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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Photobooks again!

The 6th Photobook festival in Kassel (Germany) was held in October this year (by the way, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers of this blog!). I wrote a post about the festival already here. Finally, I am presenting the long-awaited video interview with Hannes Wanderer, the publisher from Berlin, owner of Peperoni Books. We have had quite long virtual communication before we met in Kassel during the festival — and I was really happy about it! Hannes has long grey hair, beard and mysterious gaze from under the glasses. He looks like a good wizard who makes you expecting a miracle every moment. What could he bring to a young photographer and turn his/her creation into? Watch this video from Kassel.

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What to do at Paris Photo? A short guide

Is it a first time you are going to such big well known photo-exhibition as Paris Photo; remember the Russia saying “You have to see Paris before you die”? Don’t be in a hurry to die – better read this guide to know what proper photographers do in Paris. It is not only about exhibition, you know?!

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Street. Leo Erken

I met Leo Erken in Amsterdam. He is a documentary photographer. He studied in at AKI Academy of fine Art in the Netherlands. Leo has been working as a documentary photographer for many years, shooting in Eastern Europe and Russia. In the late 1990s he started moving towards documentary film making. Since 2007 Leo Erken is a lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. His book «Street» based on Russian material published this year in Germany.

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6th photobook festival in Kassel

I was lucky to spent last week-end in Kassel (Germany) at the Photobook festival. It is really nice, small and cozy festival. Documenta-Halle which is already familiar to me, this time was full of stands with photobooks and behind them were also known faces of curators.
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