28 September 2016

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“Astres Noirs” will be presented at ‘Look up at the sky’ in Barcelona curated by Pedro Torres.

Look up at the sky és un cicle de cinc exposicions centrat en la fotografia contemporània a través d’un dels seus principals mitjans de materialització: el fotollibre. Les exposicions que integren el cicle mostraran una vintena de projectes fotogràfics recents d’autors nacionals i internacionals. La selecció de projectes se centra en la relació de l’ésser humà amb el seu entorn, especialment el natural i el de la naturalesa de les coses, a la cerca d’una comprensió global, potser cosmogònica, de la seva ubicació o existència en un context més ampli, cosmològic.

Els fotollibres es presenten agrupats en cinc conceptes: cosmologies, geografies, geoligies, gramàtiques i combinatòries, disciplines que estan relacionades amb el nostre intent de comprensió del món. Com afirmava Humbolt, “el reflex del món exterior de la persona, les impressions de la Naturalesa que l’envolta i les disposicions físiques influeixen per més d’un concepte en la formació misteriosa de les llengües. La persona treballa al seu interior la matèria que li subministren els sentits, i els resultats d’aquesta operació interna són tant del domini del Cosmos, com els fenòmens sobre els quals es realitza”. Així, cada projecte posseeix i reflecteix un món propi a través del llenguatge inherent. I amb tots ells procurarem fer el que el saberut alemany negava a la ciència, “perdre’ns a les regions nebuloses de les fantasies cosmològiques”

Pedro Torres.
Comissari de Look up at the sky (Terrassa Comissariat 2016)

http://www.lookupatthesky.info/

 

27 September 2016

“Writing Photographs’- a workshop that i gave this year’s edition of Obscura Festival, Penang, Malaysia.

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The produced body of works examine and explore urban spaces and the dichotomy of it. A space that never feels still but always in transition, on the move.

While some individual have worked with the physical space others reacted in a more instinctive and emotive response to it. Their critical observation varies from the highly consumeristic surroundings to the state of absolute nothingness. The subjects of theirs stories ranges from conventional photographic topics to the most banal. Collectively they have created a complex narrative of Georgetown, Penang.

While the social media ‘Likes’ and Instagram feeds are feeding our visual appetite every hour, the quality of the contents are debatable. How much of it stays in our mind and for how long? Or do they all function similar like ‘Snapchat’, disappear from the existence. As a storyteller do we adopt the new media? How much of it is a necessity? And how much of it is just noise. It’s also worthwhile to think about if this technological advancement are affecting our taste or limiting our visual possibilities. Does it allow us to be sensitive enough to go in depth of a story? Do the works live in our consciousness?

“Writing Photographs’ is an interface questioning all these contemporary platforms and trends and preferably going old school. The participants will produce short stories and will be encouraged to think before making work, to write before pressing the button. How do we incorporate ‘Text’ with our photographic language? How do we transform it into a form rather than functioning as a caption? Or how is it that we can use the photographs as captions? The objective is to develop works where the author is more vocal even if it does not fit in the current and popular structures of storytelling.

Participants are requested to bring a Pen, a notebook and a camera.

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Me and my friend Katrin Koenning made a book with the french publisher Chose Commune. It is called ‘Astres Noirs’. Read the review on L’Oeil de la Photographie:

Review by Antoine Soubrier on The Eye of Photography

Although less publicized than the daily dose of drama or the turmoil of our planet, and more cryptic, an event quietly troubled the beginning of the year 2016. Gravitational waves were discovered by American scientists which, like an interstellar ripple, pull at the very fabric of space-time of our universe. It is enough to make the blood of any earthling curdle.

Light, the photographer’s tool, usually sculpts matter: Sarker Protick and Katrin Koenning, however, use light to record darkness, as if in relief. The publishing house Chose Commune invited the two artists to collaborate, thousands of miles apart, by juxtaposing their photographs taken with smartphones, then editing them and printing them on black paper using metallic ink.

This original process reverses the usual points of reference: everything in Astres Noirs seems to be emerging from the dark, cloaked in mystery. We can distinguish faces, landscapes, and all sorts of “life forms”—animal or plant, which should evoke elements of our habitual, reassuring surroundings. But everything appears otherworldly, as if seen from another planet, by a different kind of perception. Our everyday world, the only one we know, has been suddenly splattered by a syrupy bath of strange, nyctalopic power, sweeping the planet at various levels, speeds, and distances all at the same time. The earth glows, and sometimes eyes do. We traverse caves and explosions and accumulate details, trying to understand, sometimes surprised by an encounter, confused by a smile, or by a bird that, from his branch, has seen it all.

INFORMATIONS
Astre Noir
168 pages
79 B&W photographs
16 cm x 22 cm
May 2016
1500 copies
More informations : Chose Commune

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‘নিরবধি‘
Opening of my solo exhibition ‘নিরবধি’, selection of works from What Remains, archive and installation – tomorrow 14th April, 5PM at Latvian Museum of Photography, Riga.

http://fotomuzejs.lv/museum/history)
Co-supported by Riga Biannual: http://www.rpbiennial.com/program.html

Dates: 14.04.2016 – 15.05.2016
Meeting with the author on 15th April at 6.00 pm.

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Katrin Koenning and Sarker Protick: Towards the Light

Review by Sunil Shah on ASX

“Photographic realism’s grounding qualities are at times, at odds with arts transcendental powers, so much so that when we see the sublime in a photograph – the ultimate, mind-blowing sunset, a resplendent El Capitan in Yosemite or the NASA image of earthrise taken from the ascending Lunar Module, our souls are momentarily touched.”

