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Author:Sol Henaro
  Or a visual fold to alter identity and other forms of splitting   It is tempting to imagine oneself as someone else. In literature, the use of pseudonyms and pen-names is common and has given rise to key figures such as Georges Sand (Amandine Aurore Lucie Dupin), Álvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis (Fernando Pessoa). There are also examples in the visual arts. In fact, one of the most significant and best-known identities in contemporary art is that of Rose Sélavy (C’est la vie!), Marcel Duchamp’s alter ego.     Sandra Valenzuela’s SandraSAN exhibition shows the artist’s interest in discovering (himself) in the intricate territory of the construction-deconstruction of identity and of experiencing splitting as a sort of game and particularly as a sort of visual thesis-in-progress. The title itself raises a question: who is SandraSAN? Is the person who appears in the images of Sandra Valenzuela that alias, alter ego, pseudonym or pen-name who answers to the name of SandraSAN? Who do I see when I see her? The works comprising this exhibition contain several self-referential features. Although Sandra's interests do not necessarily focus on gender studies, some of her works do explore this issue. For example, in “Paco,” (from the series on ex-boyfriends or false memories), Sandra uses her immediate past by altering facts, time, her own and others' conditions by exchanging roles, perhaps as an allusion and recognition of the fact that Rose Sélavy has of her own artistic work.   The project in progress, “Fashion Geniuses,” operates, in Sandra’s words, as a pantheon of muses, as my pantheon of influences. These characters are her other boyfriends, characters that expanded definitions and possibilities for contemporary culture and are often exploited to the extent that they become equivalent to a make or label or logo. The “over-use” of some characters and concepts and the place Rose Sélavy holds for Sandra Valenzuela enabled her to establish this ironic approval with Gropius, Deleuze, Cage and Duchamp, among others.     Absolutely constructed, each of the images that comprise ─and show─ SandraSAN, evince Sandra’s compulsive control over each of her productions. Her attention to the smallest detail, obsession with reducing accidents and an unusual ability to blend and shift between various functions (management, production, performance and modeling) are established characteristics of her artistic production.   Visit the Sandra San's work:   ** Sol Henaro is currently a grant-holder in the program for overseas studies at the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA) and the Jumex Foundation/Collection.    
Friday, 08 October 2010
  En un momento en el que la noción de vida se sitúa de nuevo en un terreno incierto, un amplio abanico de iniciativas artísticas se reúnen para ilustrar e investigar este fenómeno, examinando el impacto en la conciencia colectiva y el modo en el que se manifiesta en el pensamiento cultural, tecnológico y social.   En la última década VIDA ha venido reuniendo en un mismo espacio formal proyectos interdisciplinares que responden a esta situación. Por medio de estrategias formales que desafían los límites entre las prácticas existentes, estos proyectos ofrecen nuevos modos de pensar acerca de aquello que entendemos por vida y por vida artificial.   Fundación Telefónica convoca VIDA 13.0 Concurso Internacional Arte y Vida Artificial, que durante los últimos doce años ha venido premiando proyectos artísticos desarrollados con medios tecnológicos que ofrecen planteamientos innovadores a la investigación de la vida artificial.   Puede tratarse de proyectos que se basen en sistemas que emulan, imitan o especulan sobre la noción de vida a través de las investigaciones y las tecnologías actuales. Estos sistemas pueden presentar atributos de agencia y autonomía, que muestren un comportamiento propio, que sean dinámicos, reaccionen a su entorno y evolucionen, y que cuestionen las fronteras entre lo vivo y lo no vivo, entre la vida sintética y la vida orgánica.   Mayores informes      
Thursday, 07 October 2010
Author:Toledano, Phillip
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 | Read more
Rediscovered Spanish Civil War negatives by Capa, Chim, and Taro SEPTEMBER 24–JANUARY 9, 2011     The Mexican Suitcase will for the first time give the public an opportunity to experience images drawn from this famous collection of recovered negatives. In December 2007, three boxes filled with rolls of film, containing 4,500 35mm negatives of the Spanish Civil War by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and Chim (David Seymour)—which had been considered lost since 1939—arrived at the International Center of Photography. These three photographers, who lived in Paris, worked in Spain, and published internationally, laid the foundation for modern war photography. Their work has long been considered some of the most innovative and passionate coverage of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). Many of the contact sheets made from the negatives will be on view as part of the exhibition, which will look closely at some of the major stories by Capa, Taro, and Chim as interpreted through the individual frames. These images will be seen alongside the magazines of the period in which they were published and with the photographers' own contact notebooks. The exhibition is organized by ICP assistant curator Cynthia Young.   This exhibition and its catalogue were made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts, Frank and Mary Ann Arisman, Christian Keesee, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support was received from Sandy and Ellen Luger, Bruce and Lois Zenkel, the Strand Hotel, New York, the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain's Ministry of Culture and United States Universities, and the Consulate General of Spain in New York.   Visit the exhibition in our gallery section:  
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Author:Rob MacInnis
Thursday, 23 September 2010 | Read more
Author:Steketee, Liz
Tuesday, 21 September 2010 | Read more
Author:Fernando Castro
Haiku for Jay across your smile forever flow together those two waterfalls Teresa Bordona (Inspired by Jay’s photo “Cachoeira fumaca” 2007.)     Jay Colton (1953-2010) and I were friends since I was fifteen years old. We both attended the same high school in New York. It was at his parents’ house that I received my first photographic education. There I first saw fine photography books by Eikoh Hosoe, Eugene Smith, Yousuf Karsh, etc. –many of them dedicated by the authors to Jay’s father, William "Sandy" Colton, photo-editor for Associated Press. On the walls of their Parkway Village home there were Pulitzer Prize winning photographs like Joe Rosenthal’s marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. Jay’s mother, Sanae Yamazaki, was the first woman art director at Time Inc. In 1968 when she visited her family in Japan, she brought me back my first serious photographic camera: an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic. Jay’s first successful career was as a chef. A Cue magazine culinary critic once called him “the Magician” –for he seamlessly combined the flavors of French and Japanese cuisines. It was only later that he became a photo-editor, eventually finishing that career at Time Magazine. As photo-editor, Jay won numerous awards, but as well-deserved as all of those accolades are, they speak little of the great adventure that we both shared. In addition to photography, together we discovered the poetry of Octavio Paz, Javier Heraud, and ee cummings; the prose of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Yasunari Kawabata and Gabriel García Márquez; the music of Jefferson Airplane, Baden Powell, J.S. Bach, McCoy Tyner, and Miles Davis; the films of Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa; and of course, the great paintings at MoMA –by Claude Monet, Francis Bacon, Jackson Pollock, and above all, Pablo Picasso. Although during some periods of our lives we got separated, our friendship never dwindled. Jay went to the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival and I didn’t; he went to live in L.A., I went to Peru; I came to live in Houston, he stayed in New York.   Fernando Castro R. I urge you to visit:  
