cristina faramo – in the mood for love [EPF Finalist]

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Cristina Faramo

In The Mood For Love

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Emerging Photographer Fund – FINALIST (number eleven of eleven)

My photography explores aesthetic mood, personal experimentation and life.

My project, “In the Mood for Love,” examines the celebration of love through the intimacy of couples. I recently started making photos of couples during their daily life: when they are working, sharing private moments, experiencing pain, anger or joy, and when they are passionate.

Passion is love. Passion is a feeling, a force, an energy more powerful than ourselves. This power has a determining effect on our lives every day. Through my focus on couples and use of diverse visual aesthetics, I seek understanding about the nature of our instincts and our more primitive personalities. I capture moments that occur naturally in front of me.

Every day we live with tumultuous impulses and passions that drive us but this intensity doesn’t always find its way out of our mind and body. Many people dream to live in intimate and passionate relationships where we wish for something powerful, exciting and invigorating that distracts us from the everyday realities of life. We dream passion can bring us to places unknown and give us the opportunity to live the emotions and feelings of our dreams, to live with more intensity.

However, passion does not always appear in positive ways. It may also bring moments of severe drama or darkness to the surface. In this most intimate space, we see who we are in the most raw, complex and exposed aspects of existence.

The evolution of our feelings allows us to explore beyond the boundaries of what is known about ourselves. This is an exploration for us through the feelings of sensuality, intimacy and love.

I plan to continue this project by making more photographs of diverse couples from different cultures.

 

Bio:

My photography explores aesthetic mood, personal experimentation and life. I studied at the Academy of Art in Catania, Sicily and worked for two years as a photography assistant and photographer in a commercial studio in Catania.

I am currently involved in several long-term projects. “In the Mood for Love” is about the celebration of love through the intimacy of couples. “Time in Prison” explores the emotions of the detainees when living locked in small spaces and how their soul is affected during time in a Sicilian prison. This project has been published in Vision Magazine, China, March 2009.

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Cristina Faramo

 

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

Many thanks… david alan harvey

50 Responses to “cristina faramo – in the mood for love [EPF Finalist]”


  • Lacks (spnugk),love lust and sensitivity……….

  • When I see this kind of stuff, I wonder about the people who will allow a photographer into intimate space, and then allow the photographer to publish photos from that space. And I wonder what the photographer thinks they are really revealing through any of this. Once you put that camera in the room, true intimacy evaporates. The camera changes the people it is pointed at and distorts the story. The photographer can’t capture “moments that occur naturally in front of me” when she is clearly standing in a couple’s bedroom with a camera.

    If this is the photographer photographing herself and her own relationships, it fails for the same reason. Nan Golden often pointed her camera at herself and her sometimes abusive relationships, but the photos do not come across as honest, as she and the guy are clearly aware that someone will see the images. The camera in these situations always changes things.

    As for the photos themselves, been there, seen that. Fuzzy, grainy, motion blurred. I don’t know what you do with these photos. Put them in a book on a coffee table? Hang ’em on the wall? Neither seem to work. Maybe appealing to voyeurs?

    Real intimacy is difficult to openly photograph because the camera in the room threatens to reveal the secrets and hidden things that are the core of intimacy. It disrupts true intimacy by its presence. Everything changes.

  • love? nonsense! no explanation needed.

    why I dont need to explain? Because its obvious. Think yourself.

  • Christina

    Wonderful lovely essay. Numbers 8 and 17 are two of my favorites. Well done.

    JIM

    I understand what you are saying and I agree to a point. But the truth is, as soon as you bring a camera into most situations, you have altered the dynamic. But that does not mean the pictures are not authentic. A good topic for discussion though. Maybe David will start a thread.

  • henri cartier-bresson

    now that i’ve seen the eleven selected essays i regret i did not submit anything. I would have won the 10,000 easily!

  • Heh.

    I didn’t finish this. Right away I “saw” the photographer, imagined where the camera was positioned, and realized that what I was seeing was performance. Okay, pun intended.

  • Apart from no 14, I didn’t find much to commend these pictures. Too vague, blurry, out-of-focus; they look like the shots that you take by mistake. It’s an interesting subject and given the constraints Jim outlines, a challenging one with some potential, but (sadly) these images don’t do it for me.

