June 27, 2014

Friday Round Up - 27 June, 2014

This week on Friday Round Up two new books to add to your collection - Stephen Shore's epic From Galilee to the Negev and the Roma's The Waters of Our Time. Plus new exhibitions for Strange Neighbour and Monash Gallery of Art in Melbourne, and Blackeye in Sydney, and a preview to my interview with New York-based Australian photographer Kerry Payne. And a new feature: Picture of the Week.

Picture of the Week:
Despite everything we know about climate change, coal continues to be the "energy of choice" with coal usage reaching a 44 year high in 2013 according to BP's annual Statistical Review of World Energy. While Western democracies point the finger of blame at the developing world, China and India in particular, passing responsibility rather than doing more to clean up their own act, will do nothing to halt the damage being done to the planet. Not to mention the human toll. To see more images from this story visit The Atlantic InFocus.

(C) Channi Anand - Jammu, India 2012

Stephen Shore - From Galilee to the Negev

“interpretations depend very much on who the interpreter is, who he or she is addressing, what his or her purpose is, at what historical moment the interpretation takes place” Edward W. Said
In Stephen Shore’s epic book ‘From Galilee to the Negev’ there is a distinct sense of Shore’s intent and focus from the first pages on this expansive book, which comes with its own map and designated “sites of interest” and “photographed locations”.

Shore’s capacity to pursue a story that took him 17 years to complete, is one of the hallmarks that have made him a master storyteller. Shore, who took to the road in the seventies with camera in hand and hasn’t looked back, is considered one of the pioneers in documentary colour photography. Cited as an influence by many – Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky and Wolfgang Tillmans amongst others – Shore was the first living photographer to be given a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1971; prior to Shore the last artist was Alfred Stieglitz in 1931.

Situated within ten dedicated chapters – Ashqelon, Galilee, Tel Hazor, Tel Aviv, Gaza, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron, Negev and Sacred Stones - Shore’s idiosyncratic photographs stitch together the desert landscape, the passing of time, the rise of the modern and portraits of local residents to create a visual tapestry that is unique to Israel, and to Shore. ‘From Galilee to the Negev’ is Shore’s interpretation of this part of the world, and little has slipped his astute gaze. 

Tel Aviv, March 23, 2011

Large crater, Negev Desert, September 29, 2009

In the urban city of Tel Aviv, Shore captures cosmopolitan Israel in the bustling streets, busy cafes and growing number of high rises dotting the skyline. In the Negev the desert’s arid moonscapes and isolation draw the reader’s eye and in Jerusalem his portraits of local residents give context to daily life in this ancient holy city.

Shore says with this book it is his intention to tell a story about Israel that isn’t loaded with the stereotypes of “suffering and heroism, of victims and perpetrators”, labels often associated with this part of the world. 

Tel Aviv, June 17, 2010 

Jerusalem, September 23, 2009 

Ramallah, October 3, 2009
In "From Galilee to the Negev" each chapter leads with an essay that addresses one particular image. Written by leading artists, writers and academics the essays add another layer to this complex work. To give a flavour of the writing, the chapter ‘Galilee’ features the New Yorker’s Jane Kramer in response to Shore’s image ‘Sderot’ taken in September, 2009. This photograph comprises a map, a man’s hand pointing and his shadow cast across part of the image. Kramer writes: “The map in Stephen Shore’s photograph is, as maps go, neutral, something a pilot might use to get his bearings, benignly distant from the problems of the ground. Its divisions are faint, vague, even reassuring – thin red lines that in reality, have been drawn and redrawn, in the course of three wars, with the blood of thousands of young Arabs and Israeli soldiers”.

This is a book that takes time, you can’t rush through it if you have any intention of understanding it. Give the essayists their due and read their words, ingest the images, listen to others’ thoughts and allow your imagination to run free. Leave behind the snippets of history that dwell in memory and make you think you know Israel. Take Shore’s journey of discovery, meet the people, walk across the pebbled roadways, wipe the grit of sand from your face, and jostle for position at the local market. These are the joys of photography, allowing your imagination to drop you into a photograph to wonder.

From Galilee to the Negev, Stephen Shore £75 / €85 Phaidon 2014

The Waters of Our Time
Thomas and Giancarlo T. Roma

There is something quite seductive about The Waters of Our Time and its fictitious narrator, a woman who has lived all her life in Brooklyn. As she shares her intimate story, the words meld with the photographs of Thomas Roma, a master photographer, who has spent much of the past forty years photographing Brooklyn his hometown. 

(C) All images Thomas Roma - From The Waters of Our Time published by powerHouse Books

This is the second time Thomas and his son, Giancarlo T. Roma, have collaborated. In The Waters of Our Time Giancarlo pens what is at times truly lyrical verse that sings to his father’s photographs, which he has used as a visual storyboard on which to build his narrative.

"The Waters of Our Time" is a story of love, memories and the passing of time. And it is also a story about the relationship between a man and his father. I haven’t seen the hardcopy of this book, but if the PDF is any indication, it’s worth spending sometime in the Roma’s Brooklyn. Available from powerHouse Books New York

Exhibition: Melbourne
A Window that isn't there - Group Show

(C) Daniela Gullotta

This exhibition is based on the premise that there is a "tug of war between what we see with our eyes and what we see with our internal memories and visions". Works include photographs as well as multi-media. Exhibiting artists - Daniela Gullotta, Norian Paicu, Amelie Scalercio, Luhsun Tan, Michael Vale and Philippe Vranjes. Curated by Michael Vale.

Strange Neighbour
11 July - 2 August
395 Gore Street

Exhibition: Melbourne
Rod McNicol - Memento Mori

Monash Gallery of Art (MGA) is currently showing a series of portraits from Australian photographer Rod McNicol. One of the Prahran College of the Arts alumni in the 1970s, McNicol has won numerous prizes for his portraiture work which is held in major institutional collections including the Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris), Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, National Library (Canberra), and MGA. 

In this exhibition there are a number of dual portraits of the same person taken years apart, as shown here. McNicol has clearly had a particular vision for this series, which he's carried through the years. Hanging together the images tell a story of the passing of time, and hint at the journey of the individual pictured. There are also solitary portraits, but these duo are in my opinion the strongest of the work on show.

(C) All images Rod McNicol
Until 31 August
Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Road
Wheelers Hill

Exhibition: Sydney
Eden Diebel - Germinate

(C) Eden Diebel - Germinate

Blackeye Gallery
3/138 Darlinghurst Road
Darlinghurst (Sydney)
Until 13 July
Artist's Talk Saturday 28th June at 3pm

Coming Soon:
Interview with Kerry Payne

(C) Kerry Payne from Left Behind

Next week I am interviewing Australian photographer Kerry Payne who is now based in New York, but I wanted to share a couple of her images this week to hopefully whet your appetite. Sometimes you see work and are just blown away by it and that was my immediate reaction to Payne's photography. Deeply emotional and at times painful to view, Payne intimately explores issues around subjects that are largely still taboo in the modern world such as mental health and fertility. This is brave, courageous and infinitely important work.

June 20, 2014

Friday Round Up - 20 June, 2014

This week on Friday Round Up last chance to see two fantastic exhibitions in Sydney, World Refugee Day in Melbourne and a new exhibition at Monash Gallery of Art explores the notion of 'the road'.

Exhibitions: State Library NSW
Ends 22 June

(C) Phillipe Lopez - World Press Photo 2014

This weekend is your last chance to see two exhibitions currently showing at the State Library of NSW in Sydney - World Press Photo and Sydney Morning Herald Photos 1440.

I saw both of these exhibitions at the State Library, which is a brilliant setting for these large scale shows. Viewing the works with me were high-school students who had the opportunity to learn about the images and their makers, as well as a large cross-section of the general public. While I was there  a steady stream of people moved through the exhibitions, and many left via the bookshop. Clearly there is a market and an audience for quality photography in this country and it was heartening to see such attendance.

