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Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm Tired of Writing: Another Visual Post

from this week's New Yorker :)

Little Something from India

My parents-in-law brought me this sweet little card, painted on a leaf, from India.

Bugging out w/ Boggs (some sort of Robin Hood)

(via Conscientious) 'Lawless Lucy' over here loves the concept of the Boggs bucks.
Considering the state of the current art world this is simply brilliant: An artist who draws money. Cutting right to the chase. I like it.
Read more about J.S.G. Boggs and what exactly he does and how he gives some unexpected fortune at www.reason.com and at www.everything2.com.
PS: Mr. Boggs if you read this, please know that I would gladly sell you a print or cook you a meal for Boggs cash ;)

Friday, August 8, 2008

One More Thing: Kristen Ashburn

I am happy to hear that Kristen Ashburn's work from Africa will be published by powerHouse Books early next year - the book will be titled I Am Because We Are. I have always admired Kristen's work. Because of its subject matter I think it is hard to find an outlet for her work at times and I am glad to see that more people will get to see her work through this book. (now I am really off to bed)

from I AM BECAUSE WE ARE, photographs by Kristen Ashburn, published by powerHouse Books

Delphine Diallo

I just had two great nights in a row: last night we had a Nymphoto social outing, which are always fun. However this one was special because Margot Quan Knight was in town - who we had actually never met in person - but who fit like a glove into the group and who is not only a talented artist but also a great person. Then today Rona and I had a really inspiring in-person conversation with gallery owner Sasha Wolf, which we will present on the Nymphoto blog early next month. Life and all that positive energy have made me tired - but in a good way.
BUT before hitting the horizontal, I wanted to post and say how much I like Delphine Diallo's Magic Photo Studio work.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jess Ingram, America & The World

Love is the Greatest
© Jess Ingram

Jess Ingram went to Tisch like I did, but started a couple of years after me. We did not really overlap. However Jess and I have some good friends in common so over the years we would see each other here & there and I followed her work.
Lately I have become very interested in the stories of America. At a time when America's image is badly damaged and the world does generally not look favorably onto the US, I think the stories about -and in- America become even more relevant.
I have lived in the US for a long time and have heard people abroad speak with love and anger about my adoptive home country.
But during a recent trip to Europe I was truly shocked at how deep the resentment towards America & its people runs. I do not want to discuss politics and I am not saying that I do not understand where it comes from (hey, I read the news, I have been through Immigration and I have ears). I simply want to express how much it saddened me.
America has been good to me. Good in many ways but most importantly in teaching me about speaking up, second chances and giving me hope that change is possible.
New York is extraordinary and I think in many respects very American. Yet it is only one small part of America.
So to understand more about the US I have been looking at American artists that document the rest of the country.
Jessica Ingram is one of them. You can see my conversation with Jess and some of her work over at the Nymphoto blog.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jessica Backhaus

I know I am late on the uptake here, but I love the work of Jessica Backhaus, particularly her work from Jesus and the Cherries.

Cancer, Women & Society

Last week someone I used to work with and that I also considered a friend passed away from cancer. The cancer started in her reproductive organs and like so many women diagnosed with this terrible disease, my friend after a brave battle, succumbed.

She was one of the kindest people I have ever met and someone who was happy with the life she was given and who truly knew how to appreciate the little things.
Cancer is always a terrible disease. What makes uterine and particularly ovarian cancer scary is that it is hard to detect in its early stages. And therefor it is often fatal.

There are other cancers that also are hard to detect in early stages, but this cancer that strikes only women and a higher percentage of women who have never been pregnant (don't even get me started on that one), I feel is not getting the attention it deserves. And I wonder if it his would be the same if this was a disease that struck men.