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Author:Alejandro Malo
All you have to is spend a few minutes in any social network such as Facebook or an instant messaging system such as Messenger to realize that portraits and self-portraits have taken over a central position in photography through avatars. At the same time, faced with this vast universe of faces, it is difficult not to perceive fertile terrain for fiction where, from one moment to the next, we nearly all represent some form of fantasy. A glamorous gesture, an incidental scene or the play of expressionistic lights transforms us into the lead player of our hopes and fears. It is as though photography itself mocked the testimonial value that many have imposed on it and demanded, with the complicity of imaginative avatars, a form of freedom that had been delayed for a long time.   It is easy to forget that the history of this medium has been ideal for such paradoxes since its origins: in 1840, Hippolyte Bayard created a self-portrait of himself as a drowned man and on the other side, he denounced the fact that his suicide was the result of the lack of financial support received from the French government, despite his discovery of a photographic process equivalent and prior to Daguerre's. Perhaps revealing his abandoned body in this first photographic setting gave him the tranquility to live another 37 years and enabled him to reveal the fragility of the image as testimony. At the same time, one could also argue that this photo provided a true reflection of his mood.     Over the next few decades, this concern with portraits as a fantasy enabling one to see the hidden or unexplored face of the person being portrayed, would be increasingly recurrent. So it was that during the last decade of the 19th century, Maurice Guibert recorded Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s image in many disguises and even in a photomontage where he poses for himself. It is highly likely that a previous photomontage should have included someone who was duplicated in the image. This may be where the incarnation of the doppelganger was glimpsed for the first time, in other words, an identical person but with different attitudes. It is in this divergence that we see the seed of a current need. Since photography has collaborated with technological progress in reducing the world, it has shown us the infinite possibilities within reach of our lives and encourages us to dream about others. Like Mephistopholes to Faust, it offers us the possibility of leading a completely different life from the one we have. It invites us to face our own demons through the representation of the other egos, those alter egos that slip away through our fantasies or a doppelganger, that intriguing double that acts in opposition to us and deep down, may express everything we repress.      
Monday, 13 September 2010
Author:Antoinette De Jong and Robert Knoth
  PDF download   The project Poppy - Trails of Afghan heroin, is a project of Antoinette de Jong and Robert Knoth.   Starting from the political destabilisation of Afghanistan, the project sketches the impact of this historic event for countries worldwide within the last 20 years. The material accumulated during the dozens of trips Knoth and De Jong made over the course of these 17 years shows how the devastating effects of Afghan heroin differ between locations. Following the trail from country to country, these effects are visualised to form an historical and political narrative. This book dummy contains a small selection from all countries that will be subject to the final book  
Monday, 13 September 2010
Author:Twins, The Jackson
Thursday, 09 September 2010 | Read more
Author:Goldkind, Joy
Thursday, 09 September 2010 | Read more
Author:Anna Holtzman
In her haunting series of black and white portraits titled Girlfriends, Long Island-based photographer Joy Goldkind reveals a world of paradoxes. A mother of three, the Brooklyn-born Goldkind began taking pictures after her daughters left home for college, and she enrolled in a photography class on a whim. The work that emerges from what is now an abiding passion is not what one would expect from a suburban mom of 64 whose husband works in the scrap metal business - especially when one discovers that her husband is the model for the series.     When embarking on the ongoing Girlfriends project in 2000, Goldkind set out to make images that would explore the unexpected aspects of the subject's persona lying hidden beneath the surface. However, the series began as a casual set of experiments - "a Sunday project" - that developed into a more cohesive study over time. "The project started with the idea of doing costuming, and kind of got out of hand," the artist relates. In his line of work, Goldkind's husband is surrounded by a world that embodies a traditionally macho ethic - and when he is not running his scrap metal business, his hobby is driving Formula Atlantic racecars. "The project took a man that was so much a 'man,'" she explains, "and it showed a different side of him. Underneath being a tough guy, he's really very vulnerable - and a little on the strange side." Goldkind emphasises, "It wasn't meant to be a comedy," but rather a serious investigation into the unseen complexities beneath a person's exterior.   Despite his ultra-masculine pastimes, Goldkind says that her husband was a willing participant from the start. "He was very much excited to be a part of whatever I 'was doing," she asserts, "and he was excited by the fact that [the images were selected for] a lot of museum shows." Yet when it came to inventing the characters that her husband would portray, the photographer saysthat the processwas decidedly not a collaboration. "That was mine," she states, "and I actually got annoyed if he gave me a character." In an amusing paradox, while the artist mandated that her husband don women's clothing, she admits to being bothered by his enthusiasm for the game. "He seemed to enjoy me putting makeup on him - and that really disturbed me. We're married 40 years and have three kids. [The images aren't intended to imply] that he has a gay streak-but he definitely liked being dressed up!" Acknowledqinq the irony of her discomfort with the situation she created, she elaborates, "He's a man from the 60s. Today, men have a soft side, but back then they had to be tough."   The first of the portraits, titled Lulu, shows the subject dressed as a Geisha, with a lacy fan, kimono, and traditional whiteface makeup. Goldkind sent that photo to a juried show, and it began to win prizes, "50 I knew there was something there," she says. The prom queen photo (Anabel/a) also did well in competitions. "It was exciting to be at the beginning of my photography [career] and doing so well," she recalls.   Previous to devoting herself to art photography, Goldkind had worked as a children's-wear designer in New York City, and began her evolution as a photographer at 50. "1 was a mother of three daughters," she says. "1 took a photography classand when I saw my daughters' eyes come up in the water, that was it." Goldkind was hooked . "After that, I couldn't get enough of it. I was possessedby the whole technical side of it, and I learned all of the different processes."   