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

 

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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.

5 Must See Fall Photo Shows

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#GIRLGAZE | A FRAME OF MIND

LOS ANGELES — #girlgaze: a frame of mind  is an interactive, digitally driven exhibit for all ages that maps the imaginative landscape of young, female-identifying photographers from around the world. Largely sourced through social media, the curated images’ raw vitality is their only constant – diverse perspectives are presented on everything from identity and standards of beauty to relationships, mental health, and creativity. While viewing these stunning, never-before-exhibited images, visitors will have the opportunity to create and share their own photos on social media.

The exhibit curators are Girlgaze, a collective founded by the famed British-born television host, women’s advocate and photographer, Amanda de Cadenet. Girlgaze began as a social media movement with over 450,000 submissions on Instagram and has grown into the first multimedia platform to support girls behind the camera. In addition to its digital showcase for images, Girlgaze provides a larger ecosystem supporting the work and careers of fledgling female photographers, artists and creatives, from providing grants to securing jobs.

#girlgaze: a frame of mind opens this weekend at the Annenberg Space for Photography.


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MJ KATZ | SO LONG : SO FAR

LOS ANGELES— Infinity Room is pleased to present the work of Los Angeles based artist, MJ Katz, whose first solo exhibition, So Long: So Far, deconstructs the nature of home with regard to place. Following displacement from her childhood house, the artist embarked on a cathartic process of documenting herself in the place she grew up.

MJ’s presence in the frame as both illuminated guide and figure, is the same illumination one receives when the realization settles in that you can no longer visit the spaces that have kept you whole. The dark vignettes of her frame juxtaposed by the intimate illumination of the self allows the artist to pull the viewer across the spectrum of naked, yearning vulnerability to empowered confidence.

Her work is made eerie by nature of its transitory state from dwelling to ruin, capturing a site in the process of losing its quality of home by no longer providing a safe space for the artist. In this series, she sorts through, reminisces, boxes up, and discards the ways in which she defines and quantifies home. A butterfly no longer needs its cocoon; a ghost fulfills its haunt; MJ Katz says “So Long.”

You can see So Long : So Far during the artist reception on Friday, October 21st from 6pm t0 9pm, at Infinity Room on West Adams.

Infinity Room | 5413 West Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 


 

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TALIA CHETRIT | A SOLO SHOW 

NEW YORK— In her latest photographs Talia Chetrit has structured a series of performative scenarios in which the artist uses her body, and that of her partner (you can find him displayed usually as a hairy limb, respectfully), to destabilize the conventions of self-portraiture and its mechanisms of control.

The shutter release, along with mirrors in her studio, deconstructed clothing, and multiple cameras, are tools with which Chetrit sets up deliberate triangulations that present us with critical openings. It is through these openings that we see the artist repeatedly demonstrating her submission to her own process as an act of authorial agency.

There’s an element of Baldessari present in Chetrit’s work that makes the self-nude humorous and inviting. One of the only images of her face shows the artist grinning widely having placed tiny mirrors over her eyes. In fact, the title of the work is appropriately named Mirror Eyes (2016). Here Chetrit displays the simultaneous performance of ‘seeing’and also a willful, humorous blindness.

Talia Chetrit’s work will be on display at Kaufman Repetto now until October 31, 2016.


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VEE SPEERS | JARDIN SECRET

LUXEMBOURG— Wild Project Gallery is at it again with another otherworldly exhibition featuring the Parisian based, Australian photographer, Vee Speers. Life is present in the work of Vee Speers, symbolising moments of peaceful solitude in a world that is becoming increasingly complex.

The exhibition Jardin Secret eternalizes the fragility of beauty through a double lens of childhood and black and white botanical portraits, which the artist then colors to create a sense of transformation in a chaotic world. The portraits feel ethereal through their fresh new hues, not natural enough to be the mirror of our reality but animated by a powerful breath of new life.