Maybe I am upset right now because of my friend's death, but this is a thought that occurred to me long before I even knew my friend was struck with cancer.
I think I am lucky to live in the US and that I was born in Germany, since gender equivalency is on the right track in these two countries (if not perfect).
Nevertheless the other night -ironically after a Nymphoto meeting- Maria, my husband and I went out to dinner. Maria ordered a beer, the husband and I ordered juice.
The waiter automatically gave the beer to the husband. And the juices to us women. I decided I would treat everyone for dinner that night and asked for the check. When my credit card (with my name printed on it!) was returned to the table for signing it was given to the husband.
Last week when I took the puddle jumper flight from Placencia to Belize City I handed my luggage over at check-in.
The clerk returned a minute later to offer the receipt for my luggage to my husband, who was standing right next to me.
I guess these small events are no big deal , but it just reaffirmed to us that we are not crazy.
And that the need for Nymphoto and other women's organizations has not passed.
Think what you will of Hillary Clinton, she certainly got a raw deal. (I recommend reading Cara Phillips posts on Ground Glass from last June on the subject).

Bottom line: I am angry today and I am grieving for my friend, who was a great woman.

If you (can) give to charity consider giving to ovarian research also. A research study to help find a way for early detection is under way with volunteers who might be at higher risk for the disease.
I know that there are other issues that are perhaps more pressing, but I think one has to care on a micro and macro level.
You can inform yourself better about (ovarian) cancer here: www.cancer.gov
--lovely URL, isn't it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Alison Malone

"Daughters of Job" © Alison Malone

If you are in New York in the upcoming weeks, you can see the work of Alison Malone.
Her current project "Daughters of Job" documents and explores a secret society of girls and young women who are descendants of Free Masons.
I also much like her series The Anonymous Everyhwere of Nowhere in Particular.

Westside Gallery
133/141 West 21 Street
New York, NY 10011
August 5 - August 23, 2008
Reception: Wednesday, August 6, 5-7pm

More info here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Just Do It

Tied-Up on an Island (Holbox & Manhattan) © Nina Buesing

A while back I wrote about how it is hard for me to photograph in the city. I love doing all my sketching, dreaming, planning and post-production in the city. But shooting had been a bit hard for me here in the last few years.
At first I was not so worried about me not shooting in the city because I always photographed a lot of nature and a lot when I was travelling, and so I thought it had to do with my current passions and interests. I was somewhat comfortable with that explanation and left it at that.
But that didn't last. It kept bothering me. (And I know 'Guru Aimee' is thinking: I told you so).

I have just returned from Belize. A country that is another home for me and in which I have been photographing for over a decade. I shot a lot when I was there. While I was there I was also thinking about why it is so easy for me to shoot there: Belize is gorgeous, it is not overexposed like New York and it is not where I spent my quotidian life (ergo it's fresh & new) .
But I no longer think those are the primary reasons why I am so productive there.
I think the reason I am very productive when visiting Belize (or other places) is because I am out and about and not bogged down with a million things, like I am in New York. This might seem self-evident to most, but it truly wasn't to me.

My husband has been after me for years to simplify our lives. And I have always been very resistant. I am a pack-rat and homebody and I am just interested in everything & everyone. I see value in everything and as a result, at home, I store all kinds of articles, books, heirlooms, notes and knick-knacks in the hopes that they will turn into a project one day --and some do. But it also means: Clutter.
Space is scare on the island of Manhattan and I need to un-clutter so I can breath and think.
I think the clutter & subsequent mental noise keep me from being out there and experiencing things and photographing them. And even from making progress all together. I have some idea why I have been living like this and I think I am ready to move on.

I have embarked on a new project titled "Chronicle" (pics to come soon) and for it I had to get out there and take advantage of the great city I live in.
And you know what? It was great! And productive!

Thus August will be the month of cleansing. I will keep necessary books, notes, photographs and knick-knacks, but I will be more discriminate and get rid of a lot of baggage (mentally & physically). Reduce the clutter.
I will spend my time wiser and work with more focus. I will learn that it is okay to give up on things. And while I know that travel will always inspire me,I think I now am ready to photograph in New York again too.
I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Orphan Works Update

Head over to the Photo Business Forum blog to get an update on the Orphan Works Legislation.