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Book Review Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967 By Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander. Reviewed by Blake Andrews But this book serves another task which is possibly even more important. It's the long overdue exhibition catalog which, due to logistical issues, was never published for the show, nor in the fifty years since. Finally, this is it. And what a treat it is! Browsing the core of the book, many of the photos will be familiar to casual fans of Arbus, Winogrand, and Friedlander. They became well-known in later years. But what's even more fun is the sizable batch of obscure material here.
Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967. 
Text by  Max Kozloff and Sarah Hermanson Meister.
The Museum of Modern Art, 2017. 
 
Arbus Friedlander Winogrand
New Documents, 1967
Reviewed by Blake Andrews.

Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967.
Photographs by Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander. Text by Max Kozloff. Editor and Text by Sarah Hermanson Meister.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA, 2017. In English. 160 pp.

Take a trip with me down memory lane for a moment, back fifty years to the era of John Szarkowski. As head of MoMA's photography department, he reigned for nearly three decades as — to borrow his own turn of phrase — the central curator of his generation.

The recent book Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967 might come in handy here, for it's a time machine of sorts. The book returns the reader to the winter of 1967. "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out" was in its infancy, the Summer of Love was just around the corner, and John Szarkowski was only a few years into his curatorial career. He was still growing into his position at MoMA, yet already beginning to press his own views on photography. His The Photographer's Eye exhibition in 1964 showed hints of separation from his predecessor Edward Steichen, but that was just the beginning. Szarkowski was itching to lay his mark, and with 1967's New Documents he did just that. In one fell swoop he broke the scene wide open and laid the groundwork for what was to come: Eggleston, Windows and Mirrors, Figments of The Real World, and everything between. But first things first. February 28th, 1967, New Documents opened at MoMA.

Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967. Text by  Max Kozloff and Sarah Hermanson Meister. The Museum of Modern Art, 2017.

What was "new" about New Documents? In short, the documentary gaze was turned inward. If Steichen's approach was symbolized by The Family of Man, an exhibition which subjugated authorship to a universalized social awareness, Szarkowski "directed the documentary approach toward more personal ends. Their [New Documents] aim has been not to reform life, but to know it." To drive the point home, he'd cooly plucked from the pile three photographers who'd turn out to be among the most talented in America.

Of course, Arbus, Friedlander, and Winogrand weren't the first to value internal exploration over activism. Weston, White, Callahan, and Sommer had all pioneered the territory, among many others. What the new generation promulgated was a focus on the "social landscape," as it would soon come to be known. Using small, handheld cameras in the street tradition, they captured fleeting moments, strangers, shadows, and other found elements in public, then translated this material photographically into psychologically probing frames which spoke less about the world than about their creators.

Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967. Text by  Max Kozloff and Sarah Hermanson Meister. The Museum of Modern Art, 2017.

From the perspective of the contemporary world in which memoirs, selfies, and executive self-absorption are normalized, such an approach may not seem radical. But in early 1967 the "me" generation hadn't yet happened. Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism was still more than a decade off. Not only had Szarkowski's curation indirectly anticipated these later developments, it seemed synchronized with the 1960s cultural revolution. Seismic shifts were underway in all parts of society. Szarkowski stuck photography's watershed moment smack-dab into the mix.

Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967. Text by  Max Kozloff and Sarah Hermanson Meister. The Museum of Modern Art, 2017.

The new book from MoMA works from the get-go to root the reader in 1967. The cover's stenciled typeface, borrowed from the original exhibition font, seems retro by current standards. Then come the end-pages which replicate blueprints of the 1967 exhibition layout. Szarkowski's original typewritten wall label from 1967 follows, then a snapshot of the venue from 1967. Before the reader knows what's happening they're fifty years in the past, and this feeling continues throughout the book, from various exhibition checklists, to contact sheets from opening night, to news clippings showing reviews from the time period. It's a smorgasbord of background material from the time. Clearly the author —Sarah Hermanson Meister— has done her homework, and it shows. She's created a rich historical document.

Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967. Text by  Max Kozloff and Sarah Hermanson Meister. The Museum of Modern Art, 2017.

But this book serves another task which is possibly even more important. It's the long overdue exhibition catalog which, due to logistical issues, was never published for the show, nor in the fifty years since. Finally, this is it. And what a treat it is! Browsing the core of the book, many of the photos will be familiar to casual fans of Arbus, Winogrand, and Friedlander. They became well-known in later years. But what's even more fun is the sizable batch of obscure material here.

Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967. Text by  Max Kozloff and Sarah Hermanson Meister. The Museum of Modern Art, 2017.

Arbus was the queen of psychological portraiture. Even in 2017, her transsexual subjects are riveting. How must they have looked fifty years ago? More striking? In any case, her oeuvre was somewhat established by 1967. But for Winogrand and Friedlander, this book is a look into their early development before their styles had solidified. The spark of Winogrand's absurd worldview is faintly visible, as is Friedlander's restless struggle with banality. But neither photographer had yet matured. In fact, their photo selection seems rather spotty, and I doubt the same photographs would've been chosen in hindsight. Perhaps the unifying trait is that all three photographers —influenced by Walker Evans— are concerned with display, artifice, the presentation of image, and how it is translated photographically. That Szarkowski was able to spot their future potential, then consolidate this mixed bunch into a sweeping photographic statement is a credit to his curatorial skills.

Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967. Text by  Max Kozloff and Sarah Hermanson Meister. The Museum of Modern Art, 2017.

It's ironic that Szarkowski's name doesn't appear on the book cover, for New Documents, 1967 is about him as much as the three photographers exhibited. For thirty years he was MoMA's photo department. Yet surveying the fine art photo scene today his influence is clearly in remission. The style of found serendipity and direct indexicality which Szarkowski championed is still widely practiced, albeit mostly among the amateur crowd. But it's now just one strain in an increasingly crowded pastiche of photographic approaches, and not a very prominent one. This includes MoMA where, if Szarkowski-influenced photography is exhibited now, it's generally treated as a historical artifact.

Arbus Friedlander Winogrand: New Documents, 1967. Text by  Max Kozloff and Sarah Hermanson Meister. The Museum of Modern Art, 2017.

One aspect of New Documents 1967 that has remained sadly locked in its time period is the reproduction quality. Book printing has come a long way in the past fifty years, but there's little sign of it here. There is a general lack of tonality that lets the material down. Perhaps this is an attempt to remain faithful to the time. A catalog published in 1967 might very well look like this. But it's 2017. Contemporary readers demand more, and why shouldn't they have it? Perhaps readers can suffice if they imagine themselves in a time machine while thumbing the pages. — Blake Andrews


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BLAKE ANDREWS is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.

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photo-eye Gallery Gallery Artist News — May 2017 photo-eye Gallery is pleased to share information regarding current exhibitions at museums and project spaces featuring Richard Tuschman, Linda Connor, and Laurie Tümer.

  

photo-eye Gallery is pleased to share information regarding current exhibitions featuring Richard Tuschman, Linda Connor, and Laurie Tümer.


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christopher J Johnson Christopher J Johnson selects Fruit Garden presented by Sputnik Photo as Book of the Week.
Fruit Garden  By Andrej Balco, Jan Brykczynski, 
Andrei Liankevich, Michal Luczak, Rafal Milach, 
Adam Panczuk and Agnieszka Rayss. Sputnik Photos, 2017.
Christopher J Johnson selects Fruit Garden presented by Sputnik Photos. Designed by Ania Nałęcka-Milach/ TapirBookDesign

"Fruit Garden is the third installment in the Lost Territories Archive from the Sputnik Photo Collective. The first installment was the book Wordbook, which was reviewed in an earlier Book of the Week selection this year; the second installation was a gallery exhibition entitled SEDIMENT, which ran in Warsaw from October 2016-February 2017; the forthcoming fourth installment was also an exhibition which came down in April and had the title The New End.

The Lost Territories Archive body of work in its various forms attempts to look back at the former Soviet Union and the continued effects of it to this day in contemporary Russia and the former Soviet States; the focus of Fruit Garden is the Soviet era and science for which, as its starting point, it takes as pivotal a statement from a horticulturist named Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin, 'We cannot wait for favors from nature. To take them from it — that is our task.'

Michurin sought to tamper with nature by hybridizing several plant species, however the global science community disproved his scientific doctrine even within his lifetime, despite this – the Soviet Union made the horticulturist’s ideas official Soviet belief.

This is a perfect metaphor for what Fruit Garden contains: the remnants of failed Soviet sciences, experiments and horrific military tinkering. Something strange however, and different from Wordbook, is that the photographs presented in the collection are not directly attributed to their photographers, instead the photographers (Andrej Balco, Jan Brykczynski, Andrei Liankevich, Michal Luczak, Rafal Milach, Adam Panczuk and Agnieszka Rayss) appear in a consolidated list at the back of the volume; whether intentional or not, I found this last fact disturbing when thought of in terms of the subject matter of the book itself — the work in Fruit Garden shows how a large empire, when it tries to apply a rule for all, does terrible and even absurd (the acceptance of disproved sciences, for example) things and the ones who suffer are the very citizens whom they sought to help; in a book peppered with (literal) graveyards, I was sad to see the photographers’ names removed from their works — the proletariat fails in the face of the individual and when a book is about exactly that, why should the photographers themselves have to suffer the same dehumanizing fate? Or maybe that’s the point." — Christopher J Johnson

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Fruit Garden  By Andrej Balco, Jan Brykczynski, Andrei Liankevich, Michal Luczak, Rafal Milach, Adam Panczuk and Agnieszka Rayss. 
Sputnik Photos, 2017.

Fruit Garden  By Andrej Balco, Jan Brykczynski, Andrei Liankevich, Michal Luczak, Rafal Milach, Adam Panczuk and Agnieszka Rayss. 
Sputnik Photos, 2017


Christopher J Johnson lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a resident writer for the Meow Wolf art collective. His first book of poetry, &luckier, has been released by the University of Colorado. He is Manager of photo-eye’s Book Division.


Book Review Rift/Fault By Marion Belanger Reviewed by Adam Bell Marion Belanger’s Rift/Fault follows a simple premise—photographs taken along the San Andreas fault in California (Fault), are paired and contrasted with images from the Mid-Atlantic Rift in Iceland (Rift)—but offers an expansive inquiry not only into our complex relationship to the Earth’s surface, but our precarious existence in fraught times.

Rift/Fault By Marion BelangerRadius Books, 2016.
 
Rift/Fault
Reviewed by Adam Bell

Rift/Fault.
Photographs by Marion Belanger. Text by Lucy Lippard.
Radius Books, Santa Fe, USA, 2016. 132 pp., 48 color illustrations, 13x10½".


photo-eye Gallery New Work: Jennifer Greenburg photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to share the exceptionally sharp series Revising History , our latest addition to the Photographer's Showcase.

I have never been good at handling unwarranted attention, 2015 © Jennifer Greenburg | Archival Pigment Print, 24 x 30", Edition of 3, $3,500

photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to announce Jennifer Greenburg, our latest addition to the Photographer's Showcase. Greenburg challenges social norms and the nature of vernacular photographs in her current series Revising History. Seamlessly interjecting herself in mid century images from the 1940's – 60's, Greenburg creates convincing counterfeit moments liberating the pictures from reality and reminding us of photography's fragile relationship with the truth. Revising History's imagery is exceptionally sharp with a sly sense of humor, while also touching on issues in today's culture and political climate in America.
"I illustrate the roles women typically found themselves in, in a past era, allegorically in order to identify that though things look different today, not enough has changed."
- Jennifer Greenburg

Something funny happened in the kitchen, 2010 © Jennifer Greenburg | Archival Pigment Print, 30 x 24", Edition of 5, $3,500 

"Revising History is a study on photography, the nature of the vernacular image, and its role in creating cultural allegories. The work intends to create a dialogue about the photograph as simulacrum- the moment versus the referent. To engage these layered truths, I replace the central figure in found vernacular photographs with an image of myself.

My dreams came true the day I did hair for a fashion show, 2013 © Jennifer Greenburg | Archival Pigment Print, 24 x 30", Edition of 5, $3,500

Vernacular images create cultural narratives that we tend to trust. The danger in this is we seem to have forgotten that the picture liberates the moment from reality, erases vantage, and is inevitably susceptible to a co-opted or underwritten fantasy. The American past is often glorified in our cultural memory and I propose that it is partially due to the photographic record made during that era. Images help us remember selectively, and the myths around the period perpetuate, in part, via collective vernacular contributions. Images that depict awkward moments and point to historical oversights about race, religion, and gender are of particular interest to me as they identify a conversation we are still in midst of in the twenty-first century.

Napping with Floyd, 2011 © Jennifer Greenburg | Archival Pigment Print, 27 x 27", Edition of 5, $3,500

The work is a performance that results in a series of photographs that appear as records of time, place, and circumstance, but that are photographic impersonations. I study the central character in order to understand and relate to the meaning of the captured photograph. I then replicate the emotion, manifesting it with my own body, and augment the moment.

