Friday 16 September 2011

Hans Aarsman

Greetings from Fez, where our workshop with Erik Kessels is in its final stages. Tomorrow the participants will present their projects but there will be a future blog post for this. For now, I just wanted to share this wonderful talk at TEDxAmsterdam which Erik has put me onto. Its by Hans Aarsman and is titled 'From pretty to ugly and back again; mysterious ways of beauty in photography'.

Surprising, insightful and at times hilarious, Aarsman shows different concepts of beauty in photography, and suggests that the only real photographic beauty is to be found in pictures that were made without such a goal in mind....Food for thought as we break for lunch.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Michael Ackerman

We stumbled across this haunting, yet rather dramatised multimedia piece on Michael Ackerman's Half Life, the book of which is featured in issue #11 of 1000 Words. In his review, Francis Hodgson took exception to the project stating, among other things, that although the book is often very moving it is not coherent.

"The manner is dark and often blurred, with a heavy grain and a permanent air of history weighing directly upon each photograph just as the light does. There is (or there purports to be) a great deal behind these photographs which is not actually in them. A text by Denis Kambouchner suggests that the pictures are haunted. But Ackerman’s history is not broad, although it runs deep. He has a neat trick of confining himself to that part of our cultural baggage which is shared enough that no further explanations are needed. Dark woods are a simple example. Dark woods are the places of fairy stories, but also of massacres. Naked men in the shower have overtones of concentration camps. Even if you look at photographs of the traditional showers used by the racers after the famously brutal Paris-Roubaix cycle race, they often have those overtones. Ackerman has been living and working for some years in Poland, where he can’t resist the trains: train journeys through Poland are also a branded historical reference. A composite is building up. Ackerman’s subject is often the second world war, and the legacy it has left even as the memory of it fades. And when he’s not looking directly there? Tense pictures of men with hard faces, or naked women, or people on beds. Mini-adventures up stairs or through woods. Smoking and drinking. Again, a composite is building up. This is the mind of a teenage boy. Not the football and Xbox sort of boy, but the more soulful Rimbaud-reading boy interested in death and melancholy."

The rest of the review is available here.

Monday 5 September 2011

Irina Rozovsky

All images ©Irina Rozovsky

While looking through our submissions inbox we found this delicate and understated project by Irina Rozovsky. One to Nothing is a gentle body of work about Israel that abandons any preconceptions or prejudices we may hold towards this typically “troubled” place or depiction thereof.

“One to Nothing depicts an Israel we do not see on the news. These images go beyond politics: they do not defend a side or critique the conflict. Here, Israel is seen in an unexpected light, as a mythological backdrop to the age long struggle between man and the dusty, sun bleached landscape of his origin. The score to this existential battle is locked at 1– 0, with no finish line in sight. A loose, subtle, and open-ended narrative One to Nothing describes historic tension with striking and unusual observations.”

Irina Rozovsky, was born in Moscow in 1981 and grew up outside of Boston. She received a BA in French and Spanish Literature from Tufts University and an MFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art. 

She was a recipient of the Magnum Expression Finalist Award, juried by Martin Parr in 2010 and her work has been shown in national and international exhibitions. Among these are; 31 Women in Art Photography, curated by Charlotte Cotton and Jon Feinstein, Photo España, Madrid, Les Rencontres d'Arles, and, most recently, she was the subject of a solo exhibition at the New England School of Photography, Boston.

Rozovsky currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and One to Nothing is her first monograph, recently published by Kehrer Verlag.