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photo-eye Gallery Spring into Summer with Julie Blackmon Delaney Hoffman This week, photo-eye Gallery is bringing you some of the coolest and most temperate summer images from represented artist, Julie Blackmon! All featured images are in our inventory, click to learn more!
Julie Blackmon, Lindenlure, 2020, Archival pigment print, 22x29˝, Edition of 7, $6000

With the summer season encroaching, we here at photo-eye Gallery thought it was high time to feature a few of the Julie Blackmon images in our flat files to help you beat the heat.

As May turns into June, and the outside temperature steadily climbs, I become ever-increasingly grateful for things like movie theater air conditioning and drive-thru ice cream cones. In the moments when I can't access the sweet relief of cool sensations, I can still reliably turn to the pictures of Julie Blackmon to transport me somewhere else.

From family road trips to neighborhood pool parties, these pictures summon memories of sunscreen, simpler times and the singular joy that summertime brings.


Take a look at more of Julie's seasonal delights below! 

All featured prints are in our inventory and available for viewing at photo-eye Gallery.




Julie Blackmon, Loading Zone, 2009, Archival pigment print, 22x29″, Edition of 25, $3900


Julie Blackmon, Laying Out, 2015, Archival pigment print, 22x29″, Edition of 10, $4000






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Print costs are current up to the time of posting and are subject to change.

photo-eye Gallery is proud to represent Julie Blackmon.

For more information, and to purchase prints by Julie Blackmon, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Delaney Hoffman, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202
Book Review SCUMB Manifesto Artworks by Justine Kurland Reviewed by Brian Arnold "Looking back at Hannah Höch’s work provides an interesting platform for understanding the new book of collages by American photographer Justine Kurland, SCUMB Manifesto. If you believe that history comes in cycles, there are incredible overlaps between the time Höch was developing her work and the cultural environment Kurland experiences today..."

SCUMB Manifesto. By Justine Kurland.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ957
SCUMB Manifesto
Artworks by Justine Kurland

MACK, London, UK, 2021. 288 pp., 9¾"x12¾.

sabotage /sabə täZH/
    verb     deliberately destroy, damage, or 
                  obstruct (something), especially for
                  political or military advantage.

I visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York City for the first time in 1997, where I saw a retrospective by the German Dada artist Hannah Höch. This was not only my first time at the museum, but this was also the first time I saw a major retrospective exhibit, and I was enthralled. Höch’s imagination captivated me, using simple tools she was able to create such an expressive reality, both a personal narrative and a scathing critique of cultural norms. Dada came to light between the World Wars, and collage was an essential tool for their vision. Disillusioned by the industrial revolution and a war-torn Europe, collage provided new vocabularies for identifying and deconstructing the societies of their time. Höch was an innovator of her day, not just by being a woman in the extremely patriarchal ranks of the Dada artists, and a self-identified lesbian, but as a truly visionary and original artist. Collage was the perfect medium for her to create her own vocabulary for constructing her identity and challenging a culture that attempted to control and define her sense of self.

Looking back at Hannah Höch’s work provides an interesting platform for understanding the new book of collages by American photographer Justine Kurland, SCUMB Manifesto. If you believe that history comes in cycles, there are incredible overlaps between the time Höch was developing her work and the cultural environment Kurland experiences today. When the work of the Dada artists took root, Europe was grabbling with the Spanish Flu, Fascism was on the rise (we have Trump and Putin), and Europe was divided by a war emanating along their Eastern borders. Dada, by its very name, was nonsense, and an attempt to subvert the norms that allowed for so much cultural cacophony. Collage was a perfect tool for their vision, providing an atavistic approach to dismantling the media and the cultural environment.


