Friday, 30 October 2009

Doorshee Boorshee shortlist 2010.

Image from "Cockroach Diaries" by Anna Fox
This seems to come round so fast. The 2010 shortlist and two Brits make it through. Anna Fox & Donovan Wylie

Reiner Riedler.

Image copyright Reiner Riedler.

Jeez I could do with a holiday. Even a "Fake" one. A seamless link through to "FAKE HOLIDAYS" by Reiner Riedler. Can you believe his website address is !

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Jim Naughton.

Image copyright Jim Naughton.

Love these portraits of Re-enactores by Jim Naughton. I think the pretty heavy post production suites the fantasy nature of the subject.

More on The National Football Museum Move from the brilliant MULE.

Preston? Manchester? Preston?

Dedicated to the Trustee's of The National Football Museum Preston. HERE for what I'm on about.......

If photographs are one of the candles by which we read history, a blaze of light will be shone on the past from Friday at the British Library. Here a vast exhibition of 19th-century photography will give the public a taster for the first time of the extent of the library’s photographic treasures, which amount to nearly half a million images. Culled from these, 200 items will reveal a breadth of material from the dawn of photography to the present day, hinting at a collection so large that it seems extraordinary that it has remained in obscurity all this time. READ ON.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Simon Norfolk will be holding a talk at Derby's QUAD Gallery who of course are the people behind THE FORMAT Festival. The talk is being held on Thursday 19th November starting at 6:30 PM and only costing 3 squid which is a bargain I think to hear one of our most crucial photographers talk.
This is closely followed on the 9th December by another £3 "Doo" with guest speaker and another legend Brian Griffin.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Anthony Blasko.

Image copyright Anthony Blasko

When it comes to people, photography tends to be drawn to the extreme, to the marginalised, the extraordinary and the grotesque. It loves poverty, suffering, super wealth, excess and eccentricity. It avoids the ordinary (and I mean ordinary in a positive way) like America avoids free healthcare.
Anthony Blasko remedies this by making fantastic understated narrative out of the everyday.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Impressions of Bradford.

Today I went to visit my books at THE IMPRESSIONS GALLERY book fair Bradford.

First stop Manchester Victoria station, gateway to the world.

I'm full of contradictions me. "News of The World" but brown sugar.

A horse.

Country folks houses.

Thank you it's nice to be here.

First impressions.

The optimist in me thought sending 4 books would be enough.
And as you can see by the crowds I may have been right. I forget sometimes what a minority game we are in.
My manager, assistant, financial backer, harshest critic, biggest supporter and most importantly, my lovely misses Sarah.

The slight time delay on my little Ricoh caught Sarah out thus decapitating me. At least that's what she said.
Wearing robot dressing up gear from an unusual exhibition to find in a photography gallery, toy robots? I can't begin to express just how bad that mask smelt.

You get to a certain age a couple of pints and you need a nap........

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Men Of The City by Mark Isaacs.

Another piece of absolute genius documentary film making by Mark Isaacs HERE. This bloke just seems to take the pulse of modern Britain. Is there a better documentary film maker within these shores?

New Cliches of Photography #14


Friday, 23 October 2009

Jonathan Blaustein.

Image copyright Jonathan Blaustein.

Nice little project THIS. What food you can buy minus wrapping for $1 in New Mexico?
(He wants to get his arse to Lidl.)

Martin Parr promises a 2010 Brighton Photo Biennial full of surprises

Image Martin Parr.

Martin Parr curator of The 2010 Brighton Photo Biennial promises the first "frame-free" photo festival. So my cheap frames from Wilkinson's idea has been gazumped by Mr Parr already. You see that's the mark of a true genius, pushing always pushing. We mere mortals go for cheap frames he shouts fuck your cheap frames, I SAY NO FRAMES AT ALL.
Read HERE.

London Photograph Fair.

What a twat that RANKIN is, thought Billy Connolly.
THIS has got to be worth a punt if you happen to be in London town on the 8th November. You could buy yourselves an entire art project, if APPROPRIATION is your game .


Buy your frames from Wilkinson's on Salford precinct! £4.50 for an A4 which is a good size for a photograph. Not keen on big photo's. I always think if you've got a 2 metre photograph you better have a 4 metre idea.

A new six week course coming to URBIS. Yours truly is one of the speakers so why not come along and heckle?

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


I liked the way that Pete Brooks described his hopes for THIS

"I am perversely driven by the desire to test the power and limits of the photoblogshere. It would be a collective blogging bomb!"

I couldn't believe that this hasn't been done before, not blog bombing I mean discussions on race & photography. No time like the present though, not when there's still so much unbelievable shit like THIS going on. That's the obviously bad stuff, there's harder more complicated issues like THIS to also give more time to.