I've always preferred my own birthday, 2013 © Jennifer Greenburg | Archival Pigment Print, 24 x 30",  Edition of 3, $3,500

I acknowledge that I create images that are a product of my bias, but I conclude that no photograph has ever been made without a bias. A photograph is a subtraction. It plucks one moment away from its context and appropriates that moment to suit an intended narrative. This is a cultural problem because we rely on photographs to tell us the truth. My end result, therefore, is no different from any other photograph: it is an expression made using the lens of personal experience. By pulling these images out of context, I cause the viewer to draw conclusions about how individuals have chosen to document their lives and how memory is forever altered by something sold to us by the photograph."

– Jennifer Greenburg

When they lifted me on to the piano, I had no choice but to oblidge, 2016 © Jennifer Greenburg | Archival Pigment Print,
24 x 30", Edition of 3, $3,500

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For more information or to purchase prints, please contact the Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x 202 or gallery@photoeye.com 




Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects Arktikugol by Léo Delafontaine as Book of the Week.
ArktikugolBy Léo DelafontaineEditions 77, 2017.
Forrest Soper selects Arktikugol by Léo Delafontaine from Editions 77 as Book of the Week.

"There are few photobooks that I have returned to as often as I have with Léo Delafontaine’s Arktikugol. This book focuses on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and the Russian mines that operate there. Thanks to a provision in a 1920s treaty, which was ratified by the Russians in 1935, Russia has been able to operate coal mines here for many generations despite the fact that every single mine has operated at a loss. The mines have remained operational solely for geopolitical reasons. Today only one mine, in the settlement of Barentsburg, remains functional.

In Arktikugol, Delafontaine explores this region and the people that reside there. In a frozen land where polar bears outnumber humans two-to-one, miners and tourism workers alike live and work in a town that seems torn between many worlds. Ukrainians work for a Russian trust but answer to Norwegian law enforcement. Miners are paid in Rubles, in a town that only accepts kroner. Soviet architecture from earlier generations remains present in a region that is rapidly rejecting the stereotypical notions of ‘Russian Identities’ all while attempting to embrace tourism. Arktikugol presents the multifaceted complexities of this world in a striking and compelling fashion.

As a book, Arktikugol seems to have everything. From vernacular photographs, to personal interviews, to a facsimile mining safety pamphlet, Léo Delafontaine has created a body of work that is truly hard to put down. All of this is in addition to the stunning environmental portraits and other documentary images that fill this book. There is an air of a quiet stillness to his photographs that seem to simultaneously embody both loneliness and reflection. Arktikugol looks at how the world of geopolitics affects people on a local level, and how these effects can last many years and generations. Léo Delafontaine’s newest publication is a wonderful example of how contemporary documentary photography blends with fine art and should be celebrated to the highest degree." — Forrest Soper

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ArktikugolBy Léo DelafontaineEditions 77, 2017.
ArktikugolBy Léo DelafontaineEditions 77, 2017.



Forrest Soper is a photographer and artist based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. A graduate of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, he also has previously worked at Bostick & Sullivan. Forrest is the Editor of photo-eye Blog.
http://forrestsoper.com/


Book Review Colette Urbajtel By Ralph Colette Urbajtel. Reviewed by Christopher J Johnson Urbajtel is a unique photographer with a sharp wit, unmistakably all her own, that is easy to miss in her photographs, which tend to present subtlety first, and humor second.

Colette Urbajtel. By Colette Urbajtel 
RM/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, 2016.
 
Colette Urbajtel
Reviewed by Christopher J Johnson

Colette Urbajtel.
Photographs by Colette Urbajtel.
RM/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Madrid, Spain, 2016. 92 pp., 52 color illustrations.

Colette Urbajtel, the French economist student who became the third wife of Manuel Alvarez Bravo and a Mexican photographer ‘in her own right,’ as the character-subsuming saying goes, is, I think, not served by the consorting of her name into Bravo’s.

Urbajtel is a unique photographer with a sharp wit, unmistakably all her own, that is easy to miss in her photographs, which tend to present subtlety first, and humor second.

Her photographs are something like the illustrations in Highlights Magazine where one has to look and look to see all the hidden objects within the picture; her wit is what I admire most about her photographs, but to say that all of her work is humorous would be misleading.