SCUMB Manifesto
is similar in so many ways, using a primitive cut-and-paste approach to collage (refreshing to see in our highly polished digital age) to dismantle the works of a culture defined by a pandemic, war, and abuses of power too abundant to fully acknowledge. In the wake of her superb publications with Aperture — Highway Kind and Girl Pictures, as well as the more autobiographical book The Stick published by TIS — this new book takes aim at the institutions that have allowed for and facilitated suppression of gender and queer personalities, specifically the white, European men that have defined and controlled the field of photography for its first 150 years. SCUMB Manifesto is a book of collages — deliberately identified by Kurland as a violent methodology — with all the source imagery culled from the heteronormative, patriarchal, white male culture that has controlled photographic discourse and created the canon. Artists like Edward Weston and Lee Friedlander — icons of the medium — are sliced apart and glued back together in pieces, creating monstrosities that reveal the oppressive gender hierarchies at play in their visions. She also calls out the “rapey gaze” of the tenured professors and curators that have provided the architecture to create this canon. To call Kurland’s book aggressive is an understatement; at times the book is overwhelming in the violence it visualizes, full of a rage only tempered by the compositional sophistication and insight of an extremely accomplished photographer.


Kurland makes no attempt to hide the source of her collages, and any discerning and well-informed photographer will recognize the pictures and books she cuts apart to make SCUMB Manifesto. Indeed, many of the collages are made from one book, the final creation pasted into the spines laid bare by her knife (an interesting material metaphor). For those interested in photobook history, you will see so many legends ripped apart — probably blasphemy to some, but I think this is precisely the kind of reaction Kurland wants — What We Bought by Robert Adams, American Monument and Nudes by Lee Friedlander (there are several collages built from this book), Sleeping by the Mississippi by Alec Soth, The Americans and Lines of My Hand by Robert Frank, The Bikeriders by Danny Lyon, and American Prospects by Joel Sternfeld are all amongst these books. You can also recognize pictures by Larry Clark, Hans Bellmar, Gordon Parks, Richard Avedon, Edward Weston, William Eggelston, David Douglas Duncan, Nicholas Nixon, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Irving Penn, etc. (there is a list of titles in the back that usually identifies the source, but I found it more fun to see how much I could identify on my own). The commonality of all these men is their irrefutable position in the photographic canon, and all (or at least most) actively embracing their masculinity as part of their vision.

In assembling her pieces, Kurland uses several different types of collage strategies. Many are about representations of women, but not all. She also creates color abstractions; multilayered, 3-dimensional pieces as she burrows down into the pages of a book rather than ripping them apart, and collages that strip the source photographs down to the barest bones of representation. Seeing all these together is very interesting as it often feels like you can witness Kurland learning her process as you page through the book, noting different methodologies and techniques she discovered along the way.


As I often feel when looking at MACK publications, this book warrants an acknowledgement of Morgan Crowcroft-Brown, the chief designer for their publications. This is a large-format book with plenty of gatefolds, both lending the book a labyrinthian experience but also allowing for a clear engagement of the original work. I reckon these are printed 1:1 with the original pieces (at least some of them) and as such facilitating what feels like a direct engagement with the ideas rather than just being reproductions. The binding of the book is unfinished, making the book appear like the remnants of Kurland’s compositional strategies — the original act of destruction by freeing the spine is an essential step for any book-based collage (have you ever ripped a book out of a spine? It’s much more visceral and gratifying than you can possibly imagine).

Often the vitriol of Kurland’s work is more interesting than the visuals, the physical and violent act of cutting and defiling is more interesting than her compositions. Recognizing how tightly edited and disciplined Highway Kind and Girl Pictures are as books, SCUMB Manifesto does feel under-edited. There are over 110 compositions in the book, and all were made over just two years — between 2019-2021, not much time to produce so much work. And several times in the book, Kurland cuts the photographs into slivers that she uses to spell out her name, Justine. I’m sure this is self-referential, but it also works as a reference to the famous book by the Marquis de Sade. Either way, it feels a bit too much like a tagline and not an important visual expression. Most of the collages are powerful and layered statements, and something so simple and blunt diminishes the complexity of these images.


