Kikuji Kawada‘s series ‘The Last Cosmology’ – deeply emotional imagery of mainly stars, eclipses, cloudscapes and other celestial phenomena as a chronicle of the dramas in the skies and symbols of life and death, and the fragile nature of our existence.
The photographs were captured between 1980 and 2000, feeling a sense of nostalgic void caused by two historical events on earth: the death of the Emperor Hirohito in 1989 and the Showa Era in Japan ending with him, and the end of 20th century.
Kikuji Kawada – The Last Cosmology
“I was born at the beginning of the Showa Era. There was a great war during my boyhood and then I lived during the period of re-construction and growth and now I slowly approach the evening of life. Through these photographs the cosmology is an illusion of the firmament at the same time it includes the reality of an era and also the cosmology of a changing heart… I imagine the era and myself as an implicitly intermingling catastrophe… I want to spy on the depths of a multihued heart that is like a Karman vortex.”
Jason Shulman’s series ‘Photographs of Films’ – an entire movie in a single image. “There are roughly 130,000 frames in a 90-minute film and every frame of each film is recorded in these photographs.”
In searching of a way how to span the time, the artist started experimenting with a very long exposure of moving images like news and sports events, when finally he pointed his camera to films playing for the whole duration. The choice of the movies was a pretty random selection – ‘La Dolce Vita’, ‘Taxi driver’, ‘The Great Beauty’, ‘Yellow Submarine’, ‘A Clockwork Orange’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to mention a few. To get 54 photographs he shoot about 900 movies.
Jason Shulman – Photographs of Films
“You can learn something about the director’s style from this kind of kooky translation: you can learn that Hitchcock deals with people, for example, Kubrick deals with composition, Bergman deals with … I mean lots of Bergman films are kind of moody and psychological, much more so than other films”
It turned out that the unpredictable results depend mainly on the director’s style. “Some of the photographs appear to have little in common with the films they represent or some films didn’t work so well.”
However, as Shulman stated, eventually it is the viewer who will interpret his ‘impressionistic’ works through his/her own story. “Just like reading shapes in a cloud, they see what they want to see.”
Joachim Froese’s series ‘Archive’ – still lifes of stacked in unstable towers books and china arranged in multiple panels as a ‘portrait’ of loss and a metaphor for memory constructed in our heads.
After the death of the artist’s German mother, her possessions were packed up randomly in boxes and sent to his home in Australia. When he unpacked them, because they were taken out of the context of his mother’s place, he couldn’t feel the same emotional connection. They looked “strangely unfamiliar and my relationship with them was ambiguous to say the least… The resulting photographs show objects that couldn’t stand up in reality. My ‘archive’ subsequently depicts imaginary scenarios presenting only an illusion of stability and rationality.”
Joachim Froese – Archive
“In contemporary society the idea of the archive plays an important role in the construction of knowledge and history, both public and private. We collect things to preserve a past that no longer exists. The medium of photography directly relates to this concept: the photograph deals with “what was” and thus plays a significant part in our perception of the past. It is one of the essential foundations on which we build elaborate mental structures to reassure our view of the world. As soon as we file the past in our personal archive of memories we select and construct – without realizing that many of the structures we are about to build are as unsound as the ones depicted in my work.”
‘Archive’ (2008) is the third and the last part of the project devoted to his mother, he made within two years to overcome the pain. The other two are ‘Portrait of my mother’ (2006) and ‘Written in the Past’ (2007).
Andrew Zuckerman’s series ‘Flower’ – a rich visual tour of mesmerizing nature’s timeless treasure comprising of radiant close-ups of more than 150 species, exotic and familiar. Set against his signature stark-white backdrop, the complexity of color, structure and texture in each specimen is lightened in detail revealing the subject’s essential qualities and giving a pure aesthetic pleasure to the viewer.
Andrew Zuckerman – Flower
“White for me has a sense of modernity and absence. From absence and white I can create something… It’s not about what I’m uniquely bringing to it, it’s more about what I’m bringing together and collecting in a consistent way.”
Driven by his obsessive taxonomical pursuits and removing all context, the artist created a sort of catalog with a contemporary, minimalist attitude to manifest the beauty and ephemerality of life.
From the dawn of its existence, mankind creates mythological homes for gods, and mythical other worlds of hope or doom. Because of our limited perception these places often share characteristics with our familiar earthly landscapes.
Keith Taylor – Otherworld
“The photographs of barren terrains were taken in the upper Midwest to render possible models of the Earth-like planets currently being sought by NASA’s Kepler mission, and it also references the mythologies of many cultures that establish a land that is home to spiritual beings or the dead… I am using photographs of real places to suggest realms that may or may not exist.”