Jardin Secret is on now until October 20th at Wild Project Gallery, 22, rue Louvigny L-1946 Luxembourg.


screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-12-08-13-amJESSICA BACKHAUS | SIX DEGREES OF FREEDOM

BERLIN— With Art Week Berlin and Unseen Amsterdam coming to a close, new works by German photographer Jessica Backhaus have been circling the minds of photo enthusiasts and art goers alike. Luckily one gallery is showcasing the photographer’s recent series, Six Degrees of Freedom, which examines themes of origin, yearning, identity, and destiny based on Backhaus’ personal revisitation to sites from her childhood.

Robert Morat Gallery showcases Six Degrees of Freedom now until November 19th.


+ Read my interview with Jessica Backhaus on Foto Infinitum.

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.

 

 

 

5 Photo Shows You Should See This Summer

Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency @ MOMA

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New York’s MOMA is bringing Nan Goldin’s almost 700 snapshot-like portraits of love and loss to the public. Stash some tissues in your pockets, for this deeply personal narrative packs a punch. Sequenced against an evocative music soundtrack, Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency formed out of the artist’s own experiences around Boston, New York, Berlin, and elsewhere in the late 1970s, 1980s, and beyond. In an era of ecstasy and pain through sex and drug use, we find our protagonist (including Goldin herself) reveling at dance clubs and bonding with their children at home; and they suffer from domestic violence and the ravages of AIDS.

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is the diary I let people read,” Goldin wrote. “The diary is my form of control over my life. It allows me to obsessively record every detail. It enables me to remember.”

The Ballad is on view now through Sunday, February 12, 2017. Presented in its original 35mm format, along with photographs from the Museum’s collection that also appear as images in a hand curated slide show featuring tracks by Maria Callas to The Velvet Underground.

Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life @ The Broad

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The Broad is still offering reserved tickets for their first special exhibition, Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life. If you’re like me and still haven’t had the chance to see The Broad, now is the time. Maybe the new $12 admission fee will turn you off, but let’s face it, we couldn’t expect the brand new museum to be completely free for long.

While I’ve spoken of the endless magic that is Cindy Sherman before, Los Angeles is buzzing over the showcase that features an astounding 120 works by Sherman in The Broad’s first-floor galleries, including ceiling tall murals of the ever changing Sherman.

Tickets to the exhibition are timed and are available every half hour, up until one hour before the museum closes. Ticketholders for Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life are welcome to visit the Broad collection in the third-floor galleries after their visit to the special exhibition, but keep in mind this does not grant access to the timed Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room installation. You will need a separate, first come, first served ticket which can only be reserved once you’ve joined the list upon entrance.

Izumi  Miyazaki: Cute & Cruel @ Wild Project Gallery

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If you find yourself in Luxembourg City, go have a look at Wild Project Gallery. Their current exhibition Cute & Cruel features surreal self portraits of the world wide web’s sensational Japanese photographer, Izumi Miyazaki (who I’ve written about before here).

This is Izumi’s first solo exhibition, and I am so happy that the wonderful people at Wild Project Gallery are giving miss Miyazaki her first solo exhibition, ever. There is even a special installation that the artist provided for the occasion (which has appeared before for an exhibition in Japan). Congrats Izumi!

Her self portraits practice cold humor and often feature absurd performances. The young photographer is not afraid to slice her head, adorning it with fresh tomatoes or fish in a human interpretation of sushi. If she never smiles in her photographs, it is probably to express her loneliness and the difficulty of connecting with today’s youth when you are in your twenties in Japan.

Cute & Cruel is on view at Wild Project Gallery now until July 30th.

Jordanna Kalman’s Invisible Polaroids @ Rubber Factory

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Another first time solo exhibition is in the works this summer to bring photographer, Jordanna Kalman and her manipulated polaroids at New York’s Rubber Factory, on view from July 9th through August 9th.

