Posts Tagged ‘urban space

20
Jun
13

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: South Yarra and surrounds, 1994

June 2013

*PLEASE NOTE THIS POSTING CONTAINS ART PHOTOGRAPHS OF MALE NUDITY – IF YOU DO NOT LIKE PLEASE DO NOT LOOK, FAIR WARNING HAS BEEN GIVEN*

 

 

I am scanning my negatives made during the years 1991 – 1997 to preserve them in the form of an online archive as a process of active memory, so that the images are not lost forever. These photographs were images of my life and imagination at the time of their making, the ideas I was thinking about and the people and things that surrounded me.

All images © Marcus Bunyan. Please click the photographs for a larger version of the image; remember these are just straight scans of the negatives !

Photographs are available from this series for purchase. As a guide, a vintage 8″ x 10″ silver gelatin print costs $700 plus tracked and insured shipping. For more information please see my store web page.

 

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Stained glass, cracked' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Stained glass, cracked
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'White door 1' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
White door 1
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Damien, 1994' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Damien, 1994
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Night repair' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Night repair
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Jerry holding a brush, South Yarra' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Jerry holding a brush, South Yarra
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Jerry behind safety screen, Punt Road, South Yarra' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Jerry behind safety screen, Punt Road, South Yarra
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Presence' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Presence
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Nautilus shell in cup' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Nautilus shell in cup
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Jerry with shaved head' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Jerry with shaved head
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Undergrowth' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Undergrowth
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'White door 2' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
White door 2
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Damien sitting outside his flat, South Yarra, 1994' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Damien sitting outside his flat, South Yarra, 1994
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Trees, capstone, shadows' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Trees, capstone, shadows
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Damien with snake' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Damien with snake
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Glass bird, Punt Road, South Yarra' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Glass bird, Punt Road, South Yarra
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Easter Sunday' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Easter Sunday
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Capstone, night, Windsor train station' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Capstone, night, Windsor train station
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Paul, cock on anvil' 1994

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Paul, cock on anvil
1994
Silver gelatin photograph

 

 

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive page

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18
May
13

Exhibition: ‘Saul Leiter’ at Kunst Haus Wien, Vienna

Exhibition dates: 31st January – 26th May 2013

 

Saul Leiter. 'From the El' c. 1955

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
From the El
c. 1955
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

 

“I like it when one is not certain of what one sees.
We don’t know why the photographer has taken such a picture.
If we look and look, we begin to see and are still left with the pleasure of uncertainty.”

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“It is not where it is or what it is that matters, but how you see it.”

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“After the age of 75 you should not be photographed.
You should be painted by Rembrandt or Hals, but not by Caravaggio.”

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Saul Leiter

 

 

How brave was the photographer, occluding most of the colour image in darkness, something that had never been done before and has rarely been seen since. Look at the last three photographs in this posting to understand what I mean.

Considering that Saul Leiter’s colour photography predates William Eggleston and Stephen Shore by a couple of decades, it can truly be said that he is one of the early masters of colour photography. As the curator Ingo Taubhorn comments, The older aesthetic views on the hegemony of black-and-white photography and the historical dating of the first artistic use of colour photography to the early 1970s need to be critically reviewed. Saul Leiter’s oeuvre essentially rewrites the history of photography.”

Well said.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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Many thankx to the Kunst Haus Wein for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Saul Leiter. 'Nude' 1970s

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Nude
1970s
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Taxi' c. 1957

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Taxi
c. 1957
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

 

KUNST HAUS WIEN is devoting a major retrospective to the oeuvre of the 89-year-old photographer and painter Saul Leiter. The exhibition, which was developed in cooperation with House of Photography / Deichtorhallen Hamburg, presents the wide range of this versatile artist’s works, including early black-and-white and colour photographs, fashion images, painted photographs of nudes, paintings and a number of his sketchbooks. One section of the exhibition is devoted to Saul Leiter’s most recent photographs, which he continues to take on the streets of New York’s East Village.