The book does include writing by Marina Chao, Renee Gladman, Catherine Lord, Ariana Reines, and Kurland herself. The writing has a unique character for this kind of lavish art publication. There are some art historical perspectives, but other pieces are personal memoirs or prose poems built around Kurland’s work. I like Ariana Reines’, a poet, playwright, performance artist, and translator, piece entitled “The First Cut is the Deepest,” a reflection back to her punk rock feminist roots. Catherine Lord’s contribution also has an especially nice swagger:

The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. Yes. YES. NO, thing on it sister Audre, madame, ma belle, ma Cherie, ma jumelle, sa zami. Sometimes the master’s tools are the only things that will cut apart the big house. Think Grace Poole and the candle. Think Antoinette Cosby. Think Valeri, the patron saint of razor-sharp satire, thus razors, thus collage.

To fully address SCUMB Manifesto, it is necessary to say something about Valerie Solanas, a feminist writer and radical from the late 1960s, and whose fingerprints appear on every page of this book. Author of SCUM Manifesto, Solanas is typically better known for shooting artist Andy Warhol. Both books are titled with acronyms, SCUM for Society for Cutting Up Men, and SCUMB as a simple adaptation of the original, Society for Cutting Up Men’s Books.

The story of Solana shooting Warhol is interesting and tells us a bit about her vision and ire. In 1968, she marched to the Chelsea Hotel with a gun in search of Maurice Giordias, a publisher and pornographer newly arrived in New York City from France. Giordias ran the Olympia press, a publisher eventually absorbed by the Grove Press. He made his money publishing pulp erotica for soldiers fighting in Europe during World War II, but developed both his controversy and reputation by being the first to publish such innovative and challenging novels as Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy, and The Story of O. He also published Henry Miller, William Burroughs, James Joyce, and D.H. Lawrence — all these writers and books providing decisively masculine, if not misogynistic, visions. Solanas went to the Chelsea Hotel to demand that Giordias publish her book, if not she would kill him with her gun. Giordias was away for the weekend, so was never confronted. Not to be deterred, Solanas next went to the office of Barney Rosset, founder of Grove Press, to demand the same. Again, he was gone. In a last-ditch effort, Solanas next went to Andy Warhol’s studio, the Factory. She shot Warhol because she felt he had stolen the rights to one of her plays, another agent of her artistic oppression. All these men were leading figures in a cultural and artistic avant-garde (a cross-section of culture in which Solanas identified), chauvinistic gate-keepers intent on oppressing her vision of radical feminism. Ironically enough, Giordias had paid Solanas $500 and felt that entitled him to publish SCUM Manifesto after she was arrested, to cash in on her newly found notoriety.


I think of Solanas as a Ted John Kaczynski-like voice of late 1960s feminist thought, and the SCUM Manifesto professed the belief that men had ruined the world and it was up to women to take it back to a more righteous form (like Kaczynski, Solanas was onto something). I think she shot Warhol simply for being a powerful man with so much influence over the art world. A hypocrite, indeed, Warhol was someone who benefited from a gay or bisexual lifestyle but still did nothing to champion women and feminists of his day. Justine Kurland’s book is an appropriation of sorts, clearly and deliberately referring to Solana’s book. I think Kurland, however, is also trying to rewrite history and asks us not to think of Solanas simply as the woman who shot Warhol, but instead to see her as a revolutionary thinker who understood the caustic effects of patriarchy on art and intellectualism.

I submitted this essay to photo-eye on May 4, 2022, a day after a document leaked from the office of Samuel Alito that declared an end to the Civil Rights for women created by Roe v. Wade, and I am stunned by this remarkably backwards step in our culture. But I must confess it also makes Justine Kurland’s SCUMB Manifesto that much more timely and urgent. I think there are a lot of women and men who would like to take a hammer to the corrupt government and electoral systems that allowed for such a brutal and minority opinion to define the law of the land. Cut with a kitchen knife, indeed.

