Archive for February, 2009

26
Feb
09

Review: ‘all about … blooming’ exhibition by JUNKO GO at Gallery 101, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 25th February – 14th March 2009

 

“We live in a world where high achievers are congratulated, yet true achievements are not related to what we can get done, but to how deeply we aware of how wonderful it is to be alive. In this exhibition, flowers are not only a predominant source of visual inspiration, looking at them also engenders a kind of appreciation and wonder. The fragile and ephemeral flower provokes in me an awareness of the human condition that reveals the true nature of our existence.

My goal is to create images which are strong and soft, bold and precise, beautiful and ugly, figurative and abstract, all at once. My greatest challenge is to make art about what it is to be human … What really matters in art making to me is a kind of awareness – a being able to say, ‘I am as I am’.”

Text from the artist statement

 

 

Junko Go. 'Opium Poppy' 2008

 

Junko Go
Opium Poppy
2008

 

“One person’s heaven is another’s nightmare. Seeing both sides to every story can be a blessing and a curse. Good and bad, right and wrong, purity and impurity are inextricably linked.”

 

 

A delicate, refined but strong presence is felt in the work of Junko Go in the her new exhibition ‘all about … blooming’ at Gallery 101, Melbourne. Nominally landscape painting about flowers but featuring thoughts and ideas about the seed, the shoot, pollen and the breath of life the work addresses the essence of what it is to be human and live compassionately on this earth in an intelligent and profound way.

Denying the nihilism of abstract expressionism each mark is fully considered by being attentive to the connection between brush, hand and meaning. Almost childlike in their use of charcoal and acrylic her dogs, crosses and flowers, jottings and dashes, rain and rivers, seeds and people show a Zen like contemplation in the marks she makes on the canvas – just so. A releasement towards things is proffered, a letting go of the ego to create an awareness of just being. There is genuine warmth and humility to this work.

In Opium Poppy (2008, above) the darkness of the nightmare is represented by the black marks, ascending like Jacob’s ladder balanced by the mandala like poppies whose petals seem like feathers of a bird’s wing – a flight of fancy both good and bad. In Pollen (2009) bees swarm around a sunflower leaving traces of their presence, a bird flies close to a tiny blue cloud, the sun burst forth in a tiny patch of aqua colour, and people hug arm in arm. As Go says, “Bees in a flower bear pollen unawares and play a crucial roll for the plant to survive. Our love, kindness, warmth and wisdom affect one another unawares and play a crucial roll for our planet to survive.”  In New Shoot (2008, below) the puzzle of our existence, the nature of our existential being is laid bare for all to see.

In Seeds (2008) Go reminds us that rather than being focused on what we hoped for, we must make the most of whatever opportunities we are blessed with. This means being aware of the gifts one possesses, not the distance between ‘I’ and want, need and desire – now! The seed of our experience – the calm before the force that propelled us into existence – is already present within us.

Go’s musings on the existential nature of our being are both full and empty at one and the same time and help us contemplate the link to the breath of the sublime. In the end Go’s paintings are about endings and beginnings, about being strong or not, about the infinity of the seed and about our responses to living in harmony on this planet. Through the seed, the shoot, the flower and the earth access may be granted to the sublime and this perfectly sums up the work of this artist, a reflection of her energy and radiance transferred to the canvas. I loved it.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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Many thankx to Gallery 101 for allowing me to publish the art work in the posting. Please click on the art work for a larger version of the image.

 

Junko Go. 'New Shoot' 2008

 

Junko Go
New Shoot
2008

 

“Each of us is born to fill a special place in this world. In the process, we sometimes have trouble finding our niche. Life is like a jigsaw puzzle in which we make every effort to find our own place that makes a right connection with others, with the world and even with the whole universe.”

 

Junko Go. 'Red Hot Poker' 2009

 

Junko Go
Red Hot Poker
2009

 

“Push and pull our inner strength. Sometimes, we need courage to take risks in confronting pain and loss in order to gain a deep and profound experience.”

 

 

GALLERY 101

Gallery is no longer open.

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25
Feb
09

Exhibition: ‘Biografías’ by Óscar Muñoz at Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Exhibition dates: 19th February – 14th June 2009

 

Óscar Muñoz. 'Biografías' 2002 installation view

Óscar Muñoz. 'Biografías' 2002 installation view

 

Óscar Muñoz
Biografías (installation views)
2002
5 video projections, 7 ‘, loop, without sound, DVD, mdf support, metal grids, variable dimensions

 

 

“How can one construe a notion of time in this immemorial setting? How can one assimilate and articulate in one’s memory all these events that have been happening for so many years now?”

“My work today … is based on my endeavour to understand the mechanism developed by a society which has ultimately suffered the routinisation of war… A past, a present and in all likelihood a future full of violent events on a daily basis, which are stubbornly repeated, in a practically identical fashion.”

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Óscar Muñoz

 

 

Óscar Muñoz is something of a gentle magician. His ‘disappearing’ drawings are poignant and beautiful, combining consummate skill with conceptual subtlety and rigour.

Muñoz is a senior Colombian artist. He plays an important role in mentoring younger artists but his own work is very focused on a personal language that is closely tied to the body and its disappearance. His work has always combined traditional drawing skills with video in a completely original and surprising way.