  • As much as I like some of the pictures in Cristina’s essay and found them quite interesting and esthetically powerful, I can’t help but think about one specific problem I have with this kind of pitures and subject (and maybe it’s because I saw a Nan Goldin’s exhibition last week and felt pretty much the same): is intimacy “just” the closeness between two people in a room or is it something more than that? Or maybe portaying couples while they’re having sex or sharing an intimate moment is it just easier than trying to “capture” intimacy beyond its simplest and most recognizable aspects?

    (I hope my questions make sense, in case they don’t, well, just ignore them) :-)

  • Christina – I appreciate the feeling you certainly must have attempting to go into this place and this ‘space’ but I too feel a certain lack of you having arrived somewhere with this selection of these images. The technical challenges – blur, motion, grain, etc. – do not offend. Nor do they add. The first and most important issue for me as a viewer is your point of view – who are YOU in all of this?
    No doubt you are familiar with Nan Goldin’s very personal, very intimate very excellent work in this realm. In all of her images, you never doubt where she is, who she is and who the people are to her and the pain and love she feels for them. And her own soul is laid bare there. Yours is yet to be.

  • Francesco B., nr. 16 is my answer :)

  • 11 finalists?

    Rodeo, Box, Sex….what a programm…

    MMMM sound like you made a workshop with A.
    Only workshop?

    Your own life would be seriously more honnest, not more interessant probably but more honnest…

    Go more deep in sex please… I saw this kind of pictures everywhere on flickr on myspace today…and also…all students of A.

    Here it has the color and the appearance of Canada Dry but it’s not….

  • Surely I am wrong but I would be sure that photoshelter doesn’t create a firewall to block all what is not from North America and Italia?

    This is what jump into my eyes when I see the list of finalist? Would say that the rest of the world do nothing today?

    I am dispointed to see the lack of variety and approach…some good but no genius around…

    But some well inspired photographers…the best is the new young Donovan Wyllie…

  • Cristina,
    Fantastic job Cristina!

    I am sure that your images will become even more powerful as you continue to explore your project over time.

    You have chosen a very difficult subject to document and it is even more difficult to capture passionate moments as they are occur naturally without being a distraction. I think you have succeeded with most if not all of your images.

    Keep up the great work!

  • From my stupid point of view, this is quite the mess, but I like it. The mess is caused by the mishmash of color/b&w. Color or b&w, not both, not here, not this story. I like the kohones involved here, and the general tone, which is kinder than Nan Goldin’s strobed harshness. Still, doesn’t make me go back for a second view, so something vital is missing. Don’t ask me what that is, but I hope the photographer figures it out, along the way.

  • Hello,

    Congratulations and best of luck to Christina and all the finalist. I feel very excited for you all and look forward to seeing where your images take us as you “emerge” over your careers.

    I like the feeling very much when all the walls are down and you feel free to completely be yourself. This is most often felt around family but intensely felt around lovers. I think this essay is about walls being down rather than eroticism. What a wonderful topic to explore…

    When I saw this presentation it felt strangely similar to one that I was looking at over at the digital journalist last night. Of course, they are not related, but, Christina, if you have not seen these photos and interviews you may find them relevant to the work you are doing.

    http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0205/donna_intro.htm

    kind regards and bonne chance,
    Ian

  • IMO:

    I remember David talking about DIVIDED SOUL, saying he liked his pictures asking questions that do not necessarily have answers (I guess he likes me too then, ahahah), and here, not one picture asks one question. All trivial gestures, but alas, triviality that does not even to begin to tell a story, or make us imagine or ask for one, even in the most poetic, unspoken, and fulgurant manner the medium of photography is so unique to convey.

    As usual with myriad BURN entries, the text comes as unnecessary feel-y verbose, as if the photographer fears (safely?) her/his pictures are half the story only.

    You’d think if there is one emotion that needs the least words, it’s passion and love…. Oh well…..

    Anyway, a fitting last entry in the 2009 finalists! :-))))

  • I suspect that this is a return of favour…

  • Cristina

    Congratulations for being a finalist, and for this very ambitious attempt to photograph something that seems pretty un-photographable. Finally, someone who is trying to explore what they know.

    Movies can come pretty close to creating the kind of atmosphere you are trying to capture. It is probably not possible in the real world as Jim and others have pointed out. I’d love you to prove me wrong.

    The fuzzy style. An occasional use, reducing things to simple graphics with blur has a place, and I like some of the photos, but too much is too much. It just becomes an attempt to make something look “arty”. If you want to show me something, just show it too me. No need to hide behind blur .

