Saturday, 29 October 2011

Hereford Photography Festival

Wiktor Pental (see Transit, below)
The twenty-first annual Hereford Photography Festival has opened and will run until 26 November. The theme of the festival is Movement - see the festival website for full details of the extensive programme of exhibitions and events. Below is a selection of images by photographers featured in just a few of the exhibitions. (NB these specific images are not necessarily included in the exhibitions.)
Motion Studies: New documentary photography beyond the decisive moment is at Hereford Museum & Art Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Simon Bainbridge, editor of the British Journal of Photography, and features work by Donald Weber, George Georgiou, Manuel Vasquez, Robbie Cooper, and Vanessa Winship.
Donald Weber, Interrogations
George Georgiou, In the Shadow of the Bear: Street Scene, Tbilisi, Georgia
Manuel Vasquez, Traces
Robbie Cooper, Immersion (play video, here)
Vanessa Winship, from Georgia series
Transit, showing at three locations, in Hereford, Hay-on-Wye and Newport (see here for details) features the work of 8 Polish artists: Kuba Dabrowski, Tomasz Liboska & Michal Jedrzejowski, Krzysztof Miekus, Tomasz Padlo, Wiktor Pental (see image at top), KonradPustola, and Lukasz Trzcinski.
Kuba Dabrowski
Krzysztof Miekus
Tomasz Padlo
Konrad Pustola
Lukasz Trzcinski
Semblance - The Face of Things is an exhibition of work by Jason Larkin on display in Hereford Cathedral.
Jason Larkin
Parkour Photography is an exhibition of work by Andy Day in the Watershed, Hereford. Parkour is a method of movement focused on moving around obstacles with speed and efficiency. (Wikipedia).
Andy Day

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Barry Feinstein, 1931 - 2011

Baarry Feinstein, Bob Dylan, 1963
Barry Feinstein, the photographer whose picture of Bob Dylan became the cover for his 1964 album The Times They Are A-Changin', and who accompanied Bob Dylan and The Band on their notorious 1966 tour of Britain, died on 20 October, 2011. Read an obituary by Sean O'Hagan.
Barry Feinstein, Bob Dylan - Aust Ferry, 1966
Barry Feinstein, Bob Dylan, 1966
Barry Feinstein, for The Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet, 1968 - rejected by the record company

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Turner Prize 2011 - Baltic

Baltic, featuring banner of work by George Shaw on the occasion of his exhibition, The Sly and Unseen Day, 18 Feb - 15 May, 2011
The 2011 Turner Prize exhibition has opened at Baltic in Gateshead. The exhibition will continue until 8 January, and the winner will be announced on 5 December.
The shortlisted artists are: George Shaw, Karla Black, Hilary Lloyd and Martin Boyce. Examples of their work appear below, together with brief descriptions of the work (quoted from the Baltic website) and selected links. Read reviews of the exhibition by Adrian Searle, Tim Adams and Richard Dorment;  see short videos on all the artists, here, and video commentary on the exhibition by Adrian Searle.
George Shaw.
George Shaw, Shut Up, 2011
George Shaw, The Resurface, 2010
George Shaw, Poet Day, 2005-6
George Shaw, Landscape with Dogshit Bin, 2010
George Shaw, The Time Machine, 2010
George Shaw was born in Coventry in 1966. He gained a BA from Sheffield Polytechnic in 1992 and an MA from the Royal College of Art, London, in 1998.
George Shaw paints the landscape of his adolescent life. His scenes are all taken from within a half-mile radius of his childhood home on the Tile Hill estate, Coventry. Typical of post-war British social housing, the estate could belong to any city or have originated at any point between the early 1950s and the late 1970s, promoting the timeless, placeless quality of Shaw’s work. His paintings are always devoid of the human figure, populated instead by seemingly arbitrary details of suburban infrastructure that he has recorded since the mid-1990s.
George Shaw (44) lives and works in North Devon.
See video about Shaw made on the occasion of his solo show at Baltic and video made for the Turner Prize exhibition. Read interview with Sean O'Hagan, and 2002 feature in Frieze.

