by MÃ rten Lange. More here.
Says American Suburb X:
In the early 1900s,Â Ernest J. Bellocq carried his 8 x 10-inch view camera across Basin Street to photograph the women of New Orleans’ notorious district of legalized prostitution, Storyville. His private photographic project remained unknown until after his death, but eventually found its way to international acclaim. Yet virtually no prostitute portraits printed by Bellocq himself have surfaced. He kept his Storyville project secret from everyone except a few of his closest friends, and it remained secret until his glass negative plates were discovered languishing in a junk shop years after his death.
In 1967, Master photographerÂ Lee Friedlander acquired and began to make prints from Bellocq’s glass negative plates, and the Museum of Modern Art hung an exhibition of them in 1970. Bellocq then took his place as the photography world’s best-known photographer of prostitutes.
Find full article here.
Images by Verner Soler.
“I try and visit my family once a year, and every time I brace myself for the shock of seeing them age in yearly increments. The ensuing typology includes over seventy relatives spanning three generations so far. Their faces are photographed straight on, from each side, and under the same exact lighting conditions, achieving an objective comparison of facial features.”
(Via Exposures blog.)
As you probably heard already, Larry Sultan–influential American photographer–died some days ago.
As I was looking through some of his images, I remembered a great picture (‘Dad on Bed’) and a great lil text on the BBC website:
Some artists have confronted the role photography itself has played in creating and complicating our sense of domestic life. Larry Sultan photographed his father and family over a ten year period spanning the 70s and 80s as part of an elaborate project that included his parents own photos, home movies and statements. This was the Reagan era which preached the values of family life, a version Sultan didn’t recognise.
“Photography is there to construct the idea of us as a great family and we go on vacations and take these pictures and then we look at them later and we say, ‘Isn’t this a great family?’ So photography is instrumental in creating family not only as a memento, a souvenir, but also a kind of mythology.” (Larry Sultan)
As Larry set about creating his version of the Sultan family experience, his father Irvin struggled with the role his son now gave him, as the following exchange reveals:
Irvin: â€œI’d get set, I’d get comfortable and he says to me ‘Don’t smile’, which would absolutely irritate me because when he says ‘Don’t smile’ in my own mind I have no idea what he is projecting. What is he trying to tell me to do?” “I remember that picture so distinctly sitting on the bed, shirt and tie dressed up and I looked like a full on lost soul and I look at the picture and I say ‘That’s not me!’”
Larry: “In fact you went even further you said, ‘That’s not me sitting on the bed that’s you sitting on the bed. That’s a self portrait’. And I thought that was right. And you said this too, you said ‘Any time you show that picture you tell people that that’s not me sitting on the bed looking all dressed up and nowhere to go, depressed. That’s you sitting on the bed and I am happy to help you with the project but let’s get things straight here!’”
“The daily practice of a photographer is to be distanced, to have a little bit of room between what you’re doing and how you see, what you look at. For me the biggest surprise was that the distance I thought I needed as a photographer slipped. It wasn’t about ‘these’ people it was about ‘us’.”
You can also read an article about him on the New York Times, right here.
Images and text by Larry Sultan.
“Just Another Day in the Valley – Where ordinary homes are put to extraordinary use.”
Itâ€™s time for lunch. The sounds of clattering plates and muffled conversations drift upstairs. In cool, dark rooms, amber light glows through shades drawn in the middle of the summer day. Someone is napping fitfully. Heâ€™s bored rather than tired. He wakes up with a feeling of dread. In those first moments of confusion, he tries to assess which house he is in and what heâ€™s doing there.
Downstairs, everyone has gathered in the large two-car garage. Folding tables have been set up with an array of cold cuts: stacks of wheat and rye bread, potato salad, paper bowls filled with cashews and M&Mâ€™s. There is a large platter of jumbo shrimp arranged in a circle around a head of lettuce. A tall woman wearing a T-shirt and thong spears one with a toothpick. Balancing paper plates filled with food, people drift into the back yard, a large grassy area with uninterrupted views of the San Fernando Valley. They look like friends and lovers having a Sunday picnic as they lie about in small groups in the few areas shaded by sycamore trees. To the far side of the yard, crew members are beginning to set up movie lights and a stand with a large silver reflector. On the lawn is a huge wind fan, and next to it Michael, the director, is talking with his wife, Julie Anne, whoâ€™s wearing a flowing pink dressing gown with a white fur collar. Her clear acrylic high heels are sinking into the grass, and he offers her his arm as she reaches back to pull off her shoe. Directly behind them, near the edge of the yard where the lawn ends abruptly in a vertical drop, stand 5-foot-tall letters cut from plywood, painted white and anchored in the ground with diagonal supports. DOOWYLLOH. It takes a moment to make sense of it, but then itâ€™s as clear as the day: Facing out toward miles of subdivisions and malls, a miniature version of the sign â€” Hollywood in the Valley.