It is only in the last few years that Saul Leiter has received due recognition for his role as one of the pioneers of colour photography. As early as 1946, and thus well before the representatives of the so-called “new colour” photography in the 1970s, such as William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, he was one of the first to use colour photography for artistic shots, despite its being frowned upon by other artists of the day. “The older aesthetic views on the hegemony of black-and-white photography and the historical dating of the first artistic use of colour photography to the early 1970s need to be critically reviewed. Saul Leiter’s oeuvre essentially rewrites the history of photography,” comments curator Ingo Taubhorn.

Saul Leiter has always considered himself both a painter and a photographer. In his painting and in his photographs he clearly tends towards abstraction and two-dimensionality. One often finds large deep-black areas, produced by shadows, taking up as much as three quarters of his photographs. Passers-by are not presented as individuals, but as blurred clouds of colour, filtered through misty panes of glass or wedged in between walls of buildings and traffic signs. The boundaries between the abstract and the representational in his paintings and photographs are virtually fluid. Saul Leiter’s street photography – a genre in which his work is matchless – is, in essence, painting metamorphosed into photography.

In Leiter’s works, the genres of street photography, portraiture, still life, fashion photography and architectural photography coalesce. He finds his motifs, such as shop windows, passers-by, cars, signs and – time and again – umbrellas, in the direct vicinity of his apartment in New York, where he has now lived for almost 60 years. The indeterminateness of detail, the blurring of movement and reduced depth of field, the use of shadows or deliberate avoidance of the necessary light, as well as the alienation caused by photographing through windows or as reflections, all combine to create the muted colour vocabulary of a semi-real, semiabstract urban space. These are the works of an as yet almost undiscovered modern master of colour photography.

 

About Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter discovered his passion for art at an early age and started painting as a teenager at the end of the 1940s. His family did not support him in his artistic endeavours; his father, a renowned Talmudic rabbi and scholar, had always hoped his son Saul would one day follow him in the family tradition and become a rabbi. Leiter was self-taught, but by no means uneducated. He read and learned a great deal about art, so that his knowledge and understanding constantly grew. In this way, he made sure that his own ideas and artistic works were duly related to the historical context.

In 1946, shortly after he had moved to New York, Leiter became acquainted with Richard Poussette-Dart, who introduced him to photography, a medium that appealed to Leiter very much and that he quickly made his own. Leiter soon resolved to use photography not only as a means of making art but as a way of earning a living. He started taking fashion photographs, and thanks to his good eye, his playful sense of humour, and his pronounced sense of elegance, swiftly emerged as an extraordinary fashion photographer. In the 1950s, Life magazine published photo spreads of Saul Leiter’s first black-and-white series. He took part in exhibitions, for example “Always the Young Strangers” (1953) curated by Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art. From 1958 to 1967, Leiter worked for Harper’s Bazaar. Altogether he spent some 20 years photographing for various classic magazines as well as more recent ones: after Esquire and Harper’s he also worked for Show, Elle, British Vogue, Queen and Nova.

 

Saul Leiter. 'New York' 1950s

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
New York
1950s
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Sign Painter' 1954

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Sign Painter
1954
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Graffiti Heads' 1950

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Graffiti Heads
1950
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Shirt' 1948

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Shirt
1948
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Harlem' 1960

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Harlem
1960
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Hat' 1956

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Hat
1956
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Street Scene' 1957

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Street Scene
1957
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

 

The exhibition chapters

Abstract Painting

Although his photographic oeuvre has dominated his image as an artist, Saul Leiter sees himself first and foremost as a painter. He began his artistic career as a painter, and while working as a photographer he never stopped painting and drawing. Leiter’s passion for art began when he was just a child, even though his ambitions received no support from his family. As a teenager he spent many hours in libraries studying art books. He found inspiration in the paintings of such artists as Vermeer, Bonnard, Vuillard and Picasso, as well as in Japanese graphic art. Leiter, who was self-taught, painted his first pictures in 1940. Most of them were lyrical, abstract compositions that reflected his admiration for the new American avant-garde. His ardent feeling for colour is recognisable even in these early paintings, as is his lifelong predilection for painting small format pastels and watercolours on paper.

