Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Shortcuts in photography: nudity = intimacy

It's quite surprising how bad photography is for capturing certain things. The lack of narrative of single images and even sequences is a large handycap compared to mediums better suited for such things (as literature or cinema). One of the main 'cheap tricks' that this has led to, I think, is the equation nudity = intimacy in photography. As soon as we have somebody naked in a remote location (tree, lake, desert) or in an enclosed space (hotel room, house), there is this tendency to give intimacy to the shot. In some cases this is the case, as with Sally Mann's Immediate Family, where the artist photographed her own children for years. But more often than not, just an illusion of closeness is created. The nudes of 100th East Street by Bruce Davidson comes to mind. I like the work, but, what's their purpose and how did the photographer get there? It's not as clear cut as Mann's work.

Anyway, if you like the nudity = intimacy equation, you might want to sign up for the newsletter Nofound(secret). It's limited to 5000 subscriptors.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Fuck, let's do it, and cheap

For me one of the main problems I have with photography is that there's not much for show where I live. Yeah, we have the ffotogallery that's cool but it's a) miles away, and b) very small. When I look at prints (and I've seen loads), I don't see them as extremely expensive items. Of course, with speculation some pieces might go for ridiculous prices, but if I asked a photographer mate of mine to send me a dozen of 8x10'' prints, it wouldn't cost him that much. That's why I set up the Dr Karanka's Print Stravaganza, which is now on a world tour. I mean, come on, if you love photography you can move your butt and send a few cool prints. And I can do my part and stick them up somewhere. And you, lurker, pop by and have a beer. Seriously, that simple, and with good results.

First I had it at home. It was pretty cool, but there wasn't that many people. The space was ok, but to make the most of it everything worked by blue tack and no attempts of framing:

Then I found a social club that gave me a room to show in. Again, very few people, but a pretty cool place to show with nice atmosphere and good beer. The show was further smartened up by using frames:

Then the whole lot of prints went to Bologna, Italy. We had a whole social house in an old market to work in. I mean, it was massive. Luckily the guys of Fotografi di Strada (twelve, fifteen of them?) were around for a good six hours of work sorting through prints, editing, sticking, gluing, making panels, hanging stuff. This time we had so much space that we arranged some 'solo' walls. On top of that there were three bands and two dj's. The whole thing carried on till 7am.

What I'm trying to say is, if you love photography, it's time to stop complaining and starting to do stuff. It doesn't need to be expensive, you don't have to do it every week, but let's just fucking throw a ball every now and then. If I get any kind of random invitation I'll most probably accept than decline, and most probably promote it too. I must say I'm quite busy, though, trying to get the photography collective I am part of into an organization that can also promote some shows. But also trying to sneak some vans displaying photography into Rencontres d'Arles. I must say this last idea is by Laura Rodari, but it's too cool to not think about it.

(Photographs, in order, by Joni Karanka, Maciej Dakowicz, David Wilson and pizzafellas.)

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Dr Karanka's Print Stravaganza @ Bologna

Dr Karanka's Print Stravaganza keeps on growing and opens on Saturday at XM24 in Bologna. The event will have also plenty of music and assorted mayhem. If you're around that bit of Italy, pop in for a beer and say hello. You might even enjoy the Bitchy Heart Killers, who knows.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Diane Arbus in Cardiff

There will be an exhibition of 69 prints by Diane Arbus at the National Museum here in Cardiff on the 9th of May (although I can't find it on their site). If you can, contact the Museum about the opening event taking place on the 7th of May...

I managed to find a note about the whole thing in USA Today. Worryingly little publicity about this, so I'll try to confirm my rvsp.