Monthly Archive for July, 2009

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andrea gjestvang – body histories

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Andrea Gjestvang

Body Histories

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Like many young girls, I used to dream I was beautiful, a princess adored by others. When I grew older, I realized this was a dream I shared with almost everyone.

Many people develop an extreme relationship to their bodies. Some struggle a daily fight with their image. Many become obsessed. The body serves as an exhibition space, a way to be seen and desired, to make money and survive. It is a tool to achieve your dream.

Four years ago, I started to look for people with an interesting body-history. I found them everywhere: On the subway in Berlin, in the lift of my hotel, in a gipsy-village in Hungary, or on the Internet. Through photographing these people and their society, I hope my project will say something about our relationship to our body, on a personal and social level.

The essay includes single shots and pictures that are a part of different reportages. As a photographer working on different fields in many parts of the world, I always find myself returning to reportages that are dealing with different body issues. The stories are continuously published in the newspapers and magazines I work for, and at the same time the collection of pictures for a future body book is growing. I think this is quite a functional way of combining personal and professional work.

 

Bio

Andrea Gjestvang is a Norwegian photographer based in Berlin. She is a freelance photographer covering Europe for the Norwegian Daily Verdens Gang, and is constantly working on larger documentary projects. She is a new member of Moment Agency.

 

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Andrea Gjestvang

 

Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

kyunghee lee – new york, i dreamt

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Kyunghee Lee

New York, I Dreamt

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This essay was made last September as part of my new portfolio. Title of the portfolio is ‘Island of the City’. For two years, I have been taking pictures of 6 representative cities of the world (Tokyo, Beijing, Paris, Oslo, New York, and Sydney) and this essay ‘New York, I Dreamt’ is a part of this series.

Some of you may know I’ve had a book published called ‘Island’, which is also shown here on Burn.

The ‘Island of the City’ series, as does the book ‘Island’, reflects and gives insight into the relationship between you, me and the city.

 

Bio:

2008: “Island”; published by Toseisha, Tokyo, Japan; published on Burn.

2009: Invited to “The 8th China Photographic art festival” & “2009 DALI International Photography Exhibition”

 

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Kyunghee Lee

 

Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

imants krumins – bum not as in person. mute

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Imants Krumins

Bum Not As In Person. Mute

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So here it is a thing just like the landscapes and stone walls I build ……..

some stuff that will change and disappear

 

Bio:

Born in the UK know nothing important about it, lived most of my life in Australia

Went to art school, failed at least once…… Sculpture major that’s what the piece of paper says

Exhibited on the Continent, The New World and The Old World ………. No awards prizes etc but I do have a pest control certificate

a troubled mind …with a troubled cure

 

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Imants Krumins

 

lung liu – abandoned

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Lung Liu

Abandoned

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The Salton Sea, in Southern California, was once a resort destination for the rich and famous, but now it is an ecological disaster, abandoned and neglected.  It is fed by agricultural runoff and the highly polluted New River.  The sea’s lack of outflow results in increasing salinity and bacterial levels as well as algal blooms that kill all but the hardiest of fish.  These dead fish have, in turn, severely affected the area’s massive bird population.  The smell of the polution and algal blooms coupled with the dead fish and birds have significantly curtailed the area’s tourism.  Resources such as fresh water that can help save the sea from further environmental damage are diverted to nearby areas such as Palm Springs.  Needless to say, the future of the Salton Sea is bleak.

The purpose of this essay is meant to explore the remnants of man’s abandonment of the Salton Sea and nature’s efforts to reclaim her land.  There is a beauty that lies beneath the death and decay of this desert sea’s landscape and it is my hope to convey some of the qualities that have fascinated me about this place.  This region is important not only to the people that still live there, but also to the large avian population that depend on the sea. It is worth preserving.

A tightly edited version of this essay has won the International Photography Award’s Non-Professional Editorial Category in 2007 and the Environmental Category (as well as overall essay winner) of the 2008 Australian Expose Your World Competition.  It is still a work in progress and will evolve over time.

 

Bio:

Lung Liu is a portrait and documentary photographer based in Montreal, Canada.  He has won numerous awards including: IPA 2008 Non-Professional Portrait Photographer of the Year, 2008 B&W Portfolio Excellence Award Winner, 2008 Roving Eye Expose Your World Grand Prize Essay Contest Winner, IPA 2007 Non-professional Editorial Photographer of the Year, 2007 PhotoLife International First Place Category Winner, among others.

 

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Lung Liu

 

Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

andrew sullivan – samba da bahia

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Andrew Sullivan

Samba Da Bahia

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After a friend, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, hired me to photograph her wedding last September, I decided to take five days after the celebration to begin a project before returning to the U.S. Choosing a subject to photograph in a country as large and overwhelming to the senses as Brazil humbled my planning abilities. As Tom Jobim, composer of “The Girl From Ipanema,” once said, “Brazil is not for beginners.”

