April 28, 2013
I lay upon my sofa with my eyes closed, the sun streaming from above and warming my soul. I asked myself the questions I could not face, and with both hands open I let go and as I drew breath, I released. Without him, there was no cause. There was nothing that stirred me to reflect upon who and where and what I was. It was true, and true it was, so I let go as I slipped away into a dream that blurred around the edge and when I awoke I took my phone, and there he was, and was he there and what do I do. Show don’t tell. A challenge worthy of everything I am ..
April 28, 2013
White on White like Malevich, Kazimir like Kashmir like Led Zeppelin said. Run it. The beat might be me listeninn to breaks Rokafella gave me aaages ago and it’s like time never begins or ends, like memories of yesterday are close as can be, and what is forgotten shall be told. That’s Mary Magdalene or so I heard as the wind whispers a secret in the breeze and me with Rumi behind my ear like a perfume of the finest blend, a spicy noiresque scent enticing as fresh baked brownies melting on the tip of the tongue. And me ohh my I lose the thread as I pretend there was one from the beginning.
The wind whispers to others as I rock some Fela and do nothing with my nothingness like Malevich like absence on absence in two dimensions to reveal three only it’s not even one, just a figment of my imagination as the beat switches up and though these are mojito songs, tar beach season ain’t just yet. Til then, without the sun and me under the skylights with the rays refracting across my back and over my hooded eyes and I tilt my head turn my cheek til my cheek kisses the sky and the sun beats down upon me and the breaks be like fiyahh like drums back when we danced round tha campfire like damn the word escapes me but the drums insist I give in and move on to the next thing which is the first thing, where we begin, snake tail combo, sautéed or fried. Steamed with a ginger sauce on the side. Lawd where is this thing takinn me.
See, it ain’t even. Sometimes it just be the need to spill seed, umm is that it. creepy being female and all. Creepy creepy but hey thas sublimation I guess it goes against the Natural and well .. yes. The beat switches up and now they got this diggum smacks kinda ribbit singing and swinging while things get kicking like this beat that’s all it takes maybe that’s it, words, rhythms, vibes, life. Like Tribe said lyrics without tracks is poetry on the page and itdon’t gotta make sense so long as it entertains.
April 28, 2013
I don’t plan to stop.
Sometimes you ask God for something and you don’t know what you’re asking.
Photographs by Arlene Gottfried
April 27, 2013
You can stroke people with words.
the bad things are the same in everyone; only the good are different.
Artistic temperament is like a king with vigor and unlimited opportunity.
You shake the structure to pieces by playing with it.
The combination of a desire for glory
and an inability to endure the monotony it entails
puts many people in the asylum.
To record one must be unwary.
If you us logic and imagination
you can destroy everything in the world between them.
Photographs by Phil Toledano
Quotes by Scott Fitzgerald
April 26, 2013
April 23, 2013
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly. To keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly of the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; A blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
April 23, 2013
The samurai must maintain his faith in his beliefs, even as the social or political climate shifts and alters.
He must be patient, must act in a manner that may at times seem irrational or illogical, must resist the temptations of instant gratification, and must work towards fulfilling what may seem to be an impossible idea.
As a result, the samurai is often something of an outsider, a rebellious figure because he refuses to conform to the habits of the day.
April 22, 2013
I experience a period of frightening clarity in those moments when nature is so beautiful.
I am no longer sure of myself, and the paintings appear as in a dream.
What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.
Photographs & Title by Roger Ballen
Post Quotes by Vincent Van Gogh
April 22, 2013
On March 28, Jamel Shabazz invited me to the opening of Engines of War, a group show curated by Charles Dee Mitchell and Cynthia Mulcahy at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc. in New York. The show overwhelmed, humbled, and inspired me with its well-thought mix of photojournalism, documentary work, portraiture, and video, which combined to a visceral feeling of fireworks exploding inside my chest, my heart beating faster and faster until I had to turn away to draw breath.
And in the midst of the intensity were images like Anthony Suau’s featured above, a respite, a smile, a giggle, a semblance of surreality and absurdity that makes me wonder what it’s all for. But it is not for me to answer, only for me to listen, and it is with great pleasure and reverence that I share here an interview with the curators, Mr. Mitchell and Ms. Mulcahy.
