Conceptual Art and humor with Daniel Bozhkov
"Darth Vader Tries to Clean the Black Sea With Brita Filter", 2000, by Daniel Bozhkov.
Extract of Artnet: Daniel Bozhkov is a New York artist who was born in Bulgaria. He makes artworks that involve performances, elaborate installations and a range of comic conceptual conceits. He addresses daunting themes: globalization (he has worked as a greeter at a Wal-Mart, where he painted a fresco), the American vision of masculinity (he released a cologne inspired by Ernest Hemingway), and space flight (he installed a kebab stand near the Berlin Wall in tribute to the first German cosmonaut). Bozhkov is fascinated at the scope of madness in the world, and takes a special joy in the absurd. For one particularly high-profile project, he made a crop-sign portrait of Larry King and took flying lessons so he could shoot a video from the plane of the image in the field. That footage was picked up by the local news and found its way to King himself, who aired it in the middle of an interview with Matthew Perry (of all people), who had just come out of rehab. It’s a uniquely quixotic work of art.”
See an interesting interview of him here
• 17 February 2014 • 1 note
The Sochi Project
Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen have been documenting Sochi with photographs and texts since 2007, the beginning of the preparation of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Much more than just giving us info about the preparation, they tell us about the story of the region, about people living there, about the conflict zone Abkhazia at only 20 kilometers from the Olympic village… Incredible example of slow-journalism. Go through their very rich website The Sochi Project. You can learn more at Aperture article about their book, Rob Hornstra’s website, journalism production company of Arnold van Bruggen Prospektor
• 7 February 2014
"Never will be the same, crossing the Threshold"
/// Suddenly the clear notion we had about future collapses.
Occurs doubt, fear, despair, but we must face the facts: what was until now the firm foundation of life has indeed disappeared. And to rebuild a new order, regain balance, no other solution than to attack the rest of life … braving the unknown.
This series is inspired by the path of the mythological hero who, put in danger of death, is forced to confront all kinds of powers to survive and even reborn. A metaphor of the path to regain self-control due to an event, an accident, or a simple overwhelming choice … ///
Solo exhibition “Never will be the same, crossing the Threshold”, by Martin Coiffier / Thursday 16th january 2014, 7pm. at Théâtre Marni - 25 rue de Vergnies / Brussels - Belgium. (see map)
• 10 January 2014
Jeff Wall, Gregory Crewdson, nature and humans
"The drain", Jeff Wall, 1989; “Beneath the roses”, Gregory Crewdson, 2003-2005
There are similarities (for me) between Jeff Wall’s and Gregory Crewdson’s works. Not only because both do staged photographies, completely recreated using large format cameras, digital post-production, props, studio sets etc… But because they use photography to picture sort of an imaginary world inspired by the real one, and by their own peculiar feelings of what they observe between the lines of reality.
It’s been a while I wanted to brainstorm about the two pictures above. Both of them are a very small sample of their works, but they reflect the bridge I have built between these two very different photographers. The photography I try to accomplish is very influenced by this bridge. These two pictures could have been taken from a fairy tale. One talking about childhood, the other, more scary, about adulthood, or to be more precise, about (in my own feeling) death (metaphorically talking). May be the woman in the Crewdson’s photograph is one of the two girls who went through the black tunnel in the Wall’s photograph. The more I observe these pictures, the more I think about psychoanalitical explanations. And about this tunnel. Which is “my bridge” !
The big differences between Wall and Crewdson, I guess, stays in the characters: the ones from Wall are always moving forward, walking, talking, observing, and their actions are fully connected with their surroundings; while the one from Crewdson are totally stucked in the middle of their thoughts, without almost any connection with the outside realistic world.
Well I guess there’s a lot more to say about why I’m fascinated by the work of the two of them. Let say that may be they reflect something crucial for me in photography, as in any other way of expression : thinking, digging in human nature.
• 7 December 2013
From dream to tragedy… Some photographs of Julia Fullerton Batten, from the serie “Teenage stories” and her portfolio. Interesting interview about her work at F STOP, and her website here.
• 6 December 2013 • 3 notes
From the serie “The Mysteries” by Mac Adams, up-down: “Mystery of the 2 triangles”, 1976; “Bicycle”, 1977; “Still life with Cézanne”, 1977; “The pond”, 2009.
"In a recent text, Mac Adams referred to the bet that the American author Ernest Hemingway made one day with some writer friends, wagering that he could make up a story with just six words. He wrote: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” And he won the bet. Mac Adams’ whole œuvre seems to be an extension of that bet.
