Posts Tagged “blogs”

Paul Ickovic. Kafka’s Grave & Other Stories: Photographs. New York: Okapi Editions, 1986. Print.

BOOK REVIEW by Stephanie Robb, PRC Intern, Fall 2011

“Go down to the library, select a book, any book,” Julie gestures a wide arc, “and write a review for our blog.” She is smiling when she says this. “Great, okay!” I reply, enthusiastic about the opportunity. Moments later, I stand in the middle of the library wondering how on earth I can choose just one book. If you’ve been to the PRC library, you’ll understand my dilemma. The collection is widely varied and every single book is full of pictures—and I love picture books. Having said that, I am also a devoted lover of stories and I have developed a passion for words.

I decide to begin my search with titles. If the words on the spine of the book catch my attention, I carefully pull it from the shelf and decide if the contents capture my imagination in the way a good storyteller can. After glancing through several books and tearing myself away from several more, a familiar name catches my eye. Ever since Renée Zellweger said his name while pushing a vacuum wearing Granny underwear in Bridget Jones’ Diary, and much more frequently in the last year, the name Kafka has nagged at me. It is a familiar name, one I ought to know, whose work I have somehow managed not to have read yet. In the last few months, I have heard his name mentioned more and more regularly. I’ve always been a person prone to find meaning in numbers and repetitions. “What does all this have to do with photography?” You might be asking.

One particular book, tucked on a shelf that is difficult to access, reads Kafka’s Grave and Other Stories / Ickovic, printed in black on a cloth spine. I think it is out of place and, therefore, most enticing. I press my finger on the top corner, tip the book so I can pull it out. It’s much wider than I expected. At this point in my library assignment, I am speaking aloud to myself, “Oh, it’s wider than I expected!” I thumb through and read the forward by David Mamet, which lures me in further. His words are concise and they speak to my life experience in our increasingly globalized society. He writes:

“…I have always felt like an outsider; and I am sure that the suspicion that I perceive is the suspicion that I provoke by my great longing to belong. I would like to live a life free of constant self-examination—a life which may be ruled by the processes of guilt, remorse, hope, and anxiety, but one in which those processes themselves are not foremost in the mind. I would like to belong to a world dedicated to creating, preserving, achieving, or simply getting by. But the world of the outsider, in which I have chosen to live, and in which I have trained myself to live, is based on none of those things. It is based on observation….”

I have decided. This is the one. So begins my adventure into the photography of Paul Ickovic.

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Just read this blog entry about Steve McCurry, who managed to get the last roll of Kodachrome out of Kodak’s manufacturing. I’m imagining the machines turning off as the film comes off the spool, in the dark. Thanks to Judith H. Dobrzynski for this. Jeff Jacobson, who is on our schedule of exhibitors here in 2011, is also thinking about the last roll, in a metaphoric and personal sense. A long-time user of Kodachrome, Jeff’s “last roll” is a meditation on life both on film and off. Stay tuned for more on that.

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Following Minneapolis Star Tribune arts writer Mary Abbe’s bracing, or “lush” as one PRC blog reader opined, words about a major traveling exhibition (posted July 8 in this blog, with a comment added today), come Andy Grundberg’s comparably questioning observations in the Summer 2010 Aperture, issue number 199. And now noted scholar, writer, and critic David Levi Strauss has posted an entry on Aperture‘s blog taking Grundberg and his review to task. We all know that celebrity gossip, lolcats, YouTube videos, and sports fanaticism whipsaw virally across the ‘net; it’s good to see a lively forum for exchanges in photographic arts criticism settling in as well. (Link here for Strauss’ entry on Aperture‘s “Exposures” blog, and a link to Grundberg’s review.)

Also, reader Lauri Robertson sent me a link to a posting on another blog about the Grundberg/Strauss interaction. Find it [on (Notes on) Politics, Theory & Photography] here.

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Photo Shelter’s Blog, Shoot the Blog, has ended its run and its amazing author Rachel Hulin has started her own.  So move on over to the as-yet-to-be-unnamed blog!

Looks like she is still keeping up her insanely fast posting pace, witty and sometimes wicked humor, and continuing to share large lush images.   Enjoy.

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Edward Winkleman, art dealer and owner of Winkleman Gallery, has an incredibly active blog. Not only does he thoughtfully blog almost every day, but he usually generates 100+ comments.