Martin Boyce
Martin Boyce,  A Library of Leaves
Martin Boyce, Do Words Have Voices?, 2011
Martin Boyce, Do Words Have Voices? 2011 (detail)
Martin Boyce, Do Words Have Voices?, 2011
Martin Boyce was born in Hamilton, Scotland in 1967. He was awarded a BA in 1990 and an MA in 1997, both from Glasgow School of Art.
Martin Boyce engages with the historical legacy of Modernist forms and ideals to create deeply atmospheric installations drawing upon text and elements of design. His investigations will often re-stage the outside within the gallery space, evoking the urban landscape through precisely explored sculptural details. Steeped in an understanding of the concepts of Modernist design, his work draws upon its visual language with a complex repertoire of forms. Noted for his engagement with how these objects are produced, Boyce is interested in how their original political or aesthetic ethos changes over time. His meticulous sculptures bear out his imaginings for the alternative lives these objects might lead if created at a different moment.
Martin Boyce (43) lives and works in Glasgow.
See video made for Turner Prize exhibition.

Karla Black
Karla Black, Help is not Appealing, 2010
Karla Black, More of the Day, 2011
Karla Black, More of the Day, 2011
Karla Black, Doesn't Care in Words, 2011
Karla Black, At Fault, 2011
Karla Black was born in Alexandria, Scotland in 1972. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art where she received a BA in 1999, an MPhil in 2000 and an MA in 2004.
Karla Black brings together disparate and often unorthodox materials spreading, crumpling and layering them to make expansive floor-based works and suspended sculptures. Using both traditional art-making materials and those drawn from the everyday environment, she has incorporated powder-paint, plaster, crushed chalk, Vaseline, lipstick, topsoil, sugar paper, balsa wood, eye shadow, nail varnish and moisturiser. Her materials are rich in association but are chosen as much viscerally as they are psychologically. She selects things she "cannot help but use", starting each work through some unconscious desire.
Karla Black (38) lives and works in Glasgow.
See video made for Turner Prize exhibition and read profile on Saatchi Gallery website.

Hilary Lloyd
Hilary Lloyd, Moon, 2011
Hilary Lloyd, Shirt
Hilary Lloyd, Man, 2010
Hilary Lloyd was born in Halifax 1964 and graduated from Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic in 1987.
Hilary Lloyd makes work which engages in various ways with the moving image, encompassing video projections, films on monitors, and slide projections. She foregrounds technical equipment as a sculptural medium, prominently displaying the AV equipment on which her work is installed.
Hilary Lloyd (46) lives and works in London. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Wilhelm Sasnal - Whitechapel Gallery

Wilhelm Sasnal, Roy Orbison 1, 2007
A major exhibition of work by Polish painter and filmmaker Wilhelm Sasnal is showing at the Whitechapel Gallery until 1 January, 2012. Sasnal makes paintings which are in dialogue with photography and art history - so the show makes for an interesting complement to Gerhard Richter at Tate Modern (see below).
Read reviews by Adrian Searle and Rachel Cooke, and an interview with Ben Luke.
Wilhelm Sasnal, Kacper and Anka, 2009
Wilhelm Sasnal, Kacper, 2009
Wilhelm Sasnal, Power Plant in Iran, 2010
Wilhelm Sasnal, Shoah (Forest), 2003
Wilhelm Sasnal, Maus 5, 2001

Monday, 17 October 2011

Ian Davenport - Waddington Custot Galleries

Ian Davenport, Puddle Painting: Green, Pink, Grey 
(after Carpaccio and Gossaert), 2011 (detail)

I do like a good stripe painting - and they don't come much better than these. Ian Davenport: Quick Slow Quick Quick Slow is at Waddington Custot Galleries, 11 Cork Street, until 31 October.
Ian Davenport, Puddle Painting: Blue Study (after Van Gogh), 2011
Ian Davenport, Puddle Painting: Red, Blue Study, 2011
Ian Davenport, Puddle Painting: Violet Study (after Carpaccio), 2010
Ian Davenport, Puddle Painting: Grey, White, 2011
Ian Davenport, Puddle Painting: Light Blue, Green, 2011
Ian Davenport, Puddle Paintings, 2010-11, installation view

