Archive for February, 2010

Empty, but Occupied


In the stillness of empty buildings, Magda Biernat finds human traces. While cropping out location and context, she looks for the soul in the modern built environment.

“I’m always drawn to spaces and structures and compositions that are void of people,” Ms. Biernat said. “It’s an intuition. It’s something that I see and I have to get.”

Although her clean, carefully-composed photographs suggest a sense of remove, she speaks warmly of her absent human subjects and the rooms through which they have passed.

“In abandoned spaces I am always intrigued by, and think about, the past of how this place existed,” Ms. Biernat said. “And I’m just thinking about what has happened, why it doesn’t exist any more. What happened to the people who’ve been there, and why did they leave? And why did they leave so many things behind?”

Link to Full Article and Slideshow

Magda Biernat Artist Website

The Museum of Unnatural History at Clamp Art


Suspending disbelief is second nature to film buffs but when it comes to still photography, it’s almost a split decision: to capitalize on photography’s fictional capabilities or to document reality. When it comes to the natural sciences, questions about realism get even more interesting. And when you add art and photography to that equation, you’ve got a fascinating platform for inquiry.

This Thursday, Brian Clamp opens The Museum of Unnatural History, an exhibition of photographs and paintings by artists who have dug beyond the enchantment that natural history studies often provoke at first glance.

Some of the participating artists took up where Hiroshi Sugimoto left off. The Japanese photographer’s famous statement about photographing at The American Museum of Natural History has inspired two generations of photographers. “Upon first arriving in New York in 1974,” he wrote, “I did the tourist thing. Eventually I visited the Natural History Museum, where I made a curious discovery: the stuffed animals positioned before painted backdrops looked utterly fake, yet by taking a quick peek with one eye closed, all perspective vanished, and suddenly they looked very real. I’d found a way to see the world as a camera does. However fake the subject, once photographed, it’s as good as real.”


Reiner Riedler’s Fake Holidays

Snow skiing in Dubai? Discovering Mount Rushmore and the US Capital building in China? These are the strange scenarios and simulations that occupy the photographs of Reiner Riedler. The Austrian documentary photographer turned his camera on the illusory worlds of theme parks in Asia, Europe, and the US with startling results. A dynamic solo show in Vienna and a new coffee-table book flaunt his images of virtual worlds and manmade paradises.

 Superman flies over Red Square, but in Turkey rather than Russia; vacationers explore tropical islands in Germany; the Titanic is pulled from the ocean’s floor and turned into a resort; and diners dress up like aliens to eat at the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas. Riedler’s current exhibition at Vienna’s Galerie MOMENTUM celebrates escapism and our desire to live out our wildest dreams.

Reiner Riedler: Fake Holidays is on view at Galerie MOMENTUM in Vienna through March 6, while the book Fake Holidays was published by Moser in 2009.’

Link to Flavorwire Artkrush

Artist’s Website

Gesche Würfel – Go for Gold!

Gesche Würfel’s multi-year project Go for Gold! depicts the transformation of London’s landscape in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. A trained urban planner, Würfel began the project in 2006 as an investigation into globalization and how it disrupts relationships between residents and their natural and built environment.

Exhibition runs:
Friday, February 19 to March 20

Opening reception:
Friday, February 19, 7pm

Civilian Arts Project

William Christenberry’s Kodak Brownie snapshots capture reality of South

Another time: Christenberry photographed "Coleman's Cafe" in the 1970s. Home town: He shot "House and Car" and other spots in Hale County, Ala.

William Christenberry, who is 73, has been one of Washington’s most important artists for something like 40 years, working as a painter, fine-art photographer, meticulous sculptor and careful installer of found things. But the best way back to the origins of all his varied work, and to the heart of what it means, is through a series of scrappy little snapshots that Christenberry made in the 1970s, shooting with a Kodak Brownie and getting his prints done at drugstore photo counters as he toured and contemplated Hale County, Ala., where his family is from.

Washington Post Review

Hemphill Fine Arts Gallery

Showcase: The Best in the World

Now. Pietro Masturzo’s haunting and eerily prescient “From the Rooftops of Tehran, June,” which shows opponents of the Iranian regime shouting their protests at twilight, is the World Press Photo of the Year for 2009.

“What we were really touched about is that this image in some way represents how a big story begins and how protest begins,” said Ayperi Karabuda Ecer, the vice president of pictures at Reuters and chairwoman of the jury.

“There is no big event going on,” she said, “but you still sense that there is something very particular and quite desperate in these lonely little people of the picture fighting something that you feel is much bigger. And we thought, as a jury, that it was very symbolic of how you can actually add layers to news and how you can view events differently from what we are used to.”

World Press Photo Contest Winners

Strange New Worlds

Yes, it looks a lot like Mars. But what you’re actually seeing is 12 pounds of paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder, and charcoal. Strange Worlds, a new series by artist Matthew Albanese, features photographs of small-scale models made from unlikely, everyday ingredients. Think a diorama you would have made back in elementary school, but you know, totally amazing. “Every aspect from the construction to the lighting of the final model is painstakingly pre-planned using methods which force the viewers perspective when photographed from a specific angle,” he explains. “Using a mixture of photographic techniques such as scale, depth of field, white balance and lighting I am able to drastically alter the appearance of my materials.”

Flavorwire Post

Chris Jordan – Midway

Chris Jordan, a photographer that deals with ideas surrounding America’s vast consumption habits and its resulting consequences, took a trip out to the Pacific Gyre and Garbage patch and found a gut wrenching subject for a new body of work. The stomach of baby albatross chics. What he found was truly shocking and horrific, even unbelievable. But believe it. This is photography in the classical sense in that he is photographing what already exists in front of him without additional creation or manipulation.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch within the North Pacific Gyre, is now twice the size of Texas, and still many people are not yet aware of it. The patch is a result of marine pollution such as dumping from large ships, as well as every day litter on beaches and coast. But most of it, believe it or not, is garbage that has been blown by wind off of land. In fact, an estimated 80% of the garbage in the patch comes from land based sources, whereas only 20% comes from ships. What exactly is in the patch? Plastic. The answer is always plastic. Plastic is a synthetic material invented by man that never degrades. Some love it just for that reason.

Full Article – Photography for a Greener Planet

Points of Departure Opening Reception Fri. Feb. 19th 6:30-8:30

5 Poolesville High School Students will be exhibiting Photographs in this show.  Please join us for the opening reception.

VisArts Rockville