Ross Faircloth’s series ‘Evidence of Chance’ – back to the conventional elements in photography, light, time, light-sensitive materials and photo-chemistry, and experimenting with the chance in search for a new way of seeing.
Ross Faircloth – Evidence of Chance
“This process began by turning traditional darkroom paper, the light sensitive material, into the camera itself. It was then either covered in black cloth and taken outside to expose and create a recognizable image or left outside and unprotected for weeks to months at a time to expose not only to light but also the harsh Texas environment to incorporate the element of chance. The paper cameras left to ‘chance’ were also manipulated through application of photo-chemistry, some before and some after their extended time exposing outside. This allowed for another element of chance in the work through the use of abstract expressionism techniques. The use of abstract expressionism creates an interesting conversation in relation to photography, as abstract expressionism is a visual recording, until now, in paint, of an action or event that is itself the content for the work of art. Oddly enough, you could define photography in the same way.”
And for me, the whole of you has been transformed into feeling.”
Eirini Vourloumis – In the Same Space
“My ‘pappou’ (παππούς – grandfather) Andreas Vourloumis (1910-1999) was a Greek painter, part of the dynamic 1930’s generation of Greek artists. A chemist by training, he devoted himself to art, abandoning his scientific carrier. He mainly studied daily life in Athens in his favourite medium – watercolour. When he passed away, my family found hundreds of sketchbooks in drawers in his home… I dedicate the poem to him and his creative process and the connection I feel with him as I photograph Greece, through his artistic vision.“
Adam Jeppesen’s series ‘The Pond’ – cyanotypes of floating hands on a textile in a study of ourselves and the things that are changing within society, within us as humans, the insecurity of what is inside the marshy waters and what happens if you go inside it.
Adam Jeppesen – The Pond
“The use of a hand was to translate my thoughts on identity – self-identity and on a much broader scale as a collective identity as a human kind. The hand becomes such a symbol of that because there is a looking at ‘myself’ but without seeing ourselves in the mirror. By studying my hand I wanted to see how many different expressions one could have and the way they were photographed gives the feeling they were somehow separated from the rest of the body.” Immersed into the blue colour and drifting in imaginary swampy waters suggest the idea of desire for a new path in the human existence.
Pavlina Ecclesiarhou’s series of hand painted monochromatic photographs of animals ‘Epitaphs’ – stories between the lines about our collective responsibility as humans.
Inspired by the dioramas in Natural History museums and exploring the theme of what is reality and its subjective effect on a personal memory, the artist opens a dialogue about timelessness of nature and our share in it, and whose epitaph we actually discuss …
Pavlina Ecclesiarhou – Epitaphs
“I invite the viewer to stop, experience a moment of uncertainty, perceiving it as a photograph, or a painting, questioning perception and consciousness, and in doing this, re-considering the relationship of illusion to reality. I also invite the viewer to contemplate the silent stories of these animals and consider why they matter to us… An epitaph is the writing on a tombstone. It speaks of mourning. My photographs are both an ode to nature’s grandeur and a lament about our waning connection to it. One is left with both a sense of awe as well as grief, that a harmonious coexistence might be an illusion. Yet, the overriding feeling is that of the urgent responsibility we have to halt the disappearance of animal species and their worlds because they do matter.”
Angelo Musco’s work ‘Sanctuary’ – a man-made colossal architecture inspired by the myth of the Tower of Babel as a metaphor of mankind’s separation but through the totally opposite vision – as a mystical kingdom, a holy place, built for connection to join people together physically and conceptually.
“The word sanctuary refers to a safe or sacred place or the concept of containment and keeping something in. For this image, each brick, arch, ramp and bridge is made up entirely by human nudes and then the buildings are populated by hundreds of people… The residents are protecting one another, reacting to what they see and reflecting their concerns and emotions back on the audience. “
Angelo Musco – Sanctuary
These masses of nudes constructions were created by many volunteers intentionally recruited from multicultural groups in different cultures. Photo shoots were organized in New York City, Buenos Aires, London, Berlin and Naples, to gather the materials for this mammoth metropolis and integrate the story of each of them into the multiple layers of the piece.
“As I began creating my own kingdom of towers, I wanted a diverse group of models who spoke different languages and were from different cultures to come together and symbolically help me build a community of peace and harmony. Diversity seems to be under attack, especially now, so I wanted the walls to be for protection, not for separation.”
The work took over four years to complete, the artist’s longest production to date.
Watch this video about the full process and final result of the Sanctuary project.