Hiroshi Watanabe’s ‘Findings’ – “These are honest and direct pictures; they bear a heavy silence, and are uncomplicated, singular ideas. These words invite a closer look uncompromised by time. They suggest a meditation that can bring to the surface what could otherwise have remained hidden – that opening in the sky beyond the child and his maze, and what it can mean.” Anthoy Bannon, George Eastman House Director
Hiroshi Watanabe – Findings
“My photographs reflect both genuine interest in my subject as well as a respect for the element of serendipity, while other times I seek pure beauty. The pure enjoyment of this process drives and inspires me. I believe there’s a thread that connects all of my work — my personal vision of the world as a whole. I make every effort to be a faithful visual recorder of the world around me, a world in flux that, at very least in my mind, deserves preservation.”
Giorgia Valli‘s series ‘Aves Mei‘ – expression of repressed feelings of freedom such as the ones birds experience in their cages.
“This project is a representation of how reality can set limits to imagination, which is in turn something limitless. Each photograph was taken in a section of the Bronx Zoo in NYC called ‘The World of Birds’. Every photo represent a bird’s cage. The idea was then to associate these cages to the different places I used to live around the world, since I was born until today. All these places have been to me sometimes like nests and sometimes like cages. There my ideas ‘grew up’ and my thoughts have been more free or less free, depending on the different characteristics of those places. By adapting myself to those different environments, my creativity struggled with reality to develop.”
Bastiaan Woudt’s ‘Karawan’ – refined images from a “land of languid heat, soaring landscapes and intriguing people”, filled with feelings, emotions and dynamics. Morocco still continues to cast a spell on its visitors and the Dutch photographer was also enchanted by it but saw this colourful country through his own black and white, contrast, grain and blur signature style.
“In 2016 I was awarded the Van Vlissingen Art Foundation Grant, which gave me the opportunity to do a new project about an inspirational trip to a country of my choice. I considered all of Africa’s countries, but Morocco quickly stood out: I really loved the thought of a country where the people and the landscapes are so varied that it can feel like you’re somewhere different every day. The diversity of people, scenery and cultures is really special. When you’ve traveled Morocco, you have the feeling you’ve seen seven different countries. Absolutely amazing.”
John Dugdale’s cyanotypes – still life, portraits, nudes, landscapes – poignant and emotionally charged tools for remembering hopes, fears, and dreams with refined Pictorial sensibility.
In 1994 a stroke, after AIDS-related complications, left the young photographer (b. 1960) nearly blind, and over the years since, he lost the remainder of his vision. Life forced him to see and photograph in a new and more personal way.
“The quietude that people respond to in my pictures is, in part, because of the way the pictures are made: no flash; no harsh electric light; not even the sound of the shutter—just a lens cap removed, and then gently replaced. This encounter provides, for me, a metaphor for looking.”
John Dugdale – Dickinson
A series of Dugdale’s recent photos is inspired by the works of great 19th century American writers and thinkers as Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Emily Dickinson. Dickinson’s poetry, in particular, helped him use his imagination to compensate for his lack of sight. “Emily Dickinson flew over her house and observed her life from above before there were airplanes, I totally identified with that when I was paralyzed. It was very easy to leave my body.”
“Being blind is not what you think. It’s not all darkness. My optic nerve still works and shoots a beautiful ball of brightly colored orange and purple and violet light and sparkling flashes all the time.”
Dugdale’s theme is one of survival and the triumph of the creative spirit; his vision is of gracious beauty, emotionally rich and sensual.
“This series of open-ended narratives conjures up both the playfulness and the sense of isolation we hold inside. I explore how we define ourselves in a world where we are increasingly isolated from nature, culture, and community—a world where we have more choices, but our roles are less clear. I long for a lost simplicity, real or imagined, beyond the fading edge of memory.
My work is about slowing down and noticing beauty in the world especially that which is in danger of being lost or taken for granted. My work is less about a subject and more about a way of seeing that subject, less about a landscape and more about a feeling of being in that landscape.”
“I do photographs to record moments of wonder, excitement, interesting people… I want to catch time. It’s an obsession with catching time as it passes.”
Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894 – 1986) is one of the great photographers of the 20th century. Though started as early as six years of age, he gained his fame in this field at the age of 69 after a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He rapidly became one of the most famous photographers but still is mostly best known for his black and white works.
However, Jacques Lartigue shoot also in colour. Actually among the legacy of 117,000 photographs, he donated to the French nation, almost one third are in colour. His color photography could be separated in 2 different periods. The first was his use of Autochrome from 1911-1926 which satisfied his painterly interests, but the process couldn’t allow him to capture a sense of movement, “something marvellous that happens in a split-second”. With the technical progress in the mid 1950’s he was finally able to seize in colour snapshots the moments of enthusiasm, delight and joy he was chasing his whole life and created an astonishing body of works.
Rafael M. Milani’s series ‘Eden’ is an exciting walk through the mysterious moments of the world creation where the eerie darkness has just met the soft warm light.
“It was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine.“ – Joseph Conrad
“The weird wood noises where the only sounds, strange, unutterable mutterings, dismal, inarticulate.” – Arthur Machen
Rafael M. Milani – Eden
“As a photographer, I am much more interested in the creation of mood and atmosphere than in the communication of facts or thoughts. I am usually attracted to artists whose work has a feeling of strangeness, mystery and awe, and that is what I try to convey with my images”
‘Taste of leaving’ was inspired by the feeling of hopelessness, but in the same way doubt and depression has been replaced by amazing energy and hope for a better future. It’s important to realize that sometimes we have to face the end of certain things in order to be able to step forward.”
Natalia Evelyn Bencicova – Taste of Leaving
The project was set in Cvernovka, a former sewing factory in Bratislava, which during the artist’s childhood had become a space for collective creativity and individual transformation. However a few years ago, it was also a subject to closure and feeling deeply connected with the place, the photographer started looking for an answer to ‘what is the taste of leaving?’
“People are the reason behind the existence of a place like this, the reason for its present magic and atmosphere. That’s why I decided to stage these people inside rooms covered in plastic as the single vivid object while everything else vanished into blurred memory. Things can be replace physically but the internal void remains.”
“Our idea of landscapes is not landscape by itself. Nothing exists by itself but only through perception. Our perception, however, is subject to both individual watching and classifying what we see. Pictures of natures are not about falsifying nature itself but are reflecting our perception of nature… What kind of image do we have? On social media channels users are sharing zillions of filtered photos of nature – or what they think nature must look like…We need a new way of looking at nature in the 21st century, just like the landscape painters of the 19th century who were confronted with industrialization.”
“The images from this series are made with a pinhole camera, which has more than 25,000 pinholes. What you see in these photographs is a blue sky with thousands of suns – a sky where all the suns swarm together to form a human constellation.”
The intensity of light on a given day and the length of exposure create unique color in each of the Guests.
Christopher Bucklow – Guests
To learn more about the artist’s thoughts about this series and the process of making them, watch this video