Read more: AMERICAN SUBURB X

 

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Family Photography Now edited by Sophie Howarth & Stephen McLaren published by Thames and Hudson. 

A beautiful and moving anthology exploring the complex dynamics of contemporary family life.

Forty international photographers present pictures, albums and archives, many never previously published in book form. They explore relationships between brothers and sisters, parents and children, step-families and in-laws, outcasts and adoptees. Featured projects include Birte Kaufman’s award-winning images of Irish travellers, Magnum member Trent Parke’s darkly amusing shots of his family in suburban Australia, Nadia Sablin’s elegy to her elderly aunts living in rural Russia, and Elina Brotherus’s devastating records of failed IVF.

Two critically engaging essays address how photographs have become an essential tool for families to lay down memories, reinforce identities and understand emotional attachments.

A bold and brave book that will captivate everyone curious about other people’s lives, and all those who turn to photography to celebrate or make sense of their own family.

The review on The Guardian:

“Bangladeshi photographer Sarker Protick grew up knowing his grandparents, John and Prova, as strong, hard-working people, whose work took them all around the country. “As they got older and became confined mostly to their apartment, I visited them often. But the pace of our lives had become so different, and sometimes I struggled to know what to talk about. I started making photographs as a different way to spend time with them. They loved it. So did I. The experience of photography gave us much more than just photographs.”

This photograph of John and Prova embracing in bed is a particularly poignant one for their grandson. “By that time, their declining health meant they slept in separate beds, and they were only rarely able to be physically close. I moved their beds together to set the picture up. It is the last photograph ever taken of them together. After Prova died, John asked me to print a copy of it for him to put up in their apartment.”

I was recently invited by Barbado gallery to do a residency in Lisbon, Portugal. The work will be exhibited next year at the Barbado gallery.

Half-a-dozen is a photography project / residency in which 6 talented emerging artists are invited to come and work in Lisbon.

26 September 2016

Teaching  at VII Visual Story Telling workshop at Barcelona in collaboration with Eyes in Progress.

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“The second half of VII Photo’s time in Barcelona was dedicated to a series of workshops and classes. VII All At Once Visual Storytelling Workshops, a new collaboration between VII Photo and Eyes in Progress , consisted of lectures, portfolio reviews and workshops. It was four days of intense interactions, sharing of experiences, mutual learning and some great work participants. Many of those who attended said they were drawn to how rare it was for all the VII photographers to teach together, bringing to bear the breadth and diversity of the collective’s work today.”

From the journal of Ed Kashi. Read more: http://edkashi.com/barcelona-daze-vii/

 

25 September 2016

Astres Noirs is a collaborative book between Katrin Koenning and Sarker Protick, two photographers I hadn’t encountered before and since it was also their debut book, it was a refreshing position from which to read it. The book acts as a visual dialogue between Katrin and Sarker and faintly reminds me of platforms such as A New Nothing (in the best of ways). We see a growing number of these visual conversations online, but few of them make it to paper and those that have made the leap nearly always impress me. Astres Noirs is no different and the fact that Katrin and Sarker are based thousands of miles apart furthers this genuine exchange.

The physical realisation of this book is incredibly thoughtful and elegant. Neither its size or design aims to make an overly assertive statement, yet its black uncoated pages and silver white ink make it an exceptionally physical book, a physicality that is carried through the images themselves. Perhaps the most noticeable feature of the design is how certain pages are physically joined, a manifestation of their relationship with each other, and a nod to the nature of conversation; those involved having independent input, yet each utterance has a relationship to a continuous dialogue in its entirety.

The images themselves are equally as beautiful as the design, familiar scenes are transformed into ethereal and cosmic formations, and the title translating to “Black Stars” sits perfectly alongside them. It is interesting that whilst the objects photographed are of such familiarity to us, the images taken on mobile phones have changed into something completely different; something that sits between the normal and abnormal, blinding white patches next to absolute blackness resonates with looking at star constellations and other fragmented light constructions. Not only this, but the images’ aesthetics seem to subtly relate to the dialogue Katrin and Sarker are having; the cosmic nature of the pictures creates a feel of distance in epic proportions which mirrors the physical distance and separation in reality between them.

Astres Noirs is certainly an intimate and personal publication, after all a conversation is arguably only of true comprehension to those involved. As a reader it as if we have been given a temporary and fortunate seat in the room of this personal dialogue. To an extent, we are given the opportunity to engage through the publication itself, yet there seems a distinct divide between engaging with Astres Noirs, and directly joining the conversation that Katrin and Sarker are having. Personally this is a frustratingly beautiful position to be in; whilst I can participate with Astres Noirs to some degree, Katrin and Sarker maintain an inward dialogue, one that I can’t directly join or ever fully comprehend.

And what I do really like about Astres Noirs is the way in which it doesn’t seem to have a specific aboutness to it (if you haven’t read Jörg M. Colberg’s opinion piece on aboutness I would definitely recommend it). What I mean by this is that the book doesn’t seem to adhere to a single or at least straightforward narrative and it doesn’t need to. There isn’t a static, rudimentary concept that would only act as boundaries for Katrin and Sarker and instead it flows back and forth, unrestricted and organically just like most conversations do, and from this it offers itself to a healthy and wide array of interpretations. Astres Noirs really is an alluring book. It presents a beautiful, thoughtful and poetic dialogue between Katrin and Sarker, the physical distance between them echoed in the book itself. The images in their own right are something to admire, but for me personally, it is the combination of beautiful photography and an astutely realised physical item to the point where they become one that they have succeeded in the most.

Kris Kozlowski Moore

Astres Noirs is published through French independent publishing house Chose Commune and  is more than a worthy addition to any collection, purchase it here.