    I can see from these photos, and from your site that you are a huge talent. I’d love to see you continue with this project and hope you do. Good luck.

  • I Love It Cristina!

    All that I can say is that if you don’t love it, it’s because you’re looking for love in all the wrong places and probably spend too much time in Lightstalkers or DPReview.

    I just can’t figure out if the success is deliberate or not, or if David just recognized it as this or not.

    Let’s step back a bit and figure out why this is not a Nan Goldin remake and why this is not a Chanel Number 5 Ad Shoot.

    In one word: Implicated

    Just like a photograph is said to have narrative by ‘not’ showing you things that you can only suspect, or are ‘forced’ to think about, well it’s impossible ‘not’ to think about the absent photographer from this effort, you know she’s implicated.

    Damn, we think about the photographer with each and every shot, and since this work has the pedigree of not being ‘ad’ work we know there is something ‘not’ normal going on here.

    All the comments so far are providing evidence of this magic, evidence of being provoked and evidence of turning the result of that provocation not on the work, but on the approach of the photographer, you’ve all been snared in the genius of this magic. You’ve proven the photographer is just as much part of this experience. When you say things like ‘I can’t stop thinking about ‘X’ or I can’t stop thinking about ‘Y’ Well, there you have it!

    So what is it that we can’t see, what’s the narrative device?

    Well I’ve seen so much porn and so much ‘behind the scenes’ documentary about porn I can tell you this is not that, and I can tell you that although I can’t see Cristina I’m certain that she is not one of those fat slobs either holding a light, or holding a camera, or just some chump holding a camera phone. There are no ugly people on this set, I don’t know that, but the images convince me this is true.

    What else I’ve learned about watching so much porn is just how ‘unauthentic’ it looks. I don’t know to what degree this essay is for the camera or despite the camera, but I can assure you my ex-girlfriend and I had just as genuine erotic sex when she thought the neighbors were looking in from across the court yard as we did when we had what I’m sure Jim Powers would describe as private, ‘normal’, missionary sex, behind locked doors, and probably with the lights out. When did you suddenly become Dr. Ruth Jim? Please don’t paint all your prudish ways on the rest of us, if given the chance, most would enjoy this kind of experience, I’m speaking from experience, it’s all about not being so uptight.

    Also I can’t see what Christina looks like but I got a funny feeling she must look like something that would keep these people in the mood for carnal behavior, maybe she was even wearing something that was moody, I don’t know, I don’t need to know, I just keep thinking of her rolling around in the sheets with these couples to get these strange moody camera angles.

    So for me this is sort of a meta visual experience where I’m looking and contemplating what the heck I can’t see just as much as what I can see, it’s just as much interplay with the photographer is it is with the photographed.

    And sorry, there’s not a photographer in this room that has the skill, the access, and the grace to collect this ‘extent’ of images without paying models to do it, so get thee selves back to thee comfort zone. Maybe some of you have collected one here and there, but not a whole project of them.

    Besides all that it’s wonderful yummy photography, B&W and color mixed and still retaining harmony.

    By the way, speaking of Narrative, I love image 15, the book and thinking: “who the heck is that lying across the room on the couch”, “how many people were ‘implicated’ here?”

    Congratulations Cristina, I’m so glad David found what ever it was to like about this work and I’m so glad that I found this angle to experience it, i hope you keep finding ways to use your grace to bring back images that us clumsy cows can’t!

  • Incredibly disarming and honest. People with their barriers down and an openness that was actually shocking and moving. Amazing stuff!

  • I like this.
    I think fuzzy is never enough, life is fuzzy, never still. Still is photography.
    I can feel the “mood”…

  • MMMhhh… What a FIASCO!!!

    very disappointing

    Mimi

  • In a time when so many of us are throwing photos around on Facebook, it’s refreshing to take a step back and view such sensitive and sensual portraits. Always good to be back to the basics – love and passion.

  • I can imagine many entrants of the EPF viewing this and thinking, why do I bother, and feeling very depressed about the whole situation. While I applaud Cristina for having a go at this really difficult topic there is no way that this work can be good enough to reach the final.

    Back to basics indeed…..

  • CRISTINAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA……….

    I’ll second Joe…100%.

