31 July 2009

meeting Alex Majoli (part 2)

continuation of the interview /made in march 09 in Warsaw/ /part 1. here/

Fblog: Now you’ve mentioned commissions for museum, so I’d like to ask where do you want to show your works? Do you like them to be printed in books, shown in some museums or galleries, in a newspaper? Where does your pictures belong?

Alex Majoli: I think everywhere. I think each project has a better location than others, but not every project needs a special location among the others. I like when pictures are photocopies, so you can just give it in the streets, just like that. Actually “One vote” was supposed to be like this in the beginning.

Fblog: So you like to give pictures to the people in the streets, but to those you’ve photographed previously?
Alex Majoli: No, at the beginning – it was an elecetion day, supposed to give photocopies to a lot of people in the street, photocopies of faces, but…it didn’t came up, because, well… I’m not good on promoting my work at that level.

Alex Majoli, from the exhibition Un monde en partage, 2008, photo courtesy of The Foundation Group TP.

Fblog: Well, you’ve said something about Samurai development, and it’s been your most important quotation, it appears almost everywhere along with your name…
Alex Majoli: OK, everybody ask this! OK, this quotation – when I’ve done some workshop I had to say something, and I didn’t want to make some bullshit like “I’m the best photographer in the world” so actually I wrote something like that as a joke. They accepted it and didn’t understand it was a joke. I think you can’t teach photography, but I think as a Samurai you can do an every day little things. Discipline, determination. You know you need to prepare to take picture. I can not teach you that, I can tell you only: don’t distract, escape, stay there, don’t move, but I can’t tell you how to take it.
Most of my students keep making pictures like this [AM: acts like a photographer in candid, shaking, very nervous]… and then I say: “relax, you can’t make pictures like that. Think about it. Relax.” [AM: acts slowly, knowing what to do, determined and relaxed], and it’s not working, so again I’m saying “Get relaxed, come closer, move, concentrate on process.” You can do only that.

Fblog: What is your process approaching the subcject?
Alex Majoli: Determination, work, work, work a lot. Work.
Fblog: Have you ever asked for a permission to take picture?
Alex Majoli: Depends, depends.
Fblog: In the streets?
Alex Majoli: Depends. Sometimes I don’t need to. It’s something I teach: try to decide before if you really want to take the picture. Sometimes you’re taking picture that you really don’t want to. And then you put yourself in trouble. If a person you photogeaphed sees that you don’t really care about them, and you just play around –
And if you care, you’re taking pictures of people walking down the street, they understand that, maybe they will ask you why, but they don’t do some crazy and stupid thing. If you hesitate: “I’d take!”, “no I don’t!”… this hesitating it’s like a dishonor, the feelings you give though that, it’s obvious there’s no real purpose in that.

Fblog: What would you say to a budding photographer? Go to some exhibitions, see as much as possible?
Alex Majoli: Don’t look at other photographers. Don’t think you’re photographer. Read all books. I say work, work, work, just try to be yourself. Work a lot and read books. Get out from photography and then go back. That’s most important.

Fblog: Are you fan of football?
Alex Majoli: No, but I like this a lot.
Fblog: Well, you’re Italian…
Alex Majoli: You have to be Catholic, you’re Polish.
Fblog: Yes, stereotypes…
Alex Majoli: Even if you don’t believe, but you have to.
Fblog: Do you know any Polish photographer? You’ve been here before, so maybe you had the chance to meet some?
Alex Majoli: I know one Polish photographer, but actually I like you to recall, he’s name is Piotr, he was working for the Polish main newspaper.
Fblog: So you probably mean Gazeta Wyborcza?
Alex Majoli: Maybe. I met him in Kumbh Mela in India. We had a really good time together, but then he’ve dissapeard. I also met him in Israel during the second intifade. I don’t remember his surename. He is a tall, blonde guy. If you know him…
Fblog: I think it’s Piotr Janowski.
Alex Majoli: Well, if you see him, say from me “hey, don’t dissapear like this!”

Alex Majoli, from the exhibition Un monde en partage, 2008, photo courtesy of The Foundation Group TP.

Fblog: How much time you spent in Italy/NY?