She has worked with everything from wet-plate collodion photography to platinum prints, only eschewing digital photography.   She now works exclusively with the time-consuming and labour-intensive Bromoil process, in which a silver gelatin print is bleached to remove the silver and then inked with lithograph ink. "1 got serious about photography when I found the Bromo process [in 2000]," Goldkind says. "1 found that I could manipulate the processto take things even more out of reality. Things started to get more abstract than [traditional] portraiture." She continues, "The process was so flexible and had so much creative potential that it really excited me. I took it away from the true pictorial and played with it in a much looser way." She notes, however, that in terms of technical aspects, she adheres strictly to the traditional Bromo process, and to the hand-made ethos that confers a distinctive physical quality to the finished product.   The artist shoots 4 x 5 images, and Goldkind relays that while her husband had plenty of patience for being outfitted with dresses and makeup, his patience evaporated when it came to actually snapping the slow-exposure pictures. "It shows in his face," the artist says. "It would take about a minute to pose, and then it was, 'hurry up and take the picture'." She muses, "1 think it worked very well, because the series was shot over a period of years, and yet the face of the character is exactly identicalin each one."   Her more recent series,Adagio, comprises portraitsof dancers in timed-exposure images. As with the Girlfriends series, these photos are carefully stagedin the artist's small studio, "under hot lights, the whole thing." This project began after Goldkind was asked to take some photographs for a book on dancers, which led her into contact with a number of performers whom she would work with repeatedly over time. Accommodating themselves to the limited spaceof her studio was challenging for the dancers, she says, but the timed exposure allowed her to convey movement within these confines. Through this work, she says, "I've met so many people from so many dance companies, and I've done so many women; now I'm doing men." She plans to include her husband in the Adagio series as well. It remains to be seen whether the different circumstances of this serieswill elicit the same facial expression that unifies the Girlfriends - or whether an entirely new alter ego will emerge when put into the motion of dance.   © All pictures: Joy Goldkind, Eyemazing Contest Winner, 2007. Courtesy William Goldkind Representing galleries: JohnStevensonGallery, NYC, USA, | Photography414, Freicksburg, Gallery Imperato, Baltimore, | Appel Gallery, Sacramento,  Photoeye/photoshowcase, SantaFe, Exhibitions: April 2008 reception 28 march 2008 | Photography 414, Fredricksburg September 2008 | Callery Imperato, Baltimore Publication 2008: Joy Goldkind artworkswill be publishedin "Alternate photographic Processes" 2nd edition, by Christopher James  
Friday, 03 September 2010
Author:Nigenda, Gerardo
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 | Read more
Author:(Interview) Blacklash*
The Jackson Twins are best described in their own words: “Our work pays particular focus to ‘the twin’, what it is to be an identical being – to in essence, share an identity with your double. We explore the worldwide fascination with twins: in terms of the pop culture fixation of the ‘evil-twin’, the depths of the twin in folklore (the doppelganger) and the themes explored through psychology and psychoanalysis (nature versus nurture, ESP, Frued and Rank’s theories, etc). We aim to take advantage of the visual power – the awkwardness, the lack of fit and belonging, the freakish feel – of the twin motif. Within the performance of our self-portraits we illustrate the relevance of such an evocative motif in the context of a culture still fixated on the individual.”   Wow.   This writer is yet to meet an artist or artistic collaboration so succinct and yet poetic and revealing about their approach to their practice. In a recent interview with BLACKLASH after meeting the boys at Sydney harbour by night, The Jackson Twins revealed just enough about their internal organs to reconfigure our focus back to their skins. With every work they make they shed a skin or show the skeleton of an identity they have explored from their unique world-view as myogenic twins…     Who was born first?   Karl was born first, Ian followed about 45 minutes later!   Do you think that makes any difference to your self-identification because of the meaning people place on your answer?   You see, although that is our immediate answer, we always believe that we were born at the same time – the time the egg split. We understand that there was a natural order (of ‘birth’) but we have never seen it as a reflection on our self-identification. Perhaps on some subconscious level it does make a difference but it is nothing that we have calculated.   There was a piece you did about Christmas presents in 2003 from the year of your graduation. It was interesting to see physical acts of adornment as exterior ideas of your identities. So much of your work starts at this core theme. Was there a pivotal moment in your childhood that opened your eyes to outside perceptions of your personal differences?   We’re not sure that many people were able to make that connection, certainly during our childhood. We were always referred to as ‘the twins’ and we think people liked the ease and, ironically, the uniqueness of that. There’s also the novelty factor in the perception of two individuals as one unit (this is something we maximise upon in our practice). Maybe it was the later years of high school where people started to play a game where they picked out our individual traits; one of us being more reserved and thoughtful, and therefore the ‘good-twin’, and the other being more outspoken, and therefore the ‘evil-twin’. Even still, this was us as individual twins, rather than individuals per say.   I’m assuming Ian, you were outspoken and Karl you were more reserved, but maybe that’s too easy... What was the best/worst pay out you guys got from school?   We think the best pay out was these labels – people assume that the label sticks and maybe forget that we can swap the good and bad personas! That made for a lot of fun. Possibly the worst pay out is that we often got fragmented conversations. That is to say that people assumed that if they had spoken to one of us, the other would automatically know and be aware of that, so they would continue a conversation with you that they had never had.   The dungeon imagery, I’m guessing correlates, to the self-imprisonment people’s notion of identity can be for themselves. What are some of the other key symbols that you employ in your work?   We aim for each piece to ooze symbolism, sometimes subtle, other times not so much. Harmony and discord, and indeed duality in general, inform the symbolism that we use. The boys in The perception of play never crossed their minds (self portrait 38) are locked in a closet, but have a captive audience, so therefore questions of control and manipulation can be asked. Attraction; passion; jealousy; instincts she tried to hide (self portrait 50) employs symbols of both beauty and decay, of primal savagery and sensual seduction.   We also enjoy the idea of mask-wearing; an identity which is really a façade. Uncaged, yet embraced by the beautiful tension (self portrait 52) employs this idea quite blatantly within the character but we also scatter the Noh masks within her surroundings, so that her scenario is observed by other false personas. The caged imagery – the birdcages, tethers on the bird’s feet and her costume all reflect that imprisonment you mention.   Its rare to encounter artists with such articulate self-awareness. Are you worried you’re giving too much away?   