Although Muñoz is not assertively political, his work is more about mortality than specific acts of violence but it is impossible not to look at it in the context of Colombian life. A common technique for social control has become the ‘disappearing’ of people. The work shown in this exhibition, Biografías 2002 is structured to reflect this pervasive theme of disappearance.

Biografías is one of a series of works in which portraits slowly disappear, reflecting the disappearance of people on a regular basis in Colombia. Muñoz has made silk screen portraits of people but instead of forcing ink through the screen onto paper he has dusted fine coal dust through the screen onto a flat basin of water. The portrait in coal is then transferred to float on the surface of the water. After a while the water starts to drain out of a plug hole in the basin causing the image to begin to distort. Eventually the image is compressed becomes unrecognisable and finally disappears down the drain.

Five such portraits are shown in Biografías by projecting video of the performed drawings onto screens on the floor complete with plug holes beneath which you hear the sound of water running down the drain.

Text from the Art Gallery of New South Wales website [Online] Cited 22/02/2009 (no longer online)

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Many thankx to Art Gallery of New South Wales for allowing me to publish the art work in the posting. Please click on the art work for a larger version of the image.

 

Óscar Muñoz. 'Biografías' 2002 installation view

Óscar Muñoz. 'Biografías' 2002 installation view

Óscar Muñoz. 'Biografías' 2002 installation view

 

Óscar Muñoz
Biografías (installation views)
2002
5 video projections, 7 ‘, loop, without sound, DVD, mdf support, metal grids, variable dimensions

 

 

Óscar Muñoz Biografías

The work refers to the idea of death, disappearance and transience of memory, linked to acts of violence.

Muñoz is also known for his use of ephemeral materials, in poetic reflections upon memory and mortality.

 

 

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Opening hours:
Open every day 10am – 5pm
except Christmas Day and Good Friday

Art Gallery of New South Wales website

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24
Feb
09

Cartoon: Michael Leunig. ‘What is This Life?’ 2009

February 2009

 

What a wonderful invocation of life, to life!

 

Michael Leunig. 'What is This Life?'

 

Michael Leunig
What is This Life?
2009

 

 

Michael Leunig on Wikipedia

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24
Feb
09

Review: ‘Ocean Without A Shore’ video installation by Bill Viola at The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

February 2009

 

Originally installed inside the intimate 15th century Venetian church of San Gallo as part of the 2007 Venice Biennale incorporating its internal architecture into the piece using the three existing stone altars as support for the video screens, the installation has been recreated in a small darkened room at The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. What an installation it is.

Deprived of the ornate surroundings of the altars of the Venetian chapel – altars of which Viola has said that, “… as per the original development of the origins of Christianity these alters actually are a place where the dead kind of reside and connect with those of us, the living, who are here on earth. And they really are a connection between a cross, between a tomb and an alter – a place to pray,”1 – the viewer is forced to concentrate on the images themselves. This is no bad thing, stripping away as it does a formalised, religious response to mortality.

In the work Viola combines the use of a primitive twenty five year old security black and white analogue video surveillance camera with a high definition colour video camera through the use of a special mirror prism system. This technology allows for the seamless combination of both inputs: the dead appear far off in a dark obscure place as grey ghosts in a sea of pulsating ‘noise’ and gradually walk towards you, crossing the invisible threshold of a transparent water wall that separates the dead from the living, to appear in the space transformed into a detailed colour image. As they do so the sound that accompanies the transformation grows in intensity reminding me of a jet aircraft. You, the viewer, are transfixed watching every detail as the ghosts cross-over into the light, through a water curtain.

The performances of the actors (for that is what they are) are slow and poignant. As Viola has observed, “I spent time with each person individually talking with them and you know when you speak with people, you realise then that everybody has experienced some kind of loss in their life, great and small. So you speak with them, you work with them, you spend time and that comes to the surface while we were working on this project together, you know? I didn’t want to over-direct them because I knew that the water would have this kind of visual effect and so they were able to, I think, use this piece on their own and a lot of them had their own stories of coming back and visiting a relative perhaps, who had died.”1

The resurrected are pensive, some wringing the hands, some staring into the light. One offers their hands to the viewer in supplication before the tips of the fingers touch the wall of water – the ends turning bright white as they push through the penumbrae of the interface. As they move forward the hands take on a stricken anguish, stretched out in rigour. Slowly the resurrected turn and return to the other side. We watch them as we watch our own mortality, life slipping away one day after another. Here is not the distraction of a commodified society, here is the fact of every human life: that we all pass.

The effect on the viewer is both sad but paradoxically uplifting. I cried.

A friend who I went with said that the images reminded her not of the dead temporarily coming back to life, but the birth of a new life – the breaking of water at the birth of a child. The performers seemed to her to behave like children brought anew into the world. One of my favourite moments was when the three screens were filled with just noise and a figure then appears out of the beyond, a dim and distant outline creating a transcendental moment. Unfortunately there are no images of these grainy figures. As noted below Viola uses a variety of different ethnic groups and cultures for his performers but the one very small criticism I have is they have no real individuality as people – there are no bikers with tattoos, no cross dressers, no punks because these do not serve his purpose. There is the black woman, the old woman, the middle aged man, the younger 30s man in black t-shirt: these are generic archetypes of humanity moulded to Viola’s artistic vision.