Via American Suburb X.
Full text here.
Ahh. I confess: I have been going through an intoxicatingÂ TED overdose. First I got excited reading about the recently announcedÂ TED 2010 Fellows, whom I am tremendously eager to meet in a couple of months. Then, on Thursday, I got sent my first official TED Senior Fellow plane ticket. SÃ sÃ sÃ: Â February at Long Beach. Should be mind-blowing, once again…
And so, while a certain post-TED countdown and another pre-TED countdown occupy my head, I have been diving into the new videos: do take a look at the one above if you have not yet.
Says their website:
“Pranav Mistry is the MIT grad student behind Sixth Sense, a tool that connects the physical world with the world of data. He and his advisor at the MIT Media Lab, Pattie Maes, unveiled Sixth Sense at TED2009, and the Sixth Sense demo premiered yesterday on TED.com — and in both places, it has fired people’s imaginations.”
(You can also read a TED Q&A with Pranav.)
(And our dear Black, from the MIT Media Lab, if you are telekinetically present: would you care to comment about the Sixth Sense, as you did before? Unos meses mÃ¡s tarde, cÃ³mo se ve la cosa…)
Says Amy Stein’s blog:
Meshes of the Afternoon is groundbreaking avant-garde film from 1943. It was directed by the greatÂ Maya Deren andÂ Alexander Hammid. If it feels vaguely familiar to you it may because it was a major influence on David Lynch and his filmsÂ Lost Highway andÂ Inland Empire.
(In two parts. Look for the second half on You Tube.)
(Out of This Spark Records . 2009)
A peticiÃ³n, reposteando un Track of the week del pasado.
Images by Carlos Casas.Â From The End trilogy.
Carlitos Casas. Filmmaker, visual artist, sound artist and somewhat of a poet of the everyday. Oh: and TÃ³xico Padrino extraordinaire.
“The trilogy of films dedicated the most extreme environments on the planet, I was interested in living in these lands trying to capture those lives styles which are dissapearing, I was interested in the collective imaginary of these places and their mythic idea of the end of the world. I was interested in landscapes, places that carried in a certain way a feeling of the â€œEndâ€, through abandonness, remoteness, harshness of the land and of course living conditions, places that could represent in a way a post apocalyptic future scenario and at the same time a certain archaic civilisation feeling.Â I was interested in the people living in this peripheries of civilization and how they survive their everyday life, why they were here and how they were managing to survive. I was interested in living among them, following their rhythms and trying to understand their ways, their reasons.”
(Take a look at his website for more images, films, texts and sounds.)
(And click here to learn about MAP Productions: a headquarter for the creation cultural projects–based in Paris and Uzbekistan– Â that Carlos recently created with his wife Saodat Ismailova, also an award-winning filmmaker, and one of the most incredible women I know.)
(Carlos is also part of La Otra Maleta Mexicana, a collective art project created by TÃ³xico that is now showing Â in Cuba)
JerÃ³nimo “Peto” Reyes, a young graphic designer and visual artist, is at FABRICA as I write, on his trial period, thanks to a TÃ³xico connection.
Peto was part of La Incubadora, a multidisciplinary educational pilot program created by TÃ³xico for a private university in Mexico, and also part of the FABRICA portfolio reviews organized by TÃ³xico.
We wish him luck. We are happy he is there.
Because one of the things we love doing at TÃ³xico, and will be doing so every time more often, is connecting talented mexican creatives with interesting projects in other parts of the world.
Female Photographer Seeks Portrait Subjects, by Siri Kaur. More here.
