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Issue 9: Start Digging


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9 ISSUE

Mutated Landscape Charles Bouchaib Pay Phones Dominic Bugatto CMYK Jose Camara New Vesuvian Landscapes Gigi Cifali Road Ends in Water Eliot Dudik Snowpark Philippe Fragnière (Un)Intended Targets William LeGoullon Traces Valentina Marcucci Dispatches from the Confluence Aaron Owens Strange Paradise Charlie Rubin And more...

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Welcome to the ninth issue of VIEW Magazine

When I begin to review work for the next issue of VIEW, I let my eyes lead me around (usually the internet) and see what comes my way. Sometimes, when I can manage to keep my mind open, the results can be quite surprising and I find that I select work that perhaps a few months before I would not have chosen. It’s in this issue then that I think we have achieved such a wide selection that it is a testimony to the power photography can have on us to open (or change) our minds. From William LeGoullon’s studio shots of items he found in the Arizona desert, first abused and used for target practice then gradually morphed into beautiful sculpture; through Aaron Owens’ research into public archives where he finds aerial photos that he meticulously collects into an array of patterns; to looking through the dreamly sensitive eyes of Valentina Marcucci - just a sample of some of the diverse work we’ve collected in this latest issue. This is an issue to soak in section by section, image by image; to reflect on what we do as artists and humans and enjoy what the world around us doesn’t cease to provide - endless inspiration to so many talented people. Happy viewing, Alon


Statement: Having returned to St. Louis, Missouri after a 6 year stay in Northern California I have become absorbed by the relearning of my hometown. This collection grew from a design experiment exploring the scale, variety and patterns of barges on the Mississippi River. It has expanded over time into an exploration of the region as a whole. All images are derived from public baselayer files made available by The East-West Gateway Council of Governments. All Locations are within 20 miles of St. Louis. dispatchesfromtheconfluence.tumblr.com

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Aaron Owens Dispatches from the Confluence


(Un)Intended Targets Traditionally the term desert has referenced a place that is deserted, without people, and unpopulated. However, now, more than ever, the idea of an empty landscape is far less accurate. Raised in the Phoenix area, William LeGoullon has developed a personal obsession with and appreciation for these transformative spaces. He believes that while we shape this land, nature continues to co-sculpt along side us and his works act as reflections on the inherent contemporary symbolism and continually challenged identities found within the southwest. Intermittently exploring how artifacts provide context to environment, he builds narratives concerned with the symmetry in nature and the human experience. By questioning concepts of permanence he is consistently attracted to the conscious and unconscious realities of what this desert stage provides. williamlegoullon.com

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(un)Intended Targets

William LeGoullon


SNOWPARK Philippe Fragnière The “SNOWPARK” project proposes an analysis of landscapes modified by human intervention. An undefined landscape, dotted by the presence of functional ephemeral objects, which acquire by the eye of the camera, an hybrid status halfway between architecture and sculpture. Although they are dedicated to a specific use and built without any sculptural intention, these structures suggest definite relationships with land art or minimalism. These objects are voluntarily shown at the same time without any elements able to indicate their size in order to generate an oscillation of the perception; as well as in a distorted way to reveal few elements, but nonetheless a lot of material. This transposition can result in a transformation of these objects in structures which could formally belong to the “art piece” register, while showing how these same objects generate an estheticisation of the alpine landscape; a landscape transfigured by shapes inspired by urban patterns. www.philippefragniere.ch

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Philippe Fragnière


Road Ends in Water Change is descending upon an otherwise quiet, unhurried, unobtrusive, place. The main highway, U.S. Route 17, that bisects South Carolina’s “lowcountry,” north to south, is being widened to accommodate commerce, tourists, and urban refugees. Not only many homes, some historic, disappearing before the tracked blades of expansion, but also the new, faster thorough-fare encourages greater disregard and obliviousness to the charm and culture the basin harbors. This collection of images and thoughts is a tribute to, and an acknowledgement of, the respect the modest souls of this region, obscure from the mainstream, deserve for their tenacity, good humor, social commitment, and acceptance of the ebb and flow of the often incomprehensible vagaries of existence. A photographic adventure became an artistic journey and culminated in a unique awakening to an otherwise overlooked cultural phenomenon. While the road ends in water, it began there as well. – Eliot Dudik is a fine art photographer, currently exploring Southern culture and landscape in a large format documentary style. His first monograph, Road Ends in Water, was published in 2010. – eliotdudik.com Buy the Road Ends in Water book: eliotdudik.com/book