Viola has commented, “I think I have designed a piece that’s open ended enough, where the people and the range of people, the kind of people we chose are from various ethnic groups and cultures. And I think that the feeling of more this is a piece about humanity and it’s about the fragility of life, like the borderline between life and death is actually not a hard wall, it’s not to be opened with a lock and key, its actually very fragile, very tenuous.

You can cross it like that in an instant and I think religions, you know institutions aside, I think just the nature of our awareness of death is one of the things that in any culture makes human beings have that profound feeling of what we call the human condition and that’s really something I am really interested in. I think this piece really has a lot to do with, you know, our own mortality and all that that means.”1

These series of encounters at the intersection of life and death are worthy of the best work of this brilliant artist. He continues to astound with his prescience, addressing what is undeniable in the human condition. Long may he continue.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for Art Blart

 

  1. TateShots. Venice Biennale: Bill Viola. 30 June 2007 [Online] Cited 23/09/2009 (no longer available)

 

 

 

 

Ocean Without a Shore is about the presence of the dead in our lives. The three stone altars in the church of San Gallo become portals for the passage of the dead to and from our world. Presented as a series of encounters at the intersection between life and death, the video sequence documents a succession of individuals slowly approaching out of darkness and moving into the light. Each person must then break through an invisible threshold of water and light in order to pass into the physical world. Once incarnate however, all beings realise that their presence is finite and so they must eventually turn away from material existence to return from where they came. The cycle repeats without end.”

Bill Viola
25 May 2007
Text © Bill Viola 2007

 

The work was inspired by a poem by the twentieth century Senegalese poet and storyteller Birago Diop:

Hearing things more than beings,
listening to the voice of fire,
the voice of water.
Hearing in wind the weeping bushes,
sighs of our forefathers.

The dead are never gone:
they are in the shadows.
The dead are not in earth:
they’re in the rustling tree,
the groaning wood,
water that runs,
water that sleeps;
they’re in the hut, in the crowd,
the dead are not dead.

The dead are never gone,
they’re in the breast of a woman,
they’re in the crying of a child,
in the flaming torch.

The dead are not in the earth:
they’re in the dying fire,
the weeping grasses,
whimpering rocks,
they’re in the forest, they’re in the house,
the dead are not dead.

.
Text from the Ocean Without A Shore website [Online] Cited 23/09/2009 (no longer available)

 

 

Bill Viola. 'Ocean Without A Shore' 2007 video still

Bill Viola. 'Ocean Without A Shore' 2007 video still

Bill Viola. 'Ocean Without A Shore' 2007 video insatllation

Bill Viola. 'Ocean Without A Shore' 2007 video insatllation

 

Installation photographs of Ocean Without A Shore at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

 

Bill Viola. 'Ocean Without A Shore' 2007 original video installation at church of San Gallo

 

Bill Viola
Ocean Without A Shore
2007
Original installation at church of San Gallo

 

 

NGV International
180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Open daily 10am-5pm

National Gallery of Victoria International website

Bill Viola website

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16
Feb
09

Photographs: ‘Momentum’ 2009 new body of work by Marcus Bunyan

February 2009

 

A new body of work – the first of 2009 – is now online at www.marcusbunyan.com.

All 30 images can be seen on my website.

Marcus

Photographs are available from this series for purchase. As a guide, a digital colour 16″ x 20″ costs $1000 plus tracked and insured shipping. For more information please see my store web page.

 

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Untitled' from the series 'Momentum' 2009

 

Marcus Bunyan
Untitled from the series Momentum
2009
Digital colour photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Untitled' from the series 'Momentum' 2009

 

Marcus Bunyan
Untitled from the series Momentum
2009
Digital colour photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Untitled' from the series 'Momentum' 2009

 

Marcus Bunyan
Untitled from the series Momentum
2009
Digital colour photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Untitled' from the series 'Momentum' 2009

 

Marcus Bunyan
Untitled from the series Momentum
2009
Digital colour photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Untitled' from the series 'Momentum' 2009

 

Marcus Bunyan
Untitled from the series Momentum
2009
Digital colour photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Untitled' from the series 'Momentum' 2009

 

Marcus Bunyan
Untitled from the series Momentum
2009
Digital colour photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Untitled' from the series 'Momentum' 2009

 

Marcus Bunyan
Untitled from the series Momentum
2009
Digital colour photograph

 

 

Marcus Bunyan website

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16
Feb
09

Exhibition: ‘The best is often the Memories: Photographic Portraits of Romy Schneider’ at Museum für Kunst Und Gewerbe, Hamburg

Exhibition dates: 6th February – 13th April 2009

 

Will McBride. 'Romy Schneider, Paris, 1964'

 

Will McBride (American, 1931-2015)
Romy Schneider, Paris, 1964
1964
Gelatin silver print

 

 

The legend that was Romy!

I have never known the filmography of Romy Schneider, never come across this actress before sad to say. But now I do. What great photographs. What a beautiful woman: sensitive, vivacious, stunning. A soul I would have liked to have known.

