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What Once Was A Home

What Once Was Home

What Once Was Home

Peter Granser set off in search of traces of the town of Gruorn on the Swabian Alb, which was forcibly evacuated between 1937 and 1939. His limited edition Was einem Heimat war – What once was a home (800 copies, german and english, ISBN 978-3-9814530-2-7, roughly $35) documents the eventful history of a landscape that was used for over 100 years as a training ground for the armed forces and is thus closely associated with German military history. In 2005, the terrain, still strongly contaminated with projectiles and unexploded ordnance, was declared a biosphere reserve.

The illustrated book What once was a home is composed of several parts. Black and white photographs of the landscape, showing the scars and relics from the period of military use are confronted with a typology of anti-tank ammunition, bullets and grenades. The book includes a five-part panorama as Leporello.

Gregory Crewdson’s Portraits Of Small-Town American Life

Gregory Crewdson's Portraits Of Small-Town American Life

Acclaimed photographer Gregory Crewdson’s 10-year quest to create a series of haunting, surreal, and stunningly elaborate portraits of small-town American life. Crewdson doesn’t just “take” his images, he creates them, through elaborate days and weeks of invention, design, and set-up. The epic production of these movie-like images is both intensely personal and highly public: they begin in Crewdson’s deepest desires and memories, but come to life on streets and soundstages in the hills towns of Western Massachusetts. In his decade-long project “Beneath the Roses” he uses light, color and character to conjure arresting images, managing a crew of 60 amidst seemingly countless logistical and creative obstacles.

Filmed over a decade, beginning in 2000, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters provides an unparalleled view of the moment of creation of his images. It also reveals the life-story behind the work—through frank reflections on his life and career, including the formative influences of his psychologist father and his childhood fascination with the work of Diane Arbus. Childhood fears and ideals, adult anxieties and desires, the influences of pop-culture all combine to form who we are, and for Crewdson, motivate his work.

World’s Leading Creatives Honor Best Images
 At The Industry’s Most Watched Photoshow

Peter Nitsch, Charcoal. Rcipient of the title award "Nominee."

Peter Nitsch, Charcoal. Recipient of the title award "Nominee" in professional category Still Life.

For five years, Photography Masters Cup has been committed to bringing the people world-class Juries selected from the most influential names in the industry. Today it is recognized around the world as the most renowned body of its kind, dedicated to honoring the highest achievements in color photography.

With a collective Jury of the world’s most recognized experts from National Geographic Channel to Hasted Hunt Kraeutler in New York, the Masters Cup is the industry’s most authoritative and important photographic event for color photography and brings to light the best work of the year as nominated by the esteemed international panel.

The 5th Annual Photoshow will be streamed “live” this Saturday, October 29th.

Peter Nitsch’s Charcoal photography above is recipient of the title award “Nominee” in professional category Still Life.

Excerpt Magazine is a Free Online Magazine focused on Photo-Based Practice

Excerpt Magazine

Excerpt magazine is a new and free quarterly online publication launching on Tuesday 8 November at www.excerptmagazine.com. Excerpt Magazine is centred on photo-based practice, with an emphasis on original content. Edited in Melbourne and featuring Australian and International artists and creatives, Excerpt Magazine challenges the archetypal magazine structure by constructing new formats.

Excerpt Magazine concentrates on short pieces of text and images that together form a collection of thoughtful insights and exchanges. Within each issue an artist is asked to respond to an interview only through photos, a group of artists anonymous to each other collectively write an essay and invited artists respond visually to the cover image.

Fuelled by the editors want for a magazine that is as creative in itself as in its contents, Excerpt Magazine fills the gap. Co-Founder and Co-Editor Amy Marjoram says, “We are creating an avenue for contributors to provide content they are really interested in, without stylistic parameters. I want this to be important, relevant and fun.” Editors Amy Marjoram and Kate Robertson met studying at VCA and in launching Excerpt Magazine have utilised the online platform to create a boundless readership.

Joined by Creative Director Laura Gulbin and Project Supporters Lou Hubbard and Louis Porter, the Excerpt team is completely made up of practicing artists. Issue One cover artist is Lucas Blalock (US) with contributors including; Janina Green (AUS), Sanja Pahoki (AUS), Daniel Palmer (AUS), Heather Lighton (AUS), Zhong Ling (CHN), Paul Knight (AUS works in UK), Alex Kershaw (AUS), & Ann Woo (US).

Interview: When Bangkok Holds its Breath for a Moment

Peter Nitsch - Wait for Service

Peter Nitsch - Wait for Service

Elinros Henriksdotter from Contemporary Talks has been interviewing me about photography and Bangkok. In the following you’ll find a short excerpt – 3 out of 20 questions – of the interview. The interview can also be found on the ART REVIEW Magazine blog.

