Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Sara Cwynar part 2

New work from Sara Cwynar, a talent we love and whose earlier work we profiled in May.

Further exploring ideas of personal history through photographs both taken and found, the new work moves towards more conceptual ideas, leaning more on repurposed vintage advertising and editorial imagery than before. The 'floral arrangement' pieces, perhaps the standout images, are made from loaded compositions using everything from flora to stationery to shoelaces to duct tape to old darkroom equipment photographed on blown up vintage photos of traditional flower arrangements. The effect is disorientating as 2D and 3D blur into one, objects tinged with nostalgia beginning to emerge from the images the closer you look.

Other images are more elusive and harder to read, where she builds strange low fi, sci-fi versions of buildings like the Acropolis from styrofoam cups, or scans and distorts pages from photography darkroom manuals.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Miriam Böhm

Look. Then look again. Simple, subtle tricks of the eye explored in Miriam Böhm's photography, using little more than found objects and a sharp mind to play with the viewer's perception. 

That's it. Enjoy. 

All images © Miriam Böhm

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Thomas Rousset

There's a particularly strange, dark, folkloric style of European photography that's been swirling around for the last few years. Photographers like David Favrod, Anne Golaz, Tarik Hayward and Augustin Rebetez have been exploring the myths, origins and rituals of the countryside, often creating unexpectedly sinister imagery; a counterpoint to the bright, bustling everyday life. French photographer Thomas Rousset joins this group, blurring the line between documentary work and constructed fantasies with his fascinating images. He's an alumnus of ECAL in Lausanne who consistently hone really interesting young talent; its always a fascinating college to watch.

Here are two of Rousset's recent series: firstly 'Praberians' which looks at a fictional rural French community where actual inhabitants of the village Rousset grew up in appear in his weird dioramas. A hybrid car-cart sits on a dusty county road; trussed or restrained animals await their fate, be it good or bad; locals young and old are absorbed in strange rituals and reveries, some meticulously painting stones, other torching an old car in the woods. The photographs are beautifully composed and lit, imbuing these odd scenes with a sense of serenity. Describing his approach to the shots, Rousset says "My photos are the end result of a long creation process: finding the perfect spot for the staging, setting up the scenery and constructing sets and props, and working with the characters. I build my image like a game where my imagination takes shape gradually. I start by taking a photo in the simplest and most uncluttered way possible and then I add elements to get the perfect picture, the one truest to what I imagined".

The second series shown here is 'Waska Tatay', created in collaboration with Raphael Verona. Using the same approach as with 'Praberians', Rousset has built images based around the myths and magical beliefs of the people of the Altiplano region of Bolivia, a superstitious place indeed. Similar themes are explored but with the wild headdresses of the region and the alien setting, this series is perhaps even darker and more riveting.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Noé Sendas

Noé Sendas is a Berlin-based Belgian artist whose work is weirdly unsettling. Rooted in cinematic and literary references, his images depict ghostly, unnerving figures whose heads or limbs appear to be invisible, or which have seemingly blended into furniture or walls. Sendas works with film, sculpture and photography; his his most arresting work, examples of which are shown here, frequently uses film stills from Hollywood's golden age which are manipulated to remove faces and personality, turning the actor and actress's bodies into enigmatic, lifeless objects, often sculptural in their stillness. Its a fascinating body of work, that follows themes of abstracting and partly erasing the human body through photography explored by those ever-present titans, John Baldessari and Guy Bourdin, and the less well-known but equally brilliant American sculptor Robert Gober.  Its also something of a counterpoint to the contemporary subversion of John Stezaker's collaged appropriation of Hollywood head shots, whose results are very different but who delights in defacing once-great screen idols.