30 October 2008

Darren Hepburn joins The F Blog

My name is Darren Hepburn. I’m a photographer from Scotland. I’m delighted to join the ‘F Blog’ as an author. I’ve been with the ‘F Blog’ in spirit for some time, occasionally posting images and have enjoyed experiencing many, many fine photographs from around the world.

My first camera was won at Broxburn fairground in 1983...a moment of joy amongst the candyfloss, toffee apples and hot donuts. A good willed teacher showed me a few basics of photography as a child and later, it was becoming published in a school magazine that kept the photography flame flickering. Some years later I had a ‘real’ camera, a 35mm Minolta...it was then that the journey into process and concept began in earnest.

Process: I agree the with the self-taught photographer, David Bailey. Photography can be learned in 6 months. It is not needed to spend 3 or 4 years studying for a degree. A pile of books worked for me, I found it alot more engaging to embark upon a private journey rather than labour over the ‘dry’ workbooks that were dished out when I studied photography at college...I found that I loathed the place and left after 3 weeks! For me, technical knowledge is a ‘means to an end’...a framework in which to make progress towards the final result. My knowledge of ‘process’ is ever expanding, and will continue to do so throught my life. I shoot both film and digital...both have their merits.

Concept: I usually work within a preplanned conceptual ‘framework’, both for individual shots and series. This is worked out beforehand, often late at night over numerous cups of tea. I’m constantly referring to this ‘framework’ whether it be a ‘construction’ within a few square feet on a coffee table or loosely in street photographs. I do shoot intuitively, in which I may be subconsciously motivated by life experiences, some of which include working with psychiatric patients in a secure ward and living in a hostel for the homeless whilst attending an ‘exclusive’ school.

Again, I’m delighted to be a part of the ‘F Blog’...a place where many of my favourite photographers have already made an appearance.

29 October 2008

Real Car

photo: abeku

Heja Sverige!

Invited guest: Mark Rubenstein

Common Place is a multi-part series that unfolds to tell the story of one's own evolution: the coming of sentience (the quality or state of consciousness). These images are about the idea of an evolution of one's self. The world in which these scenes take place is unusual and floats in and out of reality.


-invited by Lina Nääs

Säffle - Göteborg

25 October 2008

Postcards from: Havana

Invited guest: Enid Crow showing her series "Self-portrait Disaster "

"My name is Enid Crow.
I studied acting in college and I used to work in theatre but I left the theatre world because I think that plays and movies are too complicated. The motion of characters, the script, and the noise! I wanted the actors to stand still and stop talking. I discovered Cindy Sherman's film stills/self-portraits a few months after I started photographing myself when I was 19. I thought, aha! these pictures tell a story in a more attractive way than a film. Like Cindy's work, most of my photographs are pictures of me, frozen as a character in dramatic scenes. In "Disasters," I photographed myself as characters viewing various disasters off screen. I'm a New Yorker, and even though the pictures are comic, they come from the tragic documentary photographs of people fleeing the collapse of the Twin Towers. Now I am working on two series: The History of Moustaches, in which I photograph myself as men performing tasks that women were traditionally excluded from, and Happy Workers, photographs of myself in various worker characters making over-the-top positive statements about their day jobs."

To see more of Enid Crow's work, please visit www.enidcrow.com

-invited by Lina Nääs

23 October 2008

Graciela Iturbide - 2008 Hasselblad Award Winner

In may, Ulf Fågelhammar, Beatriz Rowland and I interviewed the mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide. The interview is published here at the F blog in English and Spanish. On the blog you can also find the photographs that Graciela Iturbide, as an invited photographer, selected for the F blog. This weekend Graciela Iturbide will be in Gothenburg, Sweden, to recieve the Hasselblad Award. At the same time a large exhibition, "Graciela Iturbide, 2008 Hasselblad Award Winner" opens up at Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg.

Recently the F blog also recieved the following press release regarding Graciela, Hasselblad Award and the new exhibition (I have published the press release in Swedish here).

- Fredrik Skott

"Graciela Iturbide - 2008 Hasselblad Award Winner
The Hasselblad Foundation has chosen Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide to be the recipient of the 2008 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. The prize, consisting of SEK 500,000 (approximately USD 80,000) and a gold medal, will be presented at a ceremony held in Göteborg, Sweden, October 25, 2008. In conjunction with the ceremony, a new exhibition of Graciela Iturbide’s photographs will open at the Hasselblad Center.

The Foundation’s citation regarding the decision to award the 2008 prize to Graciela Iturbide is as follows: Graciela Iturbide is considered one of the most important and influential Latin American photographers of the past four decades. Her photography is of the highest visual strength and beauty. Graciela Iturbide has developed a photographic style based on her strong interest in culture, ritual and everyday life in her native Mexico and other countries. Iturbide has extended the concept of documentary photography, to explore the relationships between man and nature, the individual and the cultural, the real and the psychological. She continues to inspire a younger generation of photographers in Latin America and beyond.

The Sacrifice, La Mixteca, Oaxaca, Mexiko ©Graciela Iturbide, 1992

This year’s award committee, which submitted its proposal to the Foundation’s board of directors, consisted of:
• Frits Gierstberg, (Chair) Head of Exhibitions, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands,
• David Chandler, Director, Photoworks, Brighton, England,
• Monika Faber, Chief Curator, Albertina Collection of Photographs, Austria,
• Michiko Kasahara, Chief Curator, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan,
• Patricia Mendoza, Director, Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca, Mexico.

Graciela Iturbide developed a strong commitment to photography, beginning with documentary photography, and evolving it further, with subtle surrealist undertones. She then moved on to geometric and abstract landscapes. The essence of her latest work is a poetic synthesis of both these tendencies. Iturbide has created a strong and personal iconography with her self-portraits, depictions of native plant life, and birds. Visual poetry and magic run through the entire body of her work, providing a powerful bridge between her personal concerns and the wider reality she observes. Iturbide uses symbols that relate specifically to Latin American geography to embrace social and universal themes, such as life and death. She constructs her photographs into a form of personal ceremony in a very inviting way.

Iturbide had her first exhibition in 1975, when she participated in Tres Fotógrafas Mexicanas at Galeria José Clemente Orozco in Mexico City. In conjunction with this exhibition, a critical appraisal was published in the magazine of the Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City. She has since exhibited widely at major institutions and museums around the world, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Her photographs are presently on exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Iturbide's career began in 1969, when she was a student filmmaker at the Centro de Estudios Cinematográficos (CUEC) at the National University of Mexico. Here she met the famous Latin American photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo, who was teaching at CUEC. One year later Álvarez Bravo invited her to become his photographic assistant, and she worked with him for some time. They maintained a bonding friendship until the end of his life. Iturbide already had a strong interest in politics and culture. She traveled to Panama to document the attempts of General Omar Torrijos to establish a left-wing regime.

Self-Portrait in Trotsky's House, Citiacán, Mexiko ©Graciela Iturbide, 2006

Graciela Iturbide’s first published project was her documentation of the Seri Indians in the Sonora Desert. This project culminated in the book Los Que Viven en la Arena (1981). In 1979, the celebrated Mexican painter Francisco Toledo invited the artist to photograph the Zapotec Indians in Juchitán. Ten years later, this work was widely exhibited, and published in the highly regarded book Juchitán de las Mujeres (1989). At the time of its publication Juchitán de las Mujeres offered an archetypal and intimate portrait of a group of people then unknown to the rest of the world. In this work she developed her own particular style, where the document and a search for the self are in such fine balance that it amounts to a “manifesto” about the culture of the people that appear in it.

Iturbide has always had a special interest in the interactions between nature and culture, tradition and modernity, identity and the landscape. Animals play an important role in her work, especially birds and the iguana. Often they are depicted in scenes that refer to death, slaughter and ritual. Animals, alive or dead, figure with remarkable frequency in her portraits. They contribute to the psychological intensity of both her portraits and self-portraits. Iturbide’s personal links to literature, music, film, and the other arts have created a fresh and more complex identity for a photographic culture that has previously been associated solely with documentary work. Her diverse themes are the visual reserves of her curiosity that has taken her to several continents to find her subject matter. Within this international context she has considered wider fields of knowledge and expressed her vision through different genres: landscape, portrait, selfportrait, the nude, fashion, abstraction, documentation, and still-life.

In 2000, Graciela Iturbide completed an ongoing series of photographs of birds. An exhibition of this work was held at Rose Gallery, Los Angeles and was accompanied by the publication Pajaros. At this time, the artist Francisco Toledo, invited her to join him in Oaxaca on a project documenting Jardín Botanico (the botanical gardens) at the Centro Cultural Santo Domingo. Shortly thereafter, Iturbide collaborated with photographers Sabastião Salgado and Raghu Rai on a project entitled “India Mexico”. All three artists took photographs in Mexico and India resulting in an exhibition, held at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Chile in 2002. This photographic collaboration is described in the publication India México, Vientos Paralelos: Graciela Iturbide, Raghu Rai, and Sabastião Salgado, 2002.