Jordanna’s Invisible series revolves around the grieving process and explores absence through the medium of the Polaroid. Invisible is a deeply personal body of work as the obscuring of faces, use of shadows and even the profile angle is used to channel Jordanna’s own questions about the role of women. There is a real duality, a battle within the work to show beauty and femininity but to find these elements ephemeral and difficult to define in real life. She has been working with polaroids for the last 16 years, the immediacy of the medium is central to her practice as it provides tangible proof of the moment while preserving it as object, singular and unique.

As part of Rubber Factory’s mission to make visible the production of artworks to contextualize and drive dialogue, Jordanna’s exhibition will include a recreated studio space which aims to capture the mood and domestic influences behind the work. Additionally, a combination of framed, enlarged polaroid work and more lo-fi process driven outtakes will be taped to the wall, echoing Jordanna’s chronological process and seeking to visualize the diaristic origins of the work.

If you are in New York I would encourage you to check out Rubber Factory’s opening reception for the artist on Saturday, July 9th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

Sinziana Velicescu: On The Periphery @ AIA|LA Gallery

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This Friday AIA|LA Gallery invites you to the opening reception for “Sinziana Velicescu: On The Periphery & Beyond” curated by the Lucie Foundation.

On The Periphery explores the aesthetic and utilitarian effect of architecture in and around the greater Los Angeles area. Minimalistic in nature and inspired by abstract expressionism and graphic design, the images represent a departure from the day to day realities of Los Angeles’s cluttered landscape. The moments captured are fragments of a cityscape’s lifetime that are most often overlooked by an entire population concerned solely with reaching a destination. The result is an homage to ‘The City,’ combined with a hidden desire to escape to another place or perhaps another time. From pastel strip malls and stucco motels to otherworldly churches and beige business centers – these structures are documented with an anthropological curiosity but simultaneously reduced to their basic forms, resulting in an abstraction from reality bound by the photographic frame.

Sinziana Velicescu is a photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Film. Her photography explores human intervention with nature in landscapes that have undergone political, social, or environmental change. Selections from her award winning series, “On The Periphery,” have been shown in galleries internationally in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Hamburg, Melbourne, Tokyo, and Rome. Most recently, Photo Boite named her one of the 30 Female photographers under 30 to watch in 2016.

On The Periphery is on view July 8 – July 29, 2016.

At the Races with a Punk Royal Tiger

Punk Royal Tiger is the handle of none other than Isa Gelb, a graphic designer and photographer based in Paris, France. She is also the curator and publisher of the quarterly photo magazine, Underdogs.

A film photographer at heart, Isa shoots with a Contax G2, an Olympus mju ii and several analog Nikon cameras. The limited number of exposures given with film spurs a more deliberate sense for composition, allowing Isa to document her day with an uncanny sense of romanticism, much like in her photograph of a skull sitting in the back of a car, or a man and his toy collection of the Eiffel Tower.

Shooting film is thrilling and I find it more challenging. I enjoy the slow process that divides photography into different parts: time for shooting, time for editing and at the end, time for printing.

With a damn good eye for composition and color Isa concocts a sense of visual poetry. You know, the sort of visual poetry that only street scenes can proclaim to us romantics. Yet in her series Prix du Qatar, we find a different view to Isa’s striking compositions. For one, they contain people rather than objects.

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Many people will pose or make a fake smile if you approach them from the front, which is one reason why I like to photograph my subjects from behind.

At the races, everyone is focused on the carousel of horses running round the track, or fixated on the rush of placing bets. “It gives me plenty of time to walk behind and capture some brief moments in the most anonymous way,” she says. “I also like the idea that keeping someone anonymous can reveal other deeper things. A tender moment, a sense of shyness, of tiredness or maybe even boredom.”