No, we are not worried because we almost see artwork in the sense that you can never give too much away. A viewer will usually take away from a piece of artwork what they want rather than what the artist intends. We like the fact that we can include so much symbolism and imagery within our work – we are subtly revealing ourselves or feelings, but will never be fully exposed.   Jean Genet’s “The Maids” (1947) is loosely based on the infamous incestuous Papin sisters, who brutally murdered their employer and her daughter in a tale of the beautiful and the damned. In it he describes a boudoir scene as “the most extraordinary combination of luxury and filth”. What foundation is your mis-en-scene derived from?   Actually, our foundation is very similar to Genet’s in this respect. The duality is integral to our work, particularly in The Cataclysmic Accounts of the Binary Institute. It is important to us that each piece can be seen as seductive to the senses and yet also allows room for repulsion or a darker interpretation. This idea of attraction and caution excites us.   What else excites each of you?   In terms of artwork anything relating to interpretation excites us both. We like the fact that we can say so much in an image without actually verbalizing our thoughts. We can lace an image with symbols that are important to us but the audience wont necessarily pick-up on all of them. That excites us…again, revealing without feeling exposed.   Metamorphosis is exciting to us, just the idea of changing our appearance to address different aspects of our inner-selves feels very liberating.   On a surface level lots of things excite us. Good conversations, wonderful people, good wine…you name it!   Costuming and role-play are integral to your practice. Can you offer any insight into how they help you realise your characters?   We take a long time to conceive the characters, so that they fit the archetype for the scenario, yet still remain extensions of ourselves. The costumes and make up have became more important to our work as we have progressed, as it allows us to fully immerse ourselves within the role, therefore performing the identity rather than just looking like the initial idea.   When exactly do you find yourself feeling like an albino skinhead lord-type taking tea in the garden of your castle of doom?   He is us when we are taking it ‘on the chin with a grin’, doing the daily rituals amidst the chaos! He’s also that fake smile that we think everyone puts on from time-to-time to get through the craziness. We make the characters to address elements of our fancy. A Victorian/Gothic based ‘English-man’ is very much us on certain days.   What are the tools of your trade?   Our practice is a combination of performance and photography. To do our ideas justice, it is important that we have a high definition digital SLR camera, convincing stage sets, props, wigs, make-up and digital editing software to enhance the final image. Research and extensive planning play a major part as well and act as the catapult that gets the entire process underway.   How much manipulation is applied to the images?   We use digital editing to enhance the overall aesthetic of the work, mainly to control lighting, shadows and to emphasise the key points in each piece. Manipulation is a very important development within the photographic art world, as it allows the artist to fully gain control of how the image looks, much like a paintbrush. Elements of performance are essential to our work, so we take care to make sure that the manipulation doesn’t take over the work…everything you see is us.   You make it sound like you’re defending manipulation as if it’s somehow cheating. Why the raw nerve?   We guess our response is not so much a defense as much a correction of misuse. A lot of people assume that the image would be completely manipulated. Despite our artist name we have had people wonder (before they meet us) whether there really are two of us or just the one person manipulated onto the same scene. We actually do not need to do that – we are our own ‘special-effect’ in that way.   Is the sentiment still present from this series or have you abandoned it like an old snakeskin now that you’re sketching out a new project for 2010?   Parts of the sentiment remain in each project. Our work is autobiographical to the point that we can draw upon things we have experienced as ‘the twins’ and build the work around that. We like the fact that it can also be interpreted into wider subject matters. The next project looks at a different dimension of the twin, but it will still be infused by our own experiences.   Have you ever thought about doing stuff alone?   We used to work individually prior to the collaboration and it became incredibly difficult to keep the work separated, both in terms of look and content. We would never stop each other from making separate work but we both enjoy being ‘The Jackson Twins’. Making our work together gives us a sense of fulfillment and strength in an artistic sense and personally as the work is biographical. We enjoy addressing this bond in a joint nature, particularly as it is something that only the two of us can share.   How did you get involved with FotoFest 2010?   We won the chance to attend this year’s Fotofest through a bursary scheme with Rhubarb-Rhubarb, an incredibly supportive photography development agency who now represent us. We had an incredible year in 2009 with our artwork; international exhibitions, representation, portfolio reviews… this opportunity is the icing on the cake.   And a big congratulation to you- you clearly both work very hard and it shows. Your practice is extremely involved. Who was your greatest inspiration on the technical side?   It would be hard to pinpoint one single inspiration. Seeing the work of Cindy Sherman made us realize that we can express our ideas successfully while using a camera. The work of the artist Mariko Mori deepened that sentiment.   Another technicality is work ethic and we have met many people who have encouraged us to push forward.   The titles from this series such as “confined to his agony, he lulled himself into oblivion” references one individual rather than both of you. Or does it? Who are you referring to? The ambiguity of the titles is important. We wanted them to reference literature, to act as faux-quotes. We enjoy the idea of ‘the twin’ as a metaphor – maybe what you see is one person, split, battling his personal inner demons? We also like the fact that we could be referring to the viewer within the titles…placing the viewer within the conflict, forcing them to actively participate in our work, which is one reason that we present our role plays through photography as opposed to video work; we want the viewer to construct the narrative. Maybe whilst doing this it can raise deeper points of identity and individuality that extends outside of our twin-ness?   Without a doubt. How do you each take your coffee?   It depends on the day’s events. A flat white when things are okay. A cappuccino, or a latte with skimmed milk, when we have a lot on!   You’re kind of like a “super-self” in that you’re able to more fruitfully articulate the joys and anxieties of being oneself, as well as the alternative, in tandem with the closest equivalent of yourselves. Do you see this as an advantage over the rest of us?   Maybe in terms of the artwork we see it as an advantage, as it can give us a wealth of view points to work from, whether it be our own personal experiences, history, mythology or psychology – twinship is something that has fascinated many people for such a long time. It’s also appealing as we can use twinship to examine further subjects such as nature versus nurture and human behaviour. In general terms, we are not sure we would state it as an advantage but it is certainly a plus to have someone constantly providing support and motivation, and it always helps give us a sense of self-awareness.   