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Road Ends in Water

Eliot Dudik


New Vesuvian Landscapes Sites are intrinsic to human nature, an inseparable part of our life. A place belongs to us and we possess it; because the inhabitant represents the quintessential practice of living in any tangible space. A place is self-defining, and one of its peculiarities is in its ability to interact with the surrounding space and its users. The interaction between man and environment is one of designated unity. A place is a living space in which past and present, memory and future should all coexist and complement each other. However, in contemporary reality, we found that these assertions could be more often refuted. The situation documented by Gigi Cifali in this photographic series offers a broad look at the symbolic paradox of the identifying characteristics of place. We are at the foot of Vesuvius; a volcano dormant since 1944, a national park since 1995, and home to several archaeological UNESCO sites. This is a notorious volcano, not only for its unique landscape, but also for the human tragedies it has dispensed in the past. For some time, Vesuvius has been the sole guardian of itself as well as the surrounding nature, which has been allowed to grow undisturbed. It is a site enjoyed for centuries by international tourists for its historical sites that are without comparison, and for the Grand Tour, popular among artists and the public. A world-renowned site, one might rightly say. Nevertheless, today the area is experiencing a turnaround, whereby a dialogue is missing with nature, and with history. And if we look to its future, we are faced with uncertainty, and danger. The troubled context of the volcano has not permitted human settlement for centuries, but the recent inactivity has led to abusive exploitation by allowing increasing overbuilding throughout the lower area. The result is a sprawling settlement, against all logic and rules: the security, the preservation of the environment and the identity of the place. Palazzos and villas, hotels and restaurants all lay their foundations on the shaky ground of Vesuvius. An everyday existence populates the magma pathways, which have been shaped through centuries of eruptions. The veneration of rules concerning the preservation of the environment is non-existent. In the meantime, trusting in luck and building amnesties, people continue to build new homes. The government builds as well: the largest hospital in the south of Italy now lies partly in the red zone, despite warnings from a plethora of volcanologists that it is the world highest risk area. In case of eruption escape routes would be impractical, the decongestion plan is totally rejected, overwhelmed by the undisciplined abusive of the land. People challenge the volcano, the government also. All remain on hold. The Gigi Cifali shots series depict a fatalistic and deeply abnormal present. However, we are far from the traditional reportage. In these photos the reflection of the phenomenon goes beyond the documentation. Vesuvius is not just a chronicle of abused land. The same identity of the place is ignored; we are faced with a chronic illegality that goes against the basic purpose of architecture as proposed by Norberg-Schulz. The building is not characterized to develop the place, and absurdly, given the high-risk situation, we are also confronted with the abolition of the concept of living. The constructions that arise are not only out of the norm, but also extremely poor, almost not proper homes. It is a proliferation of unfinished buildings that seem to have been born by parthenogenesis. Their major characteristic becomes this temporary, precarious sense of urgency; they are provisional buildings expressed in an illogical form of construction. The impression is one of never being finished, due to the uncontrolled and inconsistent development: the landscape is uneven, slippery. The normal perception of space and time is disrupted by this acceleration, and empty suspensions. The experience of time, in parallel to that of space, expands and contracts according to the swirling rhythms of construction and demolition. This place no longer seems to be master of its own image. The work of Gigi Cifali aims at the recovery of these places. Suspended in time, bridled in circular forms, the scenarios represented seek to regain the dignity of the landscape. They are fixing in time what in reality is close to collapse.Represented as souvenirs of our time, these classically cut photos depict architectural eyesores, emerging from the surroundings with confidence and audacity. At the same time, the images seek to describe the heedless and precarious attitude of those who live in them. “People die with the explosion of bombs, floods: here we have Vesuvius, and we hold on to him� - said a lady in an interview. Paradoxically behind this attitude, there is also a deep love for this land and the landscape. What mechanism will develop the overall handling and destruction is not explained by a single fact: there is the urgency of living, there is poverty, there is the Camorra, there is the State itself ... all these things are enough to explain, if not justify this situation. There seems to be an underlying feeling that everything is legitimate, an ambiguous culture that these pictures also describe. There is a classic beauty in these images, a romantic view of the Grand -Tour and at the same time a representation of reality, which is a condemnation only of the given facts. The rest is just life; among debris, rubbish, waste and contaminated nature. These photos could be the visual memories of a journey to hang in the parlor, with their circularity reminiscent of plates painted with striking panoramas. Because the evocativeness remains, it lingers in the deviation of a new reality made of contrasts now incorporated, and digested. www.gigicifali.com

