Luis Gonzalez Palma‘s series ‘Möbius’ – through portraits of indigenous Guatemalans establishing a relationship “between the emotional, figurative portraiture and the abstracted, geometric imagery. These two systems represent our craving to understand the mystery of life from different perspectives.”
Luis González Palma – Möbius
“From the beginning, my work has been a reflection on the look. How do we construct our internal experience of a couple of eyes fixedly staring at us? How are the shadows, brilliance and all implicit geography within each photograph interpreted and elaborated inside of us? If the way we look is concocted from the social and cultural, we may conclude that all looks are political and all artistic production is subject to this kind of judgment. The glance as power. From this point of view, I feel that the work of art is a possibility of evidencing this, of questioning the way in which we look, of interrogating the history that has produced these “glance grades” and, therefore, the ways in which we react to the world. In my artistic process I have tried to create images that invite the observer to examine by means of what I call “emotional contemplation”; assigning, through the beauty in them, the meaning of their shape. I have constructed scenarios and I have modified certain countenances through the years in order to create images that would permit other perceptions of the world, other ways of understanding and modifying it internally.”
Carol Inez Charney’s series ‘After Painting‘ – reinterpreting the work of classic iconic paintings, refracted by water to reassemble a new point of view about these paintings through photography.
“For me the water is the veil that allows the past and the present to collide. Initially I was working with the camera’s ability to selectively focus, though this has now led me to working with the idea of taking details out of context from the whole and then reassembling them to create a new visual conversation about a particular painting.”
The paintings the artist was inspired are works by Leonardo, Van Eyck, Van Gogh, Monet, Matisse, Chagall and Picasso.
Carol Inez Charney – After Painting
“The ‘After’ designation refers to the art-historian’s way of labeling copies of old artworks made by admiring younger artists, a common practice before the advent of photography, and a way of paying homage to and learning from the past: Van Gogh copied Rubens, and Rubens copied Leonardo, and so on.” (An essay by Dewitt Cheng)
“A country named after a desert. One of the least densely populated places on earth. Defined by its rich variety of colors—yet in a forever changing, yet completely barren landscape. Namibia’s landscape draws you in, through a vast brown plain of scorched earth, and steers you over the white surface of a salt pan to finally arrive in the gold tones of the sand dunes. Patience is required to discover the wide range of Namibia’s subtle scenery.
It literally takes you hours, driving though nothing, to at long last arrive at…more of nothing. The sight of other people is rare and only the strategically located gas stations are a reminder of the world beyond. This country is in another time zone—time seems to move slower but it feels more logical, somehow. Captivated by these washed out yet delicately colored landscapes, you can drive for hours. Chaperoned by herds of giraffes or zebras, shadowed by flocks of flamingos, suddenly stumbling upon a family of elephants. The animals look up curiously, but soon forget about you and slowly continue their journey, unhurried by your presence, at their own pace.”
“Nebula” is a series of portraits about time. Time passed. Time elapsed. Time suspended. Time ahead or behind us… These portraits required long exposures which eased the sitters into detaching themselves from their immediate surrounds, as if suspended in time and in space. The individuals in these portraits are neither children, nor adolescents. I wanted their portraits to emerge from that state of limbo to evoke the transitional stage that they are going through. “Nebula”, Latin for mist, reflects on the turmoil of growing up with all its relational, sychological and emotional changes.
The series is made using the old photographic technique wet plate collodion because making wet plates goes beyond the photographic process itself. It is a sort of inner journey. A state of mind.”
Nebula in astronomy is a cloud of gas and dust in outer space, visible in the night sky either as an indistinct bright patch or as a dark silhouette against other luminous matter. They are a window into the life cycle of the universe and often called “stellar nurseries” – i.e. the place where stars are born. Even some are the remains of dead or dying stars, in the end, the same raw material that is left behind when star dies, form in turn new stars and the cycle begins again.
Valérie Belin‘s series ‘Black Eyed Susan’ – interweaving images of flowers and women to question the concept of consummate beauty as pure decoration.
