Free beer, no sorry, free portfolio reviews…

It is past midnight.. It is late and it smells late..I leave for France in the afternoon tomorrow…I have not packed, nor have I ever learned to pack for any trip in all these years. Always get it wrong. Working on it. I am headed for four days of Magnum meeting followed by four days of Les Rencontres d’Arles arguably one of the most important international photography assemblages. After days of biz meeting with Magnum I am sure many would cut both ears off instead of one as did VanGogh in this fair charming south of France town.

Yet I always go. Never missed an annual gathering of the tribe since 1993 when I became a Magnum nominee and forever changed my life. I have already been to two photo fests this spring, am burned out on the social scene, and would not go to one now were Magnum not meeting on this 65th year in this historic Arles. The vibes in Arles buzz in way as in no other place.

My little book from 1967, Tell It Like It Is,  gets its two minutes of fame along with 10 other Magnum photographers who are participating on a presentation called “First Time”. Addressing the evening audience on July 3 with their first work, their first important work. The work that took them forward. For me this is bracketed with my recent Rio novella (based on a true story) entering the prestigious Library Actes Sud and a book signing at Les Rencontres. So my “first time” and my most recent. All the while surrounded by terrific exhibitions and evening presentations.

Burn will also have a stand where we will do free (buy me a beer) portfolio reviews. “We” being the entire Burn staff: Anton Kusters, Diego Orlando, Eva-Maria Kunz, Candy Pilar Godoy and Claudia Paladini. I do not think we have EVER had all of us together in one place. We work by remote control. By Skype. By text message (should be illegal) and by brain debilitating email. Fate has brought us all together. We are electric. On fire. BurnMagazine, BurnBooks, and BurnUniversity are all happening. Details on all will follow after the Burn gang meets after the Magnum meeting.

It all blends anyway. Magnum’s new website may unleash a whole new Magnum. For sure exciting times. Times to reinvent, times to invent, times to push push the proverbial envelope just as far as we can without losing the thing Magnum members care about the most. A place in history. A seat at the table. Burn seeks to help find new talent and celebrate the icons who may be a beacon for those forging ahead with oftentimes a wrinkled map.

If you are anywhere near the south of France June 3-8 please stop by. If you are on the other side of the world and have a lot of miles to cash in, now is the time. Everyone in this Burn audience knows well they have input in what goes on around here. Either with their voice or their pictures. Burn eliminates a lot of excuses. If you have something to say, you can say it right here and you are reaching an impressive cross section of our craft. Both the photographers and the editors and a lot of well versed serious photographer who choose photography as an avocation, rather than as a business.

I only write tonight and rambled this long to avoid the inevitable packing I must do. So let me get to it. Wishing all of you a pleasant morning/evening and ask you to stay tuned as I report from Arles in the week upcoming to flow alongside our EPF finalists.



Williston, North Dakota, from the Magnum project Looking For America, May 2012


335 Responses to “Free beer, no sorry, free portfolio reviews…”

  • Now, you may find this a little hard to believe, but gentrification has had some unusual effects here in our happy little burg. In the years since our economic turnaround began, we’ve had an influx of people from the metropolis to the south. Most of these folks are artists of one sort or another, the type of people who refer to well-known holes in the wall as spaces and who often wonder aloud why they can’t buy their favorite coffee here. Their favorite coffee often has a very long name, which causes no end of confusion hereabouts, as most of the indigenous population thinks of coffee as a beverage that either comes black or with cream and sugar. But what really sets the gentrifiers off from the gentrified is the worldview of the former. They are a well-traveled, cosmopolitan lot, on the whole, dropping the names of obscure Parisian restaurants in conversation in much the same way as our stout yeomanry drop dollar bills on the lottery and nodding knowingly at the mention of artists whose work is so obscure that their parents haven’t heard of it yet. With all of this sophistication, you may well wonder why these people would want to spend any amount of time with a provincial yutz like me. The answer, I’ve found, is that for all of their worldliness and sophistication, most of these people have never actually met a Republican.

    Yes, it is a good time to be a Republican here in our happy little burg; I know that my party registration has improved my social life immeasurably these past years and I am positive that being a Republican can do wonders for your social life as well. Rock-ribbed Republicanism will help you get girls and be the life of any party you attend. It won’t help you clear up your skin, of course, but in the main, you will be a more exciting, more fascinating person when you finally stop procrastinating and register in the GOP.