Colette Urbajtel. By Colette Urbajtel RM/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, 2016.

Perhaps she has two varieties of photographs, two subjects, which are more pervasive than her humor: still life and a sort of cultural daily life. Her still lifes can be humorous or not, but they tend to be experiments in prospective, a tchotchke is photographed among the leaves of a plant or within a shop window with laces and a price tag to give a sense of its relative size; something always betrays both the scale and, in conjunction to scale, the preciousness of the object photographed.

Colette Urbajtel. By Colette Urbajtel RM/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, 2016.

Her daily life photographs are a collection of cultural events, street photographs, and a sort of typography of murals, shop window designs and, as part of these works, surfaces and reflections.

Within her various subjects she further favors children, statuary and animals, but doesn’t exclusively focus on any of them; however, she is constantly bringing several of her themes into a single picture: daily life, children, animals and humor frequently inhabit her photographs harmoniously side by side, but she can also give us just one of these subjects, while restricting her others, to great effect.

Colette Urbajtel. By Colette Urbajtel RM/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, 2016.

The tonal quality of her photographs strengthens her work; images are diffuse with light, reminding one (as if environment and subject matter were not enough) that these pictures come from an equatorial place where the sun is always overhead; there is something of the late morning or early afternoon in almost all of her work — a strange clarity such as looking into an empty fish bowl in which the water has just been changed; even her photographs that contain movement have this dead-still, noon-like transparency.

Colette Urbajtel. By Colette Urbajtel RM/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, 2016.

Urbajtel’s work is amplified by a wonderfully brief and to-the-point pairing of two artist statements (provided in Spanish, English and French); one from 1970 and the other from 2015. In both, the sharpness of her mind is staggering and the clarity of her aim as a photographer appears unwavering in the 45-year gap between them. Speaking of the femininity of photography she says, “Consider, among its endlessly varied paraphernalia, the hollow cameras, the rounded lenses, the transparent and reflecting glass, the film that captures first a latent image. The work in the darkroom,” she goes on to say, “is a typically female process: first developing and then enlarging, like life itself unfolding.” The simple gracefulness of this statement aside, Urbajtel, tells us that photography is an art that lends itself to the female artist; rather than a process of willful creation, she uses the example of illustration; it is an attempt to capture and develop the world that is. There is no crashing in or forcing along, beauty is present and plentiful and only needs to be enveloped and nurtured; something photography is, of course, particularly adept at doing.

Colette Urbajtel. By Colette Urbajtel RM/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, 2016.

Colette Urbajtel is a much-needed book as it examines in-depth this largely under-represented photographer and provides an examination of work and, though brief, thought. Hopefully, we’ll see her take a more prominent place in the history of Mexican photography and get a few more publications dedicated to her wonderfully rich work. — Christopher J Johnson

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CHRISTOPHER J. JOHNSON lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a resident writer for the Meow Wolf art collective. His first book of poetry, &luckier, has been released by the University of Colorado. He is Manager of photo-eye’s Book Division.

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photo-eye Gallery Also On View: Maggie Taylor, Chaco Terada, and Maria Luisa Morando On April 28th photo-eye Gallery was delighted to open Warm Regards, an exhibition featuring recent work by seminal Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti. To compliment Pentti's rich traditional silver-gelatin prints, the gallery is also featuring color work by represented artists Maggie Taylor, Chaco Terada, and Maria Luisa Morando.


On April 28th photo-eye Gallery was delighted to open Warm Regards, an exhibition featuring recent and iconic works by seminal Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti. To compliment Pentti's rich traditional silver-gelatin prints, the gallery is also featuring color work by represented artists Maggie Taylor, Chaco Terada, and Maria Luisa Morando. While Sammallahti's precise yet whimsical style serves to document connections and eccentricities in the world around us Taylor, Terada, and Morando's imagery functions more internally focusing instead on the power of symbolic narrative, meditation, and minimalist dream-like contemplation to yield personal reflection.

Warm Regards and all accompanying works are on view through Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at photo-eye Gallery.

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects Grinders by Hannes Wiedemann as Book of the Week.
GrindersBy Hannes WiedemannSelf-published, 2016.
Forrest Soper selects Grinders self-published by Hannes Wiedemann as Book of the Week.

"I’ve always been interested in biohacking. Ever since I picked up my first science fiction novel, the idea that technology and science can be used to augment humanity has fascinated me. As time progressed, many of the technologies detailed in the books and films that I loved have become a reality, however, many more still seem out of reach — fantasies rather than achievable goals. One seemingly impossible science was the idea of cybernetic enhancements, or using integrated technology to improve the capabilities of our human bodies. You can imagine the excitement I had when I learned that people were actively trying to incorporate technology into the human body.

Often called Grinders, individuals in the biohacking community believe that they can use technology to improve what it means to be human. From embedded computers that can read and transmit biometric data, to LED arrays under the skin that can visually change with different inputs, many pioneers are using themselves as test subjects as they begin to explore this new technology. Largely ignored by the established medical community, these innovators have been welcomed by the body modifiers, and as a result, have been able to work with professionals in order to implant these devices (albeit without anesthesia). Primarily self-funded and relatively off the grid, the biohacking community has grown into a diverse group of individuals who are actively implanting devices into their bodies for a multitude of different reasons.

Enter Hannes Wiedemann, a German photographer who, in 2015, set out to document the biohacking community in the United States. The images Wiedemann captured document this relatively new technology in a striking fashion. Set in garages and makeshift laboratories, the images in Grinders are detailed, depictive, alien, static, and often jarring. Strange devices, circuit panels, and bloody operations fill the pages. Implants of various sizes are shown being inserted into fingertips, heads, and arms. As you flip through the large pages, new questions arise as quickly as others are answered.

In addition to the striking imagery, Grinders is also a fascinating art object. Bound with eyelets and housed in a PVC sleeve, the book mimics the devices that biohackers design and work with. The third place winner of the 2017 Kassel Dummy Award, Grinders has already generated a lot of interest. So much interest in fact, that this book sold out from the publisher before this review was even published. If you are a fan of technology, science fiction, fringe communities, or if you are like me and have dreamt about an implant of your own then this book is for you. We may be a long way from cyborgs like we see in the movies, but thanks to the Grinders, we are closer than ever before."
— Forrest Soper

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GrindersBy Hannes WiedemannSelf-published, 2016.
GrindersBy Hannes WiedemannSelf-published, 2016.




Forrest Soper is a photographer and artist based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. A graduate of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, he also has previously worked at Bostick & Sullivan. Forrest is the Editor of photo-eye Blog.
http://forrestsoper.com/


Book Review Lobismuller By Laia Abril Reviewed by JC Gonzo In Northern Spain, folklore goes that a female child born on the eve of Christmas or Good Friday, or who happens to be the 7th or 9th in a consecutive line of female children, is destined to be a lobismuller—or, werewolf.
Lobismuller By  Laia Abril. RM, 2017. 
 
Lobismuller
Reviewed by JC Gonzo

Lobismuller.
By Laia Abril.
RM, Madrid, Spain/Mexico, 2017. 192 pp., 107 illustrations, 7¾x10¾x½".  

In Northern Spain, folklore goes that a female child born on the eve of Christmas or Good Friday, or who happens to be the 7th or 9th in a consecutive line of female children, is destined to be a lobismuller—or, werewolf. Lobismuller is where Laia Abril draws the title and theme of this monographic study on Spain’s mysterious “wolven” serial killer, beginning with its very definition; though describing its male counterpart, a lobishome—immediately arousing contention within the gendering of this myth. Manuel Blanco Romasanta (born Manuela) is Spain’s first documented serial killer, active during the early mid-19th century in Galicia, he murdered at least 13 victims. Abril’s succession of images range from documented ephemera to stylized landscapes of the region in which Romasanta was active, making Lobismuller an unusual experience that shifts between a literal and metaphorical case study.

Lobismuller By  Laia Abril. RM, 2017.
Lobismuller By  Laia Abril. RM, 2017.

Noted for skill in “women’s work” (weaving, cooking, etc.), Romasanta was deemed effeminate by the men of his society. The ambiguity around Romasanta’s gender identity echoes his self-proclaimed werewolf curse, both an invisible identity. After undergoing a convulsive episode, he purportedly transformed and attacked his victims — women and children — and utilized their body fat to make soap. He would peddle their belongs and sell this human-derived soap in neighboring towns. Eventually arrested in 1852 and sentenced to execution the following year, Romasanta pleaded his werewolf affliction. Queen Isabella II pardoned him to allow doctors to investigate his supernatural condition, though nothing unusual was found. Much is left lingering in the mind after investigating the curious events that befell the famine-stricken societies of Galicia. What motivated him and why? What degree of insanity informed these murders?