Using the plastic beauty of the ideal post-war female and mixing it boldly with plenty of flowers, the artist created dreamy painterly portraits of the excessive decorativeness to evoke our societal stereotyped visions fractured through the layers of time.
Valérie Belin – Black Eyed Susan
Currently there are two series dated 2010 and 2013.
“Follows a baroque still life tradition to evoke meaning by showing and choosing certain objects. My images are very much about the transitoriness of being and the constant human involvement in it – and its resulting changes of fates. Photography seems to snatch moments of time from mortality. But the captured moments are not more than representations of the past. In my photographs I try to stop the decay, well knowing that all is in vain. Still I love to linger on the beauty of decay.
All the lighting in all the photographs is natural daylight coming in through a window. I found reference and inspiration in baroques paintings.”
‘Exposure‘ by Kazuma Obara – abstract images telling the story of people who live with invisible health problems following the sudden release of atomic energy caused by the Chernobyl explosion (April 1986). Diseases, still doctors can’t explain and cure.
Kazuma Obara – Exposure
“The series is about the life of Mariya. She was born 5 months after the accident happened, in Kiev, which is located 100 km south of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Since her early age she was constantly sick and spent many years in hospital without receiving a diagnosis. Growing up other symptoms appeared like severe fatigue, insomnia, panic attacks, her hair began to fall out … Following doctors’ advice she removed thyroid gland. Currently she has taken around 10 to 20 pills every day to maintain her hormone balance and will continue to take them until she will die. A harsh life for a 30 years old girl.”
Kazuma Obara – Exposure
“All pictures were taken by old Ukrainian colour negative films (expired day of films are 1991 and 1992) and exposed. While my film was only recently ‘exposed’ in the conventional sense, it seems to be receiving exposure to radiation from the nuclear accident for the past years. Just like Mariya, who had been exposed before birth, before visibility, and before volition, my use of this film, with its unruly and visually confusing character refuses the apparent instantaneity of the photographic image, instead calling the viewer to consider that our present lives bear the traces of a life-long and prenatal exposure to the world.”
To learn more about the artist’s thoughts behind the series watch this video.
The series is available as a self-published photo book.
Susan Burnstine’s ‘Absence of Being’ – exploring of the subconscious world. “Does something/somebody ceases to exist because they no longer have a physical presence?”
After the death of her father the artist questioned the limitations of our senses, beliefs and the collective (un)consciousness. “A plane disappears into the clouds. We can’t see it, hear it or touch it, but we know it’s there. Our senses can give us no tangible evidence it continues to exist. But still, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt it’s there.”
Susan Burnstine – Absence of Being
In the series, she portrays her dream-like visions from a higher perspective reflecting the vision of her father, looking down upon her. Retaining her signature dark and dramatic, blurred effect the images “capture fleeting memories, spotted from the corner of an eye that vanish the moment we turn to really look. And yet they remain, for the imprint remains with us. We are living in the present, but the past reminds us that it is part of us, too, as is the future, and we of them.”
The photographs were taken along the Rhine on the verge of the absence of light – in twilight, just before dawn, shortly after sunset, in the fog, in the late fall and winter season – to convey that gloomy romantic mood and giving them the sense of generic atmosphere of any lazily flowing river in the world.
“To lose myself in situations and images, to indulge in the longing for stillness, is a major element of my artistic work. My works are intimate encounters. Emotion and ephemerality become manifested in them.”
“River” is a consistent sequel to the “Wald” series confirming that in Michael Lange’s images the dark beauty of nature is magical.
Using colour is something unusual for the German photographer who has mastered to look at the world in black and white. “You can’t just take a colour picture and turned it to black and white, and expect to have the same impact. To achieve the perfection of that way of looking have to sharpen the view towards black and white.”
However while visiting Paris for specimens all of a sudden he saw their beauty in colour. “There it was. Something amazing, that could be told only in colour.”
The elaborate creative process to achieve such a transparent effect and reveal the fine details is his own invention and printing them in handcrafted Japanese paper highlighten their beauty and fragility.
To learn more about the artist’s thoughts behind the series watch this video