the market bottomed out, entire neighborhoods of people were displaced and spaces that people thought they owned once again became empty buildings in often-empty neighborhoods. Occupied private space became unoccupied private space and now, as the market has improved, it is once again occupied private space. The transient nature of dwellings and people over this period of time contrasts with common notions of home and community. I’m interested in your artistic influences. Can you give some names and talk about how or why they are important to you? Answering this question is kind of like shooting at a moving target, but there are a couple of people who are constant sources of inspiration. John Divola is a photographer who has been very influential. Specifically the way he incorporates mark-making into his photographs. Drawing and markmaking in my photographs is something I have been very interested in for the past few years, and the way John is able to paint and draw on spaces and then make photographs that showcase the space and his interventions in ways that compliment each other so well is something I aspire to. I have been inspired by James Turrell’s work for as long as I can remember. The way he uses light and makes it physical and present in his work is a wonder to me. I am particularly interested in his ability to use the sky and make it a tangible and integral part of his work. The following are artists I have been looking at recently: Miles Coolidge, Nathalie Djurberg, Lewis Baltz, Richard Diebenkorn, Ori Gersht, Amir Zaki •
Bad photographs reinforce everything I think I already know.
You photograph models of rooms or houses that you construct. Why do you prefer to show photographs of the models (images) rather than the actual models themselves (sculptures)? The most straightforward answer is that the camera is a transformative tool. What makes the model function is the way the camera transforms the constructed space contained within the model. The model itself does not discriminate in the details presented to the viewer; the scale is fixed and obvious and the details of construction become evident. The camera on the other hand, makes scale ambiguous and exposes only what I choose to include within the frame, making the space within the borders of the photograph a more dynamic and compelling environment. The constructed model cannot accomplish this in lieu of the photograph.
interview by Jörg M. Colberg with the camera in mind, there is usually only one vantage point that works for the camera. If for whatever reason the resulting photograph does not live up to my expectations, I will try other vantage points and/or different lighting, but usually these efforts are in vain and I will eventually scrap that particular model and move on to the next idea. In your statement, you speak of notions of privacy and community that are continually pushed and reformed. Could explain and expand this a little? Since my work is loosely based on direct observation of my own surroundings, my photographs over the past ten years have mirrored the housing market in the United States over that period of time. I have seen, and referenced in my work, a boom-and-bust cycle in real estate that has often challenged my understanding
Augustin Rebetez HYPER-SPIRITISM
All images © Augustin Rebetez Augustin Rebetez (b. 1986, Switzerland) makes vivacious poetry burst out of simple materials. The contrasts that he stages – with pictures, drawings, installations or stop-motion movies– depict a tragicomical reality. The results plays to the creation of a visually playful, moving, sometimes dizzying or gloomy universe. Since 2009, he has participated to numerous exhibitions, mostly in Europe but also in North America and was awarded by PhotoFolio Review at the Rencontres d’Arles (2010), The Swiss Photo Award – ewz selection (2012), the Kiefer Hablitzel Prize (2012) and the Vevey International Photo Award (2013-2014). Next year, he will be part of the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire.
knew that this place was great to create what we wanted, because we wanted to work on the idea of the engine or machine. That place was heaven. So we began to find what we were searching for.
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I would like to learn more about how this unfolds for you. Do you have an idea in mind what kind of process you want to follow or what kind of result your aiming for? I am functioning with poetry. I like the idea of a house. Of a house inside a house. Of a house inside a brain. I think: the brain is like a machine. And I am an engine full of fuel. So: let’s build a house.
Let me start off with a simple question. Whatmakes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? Everything I look at grips me. I want magic, sparks and scares in my eyes. I need to be touched. To learn or to discover something that I never saw before. A good picture brings emotions, dreams and constellations of ideas. Your work mixes photography with elements of sculpture, performance, drawing, and more. I have to express myself. I use all available media in a spontaneous way, no matter which. I use my hands, my heart and my brain. The idea is to d evelop my universe in a kind of total art. And inject it into people. Recently I wrote a text with these sentences inside: in our pockets there is nothing. Only our hands. Our arms are dogs. Our skulls pots. We are curing ourselves with small wounds. Splinters. Our art is motorized and it quenches kerosene. We can go everywhere. We have ten lives.
contortionists, monsters, birds, houses… Where is inspiration coming from? What is an artistic universe? How to be the most efficient with my art? There is an element of humour in your work, also something that's mostly absent from the world of art. Should we have more fun with art? Humour makes the day better. I am full of laughter, but also of tears. And I have many others things in my body that are mysterious. I am mostly working FOR the night. Like a ghost who tries to become visible, to express something honest and complete, as life. Often I try to make something very serious, but at the end it’s not. I remember a painter from the countryside where I live. When I asked him what he paints, he told me: I always begin painting nude girls, but in the end it becomes houses. I’m interested in your approach – how do you develop your images? Are they based on ideas? To what extent are they pre-conceived? To
Did you collaborate with Noé Cauderay on work? Did you make art pieces together? Yes, because our souls are the same. We have the same spirit, the same gravity. I am working also with Giona Bierens de Haan, an architect, and d ifferent musicians. For the last installation I made at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, we were a team of 15 people working there. Some were included in the process, some others were just helping. But we are not a collective. We are all working to create a common universe. I am also part of COWBOY NOIR, a team of Swiss farmers making movies and adventures. and of Piece Of Cake, a network of photographers who have exchanges about their artistic p rocess and works in progress. What artists do you draw inspiration from? I am inspired by artists like Louise Bourgeois, Buster Keaton, William Kentridge, the guys from the ‘Art Brut’ movement and many writers. I am also inspired by old men that I meet in dirty bars, by the children of my sister, travels and friends. But I take mostly inspiration from myself. I believe in imagination. •
Our art is motorized and it quenches kerosene.
How did you arrive at your approach? Were you interested in art and found that through photog raphy you could develop your ideas? To develop at best my ideas I need different channels and to mix them together. For me, photography is sometimes a very small part of something bigger. Like a still of a movie which contains sounds, movements, actors and dramaturgy. I am performing an artistic research: about the form and about the content. I am actually inspired by dreams, rites, energy, spiritism, automatic language, subconsciousness, c ircus,
interview by Jörg M. Colberg what extent are they spontaneous? I work with intuition. I do something. I try something. I try again. But I have always a good idea in mind of what I want to do. Many of my pictures are staged. Last winter, I went to the north of Norway, to work in an abandoned graphite mine full of old stuff. I went with my colleague Noé Cauderay. We
Thomas Rousset Praberians
All images ÂŠ Thomas Rousset Thomas Rousset (b. 1984, France) graduated in 2009 from ECAL in Lausanne, Switzerland, in photography. His images offer an ambiguous overlapping of representations and realities, a mixture that is constantly flirting with the limits of everyday life and imagination. The result is a stage representation that plays with the codes of both fairytales and realism. His work has been exhibited in various venues in Bienne, Berne, Cologne, Zurich, Geneva and Arles. In addition to his personal practice, he contributes with his collective moos-tang.com to different publications such as LibĂŠration, PIG MAG and Neon Magazine. Thomas Rousset lives and works between Lausanne and Paris.
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The goal of my photos is not to criticize our society or to question modern be haviour. I do not want the viewer to get a reductive or stereotypical vision, de void of poetry or comedy. I’m trying to appeal to the imagination and the fan tastic side of things, to provoke emotions in my viewers. If that inspires, that’s great. But it’s not my main goal, and I can’t aspire to do that.
Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? My photos are the end result of a long creation process: finding the perfect spot for the staging, setting up the scenery and constructing sets and props, and working with the characters. I build my image like a game where my imagina tion takes shape gradually. I start by mentally picturing the scene. Then I try to sketch it. So the final piece takes shape gradually. It comes into focus more when I choose the location, the model, the lighting. One of my greatest challenges is finding the final form of the image, since it is rarely as I imagined it. I’m now using an evolved way of working. I start by taking a photo in the simplest and most uncluttered way possible, and then I add elements to get the perfect picture, the one truest to what I imagined.