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Brian Arnold
is a photographer, writer, and translator based in Ithaca, NY. He has taught and exhibited his work around the world and published books with Oxford University Press, Cornell University, and Afterhours Books. Brian is a two-time MacDowell Fellow and in 2014 received a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation/American Institute for Indonesian Studies.
photo-eye Gallery Maggie Taylor - Internal Logic Delaney Hoffman This week, photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to spotlight some of the fantastic images housed in Maggie Taylor's newest monograph, Internal Logic!
Maggie Taylor, Spring Break, 2021, Archival pigment print, 15x15", Edition of 15, $2800


This week, photo-eye Gallery is thrilled to spotlight some of the fantastic images housed in Maggie Taylor's newest monograph, Internal Logic!





As the Gallery Assistant, one of my favorite things to do is sit back and watch visitors try to decipher a Maggie Taylor photograph for the first time. They move forward and backward, sometimes with a little bit of confusion, and I know what their question is going to be before they even ask it:
"Is this a picture or a painting?"
It's easy to see where the unsuspecting viewer could be fooled. Taylor's compositions are digitally constructed with thousands of layers of photographs, scanned objects and textures, the artist makes invented worlds into material ones through her masterful use of Photoshop—and the results are magnificent. Internal Logic is the eighth book from Maggie Taylor, published by Moth House Press in January of 2022, that shows off some of the most brazen successes of this past decade of the artist's career.

As one of the pre-eminent masters of photomontage, Taylor's style has been emulated by many, but it's the singularity of her vision that ultimately makes Taylor's own "internal logic" apparent. There is, of course, also the brilliant sequencing choice of beginning and ending the book with two similar compositions made ten years apart, between which we find dogs in tutus, boats and zebra stripes and luscious bouquets. 

Internal Logic is a title that truly lets you into Maggie Taylor's world and we're so excited to celebrate it. View more images from the book below (they're all available as prints as well!) and mark your calendars for Saturday, August 8th, 2022 for an event at photo-eye Gallery!


>> photo-eye Conversation with Maggie Taylor and Anne Kelly <<




A spread from Internal Logic


Maggie Taylor, Well Then, 2015, Archival pigment print, 8x8", Edition of 15, $1500


Maggie Taylor, The Bargain, 2018, Archival pigment print, 8x8", Edition of 15, $1500


A spread from Internal Logic featuring Maggie Taylor's signature five-color ribbon


Maggie Taylor, The Toast of Last Night, Archival pigment print, 15x15", Edition of 15, $2800



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Internal LogicBy Maggie Taylor
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=UF020


Maggie Taylor's Internal Logic is available in a standard trade edition as well as a limited edition that includes a choice of an editioned 8x8" print!

>> View Internal Logic in the bookstore here <<


>> Maggie Taylor on her process and references <<








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Print costs are current up to the time of posting and are subject to change. All images from Internal Logic are available individually as archival pigment prints.

photo-eye Gallery is proud to represent Maggie Taylor.

For more information, and to purchase prints by Maggie Taylor, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Delaney Hoffman, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202

Book Review Son Photographs by Christopher Anderson Reviewed by Odette England "I wanted a boy. My husband wanted a girl. We have a girl. I can’t believe I ever wanted a boy..."

Son by Christopher Anderson.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ820
Son
Photographs by Christopher Anderson

STANLEY/BARKER, London, UK, 2021. 160 pp., 80 color illustrations, 8¾x9¾".

I wanted a boy. My husband wanted a girl. We have a girl. I can’t believe I ever wanted a boy.

My reasons for wanting a boy are not as interesting as why we tend to say ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ rather than I want a son or I want a daughter. It could be because there’s a stronger personal attachment to the word ‘son’ than ‘boy’. ‘Son’ feels more human, more real.

