reflets de lumière

Wim Wenders – Journey to Onomichi

Posted in Photography, Print by B on July 18, 2010

The Quay Wall
217,8 x 178cm


The House on the Corner
144 x 125 cm


Onomichi at Dusk
210,7 x 178 cm


The Chopper
124,5 x 125cm

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I have always wondered

where my favorite film (yes, of all times)

Tokyo Story,

(or Tokyo monogatari in Japanese)

actually takes place, except in Tokyo of course.

Yasujiro Ozu’s masterpiece from 1953

depicts a small seaside fishing town

in which the story begins and ends.

An old couple departs from there,

in order to visit their kids in the big city one last time.

After their return the old woman dies,

and her husband is left alone.

Eventually someone told me

that this coastal town was called Onomichi,

in the South of Japan.

So one day my wife and I

made the reverse journey

and traveled from Tokyo to Onomichi

where we stayed for a week.

Wim Wenders

_____

Wenders, Wim, and Heiner Bastian. Wim Wenders: Journey to Onomichi : Photographs. [München]: Schirmer/Mosel, 2009. Print.

_____

Wim Wenders

Schirmer/Mosel

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Dr Ikkaku Ochi

Posted in Photography, Print by B on June 29, 2010

Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection

In an inconspicuous wooden box that had long gone unopened, Akimitsu Naruyama discovered 365 photographs of people with congenital and pathological deformations. After looking at just a few pictures, the Japanese art dealer and collector knew that he had discovered an extraordinary collection of photographs.

A doctor and photography enthusiast, Ikkaku Ochi practiced his profession in Okayama, a prefecture of Shikoku, one of Japan’s southern islands. He had his patients photographed during the last decade of the 19th century, producing images that are strikingly distinct from contemporary medical photographs, which serve as mere educational material and rarely as sensitive portraits of the diseased. Ochi’s patients were recorded with dignity and respect, though the exposed, diseased parts of their bodies are explicitly documented and not for the squeamish.

Individual photographs reveal the physical manifestations of syphilis in its final stages, elephantiasis of the testes or breasts, and other medical conditions – conditions that today are almost completely suppressed by medication or vaccination. Cruel and melancholic, these photographs seen today possess an undeniable elegance and uncomfortable beauty, qualities that Akimitsu Naruyama recognized immediately when he opened that forgotten wooden box.

Ochi, Ikkaku, Anna Von Senger, Sumio Ishida, and Akimitsu Naruyama. Dr. Ikkaku Ochi Collection. Zurich: Scalo, 2004. Print.

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Dr Ikkaku Ochi

Anna Von Senger

Sumio Ishida

Akimitsu Naruyama

Scalo Verlag AG

Bill Cunningham New York

Posted in Fashion, Film, Photography by B on June 13, 2010

Bill Cunningham New York, Richard Press


Bill Cunningham, photographed by Craig Arend

Bill Cunningham, photographed by Kelly Stuart

Bill Cunningham, photographed by Kelly Stuart

Bill Cunningham, photographed by Kelly Stuart

Richard Press’ documentary of Bill Cunningham describes a man who has devoted his life to fashion; not simply to the photography of clothing, but as a anthropological historian, examining the relationship between people and their clothes.

At 81, he is still full of vitality and to this day retains a genuine, youthful curiosity for the way people dress themselves, cycling up and down the streets of New York, rain, hail or sunshine, watching and waiting for the city and its people to reveal themselves. As well as a tireless photographer, he is also his own layout man, spending endless hours piecing together precise photographic montages for his two columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours”.

For a man so well known in the world of fashion (and recognisable in his signature blue worker jacket) he is surprisingly ascetic. He lives and eats very frugally, refusing to be wined and dined by the movers and shakers he photographs. He also resided for decades in in Carnegie Hall Studios on 57th St. in a tiny apartment crammed to the ceiling with a lifetime’s worth of files and file cabinets, permitting himself only a spartan single bed in one corner of a work area in which to sleep.

Yet what is most poignant in Press’ documentary is Cunningham’s clear passion for garments and how people wear them. He dismisses the typical media hunger for celebrity and simply focuses upon the clothes themselves; the fabric, the cut, the color, the line. And more importantly he makes it clear he is not an arbiter of fashion. “It isn’t what I think, it’s what I see,” he says. “I let the street speak to me. You’ve got to stay on the street and let the street tell you what it is.”

Bill Cunningham New York. Dir. Richard Press. 2010. Film.