Marcus

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Many thankx to the Museum für Kunst Und Gewerbe for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Peter Brüchmann. 'Romy Schneider, Munich, 1968'

 

Peter Brüchmann (German, b. 1932)
Romy Schneider, Munich, 1968
1968
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Peter Brüchmann

Born in Berlin, Peter Brüchmann trained to be a photographer with the fashion and portrait photographer Lotte Söhring and subsequently completed a traineeship at the German press agency dpa. In the 1950s and 1960s he worked for well-known magazines, such as Schöner Wohnen, Stern and Bild am Sonntag. Brüchmann is primarily known for his portraits of celebrities of the movie and music industry. In 2008 the photographer participated in the group exhibition Die Erinnerung ist oft das Schönste – Fotografische Porträts von Romy Schneider, an exhibition comprising portraits of the famous Franco-German actress Romy Schneider, held at the Stiftung Opelvillen Rüsselheim, Germany. Today Peter Brüchmann works as a freelance photographer for several national and international magazines. Numerous of his photographs are among the collections of the German Historical Museum in Berlin.

 

Roger Fritz. 'Romy Schneider, Paris, 1961'

 

Roger Fritz (German, b. 1936)
Romy Schneider, Paris, 1961
1961
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Herbert List, Max Scheler, Roger Fritz, F. C. Gundlach, Will McBride, Peter Brüchmann, Werner Bokelberg, Helga Kneidl and Robert Lebeck took photos of Romy Schneider in quite different ways, as a young girl, in her film roles, together with her children, apparently unobserved in everyday situations or in set poses and dressed up in various costumes, merry or pensive, beautiful and fragile. More than 140 pictures will be on show, of which about 40 are being exhibited for the first time.

Hardly any other star has left us with so many different and conflicting images as Romy Schneider. She was photographed thousands of times – and yet she always remained enigmatic. Some of the photographers whose work is presented in this exhibition only met Romy once – Herbert List, for instance, captured her as a teenager around 1954 on pictures which remained unknown until recently – or accompanied her throughout her life, like Robert Lebeck, who succeeded in taking disturbingly personal pictures of her from the 1950s through to shortly before her death.

These snapshots conjure up once again the legend that was Romy, while at the same time making a powerful statement which reveals the transitoriness of existence. Because that is the core of what a photo does: it creates an image in order to bear lasting witness to an event which happened – yet at the very moment of capturing the image on film, it is no more than the proof that the fleeting moment has passed.

The photos by Herbert List, Werner Bokelberg, Peter Brüchmann, Roger Fritz and Max Scheler are being shown publicly for the first time. This also applies to the majority of the photos by F. C. Gundlach and Will McBride. The pictures by Helga Kneidl and Robert Lebeck have already appeared in books about Romy Schneider. These volumes are however now out of print.”

Text from the Museum für Kunst Und Gewerbe website

 

Herbert List. 'Romy Schneider, Munich, 1954'

 

Herbert List (German, 1903-1975)
Romy Schneider, Munich, 1954
1954
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Herbert List

Herbert List (7 October 1903 – 4 April 1975) was a German photographer, who worked for magazines, including VogueHarper’s Bazaar, and Life, and was associated with Magnum Photos. His austere, classically posed black-and-white compositions, particularly his homoerotic male nudes, taken in Italy and Greece being influential in modern photography and contemporary fashion photography.

Photographer

In 1929 he met Andreas Feininger who inspires his greater interest in photography and who gives him a Rolleiflex camera. From 1930 he began taking portraits of friends and shooting still life, is influenced by the Bauhaus and artists of the surrealist movements, Man Ray, Giorgio De Chirico and Max Ernst, and creates a surrealist photograph titled Metaphysique in a style he called fotografia metafisica in homage to De Chirico, his most important influence during this period. He used male models, draped fabric, masks and double-exposures to depict dream states and fantastic imagery. He has explained that his photos were “composed visions where [my] arrangements try to capture the magical essence inhabiting and animating the world of appearances.”

In 1936, in response to the danger of Gestapo attention to his openly gay lifestyle and his Jewish heritage, List left Germany for Paris, where he met George Hoyningen-Huene with whom he travelled to Greece, deciding then to become a photographer. During 1937 he worked in a studio in London and held his first one-man show at Galerie du Chasseur d’Images in Paris. Hoyningen-Huene referred him to Harper’s Bazaar magazine, and 1936-39 he worked for Arts et Metiers GraphiquesVerveVoguePhotographie, and Life. List was unsatisfied with fashion photography. He turned back to still life imagery, continuing in his fotografia metafisica style.

From 1937 to 1939 List traveled in Greece and took photographs of ancient temples, ruins, sculptures, and the landscape for his book Licht über Hellas. In the meantime he supported himself with work for magazines Neue LinieDie Dame and for the press from 1940-43, and with portraits which he continued to make until 1950. In List’s work the revolutionary tactics of surrealist art and a metaphysical staging of irony and reverie had been honed in an the fashion industry that relied on illusion and spectacle which after World War II returned to a classical fixation on ruins, broken male statuary and antiquity.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

F. C. Gundlach. 'Romy Schneider, Hamburg, 1961'

 

F. C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Romy Schneider, Hamburg, 1961
1961
Gelatin silver print

 

 

F. C. Gundlach

F. C. Gundlach (Franz Christian Gundlach; born 16 July 1926 in Heinebach, Hesse) is a German photographer, gallery owner, collector, curator und founder. In 2000 he created the F.C. Gundlach Foundation, since 2003 he has been founding director of the House of Photography – Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

His fashion photographs of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, which in many cases integrated social phenomena and current trends in the visual arts, have left their context of origin behind and found their way into museums and collections. Since 1975 he also curated many internationally renowned photographic exhibitions. On the occasion of the reopening of the House of Photography in April 2005, he curated the retrospective of the Hungarian photographer Martin Munkácsi. Here, the exhibitions A Clear VisionThe Heartbeat of Fashion and Maloney, Meyerowitz, Shore, Sternfeld. New Color Photography of the 1970s from his collection were presented since 2003. Most recently he curated the exhibitions More Than Fashion for the Moscow House of Photography and Vanity for the Kunsthalle Wien 2011.