“These are photographs of strangers, people I donâ€™t know, whose lives I discover through the act of photography. The strangers select themselves by responding to notices I post around town and online, announcing, â€œFemale Photographer Seeks Portrait Subjects. All Ages, Shapes, Sizes Welcome.â€ Giving me permission to enter their lives long enough to create a portrait nurtures a deep-seated curiosity I have nurtured my whole life. My role as photographer gives me access to these anonymous existences. My images are concrete fictions: they are my fantasies about the lives of people who willingly invite me into their homes. My strangers are willing participants in this fantasy. “
(“The wind up at dusk and the leaves in squalls and the birds flying into the wind-backed leaves so that in the lost light I could not say where the leaves stopped and the birds began. I try to distinguish but at crucial moments the space between carefully separated objects collapses and I too am whirled up against my will into the dervish of matter. The difficultly is that every firm step I win out of chaos is a firm step towards…more chaos. I throw a rope bridge, haul myself across the gap, and huddled on the little outcrop, safe for now, observe the view. What is the view? Another gap, another stretch of water. The probability of separate worlds meeting is very small. The lure of it is immense. We send starships. We fall in love. Whatever it is that pulls the pin, that hurls you past the boundaries of your own life into a briefÂ beauty, even for a moment, it is enough.”
“LlamarÃ© demoniaca a esa inquietud innata, y escencial a todo hombre, que lo separa de sÃ mismo y lo arrastra hacia lo infinito, hacia lo elemental. Es como si la naturaleza hubiese dejado una pequeÃ±a porciÃ³n de aquel caos primitivo dentro de cada alma y esa parte quisiera volver a lo elemental de donde saliÃ³: a lo ultrahumano, a lo abstracto.”
Images by Lauren Greenfield.
Says James Estrin, from The New York Times:
“They journeyed to the desert emirate of Dubai by the tens of thousands. Laborers from small towns on the Indian subcontinent and white-collar executives from the capitals of Europe. They came seeking fortune, and they built a modern city unlike any the world had ever seen: a city with the worldâ€™s largest tower, an indoor ski slope and a honeymoon suite with a live whale shark in the window.
A city where anything was possible. Sand too hot? Then build a beach with underground refrigeration.
As the orgy of building ground to a halt earlier this year, the photographer Lauren Greenfield set out to tell the story of Dubai and the foreign workers who make up most of its population.
â€œI call the story an improbable fairy tale,â€ Ms. Greenfield said. â€œAnything that could be fantasized could be built. It really was the land of opportunity. Itâ€™s more Las Vegas than Las Vegas.â€
Read full story and see complete photo gallery here.
Found via bldg blog.
Ah, yes. The news in now official:
I have been chosen as a TED Senior Fellow.
Not only am I incredibly excited to be able to personally attend TED during the next three years, but also deliriously happy to be part of such an amazing group of people from all over the world.
The TED Senior Fellowship will be a beautiful excuse to take the TÃ³xico platform to the next level, and many new multidisciplinary cultural projects are on their way; most of them with the support and council of the oh so very impressive TED platform.
So more news soon, right here, very soon.
And thank you to the amazing TED team for the vote of confidence. We will do all we can to grow to the measure of new expectations.
TED CONFERENCE ANNOUNCES THE 2010 SENIOR FELLOWS
20 outstanding individuals chosen for three-year fellowship
NEW YORK, December 1, 2009 â€” Organizers of the TED Conference today announced the inaugural class of TED Senior Fellows.
The TED Senior Fellows program is an extended, three-year fellowship awarded to 20 individuals from the disciplines of arts, science, entrepreneurship, the NGO sector and education. Senior Fellows are selected from the previous yearâ€™s class of TED Fellows. Over the course of their Senior Fellowships, the Senior Fellows will work on projects within their individual disciplines.
Benefits to the Senior Fellows include attending five additional TED conferences (TED and TEDGlobal), participating in five Senior Fellows pre-conferences, the potential to deliver a full-length talk on the TED University or main TED stage, and the possibility to have that talk posted on TED.com.
The Senior Fellows’ responsibilities include mentoring the newer Fellows, holding a TEDx event in their communities, posting on the TED Fellows blog, and year-round participation in the TED community.
â€œOf the 65 outstanding Fellows that joined us at TED and TEDGlobal this past year, we are thrilled to welcome 20 into the Senior Fellows program,â€ says Tom Rielly, TED Fellows Director. â€œThis group is especially important to us, as they pioneered the Fellows program. We look forward to helping them grow as leaders, and to assisting them to further their important work.â€
Meet the 2010 TED Senior Fellows: