Visit the artists website.
From the Artist’s Statement:
“The haunting beauty of Parlá’s dense calligraphic line often dissolves into
organic and abstract shapes that resemble drawing rather than writing. In their
multi layered complexity José’s paintings draw the viewer into their
indecipherable depths, but once there, once we have given up the attempt to read
for “content,” we are subsumed in the play of line and color – blues, cool whites,
rusts, reds and umber – drawn further and further into a mesmerizing depth
where stories both happy and sad play out, summoning emotions about life, love,
friends, politics, and sex.”
Greg Tate writes:
“There’s a saying that goes ‘if walls could talk’. Parlá’s art arranges means
for the walls to speak in several tongues simultaneously via his ‘diaristic’ mode
of ‘handstyle’ glyphs that embrace the calligraphic futurism of graf, and through
well-worked loquacious patinas that elegiacally address the glorious entropy
of urban collapse, anarchy and civil regeneration. The artist’s own conceptual
take on his art is embedded in descriptions of it as ‘psycho-geography’, ‘a
segmented reality’ and as revelations of the ‘memory in the walls’’.
Here are some of the fascinating entries in the Dollar Redesign Project. Many more on their site.
“We are a team of two artists who work together under the name Mercury Vapor Studio. Adrain Chesser was given his first camera more than 20 years ago and has been taking pictures ever since. He is a photographer who over the years has developed a working style which often involves using aspects of ritual to capture his photographs. Timothy White Eagle spent his twenties involved in theater, visual and performance art. He spent his thirties diving deeply into ceremonial ritual, working extensively with native American, pagan and Haitian traditions.”
“Together we explore the intersection between art and ritual. We use ritual to create an environment of opening and safety. Together with our subjects we go into an undiscovered country. We ask our subjects to expose their truth. Through our lens we seek that same truth. We do our best not to expect anything in particular from a shoot. We play the sacred fool stepping off the cliff, trusting that we have everything we need.”
Landscape as inhabitations experienced by people of various socio-economic status, race, and class…
Landscape as spiritual or allegorical visages and the detritus in our wake…
Emotional intersections that have indistinct borders as much on actual land as they do in our experience of our environment, whether it be and exterior or interior space.
“The poet makes himself a seer by a long, prodigious, and rational disordering of all the senses. Every form of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he consumes all the poisons in him, and keeps only their quintessences.” —Aurthor Rimbaud
“Equivalence is a pregnant discipline. Hence the photography that grows out of its practice is bound to develop and change with the photographers and writers on photographic criticism who become mature enough to understand the nature of the theory or approach. The Equivalent is one of those ideas that in practice grows by the efforts and accomplishments of the people who explore it.”
“…photographs originate in a known feeling state. They are not self-expressive, or self-searching; they are self-found. Communication is of no importance, evocation of little significance, competition nonexistent. They are shown as an event out of which Equivalence might occur. The possibility of the reader’s being confronted with something of himself is their only reason for being reproduced. They will function as mirrors of the viewer, whether he admits it or not. It will not be pointed out which of the images knows happiness, the one that knows anger, or the one that knows sadness because viewers of photographs need the opportunity to learn faith in their own feelings.”
Steven B. Smith is a photographer whose work chronicles the transition of the Western landscape into suburbia. For this work he was awarded the First Book Prize for Photography by the Honickman Foundation and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. His book The Weather and a Place to Live: Photographs of the Suburban West was published by Duke University Press (2005). He has received Guggenheim and Aaron Siskind Fellowship.
“When I encountered developers or other construction people, they tended to be pretty conservative, and they’d let me know my views weren’t really appreciated. [Laughs.] But I tried to avoid asking them what they thought—politically, I’m not in favor of this massive expansion and development.”
The Artist on his work from a lecture series at ICP.
There are moments in history, however, that accelerate the rate of urban change: warfare, changes of regime, transformations of social structure, economic prosperity. These moments force societies to evaluate their relationship to their own history and their attitude to their future, in turn affecting their relationship to their environments.
China presently finds itself in one of these moments, as its recent transformations in politics, society, and economics have triggered changes to its cities to a degree not previously seen in its contemporary history. . .” — Sze Tsung Leong
“I’ve come to believe that beauty can be a very powerful conveyor of difficult ideas.”—Richard Misrach
French photographer Stephané Couturier blurs the line between landscape, architecture, humanity and dissolution.
between past and future…
exponential destinies and probabilities
of what we are becoming
and what we have lost.