There is an old poetic notion that the self is conceived whole and then split, destined to wander and struggle until he finds his match. Donne especially references this notion as the hermaphrodite. Do you consider yourselves a double-dicked whole self, split in two, or do you have another take?   That’s a very interesting notion. We both feel that the self is made up of multiple dualities: good and evil, positive and negative, passive and aggressive and so on. Being twins we feel that we help give each other a sense of self-awareness that maybe takes other people longer to find. We don’t complete each other by any means but there is a self-understanding that we acknowledge from our twinship. This is where our interest in expressing these dualities stems from.   You battle out the public and private personas of twinhood. What parts of your private selves can we see in these hyperbolic characters?   The characters are born from aspects of ourselves. They may initially be a reaction to things people have said or to something we have seen, but we still like to include as much of ourselves in the characters as possible. Much like the symbolism we choose, we can display different aspects of our private personas within the works as we feel fit. We satisfy a very general aspect of our private selves within the work by dramatically changing how we look. This satisfies a curiosity that we both have and helps us achieve a sense of liberation.   When did you start playing dress ups and what were your favourite outfits as children?   We actually started playing dress up aged twenty – so relatively late! We always wore a uniform throughout schools – right the way through to the end of high school. We think we liked the uniform idea as it gave us a sense of fit, however this is something that we seem to be battling against in our masquerading through the artwork. This is something that we will address further in our artwork.   What’s your father like?   He was always the ‘strict parent’. We get on great with him now and one childhood memory that we both hold is watching him paint. We think that it was maybe our father that got us interested in art in the first place.   Do you believe a person can occupy more than one identity?   Yes. Everyone takes on different roles throughout the day and changes their ‘identities’ depending on whom they are with or what they are doing. That is why the subject of identity is so universal and important. We choose to examine this subject through our own personal identity crisis but it is a subject that extends far beyond our situation.   Do you think you can help people going through identity crisis with your work?   People do struggle with their identity and we guess we are publicly doing that within the artwork. Maybe by raising points of our own identity/identities we can encourage others to do the same? This may not necessarily help those people going through an identity crisis but maybe there are elements within the work that they can relate to.   You have a quintessentially British genre of humour running through your work, did any contemporary comedians influence you?   There are lots of comedians that we consider to be influential, in particular those with a real dark twist, such as Julia Davis or the guys behind ‘The League of Gentlemen’.   I don’t care how wrong it is, Julia makes crippling the crippled and disturbing the disturbed more funny than God. And I had a sneaking suspicion about the League boys… You are so deliciously filthy funny! Do you make each other laugh a lot?   Yes! Humour is essential but none more so than being able to laugh at yourself, or in our case, ourselves.   Your work has a macabre element; some of your characters look like breathing corpses. How would you feel if one of you was left behind by death?   This is something that we cannot comprehend. We have a very close bond to the point of similar thought patterns. Having lived this joint identity for 29 years, from here on out we will both always be ‘The Jackson Twins’ regardless of how many of us are standing.   That’s really beautiful. I think your work helps eternalise that bond too. How long do photographic prints last, in archival terms?   A printer informs us that archival prints are guaranteed for 100 years, past this, who knows? We would like to think of our artwork lasting forever.   You are clearly so very in tune, but also fiercely individual. What is the division of labour in your creative process?   The process is completely mutual. From the conception of the idea behind the piece to the final output, it is passed between us so much and digested completely by The Jackson Twins that we find it almost impossible to determine which parts are ‘Karl’ and which parts are ‘Ian’. This synergy keeps us prolific.   What are you each reading at the moment?   At the moment Ian is reading Jamaica Inn by Daphne De Maurier and Karl is reading When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. A nice combination of dark and humorous.   Who reads faster?   That depends on the book, but in general terms it’s usually Karl.   Who runs faster?   Again that depends – on who we are running after or away from! Probably Ian.   Do you split your real-life wardrobe?   Yes! It’s wonderful as we each have twice as many clothes that way.   You have a strong foothold in a theatrical aesthetic. What is/are your favourite play(s) and/ or production(s)?   We love Shakespeare’s work and living near Stratford-upon-Avon we have good access to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Hamlet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream are probably our real favourites. Another production company we respect is Punch Drunk and their production of Masque of the Red Death was absolutely compelling.   The ambiguous nature of your narratives is so compelling- you make us try to fill in the gaps between what is not said and what is said so clearly. Does each image you create have a full story you’re holding back?   When we make the work we have a loose narrative in mind but we really enjoy the idea that the audience creates the story. Therefore we surrender our initial narrative as soon as the piece is complete; we want the artwork to become moments from a story – the viewer’s interpretation of what we give them. That’s where the real drama can happen.   What is the most off-putting interpretation of your work from the public?   When people dismiss the work based on the medium. Luckily it doesn’t happen too often, but this is off-putting as it shows disregard for photography and also shows a lack of engagement with the content of the work.   Has anyone ever accused you of incest (in your work)?   We haven’t been directly accused of this but the ‘close bond’ has been commented on a couple of times. This is so funny to us though and shows that perhaps the narratives running through those people’s minds are maybe darker than ours!   How does partnership outside of your twinhood work?   It’s a different bond, a very separate thing. Outside partnerships enable us as individuals to have very different experiences from each other, which undoubtedly filter through to our artist relationship, allowing us to bring different things to the table. In general terms, any partner has to be very understanding of the twin relationship and realise that we will be making artwork together for a long time to come. What can be potentially difficult is the fact that we have a deep bond that circumvents separate relationships…it is like living a secret life—the relationship that we choose and the one that was chosen for us biologically. Of course they also need to be very forgiving of our extended wardrobe. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ *BLACKLASH is a lorgnette upon cultural happenings in Sydney and beyond by Clementine Blackman.    
