INTERNATIONAL EDITION NO. 10 VOL. 2
THE BECHERS SAYA WOOLFALK LORENZO VITTURI HEIDI ZUCKERMAN HRVOJE SLOVENC JOHN CYR THOMAS DOZOL KEVIN TACHMAN JEMIMA STEHLI KATHY RYAN MIcHeL BERNARDAUD CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI HAROLD LEE MILLER ADAM MAGYAR
AND A COLLECTION OF EMERGING ARTISTS
INTERNATIONAL EDITION NO. 10 vol. 2
Founder / Editor in Chief Andrea Blanch Creative Director Sam Shahid Art Director Matthew Kraus Publication Director Marsin MOGIELSKI Editorial Directors Ellen Schweber, Ann Schaffer
GUEST CURATORs Oliver Chanarin & Adam Broomberg, Hank Willis Thomas
MANAGING EDITOR JOHN HUTT Photo Editor Tatiana Kiseleva WRITERS / EDITORS DIANA MOTT, Cory Rice, Nora Landes, Ashley Minyard retoucherS Lena Nicholson, Maricela Magana
MUSéE TEAM Hallie Turner, Deborah Baik, Bella Klycheva, Gonzalo del Peon, Eliana Volante, Emma Frank, Po Ho, Kate marin
Website www.museemagazine.com Email info@museemagazine Facebook facebook.com/museethemagazine Twitter twitter.com/MuseeMagazine Tumblr museemagazine.tumblr.com behance behance.net/Museemagazine instagram instagram.com/museemagazine pintrest pinterest.com/museemagazine/boards linkedin linkedin.com/pub/musée-magazine/42/3b4/ba4 vimeo vimeo.com/museemagazine
Cover Image: Kevin Tachman. from the series Overexposed.
©2014 MUSÉE MAGAZINE. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED.
INTERNATIONAL EDITION NO. 8 VOL. 1
INTERNATIONAL EDITION NO. 10 vol. 2
by Andrea Blanch
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT III
EMERGING ARTISTS XII
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT IV
EMERGING ARTISTS XIII
EMERGING ARTISTS XIV
harold lee miller
EMERGING ARTISTS XV
EMERGING ARTISTS XVI
EMERGING ARTISTS XVII
EMERGING ARTISTS XVIII
EMERGING ARTISTS XIX
EMERGING ARTISTS XX
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT V
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT V
by Andrea Blanch ASHKAN HANOVAR
by CORY RICE
GUSTAVO MURILLO, ANNA HICKEY
by JOHN HUTT
lara atallah, leon chew
by nora landes
Jannecke Lønne Christiansen
by ashley minyard
patrick morarescu, nancy newberry by Andrea Blanch
georgia metaxas, ellen jantzen
by Andrea Blanch
alicia collins, jonathan rochart by cory rice
katherine phipps, nina moysi
alex falcao, guy tzaraf
by john hutt
heather cantrell, garret huxley by cory rice formento + formento
by Andrea Blanch
by john hutt
MUSÉE MAGAZINE. established 2011.
E D I TO R ’ S L E T T E R Ritual marks an important time for Musée; it’s our tenth issue, and our three year anniversary! I’m incredibly proud of everything we have published over those years, but it continues to surprise me how much time it takes to get an issue out! So, thank you, readers, for your patience, but what unfolds inside is worth the wait. Until I see the final lay-out I worry about the choices I’ve made and how the issue will come together, but then I see the lay out and I feel not only relief, but joy and excitement. To our Creative Director, Sam Shahid and Art Director, Matthew Kraus, I adore you and I applaud you for an incredible issue! Over these three years we have stayed our course as a visually exciting and substantive journal, and we have never lost sight of our vision to provide a venue for emerging talent, while hopefully continuing to broaden the photographic community. Ritual is an epic issue, not only in size but in scope. This stems from a fundamental disagreement that I had with the managing editor here, John Hutt. John views ritual as magic; something theurgical that gives us power, real or imagined. I view ritual as a routine, something that is done on a daily basis, something that without, life just does not seem correct. My personal ritual has changed a lot since I was a freelancer. These days I have to get up early, make myself an espresso then settle down at a computer and work on the magazine all day. Musée has become my daily ritual, it’s my passion. To fuel this argument through images and words we have 23 artists, 4 industry insiders, 1 master, and 2 guest curators. Weighing in at 352 pages the online version is divided into two Volumes, while the printed version will be a single issue. Vol.2 has 12 established artists including The Masters, two industry insiders and a collection of emerging artists. We start off with Kevin Tachman whose multiple layers of fashion shows have altered the way one looks at the ritual of shooting the runway. His dynamic images explode with color and movement, which has become his signature style. We end with John Cyr’s Developer Trays which not only reminds us of analog ways and days but of a time when alchemy played a much bigger role in the ritual of the darkroom & the photographic process. Our masters for this issue are The Bechers. They are responsible for an entire school of photography, the Dusseldorf School, that includes Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Candida Höfer, Thomas Demand, Thomas Struth, and others. Our industry insiders include Heidi Jacobson The CEO, Director and Chief Curator at the Aspen Art Museum one of the few museums in the United States modeled after the Kunsthalle which exhibits art but doesn’t own a permanent collection. Also Michele Bernaudaud whose “la table d’ artistes” series which use artists images for tableware is the first in a feature on functional art that Musée would like to continue on a regular basis. Because of the scope of this issue we have a new section: Artist Spotlight. The idea being that there are simply so many artists whose great work illustrates our theme we could not possibly do features on them all, but we wanted to have their work represented. As for the artists, their work spans genres and ritual, dealing with rituals about everything from: death, food, bathing, sports, dancing, and religion to deep fried candy. All told I am delighted with Ritual, and how Musée has evolved. Enjoy!
Opposite: Harold Lee Miller. Jesse Bollenbucher. (Detail)
K e v i n Tac h m a n felicitous duplicity
Andrea Blanch: We view the runway show as a ritual, and you are part of all aspects, from behind the scenes, to execution, to the after party — how are you involved in the ritual? Kevin Tachman: It was never my goal to be a photographer. I came into fashion and photography as an outsider. I came from being in the music industry for many years. It wasn’t something I pursued directly, I picked it up late and took it where it led me, which was fashion. I was even more of an outsider to that world, but I was definitely always a part of the pop culture world. AB: What attracted you to runway? KT: I have a pretty kinetic eye—I like action. I like movement. My first real job was taking pictures on tour with the band Scissor Sisters. My job was to capture the essence of each show and tell the story. “I feel like I was there.” That’s what my goal is, that’s what I want people to take-away from the photos. Storytelling even in the abstract is a big driving factor in how I shoot and edit something. AB: I was curious as to how you came to your photographic approach for some of the Spring / Summer 2014 collections. What is your technique when layering with different exposures? KT: I was working with vogue.com, they were giving me my own photo features and an opportunity to cover the shows in a different way. And it’s sort of an adage in photography to “only take the photograph that you can take,” meaning, try to do something that’s unique to you, otherwise what is the point? So I wondered how I could make this different, yet still have it be exciting for me. Doing the same thing after a while you get a little tired of the subject matter, despite how good it is. The multiple exposure idea came to me as a different way to show the hectic pace and visuals involved in a fashion show. I have never really shot film, so doing it in camera is the closest thing to film developing. Nothing is composed in the sense that I can take a face and put it here, or I’m going to put this light here. It makes me get excited when I get the shot even more so, because the results are a surprise. AB: You never see this technique used to document fashion shows. What inspires you? KT: It went from “These photos can only be in this style gallery” to “Oh, we can use these for anything; these are cool images.” It became something more accepted, and it worked. They can be a little too complicated for their own good to show clothes or details, but people know it is a part of the repertoire now. It sets me apart, as part of the challenge is just being a part of the backstage circus. Until people see what you do, you’re just one of the other guys. People won’t invite you until they know that your work is cool and different, and that you can make things look better than the standard approach. Portrait by Anna Stokland. All images from the series Overexposed.
AB: So do you primarily shoot in multiple exposures? KT: The show only lasts up to seven or eight minutes, so you have to pick and choose what you’re able to do. Multiple exposures aren’t always the best way to capture a moment. When I know something is not going to look good I don’t bother. Other people have done multiple exposures, so… I try to make it a little more special if I can. There’s one shot that’s on my Instagram that I did for Prada Menswear, and it’s one I could never do again. I call them the “Moon Shots,” there’s no way the light or the angle will line up again the same way. AB: Yes, I saw one that looked like a body was split in half and heads were on bottom with a white background. Who was that for? KT: That was for Opening Ceremony. It was one of those shots where I was like, “Wow. That is so cool.” I just did Dior Homme and there were some elements from the floor and I put the men as they walked. I’ve been doing this a while and I still get excited about certain things, such as when I’m able to create something out of nothing and honor the elements. It’s not so randomly abstract that it separates from its original intent. It works within the concept of fashion and still can be something really cool. AB: Being that you’ve developed this technique, but you also do backstage, do you prefer one to the other? KT: Backstage is part of the story, but it becomes challenging to tell a different story without repeating yourself. It’s like shooting the same locker room everyday; it’s the same thing every time, so I challenge myself to make newer images. I’m lucky that I get to do that. Nobody’s ever really directed me in my career specifying what they want and what to do, which is great. AB: Let’s say that fashion photography is somewhere between capturing the moment of a performance, an image accentuating the clothes. On your runway shows, how far can you remove yourself from showing simply the clothing to show the spectacle and idea behind the show? KT: I don’t want to say that the clothes are secondary for what I shoot, but they are less important. Sometimes the model is the star, sometimes the room is the star, and sometimes the clothing is the star. It all depends on the look, on the complete feel and the lighting. Each show has its own element that really stands out that you want to highlight. Sometimes nothing is really that special, but that’s the way it is. I’m looking for the iconic moment—if someone only saw two of my pictures from the show, would they know what the show was about? And there are so many fashion shows, you can’t really take a small designer and make it something graphic, but their purpose is within the clothes. When the opportunity presents itself, that’s where my goal is. You have to hunt for it. I do my best not to phone it in and that is a challenge when you have been photographing for a while. AB: When someone calls and books you for a show, what is the first thing you think about? KT: I ask a lot of questions, like “What are your goals?” because I’m one of those people-pleaser guys, but it’s the collaboration. I want clients that want to hire me to do what I do, not to peg me onto what they need—that’s never a good marriage. I’m looking for the surprise in the image that doesn’t exist yet. AB: You are pretty prolific on Instagram—Now that it has been around for 3 years, how do you think it has changed the photography world, and what changes are to come? KT: I love it. I love it because I get to really follow people and learn. I have my heroes, and I went to art school, but my photographic vocabulary is very small compared to someone who went to school for it. I went to Syracuse. I was in the music industry until I was 35, so I knew everything about the music industry, but I didn’t grow up learning why Irving Penn was important—it wasn’t part of my education. I feel that Instagram has opened my eyes, and everyone has a valid point of view. I find it democratizes the art. AB: Has it helped your career? KT: I think so. I think it helped keep people aware of what I wanted to put out in the world, which I
think is good for me. I am very conscious of curating it so that I don’t waste people’s time. AB: How did you get your start in photography? KT: I picked up a pocket camera for my 30th birthday and went to Iceland. That was sort of the start of my love for photography. 4.1 megapixels, which was the highest at the time, and I just fell in love with it. I was working at MTV in the marketing department and had some opportunities to shoot bands as they came through, so I got a better camera and started shooting that way. I was shooting the Scissor Sisters and they decided to bring me on their tour. I went to a boot camp and stayed behind the scene, and that was my photo education: going around with them for 4 months. Then I realized, “Well I’m a photographer, and I need to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with my life.” I didn’t have a desk job anymore, but I had a lot of friends that told me I was doing what I was meant to be doing. They were very encouraging, and knew this was what made me happy. It’s a big leap to leave the security of a previous career and identity and have it become, “Oh, I’m a photographer.” People will always doubt that. But I was lucky, and people saw my potential and gave me opportunities. That told me that I was there for a reason. AB: How did you get your first job shooting fashion shows? KT: I was shooting through a friend who was doing PR for a bunch of shows and handling VIP, so I asked if I could get access. The first show I did was Heatherette, I was friendly with some people from there, and I knew there was potential. It’s funny now — I haven’t looked at those pictures in years, but I remember looking at all the nails and wondering “What is this?” I had no idea how anything worked at all behind the scenes of fashion. That’s what I mean about taking photos, you take a picture of nail polish on a table and that doesn’t tell a story. There are certain tropes of backstage or sports or whatever, and you don’t need to tell that story anymore. So I did that, and eventually I was doing more backstage for them, for their blog, and I can’t even remember if I was even getting paid. I did the Scissor Sister tours, I took a break, and I went to Sri Lanka. Then I did behind the scenes on a short film. And with those images I ended up getting a huge spread in the New York Times Magazine, which told me I was doing something right. That was a year after I quit my job, so it was definitely a huge deal for me. My goal was to do backstage stuff for T Magazine to get into their site, and they ended up calling. I shot for them for two seasons. In 2010 I started with the team at Vogue.com. You have to hustle, and that’s what I tell people. Nobody’s calling you; if you have a goal you keep on trying to get it. It’s a lot harder now in that there is so much noise; everyone’s got a camera. It’s really hard to have your voice come through because there are so many voices. Now people in the blogging world want photographers with personality and a point of view. They are hiring you not just for you, but also for your followers or because you bring an eye to it. There are a lot of different factors when it comes to creatives, not the bigger campaigns mind you, but it’s definitely a part of the hiring environment. There are a lot of girls who have hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram and their own blogs, and I’m sure a lot of people are paying for it now. They’re not looked down upon, they add to the conversation for other people on board because they reach the audience they want to reach. Once you want to chase that, for me, I have the followers I want to have, but the idea of the web-superstar just isn’t me. AB: Who do you think is a star that has big impact on the runway today? KT: I don’t know; that might get me in trouble. I have my favorite models. Joan Smalls, Cara Delevingne, and Karlie Kloss are all on the cover of Vogue, and they are really stars. They bring it in their own way to every show. Cara is very much personality, Karlie is very classic, and Joan is just beautiful and very funny - they’re all great girls. There are definitely girls that are your favorites that you just get on with and they make it fun to do my job. AB: What is ritualistic about the fashion show? KT: The best brands are religious, with religious iconography of their own version. It’s about creating that connection, that level. It can be as simple as one symbol that unifies the whole concept. Luxury
brands all have their own thing that makes people become attached to them. AB: What are some of the rituals behind the scenes? KT: As photographers coming in it’s as simple as just getting the lay of the land every time. Where is the hair and makeup? Where are the girls? Where’s the food? Because we’re starving! Where are we standing? Where are we allowed to be? Where are we not allowed to be? Set up here, do hair and makeup. There’s sort of an innate shot list that we have to cover the show. So there is that element of ritual to it. It’s definitely a repeated situation. AB: Do you edit your own photos? KT: I do a short edit, I would say some shows I shoot 600, sometimes 2000, sometimes I’ll shoot 1000, and I’ll send in 60 or 100 or 40, but it depends on the show or the girls. You never know which accessory or hair or girl is important until later. So you have to get a variety. What they want is sort of the essence. What are the really pretty takeaways that can tell the story? AB: Do you think you’ll go into video? KT: It’s not that I’m not a fan of video; it’s just that they’re two completely different things. Every time I pick up a video camera I want to take a picture. I just see the moment of the photo passing by and it drives me nuts. I want to click. I did one video actually - a stop action type thing from Valentino Couture. I was really happy with it, but it sort of bore itself out with the photos. This could be a really cool way to tell a story in an interesting way that you don’t normally see. That’s always the goal, how do you tell a story that’s been told a million times? That’s sort of the challenge. The wheel, you can’t reinvent the wheel but you can make it roll a different way.
Ashkan Hanover. Creed 2, from the series The Apple, 2013
Ashkan Hanover. Creed 3, from the series The Apple, 2013
Ashkan Hanover. Creed 5, from the series The Apple, 2013
Ashkan Hanover. Creed 8, from the series The Apple, 2013
Ashkan Hanover. Creed 6, from the series The Apple, 2013
Ashkan Hanover. Creed 7, from the series The Apple, 2013
J e m i m a Ste h li friends with benefits
CORY RICE: Your work is steeped in rituals of spectatorship. At the same time, there is a blurring of agency—whether it be in the act of creating or receiving the work. These dynamics are particularly tricky in the Strip series. Where would you position the gaze in those images? JEMIMA STEHLI: The gaze shifts between the knowledge that I have set the thing up, the very obvious element of the man looking at the woman, and then what it means from the outside to interpret those dynamics as an audience. But I get a bit tired of the question of the gaze. It’s an overly familiar way of describing things. Of course it is present in that work and in a way that work takes for granted those dialogues that were established in the ‘70s and ‘80s. CR: But is there more going on than looking? JS: There is always something that doesn’t carry over from the event to the way that it is represented. As viewers, you are left wondering what might have happened. So I think there are two different ways that you experience the work. Part of you is thinking about what it might have been like to be one of those people in that room and another part of you is seeing the structure of the image and where you are in relation to it. For me the work is also about desire—the desire to experience something, the desire to make something, and the desire to imagine what might have happened all mixed together. CR: How did you source the participants for the series? JS: They were all people I knew. They got their titles (Curator, Writer, etc) from their professional relationship with me. Each of them had invested in my work in some way or another either by buying, curating, or writing about it. They were the ones taking a risk on a piece of artwork that had an uncertain outcome. I think that some of the people who participated might have regretted doing so. CR: Your work seems to polarize critics. JS: The Strip series, in a way, was my response to earlier criticism of my work. There were reactions that were clearly just about me being a certain type of woman with a certain type of body regardless of how effective the piece was. I felt very exposed. CR: But your body plays such an important role in your work. JS: If I didn’t have that kind of body I wouldn’t have experienced that kind of looking so much in my life. If you’re getting that kind of completely uninvited attention, especially as a woman, it is conflicting. But it’s not about getting mad about men looking at women. I enjoy all of that—the intensity of those things, it’s not something that I would ever want to lose, that sexual dynamic in life. CR: There are no women in the Strip series. Portrait by Jemima Stehli. All images courtesy of the artist from the Strip series.
JS: I did do one with a woman, but it didn’t work. That’s why there is no Number 2 in the series. She was a friend of mine who had curated me into a number of shows but it really didn’t work. So that made me realize how much the work was about sexuality and a very specific kind of looking. CR: Did you sense a shift in the relationship between yourself and your subjects over the course of your undressing? JS: On one level I could sense a change before the photographs were taken. My relationships with the sitters had been on a professional level so the project introduced a sexual dynamic that was not there before, and that was weird. I think that is something you pick up on in the photographs. In the last few images, both of our positions become a little awkward. You can see it on their faces and I’m sort of falling over. I think that is something that is kind of easy to underestimate. There is a very real power in situations with that kind of looking. Because the pleasure of looking is what matters for art. I’m always trying to figure out what is interesting about looking at something. It’s a very powerful act. CR: You have made a number of photographs based off of Helmut Newton’s work. He is another photographer who seems to polarize audiences. JS: I think Helmut Newton’s photography is amazing. He refused to answer questions from people who challenged him on that kind of feminist debate. He was criticized for his refusal, which is fair enough. But, I could also see why he wouldn’t because in a way those questions were coming with a certain sense of self-righteousness. They already knew the answer before asking the question. What I see in his work is a personal exploration of his own sexual imagery. And, the fact that he had his wife, June, there with him all along makes it very clear that this was him exploring his fantasies. They are very rich. I don’t find his work troubling. There are other artists who photograph women who I do find troubling, but not Newton. If you have the courage to expose your own obsessions then that should be something that we can all understand and learn from. Even if they are things you don’t really want to know. That’s why I did a series of images with John Hilliard who has created work that engages with his own looking at women. He was doing that in the ‘70s and ‘80s which was dangerous territory, and he just kind of got pushed aside because his work contains real sexuality, and some of it I think is a bit disturbing. I think it’s interesting because of that. CR: It is nearly impossible to photograph a nude directly anymore. It is a genre that seems to always be bracketed by theory or contained in other ways. JS: This is what I enjoy most about my recent work with musicians because with rock and roll it is absolutely pure sexuality. That is what drives the music but once you spend more time with that you see that there is an intellectual aspect to it as well. CR: Your more recent videos of musicians break away from your photographic work. What inspired this shift? JS: I was invited to do a piece at CCB (Centro Cultural de Belém) in Lisbon. It was actually a performance piece with a Larry Bell sculpture (Photo Performance). The person who I was doing the piece with, Lewis (Amar), knew these guys when they were just starting. It was something like their second show that I went to and I loved it. It took me about two years to figure out how I wanted to use them in a work. That was a transition point for me. I was moving away from the photographs where there was a blurring of who the producer or author of the image was. Even in the earlier works like Wearing Shoes Chosen by the Curator I was giving an aspect of the aesthetic control of the work to somebody else and in the process implicating them in it. With the bands, they become the subjects and it is more about me looking at them as artists. I wanted to be seduced by the rock and roll. I wanted to get away from the studio being forefronted in the work. It was getting a bit claustrophobic—it fit too well into contemporary dialogues around art and I wanted something that was more out of control. CR: The theme of this issue is ritual. Do you have any daily rituals that you would like to share with our readers? JS: Lately it has been the rituals of friendship. Organizing dinners so that everyone gets drunk and has a discussion. The social rituals around food and drinking are very important. Jemima Stehli. Opposite: Top: Strip no. 7 Writer (Shot 4 of 11), 2000. Bottom: Strip no. 5 Dealer (Shot2 of 6), 2000
Jemima Stehli. Strip no. 6 Critic (Shot 9 of 10), 2000.
Jemima Stehli. Strip no. 4 Curator (Shot 11 of 12), 1999.
EMERGING A RTISTS Gustavo Murillo
Gustavo Murillo. Interior #1. 2012. From the project BBC Lund Point.
EMERGING A RTISTS Anna Hickey
Anna Hickey. From the series, Related.
Mi c h el B er n a rda u d no tipping allowed
Musée: Kant made a distinction between what has purpose and what has beauty, saying that there could be pure aesthetics and pure function. Wilde took a more polarizing stance: nothing is really beautiful unless it is useless. If we accept the notion of a scale of aesthetics and functionality, where would your products fall? michael bernardaud: Our core business has always been fine tableware. We’ve always focused on offering functionality and beauty both on the premise that they cannot be separated. As Raymond Loewy put it in 1967, “Ugly doesn’t sell!” One of Bernardaud’s strengths is harnessing creativity to serve functionality. We’ve always turned to artists and designers to create beautiful, useful objects made of porcelain. Our collections feature any number of teacups designed by any number of artists and all of these objects have the same function! That, too, makes us different. M: Bernardaud was established in 1863 during the Industrial Revolution to meet growing demand for porcelain. Now your company has refined its methods over the course of its history. When did you first include contemporary artists in your collection, and how has the idea evolved? MB: Starting in 1863, Bernardaud has worked with designers and artists, among them Kees van Dongen in 1947, René Crevel in the ‘20s and Raymond Loewy in 1967. This is still our practice today. For our 150th anniversary, we asked 12 internationally renowned artists, one for each month of the anniversary year, to design a dinner service that would bring new excitement to the art of fine tableware. Jeff Koons, Sophie Calle, David Lynch, and many others agreed to take up the challenge. If you want contemporary, you have to work with contemporary artists. We see no contradiction in forging an alliance between traditional know-how and contemporary creation. On the contrary, this obliges us to push our technical limits and perfect our skills in creating particularly complex forms. Today, thanks to modern technology, porcelain has never been so magnificent, so flawless, and so strong! M: Does an “attachment to modernity” inform your personal aesthetic code as well as that of your company? In what way? Can you give an example? MB: Bernardaud keeps up with the latest sociological changes in society and works to transpose them Portrait by Jean-Baptiste Millot.