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Bill Cunningham

Richard Press

Bill Henson

Posted in Art, Photography by B on May 29, 2010

Bill Henson
Untitled #30, 2009/2010
AH SH8 N35
archival inkjet pigment print

Bill Henson
Untitled #27, 2008/2009
CL SH699 N16
archival inkjet pigment print

Bill Henson
Untitled #19, 2008/2009
NH SH328 N19
archival inkjet pigment print

Bill Henson
Untitled #17, 2008/2009
CL SH686 N26
archival inkjet pigment print

Bill Henson
Untitled #11, 2009/2010
AH C SH45 N33D
archival inkjet pigment print

Bill Henson
Untitled #7, 2008/2009
CL SH653 N34C
archival inkjet pigment print

Bill Henson
Untitled #23, 2009/2010
AH C SH49 N30D
archival inkjet pigment print

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Bill Henson

Roslyn Oxley Gallery

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Masahisa Fukase

Posted in Art, Photography, Print by B on May 1, 2010

Eromo Cape, 1976

Eromo Cape, 1976

Kanazawa, 1978

Kanazawa, 1978

Nayoro, 1976

Nayoro, 1976

Esashi, 1977

Esashi, 1977

Kanazawa, 1977

Kanazawa, 1977

The sheer desolation in Masahisa Fukase’s The Solitude of Ravens is almost unbearable. He gazes at ravens with the intensity and desperation of a man torn apart by grief. These devilish creatures fill the sky in the hundreds, their cold, beady eyes the only light he can see. Yet the longer he looks, the more empty he becomes. Enveloped in darkness, his gaze eventually becomes a blank stare. Shrouded in solitude, stuck in a meaningless, vacant gesture. What drove Fukase to such desperation?

Born in 1934, Fukase’s family owed a photographic studio in Bifuka-cho, Hokkaido. His first memory with photography was one of enmity; as a child he remembers staying indoors developing film and washing prints for his father, all the while wanting to go outside and play with his peers. His relationship with photography would grow in strength and complexity throughout his life, becoming a means of discovering and expressing himself.

After graduating from university with a degree in photography in 1956, Fukase moved in with a woman while working as a commercial photographer. He began to draw upon his personal life for artistic expression, photographing gritty oil refineries for his first solo exhibition, Seiyujo no Sora in 1960. The challenges he would face in his personal life proved to have a lasting impact on his work.

His partner suffered a miscarriage the following year and he began photographing slaughterhouses for Buta wo Korose in 1961. Her disappearance with their newborn child in 1962 caused serious emotional damage to Fukase. He continued to photograph slaughterhouses, traveling to a slaughterhouse in Shibaura daily to take photographs for a year after her disappearance. This ritual continued even after meeting his future wife Kannibe Yoko. He brought her there, contrasting the cold brutality of the slaughterhouse with the warm human presence of Yoko.

Fukase’s photographs of Yoko tell of the deep seated emotional change she had on his life. Published in 1978, the series of images Yoko show a wide range expression; from joyous and carefree, to sardonic and laced with subversive social commentary, to striking and powerfully suggestive. Yet underneath all this was a difficult relationship, described by Yoko as “suffocating dullness, interspersed by violent and near suicidal flashes of excitement.” Wanting to regain control over her own life, she left after thirteen years in 1976.

Fukase spiraled into depression, and during a journey back to his hometown in Hokkaido he began to photograph ravens as a projection of his feelings. The dark, grainy photos of The Solitude of Ravens are frightening in their depth, “a meditation on a past he tries to forget and his struggle with forgetting”. While he re-married and divorced, he never stopped mourning the loss of Yoko. And while he continued to develop his relationship with photography, his journey was abruptly cut short in 1992. While drinking at a favorite bar he fell down a flight of stairs, suffering severe brain damage. He remains comatose to this day.

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Fukase, Masahisa. Karasu (鴉) / The Solitude of Ravens. Tokyo: Rat Hole, 2008. Print.

Warren, Lynne. Encyclopedia of Twentieth-century Photography. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.

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Masahisa Fukase (深瀬昌久)

Rat Hole Gallery

Akira Hasegawa

Nobuhiko Kitamura

Lynne Warren

Maki Fukuoka

Routledge

August Sander – Men of the Soil

Posted in Art, Photography, Print by B on April 11, 2010

The Man of the Soil, 1910

The Man of the Soil, 1910

August Sander (1876-1964) was one most important German photographers of the twentieth century. He is best known for the sweeping documentation of his fellow countrymen in ‘People of the 20th Century’. What began as a simple project photographing Westerwald farmers would grow to become an intimately accurate reflection of Weimar society. Sander’s bold yet delicate portraits classified the archetypal contemporary man in seven categories; “The Farmer”, ” The Skilled Tradesman”, “The Woman”, “Classes and Professions”, “The Artists”, “The City”, and “The Last People”. Here we examine “The Farmer”, Sander’s quietly steadfast men of the soil.

Young Farmers, 1914

Young Farmers, 1914

Young Farmers, 1925-1927

Young Farmers, 1925-1927

Country Lads from the Westerwald, 1912

Country Lads from the Westerwald, 1912

Farmer, 1931

Farmer, 1931

Woodcutter, 1931

Woodcutter, 1931

Farmhand, 1951

Farmhand, 1951

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People of the 20th Century

August Sander; Susanne Lange; Gabriele Conrath-Scholl; Gerd Sander; SK Stiftung Kultur. Photographische Sammlung.

New York : Distributed by H.N. Abrams, 2002.

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August Sander

H.N. Abrams

Die Photographische Sammlung

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