After moving to New York in 1946, he sometimes presented his works together with abstract expressionist painters such as Willem de Kooning and Philip Guston. His studio was located on 10th Street in the East Village, which at that time was a neighbourhood very popular with avant-garde artists. Leiter shared these artists’ interest in abstraction and the use of colour, gesture and the element of chance, but he chose a radically different format for his works. Whereas many of his contemporaries, such as Jasper Johns or Franz Kline, painted wall-sized paintings that physically filled the beholder’s entire field of vision, Leiter worked in an intimate, small format. His works were also exhibited at the Tanager Gallery, one of the most important artist-run cooperatives in the East Village at that time. After switching the main focus of his work to photography in the late 1940s, however, Leiter stopped exhibiting his paintings.

 

Figurative Painting

Saul Leiter’s abstract painting frequently unites qualities of intimacy and familiarity with a sense of space reminiscent of an open landscape. Occasionally he also makes figurative sketches. Often these give mere intimations of a face or a body, perhaps a pointed nose, eyes and a mouth. Some of his male figures wear hats, similar to those worn by the religious Jews that peopled Leiter’s world in his youth. Most of these works focus on a single figure; only occasionally do we see a couple, or several figures grouped together. The quality of the line and the subtle suggestion of figures or heads in these paintings are reminiscent of paintings by Édouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, in which facial features are hinted at through lines and fine shadings of colour rather than being defined by careful modelling.

 

Street Photography

When, in 1947, Saul Leiter attended an exhibition of works by the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, he became convinced of the creative potential of this medium. He bought himself a 35mm Leica camera at a bargain and began, without any previous training, to take photographs on the streets of New York. At first he used only black-and-white film, but in 1948 he also started using colour film. His black-and-white photographs exhibit some elements of documentary photography but are nevertheless far removed from a photojournalistic style. Rather, they are subjective observations, often concentrating on a single individual in the big city. Leiter’s complex, multilayered works evoke feelings of alienation, melancholy and tension. Leiter underscores this impression by experimenting with strong contrasts, light and shadow, and asymmetrical compositions containing large areas in which the images are blurred.

Thematically and stylistically, there are great similarities between Leiter’s works and the works of other representatives of New York street photography of the same era, for example Ted Croner, Leon Levinstein, Louis Faurer and later Robert Frank and William Klein, today generally known as the New York School. Their radical new, subjective photography had a psychological component that revealed an unusual sensitivity to social turbulences and the uncertainty felt by many Americans during the years following the Second World War.

 

Colour Photography

Until well into the 1970s, colour photography was used almost exclusively for advertising and fashion magazines. Many photographers considered the vivid colours unsuitable for artistic expression. Moreover, they were unable to develop their colour film themselves, which made it a very expensive undertaking. It was not until 1976 that the Museum of Modern Art in New York gave its first exhibition devoted to colour photography, when it presented “Photographs by William Eggleston”.

Saul Leiter was one of the few photographers who did not reject colour photography. As a painter, he took a particular interest in street photography as a genre in which to experiment with colour film. As early as 1948, at the beginning of his career, he bought his first roles of 35mm Kodachrome colour slide film, which had been on the market since 1936. In order to save money, he often used film that had passed its sell-by date. Leiter particularly liked the resulting pictures with their delicate, muted colours.

The innumerable early colour photographs that Leiter took between 1948 and 1960 are of a unique painterly and narrative quality. They stand in contrast to the works of other photographers, in which colour is often the defining element of the composition. This circumstance, coupled with Leiter’s tendency towards abstraction, links Leiter’s photography with his painting. But in contrast to his painting (and his black-and-white photographs), his colour photographs are highly structured. It is the incomparable beauty of these works that has brought Leiter recognition as one of the masters of 20th-century photography.

 

Fashion Photography

In the late 1950s, Saul Leiter worked successfully in the fields of fashion photography and advertising. From the very first, his style was unmistakeable. His images were multilayered and complex, characterised by soft, impressionistic qualities and cubist changes of perspective. He was given his first commercial assignment in 1958 by Henry Wolf, at that time the new Art Director of Harper’s Bazaar, with whom Leiter became friends. Harper’s Bazaar was one of the leading American fashion magazines, presenting trail-blazing fashion series by photographers such as Richard Avedon or Lillian Bassman.

Subsequently, Leiter was given more and more prestigious assignments, and over the years began to spend almost all his time doing commercial work. Apart from Harper’s Bazaar, his fashion and advertising photos appeared in Elle and Show, in British Vogue and Queen and also in Nova. The amazing thing is that during this period, Leiter managed to retain his own narrative, stylised aesthetic, whereas other fashion photographers favoured a rather brittle, graphic style. In the 1970s, partly due to his own dwindling interest in commercial photography, Leiter received fewer and fewer assignments. In 1981 he gave up his studio on Fifth Avenue and in the following years led a quiet life far from the public eye.

 

Saul Leiter. 'Carol Brown, 'Harper's Bazaar'' c. 1958

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Carol Brown, ‘Harper’s Bazaar’
c. 1958
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Soames Bantry, 'Nova'' 1960

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Soames Bantry, ‘Nova’
1960
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Walking' 1956

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Walking
1956
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Reflection' 1958

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Reflection
1958
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

 

“I spent a great deal of my life being ignored. I was always very happy that way. Being ignored is a great privilege. That is how I think I learnt to see what others do not see and to react to situations differently. I simply looked at the world, not really prepared for anything.”

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Saul Leiter

 

 

Art critic Roberta Smith wrote in 2005: “Mr. Leiter was a photographer less of people than of perception itself. His painter’s instincts served him well in his emphasis on surface, spatial ambiguity and a lush, carefully calibrated palette. But the abstract allure of his work doesn’t rely on soft focus, a persistent, often irritating photographic ploy, or the stark isolation of details, in the manner of Aaron Siskind or early Harry Callahan. Instead, Mr. Leiter captured the passing illusions of everyday life with a precision that might almost seem scientific, if it weren’t so poetically resonant and visually layered.”

Text from the Lens Culture website [Online] Cited 15/05/2013 no longer available online

 

Saul Leiter. 'Shopping' c. 1953

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Shopping
c. 1953
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Kutztown' 1948

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Kutztown
1948
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

Saul Leiter. 'Pizza, Patterson' 1952

 

Saul Leiter (American, 1923-2013)
Pizza, Patterson
1952
© Saul Leiter / Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

 

 

KUNST HAUS WIEN
Museum Hundertwasser
Untere Weißgerberstraße 13
1030 Vienna
Phone: +43-1-712 04 91

Opening hours:
Daily, 10am – 7pm

Kunst Haus Wein website

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25
Mar
12

Sculpture: ‘Metropolis II’ (2010) by Chris Burden at LACMA, Los Angeles

Installation dates: 14th January 2012 –

 

Poetic, historic, amazing, fantastic, incredible, indescribable (the words of an eight year old, comment on the website). Great video as well. Take your ear plugs!

Marcus

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Many thankx to LACMA for allowing me to publish the video and the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

 

Chris Burden (American, 1946-2015)
Metropolis II
2010
Courtesy of the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Foundation
© Chris Burden

Dimensions: 9’9″ (H) x 28’3” (W) x 19’2” (D) (297 cm x 862 cm x 584 cm)

Media: 
3 1/2 hp DC motors with motor controllers
1,100 custom-manufactured die-cast cars
13 HO-scale train sets with controllers and tracks
Steel, aluminium, shielded copper wire, copper sheet, brass, various plastics, assorted woods and manufactured wood products, Legos, Lincoln Logs, Dado Cubes, glass, ceramic and natural stone tiles, acrylic and oil-based paints, rubber, sundry adhesives

 

Chris Burden. 'Metropolis II' 2010

 

Chris Burden (American, 1946-2015)
Metropolis II
2010
Courtesy of the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Foundation
© Chris Burden

 

 

Created by artist Chris Burden, Metropolis II (2010) is a complex, large-scale kinetic sculpture modelled after a fast-paced modern city. The armature of the piece is constructed of steel beams, forming an eclectic grid interwoven with an elaborate system of eighteen roadways, including a six-lane freeway, train tracks, and hundreds of buildings. 1,100 miniature toy cars speed through the city at 240 scale miles per hour on the specially designed plastic roadways. Every hour, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 cars circulates through the sculpture. “The noise, the continuous flow of the trains, and the speeding toy cars, produces in the viewer the stress of living in a dynamic, active and bustling 21st Century city.”

Situated in the centre of the grid are three electrically powered conveyor belts, each studded with magnets at regular intervals. The magnets on the conveyor belt and those on the toy cars attract, enabling the cars to travel to the top of the sculpture without physical contact between the belt and cars. At the top, the cars are released one at a time and race down the roadways, weaving in and out of the structure, simulating rapid traffic and congestion.

Metropolis II is on long-term loan to LACMA, thanks to the generosity of LACMA Trustee Nicolas Berggruen. Beginning January 14, 2012, the work will be on view on the first floor of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) and run on weekends during the scheduled times below.

  • The cars are attached by a small magnet to the conveyor belt that brings them to the crest
  • The only motorisation of the cars is the conveyor belt to the top
  • Once the cars cross over the crest and head downward, their entire movement is by gravity
  • They travel at a scale speed of 240 mph, plus or minus
  • The tracks they take are Teflon coated to reduce friction
  • The tracks are beveled at 7 degrees to give added torque for speed when they come through corners and curves

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Beginning Saturday, January 14, to see Metropolis II in action, please visit the gallery at these times:
Fridays: 12.30 – 2pm; 3 – 4.30pm; 5 – 6.30pm; 7 – 8.30pm
Weekends: 11.30 – 1.00pm; 2 – 3.30pm; 4 – 5.30pm; 6 – 7.30pm
Weekdays: not operational”

Press release from LACMA

 

Chris Burden. 'Metropolis II' 2010

 

Chris Burden. 'Metropolis II' 2010

 

Chris Burden (American, 1946-2015)
Metropolis II
2010
Courtesy of the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Foundation
© Chris Burden

 

Chris Burden. 'Metropolis II' 2010 (detail)

 

Chris Burden (American, 1946-2015)
Metropolis II (detail)
2010
Courtesy of the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Foundation
© Chris Burden

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Operator Alison Walker watches miniature cars move along the roads in Chris Burden’s latest kinetic sculpture, Metropolis II, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012. The sculpture does more than just imitate life. The colorful display of roads, cars, trains and buildings is art imitating what the artist foresees life being like in five or 10 years.

 

 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax Avenue)
Los Angeles, CA, 90036
Phone: 323 857-6000

Opening hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 11am – 5pm
Friday: 11am – 8pm
Saturday, Sunday: 10am – 7pm
Closed Wednesday

LACMA website

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09
Oct
11

Free Symposium: ‘Photography as Crime’ at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne

Saturday 15th October 2011, 1 – 5pm (with interval)

Presented by Monash University and the Centre for Contemporary Photography

 

What are the key legal and philosophical issues relating to photography in public places? What pressures are recent changes in the relationship between publicity and privacy putting on the meaning and significance of ‘privacy’, the body and the human face? How are photographers and other artists responding to transformations in urban space brought about by increasingly participatory and automated forms of surveillance?

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Chaired by Dr Anne Marsh, Professor of Art Theory in the Faculty of Art & Design at Monash University, with presentations by:
Dr Melissa Miles, Lecturer, Art Theory Program in the Faculty of Art & Design at Monash University
Dr Jessica Whyte, Post-Doctoral Fellow in the School of English, Communication and Performance Studies, Monash University
Professor Mark Davison, Faculty of Law, Monash University
Dr Daniel Palmer, Senior Lecturer, Art Theory Program in the Faculty of Art & Design at Monash University
Dr Martyn Jolly, Head of Photography and Media Arts at the Australian National University School of Art

 

Symposium program

Welcome: 1.10 – 1.30

Professor Anne Marsh (Chair) Dr Anne Marsh is Professor of Art Theory in the Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University. She is author of LOOK! Contemporary Australian Photography since 1980 (2010), Pat Brassington: This is Not a Photograph (Quintus/University of Tasmania, 2006), The Darkroom: Photography and the Theatre of Desire (Macmillan, 2003) and Body and Self: Performance Art in Australian, 1969-1992 (Oxford University Press, 1993).