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Author:Miguel Santos
“Most Internet users are looking for knowledge and the latest theories on the origin of the universe,not pornography at all… That’s nonsense.” “That’s nonsense” Radio Campaign, XHOF-Reactor 105.7 FM, IMER, 2010.     Monitors and the like know all about the world in images. In the face of this hyper-abundance, I have intuitively reacted with cautious distrust, due to the ease with which my senses are deceived.   In a world full of images chasing desire, eroticism and/or porn and/or whatever, the subject is irrelevant. What does matter is that if I look for them or if they find me, they will set off my sensual behavior.   What I know about porn x.0, prolific and profitable industry,  is that it can serve as an example and model of objectivization, stereotypes, illegality, risks for public health and mistreatment that can be brutal and even (according to urban legends) lethal. Others praise its role as a source of information on eroticism and its therapeutic use in dealing with sexual dysfunction. Its main goal is, I admit: self-indulgent pleasure.   Everyday, work, school and leisure activities are facilitated through access to technologies, computers, Internet connections, and search engines that help me sort out the main results from among hundreds of millions of pages and/or websites. Determination, precision, years of experience and innate advantages (a generational issue) bring you closer to a successful search. A page you’ve downloaded, seven tabs opening up at the same time, results that turn up out of nowhere or by mistake, more searches, Wikipedia pills, quasi-reading, a video downloading, one, two, three four, x number of windows, the glut before the pause. Review, surprise at a thumbnail that attracts my attention, click and I give in to my hedonistic impulses of an impassioned aesthete. Solitary electricity. Period. The sudden, self-serving decision to postpone the original objective. God, I’m easily distracted! Anticipation triggers the licentiousness: ego-fantasies, easy beauty, catalyzed pleasure, delirium in the flesh, drum beats, intense orgasm.   Momentary calm in the face of the cyber-window, a slight inclination to go back to square one. The lack of bashfulness and another compulsion, the ghosts of that greedy, old addiction. The edition-salvation of what one has collected, it is always a pity to throw it into the sea, when fishing is so wonderful. Hah! My fondness for value, reverse value, as my father would say, for impetuous, arbitrary value. Clicking on the mouse every which way, a symphony of growing accumulation. Tidbits that are unlikely to be consumed again, the tongue in my eyes barely licks them before they have been put away again. Wary of my neglect, the familiar, greedy Next!   And therein lies the start of a peculiar, lucid instant in the midst of the hours that have elapsed. The perception of the common denominator: the urge for more…much more. More! More!! More!!! Much, much more!!! And a host of companions file by: rawer, littler, more retches, more subjected, more transgressive, more animal, more mutilated, more dead, more etc.   When did limits go out of focus? If my lustful appetite had sublime aspirations, how did I start surfing through images with tentacles and worms each to drill holes and excrescences? Who’s responsible for these images that I could include in my collection with nothing more than a “Save Image”? They belong to humankind. The ends have got lost, I no longer have them in sight. I break out in a cold sweat.   Exposed and out of sorts, I have a need to believe, at least, in an inversely directional rather than proportional possibility, as the setting that is profusely admitted as Apocalyptic proves.  