Edward’s honest and frank posts gives those on the other side an incredible insight into the gallery scene and business. Bravo for transparency!

Recently, he started a weekly post, Tuesday’s Aside, in which he answers people’s gallery and career questions.

Here are some recent gems:

1.) Investing in Yourself – what to do to advance your career when you come into extra $
2.) Political Correctness – in the gallery scene and artworld
3.) Studio Visit Strategies – what to do and not to do when a gallerist or curator visits and when, how, and even if to ask for one

and finally one of my favorites, Shifting Gears: Trust the Spiral
– what do to if your signature style & subject changes

In this last post, Edward introduces a fantastic metaphor, the art spiral pictured above, and goes on to share his insights on this process. It’s such a wonderful summation of the artistic process (which so often does have an artist coming back to the same themes and ideas again and again, just parsed differently) that I will quote it in full. Enjoy!

Anonymous you note: “I know the direction I’m (already) moving in, which is quite different.” In my experience, though, the direction most artists are moving in only seems different for a while. Here’s a simplified version of how I imagine most artists’ journeys/interests (as opposed to careers) would look if charted. [see above]

The spiral is the path I see/hear about repeatedly in studio visits. Obviously there are many more spokes to this spiral, different subjects that reemerge from time to time, points along the path where you adopt the influence or return to a subject (marked with the red asterisks) and others when some idea/subject/concern occurs to you but you press on ignoring it (where the spiral crosses a spoke but there is no asterisk).

I find this image useful, though, when I recognize during a studio visit that an artist has “returned” to an idea or introduced something that might seem entirely new until I see much older work and realize that for many artists they keep returning to the same ideas again and again, only with more insight/ experience than the last time. At such junctures, certain ideas might seem to be threatening what you’ve built perhaps because it’s been a while since Subject A was part of your practice/ consciousness. You might have dropped it off at one asterisk. But generally it’s radiating through your overall practice all the while. If you need it again, you can pick it up and use it.

An artist I showed this diagram to the other day suggested it’s actually much more complex than this. Rather than one two-dimensional spiral, each artist’s journey is actually a three-dimensional series of multiple interwoven spirals, and the intersections are not always so chronological. I suspect he’s right, but the whole point of illustrating this is to note that I don’t think dealers (or anyone else) should associate changes in an artist’s practice with a lack of seriousness. Not if they’re taking a long-term view.

It may not be easy even for the artist, at the point marked “Today,” to see how it’s all related (and how a drastic change in medium or practice will later be combined with other more thoroughly examined spokes and bring one’s audience back round). Personally I think what seem like dramatic shifts are OK so long as the artist has interesting ideas, is rigorous about exploring them, and has a solid studio practice. It will all come together again, and probably be much more interesting for pushing further out along the spiral, rather than sticking in one spot along it.

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Above is just one of the many images featured on the hilarious blog Check back daily and be sure to browse their older posts, accessible at the bottom of the page. Do give yourself enough time to browse, you’ll be sucked in!

Below is their ode to post modernism that accompanies the above classic from Mexico’s Maxim as well as their open call for erased furniture, missing belly buttons, elongated body parts, and cloning gone wild.

“By renormalizing the model’s waistline, Maxim Mexico takes a bold socio-political stance in the ongoing battle of the politics of representation, clearly referencing the oppressive reification of male-gaze heteronormative modes of synthesis in a semiotic blancmange of post-structural teakettle barbecue hatstand fishmonger.”

Have you seen a truly awful piece of Photoshop work? Clumsy manipulation, senseless comping, lazy cloning and thoughtless retouching are our bread and butter. And yes, deep down, we love Photoshop.

If it is commercial and awful then please let us know! Anonymity can be arranged for the easily embarrassed/canned. Although I am hopeless at replying to email, be assured that each and every tip is followed up.

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Cara Phillips, Botox, 2007

Cara Phillips of the blog Ground Glass has emerged as a photographer and blogger to watch. Her blog is clock a block full of insightful posts.

