Monday 22 March 2010

Mitch Epstein: American Power

1000 Words is offering its readers discounted copies of the fabulous book American Power by Mitch Epstein, courtesy of Steidl. To order your copy please contact tim(at)1000wordsmag(dot)com.

Please see below for more details:

Mitch Epstein
American Power


All images © Mitch Epstein

In American Power, Mitch Epstein investigates notions of power, both electrical and political. His focus is on energy – how it gets made, how it gets used, and the ramifications of both. From 2003 to 2008, he photographed at and around sites where fossil fuel, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and solar power are produced in the United States. The resulting photographs contain Epstein’s signature complex wit, surprising detail, and formal rigour. These pictures illuminate the intersection between American society and American landscape. Here is a portrait of early 21st century America, as it clings to past comforts and gropes for a more sensible future. In an accompanying essay, Epstein discusses his method, and how making these photographs led him to think harder about the artist’s role in a country teetering between collapse and transformation.

Special price for 1000 Words readers: £38.00
Free shipping within the United Kingdom available

Book design by Black River Production, McCall Associates, Gerhard Steidl
144 pages, 64 colour plates
29.5 cm x 26.5 cm
Clothbound hardcover with dustjacket
ISBN: 978-3-86521-924-4

Interview with Glasshouse Images

Jacqueline Bovaird recently wrote to me explaining how she is examining new approaches to the traditional magazine model. One of the things she says she has seen as a big difference in the last few years is an audience’s capacity to wait for new content. We want everything now, and then we want more. "While I fully embrace a constant stream of information, great content is worth the wait," she says. She asked me to contribute some ideas on the subject, to which I naturally obliged. Below is the resulting interview. It was originally published here.

JACQUELINE BOVAIRD: Tell me a little about your background and how it led up to 1000 Words.

TIM CLARK: I have a background in Photography and Visual Culture from Falmouth College of Arts and the University of Brighton, England. I have a background in Visual Culture and Photography from Falmouth College of Arts and The University of Brighton, England and previously held positions at various galleries in both the public and private sector including Arnolfini, Fabrica and Michael Hoppen Gallery, London. My writing has appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, FOAM, The British Journal of Photography, Next Level and Foto8 as well as in exhibition catalogues. I've been a juror on a number of awards and competitions including freshfacedandwildeyed and recently the Academy of Nominators for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. Over the years, I've also been invited to review portfolios at FORMAT International Photography Festival, The Saatchi Gallery, Fotofest Houston and ICP's Career Day.

© Jeffrey Silverthorne

JB: Tell me a little about 1000 Words. What’s the goal? What do you see as different from other sources?

TC: 1000 Words is an online magazine dedicated to highlighting the best of contemporary art photography in the UK and beyond. We are committed to showing the work of lesser-known but significant artists alongside that of established photographers in the aim of bringing their work to a wider audience. Often incredibly diverse in terms of subjects, concepts, styles and techniques, yet by covering a wide spectrum of genres 1000 Words intends to make us reconsider the contemporary photograph. The goal, I suppose, is to carve out our own niche and stand at the forefront of developments in online photography. My aim has really been to explore or exploit the creative possibilities of the internet and in the process provide an exciting space to see photography outside the conventional outlet of galleries, books and magazines.

In terms of what I see as different from other sources, well without wanting to sound too immodest, I don´t think that any other online title has this level of ambition, or quality for that matter. Both innovative and informative, 1000 Words is actively promoting important photography in an intellectual but accessible way. The response of the audience indicates that it is greatly appreciated and much needed by the contemporary photography world. (The site attracts approximately 140,000 unique visitors from over 75 countries every month.) Its design and presentation is very modern, very now and conveys a sense of confidence and knowledge. In general, I think it hits all the right chords… from its name, its design, writing and varied mix of photography, all of which is brought together in a package that is free but contained. I guess what I´m saying is that there is so much photography out there, too much, and we want to do our bit to prevent it from becoming an endless sprawling suburb of mediocrity. As Thomas Doubliez, editorial director at Agence Vu, once said, “1000 Words is not a magazine, it´s a manifesto!”

© Bruno Quinquet

JB: How do you choose which photography goes on the site?