Sydney Morning Herald Photos 1440 

(C) Nick Moir

With 1440 minutes to the day this exhibition presents photographs taken by Sydney Morning Herald photographers in the course of their daily jobs. When this show went up all of the exhibiting photographers were in the employ of Fairfax Media, the Herald's publisher. With the recent decimation of the photography department at the Herald, these former staffers are now swimming in the overcrowded freelance pool while the Herald takes its images from agencies. More cost-cutting measures marking the continued demise of original, quality content made even more depressing by the exhibition's narrative that reinforced the important work that these photographers do in capturing unique views of Sydney and its people. 

(C) Anthony Johnson 

(C) Jenny Evans

(C) Kate Geraghty 

World Press Photo 2014
I really admire the way the World Press Photo (WPP) exhibitions are presented. With clear information panels that support the large scale images the WPP is all encompassing. Having viewed many of these winning images on screen it was fantastic to see them in reality and to gain an understanding of scope. John Stanmeyer's winning photograph (below) was even more impressive in print. While this photograph has attracted controversy, for me it speaks volumes about the world today, our reliance on technology and above all, our will to hope. 

(C) John Stanmeyer

(C) Alessandro Penso

(C) Julius Schrank

Until Sunday 22nd June
State Library of NSW

Beyond Borders

(C)Silvi Glattauer

On Sunday at 12noon on the Big Screen at Federation Square the film 'Beyond Borders' will be aired as part of the activities to celebrate World Refugee Day. 'Beyond Borders' is a collaborative project with refugees and asylum seekers and members of the MAPgroup; MAP stands for Many Australian Photographers. 

“Beyond Borders presents an alternative view around some of the issues relating to asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. The topic of asylum seekers and refugees dissects our community, yet few of us have met, befriended or shared stories with people in the unenviable position of having to seek asylum in another country. If we believe Australia is the sum of all her parts, we as citizens all benefit from knowing more about this topic and about the people in this position" - MAPgroup. 

(C) Ponch Hawkes

(C) Naomi Herzog

(C) Joseph Feil

(C) Joyce Evans

(C) Juanita Wilson

(C)Silvi Glattauer

MAPgroup members involved with the 'Beyond Borders' project include Silvi Glattauer, Julie Bowyer, Tobias Titz, Ponch Hawkes, Morganna Magee, Nicole Marie, Joseph Feil, Andrew Chapman, Naomi Herzog, Jenny Hodge, Jim McFarlane, Helga Leunig, Juanita Wilson, Julia Millowick and Joyce Evans.

World Refugee Day
Sunday 22nd June
Beyond Borders screens 12noon
Federation Square

The Road - Group Show

(C) Micky Allan

The ‘road’ has long been the subject of artistic expression, a symbol of the physical and allegorical paths we follow. In this group exhibition featuring eight artists - Micky Allan, Virginia Coventry, Gerrit Fokkema, John Gollings, Tim Handfield, Ian North, Robert Rooney, Wes Stacey - the archives of the Monash Gallery of Art have been mined to uncover works taken in the 1970s and 1980s. These photographs examine the meaning of the road in modern Australian life through the exploration of the relationship of photography and the experience of road travel.

MGA Curator Stephen Zagala says, "The road has often provided Australian photographers with a means to an end, whether a landscape or a picturesque community in some distant part of the country. But as this important exhibition shows, during the 1970s, the road took on a whole new meaning for Australian photographers. It provided a space for innovation and experimentation, and also a photographic reconsideration of Australian life."

(C) Wesley Stacey

(C) Tim Handfield

The exhibition features Wes Stacey's visual travelogue of the trips he made in the early seventies around Australia in a Kombi. "The Road" also includes John Gollings’s monumental, ten-metre long streetscapes of Surfers Paradise Boulevard from 1973, and Robert Rooney’s iconic Holden park, featuring Rooney's Holden parked in 20 different locations across Melbourne. "The Road" also features work by "two of Australia’s most important feminist photographers, Micky Allan and Virginia Coventry, who both challenged many of the gendered assumptions about the road, automotive travel and Australian life during the ‘70s and ‘80s".

Opens Saturday 21st June at 3pm
Until 31 August
Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Rd, Wheelers Hill