Shit, I am now aware of how many times I said the words "bomb" and "race" in this posting and I've no doubt woken from their slumber, someone from HERE .

It's funny how posting's can take on a life of their own HERE.

Monday, 19 October 2009

HA!-HA!Like that old saying about buses all coming at once, I've got two things on starting this weekend. My book "25 Weapons" is going on a bit of a world tour, well the North of England at least. Starting this coming Sunday 25th It will be part of a group show called HA!-HA! that's on at THE DUKES GALLERY (part of THE DUKES THEATRE) Lancaster until November 19th details HERE.

Second up "25 Weapons" has also been selected for the bookfair weekend @ IMPRESSIONS GALLERY Bradford which is on this coming weekend 24th & 25th. I'm going to have to pick opening night at Lancaster or Sunday at the book fair, and my belly and Bradfords reputation for some truly great curry's swung it for me!

Manchester resident and one of my favourite photographers Seba Kurtis is one of only two UKers to be selected for "Piece Of Cake" .A worthy representative.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Tim Roda.

Image copyright Tim Roda.

Tim Roda's artwork is something of a family affair. Hovering somewhere between photography, installation and performance his family become the actors in these strange & fascinating scenes.
Unusual not only in this multi media/technique approach but also in his choice of using 35mm and Black & White and avoiding that well (perhaps too well) trod current path of banality.

Couldn't find a website for him but you can view more of his work HERE, HERE & HERE.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Image copyright Pieter Hugo

Heavy discussions going on about whether or not Pieter Hugo's work is racist. HERE, and HERE. Of course these things need to be discussed and there's far cleverer people than me doing it so I don't want get involved in the back and forth. Too much rhetorical rigour for this numpty I'll just end up shouting arse or something.

No I don't claim to be an academic I tend to work via gut instinct which is fine as an artist that's as important a trait as anything. I know I'm not black and I'm sure I can't begin to understand all the issues but I really like these pictures always have. Maybe I'm a bit odd but far from seeing something derogatory in that image I just think "Fuck me a hyena on a lead that's top, that blokes the bollox"

A Nigerian (black) friend of mine who now lives in Manchester thought the same when I showed him. He was positivly proud and started to take the piss out of local scallies and their piss poor Staffies.

The other thing I'm confused about is this. Lets pretend that these images are never going to end up in a gallery and lets pretend that Pieter Hugo has no ambitions to be an artist, what if he was a pure documentary or reportage photographer, would that be OK to photograph the Hyena men? The speed things change in this world the Hyena men may not be around 50, 100 years from now. Surely photographing them for posterity is worth while? We can always remove them at a later date if we still don't like them Orwellian style. These are questions asked HERE. I guess I'm so used to constantly seeing pictures of Africans being portrayed as victims that I only saw the positive in this work. I thought it was a refreshing change.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

No post tonight (other than this of course) due to me having a bit on, oh yeah and watching the very brilliant GENERATION KILL.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Vivian Maier

Image copyright, Hmmm Not sure probably John Maloof.
Thanks to Stan over at RECIPROCITY FAILURE for this story. I love this sort of thing, an unknown archive coming to light, some quiet, skilled photographer who had been making great work for decades undiscovered until after her death. Some of these images are truly great I hope that they go on to get a life of their own as work often does.
Do you ever wonder what will happen to YOUR archive when you snuff it? I have this romantic dream, nay nightmare that after lying there undiscovered for months (if Social Service cuts get as bad as predicted) in a Salford Highrise they will break in and find me and my 30 cats plus boxes and boxes of prints and 2 dozen hard drives, and they (whoever that may be) will declare me Manchester's greatest artist.
But of course all my efforts are making their way online as is most of our work. In 20 or 30 years time will we still stumble on unknown archives like this, or will the Internet shine light in all the corners?.......................
Here for more tiptop images my Vivian Maier and Here for more on the story.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Harvey Benge.

Image copyright Harvey Benge.
It's great this blogging lark. Oh there's times when it's a bit of a slog, times when you really can't be arsed and you wonder why you bother. But one of the fringe benefits to it, and one of the main reasons I've continued doing it as long as I have is that you get to meet, albeit online, some really interesting people and great artists. People who get what you're about with your work and views. I have over the last couple of years been truly humbled by the caliber of Artist's who have encouraged me with their kind words.
Harvey Benge is one such Artist.
Even cynical me was touched by THIS.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2009 @ Cornerhouse.

Image copyright Andrew Curtis

Made it down to Cornerhouse to see this years NEW CONTEMPORARIES. And glad I did too. Could be THE Manchester show of the year so far (I know that's not that hard to achieve at the moment in this current cultural wasteland we call home) This apparently is the crop of current Art school talent and if it is, the British (mainly London some scots) Art courses seem to be in fine fettle.