TC: We receive around 50 portfolio submissions and press releases every day which is one level of images. I also spend a great deal of my time trawling through photographers´ blogs and websites to see what recent projects that have been working on so that´s another. Similarly, I check all the agencies from around the globe to see their latest offerings as well. Then there are the catalogs we get sent from all the major publishing houses that specialize in photography books, the best of which I earmark and keep a close eye on for any developments as to future releases. The rest consists of simply getting out there and seeing as many exhibitions as physically possible, going to their private views, chatting with the photographers and curators involved, collecting their business cards so on so forth. The international photography festival circuit provides an invaluable opportunity to see work of real pedigree so I make point of developing close relationships with the likes of PhotoEspaña, Photo New York, Paris Photo and Les Rencontres d´Arles for example, and attend whenever I can. These festivals should form an essential stop on any professional photographer´s itinerary.

From that, the type of photography I´m looking to showcase on the site has to be able transport you to a world you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. The best pictures, for me, show you something that everybody recognizes in a way that you haven´t seen before. Now that may seem like two opposing ideas but in fact it is not. It is all to do with saying something new about your subject. It´s about contributing new ideas that shed light on some unseen aspect which opens up a space for questioning the world around us. There also has to be some magic involved, a certain romance even. I like photography that is eccentric, eloquent and apolitical. The work you´ll find on 1000 Words reflects this and our selection of imagery often attempts to stump the viewer´s expectations and suspend their disbelief. I would like to think that it´s as though the pictures take on a life of their own. Of course, speaking on a more practical level, I need to see a series of images that is methodically built up, and underpinned by a strong aesthetic and concept, preferably forming part of a project.

© Rimaldas Viksraitis

JB: What’s next?

TC: Aside from developing our brand direction and increasing both the quality and quantity of of the magazine, there are already plans afoot to roll out a long-term program of 1000 Words exhibitions and events such as workshops, slide shows, talks, panel discussions, portfolio reviews and prizes and awards.

Riego van Wersch

All images © Riego van Wersch

By way of introduction to this work, Riego van Wersch quotes Octavio Paz: "Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition."

There is neither peculiar subjects nor eccentricity, neither tricks nor devices in the photographs of Riego van Wersch. Instead what we have are urban vistas, countryside landscapes, beaches, photographed both at night and day and across all continents. Human beings are not so much erased elements in the photographs but dissolve in the setting. Nonetheless, they are precious and essential to the instinctive reasoning of the author.

Time is not immobile and the subjects do not seem fixed. We will not be surprised to see them prolong their action. On the contrary, time passes by slowly, life passes by in front of our eyes. Riego van Wersch points his finger towards these beings, benumbed by their everyday life and resigned to their condition.

This is it indeed, a poignant stack of evidence that makes us unsteady in front of these images: The inevitable solitude of man.

With the same urge, where poetry meets cynicism, served by an extremely controlled graphic design, the tough acuity of his gaze shows us what he perceives best of our human condition. These photographs are not intellectual. They rather represent feelings.

Riego van Wersch, 37 years old, lives in Paris. He got into photography somewhat precociously at the age of 11, again in a self-taught way. Amnesty International exhibited his work at the age of 17 at Auvers sur Oise, France. A graduate of the Gobelins, photography course, at 24, he has since become and important figure as the Director of Photography on countless international advertising campaigns.

Sunday 21 March 2010

David Dunnico

When no one was looking, we became the most watched country on earth. Reality TV records the rise of CCTV surveillance in the United Kingdom. A timely exhibition that mixes polemic, graphic urban images with humour and comes to the surprising conclusion that Big Brother probably isn't watching you – but your supermarket definitely is.

The project by David Dunnico, a documentary photographer from Manchester in the UK is being shown alongside a new theatre production of George Orwell's 1984, at Manchester's famous Royal Exchange Theatre until 27 March 2010.

Saturday 20 March 2010

Ruben Reehorst

All images © Ruben Reenhorst

I´ve been sitting on these images (not literally of course!) for quite a while now. It´s hardly to tell you the exact reason for this. Perhaps I felt the concepts they engage are too similar to those of Indre Serpytyte´s stunning series State of Silence which we featured in #2 of 1000 Words? Perhaps their nominated aesthetic veers too much towards the commercial for my liking? Or perhaps the pictured objects are too sullen to be a certificate of presence and too self-contained and unyielding to be impactful enough? Yet, despite this slow-burn affect, I keep coming back to them. It has now become clear that yes they are restrained but they are in fact powerful images, and deeply personal ones at that, so who am I to pass judgement anyway? In time, they will become a poignant and elegic tribute to a missing father, but also to he who is left behind.

