Monthly Archive for March, 2012

Marc Shoul – Brakpan

Marc Shoul

Brakpan

Brakpan is a small town that lies on the East Rand of Gauteng, sandwiched between Boksburg, Benoni and Springs. A once-prosperous mining community, today there are pawnshops, roadhouses, mechanics, mini casinos and other day-to-day shops lining the two main roads that slice through the town. Brakpan is like going back in time; so many aspects of the town remind me of old images I have seen of South Africa. Despite all the changes in nearby Johannesburg, Brakpan still goes about its business in much the same way it did before.  There is a lack of modern development. You don’t see Tuscan townhouse complexes or buildings with glass facades. It’s all very simple and straight forward – almost transparent, and this transparency can be seen in the people too. You won’t find any airs or graces, no fancy cappuccino shops, sushi cafes or organic goods in Brakpan.

The town does not seem to have benefited from its gold rush glory days, which spanned between 1911 until the mid 1950’s, and it now has very little to show for its’ past. Today, the once flourishing mining town only pulls out a small portion of gold compared to what it used to generate, and some disused gold mines now only sell rubble.

 

 

A second factor that has contributed to Brakpan’s sense of preservation is the development of Carnival Mall and Casino, which conveniently lies just off the highway a few kilometers away from Brakpan Central. All the major chains and retail shops have moved to the mall and, as a result, the town centre has been left untouched and undeveloped, stunting it economically and leaving its inhabitants with little opportunities.

And yet there are many faces to modern Brakpan. Young girls push prams while karaoke competition winners don’t get their promised prizes. Pirated DVD’s get sold on the streets, crippling the nearby video shops that rent out older movies. There is a sense of nostalgia that remains and is reflected in the buildings and in the people. This is a place where you can still enjoy school and church fete’s, rugby matches, old bars, sokkie jols, biker rallies, fishing and braaiing at the Brakpan Dam; all of which are a part of the local’s lives.

Here there is a peacefulness and relaxed country town feel, without the stress about what tomorrow may bring.  The people of Brakpan live in the now but are still bound by the constraints of the past.

The images presented here are printed on Multigrade V1 FB Fibre matt photographic paper. Exhibition prints are 40cm by 40cm in size in an edition of 10.

 

 

Bio

Marc Shoul lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was born in 1975 in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa and graduated (with honors in photography) from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 1999. Since then, he has had several exhibitions of his work including group shows at the Arts Association of Bellville, Fusion (1999), Artscape, Mental Health, (2001) Cape Town, Month of Photography, Detour, (2002), Cape Town, Photo ZA, Obsess (2004) and Resolution Gallery, Faces (2008) in Johannesburg as well as at the World Health Organization TB exhibition in India (2004). Solo exhibitions of ‘Beyond Walmer’ were held by the Association of Visual Arts Gallery in Cape Town (2000) and Natal Society of Arts, Durban (2001).  “Flatlands” a solo exhibition was also held at the Association of Visual Arts in Cape Town (2009) with help from the National Arts Council. Shoul was also featured in the AGFA Youth International Photojournalism Publication 1999. He also reached the finals of the Absa L’Atelier 2009.  Flatlands showed at KZNSA in Durban, South Africa and Galerie Quai 1 in Vevey, Switzerland in 2010. Shoul was invited to hold a workshop at the Vevey School of Photography on the 2010. Shoul was also been included in After A at the Report Atri Festival, Italy, June 2010 curated by Federica Angelucci. Beyond Walmer is on show at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Museum June-August 2010. Brakpan (work in progress),Shoul has also been included in the Bonaini Africa 2010 Festival of Photography, Cape Town Castle of Good Hope and Museum Africa, Johannesburg. Brakpan (work in progress) was included in 10 a group exhibition at the PhotoMarket Workshop, Johannesburg, 2010. Brakpan in 2011 won the 1st prize at the Winephoto.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Museum added “Beyond Walmer” to its permanent collection (2007).

For the last ten years, Marc has worked for various local and international magazines such as Time, Colors, Wired, Blueprint, Dazed and Confused, Design Indaba, World Health Organization, Mother Jones, Stern, Gala, De Spiegel, Financial Times Magazine, Monocle, Smithsonian and The Telegraph Magazine, He has also shot for many advertising clients and agencies.

He has recently completed a project named ‘Flatlands’ in the Johannesburg inner city.  He is now working on a new body of work in Brakpan on the East Rand where he is exploring the city’s way of life and its people.

He is interested in exploring theams of social relevance and changes within his country and further a field.

Shoul works largely in black and white, using a medium format film camera and natural light printed on Fiber photographic paper.

