Contemporaneous Extension

Food for thought: photography
July 29, 2014, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Ramblings, Treatz | Tags: , ,

“Sentences on photography by Torbjørn Rødland”

After rationalism and mysticism—twenty lines.

  1. The muteness of a photograph matters as much as its ability to speak.
  2. The juxtaposition of photographs matters as much as the muteness of each.
  3. All photography flattens. Objectification is inescapable.
  4. Photography cannot secure the integrity of its subject any more than it can satisfy the need to touch or taste.
  5. Good ideas are easily bungled.
  6. Banal ideas can be rescued by personal investment and beautiful execution.
  7. Lacking an appealing surface, a photograph should depict surfaces appealingly.
  8. A photograph that refuses to market anything but its own complexities is perverse. Perversion is bliss.
  9. A backlit object is a pregnant object.
  10. To disregard symbols is to disregard a part of human perception.
  11. Photography may employ tools and characteristics of reportage without being reportage.
  12. The only photojournalistic images that remain interesting are the ones that produce or evoke myths.
  13. A photographer in doubt will get better results than a photographer caught up in the freedom of irony.
  14. The aestheticizing eye is a distant eye. The melancholic eye is a distant eye. The ironic eye is a distant eye.
  15. One challenge in photography is to outdistance distance. Immersion is key.
  16. Irony may be applied in homeopathic doses.
  17. A lyrical photograph should be aware of its absurdity. Lyricism grows from awareness.
  18. For the photographer, everyone and everything is a model, including the photograph itself.
  19. The photography characterized by these sentences is informed by conceptual art.
  20. The photography characterized by these sentences is not conceptual photography.

    (via Triple Canopy)


“Book Made Simple”
July 1, 2014, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: , ,

via Errol Morris and Tarot Magazine.


Aldo Tambellini in OSMOS

I recently published an article considering Aldo Tambellini’s Videogram series in OSMOS Magazine. The magazine, published by Cay Sophie Rabinowitz (formerly of Parkett and Fantom), considers photography in all its glory, from reportage and artists’ projects to commentary on non-artistic image production and mutations in the medium. Although online presence is scarce, you can purchase the forthcoming issue via Artbook here. It is surely worth it, with incredible full-page spreads and contemporary critical thought on the future of photography. Here’s a small excerpt:

“The rubble and grime of downtown Manhattan was talismanic. Tambellini discovered discarded projector slides one day and continued his drawing practice onto their surface—they were sliced, melted, manipulated chemically with acid, paint, and ink. These slides, as well as 16mm film altered with similar improvisation and technique, became the basis of his Electromedia performances. Several projection surfaces hosted particular arrangements of slides in rapid secession. Poetry, choreography, and recorded sound were furthermore included in the cerebral onslaught. The electrified universe mirrored the violence in Lucca, Italy, Tambellini had experienced during World War II—emotionally distressing yet an undeniable catalyst for growth as a human being. The projected components of these performances, more aggressive than ambient, are referred to as the Black Film Series. They are somewhere between political rant, psychedelic introspection, and tantric inquiry blasted from the speakers of a planetarium. When it came to technology, excitement and suspicion existed in a symbiotic relationship for Tambellini. He utilized his films, still an unrestrained medium, to dissect its subtext and thus physical capability.”

For more information, check out Aldo’s website (with original poetry, film, and 2D works) or his gallery, James Cohan Gallery.

Aldo Tambellini, Videogram, 1968. Videogram on photographic paper, 15 3/4 x 19 3/4 in.(40 x 50.2 cm). Image courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York.

Aldo Tambellini, Videogram, 1968. Videogram on photographic paper, 15 3/4 x 19 3/4 in.(40 x 50.2 cm). Image courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York.

The Most Distressing Time of the Year
February 3, 2014, 10:00 am
Filed under: Events, Treatz | Tags: , , , , , ,

Dear IRS:

Please refrain from extracting every ounce of happiness I have this spring with your demanding deduction criteria and complicated formal wording. I’ll be expecting my check in the mail. Step on it.



Alfred Eisenstaedt‘s series of taxpayers from 1944 will persevere me onward and upward. Income Tax is 101 years old today! Images are courtesy of LIFE Magazine, and the entire series can be found here.

Forthcoming: “Zalmania – A Book Of Portraits from The Prior PhotoHouse”
February 1, 2014, 1:25 am
Filed under: Ramblings, Treatz | Tags: , , , , ,

Since I couldn’t be at the LA Art Book Fair this weekend, I’ll just drool over more books I adore. Pretty psyched about this forthcoming compendium of Israeli portraits from Sternthal Books.

The Canoodling of Fiction and Art (Lecture)
September 13, 2013, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I first discovered Rachel Kushner when I read a review of a review of her recent novel, The Flamethrowers, in Salon earlier this summer. She was defending said novel against Adam Kirsch’s implication in Tablet Magazine that she had done a good job of writing a “macho” book as a woman, a claim that is both absurd and offensive. Her response, succinctly slaying his assumption that writing books was a glamourous, calculated process, was a solid kick in the balls that I support wholeheartedly. The excerpt from her Facebook page, featured in the Salon article, states:

The review gives example of my “macho” writing, which to me does not seem macho. it just seems like my writing. there are various things going on here, one of which may be the idea that women are supposed to write “like women,” and Kirsch is holding me up as outside of that, in hopes of finding out why critics have liked my book, despite its being, haha, by a woman. And secondly, a sense of the writer as self-consciously “cool.” But, Adam Kirsch, with all due respect, there is nothing “cool” about writing novels. It takes years and years of solitary work and deep and quiet and very uncool thinking to do it. You have to use the part of you that is unconscious, submerged, most unknown to the writer herself. It is not a calculated act, to produce an effect. Writers cannot work in such a mode. At least I cannot. The “cool” you register: could this be your own projection? I write the novels that are possible for me to write, not that ones I think will come across in a certain light. thank you. have a great day, everyone.



Kushner is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow (along with stellar individuals Kim Abeles, Charles Gaines, Bruce Gilden, Bill Hayes, Nora Krug, Deana Lawson, Ben Lerner, Sylvia Nasar, Christian Patterson, and Alec Soth, to name a few) and is giving a lecture at CUNY on September 23, 2013, at 6:30 pm on the inclination to integrate photographs and illustration into fiction. As an art history buff and human being who has certainly lived, I look forward to hearing her remarks and observations.



Further reading:

Art & Photography — a curated series of images and insights into Kushner’s creative process for The Flamethrowers (via The Paris Review)

An excerpt from The Flamethrowers (via NPR books)



Relentless New York

Choosing to definitively celebrate the greatest city in the world today. (Shout-out to Conrazón for the heads up!) 

Psyched for Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC, a documentary co-directed by Bobbito Garcia and Kevin Couliau, which gathers characters and legends from 180 courts around the city. This historical and cultural insight into pick-up ball is an undeniable artifact, a tradition and attitude that is distinctly New York. I have spent innumerable afternoons watching the courts on West 4th and have the utmost respect for ballers who cultivate their skills out of passion and love for the game. This independent film has already garnered several awards from film festivals around the country, and is showing in select theaters throughout 2013 and 2014. Rush Art Gallery is exhibiting photographs from these summer stadiums, curated by Dexter Wimberly, for the month of September. The opening is Thursday, September 12, from 6-8 pm.