The pleasing thing for me was the amount of Lens Based work included. I would estimate that a good third fell into this category. Personel faves were Frances Blythe, Felix Frith, Teresa Eng, Andrew Curtis & Barbara Wolff.

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2009 selected by Ellen Gallagher, Saskia Olde Wolbers, John Stezaker and Wolfgang Tillmans. Until 25 October, go see.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

New Cliches of Photography #13

Typologies of murder weapons (either real or potential)

Simon Menner.

Image copyright Simon Menner

I found the work of Simon Menner via Mrs Deane. I was particularly interested in his Murder Weapons series for obvious reasons. These are actual murder weapons held as evidence by the German police rather than potential weapons held by paranoid me. Still that's one of the inherent problems with photographic art and the Internet. Constant repetition and now the ability to find it. And so for NEW CLICHES OF PHOTOGRAPHY #13 .....................

"Remember the turn of the millennium? An era associated with shiny new buildings, the launch of major new gallery projects across the country, culture used as a stormtrooper for regeneration.
Alongside the capital projects, there was a demand from government and funders that cultural institutions demonstrate a real impact on "real people". No longer could high art be ghettoised when it was financed through the lottery."
Continue reading "on the future of museums, galleries, citizenship and culture" by URBIS Chief Exec and my day job boss Vaughan Allen.
P.S. The above picture is from The Mark Page Corporate Collection.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Daniel Lillie.

Image copyright Daniel Lillie.
Square black & white photo's of British working class males? Get out of here! Who cares about that. You can't just use black n white and medium format you fool. You need one of them big camera's, you need colour, you need gimmick, sorry an "angle" and come on these days you certainly need to direct the subject like in a movie. Get them to stand really really still or something for fucks sake.
And talking about subject, the working class, please. Aren't they now just all scroungers? or drug dealer's? Oi wheres the lager swilling hoodies in the park, you can't do the working classes without lager swilling hoodies in the park. The Mail need people to demonise and The Guardian readers need to do some "hand ringing". Lovely red faced allotment men, and old shopkeeper types now that's OK. And come on make an effort, a council estate near where you live? Nobody makes photo's that close to home anymore, you could of at least gone to China.
Well done to Daniel Lillie for blowing all the above shit out of the water with his utterly refreshing "I'll See you On The Far Post"

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Urban Film Night.

First off it would not be exaggerating to say that this first film, called "Lift" is the best short film I've ever seen, a real slice of modern Urban Britain. Beautifully shot with empathy for the subject that in turn allows film maker Mark Isaacs to really get under the skin of his subject. A masterclass in social documentary from 2001.

And second up what could be more "Urban" and a better metaphor for the "Street photographer" than the stray dog? And what better living street photographer than Daido Moriyama?
Found thanks to
1000 words.

Ah, people living and existing in the built environment a subject that out of all the mediums is dealt with best by photography whether still or moving "Lens is Best" for this one cocker.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Lets Party Like It's 2016

Congrats to Rio on the successful Olympic bid Now they can join London in getting misty eyed over disappearing slums, Worry where the money's coming from and redirect millions from the Arts in the vain attempt of discovering an anomaly who can run really really fast.

Prix Pictet Shortlist.

Image copyright Yao Lu
The shortlist is out for the PRIX PICTET and wigan pie eater Darren Almond is on the list so well done to him. My personnel favourite is Yao Lu. Some big names there including Gursky and Burtynsky, all famous & successful NO website famous & successful.

Cheers to Prison Pete for reminding me and giving me a post for tonight!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

"It's not a proper book", "It looks better than I thought" is it one of those Blurb books? scoff scoff. "Anyone can make one of those" True. Just like anyone can take a photograph, doesn't mean it's going to be any good though does it?. It's a bit like when people used to look down at The Open University. We cry democracy but only for ourselves and as long as status quo is maintained at all times. Am I over egging the pudding? I don't think so. Surely it's got to be a good thing that anyone can get their ideas and project turned into print? The law of averages says there's going to be some gems coming through. The Irony is I've heard bloggers knocking self publishing!
And so at last self publishing is getting a bit of Kudos. Hip hip horaay then for Impressions Gallery Bradford. Impressions Gallery you are the new William Tyndale. Trouble is Thames & Hudson, Chris Boot and Dewi Lewis will want to burn you at the stake..........
P.S The print quality in my Blurb book is easily as good as in several T&H books I have at home, and I spent most of the first decade of my working life as a printer........

Manchester Blog Awards 2009

Well another year and fuck all. Are we bitter? course we fucking are. month after month, year after year selflessly showcasing this Town and the best creative talent it has to offer and not a fucking sausage..... I'm not going to throw a hissy fit but...........

Only kidding, well done to all those shortlisted and to a personal fav of mine.