Interesting artwork from Dutch artist Hannke Treffers, aka Handiedan.
Its funny what we “see” and what we don’t when we are looking at art or anything in front of us. I started thinking about landscapes when I was growing up in Hopewell VA. I watched as the town essentially disintegrated into urban blight and suburban sprawl, consuming the land as it went, leaving ugly swathes of debris, vast empty parking lots, and more than a few shuttered shopping malls in it’s wake. The center of town was flattened. Only a few buildings remain of the original “downtown.” I was simultaneously repulsed and attracted to these ruins. Repulsed by the thoughtlessness of it, and attracted to them for the purpose of deciphering what really happened.
Only later when I encountered works by Laura McPhee, Stephen Shore, Sally Mann, Richard Misrach and David Maisel did something click. A bigger picture began to emerge.
What do you see?
My first impressions were simply renderings of the epic defiling of nature by civilization, but it has since broadened to be something much more. More subtle, and strange.
So many artists doing incredible work…(future posts will focus on some of these)
I know there is much discussion of this topic, classes devoted to it, and plenty of media attention, but I have yet to see a major museum mount a curated exhibit of the most intriguing work in this area. If you are aware of one, please let me know the details.
In the mean time I’ve decided to curate something myself.
I am exploring different bodies of work for a dry run on this blog, and if that is successful, then perhaps a more formal presentation and text in the upcoming issue (5) of my art journal Fluxion.
In Geological history we are in the middle of the Holocene Epoch, a division of the Quaternary period.
Recently, the term “Anthropocene” was debated by some scientists to describe the most recent period in the Earth’s history—and the notion that civilization is now reshaping the earth more than nature itself.
In my view many of these photographers are giving us glimpses of this new reality.
Adi Nes is an Israeli photographer. His images are complex stagings that deal with issues of identity: masculinity, homoeroticism and other issues connected with Israeli identity.
He is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery.
A collection of his images called Adi Nes was self published in 2007.
Another collection called Adi Nes: Photographs was published by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2003.
More on the artist at wikipedia.
I went to LACMA today see see a few amazing exhibits before they closed.
The exhibit also included an incredible installation by including Natalie Bookchin
“Testament is a series of collective self-portraits made up of fragments from online video diaries, or “vlogs”. Chapters focus on a collectively told vignette, story, proclamation, or meditation on topics such as identity, the economy, illness, politics, the war, or work. Testament explores the formal and conceptual consequences of online video viewing and sharing, while analyzing contemporary expressions of self, and the stories we are currently telling online about our lives and our circumstances.”
interestingly while surfing random topics and blogs I also ran across a quirky vlog that lead me to a random string of “coming out” vlogs on YouTube. I rarely watch stuff on you tube but I ended up watching several of these. I was really moved. Amazing stuff!
The exhibit New Topographics is of particular interest to me. This exhibit was originally an exhibition curated by William Jenkins at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, in January 1975. This was first exhibit to reassess landscape photography and to reexamine the concept and definition of “Landscape.”
In recent years this has become a much more popular area for artists to explore. LACMA’s restaging has it’s own update, but mostly in the form of books on view and one installation by Edward Burtynksy.
More than two-thirds of the photographs by the original ten participants—Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, Nicholas Nixon, John Schott, Stephen Shore, and Henry Wessel, Jr. are displayed.
I grew up in a rust belt town, Hopewell Virginia. I was always fascinated by pipe cities and the smoke stacks that billowed out white smoke all day and created an eerie reddish glow at night. The original town was leveled in the early 70s and what was left was an awkward mish-mash of parking lots, ill positioned fast food restaurants and car dealerships.
the tight knit immigrant lead community collapsed over the decade and poor municipal management left the city a virtual ghost town ringed with malls and franchise ghettos.
It wasn’t until I moved to the west and was overwhelmed by the majestic natural landscape that I realized what a violation towns like grew up in had become. I started looking more critically at the space around me… and my definition of landscape broadened considerably. I was excited when I saw an exhibit from the 70s, when I questioned my own ideas about what was and what wasn’t landscape, that others were asking and exploring these same questions too. It was an important validation.
In college I started photographic local industrial ruins, intersections of urban development and nature, and more closely the surfaces of some of these spaces.
I’ve become interested again in landscape photography in recent years… and particularly fascinated by new work being done and a wide array of artists who are able to travel with their discerning eye to capture an emerging picture of the radically transforming landscape around us.
This exhibit was a great introduction to the first ways artists began to rethink landscape in the face of the spread of human habitation and development.
More on this subject soon.