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Session 1: 1.30 – 3.00

Dr Melissa Miles Photography and its Publics

There has been a recent shift in our perception of photography and privacy. The view that our privacy is under threat has created an atmosphere of paranoia and fuelled demands for law reform in relation to photography in public space. As photographers and privacy advocates battle each other by opposing the right to privacy with the right to free expression, there seems little chance of finding a workable solution. This paper seeks to address this issue by analyzing the links between photography, privacy and the public, and assessing the cultural and political implications of this new climate.

Dr Melissa Miles is a photography historian and theorist based at the Faculty of Art & Design at Monash University. Her interest in the interdisciplinary qualities of photography informs her first book, The Burning Mirror: Photography in an Ambivalent Light (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2008).

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Dr Jessica Whyte Sexting, anxiety and ‘photographic injuries’

Recent ‘sexting’ cases in Australia and the United States have seen girls as young as 14 charged with producing and child-pornography for taking and distributing photographs of themselves. Undoubtedly, the ease of distribution enabled by new technologies creates extra hazards for teens, who may come to regret images that may circulate far further than they had desired. Yet, the other trajectory, which could see teenage displays of sexuality resulting in lengthy jail sentences and teenagers having their names and faces publicly displayed on lists of sex offenders for at least the next decade is hardly an attractive one. This paper questions the assumption that protecting young people’s privacy from themselves justifies laws that both criminalise them and reinforce their status as powerless victims whose sexual experimentation is too dangerous for the state to turn a blind eye.

Jessica Whyte is a post-doctoral fellow in the School of English, Communication and Performance Studies, Monash University. She has published widely on contemporary continental philosophy (Agamben, Foucault, Rancière), sovereignty and biopolitics, critical legal theory and critiques of human rights.

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Professor Mark Davison Law of Photography: What is it and how is it decided?

Taking photographs in public places and subsequently distributing those photographs is subject to a multitude of laws that may impose criminal or civil law consequences on photographers. There is also considerable uncertainty about the nature and operation of some of those laws. For example, what constitutes offensive conduct in the context of, say, taking photographs on a beach is difficult to define. Similarly, care needs to be taken in defining what is a public place and what is a private place in a legal sense because those definitions will vary according to the context in which the distinction is being made. One consequence of this uncertainty isthat incorrect statements of the law come to be acted upon with a further consequence that incorrect perceptions of the law actually become the law in a practical and de facto manner. This presentation will be designed to give an overview of some of the key legal issues relating to photography in public places.

Mark Davison is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. His main areas of expertise are intellectual property and contract law. He is a member of the Commonwealth government’s Expert Advisory Group on plain packaging of tobacco products and a member of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Law Council of Australia.

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Break: 3 – 3.30

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Session 2: 3.30 – 4.30

Dr Daniel Palmer Social Space in the Age of Networked Photography

In the era of ubiquitous networked photography, cameras have colonised social space in new ways. One result, according to Michael T. Jones, Google’s Chief Technology Advocate, is that “the earth itself is like a table of contents for direct exploration of all the photographs that have ever been shared by people around the world, automatically.” This paper explores some of the unexpected consequences of GPS-enabled camera phones and Google Street View for our understanding of the dynamic relationship between photography, surveillance and social space. As urban space is transformed by increasingly participatory and automated forms of visual mediation, how are photographers and other artists responding?

Dr Daniel Palmer is a Senior Lecturer in the Art Theory Program in the Faculty of Art & Design at Monash University. His publications include the books Twelve Australian Photo Artists (2009), co- authored with Blair French, and the edited volume Photogenic: Essays/ Photography/ CCP 2000 – 2004 (2005). He is currently writing a book on digital photography as part of the ARC Discovery Project Genealogies of Digital Light.