to our creations. We aim to create pieces that are both up-to-date and timeless; able to offer lasting pleasure. The real challenge is to be true to our own sense of aesthetics, which is highly subjective. Bernardaud is not afraid to take creative risks and make choices that do not always conform to expectations. For example, our project with the Campana brothers: the Nazareth cup, made of doll arms and legs. While it doesn’t exactly correspond to the Bernardaud image, the series is practically sold out! M: How much say does the artist have regarding the actual realization of their design, in terms of size, materials and so forth? MB: The collection speaks for itself and is extremely varied. Artists and designers like to work for Bernardaud because we grant them a great deal of freedom. Most of them come to Limoges to discuss project feasibility with our specialists. We take care to see that technical adjustments are in line with what the artist wants. We respect their work and the respect is mutual. This ongoing give-and-take is highly enriching. Which is good because we need to constantly reinvent, imagine solutions, and find new avenues to explore. Some projects can take months or even years to reach completion. In that respect, these projects are real artistic collaborations involving true interaction with the artist. That’s the attraction and the professional challenge for everyone at Bernardaud, no matter their occupation! M: You have said that “porcelain is a realm whose subtlety is not immediately apparent.” In your opinion, why is it considered a luxury? MB: One must actually sit down and sip tea from a fine porcelain cup; then the answer to this question becomes self-evident. I encourage everyone to appreciate the importance of everyday things; their beauty, fine qualities, and delicacy. Pieces made of porcelain are luxurious due to the whiteness, fineness, translucency, and delicate resonance of the material. Awareness is the key! M: What attracts you to photographic images? Is this a collaboration? Who chooses the image that appears on a plate, you or the artist? MB: Artists send us a design or photograph to be transposed to porcelain. For us the challenge is to get as close as possible to the original. One problem is that we work with metallic oxides whose colors only emerge at the firing stage, so it can take time to get the colors right. But we’re one of the rare porcelain factories to have our own printing shop and make a point of producing decoration of superior quality. M: What criteria were used to select artists for the “150th artists” series? MB: We wanted to cover a broad range of artistic expression and work with internationally famous artists because we are distributed worldwide. It was important that our creators take pride in working collectively and being part of a series. In addition, we were looking for the element of surprise. Juxtaposing work by an artist like Marco Brambilla, for instance, who does only video, with that of a famous film director like David Lynch, was bound to yield a few surprises. That was really exciting. Some of the projects were more minimal or conceptual, others more decorative. Some told a story. Some used a vibrant palette, others opted for matt shades. Some bore printed photographs, but not others. They all have plenty of personality and offer a whole new take on the art of fine tableware! M: You worked with the Art Production Fund on the Jeff Koons series. Do you foresee further collaborations of this type with the Fund? MB: Anything’s possible! We’re open to all kinds of collaboration. M: This is our “Ritual” issue, focused on rituals around the world. The name Bernardaud immediately evokes the ritual of dining. It suggests enjoyment, hospitality, fine living and “using the good plates.” When you have guests over, what rituals do you follow? MB: In French culture, everything associated with meals is very important. My wife and I love to entertain, and our guests often include prominent persons from other countries. We make a point of Opposite: Bernardaud 150th anniversary collection. Last supper (Megaplex) by Marco Brambilla. © Bernardaud 150 years
perpetuating this tradition of French elegance by laying a beautiful table. Everything matters, from the choice of dinner service to the food presented on the plates. I’ve always thought that when guests arrive and see a beautiful table, they believe that good food and a good time are in store. M: A plate cannot be separated from its contents. What culinary dishes go with what type of tableware? How do artists figure into the equation? MB: Some people like the central part of the plate to be white, so they can see what they’re eating. Other people have no particular preference. Does one have to choose the menu to fit the decoration of the dinner service? Having conducted countless tests myself, I can tell you this: the decoration of your plate will never stop you from enjoying a good dinner! It all works out. M: At home, do you use dinner services daily or only on special occasions? Which ones do you use? MB: I love all of our collections. Each has its own character. At home, we use different dinner services, depending on our mood, and on who is coming to dinner. We make a point of laying a lovely table whether we are dining with guests or by ourselves. M: What do you think of people who buy plates solely for show? Don’t they understand their value? Are they missing the point of la table d’artistes? MB: The idea behind the table d’artistes project was to bring new excitement to tableware and offer pieces for everyday use. We opted for series instead of limited editions and offered affordable prices. This being said, if buyers like to hang plates on the wall, that’s their privilege!
Opposite and above: Bernardaud 150th anniversary collection. Banality Series by Jeff Koons. © Bernardaud 150 years.
Fred Cray. Untitled.
K AT H Y R YAN
by john hutt
As the Director of Photography for the New York Times Magazine Kathy Ryan is an active and vital part of the photo community. She is known for her photographic expertise, but not normally from behind the camera. Its been a busy couple months for Ryan, with the opening of her gallery show at Aperture to accompany her book The New York Times Magazine Photographs; she has been juggling that all while putting out a weekly magazine. However, it’s Ryan’s newest project that seems the most ritualistic. Every day Kathy Ryan posts some pictures to her instagram. In contrast to the instagrams of other photo magazine editors, she attempts to create valid and artistic images rather than simply documenting daily life. She has a good eye, a good sense of composition; she is a photo director after all. She works in an amazing building for an amazing company, but she does not rub our noses in it. No, she is actually polite about the whole thing and the viewer finds themselves to clicking ‘like’ with alarming alacrity. We all end up falling in love with the building a little, we all end up a little envious that our office might not be as romantic. There will be a book of her Office Romance released shortly, as her fans have been calling relentlessly for in her instagram comments. The series that the book is based on is called Office Romance. Or #OfficeRomance . It’s not often that writers get handed this kind of thing. As instagram is a social platform, people give their opinions right there, under the photos. The best way to analyze Kathy Ryan’s #Officeromance is to embrace the medium and speak about the work in the moment, referencing her followers. It’s August 18th, approximately 6:15 pm. Kathy Ryan takes a picture of a woman in a black dress standing in front of the window. They really have great light in this office. The woman’s face is obscured by perfect 45 degree lines that show the office’s influence even on Kathy Ryan’s portraiture. It looks like the girl’s name is Sheila1. Or, Kathy Ryan has a devoted following (or possibly a slightly to get misogynist, Australian audience2). It’s lovely3. It turns out that one can check the EXIF data theexact time of shutter closure, so no more approximately 6:15pm!4. 3 4 1 2
@cwynars “Sheila!” @dreazlanabitnig “Sheeeeeeeeeila!” @kaecreative “Lovely feed”. @veratitunik “Lovely”. @pbbregman “So lovely.” @mod_daylo “For the exact time of shutter closure, you can check the EXIF data.” Portrait byDavid Rinella.
The 45 degree lines continue for a few more shots, damn the sunlight is great here5 . Another on August the 18th, a white table with a vase reminiscent of Paul Strand’s still lifes6. The New York Times Magazine office is some kind of utopia . Imagine the opposite of Mad Men . An office populated by beautiful women7 in a positive environment. It is September 18th and a beach ball sits in the corner of the 2nd floor conference room. The picture is nice8, but not up to the standard of some of the others9. Art is anything you see10, and Kathy Ryan trains her beloved eye11 on the world around her, what she sees every day at work12. As she continues she glides into more abstraction; close ups of tables and glasses, and colorful post it notes13 are mixed in with the previously mostly black and white work, to great effect14. Among other everyday objects Ryan captures are her glasses, that look a bit like Greg Heisler’s15. Her photograph plays with shadows, imposing a projection onto the table. The tortoise shell frames and the expanded shadow are, by all accounts, cool16. It’s 5:40pm on 1/11/13 and Kathy Ryan is looking down upon the #nytimes cafeteria. It seems like everything in the office is a pure white. A designers dream. The tables are perfect circles and the natural light makes the whole composition an abstract. Almost as if the building and the cafeteria were made for photographers17. Then again, if it was really designed for photographers, there would probably be free food18, and the two are never far apart. Kathy Ryan continues her almost daily ritual of documenting her office, it is 8:45 am and she leans upwards to catch a man on the awning. In one of the more playful #officeromances some pink and white packing peanuts fall from a table, the shot is tense to the point of almost being fatal19, but again Ryan shows her fascination with angles and shadows20. The office itself, the building, is an infinite source of inspiration, beauty and it never ceases to amaze21, and Kathy Ryan’s #officeromance shows just that. @crasstafarian. 7 8 9
@iammer “Fantastic! #killershadowplay” @supranavdash “Gorgeous!! Reminds me of Paul Strand’s Still Lifes” @hershey_wilmarie “if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane”. @iggy_smilecurez “Cute girl”. @rorymcglasson, @zachspassport, @satin_rose1, @nigelscott881, @aspictures, @timesgram; “beautiful”. @curson “Nice” @kaiwenli1 “b+” 10 @marumo4 “they say art is anything you see. Nice pic.” 11 @kateburgess “Love your eye lady!” 12 @edmarion “I love art, like this, that depicts work. Super.” @alpathal “i would hate to be stuck in this kind of setup. urgh. i hate office life” 13 @bigbbabygenius “CMYK!” 14 @tinyatlasquarterly “Nice to see color in the romance @kathryryan1” 15 @zabelita “These look like Greg Heisler’s glasses :)” 16 @oh_hey_emma_ “Wow cool”; @rmerofrr “Very cool.”; @soroushrajabi “Very cool” @seamyra23 “So cool” ; @farah_hamdy “Cool”; @babyhommez “Hw r u going to wear dat # buh pretty cool” 17 @neudobno “it seems like cafeteria was specially designed for photographers” 18 @g_wah “if it was photographers there would be free food.” @porgif “if there was free food, there’d be photographers.” 19 @silvermule “The amount of tension in this image kills me. Great shot.” 20 @samanthadyck “incredible 90 degree angle with the shadows!” 21 @kathyryan1 “ It is an incredibly beautiful building. It never ceases to amaze me. I feel fortunate to be here” 5 6
Kathy Ryan. Opposite: Top: Thank you @markpetersonpixs and @gretarama! 8/15/14 morning #nytimes#officeromance. Bottom: Thank you @scottthode for the flowers. Happy Valentines Day @sylvie_tee.
Kathy Ryan. Man on awning 5/30/14 8:45 amÂ #nytimesÂ #officeromance.
Kathy Ryan. Looking down at 40th Street, approx. 4:30 pm 5/7/14Â #nytimesmagazine#officeromance.
Kathy Ryan. Top: #nytimesmagazine #officeromance. 8/3/14. Bottom: #nytimesmagazine #officeromance yesterday 1/9/14 drawers, morning
Kathy Ryan. Top: #nytimesmagazine #officeromance 8/3/14. Bottom: #latergram #nytimes #nytimesmagazine #officeromance.
Kathy Ryan. @gailbichler #nytimesmagazine #nytimes #officeromance 6/12/14 approx 12:15 pm.
Kathy Ryan. @stace_a_lace on Tues. 2/13/14 morning #nytimesmagazine #officeromance.
EMERGING A RTISTS Lara Atallah
Lara Atallah. Opposite: The Abandoned Dinner Party (Coffee Time), Above: The Abandoned Dinner Party (Grape Leaves). From the series, Tales of a Non- Country.
EMERGING A RTISTS Leon Chew
Leon Chew. Opposite: Top: Sculpture for Hotels #12. Bottom: Sculpture for Hotels #14. Above: Sculpture for Hotels #5.
C h risti a n B olta n ski collective unconscious
b y n o ra l a n d e s
Photography, in essence, is about memory. Since its invention in the nineteenth century, photography has been the medium of choice to document lived experience. Photographs immortalize the transitory, and in doing so, extend the life expectancy of a single moment as long as the object itself remains intact. Photographs serve as an externalization of memory; a single photographic image conjures up countless memories and associations, many of which would likely be forgotten had they not been captured on camera. It was only a matter of time until even human recollection would be replaced by a mechanical process. It is easier to look at a photograph and have memories instantly thrust upon us than it is to actively seek out such mental time capsules without the help of visual aids. As we have come to rely on the mechanization of memory, however, we have taken for granted the complexities of human mental processes. The construction of memories involves more than just the absorption of experiences through empirical perception. One’s memories do not correspond identically to what is seen. Memory has the power to form and reform. It adds and subtracts, alters and molds. In the end we cannot possibly keep our memory from acting upon every minute facet of our lives; including the images we see and how we process them. Yet when we look at photographs, there is more than just empirical perception and memory at work. Neither works independently. Imagination serves as the Kantian link between what we see and what we remember. Without such a capacity there is no way perception would have any correspondence to memory. French artist Christian Boltanski exploits this interaction between perception, imagination, and memory to produce artworks that question the nature, even existence, of objectivity. In doing so, he is working within a philosophical idiom that stretches back to Aristotle. If the human imagination is capable of producing images in our minds that we have never perceived empirically, how are we to understand these images? Where do they come from? It was David Hume who said that although we can have ideas about things we have never directly encountered, these ideas can always be traced back to our own experience. However, our conscious and unconscious biases heavily influence how we think about things we ourselves have not even experienced. Yet human memory cannot retain the vivacity we experience in the moment. As the clarity of experience fades, we lose our grip on the present. We become more susceptible to imagination’s creative tendency. Photography throws for a loop the usually obvious distinction between perceived and imagined images. Boltanski’s photo installations highlight the intricately-fabricated interplay between history, memory, and photography. His dramatic, large-scale pieces reclaim and engage both Portrait by David Seidner, 1989. © International Center of Photography, David Seidner Archive.