 

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Marc Shoul

Una Fotografa – Caucasian Woman

Una Fotografa

Caucasian Woman

Una, Nessuna, Centomila
No name. No memory today of yesterday’s name; of today’s name, tomorrow. If the name is the thing; if a name in us is the concept of every thing placed outside of us; and without a name you don’t have the concept, and the thing remains in us as if blind, indistinct and undefined: well then, let each carve this name that I bore among men, a funeral epigraph, on the brow of that image in which I appeared to him, and then leave it in peace, and let there be no more talk about it. It is fitting for the dead. For those who have concluded. I am alive and I do not conclude. Life does not conclude. And life knows nothing of names. This tree, tremulous pulse of new leaves. I am this tree. Tree, cloud; tomorrow book or wind: the book I read, the wind I drink. All outside, wandering.
Luigi Pirandello, Uno, Nessuno, Centomila, 1926 (English translation One, No One and One Hundred Thousand)

 

 

Una is not The One
She doesn’t want to be you. Just anyone of you. Anytime, anywhere. 
(You need to be Caucasian, but it’s not her choice. She cannot stop being Caucasian and doesn’t like too much of photoshopping.)
Una is not the photographer. 
Not wanting to be an artist, she is part of the picture. 
Not wanting to represent a whole life, she represents anyone’s life. Bits and pieces of it.
Una multiplies her identities and roles walking in and out her pictures. 
She becomes mirror and model, photographer and subject. 
Her work is unique because it is serial. And she dissolves in it asking you what do you want to do with her. And yourself, maybe.
Una is….. (please fill the blanks)
Veronica Fernandes, 2012

 

Project

The photography project Donna Caucasica (Caucasian Woman) aims to give a an ironic profile of the modern Western woman by combining each image with an extract taken from ‘The Woman’s Encyclopaedia’, a 20 volume work published in 1963 by the Italian Editor Fabbri Editori. 
Borrowing from the language of stock photography (practically the only type of images featured in magazines), the project traces the stereotypical representation of femininity and, through the use of the self-portrait, gives a nod to the ‘profile pic generation’.

 

 

Bio

Una Fotografa is an Italian woman photographer in her thirties.

 

Related links

unafotografa@gmail.com

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Rian Dundon – Fringe Life: Negotiating Modernity in Chinas Provincial Grey Zones

Rian Dundon

Fringe Life: Negotiating Modernity in Chinas Provincial Grey Zones

[ EPF 2011 HONORABLE MENTION ]

This project re-examines China’s shifting cultural norms, economic transitions, and socio-political changes from within the context of its marginalized interior regions. Moving beyond the urban-centric/scenic/iconic structures, which dominate the current visual record of China, it considers the cultural dynamism of smaller provincial cities and rural prefectures far removed from China’s coastal metropole. These peripheral spaces, borderlands of China’s rural-to-urban transformation, are a crossroads for individuals finding their own place within a fluctuating and subjective cultural (and indeed physical) landscape.

 

 

If economic growth has opened new avenues for expression in China so too have resultant ideological deviations affected the way people see themselves and their place in the world. This project looks to provide visual evidence of that reality by focusing on the differentiated actualities of life in an environment of sustained cultural flux.

In China’s interior provinces, where the full benefits of economic growth have yet to be realized, negotiating modernity requires hustling for a place within fresh modes of individualized experience and personal redefinition. This project traces its narrative across the diverse geographies of these liminal regions to witness how divergent notions of sex, desire, image, and identity coalesce to help shape a cultural reality not found in dominant media representations of China. Its images form a visual diary chronicling the interpersonal relationships of people living on the fringes of China’s social sphere and the vulnerability I see reflected in a generation of young people coming of age in a society set on fast-forward.

 

 

Bio

Rian Dundon (Portland, 1980) is an independent documentary photographer and writer from Monterey, California. His words and images have appeared in The Irish Times Magazine, New America Media, Time, Stern, Out, and Newsweek. Since 2005 Rian has produced several works of photography addressing social issues in China including urbanization, drug addiction, celebrity culture, homosexuality, migrant labor, and HIV/AIDS proliferation. His work has been exhibited at the Angkor Photo Festival, the FotoGrafia Festival, Caochangdi Photo Spring, The Camera Club of New York, and the New York Photo Festival. Rian is currently working on a series of photographs analyzing the impact of incarceration on prisoners in California. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and is a masters candidate in Social Documentation at University of California, Santa Cruz.

 

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Rian Dundon

Nicholas Calhoun – Existing Is All

Nicholas Calhoun

Existing Is All

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We never live in the same moments. Although, life may be repetitive with our daily rituals and the things we experience, they are never truly the same. But it’s this illusion that we create, thinking life is vapid, that pushes us to do the ‘unexpected’. Losing ourselves in the moments we tend to forget about the future and dip our toes in the past and experience life.

With boredom we ignite ourselves to experience agony and joy; we scar our selves and our lives, just so we can have a taste of reality. We grow older although not aware of where we are headed.

With only stories that were created to simply be told, we forget who we are. Knowing we exist is all we need to keep us moving along.

Existing is all we do, all we need.

 

 

Bio

I’m Nicholas Calhoun, I go by Conner though. I have lived in Raleigh NC all my life. There isn’t much to do here except pass time.

My inspirations come from where I live, and the people who surround me.

I use art to better understand who I am and the little things that people tend to not notice.

I’m still young and learning.

Stacy Kranitz – The Other

Stacy Kranitz

The Other

My project engages with history, representation, biography, personal narrative, and otherness in the documentary tradition. Each year in Pennsylvania, 500 people come together to reenact the Battle of the Bulge. During the reenactment, I portray Leni Riefenstahl and behave with soldiers, as she would have. I am intrigued by the complex story of a woman with a problematic set of morals. My work aims to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs evil. I have inserted myself into the Nazi reenactor photographs to subvert the viewer’s instinct to dismiss these people as different from themselves. This allows me to reflect upon atrocity, delve into my own relationship with my Jewish heritage, and contemplate the camera’s ability to re-imagine history.

Much of our conception of history is based on images. Historical images have been filtered through media and propaganda. These images become history as generations pass. Images are the dominant force that shape the public imagination. My images of the reenactment are part of the deconstruction process by which images first represent and then replace history.

 

 

The next phase of this project will explore Riefenstahl’s life between 1962-1977 when she lived with the Nuba in Sudan. I will visit the same Nuba tribes to focus on the disjunction between her fetishized images and my own exploration of the Nuba’s complex modern reality. The Nuba were victims of genocide during a recent civil war and it has deeply impacted their culture. They were forcibly relocated to camps and Islamicized. Hundreds of thousands died from warfare and starvation.

My project asks how we live in a world where genocide takes place in continuum? It reflects on the history of the documentary tradition as it poses new ways of expressing identity in relation to ‘otherness’. This project deconstructs the notion of the photograph as document, its power as a tool of propaganda, as a witness to history and a call for change.

 

 

Bio

Stacy Kranitz studied film and photography at New York University. Her work focuses on the ways we express aggression and violence in our daily rituals, habits and pastimes. Additional themes in her work include the relationship between music and culture, the emotional growth of children and environmental racism. She is interested in the theoretical underpinnings that bind together the evolution of the documentary tradition. Her work looks to explore important social issues while commenting on this tradition and challenging its boundaries.

Her clients include Adbusters, Dwell, Elle, ESPN, Entertainment Weekly, Forbes, Fortune, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, Metropolis, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, People, Rolling Stone, Spin, Vice, Wall Street Journal and Wired.

She was awarded a Young Photographers Alliance Scholarship Award and also received a Story Project Grant from the California Council for the Humanities. She has shown her work at galleries in NY, CA, LA and FL.

 

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Stacy Kranitz

Elena Perlino – A Sea of Light

Elena Perlino

A Sea Of Light

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Essay foreword by Machiel Botman

“Let’s call it the yellow photograph for now: a street sign with half an arrow, a woman touching the sign and looking at where the arrow points. Behind it all a yellow sea of light, a colored landscape, cityscape that is too good to be true.

(who-ever said that things must be true)

Elena Perlino’s photographs are not carefully constructed images, all have the sensation of immediacy, as if she is passing by all the time. One might call what she passes by ‘little moments’ that, had she not been there, would have stayed unnoticed. In a world where everything is constructed, reality and fantasy, these ‘little moments’ escape us often, and when someone shows them to us we might not accept them.
Some make it easy for us, Richard Avedon’s Boy and tree in Italy is one of these beautiful floating moments, but all the same boy and tree are carefully orchestrated in a pose that we know, that we have come to accept. Perlino’s photographs are made of different stuff and at first glance one might say she does not make it easy on us.

The woman in the yellow photograph seems to accept reality as it is, by looking into the obvious direction where the arrow points. Someone who knows about clothes might tell us the woman is upper-class and waiting for a taxi. That’s where the truth begins and ends and begins again.
To me this woman is an immigrant, coming from yellow country, waiting to be collected to go somewhere else, somewhere where all is supposed to be better, where the sun always shines. Yellow country is still very much part of her, that’s where she is rooted, that’s where she is leaving behind those she loves, those she hates. Yellow country still follows her and I am afraid it always will.

 

 

Photographs like this always make me wonder. Where does the photographer come from, where does she go? Is Elena from yellow country, collecting proof some people are leaving? Or is she a future girl, pulling in people with invisible threads?
Good photography, like good writing, or good cinema, leaves the viewer free to do as he wants and in that way Perlino’s images, perhaps one more than the other, do not make it hard on us at all.
She has paved wide roads for us to walk on, with lots of light and exotic colors, with the presence of people, she is a people girl. There are gas stations staring at us with big eyes that look like lights, there is a man about to touch the cigarette to rid it of too much ash, there is a nude woman showing a muscle behind her skin, there are ghosts in the street, shit. But apart from what there is, we are free to make our own context, to decide what it all means. Until not very long ago, this would freak out the sensible world because this maker fits in no box. I hope dearly that by now we can accept these images as strong and beautiful gifts that need no explanation, that just need a little imagination.

My only worry concerns the messenger, the photographer if you like. She appears to be a lonely soul, detached from then and there – I hope she accepts these gifts as means to stop now and then, to get out and touch.”

 

 

Bio

Elena Perlino (b.1972) grew up in Piedmont, Italy. She graduated with a degree in History and Cinema from the University of Turin and attended at Reflexions Masterclass in Paris. Since 2003 Elena has been working on human trafficking and migration in the Mediterranean area. She was selected as a Nominee for Magnum Emergency Fund 2011.

Elena Perlino is currently running a photography project about Nigerian trafficking on Kickstarter.

 

Related links

Elena Perlino