While these faceless and completely intimate portraits offer more questions than answers, Isa believes people’s backs can reveal just as much as faces, and I’m starting to believe there is truth to this. 18949271275_38302700de_b15638036911_b8007ba8a4_b19201975941_f7afd74735_b18457866563_252ecaf10b_b

To see more of Isa Gelb’s photos, follow her on tumblr. And don’t forget to check out the latest issue of Underdogs!

 

 

 

 

Summer Sun Captured by Anais Boileau

French photographer Anaïs Boileau creates the essence of an exotic summer in these portraits of women basking in the solstice. Part documentary, part futuristic fiction, Boileau demonstrates a sense of coastal community in her bright and airy series, Plein Soleil.

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Woman Crush Wednesday : Jody Rogac

It was a total refresher to revisit British Canadian photographer, Jody Rogac, today on the Fader. You may be familiar with Rogac’s editorial portraits, too. Her work includes the beautiful faces of actors like Liv Tyler and Rory Culkin, to some of today’s greatest musicians like St. Vincent and Erykah Badu.

So without further ado, this week’s Woman Crush Wednesday tackles two incredibly talented women in one post! How incredible is that? To miss Rogac & Badu, this one’s for you talented ladies.

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The Work & Spirit of Dana Washington

Meet Dana Washington, a thirty year old visual artist, writer, and overall creative soul from Buena Park, California. Sometime in 2010, Dana shot her first photograph in a darkly lit room. She found Tupac on the cover of XXL magazine, and with her Pentax ME Super she was able to get the shot.

“After I saw that, I knew photography was going to be a thing,” says Washington.

Since then Dana has come a long way from photographing copies of laid out magazines. She’s contributed images to L.A. Record Magazine, and has even made their front cover.  Dana’s passion for music has even lead her to photographing album cover art for musicians, including Sassy Black of Seattle’s hip hop duo, THEESatisfaction. Although Dana may not know how that came to be, she doesn’t question it. “I’m honored that people actually trust me, I believe in myself that much more.”

Photography has brought on a source of self esteem for the visual artist, but Dana doesn’t stop there. Photography is used as a means of survival and confrontation. “The most important thing for me is getting [creativity] out with whatever I have.”

In her most recent series, Awa (2015), Dana captures her subjects beauty and vulnerability. Awa took off after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. “I wanted to counter the images media portrays of people of color, and attempted to present ourselves dignified and beautifully.”

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You can see more of Awa, and the rest of Dana Washington’s work here.

New Museum, The Broad, to Open in DTLA this Month

The Broad museum’s lobby. [via The Los Angeles Times / Iwan Baan / The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro]
Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad gives downtown Los Angeles a new contribution and it opens this month on September 20th. Introducing The Broad, the all new contemporary art museum, will have more than 250 works on view including works by Cindy Sherman (who I talked about recently), Barbara Kruger, Jasper Johns, Ed Rusha, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and more.

Upon its grand opening, The Broad is set to debut Yayoi Kusama’s LED installation, “Infinity Mirrored Room.” The Broad’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Alex Capriotti, consulted with the artist’s studio and has confirmed that viewers will have a limit of 45 seconds to take in Kusama’s starry continuum. Timed reservations for “Infinity Mirrored Room” are set on an individual basis, so spare the selfie, and don’t blink.

Yayoi Kusama inside “Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” during a media preview of her exhibition at the David Zwirner gallery in New York. November 7, 2013. [via The Baltimore Sun / Mike Segar/ Reuters]
Operating six days a week (closed on Mondays), The Broad’s honeycomb structure will give two floors worth of art on view, for free! It is speculated in the future, temporary exhibitions may require advanced ticketing for a price, but while The Broad is here to stay, enjoy the free admittance while it lasts.

Hours: 
Monday closed
Tuesday and Wednesday 11am – 5pm
Thursday and Friday 10am – 8pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 6pm

Parking: 
The Broad’s parking garage is $12
Nearby: Music Center / Walt Disney Concert Hall $9
Walking distance: California Plaza garage $8 with museum validation

The Broad is located at 221 S. Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles.