Olivia Locher: I Fought the Law

Steven Kasher Gallery presents Olivia Locher: I Fought the Law, an exhibition of photographs breaking an eccentric law from each of the 50 States of the Union. Locher’s photographs take on the tangle of our pork-belly, dairy-lobby, male-anxiety, sex-obsessed legislation. Her quirky illustrations of America’s most unusual laws will make both Dems and Repubs roll in the aisles. Has Olivia Locher built the bridges that can span our red-blue political chasm?

Sometimes confrontational and often hilarious, Locher’s photographs are acts of civil disobedience. Though her images give these statutes a satirical spin, the project raises a more serious point about politics and social conventions. It points to the hundreds of decisions big and small made every year by local and state lawmakers. It asks us to ponder why riding a bike in a swimming pool was made illegal in California. What emergency made it illegal to doff one’s shirt in front of a portrait of a man in Ohio? Wine can’t be served in teacups in Kansas. Is that the work of the work of the powerful Kansas wine lobby? Why must pickles pass a bounce test in Connecticut?” In the case of Massachusetts’ ban on upskirt photos, the law was sparked by a serious concern. But when Mesquite, Texas institutes a ban on children wearing unusual haircuts to uphold the community’s standards of decency, we are forced to ask who decides what is decent, to whom do the standard’s apply, and how are they enforced?

Locher writes, “The work you are about to experience depicts America’s most unusual laws. Several of them remain on the statute books, the majority of them were at one point removed, others never became laws (but came close!) and a few of them are complete myths.”
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Olivia Locher: I Fought the Law
Exhibition: September 14 – October 21, 2017
more at Steven Kasher Gallery

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Salt: Vanity | Murray Fredericks

Hamiltons presents Salt: Vanity, an exhibition of the most recent work by Australian photographer Murray Fredericks. The Vanity series is a continuation of Fredericks’ renowned Salt series, previously exhibited at Hamiltons in Salt, 2007, Salt II, 2009 and Recent Work, 2014 – 2015. In this next cycle of the project, Fredericks introduces a mirror into the previously undisturbed landscape.

Australian photographer Murray Fredericks’ long relationship with Lake Eyre, where his most recent series Vanity has been produced, commenced in 2003, and to date consists of twenty journeys to the centre of the lake where he photographs for weeks at a time in the vast and infinite landscape. Fredericks is not interested in documenting the literal forms of the landscape. He views the landscape as medium in itself which, when represented in a photograph, has the potential to convey the emotional quality of his experience and relationship to the lake.
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Salt: Vanity
by Murray Fredericks
more at Hamiltons Gallery

Oceans | David Burdeny

Bau-Xi Photo is pleased to present Oceans, the latest series by David Burdeny. Oceans explores the geological formations of water bodies in the Bahamas, Australia, and Europe, capturing the complex, abstract qualities of the deep sea. Burdeny’s scenes are celebrations of the natural world, but, below the surface, they map a precious and precarious resource. Serpentine sandbars stretch into a Bahamian horizon; Australian bays are sharply rendered fields of impossible blue. Long exposures—evident in views of Sicily—soften waves, revealing formations beneath the water. Bodies that dot the cliff sides cast long shadows, indelible marks on an expanse otherwise untouched. The contemporary sublime is for Burdeny both a call to action that compels one to protect her world, and a message about culpability. Receding vistas are the dreamy escape; human presence is the sobering reminder. Like the depths his exposures reveal, Burdeny unearths layers—of not just the landscape—but the fraught relationship between the earth we inhabit and the environmental future we inherit.

David Burdeny (b. 1968. Winnipeg, Canada) holds Masters degrees in Architecture and Interior Design, and is the recipient of notable photography awards including Photographer of the Year (Nature category) at the International Photography Awards.
This exhibition has been selected as a featured exhibition for the annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.
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Oceans | David Burdeny
more at Bau-Xi Gallery

Kuwait: A Desert on Fire | Sebastião Salgado

Kuwait: A Desert on Fire
by Sebastião Salgado

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to present its third solo exhibition with internationally renowned documentary photographer Sebastião Salgado. The exhibition coincides with the release of Salgado’s new book, Sebastião Salgado – Kuwait: A Desert on Fire, published TASCHEN. The exhibition will open on May 4th and run until May 27th with and opening reception on Thursday, May 4th. Kuwait: A Desert on Fire is a featured exhibition for the 2017 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

In April 1991, following the end of the First Gulf War, Sebastião Salgado travelled to Kuwait on assignment for the New York Times Magazine. Over 600 oil wells had been set ablaze by Iraqi forces after their occupation of Kuwait was thwarted by a US-led coalition. The region was in the midst of one of the worst man-made environmental catastrophes in recent history. Firefighters from around the globe, including the Safety Boss Team from Calgary, Alberta, had been sent to Kuwait to cap the wells and put out the massive fires.

Arriving in the Ahmadi Oil Fields, 20 miles south west of Kuwait City, Salgado came across a desert engulfed in flames, covered in oil and smothered in a thick black smoke. For one month, Salgado documented this apocalyptic landscape and the firefighters that worked relentlessly, despite the horrendous conditions. At the end of each day, the firefighters would bathe themselves in a man-made lake with gasoline and detergent to cleanse their oil-soaked bodies. Salgado carried a water bottle filled with gasoline to remove the oil from his hands and camera lens, prior to taking his photographs.

During his time in Kuwait, Salgado engaged with the firefighters, gaining their trust and respect. This is evidenced by the remarkable candidness shown by the men in his black and white photographs. Salgado was inspired by the firefighters’ professionalism and spirit. To him, they were the true heroes of the First Gulf War.  Salgado’s images are surreal reminders of the devastation suffered in Kuwait as a result of war and pay homage to the men who worked to contain the disaster.

A selection of photographs from Kuwait were published in a feature for The New York Times Magazine in 1991 and were part of Salgado’s photographic essay, Workers (1993). The majority of the photographs were archived and never released.  In 2016, the complete project was revisited to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the First Gulf War.

Born in Brazil in 1944, Salgado has been the recipient of numerous photographic prizes in recognition of his accomplishments, including the Gold Medal Award for Photography from the National Arts Club in New York. Several books have been published on Salgado’s work including Workers, Migrations and Genesis. Salgado was part of the well-known cooperative agency, Magnum Photos, for 15 years before founding his own agency, Amazonas images, in Paris with his wife Léila Wanick Salgado. Since 2013, Genesis has been touring to leading museums around the world including the British Museum, London, UK; International Centre of Photography, New York; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Ara Pacis Museum, Rome and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. A 2015 documentary film on the life and work of Salgado, The Salt of The Earth, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award. Most recently, Salgado was appointed to the prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France.

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Kuwait: A Desert on Fire
by Sebastião Salgado

more at Metivier Gallery

Generation Wealth | Lauren Greenfield

Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present Lauren Greenfield’s incredible documentary project and newly released monograph, Generation Wealth (Phaidon 2017). Acclaimed documentary photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield has been working for the past twenty-five years to chronicle a previously unprecedented global obsession with wealth and materialism. Remarkable in scope and depth, from Moscow high society to Atlanta strip club royalty, Greenfield’s photographs explore the desire for more and succeed in revealing gender dynamics, cult of celebrity, consumerism, power of sex and marketing, and their eventual consequences. Generation Wealth is an especially timely and pertinent body of work that serves as a visual timeline tracing the rise, and fall, and rise of the pursuit of wealth in America.

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Generation Wealth
by Lauren Greenfield

more at Fahey/Kline Gallery

Watched! Surveillance, Art & Photography

Surveillance & Photography
C/O Berlin will be presenting the exhibition Watched! Surveillance, Art & Photography from February 18 to April 23, 2017. The opening will take place on February 17, 2017, 7 pm, at the Amerika Haus, Hardenbergstraße 22-24, 10623 Berlin.

watched02aFirst of all, I know it’s all people like you. And that’s what’s so scary. Individually you don’t know what you’re doing collectively.” Dave Eggers, The Circle

watched02bTotal surveillance? Video cameras in banks, department stores, and public spaces; algorithm-based advertising and cookies on the Internet; government data collection and private cloud storage – today, we take permanent observation and data sharing for granted as a normal part of our everyday lives. We are constantly using services like Google Maps, watching live streams of films, trying out exciting new health apps and exploring unimagined possibilities for self-tracking. We follow friends and complete strangers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we ourselves are constantly being tracked. We profit from the new digital technologies and services and are willing to open up more and more of our private lives to public view. Surveillance and big data have long since become a major social issue.

watched02cWatched! Surveillance, Art & Photography
more at C|O Berlin

watched02d

Oxímoron, la contradicción

Oxímoron, la contradicción
César Casona

cesarcasona02a“Oxímoron” es una figura lógica que consiste en usar dos conceptos de significado opuesto en una sola expresión, que genera un tercer concepto.
Cada una de las fotografías de esta exposición incluye una contradicción conceptual. Será el espectador quien la encuentre y quien se enfoque en la imagen, dándole un significado final en función de sus sentimientos, imaginario, vivencias y experiencias personales previas.

cesarcasona02bAlgunos ejemplos en literatura: “Es hielo abrasador, es fuego helado, es herida que duele y no se siente…” (Quevedo).
“Sosiega un poco, airado temeroso, humilde vencedor, niño gigante, cobarde matador…”(Lope de Vega).
Este proyecto nace de la afirmación del gran filósofo griego Aristóteles: “La virtud se halla en el centro”.
De ello puedo deducir que a medida que nos separemos del centro hacia los extremos, hacia la derecha o izquierda, hacia el “sí”o hacia el “no”o hacia cualquier par de opuestos, estaremos alejándonos de la virtud.

cesarcasona02cEs en el equilibrio, en la duda, en la contradicción, allá donde los pares de opuestos se entremezclan, donde encontraremos la verdad. En el momento en que estemos seguros/as de algo estaremos por tanto, equivocándonos.
Muchos fueron los filósofos y los pensadores que a lo largo de la historia centraron sus esfuerzos en explicar el origen de todas las cosas. Heráclito de Éfeso, 2500 años atrás, en Grecia, apunta al fuego como principio natural del que todo parte.
El fuego, metafóricamente hablando, simbolizaba el movimiento y el constante cambio en el que la vida se desarrolla -“Ningún hombre puede cruzar el mismo río dos veces, porque ni el hombre ni el agua serán los mismos.”- Heráclito fundamenta esta permanente movilidad en una estructura de opuestos, afirmando así que “la contradicción está en el origen de todas las cosas”.

cesarcasona02dAsí, el oxímoron, la paradoja, la antítesis y la contradicción como concepto, han sido recursos valorados, estudiados y desarrollados a través de diferentes canales, siendo probablemente la literatura el medio más utilizado y profuso. Es de justicia que, en el siglo XXI, la fotografía sirva para trasladar esta idea al mundo de lo visual, en forma de oxímoron, antítesis y paradojas visuales. Cabe destacar que la fotografía ha sido para mí el medio más sencillo y preciso para expresar y exteriorizar esta reflexión, a través de la manipulación de objetos, luz, personas y momentos de la vida cotidiana. Tal vez sea el fruto de un carácter, de una absoluta incapacidad para optar o para afirmar. Quizá la firme creencia en que la verdad se antoja distraída cuando interceden la imagen o la palabra, y cuando arbitran los sentidos. Tal vez el Yin y el Yang en oriente. Quizá mi absurdo raciocinio al interpretar que no habría guerras en un mundo sin amor. Quizá los estragos que produce la fe en busca de razón. Quizá el parecido entre el átomo y las formas más inmensas del universo. Tal vez la comprensión ante la violencia engendrada por quien defiende al indefenso. Tal vez nada de esto. O todo. En cualquier caso, siempre serán las reflexiones de uno cualquiera. Sea bienvenido a usted mismo/a.
César Casona
* En ninguna imagen se ha llevado a cabo la utilización de retoque digital alguno.

cesarcasona02ecesarcasona.com
more at DNG Photo Magazine