All images: Christian Boltanski. From the series, Reflexion, 2000. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery.
our individual and collective memories; in fact, these art objects, these crumbling artifacts of lived experience, stand in place of our memories. What we know, or, rather, what we think we know, is replaced by what we see and how we come to understand it through our faculties of imagination and interpretation. Neither he nor the viewer knows anything about the subjects of his reclaimed and repurposed photographs. Knowing the identity of the subject relates little to the works as objects. Rather, the overwhelming anonymity of the subjects in such pieces as Les Enfants de Dijon and Lycee Chases allows for the viewer to relate to the works. Everyone can project their own memories onto the faces in Boltanski’s photographs. Memory, not perception, becomes the common denominator. This is for the better. Reducing our understanding of a work of art to what is presented to the viewer prevents the taint of partiality and bias from seeping in. Boltanski has said that many of his works speak of the horrors of the Holocaust, though any indication of such a theme is absent from the work. Without direct reference to this heinous event in human history, memory fills the void. History, itself a victim of memory’s overarching influence, is quite literally absent from the picture. On the surface the Holocaust is not even a factor in one’s understanding of his works. This is intentional. Any outright mention of the Holocaust in his pieces would color the viewer’s interpretation. Even though the Holocaust may not be among the countless memories we carry through life, it is a part of our collective historical memory, one which comes with its own set of preconceptions. The imposition of Jewish themes on Boltanski’s work brings with it an entirely new set of interpretations. The individual glowing photographs bring to mind memorial Yahrzeit candles lit to honor the dead. But this is not the point; Boltanski’s works are meant to stand alone, free of any defining framework. One of the artist’s current projects involves filming his studio twenty-four hours a day and streaming the video feed to a remote cave in Tasmania until his own death, with no option of rewinding the tape and revisiting any single moment of his life until he has died. As simple as this project appears, it relies entirely on the flawed memory of the sole viewer, the art collector who owns the cave; it is Plato’s allegory come to life. This reliance on memory and individual interpretation makes Boltanski’s work achingly complex. He wants the viewer to conceive of his work through their own unique lens of understanding. In this way, Boltanski effectively removes himself from his art. He is but the master of ceremony. The viewer plays as much of a role in ascribing meaning as the artist. Throughout his artistic career Boltanski has worked in painting, sculpture, film, and photography, though when it comes down to it, Boltanski’s medium of choice is concepts. His role in the work begins and ends with the creation of an idea and its corresponding visual presentation. He is a creator of objects, not of subjects, and certainly not meaning. The rest he leaves to memory.
EMERGING A RTISTS Jannecke Lønne Christiansen
Jannecke LĂ¸nne Christiansen. Domestic rituals India.
H a rold L ee Miller american life
by ashley minyard
Society moves forward, cities flourish, iPhones dominate, and superficial materialism runs rampant. But nestled in small towns of the Midwest, time rewinds and stands still, if only for a moment. These moments are full of whirling carousels and the pungent smell of manure mixed with fried food wafting out of junk food alley. Children drag their parents to see the year’s prize pig and the slop of local celebrities scrounging down multiples of his dearly departed brother. Snaggletooth smiles beam brightly, celebrating that very first satin blue ribbon, soon to be pinned on the barn wall and, over the years, joined by a rainbow of accompanying prizes. This is the Midwest carnival, the county fair, the 4H club, the harvest festival. This is tradition, pride, and a right of passage. This is the life of a Hoosier. Harold Lee Miller set out to capture this lifestyle that appeared foreign and imaginary to the rest of the country. He once held the belief that fair culture was fading away into history, a dying habit of onestoplight towns with free-falling population numbers. But once Miller moved to Indiana to work on his book, Fair Culture, he realized he walked into a bourgeoning society that wasn’t going to quit any time soon. These small town annual traditions have survived wars, depressions, industrialization, and natural disasters, proving that it will take more than a little technology to stamp them out. Of course the Midwest isn’t completely inundated with farm folk. When visiting bigger cities, a large chunk of conversation is devoted to convincing people that things are pretty urbanized, or at least suburban. But no matter how city slicker a Midwesterner may appear, or how well they adapt to a place that isn’t surrounded by corn fields, they always will be a sucker for a county fair. In a way it relates to our human nature. People yearn for something simple and nostalgic, a place to go and avoid the bombardment of to do lists or work memos. A childish carnival with the family may be the solution to a hard day in the office or the leaning tower of laundry. Perhaps it would benefit the rest of high-strung America if we sent some of that hometown spirit to the big cities. Herd the cattle, bake the pies, race the barrels and stop to smell the freshly fried Oreos. It’s hard to picture the scene amidst sky scrapers, but trust a Hoosier, it’s worth it. Portrait by Harold Lee Miller.
Harold Lee Miller. Opposite: Clockwise from top left: Knox County Fair, 2008; Dalton Sloan; Dean Kronx of Elkhart. Above: Clockwise from top: Dancers at 4H Building; l-r Carlie Weaver, Braedon Helms (front); toddlers are Rylie and Jessie Price; woman unknown; Dan Jean. Following Spread: Knox County Entries.
Harold Lee Miller. Above: Clockwise from top: Hunter and Beau Brown; Owen Co. Fairgrounds; Natalie Bowman. Opposite: Top: Jordan Dukes, Taylor Woodmansec; Bottom: Susan and Davide Zoppe with Afghan Dogs, Rhesus Monkeys. Following Spread: Alisha Hibler.
EMERGING A RTISTS Patrick Morarescu
Patrick Morarescu (aka Johnny Amore). Opposite: Chrystal Tits [USA]. Above: Christine Haase [GER].
EMERGING A RTISTS Nancy Newberry
Nancy Newberry. Opposite and Above: From the sereis, Mum.
Ada m M agya r crowdsourcing
Andrea BLANCH: Our issue is about ritual; and I think your series Urban Flow pertains to ritual. Are you still working on it? ADAM MAGYAR: No. I completed that in 2008. I plan to add a few more images this year around November in New York, but otherwise the series is done. AB: How did it come to be? AM: Well, I was in a collection of street photography before, and it didn’t please me. Something was missing because I wanted to talk about existence and our transiency, but those photos were misguided in a way. People didn’t think about being. They thought about characters and life situations. But I liked street photography, and I think I am still a street photographer. I’m just experimenting with doing it in a different way. I had a few years when I was struggling with myself about how to step out of the conventional way of capturing this kind of nothingness, because the street is pretty empty. If you are not focusing on characters or events on the street, then it’s just about getting from one point to another. It’s wasting time; nothing really happens. It’s eventless. All my situations capturing are eventless. I wanted to depict being. So the images have to be a particular distance from nothingness. I tried to do something that is very real and deep, and a bit depressing as well. “Urban Flow” is not a good pressing. I think the later works became a bit darker. They are getting darker and darker. I guess my newest video “Array” is darker than the “Stainless” videos. AB: Are you talking about the videos? AM: Yes, I was working on the “Stainless” video in parallel. It’s kind of the same thing. But in terms of playing with individual people, the method is obviously very different. “Stainless” doesn’t have as many layers as the others. AB: How did you do your street photography? What you’ve done with this Stainless series is very tech. How long did it take to develop this series in a way that you have become proficient in it? How did you decide that that was the technique? AM: I never work unaware. I have a technique, and I start experimenting with that. I know what I want to see and feel when I look at the image. I am looking for the possibilities in that. AB: How did you get to it? AM: “Stainless” came from “Urban Flows”. I used the same technique in a way. However the camera Portrait by Andrea Blanch. All images Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York.
that I put together for “Urban Flows” was not good or fast enough for capturing trains, because trains are fast. I wanted to capture more data than that camera could capture. So the new camera works on the same principal. It is an industrial camera that is used for quality checking. AB: Do you do a lot of pre and post-production? AM: Yes, it always takes time especially the pre-production because I have to put the system together. So I usually work on a series for two years. AB: What do you mean by “putting the system together”? AM: For “Urban Flow” I made the camera and the shutter that controls the camera. AB: Is there anything on the market that does what you want it to do? AM: There are photo-finish cameras that do the same thing, but they are not really accessible. The cameras that I use are not the cameras you can buy in a shop. You have to find a factory or the manufacturer. Because these cameras are made for industrial use, they have a different way of marketing them than they would other brands. I always have to make research to find the right one, or I have to find the company who is willing to give me a camera or support. It’s like the “Stainless” video, which is supported by this German factory. AB: Do you make the camera? AM: No, they make the camera (to my specifications). For the photo series I used a line-scan camera. These are machine vision cameras, but they are usually for specific industrial or scientific purposes. Depending on the task, they have to develop the system behind the camera. They develop software that does the specific tasks for the quality, so they are not really complete systems. They are like censors in a way and the users have to develop the systems behind it. So that’s what I do. I put together my system for using the camera as a photographic camera instead of the usual way. So basically I control what I see and how I can compose, and I set up the values that look like any other camera in a way. AB: I don’t understand how those cameras work. AM: It always depends on the user interface in a way. If you have a commercial camera, you have a user interface. You have your buttons and functions that they make for photographers. However these devices I use are kind of blank in a way. There is no button, as software controls everything. The user develops the software. They actually have readymade software, but it is for scientific or industrial purposes. So it’s not convenient for me to use it. AB: So you have all that pre-production. What about post-production? AM: It depends on the series. In “Urban Flow”, I didn’t have to do much post-production because I wanted it pretty much as it is. It is only the printing, the craft and the framing, which I always take care of. As for the other ones, I have to work more, because there are always quality issues due to the low light and the high noise. It happens in both the videos and photos, as well the train photos. I have to write a little software to correct those problems. It could take a few days or a few months. AB: How did you become so smart about technology? AM: I’m not very smart. I’m just patient and really obsessed by what I want to achieve. So I just don’t sleep. AB: In the process of producing Urban Flow, do you have to research to find a camera? Opposite and previous 5 spreads: Adam Magyar, Urban Flow #255, Hong Kong, 2007, 10 x 94 1/2” pigment print.
