Thursday, 29 April 2010
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
I am very aware that in writing about 'A WORLD OBSERVED' (or 'The World Observer' as THE GUARDIAN reported it) the Dorothy Bohm retrospective at Manchester Art Gallery, that I am reviewing the life's work of an octogenarian. That said there's the work of a septuagenarian across town that needs no pussy footing around so hey ho.
The show is curated by Bohm's daughter Monica, and the first thing that struck me was the indulgence at around 200 hundred prints many of which really shouldn't have found their way past the contact sheet. A WORLD OBSERVED is a suitably woolly name for an exhibition which seems to have no rhyme or reason. Starting with fairly typical 1940's portrait shots (I've seen similar shots of my Nan) that came out of STUDIO ALEXANDER the business she had in Manchester for a while, which as far as I can see it's that geographic link that's the only justification for taking over Manchester's premier art venue for the next few months. The show works chronologically through Mrs Bohm's life's work. We get some Black & White 6x6 pseudo Bresson 'decisive moment'. We move through sections on men, women, children, Polaroids colour, leading through to some truly awful colour pictures of Manchester shot in the last couple of years. And why oh why must we always have to have a selection of the camera's used on display? Do they show brushes or chisels when it's painters or sculptors? It's no bloody wonder the rest of the art world won't take photography seriously.
Even if you are in the camp that believes that galleries and museums are there to entertain rather than educate, this show would have no depth. Take away the historical/travel interest and there's nothing left. A celebration of at best the mediocre. If it's raining pop in but don't travel.
OK so now you can add Granny bashing to my list of crimes.
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Monday, 26 April 2010
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Right then lets wash the shit from the last post out of my eyes with some flower pictures. Not what you would normally think of photographing flowers at night with a flash. Someone said that David Axelbank's pictures look like flowers shot by Weegee if Weegee was to photograph flowers. They remind me of Dutch or Flemish 17th century still lives. Flowers have been on my mind for the last twelve months or so as I've been working on THIS.
Below a film of David talking about his work and more HERE.
Friday, 23 April 2010
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
FRESH FACED & WILDEYED is THE PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY'S exhibition of selected recent UK graduates. I had a little mince through this years crop and thought that David's work FEAST OF LOSSES was memorable. David introduces the project with a poem,
Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.
Emily Dickinson, Pain has an Element of Blank (1924 )
And then he writes more about it below:
"Feast of Losses is an ongoing series that documents the life of David Pembroke, who in 2003 was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare brain disease that causes nerve endings at the base of the brain to die. There is no effective treatment or cure and like other neurodegenerative diseases, PSP gets worse over time.
These portraits offer us a psychologically direct approach through the use of different coloured backgrounds, chosen by David Pembroke on a daily basis to help express his emotions after he lost the ability to use his facial muscles due to PSP. The effect is an increased intimacy to the subject matter and continuous interaction of metaphor by focusing on David’s emotional and physical changes over time. As a result the concerns voiced in these images are strongly biographical, wavering continually between intimacy and distance, tension and objectivity."
Monday, 19 April 2010
Sunday, 18 April 2010
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Preview tonight at Chinese Art Centre Manchester. Sorry I've left it too late and now you've missed your free wine. Anyway opening night for a photographer with a great alias 'Anothermountainman' and his first UK solo Lan Wei/ Decaying End. I've not seen the work yet so I'll hold off commenting until I have. You can see his work on his website HERE warning though I found his site a 'right bastard' to use. Check out his 'Redwhiteblue' series. Looking forward to seeing this on until 12th June.
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Well well well. First off causng the loss of 70 jobs at URBIS and now hitting little girls.......
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Monday, 12 April 2010
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Friday, 9 April 2010
Lauren Greenfield's work looks broadly at female body image and it's a large body of work, absolutely no pun intended. I found her website a bit complicated to navigate but there's a great series HERE. I love the way that photographs of fashion shoots and models are inter-cut with images of plastic surgery and prom queens and young girls already hooked on fashion and celebrity. It's some brave and interesting editing.
Thursday, 8 April 2010
I should have known better they can't even spell fucking photo and then Mavis the tea lady answers the phone or should that be fone when I ring the sales hotline. I was getting nowhere with the hotline. "Shall I order online?" "Yes luv" So I order my printer Epson r2880 the website says it's In stock! I've got the next day off work so I pay another £15 for before 12 nextday delivery and order online. They ring me to say not a chance. They've not got any in stock and are not sure when they will have. They have of course taken payment first though. Wankers.
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Monday, 5 April 2010
The Documentarian John Perivolaris is working on an interesting collaborative project that is to be exhibited at THE CORNERHOUSE, Manchester;
What is North to North?
North to North is a month-long journey from Manchester via France to Algeria that Perivolaris will undertake 5 June – 5 July 2010.
Despite Algerian independence in 1962, after more than 130 years of French colonial rule, the relationship between France and Algeria continues to play a defining role in each country politically, socially and culturally through migration, post-colonial antagonism, and memories of a shared colonial past. At the same time, the current decade has seen an intriguing shift in Algeria’s geopolitical significance, as it became a favoured diplomatic partner in the American-led ‘War on Terror’, and an increasingly privileged trade partner of the United Kingdom, thanks undoubtedly to its large reserves of Saharan oil and gas.
Structured around a series of encounters with people connected personally to both France and Algeria, and via visits to key sites of memory that underpin the display of the Franco-Algerian relationship in the public sphere today, North to North will comprise walks and interviews with participants, subsequently uploaded along with images made by Perivolaris to his blog.
READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE. This is something I shall be keeping a beady eye on. Always looking at ideas to pinch when it comes to "Documenting" and this looks all very interesting. Cheers to Joe for pointing it out.
Good to be back after Easter.
Thursday, 1 April 2010
As a child I never really liked Easter. I couldn't understand why the baby Jesus three months after Christmas was getting crucified. Of course as I've got older I now understand to never put anything past religion.. Happy furry Easter Bunny!