    You are probably asking yourself, but Akaky, how is this possible? I’ve tried everything I can think of to improve my social life, from using industrial strength Clearasil to going online to set up blind dates with transsexual Filipino lesbian dwarves. How will my being a Republican make me a more interesting person and help me score with chicks, which, as we all know, is the main purpose of any male’s social life, no matter what their party affiliation. Let me explain what happened to my social life.

    The vast majority of our gentrifying influx was, as mentioned, from the metropolis, a well-known one party state where Republican are few and far between, and when they do win elections, they have to compromise on vast swathes of the GOP agenda and pretend that they meant to register Democratic when they were filling out the voter registration form but that the form was confusing and the guy in front of them in line farted loudly and so they accidentally checked the wrong box. So most of our gentrifying influx has never actually met anyone who fundamentally disagrees with just about everything they hold near and dear to their hearts. Your average cosmopolitan knows that Republicans exist, of course, but they know that they will probably never meet one in the course of the day and so long as they remain ensconced in their island home our cosmopolitan need never think about such people. So they ignore them, and by them I mean people like me, in much the same way that a Cairene ignores the Great Pyramid of Giza or a hungry dieter ignores the food pyramid with pepperoni pizza with extra cheese. But when the siren song of modern art calls to the cosmopolite, they must follow, even if it leads to our happy little burg, which hasn’t gone Democratic in a presidential race since Zachary Taylor won handily here in 1848. This was an anomaly, of course, and one the local historical society usually attributes to Taylor’s enthusiastic support among local Mexican War veterans. Faced for the first time in their adult lives with the much dreaded Other, many a curious cosmopolitan will seek to grasp just why it is that the natives believe in the odd things they believe in and so they often ask me to explain the hows and the whys of what is going on here.

    I don’t mind, of course; many of these people are quite sincere in their curiosity, although I am also quite sure that many others invite me along merely to shock their friends and add a bit of a political frisson to their dinner parties. It seems a strange fate for any Republican to be a suces de scandale, but it seems I have managed this difficult task on more than one occasion. I am not sure how I managed to get the job as token Republican in the first place; I suppose that some of my Democratic friends recommended me as someone who was reasonably intelligent, reasonably knowledgeable about what’s going on in the world these days, and could be trusted not to blow my nose in the tablecloth between the soup and the main course.

    In some ways, of course, I am a bit of a disappointment. I am not, for example, a member of the National Rifle Association. In fact, I do not own any firearms at all—I am, however, like a good many other civil servants, a dangerous man with a rubber band and a paper clip—and I have experienced my share of crestfallen looks from people who thought that I must, like the Republicans they’ve seen on television, have several years’ worth of canned goods next to the arsenal I have stashed in my own personal bomb shelter. I don’t actually have a bomb shelter, either, and this and the fact that I believe that if you wish to possess a 155mm howitzer of your very own, then the government ought to take a polite interest in what you intend to do with the thing (you might, for example, be planning to overthrow the constitutionally elected government of our happy little burg, or worse, plan to do a little target practice on Saturday mornings when I am trying to get some sleep), has led more than a few people to believe that I am not really a Republican at all. Nor am I an evangelical Christian and I am not completely sure I could identify with any degree of certainty the significant theological points of contention and agreement between Fundamentalists and Pentecostals, except for a somewhat unfortunate taste in hair styling. I suppose I am not atavistic enough.

    Still, I’ve learned over the years that one mustn’t completely dash people’s illusions, and I have managed to epater les avant-garde on more than one occasion. There’s nothing quite like the reaction one gets from pointing out to some cosmopolite with a home in Vermont who has just spent an hour expounding on the racial problem here in AmeriKKKa that the reason many white liberals love living in Vermont is that it gives them the opportunity to decry AmeriKKKa’s racist treatment of African-Americans for hours on end without having to live anywhere near actual African-Americans. The sound made on one of these occasions is a sort of a low moan, similar, I think, to the sound one makes when you step out of a car wearing brand new shoes and step right into a pile of fresh dog crap. Your average host or hostess usually loves this sort of political spat; it livens up the conversation in what, in other circumstances, would have been yet one more dull dinner party. They’ll denounce my obvious idiocy—this simply goes without saying, naturally; they have to keep their Vermont friend happy too, you know—and it almost certainly means another dinner invitation in the not so near future so that I can politely mock the shibboleths that they and their friends hold most dear. Hearing someone praise Karl Rove can be a mind-altering experience for some people, however common such praise may be in some GOP quarters. I guess everything sounds a bit shocking if you’ve never heard it before.