    Cristina Bravooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

    sorry y’all i’m so happy for her…..I met Cristina in last year’s Look3 for couple of minutes…….
    next to Anton and David……. Amazing personality … you could see the spark in her eyes……….
    Viva Italia !!!!!!!

    again, Cristina congrats…
    :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  • Cristina – nice work. Well done on being selected. You absolutely deserve to be in with the other finalists.

    Your work is another genre of photography and as of right should be celebrated.

    It’s a really nice intimate essay that you present. Love is not brash but subtle and sweet. It’s not necessarily clear or crisp – it means different things to different people. It has mystery and suspense. It has many sides only some of which are outwardly presented.

    Your essay is at complete variance to the ‘shock-shot’ genre which is portrayed so often. “Shock-shot” has it’s place too but this essay is a welcome relief.

    The only part that didn’t get me was the textual introduction. Perhaps it’s culture or state of mind but I found following your text difficult – can words explain the mood of love or language define such a mood. Probably not. However the essay didn’t need a lengthy introduction. It stands on its own. The title was nice but even that is superfluous to the glimpse of what is the language of love.

    I think that the non nude images are incredibly more powerful than those displaying nudity. #14 is *THE* image of the set – so light, so soft, so subtle, so lovely. The muted colours work really well throughout and enhance the set. I really love that softness you have captured.

    Cristina – the world needs LOVE. Good luck on your journey.

    We’re getting close now. The finishing line is in sight on the EPF. Good luck.

    Bravo!

  • All I can say is was that really Henri Cartier-Bresson? wow

  • I wasn’t sure what I could contribute to the thoughts on Cristina’s offering, and then Kathleen used the word “twitchy”. I don’t know exactly what that means but I know
    it sounds like what I’m thinking.

    Perhaps there is a point where you can get too close. Not because of the personal space, but because you just do not go there. It would be a real visual break-through to get there and this, I suspect is what Cristina wants. You only make headway by bucking the norm and that she has done.

    The only “criticism” that I can muster, is that this piece is heavy with intimacy. I do not see rage, anger, happiness and whatever… At the very least these images show expression by Cristina.

    I choose not to view these finalists by narrow criteria and that has been a great way to open myself up to other possibilities. If a little bit rubs off and gets me to think different about the way I approach my work, then I’ve made wading through Burn a great journey.

    Best of luck Cristina

  • It’s nice to see Cartier-Bresson chime in hear.

  • id say its bloody miraculous seeing as he’s been dead for years.

  • LUST:
    intense
    and
    often
    excessive
    or
    unrestrained
    sexual desire…
    ~webster’s dictionary~
    PASSION:
    powerful feeling,
    love
    ~webster’s dictionary~
    xox
    **
    #15
    is just the beginning….
    **

  • a deep, intimate story…. well done! ciao

  • Not a friend of DAH's

    How funny that DAH knows a majority of the finalists. David, how do I get on your friends list so I have a chance next year?

    Seriously…..

  • Thanks Panos for your honnesty (or naivety)

    for that comment! Some words that say few things…that probably the lightsalkers gallery was absolutely not annonymous…:

    ” I met Cristina in last year’s Look3 for couple of minutes…….
    next to Anton and David”

    !!!!

  • Probably the italian came from the italian community of NYC… This made that grant super local and famillial. Come on!

  • Cristina – I love your images. They are very sensual. It is provocative to see photographs of sexual intimacy treated as reportage. The images worked for me much better on second viewing; the first time around I was thinking about the images, the second time I let just let them take me. -Michael

  • This is not for me. Yet. I say this because I did not, originally, “get” Sean Gallagher’s essay on China (possibly too many tilted horizons); but DAH saw something and Sean has just exploded into such a creative period since. So, as always; I hope, I’m open to being educated and informed.

    Why, so far, it’s not for me. This is very early days for this essay. Christina has photographed about four couples and I wonder just how far she can take this concept. Love and intimacy are such private feelings.

    Nan Goldin has been mentioned in regard to this essay but I beg to differ. Nan photographed her life, which happened to include sex, drugs, trans-gender etc. and yes, which made her work compelling but; she photographed her world: I’m not sure that this is the case for Christina.

    Mixed feelings here Christina. Congratulations for being selected.

    Best wishes,

    Mike.

  • This was, at first, an essay I was on the fence about. After a several viewings, I find myself appreciating the dance along the line between simple voyeurism and the celebration of intimacy. I think the image that turned the corner for me was the cigarette being held by the toes (13)—it’s the feeling of such familiarity, not just the passion, where one can be a complete goof, and that’s OK. That image feels like a warm blanket.