I’d like to highlight a few of her amazing recent posts, both of which made me want to re-dub her CPRC (Cara Phillips Resource Center). Surf on in here to see her curated list of great web sites and blogs (ours among them, thanks for the shout out!). Another doozie of a post was “To be a photographer,” with Cara’s own 2-cents of career do’s and don’ts.

along with Amy Elkins launched the entity/site “Women in Photography.” Currenly, they are showcasing the work of Elinor Carucci. Best of all, they accept submissions on a rolling basis. From their mission:

There are more women working in the contemporary photo world then ever before. Their methods, choice of subject matter, visual language, and processes run the gamut of artistic possibility. What unites them is their passion and the effort they devote to creating extraordinary bodies of work. Women in Photography is a showcase for this work. It is also a resource for photographers, editors, curators, gallery owners, and viewers alike to discover and enjoy the work of female artists. By mixing the work of emerging photographers with artists that have achieved high levels of success within fine art and commercial worlds, the project is designed to open a visual dialogue and create a venue to share work, support, and ideas.

Women in Photography is co-curated by amy elkins and cara phillips. It will present a solo exhibition of work from select photographers every other Tuesday of the month.

Women in Photography is sponsored by humble arts foundation, and designed by made by brown.

ABOVE IMAGE: Cara Phillips, Botox, 2007, from her web site

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Last week, I surfed on in to our blogs stats and saw that Jörg Colberg of the blog Conscientious had posted on Boston Photography Focus as a blog to check out! Our stats increased substantially and I wanted to return the favor to him and a few other blogs of note. We’ll keep highlighting great blogs, so keep checking back.

Conscientious is a font of information and images. Jörg seems to post every day, and sometimes several times a day. One of the best things on the blog are his extensive interviews. I wanted to give Jörg a hearty thanks and second his emotion on 2 of them (the others I still have to check out!).

Dawoud Bey just launched a new blog called What’s Going On. Dawoud teaches at Columbia College in Chicago and was one of our past visiting lecturers. An amazing, humble, wonderful man, you can tell he is a wonderful teacher.

We can’t paint blog is one I have stumbled across recently as well. It’s nicely designed and shows some great stuff. We can’t paint also accepts submissions, the deadline is August 1st, so check them out! Plus, We can’t paint is an excellent name and its author is Canadian, both very cool attributes.

We can’t paint recently posted on Pause, to Begin, a unique project dedicated to emerging photographers that combines the web, a book, and recordings. The team just announced the 15 photographers selected for 2008 – and it includes 3 folks I know: Matthew Gamber, Colin Blakely, and Shawn Records. Congrats guys!

ABOVE IMAGE: We heart blog, found on flickr in tarop’s photostream.

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PRC Juried Show featured Online on FLAK PHOTO !

Our image a week takes a hiatus to defer to an image a day! Beginning this Monday, May 19th, the PRC has teamed up with the kind folks at Flak Photo to feature 10 images from the Juried Show, a “web photo happening” if you will. The series kicks off today, Monday, and runs weekdays, May 19 – 23 & May 26 – 30. Thank you Andy!!

Flak Photo / Features showcases images from “group show” photography projects – the section highlights work from new series, book projects and gallery exhibitions. In recent months, Flak Photo has published work from jen bekman gallery’s A New American Portrait, the Minnesota Center for Photography’s PhotoBravo, the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward / Emerging Photographers 2007, 3030 Press’ New Photography in China, Humble Arts Foundation’s 31 Under 31: Young Women in Art Photography and Hamburger Eyes Photo Magazine’s Inside Burgerworld.

Add to the above impressive list the 12th and 13th PRC Annual Juried Exhibitions, and we’re in some really good company!

ABOUT FLAK PHOTO: Flak Photo is a photography blogzine featuring distinctive work from an international community of contributors that promotes interesting visual approaches to seeing the world and celebrates the art of exhibiting quality photography online. The blog is produced by Andy Adams and features work from new photo essays, book projects and gallery exhibitions from established and emerging photographers.

So surf on in to every day for the next couple of weeks, or sign up for their email list, and a great photo will be delivered daily to your inbox!

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For those who haven’t yet had the “Swanny” – aka Mary Virginia Swanson – experience , I pass along a link to her web site and to her incredible blog.

I first met Swanny at the SPE Austin, TX in 2003 and she knew who I was before I knew who I was! I highly recommend her book The Business of Photography and required it for my class at AIB.

For those wanting to get all the happenings, news, and calls for entries first, her blog is a MUST! I thought I subscribed to a lot of emails and listservs, but she takes the cake. You can get it all in one place here. Check it out now, bookmark it, visit often, or better yet, subscribe to her RRS feed –

ABOVE IMAGE: We heart blog, found on flickr in tarop’s photostream.

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