    My perplexing adherence to what these folks often refer to as the Repugnicans, the Rethuglicans, etc. causes no end of cognitive dissonance among the cosmopolitan population—they think, of course, that by all rights, I ought to be a Democrat, the same as them, and they will often ask, in their confusion, if there is anything I wouldn’t do for the GOP? To comfort them I say, yes, there is: I will not give money to a candidate for political office, even to a Republican candidate. You may not have noticed this, but campaign contributions only encourage politicians, a particularly noxious breed of peculating parasite, to run for political office in order to do whatever it is they do on the public payroll, and to continue to run for office long after the rest of the population has gotten tired of listening to them and wishes that they would simply go away and leave the rest of us alone. Our Great Republic will only survive if and when vast numbers of American citizens treat running for public office in the same way that they treat jury duty: as an onerous task to be avoided whenever possible, and if political office becomes inevitable, to be gotten out of as soon as possible. I mean, really, would you want the leader of the Free World to be someone too dumb to get out of being President? I didn’t think so.

  • Of interest to photobook lovers…

    PhotoBook Show C opens at Create Studios in Brighton this Friday evening. It’ll be open all weekend and there’s a special panel discussion taking place on Saturday afternoon organized by MiniClick’s Jim Stephenson.

  • a civilian-mass audience




    geez,I just went to check my dinner…““““““““““““kalamari …
    my “300” is gone and AKAKIOUS is here with 1500 words…
    really???…really …:)))))))))))))))))))))))))))
    I know to be a “civilian” is a lonely business …what about “an academian”…?
    oh,well…I LOVE YOU AKAKIE!!!

    THODORIS…we will be there…Σου ευχομαι καλη επιτυχια!!!

  • So what’s in Santiago? Chile, Cuba, or somewhere else?

    Probably of no interest whatsoever to photobook lovers:

  • Welcome to the USA Patricio….
    Sorry u had to witness our everyday reality here…;)

  • “The 15th of August or ‘Dekapedavgoustos’ is one of the most famous holidays in Greece.
    This day is a national holiday, no one in the country works and all the people named ‘Maria’ and ‘Panagiotis celebrate their onomastic day.”

    so: congrats to Panos and his sister Maria!

    see the article in ‘Greek Diaries’

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Don’t we ALL Love THOMAS!!!

    Ouzo on PANOS and wine and souvlakia and kokoretsia and spanakopites and xtapodia and yeah…
    chickens on me!!!

    cause today we are celebrating the BURNING resolution !!!


  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURNING resolution?:)))…oime,what am I drinking?:))))

  • Just discovered The Candid Frame…

    Check out an amazing interview with William Albert Allard

  • @ EVA: Nice interview with an incredible photographer. Also, nice view of NYC from the roof of the Kibbutz. Wish someday have a guided visit of the building by someone who lives there…
    I absolutely need to plan to go there.


  • hello ALL,
    from Antoine D’Agata and myself …
    We are in the heart of Texas looking to finish and put a final chapter on
    Antoine’s NEW MOVIE coming out in couple months.
    Stay tuned in my instagram/FB page to follow the trip in the HOT American South…
    some teasers from last night


    Lola and Antoine D’Agata

    Jenna texting her boyfriend

    in tha night

    frank and kim


    Jenna’s legs

    myself, Angelique and Antoine D’Agata

    next stop should be san francisco for the MOVIE Grand Finale :)
    big hug

  • Angelique and Antoine

    (to be continued and to be soon done :)
    love you All!
    Antoine sends LOVE to ALL in Burn..
    ok, back to work ,
    see u tomorrow night y’all;)

  • Go Panos!

    Awesome, can’t wait to see the end result!

