Zero Hour by Amy Li

00:00 (Zero Hour) is a series of dreamscapes filled with the hidden truths concerning death and memory in our everyday, ranging from portraiture, landscapes and objects. Photographer and artist Amy Li began working on the series in late 2014, but it wasn’t until the Flint water crisis took hold that same year, where cost-cutting measures led to tainted and toxic drinking water, truly got the project going.

“I was thinking about rising political and social turmoil that was happening in the US,” Li recalls. “Race relations were tense and the discussions surrounding water were starting to take place. The water crisis in Flint was the initial inspiration of the project because it had involved two subject matters that were extremely important to me: racism and environmental concerns. It had never occurred to me that those two separate discussions could happen simultaneously.”

The series begins with an open Nike shoe box (a size 6 of Air Force 1’s to be exact) filled with overlapping childhood 5x7s. “For most people, their first introduction to photography is the family photo,” says Li. The cardboard box takes on the role of the family album, encasing each stored memory as a nonlinear daydream. These snapshots play on the photographer’s love for the vernacular image.

I really love vernacular photography for its mystery and intimacy. I always strive for those characteristics within my personal work.

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Suspended in Amy’s world, we catch ourselves taking in the contrasting warm and cold lights of these nameless places and nameless faces. “I think the way the internet presents photography is very similar to looking through photographs in a bin, box or album.”

In the digital realm, where time and space is disintegrated, flattened and illuminated by a bright screen; images are forced to sit at a stand still — a purgatorial dimension where they drift aimlessly. The bright light blinds us all but we still gaze longingly.

 

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Amy Li is an American photographer living and working in New York.
To see Zero Hour in its entirety, have a look at Amy’s website below.
Website | Instagram

 

In Remembrance: Khadija Saye, young photographer loses life in London’s Grenfell Fire

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LONDON — The world sinks heavily after learning about the rising death toll (at least 79 are dead, missing, or presumed dead) from the Grenfell Tower fire that took place early morning on June 14. As we mourn the loss of many, one of the confirmed victims was young artist, Khadija Saye, 24 who lived and worked on her photography from the 20th floor with her Gambian mother, Mary Mendy (who is also missing, and presumed dead).

The art world only saw a glimpse of what talent Khadija Saye displayed through her photography. Her wet plate collodion tintype series, Dwelling: in this space we breathe is currently exhibited at the Diaspora Pavilion during the 57th Venice Biennale. Saye described her series as an exploration of “the migration of traditional Gambian spiritual practices and the deep rooted urge to find solace within a higher power.”

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Khadija Saye self-portrait, from the series Dwelling: in this space we breathe © Khadija Saye, courtesy International Curators Forum
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Khadija Saye self-portrait, from the series Dwelling: in this space we breathe © Khadija Saye, courtesy International Curators Forum
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Khadija Saye self-portrait, from the series Dwelling: in this space we breathe © Khadija Saye, courtesy International Curators Forum
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Khadija Saye self-portrait, from the series Dwelling: in this space we breathe © Khadija Saye, courtesy International Curators Forum

Saye presented her final series Crownedwhich encapsulates Afro-Caribbean hairstyles, a project she began working on that expressed her Gambian heritage for her graduation project from UCA Farnham in 2013.

What aches the most is the inclusion of Saye’s mother in Crowned.

The portraits were taken in a makeshift home studio on the 20th floor; I recall with tenderness the tutorials during the making of this work, Khadija would burst in with work prints and talk with joy as she recounted her mother’s nervousness at being photographed

— Natasha Caruana, senior lecturer in photography at UCA Farnham, in an interview with the British Journal of Photography.

There is something familiar about being a student in photography, and turning to subjects that you know whole heartedly. More often than not we aim our lens inward to the ones who gave us life, and we appreciate them within a single frame, unknowingly documenting them for the world to see.

Khadija Saye and her work will forever be remembered. Let us not forget her kindness, her love of others stories, her struggle, accomplishments, her vision. She has left it all behind for us to remember and celebrate, and I hope it inspires our youth, especially young girls, to continue their art, to follow through with scholarships, and to never regret asking for help, or guidance. Collaborate, pursue mentorships, and above all, be proud of where you come from.