In 2004, Iturbide was invited by the Frida Kahlo Foundation to photograph the inner sanctuary of the home of famed Mexican surrealist painter Frida Kahlo. Two rooms that had been locked for fifty years in accordance to Frida Kahlo’s and Diego Rivera’s decree, were opened exclusively for Iturbide to photograph. An exhibition of the resulting body of work debuted in the summer of 2007 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. Iturbide is currently working on a photographic book of fables for children and adults to be published by Steidl in 2008.

Bird X-Ray, Oaxaca, Mexiko ©Graciela Iturbide, 1999

Artistic accolades earned by the artist include a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation in 1988. In 1980, she won first prize in the Photography Biennial at the National Fine Art Institute in Mexico City. The UN International Labour Organization awarded her first prize in 1986 for her portfolio Work or the Lack of it. Upon the launch of the Juchitán series she received the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Award in 1987. One year later she was granted the first prize at the Mois de la Photo in Paris, to be followed in 1990 by the International Grand Prize in Hokkaido, Japan, and the Rencontres International Award from the city of Arles, France in 1991.

Her work is in major collections in Latin and North America, and in Europe.

Selection of Publications:
Los Que Viven en la Arena (Those Who Live in the Sand), 1981; Sueños de Papel (Dreams of Paper), 1985; Juchitán de las Mujeres (The Women of Juchitán), 1989; En el Nombre del Padre (In the Name of the Father), 1993; Images of the Spirit, 1996; La Forma y la Memoria (Form and Memory) 1996; Graciela Iturbide, 2002; Pájaros (Birds), 2002; India México, 2002; Naturata, 2004; Eyes to Fly With, 2006; Roma (Rome), 2007; Juchitán, 2007." (press relsease, Hasselblad foundation, 2008)


21 October 2008

Gruppo F inbox: Karin Bengtsson

Workshop with Anders Petersen

Barcelonaekspertene welcomes you to a week long workshop with Anders Petersen in Barcelona. Anders is one of Europe’s leading photographers and his genre can be defined as subjective documentary. He has held many workshops around the world, published many books and had innumerable exhibitions. As a workshop leader Anders gives a lot of him self and creates the space so that each one of the participants can find his own way of creation. He is enormously inspiring, both as a photograph and as a person.

©Anders Petersen

There will be teaching and good time for personal work every day. You can work both digital and analogue. We don’t dispose of a dark room, but we will use a local lab, with which we have an agreement. We will also dispose of a big screen for visualisation of the photos. Remember to bring some of the photos you would like Anders to comment and give you a feed back. It’s important!

In Barcelona every body will stay in the same hotel, it will be a nice little hotel and the teaching will take place very near by. We will organize a common lunch for those who want it, in the Spanish style. We will probably eat dinner together also; we will come back to that… Barcelonaekspertene is a brand new firm specialised in arranging events and group tours to Barcelona. It is runned by Inés Gándara (from Barcelona) and John Olav Brekke (emigrated Bergen boy). They will be there to help in finding contacts, localisations and anything the participants should wish and need!

©Anders Petersen

Besides, will Rune Kongsro, who works as a photographer in Oslo, be the technical assistant and collaborator. We would like every body to be in Barcelona during the afternoon of the 23. November; the end of the workshop, including a goodbye party will be on Friday 28. November. The price for the workshop and the hotel is NOK .9.900, (apx ¢ 1 250) for those who can use a double room. Those who want to be in a single room will have to pay a little extra, depending on the hotel’s capacity. The web page of Barcelonaekspertene will be available in some weeks, until then you will find the information in this page: http://www.kongsro.com/. Please contact Rune Kongsro for further information: rune@kongsro.com

19 October 2008

P i n k

Colours inspires me, as well as different materials and forms.

18 October 2008

Krystian Kujda and his "Cars"

Don't like to talk about myself.

27, I live in Tricity (Poland). I am photographing for 4 years, but "Cars" is my first conscious series.
I am taking my inspiration from cinema, preferably of B class. I am using different gear for photographing, but I use mostly Holga. Documental aspect of photography is beyond my interest and Holga makes the world unreal.

not much, but I think it's enough...

text and pictures by Krystian Kujda aka yans mjolk
Photographic portraits of cars in urban environment create a story about time, passing by and hidden beauty appearing thanks to brown filter on the camera lens. This series of dead streets and their covered by dust heros seems to be a movie scenery for gangster movies of 1970s. Abandoned (or maybe just parked) vehicles are like parts of cut scene of the film…(part of the text from the exhibition of Krystian, which was presented in frame of Transfotografia 2008 festival.

invited by Marcin Górski