Thursday, 19 August 2010
  Over the past few years, sexuality has turned into something similar to a computer screen: emerging from discrete isolated cubicles to become an omnipresent window. The religious sphere has been affected by a slew of sex scandals that have not been restricted to the Catholic hierarchy and have affected all denominations to the same extent. In the SEC, a US government department dedicated to supervising financial organizations, it turns out that just as the crisis was imploding, its employees were spending far more effort and money on consuming pornography than on sorting out the institutions they were supposed to supervise and judging from the current state of affairs, this seems to be still the case   Alejandro Malo Read More...     Galleries                           From our Archive                                   Magazine Taking the porn view Author:The British Journal of Photography Porn Stars in 3-D Lure Consumers to New Sony, Panasonic TVs Author: Mariko Yasu and Maki Shiraki No Sex Please, We’re Middle Class Author: Camille Paglia Lost Extremes Author: Miguel Angel Santos We Recommend Jan Saudek Useful Photography #008    
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Author:Dundon, Rian
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 | Read more
Author:Sternberg, José Enrique
Monday, 09 August 2010 | Read more
  Michael Koerbel and Anna Elizabeth James, students at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, used the iPhone 4‘s video camera and new iMovie editing app to produce this short video titled “Apple of My Eye.” The film took fourteen hours to edit and was completed in less than two days.       CNet reports: “The spread of high-end technology to the mainstream is a broader trend than with just video. The high-quality photos a person can produce with a digital SLR and Photoshop opened the doors for the microstock photography business, letting part-time amateurs elbow in on professionals’ turf. Junior-high-school rock bands can mix and dub music with tools better than professional studios had a generation earlier. And the Brushes app can turn an iPad into an artist’s sketch tablet in a way a $2,000 Wacom Cintiq tethered to a computer never could.”   * Via  
Friday, 06 August 2010
Author:Camille Paglia
  Will women soon have a Viagra of their own? Although a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recently rejected an application to market the drug flibanserin in the United States for women with low libido, it endorsed the potential benefits and urged further research. Several pharmaceutical companies are reported to be well along in the search for such a drug.   The implication is that a new pill, despite its unforeseen side effects, is necessary to cure the sexual malaise that appears to have sunk over the country. But to what extent do these complaints about sexual apathy reflect a medical reality, and how much do they actually emanate from the anxious, overachieving, white upper middle class?   In the 1950s, female “frigidity” was attributed to social conformism and religious puritanism. But since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, American society has become increasingly secular, with a media environment drenched in sex.   The real culprit, originating in the 19th century, is bourgeois propriety. As respectability became the central middle-class value, censorship and repression became the norm. Victorian prudery ended the humorous sexual candor of both men and women during the agrarian era, a ribaldry chronicled from Shakespeare’s plays to the 18th-century novel. The priggish 1950s, which erased the liberated flappers of the Jazz Age from cultural memory, were simply a return to the norm.   Only the diffuse New Age movement, inspired by nature-keyed Asian practices, has preserved the radical vision of the modern sexual revolution. But concrete power resides in America’s careerist technocracy, for which the elite schools, with their ideological view of gender as a social construct, are feeder cells.   In the discreet white-collar realm, men and women are interchangeable, doing the same, mind-based work. Physicality is suppressed; voices are lowered and gestures curtailed in sanitized office space. Men must neuter themselves, while ambitious women postpone procreation. Androgyny is bewitching in art, but in real life it can lead to stagnation and boredom, which no pill can cure.   Meanwhile, family life has put middle-class men in a bind; they are simply cogs in a domestic machine commanded by women. Contemporary moms have become virtuoso super-managers of a complex operation focused on the care and transport of children. But it’s not so easy to snap over from Apollonian control to Dionysian delirium.   Nor are husbands offering much stimulation in the male display department: visually, American men remain perpetual boys, as shown by the bulky T-shirts, loose shorts and sneakers they wear from preschool through midlife. The sexes, which used to occupy intriguingly separate worlds, are suffering from over-familiarity, a curse of the mundane. There’s no mystery left.   The elemental power of sexuality has also waned in American popular culture. Under the much-maligned studio production code, Hollywood made movies sizzling with flirtation and romance. But from the early ’70s on, nudity was in, and steamy build-up was out. A generation of filmmakers lost the skill of sophisticated innuendo. The situation worsened in the ’90s, when Hollywood pirated video games to turn women into cartoonishly pneumatic superheroines and sci-fi androids, fantasy figures without psychological complexity or the erotic needs of real women.   Furthermore, thanks to a bourgeois white culture that values efficient bodies over voluptuous ones, American actresses have desexualized themselves, confusing sterile athleticism with female power. Their current Pilates-honed look is taut and tense — a boy’s thin limbs and narrow hips combined with amplified breasts. Contrast that with Latino and African-American taste, which runs toward the healthy silhouette of the bootylicious Beyoncé.   A class issue in sexual energy may be suggested by the apparent striking popularity of Victoria’s Secret and its racy lingerie among multiracial lower-middle-class and working-class patrons, even in suburban shopping malls, which otherwise trend toward the white middle class. Country music, with its history in the rural South and Southwest, is still filled with blazingly raunchy scenarios, where the sexes remain dynamically polarized in the old-fashioned way.   On the other hand, rock music, once sexually pioneering, is in the dumps. Black rhythm and blues, born in the Mississippi Delta, was the driving force behind the great hard rock bands of the ’60s, whose cover versions of blues songs were filled with electrifying sexual imagery. The Rolling Stones’ hypnotic recording of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster,” with its titillating phallic exhibitionism, throbs and shimmers with sultry heat.   But with the huge commercial success of rock, the blues receded as a direct influence on young musicians, who simply imitated the white guitar gods without exploring their roots. Step by step, rock lost its visceral rawness and seductive sensuality. Big-ticket rock, with its well-heeled middle-class audience, is now all superego and no id.   In the 1980s, commercial music boasted a beguiling host of sexy pop chicks like Deborah Harry, Belinda Carlisle, Pat Benatar, and a charmingly ripe Madonna. Late Madonna, in contrast, went bourgeois and turned scrawny. Madonna’s dance-track acolyte, Lady Gaga, with her compulsive overkill, is a high-concept fabrication without an ounce of genuine eroticism.   Pharmaceutical companies will never find the holy grail of a female Viagra — not in this culture driven and drained by middle-class values. Inhibitions are stubbornly internal. And lust is too fiery to be left to the pharmacist.   Camille Paglia, a professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts, is the author of “Sexual Personae.”   * Via  
Monday, 02 August 2010
Author:Pedro Meyer
    We're all aware that this issue of perception defines most of what happens in our lives. Both in love or in politics, we define our own roles according to perceptions such as that of the glass being half empty or half full. So it is not surprising that the concept of representing perceptions is at the heart of photography today.   However, this notion is not only related to photography. I read today a paragraph in a financial newsletter that stated: "The friction between perception and reality is where profitability is found". If we take this idea a few steps further, we can see that this is also true in a lot of different areas of our lives such as literature. Who could disagree with the premise that the friction between characters in a novel, precisely between reality and perceptions, is where "profitability" -as in, making a better story- is obtained.   Photography in that sense, in it's intimate connection to literature, also gains considerably when we are capable of taking advantage of that friction between a perceived reality and reality itself.   One can hardly deny the visual sore that is depicted in the picture above. Every city in the world where "modernity" has arrived can provide us with such an example, where electricity and communications of every type, intersect our skies. Yet at the same time, we are also confronted with a certain elegance of these lines. Consigning all these cables to a photograph serves to describe the precise moment when civilization lost it's senses and no one was there to look out for our visual well being.   The glass half full however, would be that through all these collective eye sores, we are able to construct and share such thoughts and pictures. The cycle of friction between reality and perception, has taken it's full course.   Pedro Meyer Coyoacan, Mexico DF July 2010  
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Author:Nadia Baram
Pornographic websites introduce you to countless different stories. Although the scenarios which unfold are always the same. Useful Photography #008 features the opening scenes and celebrates the talents of actors not usually noted fro their acting.   Collected & edited by Hans Aarsman, Claudie de Cleen, Julian Germain, Erik Kessels, Hans van der Meer. Special guest: Adriaan van der Ploeg.                                  
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
148. Jan Saudek
Author:Elisa Rugo
En nuestro número sobre 'Lo comprendo y deseo continuar - Sexualidades Emergentes' no puede faltar hacerles la recomendación sobre el fotógrafo y artista plástico checoslovaco Jan Saudek, quien desde 1950 hace fotografía; siendo hasta 1983 cuando publica su primer libro.     Visita aquí el sitio oficial
Friday, 16 July 2010
Author:Olivier Laurent
    On Saturday 26 June, photojournalist Jules Mattsson, who is a minor and was documenting the Armed Forces Day parade in Romford, was questioned and detained by a police officer after taking a photo of young cadets. [Photojournalist Edmond Terakopian met with Mattsson, visit his blog for further details and a photo of the 15-year-old photographer].   According to Mattsson, who spoke to BJP, after taking the photo he was told by a police officer that he would need parental permission for his image. The photographer answered that, legally, he didn't. While he tried to leave the scene to continue shooting, a second officer allegedly grabbed his arm to question him further.   According an audio recording of the incident, the police officer argued, at first, that it was illegal to take photographs of children, before adding that it was illegal to take images of army members, and, finally, of police officers. When asked under what legislation powers he was being stopped, the police officer said that Mattsson presented a threat under anti-terrorism laws. The photographer was pushed down on stairs and detained until the end of the parade and after the intervention of three other photographers.   A spokeswoman, before commenting on the case, questioned, in a conversation with BJP, why Mattsson used an audio recording device, in this case a phone, to record the incident. Asked about it Mattsson says that he started recording only after he was "agressively taken aside by an officer". He also says that it isn't the first time he's been stopped and wanted a record of the incident to prove he wasn't breaching any laws.   The recording can be heard in this YouTube video put together by Mattsson. The photographer was stopped for the fourth image shown in this video.       The spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Service has now issued a statement to BJP: "It is clearly not the intention of the MPS to prevent people from taking photographs, although, as the public would expect, officers will remain vigilant, particularly in crowded public places. Any allegations or complaints about police treatment of photographers are taken very seriously by the MPS."   She adds: "Anyone who is unhappy with the actions of individual police officers can make a formal complaint, which will be thoroughly investigated. Although at this time we have not received a complaint about this incident and no allegations of crime have been made, we will investigate the circumstances. Our officers do receive guidance around the issue of photography through briefings and internal communications and we continue to drive this work forward."   Mattsson plans on seeking legal advice. However, it isn't the first time photographers and photojournalists have been stopped from taking pictures in public places. BJP, as well as other press organisations such as Amateur Photographer, have led campaigns to highlight the increasing use of anti-terrorism legislation to stop photographers.   While photographers have been clamoring for years that they are being targetted by over-zealous police officers, the issue only received national interest in December last year when a journalist for The Independent was himself stopped for taking a picture of the House of Parliament.   The incident caused a media blitz, with newspapers such as The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Daily Mail, as well as the BBC publishing articles on the issue of public photography. Under pressure, the Association of Chief Police Officers sent a memo to all police forces around the country informing them that they 'should not be stopping an searching people for taking photos.' The memo continued: 'There are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place.'However, despite reassurances that anti-terrorism powers were not targetting photographers, police officers, since then, have continued to quote the legislation to stop photographer from working in public places. In fact, only a few days following the memo's release, award-winning architectural photographerGrant Smith was detained after taking photos near the Bank of America - Merrill Lynch building.   In January, more than 1000 photographers protested stop-and-search powers in a mass gathering in Trafalgar Square. The protest was soon followed by a statement from the Lord Carlile, the UK's terror watchdog, who called for Section 44 powers to be scrapped - to no avail.   The government was dealt another blow after the European Court of Human Rights found that the anti-terrorism powers were illegal. In its ruling, the court said: "The public nature of the search, with the discomfort of having personal information exposed to public view, might even in certain cases compound the seriousness of the interference because of an element of humiliation and embarrassment."   It added that it was "struck by the statistical and other evidence showing the extent to which police officers resorted to the powers of stop and search under section 44 of the Act and found that there was a clear risk of arbitrariness in granting such broad discretion to the police officer. There was, furthermore, a risk that such a widely framed power could be misused against demonstrators and protestors in breach of Article 10 and/or 11 of the Convention."   Despite the ruling, the previous government appealed the decision. And while the new government haspromised to reform the anti-terrorism legislation, it has yet to do so, arguing that it will wait for the European Court to rule on its appeal.   * Via  
Friday, 16 July 2010
150. Caliber 45
Author:Vidales, Nazareno
Friday, 09 July 2010 | Read more

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