The fashion photographer

F. C. Gundlach attended the Private Lehranstalt für Moderne Lichtbildkunst (Private School for Modern Photography) under Rolf W. Nehrdich in Kassel from 1946 to 1949. Subsequently, he began publishing theatre and film reports in magazines such as Deutsche Illustrierte, Stern, Quick and Revue as a freelance photographer.

His specialisation in fashion photography began in 1953 with his work for the Hamburg-based magazine Film und Frau, for which he photographed German fashion, Parisian haute couture and fur fashion campaigns. Additionally he photographed portraits of artists such as Romy Schneider, Hildegard Knef, Dieter Borsche and Jean-Luc Godard. For Film und Frau, but also for Stern, Annabelle, Twen and other magazines, F. C. Gundlach has since made fashion and reportage trips to the Near, Middle and Far East as well as to Central and South America. Under an exclusive contract with the magazine Brigitte, he photographed many of the trendsetting fashion pages until 1983, a total of more than 160 covers and 5,000 pages of editorial fashion. In the 1970s and 1980s he worked in South America, Africa, but above all in New York and on the American west coast.

His retrospective solo exhibitions, such as ModeWelten (1985), Die Pose als Körpersprache (1999), Bilder machen Mode (2004) or F. C. Gundlach. The photographic work (2008) were shown in many museums and galleries in Germany and abroad.

 

“He is a photographer whose images show the knowledge of the dominant role of fashion as a cultural social factor. For this reason, he rarely presented the phenomena of fashion in isolation, but rather linked them to the phenomenology of everyday reality and placed them in the socio-cultural context from which they ultimately originated. F. C. Gundlach proves to be a photographic artist with a will to style, a mastery of staging and the ability to shape the photographic image at his leisure, who arranges his models in ever new formal constellations: as a photographer of extraordinary aesthetic quality.”

Klaus Honnef

“As a fashion photographer who makes use of a recording medium, the photographer must live, think and feel entirely in his time. Fashion photographs are always interpretations and stagings. They reflect and visualise the zeitgeist of the present and anticipate the spirit of tomorrow. They offer projection screens for identification, but also for dreams, wishes and desires. And yet fashion photographs say more about a time than documentary photographs pretending to depict reality.”

F.C. Gundlach

 

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

Werner Bokelberg. 'Romy Schneider, London, 1968'

 

Werner Bokelberg (German, born 1937)
Romy Schneider, London, 1968
1968
Gelatin silver print

 

Helga Kneidl. 'Romy Schneider, Paris, 1972'

 

Helga Kneidl (German, b. 1939)
Romy Schneider, Paris, 1972
1972

 

Helga Kneidl. 'Romy Schneider, Paris, 1973'

 

Helga Kneidl (German, b. 1939)
Romy Schneider, Paris, 1973
1973

 

 

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Steintorplatz, 20099 Hamburg

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
Wednesday and Thursday 11 am – 9 pm

Museum für Kunst Und Gewerbe website

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14
Feb
09

Exhibition: ‘Edward Burtynsky: The Residual Landscapes’ at The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Alberta

Exhibition dates: 7th February – 26th April 2009

 

One of the great photographers of the world.

Enjoy some of his images below and for more photographs please visit his website.

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Many thankx to The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Edward Burtynsky. 'Silver Lake Operations #1, Lake Lefroy, Western Australia 2007'

 

Edward Burtynsky
Silver Lake Operations #1, Lake Lefroy, Western Australia 2007
2007

 

Edward Burtynsky. 'Tanggu Port, Tianjin, China 2005'

 

Edward Burtynsky
Tanggu Port, Tianjin, China 2005
2005

 

 

Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.

These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.

Edward Burtynsky quoted on The Whyte Museum website.

 

Edward Burtynsky. 'Oxford Tire Pile #8, Westley, California 1999'

 

Edward Burtynsky
Oxford Tire Pile #8, Westley, California 1999
1999

 

Edward Burtynsky. 'Nickel Tailings #30, Sudbury, Ontario, 1996'

 

Edward Burtynsky
Nickel Tailings #30, Sudbury, Ontario, 1996
1996

 

Edward Burtynsky. 'Nickel Tailings #31, Sudbury, Ontario 1996'

 

Edward Burtynsky
Nickel Tailings #31, Sudbury, Ontario 1996
1996

 

Edward Burtynsky. 'Feng Jie #4, Three Gorges Dam Project, Yangtze River, 2002'

 

Edward Burtynsky
Feng Jie #4, Three Gorges Dam Project, Yangtze River, 2002
2002

 

 

These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear,” said Edward Burtynsky, photographer. “We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.

Speaking of his “Quarries” series, Burtynsky has said, “The concept of the landscape as architecture has become, for me, an act of imagination. I remember looking at buildings made of stone, and thinking, there has to be an interesting landscape somewhere out there, because these stones had to have been taken out of the quarry one block at a time. I had never seen a dimensional quarry, but I envisioned an inverted cubed architecture on the side of a hill. I went in search of it, and when I had it on my ground glass I knew that I had arrived.”