Rest in power, Khadija Saye. You are truly a source of inspiration to all.

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From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green
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From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green
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From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green
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From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green
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From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green
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From the series Crowned © Khadija Saye, courtesy Nicola Green

All images appear under the British Journal of Photography’s obituary for Khadija Saye. Image credit is given to Saye’s mentor, Nicola Green, and the International Curators Forum.

Delphine Blast Captures the faces of Bolivian Womanhood in her series, Cholitas

Delphine Blast is a French documentary and portrait photographer based between Paris and South America. She has dedicated several works to the situation of women in Latin America, drawing in on the humanitarian dimension of life, while bringing out the emotional response and engagement of her subjects.

On a two month journey in Bolivia, Delphine discovered what it meant to be a cholita in today’s modern world. In the capital of La Paz she met dozens of cholitas and decided to honor the women by taking their portrait in a recreated photo studio based on backgrounds featuring traditional Bolivian fabrics.

A series of 35 portraits was born, entitled Cholitas, the revenge of a generation. The images highlight their unique outfits inspired by Andean traditions, but above all it reveals the women’s femininity, elegance and dignity.

Discriminated against for a long time, the cholitas are now very much a driving force in Bolivia. In scenes that were unimaginable 10 or 20 years ago, nowadays they have real clout in the economic, political, and even fashion worlds. The cholitas have managed to find their place in modern society without denying their collective past. They are an expression of the dignity of Indian populations.

Delphine’s photographic series aims to renew insight into Bolivian womanhood. It also carries new identity affirmations and reflects the social changes on the march in the country.

Take a look at Delphine’s stunning portraits below:

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© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.
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© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.
FOTO INFINITUM | From the series, Cholitas, by Delphine Blast.
© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.
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© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.
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© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.
Cholitas, la revanche d'une génération
© Delphine Blast. From the series Cholitas, the revenge of a generation.

The 5 Iranian Women Photographers in ‘Art Brief III: The (Un)draped Woman’ You Need to Know

abiiiOn Thursday, February 9th, join LA based visual artist platform, ADVOCARTSY, in celebrating the opening of their third Art Brief installment entitled, Art Brief III: The (Un)Draped Woman. 

The exhibition features 14 artists of Iranian origin whose works speak to the timely and internationally relevant issues surrounding the representation of women. ADVOCARTSY’s founder and curator, Roshi Rahnama, is hopeful that the exhibition’s intent to encourage viewers to go beyond pre-conceived perceptions will help engender a new dialogue regarding the image of women in Iran and beyond.

Featured in this showcase are renowned photographers Shadi YousefianSepideh SalehiShadi Ghadirian, Gohar Dashti, and Tahmineh Monzavi.

Preview their featured works below:


SHADI YOUSEFIAN

is currently based in San Francisco. Yousefian’s mixed media work reflects and addresses issues that touch on universal themes such as loss, dislocation, alienation, and personal reinvention.

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Shadi Yousefian. Social Identity (2003). Photographic print mounted on wood panels. Image courtesy of the artist and ADVOCARTSY.

SEPIDEH SALEHI

is based in New York City and works in collages, paintings, printing, photography, and video animation. Her works revolve around the poetics of the veil, or chador, as well as stories from her country of origin.

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Sepideh Salehi. Mohr Portrait (2014). Photograph and frottage on Japanese paper. Image courtesy of the artist and ADVOCARTSY.

TAHMINEH MONZAVI

is a documentary photographer and filmmaker. Her body of work concentrates on social conflicts, contradictions and the young generation of Iran.

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Tahmineh Monzavi. Tina (2010-2012). Archival digital pigment print. Image courtesy of the artist, Robert Klein Gallery, and Azita Bina. 

SHADI GHADIRIAN

is a photographer residing in Tehran. You may have already seen Ghadirian’s sepia toned work in her series, Qajar.  Ghadirian’s imagery comments and portrays the contradictions between tradition and modernity for women living in Iran and dichotomies present in daily life.

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Shadi Ghadirian. From the series Be Colorful (2002). Image courtesy of the artist, Robert Klein Gallery and Azita Bina.

GOHAR DASHTI

mainly addresses social issues with particular references to history and culture through her photographs. Her practice continuously develops from life events and the connection between the personal and the universal, the political and the fantasized.