    This essay could have wandered into offensive territory, but it did not. That sort of critical discipline needs to be commended.

    Well done, and congratulations.

  • Its Who You Know...

    ” I met Cristina in last year’s Look3 for couple of minutes…….
    next to Anton and David”

    This is a very opening statement….

    10,000 entries plus?

    Very disappointed with the finalists work in general.

    David, would you mind addressing the issue raised by a few here about the fact you know quite a few of the finalists? Perhaps in a new dialogue?

  • I dont know, Im totally not into this. The difference between this and other intimate sort of photography to me is huge and important. Take Goldin, she showed intimacy but it was HER intimacy. She showed her friends, yes, but what she was really exposing was herself, her life, her secrets, her weaknesses, her pain, her joy, her tragedy….that was truly intimate. This shares nothing with that line of photography which has been practiced to great extent by people like Goldin or Sultan, Billingham, even Larry Towel. They showed THEIR world. Here? What is it we are to see? Some nice compos? Where is the daring, the courage, the heart to show YOUR world? We learn nothing from this. Not about the people in the photos. But most significantly nothing about the photographer, which is why Goldin is great and this is flat. I see no reason why this would be on anyone’s radar, honestly. This is the 2nd finalist essay for me that just flat out fails to tell me anything.

  • Rafal:

    Given what you say, I then wonder then how Harvey obviously has a very different opinion? Harvey has worked at the highest levels for decades and sees great ability in these 11 finalist entries. They represent some of the of the best young photographers working today apparently according to him. I just wonder why there is such a differing of opinion between unknown photographers chiming in here and Harvey, a Magnum and National Geographic heavyweight? I would love for Harvey to explain his reasoning as so many others are so critical. I, too, am amazed at this grant. I’d love to see the other 1200 entries. There just had to be many at the finalists level or better. Where is Bendiksen, Sobol level?!

  • That makes me think… In the same ‘category’ of love but obviously on a different level, I think Rafal Pruszynski’s serie about his family ‘Little pieces of us’ is much much much stronger. But again, the same problem rises, he’s been mentored by DAH as were Cristina Faramo and many finalists…
    Strange thing this EPF thing… need more ‘transparence’

  • First of all – congratulations Cristina!

    There are a lot of different responses to Cristina’s work here and some people say all press is good press. We always prefer positive comments but even constructive negative comments help us learn. Non constructive comments are a waste of everyone’s time. It is impossible for everyone to like everything. Photography is about many things and especially to intrigue people to think, feel, communicate and inspire people to respond in any way that they feel.

    I have judged contests, I have judged grants and it is never easy to make the final decisions. Judges frequently know the photographers and they have to focus on not being biased. It’s like trying to make an unbiased photo which I believe is impossible because of the angle you choose, the light you choose, the subject you choose is always your decision on how to portray something visually. One can make less biased photos but not fully unbiased. One can be more biased than another but unfortunately there is always a bias in everything in life. David and the Burn team has chosen the finalists but he has said that a jury will choose the winner – this seems very fair.

    The subject of passion and love is different for everyone and therefore a very difficult subject to photograph.

    Some of my thoughts and with some mention to other comments here:

    Style of these photos: Passion to me is never clear, and absolutely never still so the use of motion, blur gives the images a feeling of mystery, questions, confusion, emotion which to me is the right selection of style for these pictures. However I agree with some of you that it might be better not have every image in the project with this blur style…mix it up a bit more but the over all style works for me. Passion to me is very mysterious, always changing, sometimes in your face. I can tell from Cristina’s personal site that she doesn’t always use this style and therefore seems to have chosen it for this project. Her Time in Prison story has been published as referenced in her bio and it is a strong documentary story with a different style. I think she needs to get even closer to her subjects and have some images from very far away – most all of these photos are from about the same distance…i want to be closer and taste the sweat when they are making love, I want to feel the passion more under my skin and I want to feel more a sense of place from distant – overview images, such as looking in from the outside window. This is definitely voyeurism like most all photography. I want to see more images of these people during quite/lonely moments, I want to see images of people passionately angry, crying…..

    Stage of project: I agree with several people here – it seems like this project is in the early stages and she is brave to share with all of you – including all of you non constructive critical people. I too look forward to seeing her project evolve and trust in DAH to have selected someone with potential. Finding mentors who believe in us is hard but fantastic when we find them. These finalists are submitting images to a grant for emerging photographers who wish to continue evolving special projects and therefore her work seems like a perfect selection. Up and coming photographer/student who wants to win a grant to help her explore and evolve her style.

