Monday 27 January 2014

1000 Words Photography Magazine #17: New work from Christian Patterson, Doug Rickard, Cristina De Middel and much more!

It is hard to believe that 2014 marks the fifth year of publishing 1000 Words. Yet, we still remain as passionate and committed to the mission of exploring the limits and possibilities of photography, and to stimulating debate around the medium’s myriad of current practices and discourses as ever.

It therefore gives us great pleasure to announce the launch of issue 17, our first release of the new calendar. To view it, please go to

We bring you a new project from Christian Patterson, entitled Bottom of the Lake, made over two days when he was home for the holidays at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, a small city perched on the southern end of Lake Winnebago in the US. Accompanied here by an essay from Milwaukee Art Museum’s Curator of Photography, Lisa Sutcliffe, the series maintains the emotional distance of his critically acclaimed Redheaded Peckerwood, and is not so much a story about returning home, instead it speaks to transformations in vision and point of view as one evolves as a person.

Elsewhere, the renowned photography critic and former recipient of ICP’s Infinity Award for Writing, Gerry Badger reviews Doug Rickard’s eagerly anticipated new book N.A (National Anthem), which continues the current tradition of American documentary photography, essentially telling stories about the country. But, as Badger notes, is ‘documentary’ the most apt way to describe a publication largely compiled from blurred screen grabs from You Tube videos?

Academic and independent curator, Duncan Wooldridge brings us an essay on EJ Major’s Love is…. ahead of her major solo show at Forum für Fotografie in Cologne, Germany later this year. For this work, Major methodically selected an image from each frame from Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1972 film Last Tango in Paris, printing 7000 postcards. On the verso, she included the prompt ‘love is…’ so that recipients of her cards - strangers, living across the UK - were invited to return them, with or without response, to a freepost address, printed on the right hand side of the card’s reverse.

In a different feature, Michael Grieve takes a look at the recently released title from Max Strom, a survey of the forty-year career of preeminent Swedish photographer, Anders Petersen. Instinctive, unconscious and shot from the gut, Grieves describes Petersen’s photographs as “fragments of a strangeness of reality, the contorted and juxtaposition of expressions, clothes, bodies, objects, stuff, feelings, skin, indeed all that is out there.”

Brad Feuerhelm catches up with Cristina De Middel in London to discuss Party, the follow up to her meteorically successful photobook, The Afronauts. A subversive reworking of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung, commonly known as the Little Red Book, De Middel combines photographs from a recent trip to China with negations of the original text to devastating and often satirical effect.

And last but by no means least, we are extremely proud to reveal the first of four pieces of newly commissioned photographic work from the 1000 Words Award winners. Here, our Editor-in-Chief, Tim Clark, has penned an essay on Virgílio Ferreira’s Being and Becoming. Couched in a symbolic, literary mode of photography, the series is a subjective and dreamy meditation on the lives and environments of several migrant workers from Portugal, who left their country of birth to start a new life in new lands, principally due to economic reasons. The series will be shown as part of a group exhibition curated by 1000 Words at Flowers Gallery in London during June 2014.

Over in our dedicated Books column, Tom Claxton pulls back the veil on Linda Fregni Nagler’s Hidden Mother published with MACK, an extraordinary collection of predominantly late-nineteenth century portraits of mothers who have modestly sacrificed their own depiction in order to exhibit their precious infants as the centrepieces of the photographic ritual; David Moore considers the limits of allegory in Robert Hutinki’s elegic ATAVISM by Akina Books, which ostensibly shows family archives from Celje in Slovenia, prior to the Nazi holocaust, that are then redacted and excavated; and finally Federica Chiocchetti sits down with José Pedro Cortes’ Costa, a hypnotic new title from the exciting Portuguese imprint Pierre Von Kleist Editions, that drags us on a journey to the pocket of natural and suburban wilderness that lies 14km south of Lisbon.