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Feed the World

Rankin, Nancy Ekidor, 38, holds a day's worth of food in her the palms of her hands, 2011 (Oxfam)
Rankin has produced a portfolio of images of the people of Turkana in Kenya who are facing drought and hunger. The pictures are published as part of Oxfam's Blog Action Day (today, 16 October, 2011). See more of his pictures here and read his article, It's time to fix the world's broken food system. Contributions to Oxfam can be made here.
It is tragic, and shaming, that famine has been for so long, and continues to be, a staple of photojournalism - below are some examples from both current and past crises. Apart from the simple injustice that in a world with so much wealth and knowledge, so many still go hungry, it is tragic that so-called 'natural' disasters, are so often the product of politics and economics. 
The photographic representation of such suffering raises profoundly difficult and unsettling ethical issues - from the apparently indifferent and de-humanizing gaze of the camera to the aestheticizing of suffering, from the dangers of sentimentality to the boredom of 'compassion fatigue'. Nevertheless, photojournalists do an important and brave job in telling their stories and raising awareness.
Below is Don McCullin's 1969 picture of an albino child in Biafra, together with his account of the experience given in his book Unreasonable Behaviour.
As I entered [the camp] I saw a young albino boy. To be a starving Biafran orphan was to be in a most pitiable situation, but to be a starving albino Biafran was to be in a position beyond description. Dying of starvation, he was still among his peers an object of ostracism, ridicule and insult…The boy looked at me with a fixity that evoked the evil eye in a way which harrowed me with guilt and unease. He was moving closer. He was haunting me, getting nearer. Someone was giving me the statistics of the suffering, the awful multiples of this tragedy. As I gazed at these grim victims of deprivation and starvation, my mind retreated to my own home in England where my children of much the same age were careless and cavalier with food, as Western children often are. Trying to balance between these two visions produced in me a kind of mental torment…I felt something touch my hand. The albino boy had crept close and moved his hand into mine. I felt tears come into my eyes as I stood there holding his hand. I thought, think of something else, anything else. Don’t cry in front of these kids…He looked hardly human, as if a tiny skeleton had somehow stayed alive…If I could, I would take this day out of my life, demolish the memory of it.

Don McCullin made his name as a war photographer: in Sleeping with Ghosts, he refers to his experience in Biafra as life-changing:
I was devastated by the sight of 900 children living in one camp in utter squalor at the point of death. It completely changed my attitude to warfare. Here was no adventure or stage for heroism. I could not reconcile this experience with my family life at home. I lost all interest in photographying soldiers in action and wanted only to show the world the result's of man's inhumanity to man.
(A selection of work by McCullin is currently on display in Tate Britain; read an interview by Sean O'Hagan.)
Below is a small selection of photographs of famine and its victims, past and present.
Sebastiao Salgado, Untitled, Mali, c1985
Kevin Carter, Starving Child in Sudan, 1993
James Nachtwey, Sudan, 1993
Robin Hammond, An aerial view of the drought-stricken land of Puntland, in Somalia, 2011
Colin Crowley, Bishar Hassim, a pastoralist who has lost all his livestock, stands over a dead cow in Jowhar village, in Wajir, Kenya, 2011 (Save the Children)
Per-Anders Pettersson,  Dilmanyale, around 14 miles from Habawswein, in Kenya, July 2011 (Save the Children)
Robin Hammond, Having lost all her cattle to the drought and one child, Raha Abdi Nor brought her surviving children to Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu where they are being treated for severe malnutrition, 2011
Rankin, Adorn Gikaala, 46, Turkana in Kenya (Oxfam)
Rankin, Flomena Aslkon, 14, holding a day's worth of food in the palms of her hands, 2011 (Oxfam)