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Dr Martyn Jolly Facial Velocities

What pressures are recent changes in the relationship between publicity and privacy, as well as advances in technological surveillance, image capture and dissemination, putting on the meaning and significance of the human face? After a brief historical excursion to Kaspar Lavater, Charles Darwin and Lillie Langtry, I will focus an a range of examples drawn from: the current ‘war’ between celebrity and paparazzi; tabloid scandals about the nocturnal indiscretions of footballers; social media; developments in the use of facial recognition algorithms; plastic surgery; and recent developments in movie CGI motion capture techniques. Using these examples I will argue that there has been a subtle but profound shift in the concept of the face from the ‘private’ in the sense of the ‘discreet’, to the ‘private’ in the sense of the ‘owned’. And further, that faces now do not so much have expressive features, as transactional velocities.

Dr Martyn Jolly is Head of Photography and Media Arts at the ANU School of Art. He is an artist and a writer. This year he was a Scholar and Artist in Residence at the National Film and Sound Archive, working in their magic lantern slide collection, and a Harold White Fellow at the National Library of Australia, working on Australiana picture books of the 1960s.

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Closing Panel 4.30 – 5pm

 

 

Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George St, Fitzroy
Victoria 3065, Australia
Phone: + 61 3 9417 1549

Opening hours:
Wednesday – Friday, 11am – 5pm
Saturday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm

Centre for Contemporary Photography website

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26
Nov
09

Exhibition: ‘The Eventuality of Daybreak’ by Alex Lukas at Glowlab, New York

Exhibition dates: 12th November – 6th December 2009

 

 

Alex Lukas (American, b. 1981)
Untitled
2009
Acrylic and silk screen on two book pages

 

 

These are terrific – I want one!

A big thank you to Alex for allowing me to reproduce the images.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

Alex Lukas (American, b. 1981)
Untitled
2009
Acrylic and silk screen on two book pages

 

 

Glowlab is pleased to present The Eventuality of Daybreak, a solo exhibition by Alex Lukas featuring a new series of post-apocalyptic urban landscapes that blur the visual boundaries of fiction and reality.

Lukas’ work explores the existence of disaster, be it realised or fictitious, in contemporary society. Hyper-realistic motion pictures and unforgiving news footage depict seemingly identical – and equally riveting – facades of tragedy. The artist recognises that relentless visual bombardment has resulted in society’s desensitisation to the aesthetics of destruction.

For The Eventuality of Daybreak, Lukas has selected photographic spreads of well-known metropolises from vintage publications and uses them dually as canvas and unlikely subject. Through a deft handling of paint and carefully placed screen-printed passages, the artist pushes these ageing illustrations in futuristic contexts. Submerging these cities conceptually and physically, Lukas inundates images of American cities with layers of media representing cataclysmic floods and crippling overgrowth.

Also included in the exhibition are works on paper depicting near-future scenes of devastated landscapes – crumbling infrastructure, overturned trucks and telling signs of human despair. As a counterpoint to the underwater cities, these darkly atmospheric and barren vistas signal devastation through an unsettling sense of absence.

Lukas’ intentional use of dated imagery presented in tandem with contemporary situations forces the viewer to reconcile two differing ideologies of urban space. The artist’s work calls into question society’s collective acceptance of the urban environment as an arena of destruction, once thought unthinkable and now seemingly inevitable.

The Eventuality of Daybreak is Lukas’ first solo exhibition with Glowlab. Lukas’ work has also been exhibited in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Stockholm and Copenhagen as well as in the pages of Swindle Quarterly, Proximity Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, The Drama and The New York Times Book Review. Lukas is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives and works in Philadelphia, where he is a member of the artist collective Space 1026.