I have many new thoughts about photographing children and photobooks generally thanks to Christopher Anderson’s Son. Starting with the cloth cover, the position of the word ‘son’ at the top in petrol blue where the sun would be at high noon. I learn that Anderson, the only word on the book’s spine, which also ends in ‘son’ means ‘Son of Andrew’, derived from the Greek name Andreas meaning man or manly. I also notice that Anderson uses ‘son’ rather than his son’s name, Atlas. What a title to grow into! He’s got the whole world in his name.

Those of you who are parents might recall the first moment you saw and held your child. I hadn’t considered that when we meet them, they are a stranger to us and us to them. Nor had I considered that when we gift a child a name, what they are called is very different to their certified relationship to us. Which makes ‘son’ as a fact, idea, inference and photobook title a shrewd choice. How well do we know, can we ever claim to know, our children? The camera, in this case held by Anderson, adds both comfort and complication to the question. I say this as someone who has photographed her daughter since birth, watching her change and grow through a glass rectangle.


Son
, published by Stanley/Barker, comprises 80 color-rich images made between 2013 and 2021. This edition expands the original version published in 2013, a “second chapter” of the story. Many aspects stand out to me within the first twenty-five images. That any discussion about a son also involves a mother and grandfather, among other family members. That the sun, the only star and central body of our solar system, is a prevalent sub-character (and, an analogy for son). That as we age we become hyperaware of our death and that of our children. That we take many more photographs of our first child than their siblings, and far fewer of aging family, especially if they have a serious illness. And that we’re all a son or daughter to someone, somewhere, at some point.

The images offer a variety of distances between photographer and subject. They reveal time through seasons, light, vacations, reflections and clothing. There are interior and exterior views. We see where Atlas lives, sits, plays, eats, sleeps, swims and showers. We see his toys, pets, friends and hobbies. We see him accept, reject and ignore the camera. We see him being in the world, looking at the world, sometimes eyeing his father. We see him but we don’t know him like his father does. I wonder to what extent Atlas recognizes himself in these photographs of love and admiration. I also wonder which image is the last one we ‘see’ of Anderson’s father.

This book is about more than childhood, parenthood or life or death alone. It is about responsibility, sincerity, legacy and a dash or two of regret. I say this because about halfway through the book Anderson shares with us a letter he writes to Atlas after “a fuss about your homework”. I’m going to resist the temptation to copy the letter here in full though I do have questions about it. Did Anderson handwrite it to Atlas? How was it given to him (if indeed it was)? Is it shared in the book with us as-is, without editing or rewriting? The penmanship is magical and Anderson offers a remarkably concise explanation for the how and why of his photographs. And then ties it up with the neat bow of “I love you to the moon and back”.


Anderson makes photographing family look easy, unhurried and naïve, which is a positive quality. It’s very hard to do, even harder to do well. There is no objectivity here, no neutral gaze, and thank goodness. There are also few images (or few obvious images) of all those messy truths like arguments, tantrums, piles of dishes, diapers or dirty clothes. There are fewer still that depict major milestones at which we’d take out our cameras or phones, like birthday parties. It’s Anderson’s unforced eye capturing the roles of father, son, photographer, husband and friend that make this book so potent. Son is a star around which many a photobook could do with orbiting.

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Odette England 
is a photographer and writer based in Providence, Rhode Island and New York. Her work has been shown in more than 100 museums, galleries, and exhibition spaces worldwide. She has two photobooks out this year: Dairy Character, winner of the 2021 Light Work Book Award; and Past Paper Present Marks: Responding to Rauschenberg, her collaboration with Jennifer Garza-Cuen, which received a $5,000 Rauschenberg Publication Grant.
photo-eye Gallery Beth Moon - The BAOBAB Interview Anne Kelly
This week, Gallery Director Anne Kelly sits down with Beth Moon to learn more about her stunning book project and online exhibition, BAOBAB! Hear about Beth's photographic journey through the African continent here!
Beth Moon, Tsikakakantasa Reflection, 2018/2022, Platinum print, 18x27", Edition of 15, $3800

Beth Moon is inspired by the natural world, like many photographers. However, Moon treats all of her explorations as a portraiture project. She isn’t simply documenting -- the goal is to connect with her subject and to share that experience with the viewer. Knowing this, I wasn’t surprised to learn that Moon was returning to Africa in 2018 to re-visit a former subject, this time, a specific Baobab tree, that was in the process of toppling over. It was Moon mission's to share the story of the Tsitakakoike Tree and other Baobabs that she encountered on the journey. 