Please talk about the inspiration for Engines of War. What is it about this topic, and the way in which it is framed in this show, that is even more relevant now, in retrospect ten years after we first invaded Iraq ?
Cynthia Mulcahy: Dee Mitchell and I began talking in 2007 about curating an exhibition that examined war and out of these discussions came two exhibitions about war, both focusing on the first decade of the 21st century: XXI: Conflicts in a New Century in a City of Dallas cultural space in 2011 and this exhibition Engines of War in 2013 with a slightly narrower focus on the United States wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
As curators of Engines of War we wanted to look at all aspects of a nation at war from the soldiers who fight the wars and their recruitment, the civilian populations of the United States and those of Iraq and Afghanistan, the politicians and governments and the media covering the wars, and we also wanted to look at the war industry itself and the manufacturing of weapons and military equipment and technology. In like manner, it was also very important for us to look at relevant issues related to a decade of war such as returning wounded veterans, civilian casualties, PTSD and the rise of military suicides.
As a nation now in our longest war in US history in Afghanistan, and having just passed the ten year mark on the US-led Iraq invasion, it certainly seems an appropriate and necessary time to reflect on our past history in the form of a curated visual arts exhibition examining war.
Please talk about the photographers you selected, the stories, and truths they tell. I was very much intrigued by the group as a collective, the sum of the parts greater than the whole.
How did you conceptualize these specific photographer to tell the story of the Iraq War ? What does the group as a whole speak to about our assumptions about war as an industry, an act of aggression, and a “morality” play ? What can we learn by virtue of unconnected stories threaded together through the curatorial eye ?
Cynthia Mulcahy: : We waded through quite a bit of material, of which there is no dearth in the 21st century and the revolution in communications technology, in deciding what to include in the exhibition. We very much wanted to have a multiplicity of artistic practice approaches as well as perspectives, so we looked at the work of not just photojournalists and social documentary photographers but also street photographers and research-based practice artists as well as primary source material such as the war video game and digital comics series. The final contributors include American, Iraqi, British and Dutch artists and some original source material. Together and individually, these artists all powerfully either document or address the issues we as curators were looking at for the Engines of War exhibition and we hope the work as a whole serves to underscore the crucial societal role photojournalists and visual artists play in capturing and contextualizing history for the rest of us.
The photograph is both art and artifact, a witness to history and evidence of what has come before. I was particularly struck when looking at the dead and wounded. Please talk about how photography allows us to observe the horrors of war in what is a complex and compelling silent space. Where is the line when it comes to speaking these hard truths ? Or should there not be a line and should we be asked to go as deep as the “reality” goes ?
Charles Dee Mitchell: When planning the exhibition, we knew we would be addressing both the home front and the actual theater of war. (That in itself is an interesting phrase,) In its role as reportage, photography is always engaged in capturing a specific moment, and it is those moments of extreme human suffering or tragedy that are, as you said, the most problematic.
Working on the home front with veterans who have returned from the war with traumatic physical and mental injuries, Eugene Richards develops a close relationship with his subjects and becomes privy to intimate moments that when we encounter them in a gallery may seem disturbing or even invasive. But there is a shared intimacy here that infuses the work with the humanity and social urgency that has distinguished all of Richards’ projects.
On the other hand, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad is working on the ground during an engagement that has horribly bloody consequences. His photographs are unflinching documents of modern, mechanized warfare. We might see similar images in the press when reading accounts of the war. Their presence in the gallery affords viewers’ a chance, if they choose, to engage them with greater intimacy. Ghaith’s work epitomizes the duality of “art and artifact” that you mention in your question. When you ask if there is a line being crossed here, I would answer that there is no line in this setting. Photographers like Ghaith are doing an important and dangerous job. Engines of War would not be what we hope is the honest inquiry it is without both his presence and Eugene Richards’ contribution.
I was struck by the table downstairs that is a floor plan of an industrial base. Please talk about the industry of war and its connection to the media as a machine. How does the photograph/art work/exhibition both challenge and substantiate the military industrial complex as a being of supreme power (so to speak).How does the photograph interact with the subject of war itself ? How does its stillness in time call us to a kind of attention, a care and consideration for the subject itself, and does this attention cause us to question or reinforce our previous assumptions about the act of war by the US ?