What is your philosophy as a photographer?
As I have a strong interest in Asia I would describe it with the words of Rabindranath Tagore: “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” For me and my personal work it is important to see the image before I make it and this “process” takes some time. Digital photography has made it easy for photographers to take thousand of pictures, but within those thousand pictures one can get lost and loose the sense-perception of photography, ‘painting with light’. Photography is a lifetime process of seeing and I‘m still learning.

According to your biography, your work mainly communicates “the conflict between Thai identity and the globalized living conditions”. The Thai installation artist Surasi Kusolwong, who is mainly known for his works about social interaction over economic exchange in modern consumer society, said the following in regards to “the consequences of globalization on the people (in Bangkok) and their cultural tradition.”(1): “We are good at adapting but sometimes we are too open. However, in general, we are not worried about this kind of globalization, we just flow flexibly and use it in our own way, meaning and understanding…”(2) How would you describe “Thai identity” and the globalized living conditions?
The Kingdom of Thailand or Kingdom of Siam is the only nation in Southeast Asia which has never been colonized by the westerner. Most of the population is Buddhist of Theravada School. The country has a long tradition of agriculture such as growing rice, vegetable, fruits, gum trees and palm oil. Between 1985 and 1995 Thailand experienced rapid economic growth and became the new industrialized country. With the ongoing westernization and globalization Thai people – mostly the new generation, the youngster – want to take part as well in the economic growth. But I think many people now realize that the consumerist paradigm isn’t sustainable from an ecological and sociological standpoint.

His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej has introduced the philosophy of sufficiency economics‘ 30 years ago to the Thai society. The sufficiency economy theme‘s relevance can be understood at several levels. At individual levels, they provide a sensible approach to economic life and are also helpful at firm and community levels. Nationally, the themes are highly relevant for countries adjusting to rapidly changing global environments. Sufficiency means to have enough to live on. Sufficiency also means to lead a reasonably comfortable life, without excess, or overindulgence in luxury, but enough. Some things may seem to be extravagant, but if it brings happiness, it is permissible as long as it is within the means of the individual, which I think is the only way out.

I have never been to Thailand myself and my conception of the country relies heavily on photography and media. Your documentary work offers the viewer a delightfully intimate peek into the everyday life on the streets of Bangkok. Since Thailand has gained a reputation as a hub for excessive sexual behavior, which is not at all present in your work, I feel that your work is important in terms of bringing forth a broader understanding of Thai culture. How big is the sex industry in Thailand?
You‘re right. Well, you‘ve mentioned it. Ask someone about Thailand and he will tell you about sex tourism or sandy beaches, ask someone about New York and he will tell you about art, design, creativity and many other positive things. The sex tourism industry in Thailand came with the American G.I.‘s during the Vietnam war. The US used Thailand as a hub to Vietnam and to heal their wounds from the war. This is how Thailand gained international notoriety among travelers from many countries as a sex tourism destination. Prostitution is illegal in Thailand, although in practice it is tolerated and partly regulated. The sex industry isn‘t much bigger than in any other country, it‘s just MADE bigger than it actually is by word-of-mouth. Thailand has a lot more to offer, the people and the country are so creative. There‘s a lot to discover, if you want to!

(1), (2) Surasi Kusolwong in conversation with Gerald Matt in 2005, INTERVIEWS by Gerald Matt

SHOPHOUSES – 4 x 8 m Bangkok incl. Time-Lapse “Hair Salon”

Fine-art photography app incl. time-lapse video “Hair Salon”.

“Far from the traffic jams and the go-go bars, Nitsch takes us into the front rooms of the eight million ordinary Thais who are the real Bangkok: busy, chaotic-looking, organised by an impenetrable idiosyncrasyand unashamedly human.” – John Burdett, Author

Beyond the skyscrapers and neon signs, which also increasingly oust the traditional cityscape of Bangkok, the photographer-artist Peter Nitsch grants us in SHOPHOUSES – 4 x 8 m Bangkok an intimate view of the retail businesses that are typical of Southeast Asia and the lives of their owners. For many of them the mostly two-storey shop, that on the lower level is open to the street, is workplace and living space in one.

SHOPHOUSES are International Photography Award Los Angeles winner of “Honorable Mention”.