Text from The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

 

Edward Burtynsky. 'Shipbreaking #1, Chittagong, Bangladesh, 2000'

 

Edward Burtynsky
Shipbreaking #1, Chittagong, Bangladesh, 2000
2000

 

Edward Burtynsky. 'Bao Steel #2, Shanghai, China, 2005'

 

Edward Burtynsky
Bao Steel #2, Shanghai, China, 2005
2005

 

Edward Burtnysky. 'Iberia Quarries #3, Bencatel, Portugal, 2006'

 

Edward Burtnysky
Iberia Quarries #3, Bencatel, Portugal, 2006
2006

 

Edward Burtnysky. 'China Quarries #8, Xiamen, Fujian Province, 2004'

 

Edward Burtnysky
China Quarries #8, Xiamen, Fujian Province, 2004
2004

 

Edward Burtynsky. 'Dam #6 ,Three Gorges Dam Project, Yangtze River, 2005'

 

Edward Burtynsky
Dam #6, Three Gorges Dam Project, Yangtze River, 2005
2005

 

 

Trailer for the film Manufactured Landscapes in which Jennifer Baichwal documents Edward Burtynsky doing what artists do – making art, in this case photographing Bangladesh and China as he observes the “manufacturer to the world”.

 

 

Edward Burtynsky Manufactured Landscapes

 

 

The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
111 Bear Street, Banff, Alberta
T1L 1A3 Canada
Phone: 1 403 762 2291

Opening hours:
Open daily 10am – 5pm

The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies website

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12
Feb
09

Review: ‘Bowerhouse Blues’ exhibition by Mary Newsome, Gallery 101, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 3rd February – 21st February 2009

 

Mary Newsome. 'Bowerhouse Blues' installation photograph with 'The Bowerhouse' centre

 

Mary Newsome
Bowerhouse Blues installation photograph with The Bowerhouse centre
2009

 

 

This is a slight bouffant of an exhibition by Mary Newsome at Gallery 101, Collins St., Melbourne.

“The exhibition consists of separate collections to do with blue, centring on the Bowerhouse with its beckoning light. The ideas came from several different directions.” And what directions they are.

Firstly, the idea of the lonely male bowerbird at the Museum of Victoria, given blue biros as solace after killing his last mate. Secondly, Oscar Wilde trying to live with his blue china toying with Yves Klein and his uber-dimensionality, the invisible blue becoming visible. Then we have finger painting as a child upgraded to paste painting “which is finger painting under a more adult name”; and more – poetry, yes! by famous poets, sandwiched with shells and cans and bits of glass and plastic and pottery and pegs all offered up to the god of the azure.

Artefacts litter the floor around the edge of the gallery, media wash across the walls. A silkscreen here and a painting of blue and white china there, watercolours of a view out of a blue curtained Cornish cottage, a blue seascape, the “royal-ness” of a blue tampons collage, three-dimensional objects, acrylics, crayon, pencil, oils and stencils. The Bowerhouse itself, like a blue ‘red light’ house with flashing blue light inside and heart on top. And so it goes.

There are some interesting small single-pigment blue acrylics that have geometric and anamorphic shapes painted upon them with stencilled names of the colour along the spine of the canvases. There are also a couple of competent oils and silkscreens of tea sets in a dresser with cups hanging from hooks.

The works date from 1980 to the present day – and “without fully realising it” the artist has looked through her work over the past 30 years and come across lots and lots of blue. Any artist worth their salt knows their oevure indelibly from front to back. It seems inconceivable to me that this epiphany has occurred without the artist not fully understanding the importance of the colour blue to their art practice before now.

Recently I have been reading a book called Distraction (Damon Young. Distraction: A Philosopher’s Guide to Being Free. Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing, 2008). The book surmises that distraction is often a matter of what one values in the world. The book demonstrates that the opposite of a life of distraction is one of grateful appreciation, based on patient, sensitive, and thoughtful attention to the world. In this exhibition we have a perfect example of distraction: the noise of the collective work has subsumed its individual charms. The work seems forced into a conceptualisation not of it’s making. Everything seems laboured to the point where all the fun has been squeezed from it and, in the end, it just left me feeling the blues.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Photographs by Tim Gresham
Images courtesy of Gallery 101

 

Mary Newsome. 'Blue Colours' 2008

 

Mary Newsome
Blue Colours
2008

 

Mary Newsome. 'Bowerhouse Blues' installation photograph 2009

 

Mary Newsome
Bowerhouse Blues
2009
Installation photograph

 

Mary Newsome. 'Bathroom Sink' 1992

 

Mary Newsome
Bathroom Sink
1992

 

Mary Newsome. 'What Bliss There is in Blueness' 2009

 

Mary Newsome
What Bliss There is in Blueness
Extract from Laughter in the Dark, 1989 by Vladimir Nabokov
2009

 

Mary Newsome. 'Royal Tampons' collage

 

Mary Newsome
Royal Tampons
2009
Collage

 

 

Gallery 101

This gallery is no longer open.

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10
Feb
09

Exhibition: ‘Utopia: Qiu Anxiong’ at Arken Museum of Modern Art, Denmark

Exhibition dates: 6th February – 22nd November 2009

 

Qui Anxiong. 'Staring into Amnesia' 2008

 

Qui Anxiong
Staring into Amnesia
2008

 

 

A dream has come true. ARKEN has opened the first of three contemporary art exhibitions under the heading UTOPIA.