Lobismuller By  Laia Abril. RM, 2017.

Abril’s creative liberties with these events manifest in the arrangement of text, images, and the manipulation of the book itself. She unfolds this story carefully, eventually breaking past its journalistic structure into a realm of post-photography; suggestively melding images with illustrations and historical texts. Crumbling facades, roaming livestock, and quaint horizons become increasingly disjointed by graphic stylings or by reproduced ephemera presented as inserts. When the body itself appears, it is often too amorphous to identify with. The visceral nature of Abril’s imagery both intensifies and accelerates in a narrative arc as each seemingly innocuous image gets colored by the morbid information provided in the pages prior. Perception itself becomes aware to the viewer while intaking Abril’s unique perspective on the Romasanta legend and Lycanthrope mythos. She ultimately presents intersexuality, recalling Romasanta’s differing gendering at birth.

Lobismuller By  Laia Abril. RM, 2017.
Lobismuller By  Laia Abril. RM, 2017.

Lobismuller is an uneasy investigation. It fulfills the fear and paranoia associated with the werewolf mythology itself, more concerned with dis-identity and otherness than the violent crimes committed. Sexuality and gender as elements governed by an imposed social order leaves little to no space for deviation, a basic concept as prevalent in today’s society as it was in 19th century Galicia. It brings Abril’s well-crafted reconstruction of this legend right into the present conversation of sexual politics and the stigma of not abiding by the gender binary. — JC Gonzo

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JC GONZO  is an artist and writer from El Paso, Texas. He currently writes for Sensitive Skin Magazine, and has written for White Fungus, L_A_N, and held an art column in the Berlin-based porn site Dandy Dicks. He works both as a solo artist and as a collaborator in the Third-Mind concept, The Product Division. He earned his self-designed BA in ‘Sexual Liberation As Art’ at the College of Santa Fe in 2011 and is currently based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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photo-eye Gallery New Work: CIG HARVEY photo-eye Gallery is delighted to share a selection of new color images by Cig Harvey. This collection of photographs can be found in Harvey's highly anticipated monograph titled You an Orchestra You a Bomb from Schilt Publishing, scheduled to release at the end of 2017.

Scout & The Clementines, 2015 © Cig Harvey | C-Print, 14 x 14", Ed. of 10, $2,500

photo-eye Gallery is delighted to share a selection of new color images by Cig Harvey. This collection of photographs can be found in Harvey's highly anticipated monograph titled You an Orchestra You a Bomb from Schilt Publishing, scheduled to release at the end of 2017. The third installment from Harvey, these works are magical as ever, but with perhaps a slightly darker undertone. Each moment feels precious and fleeting, both like the past and the unforeseen future. The rich images evoke a certain sound or rather a current, passing through you as you view them. A splash of water, a crackling sparkler, the howling blizzard and booming bonfire are just a few of the sounds in Harvey's stage, or in this case Orchestra.

You an Orchestra You a Bomb looks at my relationship with life itself. It is work about the future, about paying attention to the fragile present. It makes icons of the everyday and looks at life on the threshold between magic and disaster.  
- Cig Harvey

Scout in the Blizzard, 2017 © Cig Harvey | C-Print, 14 x 14", Ed. of 10, $2,500

Lake Megunticook, 2016 © Cig Harvey | C-Print, 14 x 14", Ed. of 10, $2,500


Sparks, 2016 © Cig Harvey | C-Print, 14 x 14", Ed. of 10, $2,500


The Fire, 2015 © Cig Harvey | C-Print, 14 x 14", Ed. of 10, $2,500

Cig Harvey's photographs are Chromogenic Prints, or can be made to order as a Dye Sublimation Print on Aluminum in the following sizes:

14 x 14 inches, edition of 10, starting at $2,500

28 x 28 inches, edition of 7, starting at $4,500

40 x 40 inches, edition of 5, starting at $8,000

For more information on prints, or to pre-order your signed copy of You an Orchestra, You a Bomb please contact the Gallery Staff at: 505-988-5152 x 202 or gallery@photoeye.com 

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View You an Orchestra You a Bomb

See Harvey's Handmade Artist Books

Read Savannah Sakry's Interview with Cig 

Pre-Order Monograph