Alex Majoli: I would say half and half, and the rest is travelling to take some pictures.
Fblog: You have a company near Milan, it’s called Cesuralab.
Alex Majoli: Cesura is the place where I live in Italy. It became my studio. And now as I have one assistant, and some other guys there, I think this studio might me something bigger than just a place where I make pictures. More than just a studio. I ‘ve invested some money, wanting to create of this a place where the young photographers can come and participate… I want to give them a time and a chance for a proper project. It works fine and they create some “collective of photography” and they spend some more and more time in the agency. I don’t know. At the moment it’s like this. Could be much more.
There is a gallery. We’re doing some workshop there now. I try to do something interesting, not because of it’s interestingness, but the place is like a playground. Like, you know, you have kids and if you give them a place to play, the kids play. I want to do the same with my assistants, but they don’t play. I say: "you have a printer, you have a computer, you have a big beautiful space, you’ve got everything you want!" And they just sit and think. I’m asking them: “hey, why you’re sitting?” Why you don’t use it? They keep philosophying on photography instead. “C’mon guys! Move the ass now! Make some pictures!” And they sit, they criticise other photographers! I mean" "who are you man?!" And it’s common within young photographers, I can’t understand that!
Fblog: Well you know, it’s capitalistic era, you need to compare the things before you buy them, you go to the market to compare, to choose. If you’re making pictures, you still need to compare yourself to the others?
Alex Majoli: Yeah, OK! I know, if you have kids, you can’t tell them “don’t look into the television”, sometimes you have to compromise, one hour and then do something different. But these guys do only that. I say: “take some pictures.” And they reply: “of what? why?" So I’m taking a picture of it and they like it and say: “No! but you’re a good photographer!”. My answer is: “No I’m not! I’m just taking pictures, while you don’t!” It’s always like that! They need to have a big story, they need to go to Iraq to take a pictures. C’mon take a picture here!

Fblog: Who is your best friend in Magnum? I mean: fellow photographers, accountant, secretary?
Alex Majoli: Well, I have many friends in Magnum. Too many, starting from my best friend, a very good photographer who was in Magnum – Luc Delahay. I know there are good friends: Thomas, Antoine, Alex... They are all good photographers and good friends. Alec Soth, Thomas Dworzak, Chris Anderson, Antoine d’Agata definitely good friend and helping, Joseph Koudelka is a good friend. I have many friends there, that’s good. And many others!

Fblog: Thank you very much. Wishing you luck and good friends always around.
Alex Majoli: Thank you!

joanna: I couldn't resist to ask about Polish photographer. It was a nice inquiry who that might be. Finnaly it came up and it would came up to you one day too, I hope. Thanks for you patience while reading this :)

30 July 2009

Gruppo F Inbox: Zuzana Salajkova - Babicka/Grandma

Babicka (Grandma) “Home is where the heart is”… your home always is the place for which you feel the deepest affection, no matter where you are. After more than seven years living in a different country I started to question myself about where my real home is. Each time I go back to see my homeland I start to feel more and more like a stranger. To keep my most precious memories in my head I took pictures of my Grandmother’s house where I spent a lot of my childhood. I feel this is the only place where my home and heart are, and I know this place sooner or later will disappear.

Zuzana Salajkova, was born in 1983 in the Czech republic but now lives in Manchester, U.K. where she recently got her degree in Photography.

Welcome Welcome Emmanuel!

photo: Jeanne Wells

You are certainly a lucky little boy who is oh so loved. Welcome to Family F!

29 July 2009

Nigerian numbers

We lived by number 5,
walked past number 4 on our way
to lunch at number 11.
(June-July 2009, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria)

28 July 2009

Our Young City

Christopher Nunn’s photographs depict fictional and constructed spaces. He is interested in exploring “the way memory, over the course of time, becomes fiction”. The images are pieced together from a number of partially remembered places that Nunn has experienced and works of fiction connected to them. This includes a visit to Pripyat, Ukraine, an evacuated city that remains abandoned beside the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power station. The ambiguous title was taken from a piece of graffiti seen in the city. Nunn states that the empty and decaying spaces in his images “represent the diminishing nature of memory and its relationship with time and fiction”.

Christopher Nunn (b 1983) is a UK based photographer whose work deals with memory, time and fiction, often utilising constructed miniature spaces. Our Young City is currently being exhibited at Impressions Gallery, Bradford, England as part of a group show titled Lost In Transit.

Photos and text: Christopher Nunn

Sources: E. Hopper

Photo: Luc Rabaey

26 July 2009

Down the Middle


Having dual nationality may affect the way we perceive ourselves, especially if we have been forced to leave the place where we were born and spent our early years. Therefore, a loss of that feeling of belonging can be the result. You don’t completely belong to the country you migrated to but you don’t know if you still belong to the one you where born in either, especially if you spent a long time away from it.

This project explores my life as an Anglo-Mexican capturing the places I lived in Mexico and in England to help me retrace and discover my roots.






Fine art photographer Roxana Allison was born in Manchester, UK (1980) and raised in Mexico City where she lived permanently until 2008. She currently lives and works in Britain. She graduated with a BA Fine Art Degree at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 2004. Since having her first solo exhibition in 2003, she has taken part in several photography group shows in Mexico and the USA. She is currently part of the group show Lost in Transit, held at Impressions Gallery, Bradford, UK where she is exhibiting her latest body of work, Down the Middle, which explores her bicultural roots.