Get the real Bangkok and download the fine-art photography app for iPhone and iPad incl. time-lapse video here:
Available on the App Store

SHOPHOUSES - 4 x 8 m Bangkok

SHOPHOUSES - 4 x 8 m BangkokSHOPHOUSES - 4 x 8 m BangkokSHOPHOUSES - 4 x 8 m BangkokSHOPHOUSES - 4 x 8 m BangkokSHOPHOUSES - 4 x 8 m Bangkok

Dream City by Anoek Steketee and Eefje Blankevoort

Dream City

“If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”– Dolly Parton, Dollywood, United States

Anoek Steketee and Eefje Blankevoort are saying about their latest amusement parks Dream City (Kehrer Verlag, ISBN 978-3-86828-248-1, €40) project: “During a trip through Iraqi-Kurdistan in 2006, we found ourselves in the amusement park in Duhok, an unexciting town near the border with Turkey and Syria. Reports of attacks, kidnappings and sectarian violence filled the newspapers on a daily basis. Meanwhile, we ate ice cream, rode on the Ferris wheel and talked to the park’s diverse visitors. In the park’s pleasant but equally surreal surroundings, visitors talked frankly about their daily lives, their fears, hopes and dreams for the future. Kurds, Arabs and American soldiers, Christians and Muslims, Shiites and Sunnis; segments of the Iraqi population that were submerged in a deadly struggle outside the gates, amiably rubbed shoulders in “Dream City.”

This visit has been the starting point of a journey along the world of amusement parks in diverse places in the world. With their sparkling lights, fairy-tale scenery and perfectly maintained gardens, the parks derive their value from the universal and timeless human need to escape from daily reality in a com- munal constructed space, surrounded by a fence. It became apparent to the authors that an amusement park is more than just a place to have fun; it often also plays a highly symbolic role in a society. Behind the subject’s innocent, light-hearted exterior lurks a darker, staged core, which raises questions about the way different realities can exist next to each other.

Although the cultural, sociological and political context of each place differs greatly, the parks’ uniform appearance forms the universally recognisable backdrop. With their sparkling lights, fairy-tale scenery and perfectly maintained gardens, the parks all derive their value from the universal and timeless human need to escape from daily reality in a communal constructed space, surrounded by a fence.

From Polaroid to Impossible

From Polaroid to Impossible

Collages, trendy arrangements and the famous white Polaroid frame. From Polaroid to Impossible is the latest Hatje Cantz (ISBN 978-3-7757-3221-5, €39.80) publication showcasing The Westlicht collection of marvellous and famous polaroids.

While the world evaporates into the digital, the anachronistic Polaroid snapshot dominates media and advertising. The recent sale of the photography collection owned by Polaroid’s inventor Edwin Land to the Viennese photography museum WestLicht marks an art-market trend toward the analog. Even digital photography is trying to imitate the analog “Polaroid-Look”. iPhoneography apps like PIXS-IT are famous examples in the digital trend going analog.

Beginning in the sixties, Polaroid supplied artists around the world, from Ansel Adams to Andy Warhol, with each one of the imperium’s latest products. In return, 4,400 works by 800 photographers found their way into the company’s International Collection at their European headquarters near Frankfurt am Main. In 2008, when the last instant film factory was rescued from demolition by the company Impossible, the founder’s commitment to collecting could be carried on as well.

The names one can find among the Polaroid artists range from landscape master photographer Ansel Adams to doyens of Pop Art such as Andy Warhol. Varying artistic concepts, collages and opulent arrangements cover genres from fashion to architecture, and represent an animated narration of the Zeitgeist of the intervening decades. The images were made with a wide range of Polaroid cameras, materials and films and they are a vivid documentation of the development of this ground-breaking invention. For the two pieces shown in the exhibition Andy Warhol chose the Integral film with its famous thin white frame. Together with the easy-to-handle camera, this was the film that triggered the instant photography hype for the general public. (via get addicted to …)

Life After The Fairy Tale Ends by Dina Goldstein

Life After The Fairy Tale Ends

Snow White, after the prince's kiss. Photo: Dina Goldstein.

The mission of artist Dina Goldstein with her project Life After The Fairy Tale Ends is fairly simple: Tell the untold stories in women’s lives, the not-so-pretty truth. The project is inspired by the observation of three-year-old girls, who are developing an interest in Disney’s Fairy tales.

Artist Dina Goldstein says “in her statement on the series: “These works place Fairy Tale characters in modern day scenarios. In all of the images the Princess is placed in an environment that articulates her conflict. The ‘…happily ever after’ is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues… Disney’s perfect Princesses [are] juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around me, such as illness, addiction and self-image issues.”

Cinderella sits in a dive bar in Vancouver’s infamous Hastings Street. Snow White is trapped in a domestic nightmare, surrounded by unkempt children with a lazy, out of work prince in the background. Rapunzel deals with Cancer in a hospital room, sitting beside her long blonde wig. An overweight Red Riding Hood is on her way to her grandma’s, carting fast food in her basket.

Pioneer by Randy Wray

Pioneer by Randy Wray

Oil, acrylic, glitter on canvas.

Randy Wray is a Brooklyn-based artist and the creative mind of fine art publishing venture Element Editions that works with invited artists on experimental approaches to printmaking. Each work from their small numbered editions is unique and shows evidence of the artist’s hand. Element Editions aim to make original art accessible to more people.

Randy Wray attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the Maryland Institute, College of Art (BFA) and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Awards include the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Studio Residency.