    Mood: I bet many people were in the mood for love after viewing these images like I was….if so then she succeeded. If you thought about your lives with/without passion during or after looking at these images then she succeeded. I bet most of you did.

    Relevance to Nan Goldin: It is interesting that several people are trying to put Cristina in the Goldin box and wondering whether she fits. As a comparison this conversation makes sense but I believe Cristina is trying to find her own different style. She has not placed herself in these pictures and therefore doesn’t seem to be photographing her life specifically. However, by the nature of selecting this project – the subject must be important to her and something she wants to explore. Others above have mentioned this and I agree that it doesn’t seem like she is photographing her life like Nan Goldin but trying to visually explore a difficult subject which is close to all of our lives. It takes years to evolve a style and I look forward to seeing her style evolve. We don’t need another Nan Goldin – we need a different point of view who inspires us in new ways…keep evolving your own personal style Cristina!

    Selection of the finalists: I am sure David will comment about this at some point. Additionally, I am sure that David has mentored many photographers over the years and many of them were not selected here. What Burn and DAH are doing here is fantastic – giving any emerging photographer a chance in the world – even if he knows 10 of the 11 and selects 1 person from somewhere with unique potential who he doesn’t know – then this Grant is a success and gives new opportunity in my mind. Every grant and contest around the world brings criticism for the winners – and this one is no different. Everyone has different point of views. I have experienced some jurors for grants yell and scream about who should win and sometimes the discussions evolve into how the photographers are as people. Are they constructive to others, are they good people, are they someone who would continue the spirit of the grant such as the Eugene Smith Grant or others… I would bet that this is something that David thinks about – some people who seem always bitter in these comment forums, in this Burn community, who are always bitter, who write negative criticism without suggestions for improvement might not have been selected in part because of that. Be careful not to burn your bridges before or after they are built. Photography and contests are about the photos and the people behind the photos – not one without the other. This is also true when you are working for clients and/or trying to get jobs from clients – they may choose those that they know over someone that the do not know.

    Text: I agree that the text should be shorter for Cristina’s project to allow the images to speak more for themselves.

    I have been following Burn for a long time but never liked the bitterness and non constructive criticism in many comments by this community. However, there are also a ton of fantastic people here who take the time to offer constructive criticism and I comment you people. The one comment rule works better and all comments not relating to each individual image/photographer should be moved somewhere else for discussion.

    I wish to congratulate all of the finalists including Cristina for being selected this year and David along with the Burn team for creating this opportunity for emerging photographers. Every grant and contest around the world brings criticism for the finalists – and this one is no different. Everyone has different point of views, people frequently think their work is better than the other and this will not change ever – hopefully it will inspire people to make better images.

    Good luck to all of the finalists and I look forward to seeing how the winner evolves with the grant.

    -BV

  • The shower/handprint photograph from this series that was published here a while back (and isn’t included in this edit) is one of my favorite photos. I was so happy to see your name as one of the finalists!

    This series is wonderful but I’m not a fan of the black and white photos. The color ones seem to have so much more life and love…I love the forms of 8,9, and 10 but I’d love to see them with the warm beige/peach tones like most of the others.

    Congratulations, Cristina, and good luck!

  • B-V : “I have judged contests, I have judged grants and it is never easy to make the final decisions. Judges frequently know the photographers and they have to focus on not being biased.”

    B-V what you say is hard but it is true, you could also mentioned that if you want make love with your wife the day before the final judgement, and if she refused…your choice will be different, also if the wine you drink during the jury…can make your decision changing…

    Come On! This is not serious!! It’s why contest and grants are a joke in photography… Why also that kind of exposure is false at the end…

    Or announce it like that, like Christion Caujolle (if you know him in america…): ” Yesterday I cannot make love and the wine was real vinegar…so the winner is….”

    I never participate to any kind of contest. The search of honor and luxury is a barrier for freedom but when I rode the statement of Burn grant, I immediatly decided to participate (even I am not exactly “emerging”… I remember when Antoine D’Agata was discoverd and introduce as a young photographer at the age of 38 years old…Emerging doesn’t mean young, and running after young make “jeunisme”…it bring the fashion spirit in Human Beeing photography…and this is really bad for the futur.

