Tuesday 26 November 2013

Alberto Feijoo

All images © Alberto Feijoo

1000 Words Associate editor Brad Feuerhelm is gripped by Alberto Feijoo's self-published photo book, Something we used to know, a mash up of lost moments from music concerts running parallel to an examination of the photographer's own roots in Spain.

Alberto Feijoo’s Something we used to know is a quiet gem of a book, bent on the precipice of solitude wherein the divide of screen-based memory and empire of collated events from late 90’s to the early noughties collide.

Comprising pixellated, stepped, and glitched images of youth culture in wild throes, music concerts are revisited via DVD rips and images made from grabbing reconciled YouTube clips of the crowds at these events. All are awash in a sombre palette of colour hinting at the coppery smell of blood or an air of violence when wires get crossed at uncomfortable intervals. There’s a palpable sense of nostalgia too, but one slightly askew, as if forced into a colander and the remnants from the sieve are mashed into one idea of a memory of the time and place where scores of people shared a perception of an experience. Orphaned images, orphaned lives are appropriated for our collective familiarisation, and within this disequilibrium we conjure meta-memories fecund with what photography had previously presented us in material form.

Thinking ‘Was I there? I remember being there, but this face here in the crowd…its distortion…its dragged features…Could this have been me? It looks like me…I had that Nailbomb shirt’ and yet with a shaky hand I fondle the same shirt and I can attach no transference to it and the monster on the screen. This is the meme of self-given birth to the next meme of self, desperate for a “real” genetic disposition for the flesh that fingers its image from the console of the computer. Concrete matters dissolve into utopian super memory which collapses upon itself when applied to the representation we desperately seek through the locus of photographic image.

That said, the Spanish photographer's book is not all fodder for woe in terms of its content. There are very soft interludes of images that we can only presume are taken by Feijoo himself. Delicate still lifes in abject surroundings, such as oranges left to rot on discarded and soiled mattresses found in alleyways are interspersed with portraits - more lyrical fragments of friends, people collected, impressions even. They stand as sentimental bastions of memory for the author, his culture, the good life and currently his life under the economic collapse of his country. They represent the boom, the bust, and the lust for looking back to the golden days of untroubled youth.

There is almost a passive sublime in the work although it is achieved through the depiction of people as opposed to landscape - not a Friedrich-type sublime, but rather oracles of the personal divine found in the slow burn of change through descent. As such, this is a book full of disquiet. Yet the disquiet that is found here is asking more questions of our recent past, its interpretations and the way in which we will navigate our troubled futures.

Brad Feuerhelm

Something we used to know is self-published. To order a copy for €30.00 click here.

Monday 18 November 2013

Osvaldo Sanviti

All images © Osvaldo Sanviti  

Italian photographer Osvaldo Sanvati, discusses the work presented here from Le Soleil moribund, a project that sets forth debate on a whole host of issues from the ethics of representing women who ply a certain trade to the consequences of online anonymity as well as matters pertaining to the frontiers of authorship and appropriating images from the Internet. The lo-fi images form part of a looking game, one of seeing without being seen, and are obviously very subjective and personal, driven by his aesthetic goals and approach.

"In 2009 I was trying to start again with my long-term project of female portraits began in 1996 and stopped for about 3 years. One day I came across on the internet on one of these live sex chats: they are public live videos where girls try to bring in private registered visitors (members) to earn money. The first thing that struck me was, from a formal and pictorial point of view, the soft palette of colors of the video (even at the expense of quality). I was also intrigued by the loneliness of the subjects, in their rooms among neon lights and closed windows, when they are in a state of intimacy with themselves, almost as if they had forgotten to be visible to an audience. (...) What I like is the live dimension, of the life flowing, the strength of unplanned and unscripted situations; I love this feeling of waiting to meet the right subject in the right situation with the right light."

After completing photography studies at Fondazione Studio Marangoni in Florence, Italy, Sanviti started focusing his research on personal projects, "trying to establish a partial and personal world, in a more lyrical than documentary way". He has contributed commissioned works for several magazines and has exhibited in Italy and abroad in shows such as Tempi in scena: mo­ments de la photographie contemporaine italien­ne (curated by Paul di Felice) in Galerie Nei Liicht, Dudelange, Luxembourg in 2001; Passaggio di testimone (curated by Filippo Maggia) in Venice, Italy in 2002; Backlight 02 in the 6th International Photographic Triennial, Tampere, Finland in 2002; and his 2007 solo exhibition at Galleria Nicola Ricci, Pietrasanta, Italy.

Monday 11 November 2013

Special book giveaway! Paul Salveson, Between The Shell

To celebrate a milestone in our social media following (1000 Words now has 20,000+ followers on Twitter and just shy of 5,000 people who have joined the Facebook page) we are delighted to offer you the exclusive opportunity to take part in a special book giveaway.

One copy of Paul Salveson's Between the Shell, recipient of the First Book Award 2013, is up for grabs as part of the competition - courtesy of MACK.

To enter the prize draw, simply hit 'Like' on our Facebook post or use the RT function on the 1000 Words Twitter account. The winner will be selected at random and notified on 25 November.

Its retail price is £40.00, and the publication has only just this November gone on sale. Below is the blurb for the book:

Paul Salveson’s photographs were born in New York and Virginia between 2006 and 2011. Constructing images in domestic environments from items found in arm’s reach, the results are absurdist constructions in which commonplace objects are jocosely rendered in polychromatic puzzles.

Salveson describes his photographic process as "unfolding like a private performance in an empty house, or after everyone falls asleep... my engagement emerges from a perspective that precedes familiarity, disregarding the functions and cultural associations that objects are assigned. I try to process my surroundings with an alien mind."

Paul Salveson was educated at Bard College, New York (BFA Photography) and the University of Southern California (MFA thesis on toothbrush design). His work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1, Swiss Institute, New York, and Actual Size, LA.

All images © Paul Salveson

Monday 4 November 2013

Daniel W. Coburn

All images © Daniel W. Coburn

"In Next of Kin I explore the concept of home by recording my perceptions of family members in parables of love, reverie, respect and quiet tragedy," writes photographer Daniel W. Coburn by way of introduction to the intriguing series of photographs, which were recently submitted to the magazine for our consideration.

"After a yearlong hiatus from my hometown, I returned to re-examine my relationship with loved ones. I use the camera to describe the powerful personalities of my parents, and the complexities of their relationship. I photograph the children in my family to revisit my own childhood, which exists only as a set of fleeting, enigmatic images in my aging memory. By studying the hierarchy of control and power within the clan, I have begun to comprehend the successes and failures of my own relationships outside the family unit. My artistic process has become cathartic as I use the camera to explore my own impressions and memories of these influential characters that continue to shape my existence. Instances of domestic violence, psychological abuse, alcoholism and suicide litter my family history. These images serve as a supplement to my own broken family photo album that was assembled by my parents."

Daniel W. Coburn lives and works in Lawrence, Kansas, US. Selections from his body of work have been featured in exhibitions at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, the Chelsea Museum of Art in New York and the International Festival of Photography in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Coburn's prints are held in many public and private collections including the University of New Mexico Art Museum, The Mulvane Museum of Art, The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, The Mariana Kistler-Beach Museum of Art and the Moraine Park Museum. Coburn received his BFA with an emphasis in photography from Washburn University where he was the recipient of numerous honours including the Charles and Margaret Pollak Award. He received his MFA with distinction from the University of New Mexico in 2013. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Photo Media at the University of Kansas.