AM: Not for Urban Flow. Yes, I did some research, but I realized it was not very accessible. That was my first series and I didn’t know what I could expect. So I just bought a scanner for $50, took it apart and built a camera from it. That’s it. So it was not a very big investment. I just had to work on the software for a few months to make it work well. Then I made a test on a train in New York. I really liked the result but not the quality. That’s why I had to start working on a new system that was able to capture the train with all those details and in that size. AB: What came first, your interest in photography or your interest in engineering and programming? AM: I was interested in digital tech and programming when I was around 20. I started taking photos when I was 30 almost. Before being a photographer, I was actually traveling. I was doing graphic design for a living, but in that decade I was traveling a lot. I spent a lot of time in India, and that is where I started to take photos because I was not very talkative. I had some experiences that I wanted to share some way. Then it came out. Photography just happened. I got a book in an elementary school for doing something good and it was about photography basics. So I had that book with me in India, and I started to read about “Aperture” and all sorts of things. But it came quite late because it was in 2000 when I was 28. AB: How long did you stay with traditional photography before you began these new series now? AM: I started the show in 2006. AB: When does it become apparent that the photographic technology will not suffice? Does it come from testing or did you know it before? AM: That’s the first thing that I knew. But now it’s more about the art of my process. I’m not even looking for anything that I can’t get. But I think it’s going to happen that I will grab a commercial camera one day. It has to come. AB: What is it about people in motion that captivates you? AM: It’s about how we are passing by here, transient passengers. I’ve been afraid of time since I was 24. I’m always on the move, always. So not only people are moving, my images are moving. I’m kind of capturing what I see, because I traveled a lot. I spent a lot of time in observation, sitting and watching people passing by. Or I was passed by them and basically that’s how I see the world. AB: Are you more into time, or the actual motion? AM: I never really think about motion. But time, yes, because I’m living that pretty much. Although time does not really exist, it’s a human creation. Changes and motion do exist but they don’t really think about the present. That’s what this technique actually represents, which is basically this really incomprehensible moment. So all my works are actually motion capturing, They are all components of little moments. It’s like long exposure photography, but it does not happen on the whole field. It just happens on a portion of the work. So you see those fragments of life one after another on one image. This can be a moving one or a still photograph. It’s relentlessly going on. AB: Do you ever think that you create a lot of work for yourself because there might be ways of
capturing without having to make a camera? AM: Yes, definitely. You can approach this theme in different ways. At some point all photographers are doing this because that’s what it’s about. That’s the real magic of photography. The light reflecting back from subjects goes through the lenses and manifests in an image. That is the magic of photography. It’s always based on something that happened. So in terms of that, I’m just a regular photographer. AB: Maybe that’s why you think about using a real camera again? AM: It’s a different challenge. AB: Do you feel your images speak specifically to urban life in the modern world or do they have a universal timeless quality? AM: I hope to have the second. I don’t really talk about city life. I’m just working in cities because they are inspiring me. I like to get lost and to feel small. That inspires me. So urban spaces are the ultimate human spaces because we created them. Everything that you see here, that’s us. I’m interested in the human existence. That’s why I work in cities. Otherwise I don’t really see too much of that in my images. Or it’s not very important to me. You rarely see any interaction on my photos. Everyone is pretty much alone. I don’t always capture crowds. I work specifically in those situations where people are alone, like in the videos. I normally made them in the morning on weekdays when people go to work. Normally people go to work alone. That’s something that I am kind of interested in capturing. We are all living together, working in this world together and making it together. We are part of the system of little gears, but we don’t have to have too much to do with each other. We have very few connections compared to how complicated this society and the whole global world now is. AB: Do you live in Prague? AM: No, I live in Berlin. AB: Is that busy? AM: Not really. Sometimes it’s hard to believe. It’s the capital of Germany. Actually it’s pretty quiet and peaceful. Berlin does not want to kill you. It’s definitely a very gentle place. You don’t have that kind of pressure that you might have somewhere if you are not super successful, like in New York or Paris where you have to be really established. That’s why Berlin attracts young artists. I have a funny connection with Berlin in that I nearly don’t actually have one. That means I am doing my pre and post works on my computer all the time. When I leave my apartment, I usually fly. AB: Are you ok with that? AM: That is my life. Yes, this is how it is. I like my life. I don’t leave because I’m okay with that and it’s more important to me than going to the city and doing whatever. AB: Do you think of yourself as an artist, a photographer, or a photo artist? AM: I like to say that I am a photographer. But I am motion capturing anyway. I just don’t want to say Adam Magyar, Urban Flow #1075, London, 2008, 10 x 94 1/2” pigment print.
I’m a video artist. In terms of titles, I think I’m not doing any applied photography. AB: You are finishing this next project and your exhibition in February for Julie Saul Gallery, what is that going to be? AM: Most likely I am going to present some of my new video series entitled “Array”. AB: Does it have a meaning? AM: Yes. It’s like this is an array, a table itself. It can be 3D or 2D. AB: What is your daily ritual? AM: It depends on the year, the section of my year and what I’m doing. If I’m at home, I wake up sitting in front of screens; I have about six or seven on my table and I start doing my tasks. They are not
only about my images; I have to work more and more on my job as an artist. Most of my time is about dealing with the logistic sort of thing and printing. I finish at some point usually four or five o’clock in the morning. Then I go to bed. AB: What if you are traveling? AM: That’s kind of the same except I always wander around in a city. I could be in a city for half the day, searching for location of just watching. AB: What’s your next project? AM: I am going to India very soon in a few weeks. Yes, I have ideas, and I spend a lot of time looking for things. I’m not very productive in terms of volume. I don’t make a lot. I’m not producing a lot of work. I usually don’t make more than 5 images a year. That’s a lot of research and tests. Adam Magyar, Urban Flow #1364, London, 2008, 10 x 94 1/2” pigment print.
EMERGING A RTISTS Georgia Metaxas
Georgia Metaxas. Opposite: Untitled #1. Above: Clockwise from top left: Untitled #20, Untitled #25, Untitled #2, Untitled #27. From the series The Mourners. 2011.
EMERGING A RTISTS Ellen Jantzen
Ellen Jantzen. Pleading Innocence.
Heidi Z u c ker m a n 8000 feet above
ANDREA BLANCH: So you first entered the art world after your freshman year at The University of Pennsylvania? HEIDI ZUCKERMAN: Correct. I came home for the summer, I had four months off so I thought I should get a job to keep myself busy. I started looking through the phone book for ideas, and I saw art galleries. I started calling around and asking if anyone needed summer help. I was hired by a woman named Paula Kirkeby at a gallery called Smith Anderson and I stayed for the summer. I did my first studio visit which was with Sam Francis. That was pretty engaging. I ended up becoming friendly with his sons and we would go surfing. AB: You never had any thoughts about becoming an artist yourself? HZ: No, I have no talent in that way. I never had an interest in that. I did a paper that summer on the work of Bruce Conner. I think that I was pretty much hooked from that point. I should also say that my grandmother was a collector, so I did grow up around art. Iâ€™m sure that was a significant influence as well. AB: What do you feel sets The Aspen Art Museum apart from other museums, and how much of that is your doing? HZ: Well, I think for the last part of that question you would have to ask someone other than me. But regarding the first part of the question: we focus on changing exhibitions and weâ€™re a very artist centric institution. Portrait by Karl Wolfgang.
One of the things I really enjoy about my job is that I am the director of the museum and I also function as the chief curator; that allows us to have a very precise and distinct vision, and allows everything we do to come from that mission. As such have a very holistic approach to what we do. AB: Why did you decide not to have a permanent collection? HZ: The museum was founded about thirty-five years ago by three local artists and they were interested in exhibitions. I actually love the Kunsthalle model, a museum that doesn’t have a permanent collection. The American Kunsthalle is a dying breed. I think that the model is really important to who we are and it frankly has been a great fundraising opportunity for us as well because a lot of our donors are involved with other museums, the majority of which have collections. So when people are thinking about how to allocate their philanthropy, often our donors give art to the other museums they are involved with and money to us. AB: I think what you do closely resembles what Lisa Phillips does at the New Museum. HZ: Thank you, Lisa is a colleague and a friend. Our museum is about the same size physically, I think our staff and budgets are probably pretty similar so it’s a good comparison. AB: How do you think the museum in this incarnation has affected the art scene in Aspen? HZ: We do a show every two years called “The Roaring Fork Open.” It is a show that focuses on local artists. When I arrived, the way it worked was anyone could be in the show, but they had to pay. I’m really against artists paying for being in shows. So I said; “We’re going to continue to to do [the show], but in order to do the show: #1 You don’t pay, #2 We give you a free membership, and #3 You have to sign up to come and meet a curator, bring in 3 works and we will pick one in consultation and discussion with you. Artists really loved that. I think artists really crave feedback on the work that they do because making art can be a lonely activity. Through that process what started happening was some of the artists would say, “Oh Heidi I made this work because I thought you would like it” or “I made this because I was inspired by the work of Fred Tomaselli when you had that exhibition,” or, “I was so inspired by this group show that you did on a certain topic.” One of the most significant impacts that the museum has had on the local community has been its exposure to the global art field. I think either through a kind of porousness, or through creative participation in what we do, local artists have had the opportunity to think about their practices in new and different ways. AB: You say you have huge curator ambitions. Why do you consider them huge? HZ: We like to do projects that artists have wanted to do in other places and haven’t been able to. For example, the Italian artist Lara Favaretto has done a series of these “Momentary Monuments,” which I just love. There are five of them and she has never been able to do the last one because no one has been willing to sign on to do it: It is a twenty meter high bonfire comprised of objects that people in the community want to be rid off; old love letters, shirts that got left at your house when a relationship ended, these kind of personal things. It’s amazing, right? So we are going to do it, we are going to invite people to drop off anything that they want to burn. Obviously they can’t bring gasoline or tires, but the idea is to just have that kind of public community oriented purging. AB: Do you think not having a permanent collection enables you to do these types of things more? HZ: I do think we have more opportunities because we are very nimble as an organization. I talk a lot about the museum as a laboratory. In a laboratory you do a lot of experimentation, and of course in a laboOpposite: Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum. © Michael Moran/OTTO.
ratory sometimes things blow up in your face, or hand, and other times they go on a different, unexpected highly creative, productive direction. Then sometimes everything goes exactly according to the formula. AB: Why do you say it’s the perfect museum? HZ: I think it’s the perfect museum because Shigeru [Ban] is a genius architect, and I think in order to be a genius you need to know where your strengths are and where you should defer to other people on their knowledge base. I feel like Shigeru made a perfect museum by having a really interesting and unusual structure on the exterior with the roof truss and paper tubes throughout which provides natural light everywhere. He deferred to me as to what the galleries should be because we agreed on the fact that a museum is about the presentation of art. The galleries should be sacred spaces for that presentation. We collaborated on the ceiling height, that the walls be incredibly pristine without a switch, censor, or outlet. AB: How do you see The Aspen Art museum making its mark on the international art world now and in the future? HZ: I think that we are really interested in being a force in the global discussion on art. One of the things that we do is program our exhibitions anywhere from 12-18 months out. I think we are helping to define and set the conversation and the agenda. We see the museum as being an advocate for artists and I think that one of the reasons why artists like to work with us is that we have ongoing and productive relationships with a wide variety of global artists. For example we’re doing this big Momentary Monument with Lara, she was in a group show a few years ago called “Restless Empathy.” Also, Jim Hodges, who one year did the lift ticket, and another year was honored at our Aspen Award for Art, has now done two solo shows with us. We have an opportunity to participate in the artist’s ongoing career and process. I think that’s a different and unique thing for us and something that we are really interested and committed to. AB: How do you get exposed to these artists? How does it work? HZ: I travel a fair amount and have colleagues all over the world. I am interested in dialogues with colleagues and artists. I would say 95% of the time it’s us issuing an invitation to an artist but because of these ongoing relationships we will sometimes have the opportunity where I’ll be having coffee or a drink with an artist somewhere and they will say; “Hey I’m working on this new project” and I’ll say; “Wow that sounds perfect, lets do that in Aspen”—we have that sort of open exchange. AB: What about your artist in residence program? HZ: We have a wide variety of residencies; we have an artist in residence, a curator in residence, we just had our first writer in residence, and for the last 3 years we’ve had an educator in residence. The residency we are currently doing is one artist a year and we will probably expand that in our new building. We have an artist apartment. Sometimes artists make new work here like Lorna Simpson did, and sometimes they come and get inspired by Aspen but make the work somewhere else like Phil Collins. Our current artist in residence is Gabriel Kuri and we are doing our big show that opens with him in December. He wants to use his residency for the development of a book.
AB: Is there any specific length of time for a residency? HZ: No. I don’t like to be directive, I like to be collaborative. Artists can come once, can come three or four times, they can come for 48 hours, or they can stay for a few months. We want to do what works for the artist. I had asked Helen Mirra, an artist who I’ve worked with before, if she could come and be part of a public program that we are doing on the autumnal equinox. She couldn’t come, but said “Look, I really like to do these projects where I come for three weeks.” I said “Great, I’m doing a group show next spring why don’t I put your work in that and why don’t you stay in our artist apartment for 3 weeks?” That’s an unexpected artist who will be in residence this spring. AB: Where does photography fit into your program? HZ: We are interested in artists more than medium specificity. I did do a Doug Aitkein photography show and we have a significant number of photographs right now in the Shigeru Ban humanitarian architecture show. It is primarily photography. AB: How do you feel about photography? HZ: I like photography. Matthew Thompson who was the former curator here curated a show called The Anxiety of Photography which is now one of the more definitive exhibitions on contemporary photographic practice. I recently curated the residencies for Artspace and I included David Benjamin Sherry. AB: You talk abut integrity—saying you have no skills but integrity is all you have. HZ: I mean obviously I have skills as a curator and a writer and fundraiser and a leader and a supervisor, but what I was saying is that they are less tangible than those of a lawyer or an accountant. AB: Do you find that integrity is something that is lacking in your dealings with the art world? HZ: No, that wasn’t what I was implying. I’m interested in things that other people are not necessarily interested in at the same time. So in addition to integrity I’m very focused on connoisseurship and being able to stand by the decisions that you make because you know you made them for clear and precise reasons. AB: Seeings things afresh absent of judgement you feel is key to looking at art, and that’s why you like being around children. Do you ask children for their opinions? HZ: I have my own kids and I do ask their opinions, specifically about our summer programs. They will say, “well that sounds boring”, or “well that one is interesting but the title is bad”. My son is 14 and my daughter is 11, but they have been doing this for years. I’ll ask what are we missing? And my son will say “I’d like an architecture camp,” and my daughter will say “I want a camp about horses and art,” and I’ll add it. AB: The theme of this issue is ritual – what is your ritual? HZ: I have tons. I am actually obsessed with personal rituals. I have a matcha latte every morning. It is the first thing that I do every day. I either make it myself or I have someone make it for me. I have a regular yoga practice and if I don’t go almost every day then it definitely throws off my activities. I would also say that I end every day with a bath and a book.
Following Spread: Installation view of David Hammons Yves Klein/ Yves Klein David Hammons, 2014. Courtesy of Aspen Art Museum. Photo: Tony Prikryl
EMERGING A RTISTS Alicia Collins
Alicia Collins. Opposite: Untitled Mother 13; Above: Untitled Mother 14, 2014.
EMERGING A RTISTS Jonathan Rochart
Jonathan Rochart. Grow up # Chap. 10.
T H E B E CH E R S visual psychosis
by cory rice
[P]hotography does not create eternity, as art does, it embalms time, rescuing it simply from its proper corruption. -André Bazin, “The Ontology of the Photographic Image” Rarely has a body of work adopted the form of an industrial subject with the grace of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s photographs. The pair first crossed paths at the Düsseldorf Academy in 1959 as students. Prior to their meeting, Hilla worked as an aerial photographer in Hamburg while Bernd studied painting, lithography, and typography. The formal rigors characterizing their preliminary endeavors would resurface in their methodical approach to photography. The couple married in 1961 and collaborated until Bernd’s death in 2007. Over the latter half of the 20th century, the duo produced a formidable body of work documenting the machinery and architecture of a bygone era of industrial plenitude in regions as distinct as the Ruhr Valley of Germany and the Rust Belt of the United States. Together they scoured coal mines, steel mills, and factories in search of structural parallels to record in a ritualistic fashion. Optical fidelity was of the highest priority when constructing their images. With meticulous attention to detail, each object was photographed from the same vantage, often requiring ladders to aid in securing a consistent point of view. Such procedural difficulties were multiplied by their use of cumbersome large format cameras to create their work. The Bechers approached their subjects directly, enacting an uncannily human rendering of inanimate objects. They would speak of their work as “families of objects,” ever growing and expanding.1 Later, one of Bernd’s students, Thomas Ruff, would apply the same frontality to his portraits of fellow students at the Düsseldorf Academy with an opposite effect. If the Bechers humanized man-made structures, Ruff, mobilizing a similar approach as his mentor, turned his sitters into automatons, emptied of emotion and feeling. The absence of human presence in the Bechers’ photographs furthers the uncanny effect of their work. Outmoded industry takes center stage in all of its impotent grandeur. Composition was not the only control present in the Bechers’ process. Uniform exposure was maintained by shooting only under overcast skies, providing muted lighting and a consistent background. If the level of control possible in studio photography has ever manifested in plein air, it has “Bernd and Hilla Becher: Conversation with Jean-Francois Chevrier, James Lingwood, Thomas Struth,” in Another Objectivity (London: ICA, 1988), 230.
Opposite: Bottom: Bernd and Hilla Becher. Self Portrait, 1985. Courtesy Sonnabend Gallery, New York. Top: Coal Bunkers, 1966-1999.
Bernd and Hilla Becher. Mine Head Siege De Folschwiller F, 1987.
Bernd and Hilla Becher. Blast Furniture Boel La Louviere B, 1985.
Bernd and Hilla Becher. Cooling Towers, 1967-1984.
done so in the Bechers’ images. The fruits of their methodology become apparent when the work is presented as typologies, grids of six, nine, or fifteen photographs of the same subject imaged at separate locations. Assembled in such a way, the photographs reveal the uniformity of 19th and 20th century industrial processes despite significant national differences. Viewers are reminded that a cooling tower is a cooling tower whether in France or in Germany. Yet it is the subtle variation within the endless repetition that piques the curiosity of viewers. The longer one lingers upon the structures, the more apparent their differences become. Longer still and the typologies begin to unsettle. The photographs unite in name only. The effect of the images is one of controlled chaos. The separation of the Bechers’ subjects from their surroundings is furthered by their insulation within thick, white mattes. While the couple’s knack for isolating their large and unwieldy subjects in a pre-digital era merits respect, it is the conceptual value of the their project that continues to inspire photographers. Emerging at a moment when the identity of “art” photography was being challenged from all angles, the Bechers presented images of the thing itself. Photographs emptied of seduction. Photographs that record. Photographs that simply exist. Photographs of the sort that would lead Thierry de Duve to claim: “If it were possible for photography to be totally devoid of style, the Bechers would be so utterly.”2 The Bechers’ photographs are difficult to pin down. They blur the distinction between “art” photography and practical uses of the medium. Wavering between the transcendent and the banal, they continue to force artists to question the meaning of the photographic object. In 1976 Bernd was offered a position at the Düsseldorf Academy where he taught for two decades. It was under his mentorship that the so-called Düsseldorf school of photography came into being. Boasting Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer, and Thomas Ruff as graduates, the academy became a powerhouse in the changing photographic landscape of the ‘80s and ‘90s. While each artist moved in a distinct direction, the formal rigor of the Bechers is felt across all of their work. The exchange went both ways. By the ‘90s, the Bechers began showing their photographs singly and enlarged to monumental sizes, a method of display popularized by their students. When reproduced in books, the Bechers’ photographs become archives of industrial structures as calculated as taxonomical atlases or supply catalogues. On the gallery wall, their transformation into grids echoes the production values of the objects that they depict. They open windows into a world inhabited by the skeletons of a bygone era; they are portraits of obsolescence. The Bechers were not alone in their quest to create massive collections of images derived from their surroundings. Gerhard Richter, Bernd’s colleague at the Düsseldorf Academy, began to assemble images taken from the mass media and his personal life in the mid-60s, giving rise to his ongoing Atlas Project. In contrast to the Bechers, Richter’s project is one of accumulation without order, serving primarily as a sourcebook for the painter’s work. The compulsive desire to construct archives was a recurring theme in German photography throughout the 20th century. In l927, Aby Warburg began his Mnemosyne Atlas which sought to organize images taken from newspapers, magazines, and books into coherent categories. Warburg died in 1929 and his atlas was left unfinished. Working at the same time as Warburg, August Sander’s exhaustive cataloguing of German citizens provides a photographic precedent for the Bechers. All of the abovementioned projects converge in their attempt shape the chaos of German identity in the 20th century into a stable form. The photograph becomes a means of preserving the fleeting, the unstable. Having grown up in Western Pennsylvania, a region that has only recently recovered from the collapse of a once booming steel industry, the Bechers’ photographs resonate in ways the transcend matters of artistic form and concept. To myself and other natives of the area, the subjects taken up by the Bechers are a familiar sight, oddly comforting and reassuring. Rusted blast furnaces dot the landscape back home. They are the crumbling ruins of a blue collar empire: an Appalacian Rome. The Bechers visited and photographed the area in the late ‘70s, effectively performing the last rites for a dying culture. A subtle grandeur, steeped in melancholy, pervades the resulting images. Despite the fashionable dismissal of the Bechers’ work as cold and calculated, to natives of the regions photographed, the images are brimming with pathos. If the pleasure of looking offered by the camera is one of an unreachable past, the Bechers’ project serves as a reminder of the impermanence of ourselves and the structures that make up our surroundings. 1
Thierry de Duve, Basic Forms (New York: TeNeues, 1999), 7.
EMERGING A RTISTS Katherine Phipps
Katherine Phipps. Transmission.
EMERGING A RTISTS Nina Moysi
Nina Moysi. Menorca.
S aya W oolfa lk magical realism
Musée: Do you still refer to your creations as ‘No Placeans’? Are they people? Aliens? In your mind, what makes a person? SAYA WOOLFALK: The first part of my project was called No Place (2006-2008), and the plant-humans hybrids who populate that work are called the No Placeans. In 2009, I started working on The Empathics, a group of fictional human women who try to become like the people of No Place through science and ritual. The Empathics are ordinary people who physically metamorphose as they merge cultural identities and cross species. M: Can you describe your utopia that your characters inhabit – No Place? SW: No Place is a future race of plant-humans, who change gender and color, use our refuse as usable technologies, and turn back into the landscape when they die. They eat, sleep, live in complex family structures, and die. M: It’s interesting that NoPlacian sounds like Neoplatonist, who attempted to reconcile the classical and the christian philosophy sort of in the same way you reconcile the various disparate cultures in your work. Was this an intentional pun? SW: Actually the title is derived from the English word, “utopia,” coined by Sir Thomas More from the Greek “no” (ou) and “place” (topos)--literally, no place. In the tradition of the folk tale, No Place is the repository of the dreams of many: dancers, artists, curators, students, teachers, biologists, and anthropologists all participated in producing the contours of this place. Portrait by Elia Alba, 2014. Behind the scenes photograph of Saya Woolfalk for Alba’s upcoming book The Supper Club. All images ©Saya Woolfalk, courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks+Projects, New York.
M: What do you consider the final product in your work? The performance? The sculpture? The documentation? SW: All of the work combined is what I think of as the final product. Every time someone encounters one of my pieces I hope it stimulates them to seek out another; like chapters in a book or fragments from a new culture. M: Can we talk about all the mediums you work in? Do you go through phases of, say, sculpture vs performance? SW: When I am in the studio, I have sculptures, videos, paintings, collages, and costumes all in production simultaneously. I am currently working on collages, a video, and new sculptures for my show at Leslie Tonkonow Gallery in January, and a meditation event as a part of my exhibition currently up at Smack Mellon Gallery in Brooklyn. M: You worked with DJ Spooky at the Asian Art Museum (which was awesome)– do you often get a chance to combine your work with contemporary producers. SW: Thank you! Working on the piece at the Asian Art Museum was really a wonderful experience. DJ Spooky (Paul Miller) has been incredibly generous in lending me his music for a few projects. The next piece we will be presenting is a performance at the Chrysler Museum in Virginia in November during my solo show ChimaTEK: Life Products. To make almost all of my work, I incorporate the brilliant creativity and skill of many dancers, filmmakers, musicians, and animators. I love working collaboratively with people. M: I see a lot of early Mesoamerican influence in your work – mostly because of the feathers and the idea of the god Quetzalcoatl – is this a large influence? SW: I try to have a large breath of visual references in my work, and I do love the imagery associated with Quetzalcoatl. We took a family trip to Teotihuacan last summer and my work was pretty immediately inspired by that trip. M: What part does spirituality, if any, play in your work? SW: I often use the language of sacred spaces like shrines and temples to create a sentiment of wonderment and awe in my installations. M: Do you view the metamorphosis of your (No Placeans?) as a parable / fable about our world? SW: Living and working in New York, I encounter people from all around the world on a daily basis. There’s an energy when people come in and out of contact with one another, and it causes our cultures to transform, which is something I try to capture in the stories I tell with my work. M: What is your ultimate fable, where do you want to take the viewer? SW: The answer to this is always changing based on the project I am working on. Currently I’m finishing up work on my project ChimaTEK, in which the initial nonprofit drives of the Empathics’ Insititue of Empathy are transformed into salable technologies. I try to incorporate the push and pull of utopian and dystopian impulses in my work, to create a tension in what can be consumed as pleasurable visual art. M: What is your ritual? SW: My days are pretty ritualized. I wake up in the morning and get my daughter Aya ready for school, then go to the studio all day. At the end of the day, I pick Aya up, we walk home and have dinner with my husband Sean. In the evening, we like to spend time together as a family. I start that ritual again when I wake up the next day. Opposite: An Empathic Preparing to Paint Images from the Book Empathetic Plant Alchemy (Anna), 2011.
An Empathic Preparing to PaintÂ Images from the Book Empathetic Plant Alchemy (Jessica), 2011.
An Empathic Preparing to PaintÂ Images from the Book Empathetic Plant Alchemy (Jillian), 2011.
EMERGING A RTISTS Alex Falcao
Alex Falcao. Opposite and Above: Images from Umbanda house, Rio de Janeiro.
EMERGING A RTISTS Guy Tzaraf
Guy Tzaraf. Above and Opposte: Untitled, from the series From the Family Album. 2013.
T H O MA S D OZO L the face we want by john hutt
Everyone is alone when they sleep and continues to be alone while they wake. There is a moment upon waking when we are unsure of who we are and where we are. For this moment everyone is equal, in the hazy grogginess of near sleep. In the morning we are the most vulnerable. Our bedfellows are bathed in unflattering light and the sheets are sticky and the shower will be too cold. The subjects in Dozol’s portraits are all caught in moments of perfect nakedness. The moments he chooses to capture are not the planned sight or the sprezzatura of the talented and beautiful. Dozol has waited and lulled his subjects into the quiet vulnerability that comes after a shower. It’s not the night anymore, it’s the beginning of another day, and the energy required to get that face on has not yet been mustered. His subjects are in the bathroom asquat the cocksool, stretching their eyes, or blankly staring ahead; glazed over as they attempt to put sense into the new day and establish their own existence. It’s a hard thing to do, waking up. No one really wants to do it. There needs to be a buffer of a half hour to really get to grips with the fact that once again we are going to be out in the world. Just like every other quest for self identity, we ritualize the morning and believe in superstitious ideas. A cigarette must be had with coffee, a shower must immediately precede the coffee and if there is an occasion where we have to be supremely self-aware then it’s vital we do our hair. The amount of control that people normally have over how their image is presented to the world goes beyond what they look like when they leave the house. People who are not celebrities control what pictures are shown online and what happens when their name is typed into Google. The argument that social media exposes us to the world is false. Social media allows people to show the face they want, in the best light they have, with as much post production as they please. Dozol’s subjects not only have no control over how they look when they are photographed, but they also have no say in the postproduction. The more control there is, the more control must be stripped away. Images of bathing as a candid peek is an old a tradition, and always a woman. A statue of Venus being caught with her hair down from 2nd century crouches in the British Museum, the goddess looks over her shoulder attempting to shield herself from the onlooker; onlookers who have access to her every angle. Rodin’s The Bather is more of a shampoo commercial than it is an examination of vulnerability. In the tradition of painting, the nude caught in the act of washing gave more insight into the idea of women in that society than any understanding into the subject’s actual state of mind. Beautiful women washing and a bit of sideboob. I woke up like this. Even Picasso would make sure that his bathers were facing the most public direction. Dozol’s bathers, conversely, are part of the landscape of the photograph. They fit into the scenery more in tune with Degas’ The Tub than more traditional work, and that is a good thing. Dozol’s work has an architectural component that make the comparison with sculpture apt. Of equal importance as the wet hair of a model are the parallel lines of the tiles. The subjects’ bodies are divided by steel frames and shower booths. Faces are captured from different angles and shine from perfectly circular mirrors. I’ll Be Your Mirror was Dozol’s first show, and his later work shows that his interest in geometry only increased. While his most recent series show polygons imposed on top of portraits, I’ll be Your Mirror accomplishes the same marriage in a more subtle way. The shining utility of the bathroom contrasts with the flushed, unprepared, skin of his subjects. The backgrounds accentuate the subjects, elevating the picture from more than just a document of the banality of morning existence or a typical nude. In the best pictures, each body is a landscape, the contours of each subject fitting into the diorama. Portrait by Thomas Dozol. All images from the series, I’ll Be Your Mirror.
Thomas Dozol. Chris.
Thomas Dozol. Damien.
Thomas Dozol. Top: Slava. Bottom: Patrick.
Thomas Dozol. Top: Wolfgang. Bottom: Kai.
Thomas Dozol. Michael.
Thomas Dozol. Jamie.
EMERGING A RTISTS Heather Cantrell
Heather Cantrell. Circus Family. From the series Centuryâ€™s End.
EMERGING A RTISTS Garret Huxley
Garret Huxley. Opposite and Above: from the series Carnival of the Animals, 2014.
Lore n zo Vit T u ri p r e c a r i o u s a r ra n g e m e n t s
by cory rice
The Parisian avant-garde’s affinity for the flea market at Saint-Ouen is well documented in the art and literature of the early surrealists during the 1920s. A renegade market, the marché aux puces offered an ever-changing mix of the old and the new, the practical and the obsolete, the curious and the banal. Out of the rituals of the flea emerged the found object, a conflation of art and life that continues to influence artists today. Nearly a century later, Lorenzo Vitturi explores a similar ritual, the farmer’s market, in his photographic series and book, Dalston Anatomy. Turning his camera upon the people and goods of the Ridley Road Market in Dalston, Vitturi has assembled a remarkable collection of images that convey the beautiful chaos that characterizes the market and its products. Like the surrealist object, the subjects chosen by Vitturi play off of the unconscious of viewers and encourage the mind to wander beyond the frame of the image or page of the book. Faces are obscured by trinkets, discarded textiles, and colorful substances, forcing viewers into a double-take in order to make sense of the images. The uncanny is everywhere. Vitturi’s background as a set painter becomes apparent in the vibrant contrasts and precarious compositions throughout the series. His attention to color and lighting lend the images a painterly quality rarely found in the work of contemporary photographers.Yet his arrangements of food pervert the conventional still life. Everything is rotting and nothing is edible. The ephemeral nature of market transactions and products is a common thread throughout the series. Delicate compositions teeter on collapse at the slightest touch or gentle breeze. Vitturi relies upon his camera to immortalize otherwise untenable sculptural arrangements. Like the surrealists who feared the displacement of the flea market by rapidly spreading department stores, Vitturi poses the farmer’s market as an endangered species in a world dominated by mass produced and marketed foods and products. The threats of gentrification upon an old tradition are felt most outside of the frame of the photographs, as one steps away from the image or sets down the book. The beauty of Dalston Anatomy endures while the fragility of Ridley Road Market in the face of capitalist enterprise cannot be ignored. Vitturi’s project emphasizes the pleasures of the unique and the marvelous in an economy that glorifies uniformity and sameness. It is a vanitas theme for the 21st century. Portrait by Davide Gallizio. All images © Lorenzo Vitturi, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York. From the series Dalston Anatomy.
Lorenzo Vitturi. Top Left: Green Stripes #1, 2013. Bottom Right: Red Still Life, 2013. Opposite: Blue Stripes & Bi-Color Hair, 2013
Lorenzo Vitturi. Creamy Dalston Stuff, 2013.
Lorenzo Vitturi. Opposite: Multicolor #1, 2013. Above: Yellow Chalk #1 & 2, 2013.
FORMENTO & FORMENTO
Formento & Formento. Christina.
Formento & Formento. Jeanette.
Hr v oje S lo v e n c safe word ANDREA BLANCH: How did the Home Theater series come about? HRVOJE SOVENC: When I moved to the United States, I started to notice the ways that our everyday lives are constructed— almost like a script or a play. I only began to notice this after I moved from Croatia because everything seemed so weird. When I was back home, everything appeared natural because I had grown up there. But after I moved, I began noticing these little things, these masks that people put on. It was the constructed aspects of life that I wanted to put into my images, but it wasn’t easy. I tried many things with little luck until one day I came across an ad on Craigslist posted by a dominatrix who was looking for a photographer to take pictures of her so that she could advertise on her website. I was never in touch with that world prior to setting up this shoot, so I didn’t really know what to expect. When I showed up at her apartment, she had just finished making pancakes and the pan was still on her stove. On the other side of the apartment, there was a closet full of cleaning supplies that she would have her clients use to scrub her floors. The contrast of the two was super interesting to me. I wondered if I put the part of her apartment that was designed for the pleasure of her clients in the same image as the objects of everyday life, if the the stove would begin to look constructed. It all looked like a stage to me. So I began seeking out people who were engaging in S&M activities in order to compare the spaces they used for living with the spaces that they used for pleasure with the hopes that the domestic space would look like constructed spaces as well. AB: Did you participate in S&M too? HS: No. When I first started, I was a little bit afraid—I didn’t know what to expect. When I visited the first apartment, I gave the address where I was going to a friend and told him that if I didn’t get in touch in an hour or so to come look for me. Although I never directly participated, I think some of the people were skeptical that I was just a photographer. In order to create the images I would have to return to the spaces at least once after shooting. I would photograph one part of the room, develop and print the images, and then return to photograph the second part. I think that some of them thought that adopting the role of photographer was my way of trying to dominate them. It became like a game. AB: What was the most difficult part of the project? HS: The most difficult part of Home Theater was creating images in a way that wouldn’t come off as too formulaic. I wanted every scene to be fresh and new. I tried to instill an element of ambiguity. I wanted to show that even the spaces that we design for our own private relaxation are like stages wherein we are the protagonists playing our roles. AB: What was the most interesting object that didn’t make it into the series? HS: When you look through the series, there is a red interior that shows an armchair in one image and a blank wall in the other. In the middle of the room there was a swing just hanging from the ceiling. It was so amazing because it was right there in the middle of the living room. On one wall there were family pictures: mom, dad, and the kids. Then this swing. It was so majestic in that space. In the end I decided to leave it out in order to keep the spaces more ambiguous. I like the emptiness of the resulting images. Portrait by Andrea Blanch. All artwork images courtesy of the artist and Flowers Gallery, NY.
Hrvoje Slovenc. Top: Untitled X (Itâ€™s a girl), Marble Hill,Chapter I: Home Theater (2010).
Bottom: Untitled XII (Hand Sanitazer), Marble Hill,Chapter I: Home Theater (2010)
AB: What prompted you to present your work on multiple panels? HS: At first I was going present each piece as one long print. AB: Like a panoramic. HS: Yes, but as soon as I began doing that the work seemed too constructed. I felt like I was losing a sense of the real. I wanted to split up the domestic and S&M spaces while keeping a format that was natural to photography. So the panels are full frames. AB: There is an absence of people and intimacy in the series. HS: I was not interested in people at all. I didn’t want the project to be about the S&M people. The only image that has a person in it shows a man from behind. I think this lack of intimacy does speak of intimacy— from a distance. I’m trying to express something by doing the opposite: an absence of intimacy in order to express intimacy. AB: What is it about the spaces of others that attracts you? HS: It’s like you are going into someone’s private temple. The aura of the space, the objects that they have, the smell, everything about it really excites me as an artist. AB: So what do you think of the space you are in right now? HS: It reminds me of my own! I think that when people come over they might think that everything is a mess but I know exactly where each thing is…Most of the time. AB: You did your MFA work at Yale. How did that program influence your practice? HS: Todd Papageorge was the chair while I was at Yale. He taught me the valuable lesson that nobody is going to care about what you are trying to do if the images are not striking enough for them to look at first. The first step is to figure out what kind of photographer you are. It is easy to fall into the trap of trying to create images to please other people— especially when you are surrounded by people who you admire. So the push was to admit what kind of photographer I was, and then create the best possible images with this
in mind. They definitely do not take your hand. They try to break you down. So they are slapping you left and right hoping that you are going to get on your feet and do the work that you have to do. AB: Do you think that grad school is important for young photographers? HS: Absolutely, but at the right time. I was 25 or 26 when I started doing photography. I did biochemistry before that. By the time I started grad school I was in my early thirties and it was the right time. I was ready to experiment with my photography and I think that is one of the most important aspects of grad school. You have to set aside what you think you know in order to experiment and fail and pick yourself back up. AB: How has your work changed since you left Yale? HS: It is always evolving. With each project I try to learn a different visual language. So for example, Home Theater was one of my first projects using color in a meaningful way. As soon as I finished it, I immediately switched to black and white and began focusing on people. So I am always challenging myself. AB: So tell us a little bit about your next project. HS: Iâ€™m working in Croatia on a project that looks at the way that society is changing over there. It is one of the few places that I know of where I think the younger generations are more conservative than the older ones. So I am working through ways to show this without being too direct or too obvious. I want it to be open and ambiguous, but still give a feeling to viewers that something is not quite right. AB: How would you describe yourself in three words? HS: Risk-taker. Impulsive. Loyal. AB: If you were not a photographer what would you be? HS: I would be a tour guide maybe. I would write travel books. I adore travel and changing environments. AB: What would your daily ritual be? HS: Coffee. But in general when I feel like I am falling into a mold I try to break that.