    Last time I made a grant it was with Yann Arthus Bertrand in france, it was self paied by the sell of the prints photographers give for free… At the end I sold my prints to collectors and bring a good value in Euros to the fundation… my project had not been selected… I accept it for sure, but it jump in my heart when I met the one who made the pre-selection….and ask him how he found my book…

    He was so surprised that I got a book with the most famous french editor…But the problem was that my book was on the top of my grant folder…. it was a joke I told him, something absolutely amazing that he was judge and even doesn’t open a third of the folders….You made pre-selection, sold my prints but don’t open my box… and know you make politics with this contest… come on please…stop poluting the planet with that kind of comportments… it’s not honnest at all, even you will pledge that you are human, you have compassion, etc etc, like photographers and cannot be objectiv at all…come on…to be a judge, a good one you have to be objectiv and that’s all…

    I have some great and known friends that are often asked to judge some real important contest, and they told me this kind of comportments happen, but not from all of them…and this is the point…not everybody is like that…

    When I see what and who are selected as finalist it make me laugh and pass my way…not because it’s not good work…but only because it sound that it is not objectiv…

    I don’t run after honor, I don’t run after money since I decided to stop photojournalism and start making advertising to pay my personnal projects…I got with one day of shooting what this grant offer but this is not the matter… The matter is that this grant is like all the other…and it is sad…

    I just pass my way.

  • I would not question DAH’s honesty and integrity.
    However, i myself couldnt help thinking that out of 1200 submissions at least half of the selected came from the group of “friends”. Those who supported Burn and Road trips from the beginning, who post here regularly, who took workshops with David. But you like it or not, that’s the way that the world goes round. DO UT DES.
    Anton is doing a great job here at Burn but would he put the same effort and time in something that presented no reward in terms of career opportunities?

  • I have to say that I’m disappointed with this essay, and cannot really see how it got to the final. I think the artist could have done so much more given the couples’ obvious lack of care at being photographed in these situations. I make it a policy to never read the bumf / explanation before looking at a photo essay. In my opinion every essay – even every photograph – needs to stand up on its own, and tell a narrative on its own. Therefore looking at the essay once you have read the explanation defeats the purpose somewhat: you already see the pictures with pre-conceived notions of the subject matter.

    Well, the point of saying all that is that I did not see love here. The narrative I got from the pictures alone was something far darker, more sinister and exploitative than love and relationships. I almost thought it was about a brothel. I’m not trying to say that to show love, the artist needs to show cliches, but seriously, if the main aim of the work is to portray a particular feeling, then I feel it totally failed.

  • There are thousands of serious photographers in India who with their limited financial ability & with old ,
    camera & old lenses are trying their best to do something in photography,to show the World something.The photos of Cristina has nothing to say ,only she has the power to hide herself in any corner of the room or behind the cot and giving the photographic fraternity a jerk that we can pray to the almighty to blind our photographic eyes.

  • Hi Cristina

    I loved your essay, congratulations on making the finals. I hope you manage to continue this project and really get somewhere with it.

    I love blurred shots. I know some people don’t, that’s fine, comme ci comme ca. I suppose I am a romantic at heart and I love it when something stirs my sense of mystery. Part of this project seems to be about boundaries and the sense of nothing being clear works on that level certainly. A camera or photographer can never tell the whole truth, no matter how earnestly they try, so to acknowledge that limitation and use it in your work to create a more subjective piece is a considered and mature approach that I think deserves rather more respect than has perhaps been shown.

    Your presence is undeniable in the images but for whatever reason some commentors have come to the conclusion that this makes your essay less valid. I don’t agree with that at all.

    I would also like to say that I don’t understand the constant Goldin comparisons. Fair enough, she photographed couples, and explored ideas of intimacy, but that doesn’t mean no-one else can without being continually referred back to her. Would anyone tell Don McCullin that Robert Capa has already photographed a war?

    I have been inspired by this essay and take solace in the fact that there are people out there who do their own thing. All of the finalists have made me feel this way and I give them all hearty congratulations and good wishes. I am about to embark on my first project and am eager to learn about my own style of photography (which I have sadly neglected during my college years, to my eternal regret) and this community has been a source of great inspiration for me. So thanks to Cristina, all the other finalists and all the contributors.

    Good luck

    David

  • What a great set of images or approach to telling a tough story!!! Everything about it was “passion” Even without the backstory the story I was involved with the story, quite powerful.

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