Archive for April, 2012

Instagram, The Nostalgia Of Now And Reckoning The Future

What does it mean that we’re constantly filtering the present with the aesthetic of the past?

There’s an odd allure to loudly denying your particular time and place.

Feeling nostalgic for a time you never actually knew is a deeply unsettling contemporary phenomenon. For some people, it means clawing through junk shops in pursuit of the perfect brass-lensed tailboard camera, but for most of us, it means applying the Lord Kelvin filter to a hasty snapshot of last night’s dessert. So is that vague, manufactured nostalgia culturally toxic, per Simon Reynolds’ Retromania (and the cavalcade of nervous think-y reviews it inspired)? Maybe – but it’s weirdly gratifying, too, tapping into the sense “that a photograph is itself a precious object,” as New York Magazine put it recently.

Article about the phenomenon of Instagram

National Gallery’s ‘I Spy’ examines the assumed reality of candid photography

Most people will acknowledge that the camera can be used as a powerful tool for telling lies. Harder to accept is that the camera, by its very nature, always lies, that it always misrepresents, distorts or manifests the hidden manipulation of its operator.

But it’s a truth ineluctable after spending time in the National Gallery of Art’s fascinating and provocative “I Spy: Photography and the Theater of the Street, 1938-2010.” The exhibition is devoted to six photographers who explored ways to photograph surreptitiously, or without intruding on the drama of their subjects’ private existence.

Washington Post Article with Slideshow

Levi Mandel & Christiane Feser

Link to Levi Mandel work

Link to Chrsiane Feser work

Aiden Morse

Photographer’s Website


One Third

Klaus Pichler uses classic still lifes to illustrate in brilliant images a serious problem of our western society: wastage of food. A wonderful example that concerned photography can be disturbing, beautiful and thoughtful at the same time.

“The series ‘One Third’ describes the connection between individual wastage of food and globalized food production. Rotting food, arranged into elaborate still lifes, portrays an abstract picture of the wastage of food whilst the accompanying texts take a more in-depth look at the roots of the issue.” – Klaus Pichler

Photographer’s Website

A Mirror on Growing up in America – American Girls

Ilona Szwarc couldn’t help but notice a curious trend while wandering Fifth Avenue with her camera. Everywhere she looked, little girls were clutching miniature, and often well-dressed, versions of themselves.

Inspired in part by photographers who have used dolls in their work — Laurie Simmons and Hans Bellmer, among others — Ms. Szwarc started taking pictures. She focused on the American Girl line of dolls, which are sold in a large store on Fifth Avenue.

The bustling street, though, didn’t feel right. And so she began approaching girls, and their parents, to ask if she could photograph them at home, in a more comfortable setting. Planning to shoot with a 4×5 camera, she knew she’d need to find patient subjects. So she sought out aspiring models and actresses, or girls whose parents saw them that way.


Photographer’s Website