Reehorst writes: "1982-the year I was born, the year my father built the house he currently lives. Now, 27 years later, the house´s future is uncertain or bound to eventually disappear. To me, the house is a museum filled with artefacts wich are symbolic for both my childhood and pieces of my fathers artistic persona. In time, the objects lost their functional value and fell into oblivious decay. The photos are taken in a clean, registrative sense, as if they are documented to be put in an archive. Disconnected from personal emotion or melancholy, this is a series of saying goodbye to a part of my own life and an attempt to visualize the caleidoscopic world of my father. Through displaying the images in negative form, I attempt to show both the transformation of material through time, and the photographic process through which I re-incarnate the objects by taking them out of their context and presenting them as independent optical identities. Furthermore, the series explores the thin lines between what is considered "commercial" and "fine art" photography, by hinting at themes like communication,global changes,and a childlike sense of naitivity."

Thanks for sharing, Ruben!

Thursday 18 March 2010

Natalie Chan

All images © Natalie Chan

In her project statement, photographer Natalie Chan describes New York as a "playground of faces — some happy, some lonely, some childish, and some numb." She adds, "I photograph people that catch my immediate attention — often those absorbed in their own world. In contrast, my photography of objects leads to a process of self-reflection."

It may come as little surprise to learn that Taiwan-born Chan has a background in philosophy from the University of Texas, Austin and is in fact largely self-taught as a photographer. When not immersing herself in philosophy books, she spent much of her time producing images. She writes, "the more pictures I took, the more I realized that I enjoyed photography much more than philosophy. Photography expresses a more genuine version of my thoughts."

Upon completing a Masters degree in philosophy, she eventually moved to New York to study photography at the School of Visual Arts. She has participated in numerous group shows last Autumn including The 2nd Annual Governors Island Art Fair, and Color Matters, National Juried Exhibition, juried by Jen Mergel, Cohasset, MA. Chan is a recipient of the School of Visual Arts Photography Cage Scholarship in 2008.

Of her Waterland series (a small snippet from which is pictured above), she says: "Many of my images are of single isolated objects; in a way they are portraits. However, they involve a different kind of perception. No one looks back at me or communicates with me, so rather than interpret someone else, I am forced to look more and more into myself. Nevertheless, both my photographs of people and of objects reflect my perspective of the world, my way of seeing. Many of the images in this series were shot close to the ocean: Coney Island, Liberty Island, Governor’s Island or the beaches of Long Island. The open sky and big white clouds are my favorite backdrop."

Wednesday 10 March 2010

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Monday 8 March 2010

1000 Words Photography Magazine #7

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the Spring issue, “Place”, is online now. To view it, please go to:

Including an essay on Jeffrey Silverthorne’s stunning series Boystown, The Perfume of Desire, an exhibition review of Ukrainian photographer Rimaldas Viksraitis’ solo show Grimaces of the Weary Village at White Space Gallery, London, an interview with Tokyo-based, French-born Bruno Quinquet on his Salaryman project; special book reviews of East of a New Eden by artist team Yann Mingard & Alban Kalkulya and Hellen van Meene’s Tout va disparaître: Everything Will Disappear as well as a survey of Sam Irons’ ouevre to date, many of the photographers featured in this issue examine the interaction between spaces and people, places and identity as a kind of psychic geography.

In the Books section we cover Starburst: Colour Photography in America 1970-1980, Jeff Wall: The Complete Edition and From Back Home by Anders Peterson and JH Engström, winner of the Author Book Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles 2009.

Finally, the Spring issue also offers an look at the world through the inquiring eyes of Andréas Lang as part of an exclusive multimedia piece entitled Eclipse.

As always, 1000 thanks to all the photographers and writers and a special hand must go to Santiago Taccetti of CCCH Creative Studio, Barcelona for his stellar design work throughout this project.

Many thanks, and best wishes

Tim Clark