In 2021, Moon’s “Baobab” project was released, including a collection of platinum prints and a book by the same title as well as an online exhibition at photo-eye. The book includes text from Moon’s personal journal which assists in telling her story and calls attention to the impact of drought on Baobab trees that have historically had a life span of 2500 years.

In honor of this new project, I caught up with Beth to discuss her affinity for trees, her 2018 pilgrimage, and more...

Enjoy!

— Anne Kelly, photo-eye Gallery Director


*************


Anne Kelly, Gallery Director at photo-eye (Credit: Dave Hyams) & Beth Moon


Anne Kelly, Gallery Director (AK): Your mission to photograph the oldest trees in the world began about 20 years ago. What is the origin story of this exploration, and did you anticipate that it would end up spanning over decades?

Beth Moon (BM): The first ancient tree that I visited was in 1999. I drove about an hour outside of London to a churchyard in Surrey to see this extraordinary yew tree whose presence could be felt throughout the cemetery. But I didn’t return with a photograph. I was so overwhelmed; all I could do was sit in front of the tree and stare in complete amazement.

In time I was able to harness my excitement into taking photographs, but I had no idea that I would continue to do this work 23 years later. Of course, I have been interested in exploring other work though out that time, but I always seem to be pulled back into the realm of trees. Either someone tells me about an amazing tree, or I will read an article. It appears there is no escape!

AK: And why would you want to escape!? Your tree exploration has taken you to many places, including Africa, a few times. The most recent trip was a “pilgrimage to visit a tree” that you had photographed in the past, that was in the process of tumbling. On receiving the information, I get the impression that you made the decision to return as soon as possible and that you made the decision very quickly. It wasn't a matter of if, but when. Is that pretty accurate, and can you expand on that?

BM:I had taken various trips to Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia as the oldest trees are mostly found in the southern hemisphere, and traveled to Madagascar three times.

Yes, when I was told the tree was dying, I knew it would be a matter of a few weeks at most before the entire tree would come down, so I had to act fast. This meant traveling during the rain and cyclone season and that came with its own set of obstacles!
Beth Moon, Zebu cart, NFS

AK: Like most things that are worth doing, nothing about your voyage was easy – from five days of travel to the storm that you arrived in. The original plan to travel to the Tsitakakoike Tree by car had to be rethought – and you ended up traveling by cart, pulled by large African cattle -- yet, another testament to your dedication. Do you think the modified method of travel change the project?

BM: What at first was seen as a deterrent, actually turned into a positive. Large pools of water were too deep to drive through, but amazing African zebu can traverse the water without difficulty. By taking alternative routes into the forest, we discovered trees of important stature that local villagers had not seen before.

AK: This makes a lot of sense – much like opting to travel on a two-lane highway, as opposed to a superhighway or airplane! What was the most exciting or surprising encounter that you had based on this method of travel?

BM: I’d like to use an excerpt from the book for this.
I have asked the chief for permission to stay overnight in the forest…An unfamiliar sound jolts me from sleep. I sit up in complete darkness and remember my headlamp is still on my forehead. Fear is the length of time it takes my eyes to adjust. A flash of light illuminates a couple of dozen pairs of eyes before me. A surprised herd of zebu, looking for a place to settle down for the night, stares back at me.
The rhythmic sound of snoring zebu nearby lulls me back to sleep.
Beth Moon, Zebu panorama study, NFS

AK: Would you opt for this method of travel again, in the future, even if not necessary?