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Gohar Dashti. Odalisque (2014 – 2015), from the series Stateless. Image courtesy of the artist, Robert Klein Gallery and Azita Bina.

Art Brief III: The (Un)Draped Woman opens Thursday Feb. 9th at Arena 1 Gallery from 7pm to 10pm. ARENA 1 Gallery is located at 3026 Airport Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Screen Printed Self Portraits of Photographer Zohra Opoku

Zohra Opoku is a German/Ghanaian multidisciplinary artist living and working in Accra.

With a keen and disciplined eye for textile and design, Opoku employees installation, sculpture, and photography at the helm of her practice. She conceptualizes West African traditions, spirituality, the thread of family lineage as they relate to self authorship and the politics of her hybrid identity.

A globalized social consumption and the commodification of all things African are a driving force in what Opoku sees as the nemesis of her thesis, and the relevance of cultural credentials within this state of being.

Have a look at her beautiful screen printed self portraits below:

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Zohra Opoku, Wisteria (2015).
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Zohra Opoku, Rhododendron (2015).
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Zohra Opoku, Pyracantha (2015).
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Zohra Opoku, Cyperus Papyrus, (2015).
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Zohra Opoku, Ficus Carica (2015).
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Zohra Opoku, Dicksonia Antarctica, (2015).

 

 

The Promise of Sublime Words by Ewa Doroszenko

Sent to us by Ewa Doroszenko, a visual artist based in Warsaw, Poland. Her project The Promise of Sublime Words started out as a means to show Ewa’s favorite statues she had learned about during her art history doctoral studies. Her time studying brought her face to face with many books on the Classical era’s sculptures.

Cutting out fragments of the images, Ewa incorporated platforms, and made small compositions of the elegant Greek gods. The ancient philosophers and leaders are treated like paper figures in Ewa’s distorted views.

Once Ewa finished her compositions, she would reshoot them and begin printing on a larger scale than the original to create a hybrid of photo sculpture works. Take a look below:

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For more images from this series, view The Promise of Sublime Words in its entirety here, and be sure to follow Ewa on Instagram.

Olga Wysopal

Sent to us by Olga Wysopal, a 25 year old student from Krakow, Poland.
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Olga best describes her work as a glance, a brief or hurried look, flash, or gleam of light.
Her personal search for harmony between light and place, light and people, dream and reality is the foundation of her photographs.

Monday Motivation : Tina Modotti

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Graciela Iturbide’s Birds

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. I may owe it to the rare airtime of Vertigo during my breakfast hour, or maybe it’s due to the fact it would’ve been his 117th birthday this past weekend (of course he would have been born on the thirteenth!), but mostly I’ve been thinking a lot about horror in attempt to formulate photo ideas for my own collaborative series.

Which brings me to a question. What does the “Master of Suspense” and Mexican documentary film photographer, Graciela Iturbide (1942) have in common?

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You guessed it, birds.

Like Hitchcock, Iturbide also came from a filmmaking background, but soon fell in love with the still image as practiced by the modernist master, Manuel Alvarez Bravo who was teaching at the University at the time. It was here that the young Graciela began to assist Alvarez Bravo on various photographic journeys throughout Mexico before embarking on her own journey documenting the indigenous people of Mexico — the Zapotec, Mixtec, and Seri, a group of nomadic fisherman living in the Sonora desert.

So why birds? For Hitchcock, anything goes. The birds symbolized inexplicable violence, tension even, in an otherwise peaceful bayside town. For Iturbide however, this is a fleeting reality, captured.

In an interview with Foto Feminas, Iturbide gave insight on her feathered subject:

I have always been interested in the flight of birds, especially in literature and the ability to capture birds photographically during flight. San Juan de la Cruz, the mystical poet, said: “There are five qualities a bird possesses; first, they go the highest; second, they don’t suffer from company, although it is their nature; third, they go with their beaks in the air; fourth, they do not have a specific colour; fifth, they sing sweetly.

Iturbide creates work shot exclusively in black and white, using natural light, and blends the world of poetry and testimony to create iconic images.

She continues to live and work in Mexico City.
To know more about Iturbide’s work, click here.

 

 

 

Monday Motivation : Diane Arbus

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