Charles Dee Mitchell: The blueprint produced by Lisa Barnard depicts not an “industrial base” but rather the floor plan of a trade show devoted to drone technology. Its layout is familiar to anyone who has ever attended a trade show or for that matter an art fair. Major exhibitors have large central locations with smaller exhibitors in less expensive booths along the perimeter. There are food courts, restrooms, and lounge areas. This piece, perhaps more so than any work in the exhibition, demonstrates that war and the technology that fuels it is big business. We presented the work on a glass-topped table so viewers’ could peer down at it and explore it as one does a map or a maze. Although a wall label explained exactly what the image presented, most people seemed to find the label after spending time with the floor plan. The label sent them back to Barnard’s image with more specific information to bring to their experience of its cool abstraction. This was the type of process we hope repeats itself in many ways throughout the exhibition.
Engines of War
Now through May 4
April 18, 2013
The art book is an object to beheld time and again, a means to reflect on the world before us, a meditation on that which we might not otherwise know were it not for the work, transporting us from the familiar to the foreign by dissolving three dimensions into two. It is through the lens of the photographer that we enter into this world, as they guide us through an experience unlike any other we have ever known. It is through the creation of the book that we consider the single image as part of a larger understanding of story, idea, and meaning.
The art book carries us to far away lands, to years that have long gone by, into lives once lived that have become imprinted in ink on the page, the ephemeral eternal if only for now. Each publishing house has its own set of standards to which it adheres, a quality that becomes apparent when the whole is taken as the sum of its parts.
For the past two decades, Kehrer Verlag has defined itself as one of the premier book publishing houses by producing visually complex and challenging volumes that are as beautifully produced as they intellectually and emotionally provoke. Publisher and owner Klaus Kehrer made a name for himself supervising production for a German art and photography publisher with his own print shop for several years. In the early 1990s, he became an independent producer and designer for various art and photo publications, among them many exhibition catalogs for major German museums. Having made himself a name in the business he decided to found his own publishing house.
Read the Full Story at
Le Journal de la Photographie
April 16, 2013
Christopher Wallace is dead, murdered in the early hours of March 9, 1997, one block from my childhood home in Los Angeles. But exactly two weeks after his death, Wallace’s alter ego, the Notorious B.I.G., rose again with the album Life After Death. Geppetto was gone, but his Pinocchio lived on.
Like Wallace, “Biggie” grew up in Brooklyn, but in Bed-Stuy rather than Wallace’s more middle-class Clinton Hill. He dealt drugs, toted four-fours, and took falls, all of which Wallace did. But Biggie was a goddamned capo compared to his dramaturge’s small-time crook. Where Wallace was really gifted—almost preternaturally so, considering he died at twenty-four—was in the constructing and performing of a character, his character. Biggie was a fiction—not so farfetched as to court credulity, but idealized, a romanticization of the writer. He was autobiographical to a point, but embellished into a Mitty-esque wish-fulfillment through whom his audience could vicariously fantasize about the good life: popping bottles and topping models.
In character, and within the strictures of the medium, Wallace could do and say things he’d never get away with as himself. With his heavy tongue he could probe the decay of poverty in a bouncy radio hit, or parody our nihilistic materialism with a club banger that made him millions, and never be in danger of hypocrisy.
Biggie was, his fans understood, the Flatbush Falstaff, dedicated to excess and frivolity, while Wallace was the mysterious magus who spawned him. Sadly, even magi are mortal. But, luckily for us, Big Poppa is forever.
Christopher Wallace is dead. Long live Biggie Smalls.
Read AFTERLIFE BY CHRIS WALLACE at
THE PARIS REVIEW
April 16, 2013
If you own the facts, you may distort them as you like.
Disobedience is the vehicle of progress.
If the majority holds some thing of value,
you can be certain it has none.
There are only two options, either I’m a crazy lunatic,
or there really is stuff happening that has to be changed.
I’ve never had a long term plan.
I would like to live comfortably day by day,
fish, swim, and enjoy my declining years.
I have no regrets about anything.
Quotes by John McAfee
Photographs by Brian Finke
Check Out the Full Portfolio HERE