Waska Tatay is a collaboration with Raphaël Verona. Can you talk a little bit about Raphaël and about the nature of the collaboration? Raphaël Verona is an old friend of mine. We went to the same school in Lausanne, Switzerland (ECAL). He specialized in graphic design, I in photography. Before this joint project, he had already been to South America several times, especially to Bolivia where he met his wife. After he came back from his early trips he told me
Ritual appears to play a large role in your work. I don’t think in our modern world we think much about rituals any longer. We pretend they don’t exist when in reality they are all around us, albeit in forms of which we are unaware. Can photographs help us understand our own rituals? My work as a photographer has sharp ened my sense of observation, and I’m more aware of elements of everyday life that might otherwise remain completely unseen. When I went to Seoul, South Korea, in April 2012, I was struck by the behaviour of people in the subway: 100% of the people were looking at their smartphones, watching TV, movies, or playing video games. There were liter ally no exchanges between passengers, each one of them locked up in his own bubble. If we looked at someone for more than ten seconds, most of them would become totally petrified, as if we were intruding intimately. These everyday scenes were really inspiring for my work on rituals.
The important thing is that he feels something.
In your statement for Praberians you speak of “how shallow the notion of community is in our contemporary Western world”. Can photographs help to induce people to change, to work towards less shallow communities? In my work I can give keys to under standing, but it’s up to the viewer with his or her own imagination to decide where he or she wants to be taken. I’ll give you an example: the picture of a man painted orange sitting in a canoe of the same colour is inspired by the myth of the Ferryman (Charon) found in the ancient Greek civilizations. The Ferry man brings souls to the world of the dead. I reinterpreted that myth, simpli fying it to the essentials: the boat, the ferryman and the object that he is car rying. I removed every element that could reference a myth or a civilization, so the image can be interpreted freely.
interview by Jörg M. Colberg about rituals and traditions he had witnes sed. He showed me pictures, especially those from the Orujo carnival. That was when we started thinking about creating this project together in Bolivia. On loca tion we would set up the scenery together, and I would take the photo. None of that would have been possible without the help of his wife and his Bolivian in-laws. Are you going to continue with collaborations like the one with Raphaël Verona? I love working with people from differ ent disciplines (like with Raphaël) or with other photographers who work dif ferently or who use techniques that are completely at variance with mine. I just started a new project in Indonesia with a friend who specializes in studio stilllifes. As our work is complementary, this has brought a lot to the project. We have great discussions and question every thing, and we’re learning a lot from each other. Through collaboration, our proj ect is evolving in a way that would be impossible alone. Regarding my work, I mostly work with my collective Moos-Tang. I’m quite used to working with people, which is very nice because everybody brings some energy, ideas, and in the end we all have a lot more fun working.
Waska Tatay uses magical realism, which many people outside of its main cultural context might not be very familiar with. In somewhat similar ways, Praberians also employs an uncommon visual language. How do you deal with the concern that people might not be able to comprehend what you’re after? When we admire a painting, we’re not always able to understand the work or the technique used by the painter. Only a professional knows what tool or pig ment has been used. Despite that we can feel emotions as we look at the work. It’s exactly the same with photography, par ticularly mine. In this project we used magical realism as a method for the con struction of narrative in the images. It doesn’t matter if the viewer can’t deci pher all the codes. The important thing is that he feels something. •
Joshua Citarella Combination Game
All images ÂŠ Joshua Citarella Joshua Citarella (b. 1987, USA) is a Brooklyn based artist and curator who graduated with a BFA from the school of Visual Arts in New York City (2010). His work spans sculpture, print and digital media, locating photography as the nexus of an interdisciplinary practice. He uses a variety of materials to explore the ways in which the means of image production forecasts the shape of culture. His recent series, Combination Game, is a sort of photographic Big Bang, exhaustively rearranging all of its elements, from every composition of objects down to the mosaic arrangement of the pixels themselves. He is the organizing force behind the continuing online project thePSDshow.org, created in 2012.
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Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What separates a good photo from a bad photo? I want to make images which critically explore photographic conventions; those that have the greatest discursive influence and shape the culture(s) in which they circulate. How did you get interested in investigating the medium photography itself? Where viewership now primarily takes place through print or on the screen, meaning is often attributed to, but does not necessarily occur at, the object itself. Under the contemporary models of distribution, the mode of image production becomes the appraisal of value for the represented object. I think this translation space is worth investigating. Can you expand on that? I think we see this type of appraisal demonstrated in a number of fields; in ecommerce, products attract more sales when displayed on a seamless white background. In advertising, high budget campaigns utilize photo-realistic retouching while lower budget ones usually appear soft and airbrushed. In journalism, camera crews are dispatched to cover major stories while amateur cell-phone photographs suffice for less important events. In art, well lit and properly color-balanced installation views imply a more prestigious exhibition space. These are just a few examples where a physical object or event is primarily communicated as an image. Each supposes an equation where the amount of labor in image production is proportionate to the economic, social or cultural value of the represented object. Recognizing this convention, one can see instances where a disproportionate amount labor in image production could serve to inflate or depreciated the value of the represented object. This becomes significant when our collective conception towards the meaning and value of those objects is almost entirely informed by images. Here we can see photographic description and digital image production reapportioning relative values and hierarchies within the world around us.
Learn to swim. interview by Jörg M. Colberg In your statement you mention the ideological subtext of photographs. Can you expand on that? What kind of ideologies are you thinking of? And why is this important? The camera in conjunction with an array of physical and digital tools currently has a monopoly over image production. The presence of these tools begins to form new descriptive systems and new conceptual frameworks, which guide both individual thought and the evolution of culture as a whole. In a society where communication is increasingly image-based, where all images share the same means of production, it would seem to me that we are obliged to pose a critical investigation, to sift out any soft or incidental set of pathways. Like a stream following the path of least resistance, this hardware/software facilitated certain productive flows. The ideological subtext of these images emerges from their program. They imply that the world is populated by source materials that lie in wait for their sublimation into digital images. They anticipate their own alchemical transformations in form and context. They implicate RGB pixels as the prima materia, delivering objects from the dim confines of materiality into omnipresent electronic radiance. Today’s desert of the real is not one of sand but a desert of ash; objects, materials and bodies now exist in our collective conception as digital images. Their physicality becomes only remnants pointing outward towards an image. As electronic signals, all things in the world are democratized into exchanges of energy, and through this transfiguration all materials are analogous to ash; the unwanted corporeal, carbon remains. Here we can equate a technical analysis of image production with an ideological analysis of contemporary culture. Understanding our communication media is the first step in developing a philosophy towards understanding our society as a whole.
And where can we go from here, especially given that photographs are ubiquitous, and millions are being made and shared every day? Images are not going out of fashion any time soon. Technology will continue to progress. Images will continue to become more ubiquitous. The question we are faced with now is: how can we operate within this communicative fabric in the most responsible way possible? We need to propose an alternate direction for contemporary discourse within these same mediated channels. My aim is to create images that through an accessible means of demonstration are able to reveal the underlying productive tendencies of this communication media and to interrupt the expected functioning of the contemporary image to unveil its ideological subtext. How can we deal with the flood of images all around us? Learn to swim. And those that can’t swim drown? Those looking to escape the flood will take it upon themselves to build arks. These vessels will function as a means to preserve and differentiate certain images from those that drift aimlessly in the water. They can serve as communal hubs, as stationary ports in a global ocean, even as the sea level continues to rise. We’re treading water in an attention economy. Today, there are more images in circulation than any one individual can consume. While we must hone our techniques to more quickly and efficiently consume images, we also look to specialized discursive centers to selectively disseminate images. I think this relationship between the flood, dialogical user driven networks, and the ark, discursive institutions, can serve as a means of mutual checks and balances that would reshape our culture in some exciting ways. •
Eeva Hannula The Structure of Uncertainty
All images © Eeva Hannula Eeva Hannula (b.1983, Finland) is actually enrolled in a MA program in photography at Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture in Helsinki. By intertwined personal archives with staged photographs and layering them with interventions led by potential errors, chance and experimentations, she creates contrasted and poetic combinations. Influenced by the Freudian concept of ‘the uncanny’, they call for the uncertainty of observations, feelings and languages. Her work was included in several group exhibitions among other Summer school, presented at in the Finnish Museum of Photography in 2013. She is represented by Gallery Taik Persons in Berlin.