BM: By surrendering I was able to come to grips with so many things out of my control, and ultimately able to trust spontaneous outcomes. Being forced to slow down and appreciate the view along the way is not only a good metaphor, but a good lesson!

AK: You described seeing the Tsitakakoike Tree in partial collapse as a mix of “astonishment and horror”. I can only imagine what that must have felt like. Was photographing the tree a cathartic experience?

BM: Standing in front of the destruction of this tree, was a life-changing experience in a way that I cannot describe in words. Largely, the project was just about bearing witness.

Upon returning home, I had a mixture of anxiety and grief that consumed me. Directing my energy into the book felt cathartic. Writing the text, organizing information, and sharing images of the trees allowed me to reveal the plight of the trees to others.

Beth Moon, Tsitakakoike, Andombiry Forest, 2018/2022, Archival pigment print, 40x80", Edition of 5, $12000


AK: I love how the text in the book reads like a journal – and how the text is interspersed between the images. Can you talk about that, and the design of the book as a whole?

BM: On trips like this, I usually write in a journal as a way of keeping track of day-today details. Professor Patrut and his team have been radiocarbon dating the oldest trees for the last decade and through this study, they learned just how fast the ancient baobabs were declining. I thought there was great value in this scientific research, but the information felt dry and clinical. Weaving a story of my personal experience around the data was the reason to make the book, so the journal entries became the backbone.
Beth Moon with Baobab tree, NFS
I usually prefer to see images without the clutter of text, but it felt more compelling to intermingle the images around the story, similar to a travel book. I hoped to bring the reader on the journey in this way. Enlarging certain phrases took the place of captions.

To differentiate between the platinum portraits, I hand-colored the travel photos and did not mask the edges, which were also platinum prints. Many of the tree portraits were panoramic and single frames were at a 2:3 ratio. There is always a fine balance between using the highest quality materials while staying within a reasonable retail price. Price also dictates book size, so I was pleased when my editor accepted my 10” x 15” book suggestion that would make the most of this format.

AK: I hear you, pairing text with images can be a challenge, but I think it was the right call in this case – it adds to the experience of viewing the book. The text that you wrote is anything but dry.


Regarding your printing process, it would be great if you could touch on that. I have an affinity for the printing process, however, it is labor-intensive and costly. For you, what keeps your black and white work rooted in this process?


BM: I guess I remain true to my original thought when I first started this series, “a platinum print can last for centuries, drawing on the common theme of time and continuance, pairing photographic subject and process.”


However, I am also making prints with pigment inks of the panoramic images on a large scale to emulate the sheer size of the trees and landscape.


AK: What is next for you?


BM: I never like to talk about new projects because sometimes they don’t gain enough momentum to be fully actualized, but more often the reason is that I usually sit on projects for years before they are finished.  Often, I like to look at work months later, hopefully with new insight and inspiration


For example, I was going to the coast for a couple of years photographing ravens, not really thinking this would amount to a series of work, but one day I happen to remember the Norse god Odin, that had two ravens. Odin’s Cove!  That element spoke, not only of the birds but the beautiful coast where they lived and it formed a structure to bind all the elements together. I continued to photograph the birds with a larger focus.


AK: And lastly, sweet or salty? What is your favorite dish from all the places you’ve traveled?


BM: I should probably point out that most of the places I go are not known for their culinary expertise.   However, having fresh fish from the Arabian Sea cooked on an open fire in the Frankincense Forest does stand out in my memory.  My guide was also able to make flat bread baked on a hot stone, drizzled with honey and strong Mokha coffee.  All of this with two pots!



Beth Moon, BAOBAB III, Ankoabe Forest, 2018/2022, Platinum print, 24x36", Edition of 5, $7000


Beth Moon, Branches, 2018/2022, Platinum print, 18x27", Edition of 15, $3800

Beth Moon, BAOBABS VI, Andombiry Forest, 2018/2022, Platinum print, 18x36", Edition of 5, $7000



BAOBAB by Beth Moon.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=AV103


>> View the online exhibition of BAOBAB <<

>> Signed copies of BAOBAB in the photo-eye Bookstore <<

>> Read more about Beth's practice of photographing trees! <<







• • • • • 
 
Print costs are current up to the time of posting and are subject to change.

photo-eye Gallery is proud to represent Beth Moon.