Thanks to the writers and photographers, as well as their studios, galleries and publishers, who have provided assistance in making this issue of the magazine project possible. Extended thanks to our newly appointed Editorial Assistant, Dominic Bell, for his outstanding work on production and a special mention to Leica who have graciously supported this edition of 1000 Words.

Thursday 16 January 2014

Tina Hillier

All images © Tina Hillier

Every once in a while, there is a major news event that stops the whole world in its tracks with its impact. The passing of Nelson Mandela on 5 December 2013, aged 95, arrested the attention of every nation, with the images of the great man himself and the people he inspired being viewed and circulated globally. When work by Tina Hillier came in to the 1000 Words submissions inbox, it was interesting to see this photographer’s singular way of depicting the mass of people and lives South Africa’s 'Father of the Nation' had touched.

The project, entitled Mandela - The Last Goodbye, documents the funeral and memorial service but from an usual perspective. Hillier opts to focus on the feet of the hoards of visitors, all of whom are making their journey and waiting in line to pay their respects. The images are a cycle, with no clear beginning, middle or end, but a procession of struggle and freedom. Hillier’s statement on the work adds further insight to the pilgrimage made by so many people :

“Over three days, between Mandela’s memorial service and his funeral in Qunu, an estimated 100,000 people visited the Union Buildings in Pretoria to see his body lying in State. Many more people queued for hours but were turned away on the afternoon of the last day, 13 December, 2013. Some 2000 mourners passed his body each hour. The images in this series document the long lines of people waiting. Queues on that scale had not been seen since Mandela was voted in as President on election day in 1994. He was the first democratically elected President South Africa had ever seen. Almost twenty years on, after his death, South Africans came out in their thousands to pay their last respects to the man who set them free.”

Tina Hillier studied Photography at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth. She now lives in London, working on editorial, commercial and personal projects. She exhibits regularly in group shows and has twice been selected for The National Portrait Gallery, Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize Exhibition in 2010 and 2011. Her work has been included in many magazines and publications including the Saturday Telegraph Magazine, Monocle, Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian and Dazed & Confused.
Dominic Bell

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Max Pinckers

All images © Max Pinckers

As part of our call out for portfolios for issue 17 of 1000 Words, we recently received the work of Max Pinckers into our submission inbox, for which he has deservedly received a great deal of critical acclaim, in particular his series Fourth Wall.

The project, released as a self-published book (now sold-out), explores the impact of the Bollywood industry on the broader society in India and incorporates a curious blend of documentary photography with elements of fantasy and fiction, perfectly suited to his subject matter. Originally scouted on the streets of India as an extra in Bollywood, Pinckers returned to India during the final year of his MFA at the School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium, assuming the role of director by intervening in his surroundings, with the passers-by on the street responding to the camera and its operative, as Pinkers writes:

“A photograph of two men in uniform climbing over a fence, escaping. A re-enactment of a moment that just passed. They do it over again with great pride and pleasure. Later I read an article in the newspaper. Two men use sleep-inducing gas to rob a struggling actress in her home; the same gas used in a 1972 super hit film in which a cook robs his landlord. An image that I’ve been planning to make for some time comes to mind - a thick cloud of smoke in a bedroom film set. Two men in uniform sitting in a park. I photograph them. They pretend to have just woken up. On a Bombay rooftop I make a portrait of a Salman Khan look-alike. Another article tells me how a young girl loses herself in this big city in search of her idol, Salman Khan.”

Max Pinckers was born in 1988 and lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. His work has been published, amongst others, in Dear Dave Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, Monthly Photography Magazine, IMA Magazine, De Morgen Magazine as well as part of FOAM’s most recent Talent issue. He was announced as the winner of the 2013 Winner City of Levallois Photography Award, France and the book Fourth Wall was nominated for the Best Photo Book of the Year at the 6th International Fotobookfestival, Germany and a nominated as a finalist in the Paris Photo / Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards 2013. In short, a hugely promising young talent, and a definite name to remember. We look forward to seeing where he takes his practice next.
Dominic Bell