Press release on the Glowlab website [Online] Cited 20/11/2009 no longer available online

 

 

Alex Lukas (American, b. 1981)
Untitled
2009
Acrylic and silk screen on two book pages

 

 

Alex Lukas (American, b. 1981)
Untitled
2009
Acrylic and silk screen on two book pages

 

 

Alex Lukas (American, b. 1981)
Untitled
2009
Acrylic and silk screen on two book pages

 

 

Alex Lukas (American, b. 1981)
Untitled
2009
Acrylic and silk screen on two book pages

 

 

Glowlab

This gallery has now closed

Alex Lukas website

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24
Nov
08

Exhibition: ‘Broken Glass: Photographs of the South Bronx by Ray Mortenson’ at the Museum of the City of New York

Exhibition dates: 14th November 2008 – 12th April 2009

 

Ray Mortenson. "Untitled (7-16-6)" 1984

 

Ray Mortenson
Untitled (7-16-6)
1984
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Documenting the abandoned, burnt out, and razed structures of entire city blocks in the South Bronx in the aftermath of the 1970s, during which this neighborhood experienced dramatic decline, Broken Glass: Photographs of the South Bronx by Ray Mortenson will be on view at the Museum of the City of New York from November 14, 2008 through March 9, 2009. The 50 black and white cityscapes and interiors on view – five of which are large-scale – were taken between 1982 and 1984, and they vividly illustrate the results of a downslide that began in the Great Depression of the 1930s and accelerated with the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway in the 1950s and the fiscal crisis of the 1970s. Broken Glass is Mortenson’s first museum exhibition in New York City, and it is the first presentation of the South Bronx photographs.

The 50 photographs on view, all black and white, range in size from the smallest at approximately 11″ by 14″, to the most monumental at 40” by 60”. Each conveys a devastating silence, serving as a reminder that these city blocks were once the homes of individuals, families, and a large community. Mortenson has written, “The buildings were like tombs – sealed up, broken open and plundered. Inside, stairways with missing steps led up to abandoned apartments. Doors opened into rooms that were once bedrooms or kitchens. Small things left behind hint at who the occupants might have been – a hairbrush, photographs, or bits of clothing.” Ghostly remnants of the once prosperous and thriving neighborhoods can be glimpsed in his images which document the extent and severity of the urban decline experienced in the South Bronx.

These photographs document an important chapter in the history of a New York City neighborhood, augmenting their aesthetic power. The decline of the South Bronx began as early as the Great Depression when previously sustained development came to an abrupt halt. After World War II an exodus of New York’s middle class began and continued into the 1970s. This caused a population decline throughout the city, but the effects were particularly hard on the South Bronx as more than 200,000 residents left the community between 1970 and 1980. As entire communities left the city, Robert Moses’ road building and slum clearance, along with other urban renewal initiatives had dramatic effects on the lives of all who remained. In the 1970s New York City faced another economic crisis and virtual bankruptcy. City government was unable to maintain services in the South Bronx and “planned shrinkage” became an unofficial policy as services were slowly withdrawn. With little incentive for landlords to upgrade or even maintain their property, waves of arson and “insurance fires” decimated the by now largely minority community. Astonishingly, some 12,000 fires a year occurred through the 1970s, averaging more than 30 a day.

A successful resurrection of the South Bronx began in the mid-1980s, as grass roots organizations and community development corporations, along with financial reinvestment by the City, sparked its regeneration. The photographs on view stand in starkest contrast to today’s revitalized neighborhood, which has been the result of the dedication of its citizens combined with government support. The photographs serve as a reminder of the ruins that once dominated the now-vibrant streets and that the balance between prosperity and urban decline can be fragile.

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Brief Biography

Ray Mortenson was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1944 and studied art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the San Francisco Art Institute. In the early 1970s, Mortenson moved to New York and began working with photography. His first significant photographic project was a comprehensive investigation of the industrial landscapes of New Jersey’s Meadowlands (1974-1982). Since then, Mortensen has continued to focus on landscape photography that is often interested in liminal places of transition, set apart from everyday life. His photographs have been accepted into the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.”

Press release from the Museum of the City of New York website

 

 

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY 10029
Phone: 212-534-1672

Opening hours:
7 days a week 10.00 am – 6.00 pm

Museum of the City of New York 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: ‘Orphans and small groups’ 1994-96 Part 2

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