For more information, and to purchase prints by Beth Moon, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Delaney Hoffman, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202

Book Review Eat A Chili Photographs by Wei Weng Reviewed by Meggan Gould "What is the visual equivalent of the adrenaline rush induced by ingesting a hot pepper of unexpected intensity? Also, why is chili ice cream so perfect? (Answer: it’s a singular pleasure: acute burn merged with its own salve.)"

Eat A ChiliBy Wei Weng
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZK058
Eat A Chili
Photographs by Wei Weng

self-published, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2021. In English/Chinese. 152 pp., 75 color illustrations.

What is the visual equivalent of the adrenaline rush induced by ingesting a hot pepper of unexpected intensity? Also, why is chili ice cream so perfect? (Answer: it’s a singular pleasure: acute burn merged with its own salve.)

The first time I ate wasabi I thought I was going to die. A casual gluttonous mouthful, and I proceeded to suffer, in silence, what I was sure to be my imminent death through hot flashes of visual confusion, hovering between hallucination and mortification. This is also the capsaicin tease of the pepper’s spice, forcing us to face — embrace — mortality. And then, inevitably, we return for more.

Wei Weng’s new book, Eat a Chili, functions as a controlled frenzy of eye-watering stimuli. It is an epic narrative, matter-of-factly relayed in English (recto) and traditional Chinese (verso). A prank chili bomb delivers a lover’s rejection to set the pace, followed by synthetic dyes, ethically questionable human lab testing, joy (and pain) via food, machine labor, thrill-seeking, prosthetic limbs, and black cats. It lies somewhere between speculative fiction and science fiction, or between pre-post-apocalyptic fiction and post-pre-apocalyptic fiction. In other words, it is a terrifying version of now, hovering on the edge of very-human decisions taken too far.


At the heart of the narrative is the Great Chili Simulator, meant to infuse the thrill of the capsaicin high into the most innocuous of foodstuffs. A mango tree grown to pack a chili punch: culinary ecstasy, or GMO terror brought to its logical conclusion? Weng pulls off the same, visually, using the power of multiple photographic acts, overlaid, to become more than the sum of their parts. In one, a sharp but blurry knife (sharp: blade, blurry: focus) becomes a rainbow explosion of patterned color, underpinning the text of the initial prank chili bomb that spirals out into this tale of if-only-this-was-futuristic hijinks.

In the space of text and images both, multiple transformations unfold. On the personal level, via fleeting protagonists: a street peddler, a small boy, a mango. On the societal level, via a grim and toxic future. On the image level, through intermingled visual information, forever burned into improbable partnerships.


The format of the book is slight, vivid red, and sliced across the cover with a sharp blade; it is a perfect vessel for the delight, and blistering, that lies within. A test of Scoville units: how much pain can we bring upon ourselves and endure? Or, how much frozen milk and sugar must we pour onto our scorched tongues to quench the delicious burn?

The photographs are less linear than the narrative. They function as pepper sprays of visual confusion, with the occasional post-spice hiccup of a singular frame, shocking in its comparative lucidity. Miniature explosions unfold: of taste, of color, of intensity. Neon lights, chicken feet, poker pairings, urban architecture, dentures, and balloons move in and out of visual cacophony. Clarity is often hard to find, but I don’t want it; I succumb to a hedonism of double vision, melded realities.

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Meggan Gould is an artist living and working outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of New Mexico. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,, the SALT Institute for Documentary Studies, and Speos (Paris Photographic Institute), where she finally began her studies in photography. She received an MFA in photography from the University of Massachusetts — Dartmouth. She recently wrote a book, Sorry, No Pictures, about her own relationship to photography.