I had good luck with an earlier story about Harlem Jazz, and found the links between music, culture and history to be great subject matter to photograph. Then as I saw the connections between the musical genres that the African diaspora carried to different parts of the world, samba beckoned me to Bahia, where I chose to try to photograph that musics inspiration.

As fishermen work on the beach, the icon of a Candomble god stands by their overturned boats. Sugarcane arrives at a market. A street cleaner steps through smoke drifting into his backyard. A young woman waits alone. And into the night, a crowd gathers outside a samba bar to look, to search.

As much as jazz can be identified with Harlem, samba can be seen as a metaphor for daily life in the city of Salvador. Its origins and symbolism reflect the history of the region, as the songs honor the labor and loves of the descendants of African slaves while also blending the influences of indigenous Brazilians and their Portuguese conquerors.

I hope to return to Bahia to continue work on this unpublished project. I also want to thank Randy Roberts of Cana Brava Records and writer Ben Paris. The two expatriate Americans living in Salvador provided me with friendship and generous support while I put frenzied demands on their time during the week that I visited. Without their help I would have been in trouble. Muito obrigado, meus amigos.

 

Bio:

I am a reformed newspaper photographer living just outside New York City in Connecticut. I graduated from American University in Washington, DC with a degree in literature and a minor in journalism. After a year of writing and photographing for a small paper in South Carolina, I decided to specialize in photography.

After a workshop with James Nachtwey, I worked for Associated Press in New Hampshire. I attended the Eddie Adams Workshop and moved to Connecticut, where I photographed for over 10 years at The Stamford Advocate.

A major turning point in my career came after attending David Alan Harvey’s loft workshop in 2007. His advice? Quit the newspaper. I’ve been freelance for over a year and see many opportunities for the future.

 

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Andrew Sullivan

 

Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

andrew steiner – ice cream social

streetstudy

 

 

Ice Cream Social by Andrew Steiner

Website: Andrew Steiner

patricia lay-dorsey – the best fall of my life

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The Best Fall of my Life by Patricia Lay-Dorsey

Much of the time living with a disability is a big fat bother. But there are moments touched with magic. Like the early evening I was out taking self portraits for the photographic essay workshop David Alan Harvey and Jim Nachtwey were co-teaching during the Look3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville.

I had turned the dial to self-timer, pressed the shutter release button and lowered my camera down to the red brick pavement. The light was good and I intended to get a shot of me riding my scooter up the hill in this quaint Virginia town. Knowing I only had ten seconds before the shutter would release, I pulled my scooter accelerator lever down hard.

As if a noose had tightened around my neck, I was yanked towards the left wheel of my scooter and thrown to the ground. I immediately knew what had happened because I’d experienced it once before: the long end of my neck scarf had gotten caught under the wheel. Whenever this happens I remember the famous dancer Isadora Duncan who had died like this in 1927, but she was riding in a sports car not a scooter.

I heard myself cry out in pain. Two men came running over to help. I calmly instructed them on how best to lift me back into my scooter seat: “Stand behind me, put your hands under my armpits and lift me until I’m standing upright. Keep holding tight because I can’t walk on my own, then swing me over into the seat of my scooter.”

The fellow was strong so the lift went smoothly. His friend saw my camera on the pavement and brought it over to me. I thanked them and they walked away.

It was only then that my brain kicked in. Could I have captured the fall with my camera? I caught my lower lip in my teeth and quickly hit the playback button. There on the LCD screen was my body lying on the pavement, partially obscured by the rear wheels of my scooter, my mouth open in a cry. I was in clear focus with the foreground blurred and the whole frame perfectly composed. As if it had been set up.

I was so excited I had to share it with someone. My “lifter” was talking on his cell phone in front of a nearby restaurant. I scooted up and showed him the picture, but he didn’t seem to get it. I didn’t want to bother him so I smiled and scooted down to the pedestrian mall. Earlier I’d seen a classmate about a block away with his camera gear slung around his neck. I soon found him again. “Monte, Monte, you’ve GOT to see this!!!” He understood.

When I showed the picture and told the story to David, Jim and the class during our daily critique the next morning, David, who had been mentoring me on my “Falling Into Place” self portrait project for a year, let out a loud “Whoop!” and came over to give me a congratulatory kiss. Yes, my ribs were a bit sore and I had a small scrape on my knee, elbow and big toe, but that was nothing. Of the thousands of self portraits I’d taken since starting this project on June 11, 2008, this was the first and only TRULY authentic photo I’d ever taken. All the others, although reflective of my lived reality, had been consciously set up in one way or another.

I’ll always think of this as the best fall of my life.

 

Patricia’s essay on BURN:

Falling into Place

Website: Patricia Lay Dorsey