Max Eicke «Dominas». A photo book review

A young German photographer Max Eicke has sent me his book “Dominas” for a review long enough ago: this large-format book in rubber red cover (a real eye-catcher, according to Joerg Colberg) has been published by Kehrer Verlag way back in 2016. Continue reading

The first photo books which made it – winners of ViennaPhotoBookAward 2017

Mariya Kozhanova 3 place of the book dummy competition of Vienna Photobook Festival 2017 for the dummy “Sisters”

1. Where are you from? Where and when did you study photography?

I come from Kaliningrad — the most western city of Russia. I am considering myself as a self-thought photographer, because I only took classes of analogue printing techniques at the Kaliningrad Union of Photographers in the early days when I just started to get interested in photography, and last year, I was nominated for Joop Swart Masterclass organized by World Press Photo, my first real photography class. Continue reading

Jana Romanova:“Waiting”. Photo book review

No title is mentioned at the cover of the book by Jana Romanova. There is only a photo of crumpled sheet reminding of antique drapery, which, probably, hides something sensual and fleshly.

The name could be only found under the cover – hand-written inscription printed with the help of transparent UV Varnish: “Jana Romanova, Waiting”. The letters are barely seen as if someone is whispering in order not to awake.

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Interview with curator Steve Bisson about Paris Photo 2016

“The Japanese photography is still going strong

Editors' booths, Grand Palais, November 9, 2016 © Jérémie Bouillon / Paris Photo

Editors’ booths, Grand Palais, November 9, 2016 © Jérémie Bouillon / Paris Photo

Hi Steve1Steve Bisson (Italy), founder of, curator, lecturer. More about Steve in the interview., you’ve just come back from ParisPhoto, how did it go?

I want to start off by saying that I was very happy to return to Paris. Last year’s edition was flawed and influenced by the terrible terrorist attacks. In hindsight, I think many of us experienced a desire to play down those days and to share those experiences.

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Steve Bisson (Italy), founder of, curator, lecturer. More about Steve in the interview.

Friedl Kubelka. One thousand changing thoughts of Lore Bondy

Friedl Kubelka is one of the most known artists working with the problems of seriality and time in photography. She was born in 1946 in London, then moved with her family to Berlin and then to Vienna, where she became famous as an artist. Her works were obviously influenced by Viennese Actionism and feminism, but she refuses to consider them as part of these movements: “I have declared in front of many feminists that I am not one of them”. Her style is unique. 

Some of her photographic works – such as the presented this summer in the Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg “Lore Bondy 1000 Gedanken” (One thousand changing thoughts of Lore Bondy), 1980 – consist of hundreds of photographs made in certain time intervals. The shooting conditions are similar and very simple  – neutral background, close-up of the face, straight gaze to the camera, no artificial lighting. On the photos is depicted one model only – a brown-haired tired woman in her late 40s, who’s facial expression is slightly changing on the hundreds of “mugshot-style” passport-format photos orderly represented in big glass-boxes. She is the mother of the artist. The artist added to the installation a conceptual text describing the thoughts which the mother had during each shooting (the shootings are numbered in the boxes). Thoughts about pregnancy and children, work, vacations, love affairs and the meaning of life are, actually, hardly recognisable on the photos, but are immediately projected on them by the spectator after the reading of the explanation (and it is, of course, his/her own thoughts about the same things which are quite universal).

The seriality with its monotonous repeating representation of the same object allows the photographer to make hidden processes visible – such hardly visible ones as ageing or change of the facial expression while the person is thinking about something. 

Photography is always a great medium for transmission of the idea of change, despite of its ability to freeze only one particular moment. The invisible changes always appear in between the photos, what is the result of comparison of two (or more) of them seen side by side. Is the representation  of these changes going to be not only mechanic, but poetic as well depends on the author of the photographs. Regarding the work of Kubelka there is definitely the case.

Hotel Kobenzl. The story of one building

In the gallery, one immediately sees silk upholstered Rococo-style armchairs and crystal chandeliers, which are piled in the dusty rooms. Silver cutlery is unpolished and dry leaves cover the marble floor. The atmosphere is full of suspense, but the compositions from the project “Hotel Kobenzl” by German photographer Matthias Hoch are currently on view at the Fotohof Gallery in Salzburg are calm and serene.

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Photobook festival in Kassel: Turning over the pages

4-5. June I spent in Kassel at the Fotobook festival. It is always nice to meet new and old friends on such events. And of course to meet new and old books. I don’t want to describe here the event itself, which this year was dedicated to books of Martin Parr/ Iberian books/ fresh books, there are already some reports such as this one written by Harvey Benge (who was among my reviewers) or the series of reports written by Eva Gravayat, coordinator of the festival, for instance this. I’ll rather focus on my own impressions and experience.

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Young Russian photography. Part 2. Ural.

I met Julia Abzaltdinova this February in Yekaterinburg (Russia). I visited my home town Perm which is located in Ural region, not far from Yekaterinburg, and decided to continue my series of interviews with Russian young photographers – this time in Ural region of Russia. We all know already a lot about photographers from two capitals, Saint-Petersburg and Moscow, but there are so many places in Russia with great photographers waiting to be discovered… Cover photo (c) Denis Tarasov. Featured photographers: Denis TarasovSergey Poteryaev, Fyodor TelkovJulia Abzaltdinova.

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Young Russian photography. Part I

Elina Ryzhenkova is the young artist from Russia. She studied psychology, then she became interested in photography and later in contemporary painting. She is one of the young Russian photographers and artists who strive for being shown across the world, publish photo and art books, take part in international portfolio-reviews and join international artist community.

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“He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard”. Hannah Kozak

Hannah Kozak was born to a Polish father and a Guatemalan mother in Los Angeles, CA. She worked as a stunt double for celebrated stars like Cher, Angelina Jolie, Lara Flynn Boyle and Isabella Rossellini. For nearly twenty-five years, Hannah’s work provided the opportunity to work with notable directors such as Michael Cimino, David Lynch, Mike Nichols, Tim Burton and Michael Bay. On every set, Hannah took her camera to work, capturing candid, behind-the-scene pictures that penetrated the illusion of Hollywood magic. Hannah has turned the camera on herself, her life and her world. She continues to look for those things that feel honest and real, using her camera as a means of exploring feelings and emotions. After decades of standing in for someone else, she now is in control of her destiny and vision. Photography has the power to heal and to help us through difficult periods, something Hannah Kozak knows first hand from personal experience.

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