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New Vesuvian Landscapes

Gigi Cifali


CMYK “CMYK” starts from the experimentation with an uncommon material. A curtain of strips was built from a toner consisting of cellophane tape with cyan, magenta, yellow and black colors. Then that curtain was located on several sites to observe how the tapes changed the surface of both the landscape, objects and people, as the colored light fell upon them. Jose Cámara works with different media, ranging from photography and collage to illustration. The author’s photographs, incidentally found material, and his own family’s album constitute the raw material for new images challenging the viewer’s mind and prejudices. www.josecamara.com

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Jose Camara CMYK


Charles Bouchaib Initially, it is the journey or the loitering that allows me to enjoy a form of naivety. This enables me to capture a distinct reality, to increase acuteness of eye. I use this form of state-perception as soon as I take pictures. This is an intuitive process where I aim to capture an attractive and aesthetic emotion. It can be handsome, weird or astounding. My project is built around a dialectic between the rational and the sensitive. Relearn to observe nature inspires me. Without trying to celebrate it, I want to make pictures where it appears beautiful or threatening. I try to explore the limits of our perception of reality through vegetal and mineral matter. Mutations in small and large scales generated by globalization and standardization interest me to. They go beyond us, but concern us. Without addressing them directly, these issues fuel my reflections. Sometimes, this leads me to identify the legacy’s symbols of a crippled urbanism. www.charlesbouchaib.com

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Mutated Landscape Charles Bouchaib


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Traces Valentina Marcucci


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Strange Paradise Charlie Rubin


‘What was once the height of communication technology a century ago has quickly become a makeshift stand for discarded beverages and a post-it note for bored taggers. They seem to still thrive in the underground & subways, that is until the big telecommunication companies figure out a way to get signals down there, and that day is soon approaching I’m sure. When I first started photographing the pay phones, I did it in a very formal, straight ahead manner. This worked for a while and kept things consistent but I eventually found it limiting and not telling the whole story. Their surroundings and situations became more a part of the visual equation and the story. They also seemed to have their own distinct personalities. The images were becoming more or less ‘portraits’. There was a socio economic trend I was noticing too, the crappier the ‘hood’, the more there were kicking around. Democratization of the technology I guess. Everyone has a smartphone glued to their head now, and for the most part these old pay phones remain unnoticed by vast majority of people. – Dominic Bugatto was born in Bradford, England and spent his formative years growing up in the West end of Montreal. He works primarily as an illustrator and designer. Some of his clients have included: The New York Times, Wall St Journal, Vanity Fair & Details & The Village Voice. He photographs both in the digital format and with vintage film cameras. dominicbugattophotography.com

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Pay Phones Dominic Bugatto


Issue 9

Editor Alon Koppel

Contributors in this issue Charles Bouchaib Dominic Bugatto Jose Camara Gigi Cifali Eliot Dudik Philippe Fragnière William LeGoullon Valentina Marcucci Aaron Owens Charlie Rubin

Editorial Assistance Melissa Weaver Research Rodney Olson Design Alon Koppel

Copyright Information All the materials in VIEW are copyrighted by the respective artists.

Published by FusionLab, Inc., www.fusionlab.com

VIEW is published quarterly by FusionLab, Inc.

Typography Helvetica, Akzidenz Grotesk, Frutiger and Steson.

Copyright Š 2011-2014. No responsibility can be accepted for unsolicited content.

Production While no paper was used during the production of this magazine, plenty of electrons were bounced around.

Social twitter: @fusionlab facebook: on.fb.me/viewzine

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VIEW Magazine - Issue 9