  • Carlo,
    It’ll be a THRILLING MOVIE..very close to the final scenes/end at this point.
    Hoping it’ll be “out” in less than two months
    ( if the god of Editing permits ;)
    stay very tuned;)

  • Panos,

    Looking forward to it!


    Sad news indeed…

  • David,

    I’m banging my head against a wall right now for skipping your post about your visit 2 chile and not being at the opening last night… i’m right back from gallery… i’m out of myself, i thought i’d never gonna see those prints of ‘Divided Soul’ just a few blocks from my place… great! fantastic! Is not a mirage product of cold!
    I’ve been stalking at fb and tweeter… i won’t forget myself for not having (‘based on true story’) signed!

  • Antoine D’Agata will arrive in San Francisco Aug 23rd- Sep 2nd. He will be finalizing a short video project that will accompany his latest book release in France 2013. Antoine is seeking contacts that can help locate willing participants to be interviewed and/or filmed for the project. Subject matter should be relevant to his latest project, Ice.

    Any help is greatly appreciated! If you have information, please contact Antoine via: (call me actually at 310-745-7005 or by responding to this post directly.

    Much Thanks!!!!!

  • eduardo…

    David has portfolio reviews starting at 11 am somewhere through 3 pm, I’m sure he’ll be happy to sign your copy..

  • a civilian-mass audience


    PANOS tell him his name is ANTONIS…therefore,he is 100% Greek!!! Is that right THOMAS?:))))

    EVA…hmmm…yes,she is going Upstairs…!

    Thank you ALL for Reporting…FROSTY…and others…I need Updates ASAP!

  • CIVI, of course he is. We ALL are Greek!
    and my name is Θωμᾶς

    BTW – I’ll be in Athens – this Tuesday until Thursday morning, short trip.
    Hope to return more often again.

    What not to love!

    Big Hug!!

  • Hey dear Panos…

    Just a quick thanks for the reports(writing and visuals)on your days,job and adventures with Mr.awesomeness D’Agata to Burn crew. D’Agata is lucky to have you! Blood, passion, and truth on your way!

  • Civi – sorry for my absence lately. I have been pre occupied (in part, hopefully on something I might be able to show you before long) but finally I have an excellent report to give you.

    I have not had a good, commissioned, paying project since I put out my final issue of Uiñiq Magazine last November. And, of course, I have had to deal with all this medical stuff, with its complications, set backs, multiple surgeries, multiple visits to the emergency room, multiple hospital stays and accumulating six figure debt – and all with very little income coming in.

    Yesterday, I got a new contract approved to do a great project – create an illustrated history book of the Alaska’s North Slope (Arctic Slope) ofor the North Slope Borough School District, beginning in Iñupiat antiquity right up to these crazy times of melting ice and Shell Oil out in the offshore seeking and, by the conclusion, almost surely producing oil amidst the whales, bears, seals, walrus and other natural sustenance of the Iñupiat. Once complete, it will in turn be a resource to be used to create curricula for the different grade levels. I will be working closely with a brilliant Iñupiat educator who has led the way in creating school curricula from an Iñupiat view point. We anticipate two years, although the contract is for one and then we plan to make another contract for next year.

    We plan to involve students and elders along the way, and to create some photo/writing workshops for the youth.

    Without the new medical expense, it would be enough to live and and work on. Even with the expense, it finally gives me some footing to stand on. I am excited. I see endless possibilities before me.

  • Thank’s Eva! i cheked tweeter and fb this morning but came here on Burn out of time… If you know of any other activities i’ll thank you more than a lot, and i’ll be reading here at first hour.

    Viva Burn!

  • Frostfrog

    Congratulations on the new gig. It sounds like an awesome project.

    Your medical expense thing is just too bizarre. I cannot fathom the resistance to universal health care in the US.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BIG HUG ΘΩΜΑ !!! I hope to meet this season…Finally:)!


    Come on BURNIANS…ON THE EDGE …I need reports…or else…

  • Thanks Gordon. It is bizzare. Insane, in fact. But I’m going to get on top of it.

    You too, Civi – GO! GO! – but not away.

  • Hi Civi, Hi Harvey. Heading to Hoosierland and watching you. Harvey if you travel through my neck of the woods I expect contact. Civi, olives, lamb and love. Time to smoke.. don’t forget the butt-rub.

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