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Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? For me, the important images are often in some way strange, confusing, distract ing and unfamiliar. An interesting image makes me think, feel, and reflect on its possible meanings. It questions my customary thought and perception. An interesting image disrupts the familiar. In some ways, it is ambivalent. It does not only imitate reality, but ques tions it and allows for conflicting inter pretations to happen. I would like not to describe any images as bad, because the appreciation depends so much on the viewer’s point of view, the context, and the subjective preferences. For me, however, the least interesting images are those which are somehow trite and does not manage to surprise me. They do not confuse my thinking, normal perception nor do they arouse mental associations, meanings or feelings. You write ’To me the image is an uncertain matter located between fact and fiction, language and body.’ Can you expand on this? Why or how is an image uncertain? In my images there is uncer tainty because they are al ways a mixture of fact and fiction. In my work I mix archival, staged and edited material with each other. So there is often an actual event, observation or existing thing behind the images, which then get a new meaning after being combined and edited. A photo graph shows reality from a single point only. Cropping and all the solutions that you use are subjective. The meanings of the images are also changing and fluid. In this sense, they are unsettled and uncertain. I often feel that because of the use of a camera things appear to be strange and unfamiliar in images. On the other hand, however, photos are always somehow related to reality, and because of that I think photographs are so strong. I see image as I see words, which can be bent, mixed and combined as you like. I also think that they can be meta phorical and associative. In that sense, the image for me is a linguistic entity. On the other hand, an image contains so much material that does not turn into words and which can only be experi enced physically and emotionally.
The repressed, the incomprehensible plays a part in your work. Where does your interest in these concepts come from? Intuition and the subconscious are important to my way of working. Chaos, fragmentation, uncertainty are interes ting. Mind and experience in general are uncertain things, and they contain a lot of the repressed and incomprehensible dimensions. I am also interested in psychoanalyti cal thinking. It contains elaborating about the repressed and incomprehensible that does not speak to you directly, but meta phorically. My pictures originate from personal concerns. Psychoanalytical thinking interests me because, in a way, it allows me to combine theoretical mate rial with my own experiences. The theories are just a tool for shaping the experiences and understanding them. Covering part of the image is a metaphor for things where something has been prevented and cut off, or there is only a part left which you cannot take possession of complete ly. Cuts or disruptions in information are essential. Surrealistic art has also always interested me. Réne Magritte is one of my favorite artists.
You write that error and chance play a role in your work, something we don’t see very often in photography. Why are chance or error important for you? What do you gain from giving up full control? This is especially important to the process, to the way I work. Uncertainty includes the feeling of chance, of errors, and the relaxation of control. It provides an opportunity to improvise and to find a unique new language through experi mentation. Chance and errors, the fact that I give up control – this releases my think ing. The camera often stores something you can’t be aware of, because it hap pens so fast. I like to shoot digitally, because I can improvise and leave room for chance. As the process develops, I am more controlling and aware: various experiments that may have originated with an error may obtain a position and meaning, and then I can edit and analyze them more consciously. In this process, when or how do you know you’re done with an image? When is it finished? It is largely based on intuition. I know that the image is finished when it speaks enough. In other words, when it con tains enough potential for meanings and associations. I need to get the feeling that the images are full enough, rich, or that they encapsulate some new idea. I can see similarities between words and images. I also write po ems. I compare the solutions that I find for my images to the writing process. It’s like searching and finding the correct words or phrases. I can often see my images as part of the whole, the overall structure. When a new idea or solution is suitable for the overall structure as well, or associated with other images, then the image will be complete. For example I do a lot of d iptychs. When two images begin to associate with each other then I know that the work is com pleted. Also the name of the image binds it to its place. •
I see image as I see words, which can be bent, mixed and combined as you like. interview by Jörg M. Colberg You re-work or process images in all kinds of ways. How did you get i nterested in this approach to making your pictures? For a long time I felt that my images lacked intensity and associations. I felt that they did not speak enough. The mere photograph was empty or too quiet, and this felt somehow inadequate. Then I gave in and started to add some thing to or break the surface of the photographs, by adding colors, cropping, or by combining them with each other. I understood that re-working images opened a whole new opportunity for adding meanings and elements to them. I find it fascinating that by isolating parts of visual material and by cropping the images I can combine and create associations between them. I also like the fact that in a way I can re-write the archive material, the memories and observations that they have once been.
Salvi DanĂŠs Black Ice, Moscow
All images © Salvi Danés Salvi Danés (b. 1985, Spain) makes use of an apparent documentary way of capturing the existing scenes he encounters while playing with the diverse possible readings and interpretations of the narratives depicted. His photographs focus on questions related to representation and subjectivity and was notably part of exhibitions at the International Festival of Photography of Tarragona in Spain (2012); at Circulation(s), Festival de la jeune photographie européenne in Paris, France (2012) and at the Festival für jungen fotojournalismus in Hannover, Germany (2012). In addition, he has been honored by Sony World Photography Award, IPA, and many others recognitions.
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Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? Sometimes the most simple questions are the most difficult to answer. Maybe we should first agree on what we understand as ‘good’, the criteria we use. What is the validity of this adjective in the context of the image, and what is its final purpose? Are we going to value it aesthetically or concentrate on its technical content? Does it have documentary or historical value? Is it witty and original, or does it align with the canon of the classics? Do we consider something is good simply because it awakens something when you see it? It reminds me of that everlasting dilemma: what is art and what is not? To know when a photograph is good we should perhaps lay out some parameters. But should those be technical or emotional? If we are simply going to evaluate its technique, we need to examine the established canon, which is certainly debatable. If what we value is the emotion it produces in us, then a photograph is good (in some person’s opinion) when it makes us feel something, when we realize that the image offers more than what we can see in it. Black Ice Moscow. Your statement speaks vividly of the situation Russian citizens now find themselves in, two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union and several years into the increasingly repressive Putin presidency. Did you set out to make a body of work about this situation, or did things just happen that way? Black Ice Moscow doesn’t explicitly talk about a political situation, although that element is implicit. It is about the mood of a society. In fact, my aim is to talk about the citizens’ individual feelings, about the alienation of personality by several factors. This is a topic I’ve already dealt with in one of my project Dark Isolation, Tokyo, done in parallel, though with many convergences. The fact is that instead of talking about a community or a particular area, we might want to talk about dynamics. Russian history, which is particularly tumultuous, is as important in this project as the harsh winter that shapes the society and the character of its people. As a spectator and an external narrator, I tried to translate that feeling from my own point of
view, which is absolutely personal and subjective. My thoughts on this matter are of course not valid for everybody. The interpretation and acceptance of a photograph depends on the viewers’ historical and ideological traditions, social influences and how they apply them, each with its own way of proceeding and its own way of being. So it is a personal and subjective vision that we will have to discuss. I don’t usually ask about how photographs are made, but I’ll make an exception here. Many of the subjects in your pictures appear to be looking directly at the viewer. How did you go about making these pictures? What kinds of interactions did you have with the subjects? I like taking photographs from the distance that anonymity gives me. Sometimes the look of a person whom you don’t know and who is not even expecting to be photographed is more intense and contains more feelings than the look of a person whom you know or a person with whom you have established a conversation. I try not to talk a lot with the subjects and not to tell them what my intention is or what idea I’m going to reflect, at least not before taking the picture. Perhaps, that’s why they have the inner look you talk about. They might be wondering why a stranger would want a picture of them. How about the ethics of that process? Why is it OK to take someone’s picture without their consent? That is a question that is being asked more and more these days. The ethics of taking someone’s picture without their consent is a topic we could discuss at length. Is it justifiable to take
pictures of a famous person? Is this dilemma different depending on the geographical area where the image is taken? Does it depend on whether the photographed subject is wearing a suit or has his or her torso naked? Probably we couldn’t only talk about an image in itself or about a photographic trend in particular. Does this moral or ethical burden disappear in a body of work, a series on the web or in a photobook? If we have an image taken with the most strict consent at a precise moment and in a particular context and later put it next to another image with a clear narrative intention, with a clear photographic interaction, does it give the image a whole new meaning? Would that be ethical? We cannot expect everybody to understand an artistic intention or the documentary value of a particular shot. It would be unfair and selfish for the minority who are familiar with photography to make a judgement on this, apart from seeing it as being rich and useful in many ways. I can’t help but think of Philip Lorca diCorcia’s Heads when looking at your work, done under very different circumstances, with different ideas, yet in both cases the human face is set against darkness. I don’t mean the following question to be negative or damning in any way, but photography has a tremendous power, doesn’t it? Is photography a cruel tool? To what extent can photography be exploitative, even if the photographer’s intentions are entirely benign? We could understand photography as an extension of our personal imagination, an intensified translation with some technical and narrative elements, a fragmented repercussion of a discourse on its own (as I’ve said, this is completely personal and subjective). I prefer to think that photography is not cruel, or if it is, that it’s cruel from its very beginning. What is clear is that it’s a weapon and that the images are like shots, with bullets which should generate unique thinking or give answers, and generate questions.Photography is a cruel tool, though no more than cinema, TV, a fountain pen or just our own looking. •
Photography is a cruel tool, though no more than cinema, TV, a fountain pen or just our own looking. interview by Jörg M. Colberg
Jonathas de Andrade 2 in 1
Jonathas de Andrade
All images ÂŠ Jonathas de Andrade Jonathas de Andrade (b. 1982, Brazil) lives and works in Recife. Through researches, documentation and personal experiences he investigates social, political, cultural and ideological matters that are at risk of vanishing from collective memory. His work has been included in major international exhibitions, among them, the 7th The Mercosul Visual Arts Biennial, in Porto Alegre (2009); the 29th SĂŁo Paulo Biennale (2010); the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011), and in The Ungovernables, the second New Museum Triennial, in New York City (2012). Recently, his participation in the Future Generation Art Prize 2012 show organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation earned him a special jury prize.
ers that were in turn used in the discussions, creating a sort of educationartistic mechanism. The captions beneath the images are sometimes literal, sometimes ambiguous and provocative. For Freire the whole process of education is about horizontal exchange; everything is a pretext for understanding one’s own points of view about liberation. I didn’t feel ready for that task, and I recognized a lack of reaction as a political mood of that time, though in Brazil that has changed. My main idea was to confront the utopian breath of another historical time and its daily political atmosphere through my practice and posture, facing ethical challenges at each
own narrative through the elements. These include a hundred photographs of various sizes. The installation helps me establish an atmosphere in which the issues brought up by the work have similar weight and are not a well-defined hierarchy with imprecise categories. I can imagine the work in a book form and I'm starting to work on that. I think it might offer another platform for organizing the elements into other narratives. I’ve started to discuss some ideas with designers I want to work with. In contrast, Nostalgia – A Class Sentiment only appears to use one photograph, a detail of a room, which serves as a pointer of sorts: a wall mosaic is re-created using coloured block, and there is text. What is the intention of this work? In this work, the photograph plays a documentary role, like a historical note. This project consists of reproducing the panel of a tropical m odern house in real size, transforming the tiles in fiberglass pieces of the same modulation but with 10cm height. It moves the same way as the constitution of the ruin, and the pieces of this panel are removed and substituted by words of a manifesto about issues on architecture, living, mankind, history and humanity’s role in civilization. These substitutions remove what’s contextual in the text and reveal an activistic political structure, connecting with another times’ rebellious urges. Ruin and utopia today feed a n ostalgic relationship with the past, in which History and Modernism are consumed as class goods. •
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Sometimes using bad photos is the most interesting way. interview by Jörg M. Colberg Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What separates a good photo from a bad photo? It’s a good question, but for me very hard to answer precisely. I don’t consider myself a real photographer. I use photography as a tool in my work, usually combining texts, structures and methodologies I collect. So for me it’s more about recognizing photo typologies, experimenting with and performing their status and the fiction they support in society. Sometimes using bad photos is the most interesting way, and sometimes not. It depends. Education for Adults is exactly what it says it is – images with captions that say what you see. Of course, with adults it doesn't quite work that way, since they supposedly already know everything, or at least most things. Can you talk about your ideas behind this work? It started with a series of educational posters my mother used as a teacher of illiterate adults in the 1980s. The posters were printed in the 70s, based on the concepts and procedures of the radical Paulo Freire alphabetization method. In 2010 I used the twenty posters she gave me to aid conversations with a group of illiterate women. Across one month their conversations suggested subjects, images, words and concepts for new post-
meeting. The final work presents sixty posters, mixing originals with new ones of the same design, using an out-of-date educational methodology. Tropical Hangover combines a variety of imagery. What is the idea here? The photographs show several time periods of the same city scenario and come from four collections, which take both a documentary and personal look. In isolation, the components of the work – photographs and the pages of a found diary – are historical documents. But together they are a large fiction of what a city is; a scenario that conflates construction with destruction, a city that inspires the same general portrait despite the passage of the years. In this fiction, Recife is any Latin American city, punctuated by the post-utopia of a modernist project external to its logic. A later look at it repositions the idea of failure by revealing abandonment with settlement, and implosion as a response, as germination. Tropical Hangover also uses a rather complex installation – what p urpose does it serve? And could you imagine the work in book form? If yes, how would you present it in a book? I wanted to create a line with the 140 pages of the diary, which could be a constant for the viewer, used to navigate through the work and to create his/her
David Benjamin Sherry Wonderful Land
David Benjamin Sherry
Images (in order of appearance): Lower Yosemite Falls, Yosemite, California, 2013 Saguaro Field, Tucson, Arizona, 2013 Winter Storm in Zion Canyon, Zion, Utah, 2013 Winter Sunrise over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite,California, 2013 Canyon de Chelly, Chinle, Arizona, 2013 Sunrise, Grand Canyon, Arizona, 2013 Rocky Hill, Big Bend, Texas, 2013 Moon Over Rocks, Monument Valley, Arizona, 2013 Sunrise on Mesquite Flat Dunes, Death Valley, California, 2013 All images ÂŠ David Benjamin Sherry, courtesy of the artist and Salon 94 Gallery. All images are chromogenic color prints. David Benjamin Sherry (b. 1981, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles. He graduated with a BFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2003 and with a MFA in Photography from Yale School of Art in 2007. His work was featured in solo and group shows in Berlin, Los Angeles, New York City, Vienna and Zurich. In 2010 he was included in the Greater New York exhibition at MoMA PS1 as well as the Out of Focus: Photography at the Saatchi gallery in London. Astral Desert held in 2010 was his first solo exhibition in New York City and on that occasion, a book has been published by Damiani and Salon94. His more recent publication will launch in September 2013 with MĂśrel books.
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landscapers before me. Lastly, it feels worthwhile, in the currently cold, digital, often-abstract world of art photography, to head into nature and reflect what’s happening outside.
Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? For me, a good photograph is timeless, and so engaging that I see something new every time I view it. The picture can be of any subject matter but I can always return to it, I can’t take my eyes off of it. I believe this happens when subject matter, composition and formal relationships come together in a harmonious symphony, which is then caught on film. And this takes continuous practice, whether through formal schooling or not. As Henri Cartier-Bresson says ‘Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.’ Your series Wonderful Land comprises landscape photographs. Landscape photography has a long tradition, and I'm curious where you position yourself in that tradition? I’ve been interested in landscape photography for many years. The Wonderful Land series was very much a continuation of my previous bodies of work, which I conceived as a response to the global, man-made crisis of climate change. I, like many others before me, have often looked to nature for answers, mostly to cope with the changing planet. Landscape photography has often been a means of raising environmental aware ness, among many other things. I sought to re-imagine the masters’ landscape views by injecting a radical twist of hyper-real color and saturation, which felt like a chromatic extension of my anxieties, and also because I just hadn’t seen it before. I felt there was a place for my analog 8 ×10 film photographs in the long lineage of landscape photographs. As we are approaching the end of filmbased photography, and the environmental crisis escalates, I wanted to salute these landscapes with the 8 ×10 film they deserve and let them sing in vibrant hues they haven’t been viewed in before. I consider myself an optimist, so my aim in this work is to raise awareness and also to dip my cap to my fellow
Can you talk about your aesthetic choices? What does colour add to or subtract from the original landscapes? I like to think the colors I choose add an emotional impact to the viewing experience, just as they convey the emotions and anxieties I’m experiencing when I make these images. I use the intense colors to heighten the experience and maybe to portray more accurately than is possible in color or black-and-white the reality in which we live. I found a review of your work in the New Yorker magazine that talked of your photographs as being ‘as shrewd as they are decorative’. That d-word, decorative – how do you engage with it? I often feel that in this contemporary art world, people would rather avoid being seen as decorative. Do you want to be decorative, or partly decorative? Do you mind? ‘Decorative’ is clearly a loaded term in art. It’s not incidental to my practice that the images are often beautiful, but the word ‘decorative’ can undermine everything else that goes into the work, which perhaps implies that my work is somehow about being decorative, which it is not.
my work. I think the color asks the v iewer to leave what they consider real, correct, straight or proper at the door and engage with photographs on a heightened emotional level, one that transcends what you are used to when looking at a photograph. Can you talk a little bit about where you think photography finds itself at the beginning of the second d ecade of the 21st Century, with its 200th birthday coming up in our lifetimes? Well, because all of the work I’ve made until now has been analog, without any digital processes or any manipulation, you may want to find me on one side of the fence in the discussion. But it’s quite the opposite. We are living in photographic times, everyone is a photog rapher and everyone makes pictures, so it’s a uniting force between humans at this point. In the social media people can share their entire lives through pictures and I find that fascinating. I’m also interested in seeing digital forms of photographs and viewing them. I like to compare them to my own and consider the differences. As I said earlier, I’m very interested in the timelessness of photographs, in creating something that is timeless. Most photographs I see today are still dealing with the technology, which I believe will be a huge signifier of precisely that moment. But I’m very e xcited to be part of a generation that studied both forms of photography. I like to think that we’re moving into some fascinating territory with digital photography, but as with anything it’s good to be cautious with this new medium and make sure your voice is not lost in this flood of new tools. I believe it takes years for an artist to be able to really manipulate and master their tools so the end result becomes about something more than the tool itself. Photography is such a young me dium. I think there are still areas in filmbased photography to explore, and as of now I’m still in love with that medium. I like a more hands-on approach and being part of the physicality of my work. I like to understand my tools and really learn how to refine them and manipulate them. There’s something so simple yet so magical about light and film. I’ve never been able to shake this fascination. It wakes me up and drives me every day to create new photographs. •
It feels worthwhile to head into nature and reflect what’s happening outside. interview by Jörg M. Colberg I could imagine that your landscapes must come as quite a shock to someone who might really enjoy an Ansel Adams or a National Geographic-style aesthetic. How do you deal with criticism that might be coming from that corner? How do you make such people think about and engage with your work? I think when I’m viewing my own work that anyone who enjoys an Adams print would enjoy mine too. It’s a very sharp 8 ×10 photograph. The color aspect might offend some individuals, as some people are offended by color in this world, so they may not be interested in
Peter Puklus Handbook to the Stars
All images ÂŠ Peter Puklus Peter Puklus (b. 1980, Hungary) is currently completing a Doctor of Liberal Arts degree in photography at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary, where he lives and works. In 2012, he published two photo-books: One and a Half Meter with Kehrer Verlag and Handbook to the Stars with Stokovec. In that second project, he built a photo-documentation of sculptural experiment, dreamlike symbols, mock-ups, installations and readymades as an attempt to visualize the infinitely flexible and tricky associative capacity of our brain. Throughout the present year, his work is presented in different group and solo shows around Europe including at FOAM, Amsterdam; Krokus Gallery, Bratislava and Festival International de Mode & de Photo, HyĂ¨res.
I'm curious about the ’form and light exercises of the 1920s avant-garde‘ you mention in your statement. Can you talk more about those and what interests you in them? Those great guys set up the basics of a new visual language. They knew how to deliver their message using only light and shadow. I am certainly influenced by them. I believe their achievements provide a good source of inspiration, which also became my memory. However, the quotation is rarely conscious.
stand our universe, and the night sky is a special part of it. By connecting bigger stars with smaller ones – and by giving (nonsense though that might be) names to them – people created a story. This approach was very helpful for me when I was looking for the form of the book. I knew I was looking for a special layout which could represent the overall idea and concept: the endless capacity of the human mind to create and play with associations, constellations and stories between non-related information. So I placed all the selected photographs on an imaginary canvas (some images bigger, the others smaller – depending on their importance or role in the structure). This canvas – what I call a map – is folded inside the book in an unusual way. When you flip the pages you travel through out this map and discover the different connections between different topics and subjects.
Isolation first of all means shutting down the computer.
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interview by Jörg M. Colberg
Let me start off with a s imple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? For me the question is the feeling I have while looking at photographs. The classic answer is that a good photo is defined by good lighting and great composition. But for me there is a third aspect, which could be called feeling, aura, or soul… And that is what matters the most. A flat/grey, unsharp and decomposed picture can talk to me, and it can start to build a story in my mind. I would put the border between technically good and emotionally good – whatever that means.
Can you give me some examples of artists and their works and talk about why they are so relevant for you? Of course later I started to perform a study about them or at least kept my eyes open. For example, Vladimir Tatlin and his Monument to the Third International is a good starting point. This incredible construction led me to the idea of how to dream big. I also learned a lot from Johannes Itten’s color, light and shadow studies: how to manipulate the subject and its environment to create a great image. I’m also a big fan of Leni Riefenstahl’s early human bodies, Oscar Schlemmer’s costume and stage designs, Lajos Kassák’s typography and László Moholy-Nagy’s lightbased sculptures and collages, to mention a few. One of the most important things I learned from them is how to use the power of putting unrelated things together and to speak about something which is probably not present in any form.
In general, you seem to have an affinity for the photobook – can you talk a little bit what photobooks mean to you? Do they serve your work better than gallery walls? There are different stories which led me to become a photobook lover and maker. To explain my story I have to start a little bit earlier, around the beginning of ’90s when the walls really fell down and Western culture started to arrive in Central and East Europe. Here in Hungary we used to say that we were generally forty years behind in everything. Local art dealers tried to follow the trends, but the big success of fine art photography never happened. The story is well known: there was a good start, but the crisis came too early. Nobody buys photography here. And after a few exhibitions you ask yourself what to do with the growing pile of framed photographs behind your sofa. In 2011 I had the opportunity to work in a residency in small town of SloFor Handbook to the Stars, you vakia named Banska Stiavnica where I decided not to leave your studio, created more than the half of the picisolating yourself from the outside tures of Handbook to the Stars. At the end world. Why did you do this, and what of the residency I was supposed to make did you experience while doing it? an exhibition, but I proposed using the Isolation first of all means shutting down budget to publish a book instead. I knew the computer. This helps a lot to focus I would reach more people with a physion what you do. To sit, see and think is a cal object. I love the internet with all the very important part of the process. cool features like free communication, news and social media. But they are perCan you talk a little bit about the fect tools only to promote and distribute book form of Handbook to the Stars? your book. The book is an object which First, let me talk about the title. From the is part of our commonly shared culture beginning of time people tried to under- – offset print smells like heaven. •
Jinkyun Ahn Villa of the Mysteries
All images ÂŠ Jinkyun Ahn Jinkyun Ahn (b. 1983, South Korea) studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (2010) and completed his MA in photography at the Royal College of Art in London (2012). In his series Villa of the Mysteries, he photographs his parents in a system of echo and mise en abĂŽme to metaphorically address the thematic of mortality and the role played by vision, mental image and consequently photography, in the apprehension and comprehension of death and afterlife. In the past recent years, he has exhibited widely with participations to group shows such as the Belfast Photo Festival 2013 and Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed 2013 at The Photographer's Gallery in London. He was also selected as the winner of Brighton Photo Fringe Open 2012 and held his first major solo show as part of the festival. He currently lives and works in Seoul and London.
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Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? Rather than asking myself, ‘What is a good photograph,’ I constantly find myself asking the question ‘what is good art.’ Victor Burgin said ‘the most important work that art can attempt is… to support the exercise of one’s own intellectual and sensual faculties without ceding to pressure from outside.’ Where strong art resists, the weak one compromises. As to the premise that photography is a form of art, my fascination with this particular medium lies in its nature of reflection. When a photograph is taken, the camera creates a virtual mirror that reflects the images placed beyond its lens, thereby, materializing the reflected image twodimensionally. Inherent in this photographic process is the defiance of the authenticity of what one would otherwise naturally perceive through vision. In my opinion, therefore, a good photograph is one that reflects, rather than reveals something. Looking at your series, I noticed that the individual photograph does not appear to be that important. Instead, it is placed in a series, and the viewer is asked to see the relationships between images to understand what you are after. How important is the individual image? I studied film before stepping into photography. Even though I believe there is a substantial distance between the two different forms of art, when it comes to building a body of work there needs to be a system that holds things together, providing context and an underlying connection to what might otherwise seem to be a fragmented group of images. Images are contextual just as time is contextual. Sometimes I feel that I am merely a bridge that stands in between my parents and my future child – just as a lens is a channel between the reflected and the reflection. However if I am absent from the line that is my legacy, the context disappears. So I would say I am as important as my before and my after. Likewise, all individual images are equally important in the context they construct.
To what extent do you see your images as a collaboration with your parents? I am often puzzled to find my viewers describing my work as portraits when I consider them as performances that are choreographed and then ‘placed’ exclusively onto the photographic image. One of my tutors said my work has a strong sense of demonstration and I was thrilled with his observation as I couldn’t agree more. While photographing, I usually spend most of the time correcting my parent’s poses in order to create a composition, which gestures outside of the metaphoric. Perhaps, by doing so, in my own compulsory way, I try to impose my ideas to be reflected within my parent’s bodies when, in fact, I am inevitably a physical reflection of them as their son. This never-ending oscillation between me and my parents could be called a collaboration, but then I guess every true relationship is. Reading your statement I was struck by how you include the many cultural elements that are unfamiliar to me as someone from the West, unfamiliar with many concepts of Asian thought (Confucian culture, the somewhat different ideas of how one's parents are thought of and treated, …). Photography is a visual way to approach the world. To what extent one's cultural background enters how photographs are made? I was born and raised in South Korea but had opportunities to live in both the USA and England, in that order. During my first year in London, I still remember experiencing first-hand the cultural differences between the USA and England. Even among Englishspeaking countries, there exists tremendous cultural differences; it is not only between the East and the West where
one can find cultural differences. It is very natural for my cultural background to be reflected in my work and I believe I should not be apologetic for that aspect. I’ve seen many non-Western artists attempt to cleanse their work of any personal cultural background in an attempt to please Western viewers. In contrast, although I’ve never employed Orientalism in my practice, I allow my cultural background to express itself naturally and genuinely. Because it is the very nature of culture. And how can we navigate cultural differences, regardless of whether it is a Westerner looking at images made by a Korean photographer or a Korean looking at photographs made by, say, an American? I believe art is a conversation rather than a form of communication. Whereas communication may fail, a conversation is not judged by such criteria. This is because communication is used to achieve a specific purpose, while a conversation allows for a number of different possibilities. I am not making educational images for Western viewers to study Asian culture. Rather, through the process of investigating and ‘conversing‘ with my art, my hope is to encourage my viewers to come up with a set of questions throughout their conversations with my work. Those questions may lead them to read my writings, examine reviews of my work, look for my other works or seek to understand the cultural connotations expressed in my images. I'm curious about your artistic and cultural influences. Who are the photographers, writers, thinkers, … that have informed your work? If I were to mention five exhibitions that have had the greatest impact on my over the preceding three years, I would include Marina Abramović, Paul McCarthy, Thomas Hirschhorn, Gillian Wearing and Paul Graham. I have also been a longtime fan of Stanley Kubrick, Kitano Takeshi, Ki-duk Kim, David Lynch, Iwai Shunji and Ozu Yasujiro. •
Art is a conversation rather than a form of communication. interview by Jörg M. Colberg 224
Thibault Brunet First Person Shooter
All images © Thibault Brunet Thibault Brunet (b.1982, France) graduated from the Fine Art School of Nîmes in 2008. He now lives and works in Lille, France. His work was selected to be part of the touring exhibition reGeneration2: Tomorrow’s Photographers Today, first shown at the Élysée’s Museum of Lausanne and consecutively presented worldwide (2010-11). Over the course of 2013, he had a number of group exhibitions and later this year, he will participate to the Month of Photography in Paris with a solo show. His photographic researches, fuelled by questions on reality and its limitations, are generated from his wandering through the virtual worlds of videogames. By oscillating between different practices, from journalistic and scientific pictures to classic and still-life painting, from Japanese engraving to cinema and science fiction, his images create ambiguity, reaching an interstice where individual and collective imagination meet fiction.
foam magazine # 36 talent
There is what we think of as reality (the world), and there is the reality shown in a photograph. And now you add the reality of the video, a simulacrum of part of our reality, another type of fake reality, just like a Hollywood movie about the war. Where does that lead us? More than a copy, I think that those worlds are showing archetypes, some idealized and mastered reality reproductions. In this world, every action is without consequences, time is a loop, the body can be raised at will, the nature world or the city is a simple frame to the action. My images reflect this reality fully domesticated and opens to contemplation. These photographs are a unique trip, delivering ambiguous presentations of these non-gaming areas. In your statement, you talk about an indifference you detected on the faces of the soldiers whose pictures you took. Can you say more about that? I'm curious about the implications given that these are characters in a computer game.
I'm curious about your choice of using video games. If your work focuses on war why not go to the war zone yourself? And if it's about photography itself, what do video games offer you? My work is an alternative reality, a parallel world. The world of video games in which I work is a filter. The games are created from reality. They are representations, a materialization of ideas: the idea of war, the idea of the soldier, the idea of courage, bravery, dexterity, the idea of landscape and city. When taking the position of a photojournalist what interests me is the disorder of the images I produce, the simple act of making real images of virtual worlds created by mirrors of reality. What interests me are the shifts: from real to virtual and virtual to real. What does your work tell us about the world? What can we learn from your work about how to engage with the virtual and the real? I don’t know if we need to find any morality or anything teaching us about the world in my work. For me it is more of a window into a strangely familiar elsewhere. Video games are world c hallenges, game, combat, quest, action. They are often mirrors of the society to which they belong. As an artist I'm interested in the structures that make up and define the universe. I love wandering through these spaces outside the action, exploring alone, outside of the true game and come back to reality with pictures. •
We should be suspicious of the satisfaction of immediate beauty. interview by Jörg M. Colberg Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? That is not a simple question. A good photograph is not only aesthetical, it must step beyond its subject and get into something else. I believe we should be suspicious of the satisfaction of imme diate beauty. I do not like an image that is too obvious. I love when it keeps the mystery and disorder. I am thinking about the work of Valérie Belin, Joan Fontcuberta and Pierre Huyghe. Do you think art should be political, that engages with bigger topics? I do not think that art should be absolutely engaged, but it can be. It takes a real motivation and a true intelligence to create an involved work. There is no political commitment in my work, even though I made portraits of soldiers and war landscapes. It’s primarily a questioning of the notion of reality.
I make my images using video games. I worked a lot with Call of Duty. In that game there is a tutorial space for the player, where he learns how to use the controls and guide his character. This space takes the form of a training camp in Afghanistan. You can find characters there with no other function than to dress the camp to make it credible. Those character robots are not guided by the players, they are programmed in a loops of from twenty seconds to a minute in which they play basketball, eat, talk, walk... then start again. It is these characters sets that I photographed. Their realism cracks once you become aware of the loop. Repetition breaks the illusion of their reality. Being faced with these characters is like encountering the same person many times in the street. This is both absurd and totally confusing. When I took those pictures, I asked myself if the emptiness of the characters would shine through the fixed plane of a photograph.
Sohei Nishino Diorama Map
Images (in order of appearance): Rio de Janeiro London I-Land Istanbul New York All images © Sohei Nishino Sohei Nishino (b. 1982, Japan) ongoing photographic series Diorama Map deals with the rapid cultural and economic changes that create a continuous process of amplification and accumulation in within cities. By walking through these selected locations, camera in hand, he captures fragmentary views that he later on combines, one by one, in accordance with his memories, arranging them into a subjective map. In addition to being featured in important venues such as the Festival Images in Vevey and the Out of Focus exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London (2012), A Different Kind of Order: ICP Triennial at ICP in NY (2013), his images are part of various collections among others: Louis Vuitton, the Statoil and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of photography. Sohei is represented by Michael Hoppen Gallery in London, and lives and works in Tokyo.
All interview to the photographers have been made by Jörg M. Colberg. Jörg M. Colberg (b. 1968, Germany) is a writer, photographer, and educator. Since its inception in 2002, his website Conscientious (http://cphmag.com) has become one of the most widely read and influential blogs dedicated to contemporary fine-art photography. In addition to publishing writing online, articles/essays by Jörg have been published in photography and design magazines (British Journal of Photography, Creative Review, Chinese Photography Magazine, FOAM Magazine, and more) and photographers’ monographs (Hellen van Meene’s Tout Va Disparaitre, Greg Girard’s In The Near Distance, Andrés Marroquín Winkelmann’s Conditions). Jörg is also a Professor for Photography at Hartford Art School.
foam magazine # 36 talent
Let me start off with a simple question. What makes a good photograph? What distinguishes a good photo from a bad photo? I think the differences between processes of creating the work determine whether it’s a good photo or a bad photo. Of course every photo reflects the artist’s philosophy, and it depends on what kind of time the artist has spent and the path the artist took. That makes all the difference. In an age when we have high-resolution satellite images, when Google has been photographing every street in many major cities, why do you make these dioramas? How did you come up with the idea? The background of this idea was in my university days, when I often climbed up the fire escapes of tall buildings, almost like escaping from reality and the frustration I felt at that time. Up there, I could feel like I was floating, and this unreality could make me forget about everything. I then started to collect the views from there with a camera, and I stuck them into a notebook and made postcards. I started to feel like broadening the area. I wanted to start mapping the city. The first piece was in Osaka, my own home town. I was very impressed that by walking around the city and through the point of view of creating this work, I could capture the size of the city and feel the distance between the location and myself which I hadn’t realized before. I still have the passion that I first felt and experienced when I took a trip to Ohenro, as a pilgrimage around 88 temples. I would like to develop this series as a life’s work. So I think in the act of visiting each city there is an element of pilgrimage, and it is also a meditation for me. I feel like I’m discovering a new phase of myself through this act of visiting, and maybe I also see myself in the city. There have been gradual changes in my project as it has evolved. It is very important for me to see the changes.
The amount of work that goes into a single picture must be staggering. Can you talk a little bit about the process? How many pictures do you take in each city, and how long does it take you to make a single diorama from the source images? How do you even keep all the photographs organized before a diorama is made? There are several steps in the process of Diorama Map, and I can say it is almost like a triathlon for me. First of all I walk around the city as if I am scanning it, and then I climb up to the highest place where I can command a wide view. Then I buy a map of the city. If they also have antique maps I sometimes get one of those too, to compare how the city has changed on the map. I like collecting old maps. After that, I start shooting. If I need to get permission or make an appointment before shooting, I work on this. But for other places where I can just visit I go there with an assistant. The number of photographs I shoot depends on the cities. For example, for the latest map of New Delhi, I shot about 8000-9000 photos. I have been working on this series for ten years. I started with 1000-2000 photos for the first map, and it has gradually increased. After shooting, I go back to the studio in Tokyo and work on film processing and developing, printing in the darkroom to make contact sheets. Next I cut out each picture, one by one, and arrange almost all of them on a big board. When I’ve finished the making of the photo-collage, I bring the board into the studio, and take a photo
Where would you place yourself as a visual artist? Are these dioramas landscapes? I think I have several aspects in my work. Arranging the photos on the canvas is close to painting. Creating the map and observing the city is more like cartography. Putting different layers of time onto the canvas is more like sculpture. I finish it as a single photograph, because I want to confine my memory and the many layers of time into a photo, which enables me to flatten the time. Since I have great respect and sympathy for Tadataka Inō, who was the first person to create an ancient map of Japan, describing myself just as photographer may not be right word. Actually, for my future project I’m thinking of creating a map of Japan, too. So I also want to explore a different field. Especially since around the time when I made the Hong Kong Map, I’ve started to take photographs not only from a high place but also from eye level, and I’ve started to include many pictures, portraits and even photos of the underground and of interiors. These changes reflect and are proportional to the increase in communication with local people. I realize that it is important to know the people if I’m to try to capture their city, so I jumped into the city from the high place where I used to look at the view below. I see the city almost as a creature, and I think taking photos of the city is more like making a portrait of the city. So my conception and definition of the word ‘landscape’ has changed gradually from something which was more inorganic and consisted of a geographical view when I started this series. Now I think the landscape is not the only thing that captures the view and scenery. Everything is deeply related to the culture and history of a place, and to the people living there. This is something that we share and not just a point of view of one artist. •
I see the city almost as a creature. interview by Jörg M. Colberg of it by dividing it into about 12 parts, for close-up shots. Then I combine the parts into one image again and move on to printing on photographic paper. Normally it takes about three to four months to complete the process. I organize all the photos by writing down a little note of shooting location onto each film canister every time I finish shooting a roll. But beyond that, going through this process by hand is very important for me, because my memory gradually works through the physical process.
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Photobooks by Sebastian Hau
foam magazine # 36 talent
Melinda Gibson The Photograph as Contemporary Art
It’s astonishing to see how much con troversy can still be had around photog raphers using Google Street View, four years after Michael Wolf and Doug Rickard (and others of course) made their first artistic statements on the matter. Viktoria Binschtok uses the program both ways: after having taken photographs in the streets of New York, she may retake the same corners or fa çades on the internet or, having found and photographed intriguing spots online, she photographs them again on site, pairing the images afterwards. Her practice is one of abstraction: she doesn’t exactly clean up the images, but she takes away information, concentrating on her subjects – fleeting encounters and an electric atmosphere, lightly Hitchcockian. You feel Yoko Ono could turn up any moment. In 2011 Edgar Lewiejewski reacted to the streets of New York City in a similar way, tuning images taken from Google Street View even further, to give them a painting-like look. Viktoria Binschtok doubles and mirrors her encounters, sometimes using the repudiating look of walls in the streets as a backdrop, sometimes making them her subject. Binschtok’s sequence of pairs evokes texts from the heart of the post-mod ern debate by Italo Calvino in his book Invisible Cities – about endless possibili ties and realities, without making us carry the historical ballast.
This handmade artist’s book refers, in content and title, to a volume originally published in 2004 by Charlotte Cotton that presents an overview of a new generation of photographers who entered the art market in the nineties. It was first published as a softcover, at an affordable price and presented a broad, international choice of photographers. It went on sale a couple of months before several other books that were published with the same aims. Melinda Gibson has cut out the photographs used as illustrations in the original book The Photograph as Contemporary Art, and assembled col lages that are not quite surrealist. Her book presents the text pages without the photographs along with her own puzzling and colourful explorations of space and dimension, with figures that seem to either embrace or fight. Think John Stezaker reworking Egyptian movie posters. Also, a few years ago, Ken Schles published his New History of Photography in which, by selecting his own photographs, he echoed and commented on the historical illustra tions in Beaumont Newhall’s book from 1934. In a lucid essay he cast doubt on the conventional notions of originality and influence that governed the cur rent discourse in photography, while taking a modest yet firm position in which he defended the visual permea bility of the photographer. Melinda Gibson’s work feels as precise and exploratory as her elegant book, and her investigation of the holes and creation of new ones provide ample food for thought.
Those who caught a glimpse of colour images by this grand master of photog raphy, or had seen a copy of Berner Blitz, the legendary book from Dino Simonett Publishing where in which these images appeared for the first time, eagerly anticipated an extended selection. The Swiss photographer made some of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century, but he has only recently acknowledged that for a long time he has been carrying a camera loaded with colour film with him. Now Phaidon has published a large volume of over 200 colour images from all over the world, most of them dating back to the seventies. This overwhelming mass of photographs is stitched together by a concealed hand: the predominant colour of the first im ages is green, followed by blue, red and orange. Although there’s an index pro viding context, history and stories, this is a true coffee table book, inviting the reader to aimlessly wander through its pages or to look at it in good company, marvelling at the photographs and the anecdotes and insights they provide.
Distanz /Verlag ISBN 9783954760176
Self Published with Lucid-Ly 2012 No ISBN
Phaidon ISBN 9780714864969
Viktoria Binschtok World of Details
René Burri René Burri: Impossible Reminiscences
Koji Onaka Twin Boat
Chris Coekin The Altogether
Piergiorgio Casotti Sometimes I cannot smile
Going back to the subject of his first book, work and the working class, British photographer Chris Coekin has self-published The Altogether, a production of impressive quality. Reconstructing scenes from propagan da photography with workers as mo dels and using a flash against a dark background, he creates photographs suspended between layers of time. Our visual knowledge will be activated by recognizing the original motifs stemming from paintings or photog raphs. But then we are confronted with actual people, actual bodies striking heroic poses, often so superhuman that Coekin’s subjects fit into them awkwardly. In the second part of the book, Coekin photographs industrial tools, again in the setting of factories, posing them on strange surfaces, slimy chemicals or unrecognizable machines.
The photographer describes his ex periences of travelling in Greenland as charming and scary. There is a strange feeling of unease, starting with the stencil on the book’s cover. Among the photographs taken, those of Inuit communities, featuring children at play, portraits, and scenes that might have been inspired by Tobias Zielony or Larry Clark, possess an undertone of danger. The book is a marvellous object, co-designed by Chiara Capodici and Fiorenza Pinna of the Tre-Terzi (3/3) project in Rome, beautifully printed on Muncken paper in light shades of blackand-white, with inserts and maps. The sequencing of the photographs is inter esting and varied, complemented by textual information. One quickly for gets that this is a self-published book and slides into a larger and more com plex story, told in 168 pages.
Ten years after the German edition of the book Slow Boat by Schaden, the new American publisher Session run by Miwa Susuda, has published a book similar in form and content that could accompany the sold-out original like a younger and more romantic sister. The peripatetic photographer Onaka has always been sentimental, and admired for his quiet landscape photographs from all over Japan, but people have never featured greatly in his work. This edition presents new material: couples advance towards the camera under a rainy sky seen from the inside of a train carriage, a sad actress looks out from a movie poster, or a couple sits on stairs that descend towards a river that flows in an indeterminate direction. Including Onaka’s modest and poetic text, this wonderful book confirms his place as a bookmaker yet to be discovered by the art market.
Self Published ISBN 9780955596216
Self Published with 3/3 ISBN 9788890869501
Session Press No ISBN
Missed an issue? You can order back issues of Foam Magazine online. The earliest editions of Foam Magazine doubled as exhibition catalogues. 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. A timeless collectors-item, a source of inspiration and reflection, containing over a hundred pages of photography featuring a specific theme.
foam magazine # 36 talent
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#35 Lust Antoine d'Agata / Maxime Ballesteros / Larry Clark / Jacqueline Hassink / Mao Ishikawa / Paul Kooiker & Erik Kessels / Rico & Michael / Martin Stöbich
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#26 Happy Yeondoo Jung / Thomas Mailaender / Henze Boekhout / Olivia Bee / Ruth van Beek / Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky / Jaimie Warren / Inge Morath
Foam enables people all over the world to experience and enjoy photography, whether it’s at our museum in Amsterdam, on the website, via our internationally distributed magazine or in our E ditions department. The heart of Foam is located in the centre of Amsterdam, in the museum on the K eizersgracht. Here we schedule a varied programme of exhibitions including world-famous photographers as well as young or undiscovered talent. Large-scale exhibitions alternate with small, quickly changing shows. We also organise a dynamic programme of lectures, discussions, guided tours, workshops and special events. Open daily 10:00 – 18:00, Thu⁄Fri 10:00 – 21:00
foam magazine #â€‰36 talent Montana, 2008, from the series America by Car ÂŠ Lee Friedlander, Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery
Lee Friedlander America by Car 13 September – 11 December 2013
The automobile has come to symbolise the American dream and the associated urge for freedom. Cars play a central role in the series America by Car and The New Cars 1964 by renowned American photographer Lee Friedlander, now receiving their first showing in the Netherlands at Foam.
The New Cars 1964 is a much older series. Friedlander had been commissioned by Harper’s Bazaar to photograph all the new models of automobile introduced in 1964. Rather than placing them centrally and showing them to best advantage, Friedlander decided to set the cars in the most banal of locations, in front of a furniture store or in a scrap yard for instance. Although it was rejected at the time by the magazine's editorial board on the grounds that the images were not attractive enough, The New Cars 1964 has come to be regarded as an exceptionally significant historical and social document. Born in the United States in 1934, Lee Friedlander first came into contact with photography at the age of 14. Friedlander has maintained an obsessive focus on the portrayal of the American social landscape. His breakthrough in the eyes of the wider public came with the New Documents exhibition at the MoMA in 1967, where his work was presented alongside that of Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand. He published more than twenty books. His work has been shown at many venues around the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the MoMA in New York, San Francisco's SFMOMA, the MAMM in Moscow and the National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen. •
America by Car documents Friedlander's countless wanderings around the United States over the past decade. In this he follows a trail laid down by numerous film makers, writers like Jack Kerouac and photographers like Robert Frank and Stephen Shore. Friedlander nevertheless succeeds in giving the theme of the American road trip his own very original twist, using the cars' windscreens and dashboards to frame the familiar American landscape, as well as exploiting the reflections found in their wing and rear view mirrors. He also has a sharp eye for the ironic detail. His images are so layered that new information continues to surface with every glance, making America by Car a unique evocation of contemporary America.
foam magazine #â€‰36 talent
Elevated Pots, 2011 ÂŠ Peter Puklus
Peter Puklus Handbook to the stars 13 September – 13 November 2013
Freed from any photographical conventions, Puklus works according to his own logic and interests, shifting naturally between genres, themes and media. In his studies of shapes we encounter fragile constructions, as well as objects to which he has made sometimes simple, sometimes radical alterations with an eye for the interplay of lines and geometric shapes. Like in the studio, his search for formal and three-dimensional aspects is also evident when he takes photographs in natural and urban e nvironments. Where necessary, he exchanges the static for the moving image, combines positive and negative images, and alternates black and white with colour. This exhibition is a representation of how all these aspects coexist in Puklus’ universe of images. •
With his publication Handbook to the Stars (2012) as starting point for the eponymous 3h exhibition, the Hungarian artist Peter Puklus (1980) attempts to portray his own universe and to provide insight into how his photographic works relate to each other: like galaxies in relative proximity to one another that are bound together by their own gravitational force. The images function alongside each another and through one another, have no sequence or chronology, but exist individually even as they form interconnections and follow their own patterns.
Framed in Print 40 years of Dutch Magazine Photography 10 October – 11 December 2013
foam magazine # 36 talent
This exhibition presents a retrospective of forty years of photography for leading Dutch magazines by five photographers: C. Barton van Flymen, Bart van Leeuwen, Boudewijn Neuteboom, Bart Nieuwenhuijs and Peter van der Velde. They were seminal in providing imagery to the lifestyle magazines of those days. Their work in c ommission for magazines as Avenue, Elegance, AvantGarde and Nieuwe Revu has had major influences on advertising and fashion photography in the Netherlands. Typical magazine themes such as documentary, food, fashion, interior, travel, portrait and sport are presented: from Belize to Bhutan, from California to Korea, from Chanel to Gaultier, from Marco van Basten to Candy Dulfer and from Kemper chicken to Kings crab. Without having lost its power or significance, the images in this exhibition will be a feast of recognition. •
Boudewijn Neuteboom, Teneur Zwart, Avenue November 1969
Cristina De Middel The Afronauts 13 September – 11 December 2013 In 1964, the Zambian school teacher Edward Makuka Nkoloso started a space program that would put the first African on the moon to catch up with the USA and the Soviet Union in the space race. The financial aid never arrived and the heroic initiative turned into a minor exotic episode of African history. Photographer Cristina De Middel (1975, Spain) took this fact from fifty years ago as the starting point for her project The Afronauts. She reconstructed the story and adapted it to her personal imagery. De Middel combines staged photography with copies of typed-out letters and reproductions of vintage photographs. The book The Afronauts was shortlisted for the Aperture First Photobook of 2012. Cristina De Middel has recently been nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013. • 264
Iko Iko, from the series The Afronauts, 2012 © Cristina De Middel
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SET 10 FROM THE COLLECTION
Big Cypress National Preserve | Everglades, Florida | Dylan Johnston ‘13
What story will you show the world? Develop the power of your own photographic voice in the Photography and Digital Imaging Program at Ringling College. • Four-Year Intensive Bachelor Program • Affiliation with The International Center of Photography, New York • Professional Project Opportunities
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Colophon Issue #36, Fall 2013 Editor-in-chief Marloes Krijnen Creative Director Pjotr de Jong (Vandejong) Editors Marcel Feil, Pjotr de Jong, Elisa Medde, Marloes Krijnen Managing Editor Elisa Medde On My Mind Editorial Assistant Eva Bremer Editorial Intern Myrabelle Charlebois Magazine Management Mirjam Lingen, Lout Coolen
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Contributing Writers Tim Clark, Jörg M Colberg, Marcel Feil, Sebastian Hau Copy Editor Pittwater Literary Services: Rowan Hewison Translation Liz Waters
The seventh annual Talent issue of Foam Magazine presents the editors' selection of sixteen outstanding photographic projects distilled from...