Mac Adams’ photographs and installations broach the issue of narration with similarly sparse means as Hemingway, exploring the fictional potential that can emerge from the juxtaposition of a few images or objects (…) His works are often organised in two- or three-image sequences and show us narrative snippets in which the main action is invariably absent, relegated to the space between images, into the temporal or off-screen ellipsis. Mac Adams defines this approach with the term “narrative void”. The image becomes a network of clues that the spectator is invited to go through in the manner of an inquiry, shedding light on the mechanisms and mainsprings of the plot itself at the same time as it proposes an open reading.” (Excerpt of the introduction to an exhibition of Mac Adams work in the MUDAM, Luxembourg, in 2011 - see the complete text here)
I’m fascinated by the relation between photography and narration. Most of the times the photographers give us a glance, a view, a point of view of a very precise moment, and with their photographs they tell “this is/was happening there, at this time”. And with this clue we can recreate the general context in wich the photograph had been taken. It’s not a story we then have in mind, but a context, an idea, a dream, a feeling, a message…
With “narrative photography”, and thanks to the fact that most of us have a cinematographic culture, the photographer can give us also a story plot. And this is what Mac Adams succeed. A work which is situated between Hitchcock movies and real criminal cases…
• 27 April 2013 • 1 note
Up “The Quarrel”, 1988, Jeff Wall ; Down a still from Reiner Werner Fassbinder's feature film "Lola", 1981.
A friend of mine asked once “what does a photograph, a good, nice, intelligent, different photograph?, there’s so many millions pictures today…”. This question is at the very center of my admiration for the work of Jeff Wall. Because his “tableaux” are at a crossroad of painting, cinema and… photography ! I mean, sort of realistic, naturalistic photography.
In an interview, Jeff Wall tells “I begin by not photographing”. He first observes around him, the world. Then he composes, and recreates what he saw, what he remembers from the pictures he saw. So the pictures he makes are a totally personal point of view from a real situation.
In a conversation with Lucas Block for “Aperture” (210), Jeff Wall was talking about “studio photography” (meaning composed, recreated pictures, and not documentary “à la Cartier-Bresson”) and mentioned Pasolini, Godard, Fassbinder, as artists who where continuously switching “(…) from extreme artifice to moments of apparent documentary immediacy (…)”.
All these “facts” made me think of these two pictures, one inspired by another… or not ! But one extremely close to the other, right ?…
• 24 April 2013 • 5 notes
"Séquence #2 : Un voyageur dans la ville" - from my serie "Bucarest, Imaginaire". More shots here
• 21 April 2013 • 2 notes
Black and white: “Legs/Corduroy short”, 1972; “Jump rope”, 1975; “Bubble gum”, 1975,
Color: “Young girl at beach”, 1977; “Family walking”, 1977; “Boy in yellow shirt smoking”, 1977,
From Mark Cohen (b.1943), american photographer from a small town – Wilkes-Barre. He’s most known for his street photography. When I discovered his work, I was impressed because sometimes I have the same need to catch roughly people and things around me. I never know exactly why, there’s no explanation, no conscious reason for that. But they attract me with such a force the only thing I know is that I have to catch immediately this piece of reality with my camera…
Mark Cohen’s quotes : “I’d shoot and walk away quick - I’d never talk to the people. To people who were watching what I was doing it looked like inappropriate behaviour,” – “ The antagonism got worse as time went by. It looked like I was up to some suspicious activity - they’d say, why are you taking pictures? People would call the police - if that happened I could give an explanation. But people who didn’t call the police were worse. Because I had no explanation or credentials, people would demand an explanation and ask me why I was taking a picture of their house, their yard, their wife.” - “Sometimes people would take my licence plate number and find out where I lived,” - “They are a long series of pictures that are very unconsciously driven. They are more psychological than anything else,” - “They are also autobiographical in some ways. My work is about fear and approaching this fear and a lot of it may be to do with my own way of thinking. Maybe that’s why some of the pictures work. There’s something I do that I don’t even understand now - that’s why they have this mystery.”
• 10 July 2012 • 3 notes
This work is part of “Terminus”, a collective exhibition organized by the Bozar along with Recyclart. The concept was to portray various outskirts districts of Brussels by night, around the bus or tram terminus.
The exhibition is running until 16.09.2012 in Brussels, Belgium.
See a sample of my work in this exhibition, and all the details on my site
• 15 June 2012