Hrvoje Slovenc. Top: Untitled I (October Bliss), Marble Hill,Chapter I: Home Theater (2010).
Hrvoje Slovenc. Top: Untitled XI (Home Theater), Marble Hill,Chapter I: Home Theater (2010).
Bottom: Untitled VII (Camp Verde), Marble Hill,Chapter I: Home Theater (2010)
Maria Turchenkova. Untitled. From The Fight Club Series.
Maria Turchenkova. Untitled. From The Fight Club Series.
J O HN CY R
by john hutt
The darkroom is a sacred space, hazy with red light and pungent with alchemy. We have mastered the sun and captured the light. The philosophers stone has been created. Developing sheets are scrying mirrors that eek out nebulous visions that become clearer the longer you stare. Once inside the darkroom voices are quiet, as if somehow sound will have an effect on the magic that takes place here. It is a solitary activity, the communion of the magician with the objects of their art. The analog world of photography is cryptic and obfuscous; we are already attempting archeology and cataloging its artifacts. Cyr as a modern Pitt-Rivers. The viewer can dig for answers and take the side of the archeologists, or we can look for visions and take the side of the mystics. As any sacred space, there are objects of ritualistic use whose beauty is a product of their alchemic utility. The larger relationship to photography, form, subject, and function is all explored in the microcosm of photography that is John Cyr’s portraits of dark room trays. Like the peak of a fractal, each image is a portrait of a tray developed in a tray of a tray in a tray in a tray in a tray in a darkroom in a tray with developer fluid on his fingers. We stare at the scratches and chemical trails on each tray looking for signs of greatness, divining the past from these scratched tea leaves. When a tray looks like that does that mean something great has happened in it? When something great has happened does a tray look like that? Is there a step change? Is the omen an omen because it comes true or does it become true because it is an omen? The viewer examines the developer trays of Ansel Adams and places upon it her own ideas of what each line means. She is told the marks are Adams’ and her mind rushes to connect these scratches with the lines of mountains, the crags of rocks. What if Cyr is having us all on; is this part of his magic? It’s not really Adams, it was the photography John Cyr. John Cyr’s Developer Tray. All images from the series, Developer Trays.
department at the New York Post. That’s not the scratches of a thousand meticulous rivers carving their way through landscape. It’s Local Man, the creases now facial wrinkles of worry about immigration. But it is Adams’ because we believe it is so. What does each scratch tell us about his technique? Is he merely a larger vessel for the great work that is the interpretation of trays? He is merely a stone. This is the great work that began when we captured light. We have to take Cyr at his word, otherwise we have nothing to go on. It’s all made through alchemy, you see? The trays are objects that we project meaning into. As a statue is both a god and a piece of rock, so a darkroom tray is a piece of plastic and the final genesis of creation. Why do we care what a developer tray looks like if it is not from a famous and talented photographer? We have already idolized them and placed them on a pedestal to where the act of creation is a creative act itself. What is the subject and what is the object? Did they know they were creating fortunes? Did they know their very lines and chemicals would be looked to as omens of what is to come and artifacts of what has passed? It is the fact that these trays are from the famous and talented that imbues them with magic. What do the lines tell us? Cyr refuses to be our guide, he is merely a documentarian, a cataloger John Cyr. Adam Fuss’s Developer Tray.
and collector who meticulously labels and organizes. It is up to us to create the grand purpose. It is up to me. It is the most natural thing to expect the supernatural to evolve from the most benign, though it verges on insanity. So I stare at the lines in the trays like a soothsayer with entrails and I see the future and I see the past. We are now to our darker purpose. The lines are leaves. You see god in lines. In the non-specific trays from the photo labs around the world, the much used, we look as archeologists, uncovering the layers of D-76 and hoping to find some truth. We were expecting so much. This is not the great work. Excavating the disused refuse of the greats and coming back with the same piece of plastic again and again yields nothing. So cry the conservatives who want the secrets to remain secret. The secret society of the darkroom is fading, the sacred spaces are supplanted by photo-labs of screens that emit light rather than capture it. The ancient sun god is being reborn in a new, digital form, broken down from its components into electrons and photons that donâ€™t exist anyway. Then we emerged from the caves and took the light in with us. John Cyr. Lillian Basmanâ€™s Developer Tray.
John Cyr. Chuck Keltonâ€™s Developer Tray.
John Cyr. Sally Mannâ€™s Developer Tray.
John Cyr. Joel-Peter Witkinsâ€™s Developer Tray.
John Cyr. Developer Tray from the George Eastman Legacy Collection of the Gearge Eastman House.
ARTIST B I O G R A P H I E S BERND and HILLA BECHER are collaborative German conceptual artists. Bernd studied painting at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart from 1953 to 1956, and typography at the Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie from 1959 to 1961. Hilla studied photography at the Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie from 1958 to 1961. They got married in 1961 and then worked as freelance photographers for the Troost Advertising Agency. They are famous for their images of industrial water towers, buildings and structures. They have influenced numerous artists such as Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff and Axel Hütte. MICHEL BERNARDAUD is The CEO and Chairman of The Bernardaud Group, which is the premier manufacturer and exporter of porcelain tableware in France. As the fifth generation of the family to lead the company, Bernardaud continues to preserve and honor the savoir faire of the artisan techniques and modernize the production facilities. He particularly focuses on collaborating with contemporary artists and designers including Jeff Koons, Sophie Calle, and David Lynch. CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI was born in Paris and lives in Malakoff. He left formal education when he was 12, and started painting and drawing at that time. He often uses daily objects or lost property to create installations. According to him, 60 percent of his work is destroyed after every exhibition. If the piece is not destroyed, he will remove the artwork or mix it with another. Boltanski’s work has been shown worldwide at museums such as Muse d’art modern de la ville de Paris, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Regina Sofia, Madrid, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. JOHN CYR is well-known for his series, Developer Trays, in which he photographed numerous famous photographers’ trays for developer in the darkroom, including: Ansel Adams, Sally Mann, Aaron Siskind, Minor White, Jerry Uelsmann and Emmet Gowin. He is a Brooklyn-based photographer, printer, and educator, who graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a MFA degree. He teaches at the International Center of Photography and Adelphi University. Cyr’s photographs are represented in many notable public and private collections including the Photographic History Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and The New York Public Library. THOMAS DOZOL was born in Fort De France, Martinique. He received his BA in Acting at Ecole Florent in 1998 and his BA in Mathematics and Economics at Université Paris Dauphine in 1999. Dozol’s work focuses on the human body, and explores people’s reaction as they become the focus of observation. In his series, I’ll Be Your Mirror, Dozol photographs friends and acquaintances in mental and physical states of undress, as they wash themselves. He lives and works in New York. HEIDI ZUCKERMAN is The CEO, Director and Chief Curator at The Aspen Art Museum, who specializes in global contemporary art. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA and from City University of New York-Hunter College with a MA in Art History. She curated numerous exhibitions for contemporary artists worldwide such as Peter Doig, Wolfgang Laib, and T.J. Wilcox. Zuckerman Jacobson has taught at UC Berkeley, CUNY Hunter College, and she is a professor in the Masters of Curatorial Studies program at California College of the Arts. Berlin-based Hungarian photographer, ADAM MAGYAR is interested in the urban life that is surrounded by high-technology. His work addresses the synergy of man and the high-tech city by adopting and reinventing contemporary devices such as industrial machine-vision cameras. He usually asks a factory or the manufacturer to make a specific camera and then develops the systems behind the camera himself. His works are represented in the collections of Deutsche Bank, The Hong Kong Heritage Museum and The Bidwell Projects.
HAROLD LEE MILLER is a national advertising photographer whose work has covered lifestyle, conceptual and portrait photography since 1989. In August 2005, Miller started to photograph the participants at the poultry and rabbit barns of the Indiana State Fair. Then he expanded his project to fairs held in Jackson, Dubois, Elkhart, Owen, Jay, Monroe, Delaware, Washington, Marion, and Knox counties. This book was a finalist for Foreword Review’s Book of the Year in 2012. KATHY RYAN is an image editor who works for The New York Times Magazine as the Director of Photography. She started to post appealing daily photos on Instagram in 2011, which gradually became a ritual and an on-going art piece. Because of her production with Sølve Sundsbø, Fourteen Actors Acting, The New York Times Magazine was awarded a News and Documentary Emmy; a first for the Magazine. She edited the book The New York Times Magazine Photographs, which is published by Aperture, and curated the exhibition with the same name with Lesley A. Martin at The Aperture Gallery. HRVOJE SLOVENC received his MS in Biochemistry from University of Zagreb, his BA in Photography from the City College of New York, and his MFA in Photography from Yale University School of Art. He is particularly interested in domestic spaces that look like artificial, hyperreal scenes, and illusional intimate relationships created for the camera. In his Home Theater section of the series Marble Hill, he solicited people on sex websites by presenting himself as a sadomasochistic practitioner, and photographed the domestic spaces where S&M occurred. He currently teaches at Parsons The New School for Design, and County College of Morris. JEMIMA STEHLI lives and works in London. She uses her naked body to explore photography as a medium and its relationship with performance and sculpture. In the series, Strip, she invited various art critics to her studio, and let them squeeze the shutter release to take a photograph whenever they wanted as she was striping in front of them. Some of her work also addresses the traditions of art history and questions its position within the contemporary world by incorporating iconic imagery from other artists including Larry Bell, Allen Jones and Helmut Newton. Stehli’s work has been shown throughout the world, and she just had a solo show in Focal Point Gallery, Essex, England in 2014. KEVIN TACHMAN’s photographic work focuses on fashion, entertainment, and music. He creates mystery and ambiguous visual space with multiple layers in his photographs for fashion shows. His work has been shown in various print and online publications such as: Vogue, NYTimes.com, Marie Claire Russia, The Daily Beast, Elle Decor, and The Wall Street Journal. Tachman received many awards including the 2010 Award of Excellence from Pictures of the Year International, First Prize in PDN’s 2011 The Look Contest in the Runway/Street Scene category, and the 2010 Ultimate Music Moment Contest. LORENZO VITTURI was born in Venice, lives and works in London and Milan. He graduated from Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome with a BA in Photography and Graphic Design in 2004. He worked as a cinema set painter before and brought that experience into his photographs, which are filled with intense colors and theatrical constructions. Vitturi researches the locations, manipulates the space and photographs them to realize appealing scenes and revolve around site-specific interventions. He was also awarded as the winner in PDN’s 2011 The Curator in the Installation category. SAYA WOOLFALK was born in Gifu City, Japan, and grew up in Scarsdale, NY. Her mother is a Japanese and her father is a mixed-race African American and Caucasian. She earned her BA from Brown University and her MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She attended the Independent Study Program at Whitney Museum of American Art in 2006. According to art critic Holland Cotter, Woolfalk has created her own society of mythological beings, blending racial and ethnic differences and dissolving the line between humans and plants.
SPECIAL THANKS TO SHAHID & COMPANY & THE MUSÉ E TEAM
SUBMIT YOUR WORK TO MUSÉE NO. 11: VANITY 1. Submit high resolution images. 2. Please do not include watermarks. 3. Use ‘Issue No. 11’ as the email subject. 4. Include name, photo title and contact information that you would like to see published. 5. Deadline for submission is January 5, 2015. 6. To submit, please visit www.museemagazine.com or send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org.
W W W. MU SEEMAGAZIN E.C OM