The first UTOPIA artist is Chinese Qiu Anxiong (b. 1972). His work Staring into Amnesia (2008), an enormous original Chinese train carriage from the 1960s, is the principal work in ARKEN’s exhibition. Documentary video clips and poetic silhouettes have been added to the carriage taking us on a journey into China’s past, present and future.

In recent years Qiu Anxiong has received great international attention with his poetic and moving video works which span from big and complex installations to hand painted animated films. The exhibition is the first presentation of Qiu Anxiong’s works in Denmark.

 

Utopia and dystopia

Qiu Anxiong belongs to a new generation of Chinese artists who bridge Chinese culture and history and today’s globalised contemporary art. Cultures arise and perish, and the yearning for the perfect society is closely followed by the utopia’s antithesis: an oppressed, conflicted dystopia. In a poetic and sensual idiom Qiu Anxiong raises the issue of which new utopias may provide the clue for today’s globalised reality.

Text from the Arken Musem of Modern Art website

 

 

ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

Chinese artist Qiu Anxiong talks about his work Staring into Amnesia – the main part of ARKEN’s UTOPIA – exhibition.

 

Qui Anxiong. 'Staring into Amnesia' 2008

 

Qui Anxiong
Staring into Amnesia
2008

 

Qui Anxiong. 'Staring into Amnesia' 2008

 

Qui Anxiong
Staring into Amnesia
2008

 

 

A 25 metres long, 42 tons heavy Chinese train carriage stops in Arken Museum of Modern Art’s unique exhibition space The Art Axis, ready to take the museum’s visitors on a journey unlike any other. A journey into China’s past, presence and future. Into deliberations of the good life and the good society. Of the dreams we have today – for ourselves and for the world.

In the 1960s and ’70s it ran in northeastern China. Ordinary Chinese people sat on the hard wooden seats and were transported to and from work, on family visits, tours and holidays. Now it stops in ARKEN’s Art Axis with the purpose of making Danish museum visitors think about the dreams and values that drive them and the world they live in.

The train carriage is the principal work of the first exhibition in the museum’s large-scale UTOPIA project. A project that is to raise the issue of the grand shared notion of the perfect society. Whatever happened to it? Does it still exist today? Have the international financial crisis and the American presidential election made it more topical? And if it does not exist, what has taken its place? Individual dreams of the good life, notions of globalisation, small enclaves of communities?

Opening on 6 February 2009, the UTOPIA exhibition is the first of three exhibitions of contemporary art shown in ARKEN’s Art Axis in the period 2009-2011 – one per year. Each exhibition presents a significant, international contemporary artist who explores art’s potential with regards to the notions of “the good life.” The first artist is the Chinese Qui Anxiong (b. 1972).

Qui Anxiong gave the train carriage an artistic makeover after it had ended its career as a means of public transportation, transforming it into the work Staring into Amnesia (2007). A work of art which invites us on a journey even though the carriage is motionless. A journey into China’s past, presence and future. For when the guests come aboard the train and sit down on the hard wooden seats, they journey through China’s history. Video clips of documentary and propaganda films from China from 1910 until today pass by the windows as fragments of memories alternating with silhouettes of everyday scenes: a girl waiting by a ventilator, two people playing chess, groups of people in processions, riots, struggles or celebration. What has been is juxtaposed with what is. And with the train as metaphor for movement in time, it raises the question of which destinations await us up ahead. Is the next stop Utopia? What do we hope will come, what do we dream of?

6,000 drawings – one movie – Staring into Amnesia is the chief work of the UTOPIA exhibition. It explores how humankind’s endeavours to create the perfect society through political and religious overall solutions, both historically and today, often result in the utopia’s antithesis: an oppressed, conflicted dystopia.

Another work in the exhibition is the animated film The New Book of Mountains and Seas (2006). The film consists of 6,000 drawings created by Qiu Anxiong in his small one bedroom apartment in Shanghai. It presents us with a mythologised version of the world today in which modern technology and nature merge: helicopters hover in the air like big birds, and black clad people fly like planes, crashing the Twin Towers in a drawn version of 9/11. In a poetic and dreamlike idiom, sharply contrasting with the depicted reality, the work explores the themes of religious and political conflicts characterising the global reality of our time. UTOPIA is supported by the Nordea Foundation.

Text from the Artdaily.org website

 

Qui Anxiong. 'Staring into Amnesia' 2008

 

Qui Anxiong
Staring into Amnesia
2008

 

 

Images courtesy of Boers-Li Gallery and ArtShortCut

Arken Museum of Modern Art
Skovvej 100, 2635 Ishøj
Phone: +45 43 54 02 22

Opening hours:
Tuesday-Thursday: 10 am-9 pm
Friday-Sunday: 10 am-5 pm
Monday: Closed

Arken Museum of Modern Art website

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09
Feb
09

Photographs: ‘Melbourne firestorm’ by Marcus Bunyan

Date: 7th February 2009

 

Melbourne’s hottest day ever 46.4 degrees. Firestorms to the north of the city, Port Phillip Bay completely obscured, very strange light seen from 48th floor. The day, 7th February 2009, is now known as ‘Black Saturday bushfires’. 180 people died and 414 were injured as a result of the fires.