Photos and text: Roxana Allison

23 July 2009

Michelle Marie Roy


When the F-blog invited me to exhibit a few photographs on the site, I was more than pleased! I wasn’t sure what to show. So I thought of exhibiting a few self-portraits which are typical for some of my older work, and then also some photos from 2 exhibitions I have been working on for Pride, together with artists Cecilia Bivald and Kim Rosendahl. Both exhibitions open this Saturday, July 25th at the Art Concept Stores.


Usually my work is rather subjective, often dealing with gender. In my past work, I have frequently used myself as a model, and self-portraits were a way for me to comment on the phase of my life I was going through at the time of the portrait, but also, collectively speaking, self-portraits were a way for me to explore my identity.
Vagina Face III

“The Baby Doll Mythos” series is a good example of this. The work entitled “Vagina Face III” is a self-portrait where I have used red lipstick and face paint to create a vagina face mask. Basically the idea was to make the viewer aware of how I felt about my identity and gender, and how this effected other people’s perception and reaction to me. Sometimes being a woman felt like a burden. I will show this piece at the “Vagina Dentata” exhibition at Art Concept Store. The concept of the exhibition was inspired by “Vagina Face III” So we sent out a call for vagina art work to create the exhibition. We wanted to see how other women (and even men) felt about gender and about female sexuality. And the response was amazing! We received a great deal of high quality work in a variety of media!

Be My Sugar Daddy

Cecilia, Kim and I also wanted to do a photo/video based project entitled “Team: Sexualitet” for Pride. Basically we handed out 10 disposable cameras to people of various sexual orientations, from straight to gay to trans-gender, and asked them to document their sexuality. My contribution to the exhibition has been taking black and white portraits of the participants. This was a challenge for me, because it deviated so much from my usual working process. I usually have an image in my mind that I have to create in the “real world” and then photograph. With the “Tema: Sexualitet” portraits, the challenge was to capture the personality and energy of each individual. So instead of photographing what is internal, I had to turn the camera to the external world.

Miranda & Hanna

The photograph of “Miranda &
Hannah” is one of my favorites from the exhibition. Miranda is from Finland and Hannah is Swedish. They met online and the rest is history. During the photo shoot they seemed to be very much in love. They both had such free and easy spirits. I realized how much they must care for one another, and I think it shows in the portrait.


For more information about my work, you are welcome to visit my website at: www.michellemarieroy.com I will also be at the openings on July 25th from 12 – 18:00 at the Art Concept Stores: www.artconceptstore.se

Strange Fruit

Invited by Jan Buse

22 July 2009

17 July 2009

The Malmoe Fence

the fence in Malmoe

The fence-exhibitions are getting very popular in Sweden these days. This time it's the Image group Agitera who's arranging an exhibition in Malmoe. They sent us the following information:
(PS. make sure to read the last part if you like the work of Agitera)

"Press release
Re: The Malmoe Fence

When: August 29, 2009

Where: Folkets Park, Malmoe

Who: 140 photographers (first come, first serve)

Organizers: Agitera – Image Group in collaboration with Galleri Format
Website: http://planket2009.blogspot.com
Sign up: planket@agitera.com

History: Last year, the members of Agitera Image Group were asked to carry Malmöplanket on. Then, Jonna at Format called, and a collaboration seemed only natural This year, the location of Malmöplanket has moved to Folkets Park.
Saturday, August 29, the photo exhibit Malmöplanket kicks off its second year. The purpose of the exhibit is to get images from an array of different branches of photography into public space. The fence is a place for meetings, not only between photographers, but also between photographers and the public; an office party open to the public, if you will. About

Agitera: The idea of an image group came about sometime around the beginning of the new millennium and was realized in the fall of 2003 when an official organization was formed at our first meeting, at Ölcafeét in Malmoe.
Our first project, the exhibit Bilder från Bitola- Macedonija (Images from Bitola, Macedonia), brought several communities together. Young and old, Swedes and immigrants; together they contemplated another reality. They shared grief, anger, tears, and laughter. This other reality, the contrast our images constitute in relation to peoples’ lived realities, is important to us. The success of our previous exhibits shows that the images are not only important to us, but also to many others. Over the years, Agitera has produced multiple exhibits, both traditional and of the “fence type”. It is important to us to show the image outside of conventional exhibition locales. To make the image accessible to those who might not go out of their way to see an exhibit. In essence, taking the image to the people. We have formed collaborations with organizations, institutions and businesses; the Nordic Council of Ministers, Kulturen Museum in Lund, LaLoge Gallery in Paris, Aluma Magazine, and Lexter Sound Productions, to name a few.

Agitera is currently going through an expansionary phase and looking to recruit interesting photographers to the image group. Our goal is to grow slowly, and our rule is to only accept two new members every fiscal year.

the Agitera Image Group

just another rainy day