The advent of Google maps was eventful for the general public – it became the first time most of us had access to these views of earth. However, it also turned out to be problematic for some governements. Some governments obscure areas they deem too sensitive to appear on Google maps. This is generally done by simple blurring or covering an area with a white or black box. In his series Dutch Landscapes, Mishka Henner presents the unique censorship of the Dutch countryside. The Dutch forgo simpler censorship methods for a strangely attractive one. Variously shaped and colored polygons cover sites the government would rather keep off the map. Inadvertently (or perhaps intentionally) the Dutch government abstracts the landscape in way that fits in well with an artistic tradition.
Spanish photographer Esther Lobo‘s series of photographs known simply as Rorschach delves boldly into the idea of symbolism. She creates Rorschach Test type images using food items on a disposable plate. Lobo folds the plate to create a bisymmetrical image and places the food item at the center of the image. Rorschach Tests were psychological tests especially popular in the 1960′s that asked subjects to give interpretations of images. These interpretations would be understood as symbols of underlying psychological conditions. It’s perhaps appropriate that Lobo decided to use food as a medium for her Rorschach Tests. Perhaps no other daily item is so invested with symbolism, memory, and ritual as food and meals. [via]
Anne-Catherine Becker-Echivard places real fish from her fish monger on doll parts to recreate, amuse, and in a way, criticize/satirize aspects of human society.
Of her work, Dr. Didier Rouzeyrol poeticizes:
The fish of acbe do not look at the ground. They play there. They play. They play with us. They place us into these pieces. Parts in an act, in a photograph.
European bred and born, Becker-Echivard could easily be a character in a Julie Delpy film– charmingly dedicated to absurd yet accessible content with an undeniably curious or obsessive edge. For instance, after the setting and shooting is done, this Parisian artist tops off each project by eating it for dinner, stating, “It is the perfect recycling of art. Nothing is left over – and I can live from it.”
The photography of Amanda Charchian is like a vaguely familiar dream. Her series featured here make a strange sort of sense in much the way a dreams do. Titled When There is Nothing Left to Burn, You Have to Set Yourself on Fire, Charchian makes use of an all female cast of subjects, primary coloring, peculiar lighting, and hazily 1970′s fashion photography aesthetic for an understated surreal atmosphere. However, she especially makes skillful use of the scenery blending all of the components into one sun-induced hallucination. Interestingly, she says of her process:
“I really enjoy what I do, so I am constantly working. I am very fast paced and I like working in a trance state, so it doesn’t suit me to adhere to a particular plan. The process always starts with that sort of light bulb flash (usually when I am doing something really mundane), and then I refine the concept. With that concept lurking, the physical making of the work always becomes very intuitive.” (via)
I know it wasn’t easy for you. That is, those inevitable years, often landing around middle school, when we all seem to exude an uncontrollable weirdness. While doing our best making our way through that awkward phase, it often seems like it’ll never pass. However, designer Merilee Allred offers proof that it does indeed pass. Her Awkward Years Project captures not-so-award looking people showing off their awkward years photos. While the project does illustrate that us nerds, geeks, freaks, fashion illiterate, and all around weirdos do pull out of it, it points out something more important: when it seems like no one will go easy on you, perhaps especially when things seem this way, own it.
Myoung Ho Lee, with the aid of assistants, cranes, and ropes, places blank white canvases behind trees in various natural settings throughout South Korea– in order to bring a part of the background into the foreground. According to The New York Times, the artist only digitally retouches “the trace of his own hand” because “If the mechanics of the artwork were visible, it would be easier for people to recognize the scale and the method . . . I want to hide them, to infuse a magical and vague aspect to my work, so that viewers may question and try to find answers themselves.”
Photographer Joe Maloney revisits the art of summer slumming along the east coast in his retrospective show “Asbury Park and The Jersey Shore, c. 1979″ at Rick Wester Fine Arts. Maloney, according to The New Yorker, chose Asbury Park specifically because the area was “distinctly working-class, non-affluent, semi-urban, slightly run-down beach town, with a music culture and a vibrant street life.”
Most striking about this collection, however, is not just the “Darkness On The Edge of Town” vibe meshed with beach resort kitsch, but even more so, the intense level of isolation that vacation culture embodied before cell phones, Wi-Fi, and the Internet at large. Each portrait seems quiet somehow: subjects full of secrets and aspirations. Its a trapped or estranged sort of quiet that I strangely miss . . . and maybe long to reclaim. Read More >
We often think of bodies as opposed to landscapes. The figure belongs to the portrait and natural scenery to the landscape – bodies inhabit the landscape. For Carl Warner‘s series of photographs, though, the bodies make the landscape. Twisting torsos, bent limbs, crevices, and folds are given finer than the typical attention. Layering of bodies and parts with such focus on detail create landscape like images. Mountains, caverns, and valleys seem to rise out of the figures and become a land of skin. [via]