It was a very scary day. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to have been there, up close. My condolences to all those that lost loved ones.

Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

Marcus

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'On Port Phillip Bay' 2009

 

Port Phillip Bay in the morning from the 48th floor of a tower in Southbank, Melbourne

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'On Port Phillip Bay' 2009

 

Port Phillip Bay during firestorm, in the afternoon from the 48th floor of a tower in Southbank, Melbourne

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Looking towards the docks, Melbourne' 2009

 

Looking towards the docks, Melbourne, during the firestorm

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Looking across the city' 2009

 

Looking across the city with the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel (at the time called the Southern Star) in the foreground

 

 

Black Saturday bushfires

The Black Saturday bushfires were a series of bushfires that ignited or were burning across the Australian state of Victoria on and around Saturday, 7 February 2009 and were Australia’s all-time worst bushfire disasters. The fires occurred during extreme bushfire-weather conditions and resulted in Australia’s highest ever loss of life from a bushfire; there were 180 fatalities, and 414 were injured as a result of the fires.

As many as 400 individual fires were recorded on 7 February. Following the events of 7 February 2009 and its aftermath, that day has become widely referred to in Australia as Black Saturday.

 

Background

A week before the fires, a significant heatwave affected southeastern Australia. From 28-30 January, Melbourne broke temperature records by experiencing three consecutive days above 43 °C (109 °F), with the temperature peaking at 45.1 °C (113.2 °F) on 30 January, the third hottest day in the city’s history.

The wave of heat was caused by a slow moving high-pressure system that settled over the Tasman Sea, with a combination of an intense tropical low located off the North West Australian coast and a monsoon trough over northern Australia, which produced ideal conditions for hot tropical air to be directed down over southeastern Australia.

The February fires commenced on a day when several localities across the state, including Melbourne, recorded their highest temperatures since records began in 1859. On 6 February 2009 – the day before the fires started – the Premier of Victoria John Brumby issued a warning about the extreme weather conditions expected on 7 February: “It’s just as bad a day as you can imagine and on top of that the state is just tinder-dry. People need to exercise real common sense tomorrow”. The Premier went on to state that it was expected to be the “worst day [of fires conditions] in the history of the state”.

 

Events of 7 February 2009

A total of 358 firefighting personnel, mainly from the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), were deployed across the state on Friday evening (6 February) in anticipation of the extreme conditions the following day. By mid-morning Saturday, hot northwesterly winds in excess of 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) hit the state, accompanied by extremely high temperatures and extremely low humidity; a total fire ban was declared for the entire state of Victoria.

As the day progressed, all-time record temperatures were being reached. Melbourne hit 46.4 °C (115.5 °F), the hottest temperature ever recorded for the city and humidity levels dropped to as low as two percent. The McArthur Forest Fire Danger Index reached unprecedented levels, ranging from 160 to over 200. This was higher than the fire weather conditions experienced on Black Friday in 1939 and Ash Wednesday in 1983.

Around midday, as wind speeds were reaching their peak, an incorrectly-rigged SWER line was ripped down at Kilmore East. This sparked a bushfire that would become the deadliest and most intense firestorm ever experienced in Australia’s post-1788 history. The overwhelming majority of fire activity occurred between the afternoon of 7 February and 7:00 pm, when wind speed and temperature were at their highest, and humidity at its lowest.

 

Casualties

A total of 180 people were confirmed to have died as a result of the fires. The figure was originally estimated at 14 on the night of 7 February, and steadily increased over the following two weeks to 210. It was feared that it could rise as high as 240-280, but these figures were later revised down to 173 after further forensic examinations of remains, and after several people previously believed to be missing were located. This figure was later increased to 180 after several people succumbed to their injuries. …

Among the dead in the Kinglake West area were former Seven Network and Nine Network television personality Brian Naylor, and his wife Moiree. Actor Reg Evans and his partner, artist Angela Brunton, residing on a small farm in the St Andrews area, also died in the Kinglake area fire. Ornithologist Richard Zann perished in the Kinglake fire, together with his wife Eileen and daughter Eva.

Fatalities

General statistics

  • 164 people died in the fires themselves, 12 died later in hospital, and 4 died from other causes including car crashes
  • Out of the 180 deaths, 100 were male, 73 were female, and 7 were unidentified
  • There were 164 Australians, 9 foreign nationals, and 7 people of unidentified nationalities killed in the bushfires. The foreign nationals comprised citizens of:
    • Greece (2)
    • Indonesia (2)
    • Philippines (2)
    • Chile (1)
    • New Zealand (1)
    • United Kingdom (1)
  • 7 of the deaths occurred in bunkers of both fire-specific and non-fire-specific design
  • 1 firefighter, David Balfour, 47, from Gilmore, ACT, was killed near Cambarville on the night of 17 February, when a burnt-out tree fell on him as he attached a hose to a fire tanker

Location of deaths

  • Inside houses (113)
  • Outside houses (27)
  • In vehicles (11)
  • In garages (6)
  • Near vehicles (5)
  • On roadways (5)
  • Attributed to or associated with the fire but not within fire location (4)
  • On reserves (1)
  • In sheds (1)
  • Unknown locations (7)

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Looking across the city' 2009

 

Looking across Melbourne

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Looking across the city

 

Looking across Melbourne, Bolte Bridge towers in the foreground

 

 

More images from the set on Flickr website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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