This week: Duncan talks to 2010 Whitney Biennial participant and decontructivist photography raconteur, Curtis Mann.
Send us your video questions for the art world!!!
Philip Bloom has been testing/demoing the new Canon 7D for a while showing what you can do with the upper end Prosumer camera. The results are jaw dropping to say the least and it’s all almost within reach. Who said you can’t shoot porn in Dubai? Oh and hit the fullscreen button when you watch to get the full experience.
If you want to see what a Pro Camera can do then you can do no better then this shot in Prague with a Canon 1d mkiv
Adam Ekberg has a lovely exhibition of new photographs up at Thomas Robertello Gallery that closes Saturday, February 6th — that’s tomorrow people! — so if you haven’t seen it, you should do the proverbial rush right out and see it thing before it closes. After that, get yourself over to the MCA, where Adam’s work can be seen in the group show Elements of Photography, up through April 6th. I had a brief virtual chat with the very busy Mr. Ekberg this week, and am most appreciative of him for taking the time to answer my questions.
CI: In the brief statement that accompanies the portfolio of images on your website, you mention ‘lens fallibility’ as one of the means by which you activate otherwise ordinary environments. Could you elaborate a bit on how the notion of fallibility operates in your process?
AE: These pictures have been discussed as referential to spirit photography but I like to think of them more in terms of the camera malfunctioning due to misuse. Pointing the camera at the sun is generally recognized as a bad idea on the level of putting balled up tinfoil in the microwave. If you are to go to a camera shop you can even purchase a variety of lens shades that prevent this effect from happening. I love the mistakes within images, Diane Arbus had a tendency to have vignetting in her prints and Nan Goldin always used flash in an elementary way which made her work feel even more personal and intimate.
While I was looking at the photographs of Anna Shteynshleyger at the opening of this Russian-born, Chicago-based artist’s new solo exhibition at at The Renaissance Society, a middle-aged woman wearing a fluffy, faux-fur coat sidled up next to me. “Do you know what that is?” she asked me, pointing to the image I was peering at intently. It was a blue-tinged photograph of some sort of twisted, fleshy material that looked like raw bread dough.
“I’m not exactly sure,” I replied. “I can’t tell if it’s soaking in a bowl of something or what.”
“It looks organic,” the woman mused, “like an organ from a body.”
“Well, it’s challah….It’s not baked yet. But I can’t make out what this part is,” I said, gesturing to the circular, fan-like opening out of which the doughy form appeared to be rising.
“Oh, it’s challah!?” she exclaimed. “I know what challah is — I make challah. But that looks more like a body part. How do you pronounce the artist’s name?” I told her I had no idea, and she nodded. “She should have changed it to Smith!” Read more
Henry Roy’s Spirit seems to live even as it lay open on my kitchen table. The cover image depicts a sleeping man in breathtaking color. The man’s rich, dark skin and the green of a plant in the background pop against the amorphous beige interior that surrounds the scene.
Spanning the past ten years of his career, Spirit collects nearly 50 photographs and 6 short stories that capture a mystical energy. With the eye of a portraitist, Roy skillfully isolates his subjects and obscures their circumstance. Working in a “very intuitive, almost mediumnic way,” Roy manages to express a poetic tension between reverie and the mundane in his images.
My favorites stories in the book are Paris In October and A Night In Africa. The former is a brief ode to the Parisian autumn, while the latter tells of a half-drunken protagonist urinating on a bathroom wall. Both stories are narrated by an urbane young man suffering from a bout of ennui. The ordinary settings of the narratives provide a nice counterpoint to the dreamy images, and make me a little less jealous of Henry Roy’s life.
Got a response to this post? Let us know! Email your comments to email@example.com. We’ll feature thoughtful responses to issues generated by our posts in our Letters to the Editors Feature on Saturdays.