Double Think Magazine

© Lara Shipley

My friend Lara Shipley emailed me that her photo was on the cover of Double Think magazine. I love the photo and it was great to be exposed to the magazine. Much of their content is available online including an article of particular interest to me by Helen Rittelmeyer titled Jezebels With A Cause. Rittelmeyer discusses date rape and promiscuity as it relates to the philosophies of the (Fourth Wave Feminist?) movement Jezebelism.


Purpose Magazine

© Robin Schwartz

© Thekla Ehling

© Joakim Eskildsen

Purpose Magazine no. 8
- automne / autumn 2008 enfance / childhood

exposure: the annual PRC juried Exhibition

Each year, the PRC is pleased to host a juried exhibition with a nationally-renowned juror. This prestigious competition is a great opportunity to view a slice of current work as well as see topics in which contemporary minds are engaged. With only about a dozen artists selected from over 300 entries, the PRC Juried Exhibition is a highly competitive and revered program. All winners each exhibit several images in the PRC gallery and are highlighted in the PRC's publication, in the loupe, which is distributed nationally.

This year's juror is Russell Hart. Deadline is Monday, February 2, 2009. Click here for the entry form.

Courtesy: Red Dog Journal.

Juried Exhibition of Self-Published On-Demand Photography Books

Photographers have been witness to a dizzying array of groundbreaking innovations in recent years. One of those exciting innovations is the emergence of "self-published, on demand" book printing services. You know.... Blurb, Lulu, iPhoto, MyPublisher and all those other proliferating providers as well. These books allow photographers to present their photographs in a high-quality, low-cost and professional-looking book. With the excellent quality of on-demand printers in the marketplace today, you can publish one copy just for you or publish lots of copies and market them under your own imprint. They also make great book dummies to show to the real publishers.

ELIGIBILITY: Photo+Book is open to photographers both in the United States and abroad who have made a photography book via any on-demand printing service. Entrants may submit up to three different titles of any size, format, or style. Hard cover, soft cover, case-wraps, landscape, portrait, square, color, black and white. There is a $25 entry fee and entries are due at the gallery by January 24, 2008. This exhibition will be juried by Christopher Rauschenberg, whose work is in hundreds of museums, private and corporate collections and he is the co-founder of Blue Sky Gallery and Photolucida.

Learn more about his work at
www.christopherrauschenberg.com. Co-juried by Laura Russell, owner of 23 Sandy Gallery.

Red Dog Journal.


Interview with Gavin Rooke

Gavin Rooke is an designer, artist, gallerist and publisher in Johannesburg, South Africa. His namesake gallery (show top), Rooke Gallery, represents the work of Liam Lynch, Zander Blom, Olaf Bisscoff and the exposed members of Society of Photographers. The two books Ten and 6x6 include works by Society of Photography members and The Drain of Progress is the Catalogue Raisonné of mixed media artist Zander Blom.

Stephen Shore with Frank Arisman and reviewing work for Liam Lynch

MM: What is Society of Photographers, when, and by whom was it founded?

The Society of Photographers is a collection of photographers based across the globe. Access to the Society is by invitation only, but the invitation can be made by any existing member of the Society. Work is shared and judged anonymously by members of the Society in the online environment and only the best work is exposed to the public. Only at this time is the identity of photographer revealed. I founded the Society in late 2005. At the time I noticed that there were certain inefficiencies in the contemporary photography market, specifically around how contemporary talent is identified and then represented in galleries. I wanted to create a platform where talent would be identified by a broader pool of qualified individuals (including the photographers themselves) and allow for work to be judged anonymously. Great work speaks for itself, and should not rely on the author’s credentials to be judged as such (and vice versa).

MM: What is the mission of this organization? Who are the members and how do you become a member?

GR: The organisation’s mission is to identify great talent. I can’t reveal the list of members, other than those that have been published as a result of their work as being chosen as the best. This list includes the likes of Sasha Rudensky, Erika Larsen, Avant Car Guard, Shawn Records, David La Spina, Nivag Aekoor, Paula McCartney, Michael MacGarry. Many of these artists have become significantly more established than when I first saw their work via the Society. The member base initially started with 5 photographers in South Africa and the US, but has since grown across the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe to just over 150. Growth is not an objective.

MM: What are some of the projects/exhibitions that the SOP has produced? What are the future projects?

GR: A key component to the Society is the fact that the projects move from the online world into the physical world. There are a plethora of online “communities” revolving around photography. They vary significantly in calibre. My view is that the work generated in such forums must ultimately appear in a physical form – on a wall, in a book, formally editioned and printed by master printers. Some would disagree – but I sense a return to the physical and these forums are not taken seriously until they appear in these forms.

Our first physical project was in 2006, and was called “TEN”. Members were invited to submit ten images along with an artists’ statement. The concept was one of context. TEN Images tell a story (individually and as a set). A mini “novella”. The chosen works were then editioned on single sheets (up to 5m long) and the book allowed the reader to view all ten images at once. Hence the continuous gate-fold layout. The exhibition was hosted in Johannesburg and the books were distributed globally.

The next project was 6x6. A similar brief to TEN, but limited to six images . The chosen works were printed as individual books. I quite liked the thought of a book comprising only six images – as it allows the work to get the focus in deserves. The six books were then bound together into a limited edition slipcase. The exhibition was held in Johannesburg in January 2008. Frank Arisman of the ICP in NY and Roger Ballen hosted the opening address. The work then travelled to the Joburg ArtFair and was then due to travel to NY by mid-year. I was let down by the NY gallery at the last moment, and have since been reviewing alternative venues to travel the show. The book continue to sell locally and abroad.

The Society will be invited to partake in a major group show that relates to TYPE (type that features in art) planned for end-2009. The show is medium agnostic but already includes David Goldblatt, Stefan Sagmeister, Jonathan Barnbrook, Roger Ballen. The show will grow to approximately 25 artists once we announce it to the public and there will be a call for entries that will include the Society. A book will be published and the show will travel. This serves as the next model I plan to follow where major established artists are mixed with unknown, fresh talent. The Society has always included established artists and guest judges (Stephen Shore, Jason Fulford etc) - but I believe that the next step is to bring the young guns in alongside the “masters”.

MM: You are also co-owner of Rooke Gallery which was established picking four artists as your stable. Why did you elect to find the artist first and then establish the gallery?

GR: My approach is one of pure focus. I only work with a limited number of artists as I believe that an artist will only succeed in the long term if they are correctly marketed and given the means to focus on their work. I run three to four shows a year only and they run for at least 10 weeks. Its true that I found my first artist before establishing the gallery. Zander Blom’s talent requires a gallery all on its own...

Liam Lynch: The Bassline. Johannesburg, South Africa. 26 April 2006

MM: How did you find these artists and why did you pick them?

GR: I use the Society to assist me in finding talent – and then I invest heavily in that talent. I have also use art awards as a platform to identify talent. I personally entered a work into a major corporate art award to be able to review the other artists work before it was judged. I place little value of corporate art awards themselves, but they are able to attract fresh talent,. This is how I found my latest addition (who happens to be an oil painter who projects the likes of photographs onto his works).

MM: Is this model working?

GR: Certainly. The only way to run a gallery is with the view that each decision you take must add to the long term value and sustainability of your artists. I initially gave myself four years to critically review whether the model is working. We’re under 2 years old the gallery is profitable and well positioned in the market with each artist leading their respective field.

MM: You run a advertising agency in South Africa. Did this help to fund some of your projects initially?

GR: No – I keep my advertising business totally separate from my art endeavours. A business needs to be profitable from the outset. The business rules simply need to be put in place upfront.

MM: How did your background in the marketing and design industry influence what you produced and select to market?

GR: Marketing taught me to be critical. There simply are better ways of doing things in the art world. It comes down to delivery. It must be great. I have a number of criteria when selecting my artists. One is that I will not work with an artist that has been represented elsewhere. It takes too long to “unlearn” the market. I prefer working from the ground up so that I can position them for what they really are. Bluntly put, an artist is a brand. They need to be nurtured, managed and strategically positioned over their entire lifespan.

MM: Does this influence how you have marketed the gallery?

GR: Certainly. I focus on building large scale audiences who I can communicate with directly. I understand my market and I position my artists to them accordingly. This may seem blindly obvious, but its surprising how few marketing skills galleries have. Technology is also something that needs to be harnessed. Podcasts, Videocast, blogs, Social media – all of these mediums are shifting the balance of power toward the market and away from the small set of “taste-makers” that include journalists, critics and curators. You can no longer keep a few people happy and attempt to influence the market through them. There’s nowhere to hide, so make sure you do right.

MM: Do you think of art as a commodity?

GR: Something that is bought and sold and has a perceived value or use is a commodity. Whilst art has these qualities, it is not a commodity. You can’t form a relationship with iron ore. You do however form a relationships with your art. If you don’t – you bought the wrong art.

Zander Blom: Untitled, Bedroom 1, Corner 3, 8.07 p.m., Thursday, 29 March 2007

MM: Are you trying to brand the gallery, artists and/or by extension your presence in the art market in South Africa? How so?

GR: The gallery is branded and purposefully positioned around its small, focused stable of artists. There is no other gallery in South Africa that works according to the same model. The artists are brands in their own right. Their work is what positions them, whilst my role is to assist in getting their work seen for what it is. What else is the role of a gallerist? The South African art market is however relatively small, so global reach, partnerships and positioning is critical. This is the focus for 2009.

MM: You are an accomplished photographer as well, what and who have influenced your photography?

GR: I grew up in a darkroom and have an immense appreciation for the craft aspects of photography. My work life has given me an appreciation for focus and conceptual value. When a strong concept overlaps with great craft – you have the makings of art. My influences are varied but include Ruscha, Gursky, Shore and the Bechers. The obvious suspects I guess – but what they did, they did first. The Avant Garde is something not to be undermined. I see so much photography imitating other photography. Its sad.

MM: Who is your favorite photographer or one who has impacted your life and work?

GR: Ed Ruscha (and he doesn’t even call himself a photographer). His work is profound – and yet was created to be the opposite. When photographers search for profundity, it starts to erode their work. I wish more photographers would read “Ed Ruscha - Photographer”.

MM: What blogs do you read? Magazines?

GR: I must admit that I don’t read as much as I would like to. Importantly, I believe in the value of Naivety. What you don’t know isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I tend to avoid artists blogs as they become emotional and lost in their ways. I enjoy Blind Spot Magazine and the broader art publications like Art review etc.

MM: What is your favorite book, photo or otherwise?

GR: Book – Zander Blom : The Drain of Progress.
Photo - Jason Fulford : I own the cover image from his book “Crushed”

MM: Do you have an odd or funny photography related story to share?

GR: I recall receiving a call on my mobile on a Sunday in 2007. A bloke with a heavy NY accent was enquiring about the gallery. I assumed he wanted to sell me space at an art fair or the like, and I kept rejecting his calls. He finally got through and wanted to see our opening exhibition (Liam Lynch). I still had doubts and put him off. We eventually ended up at the gallery and he turned out to be a trustee of the ICP (Frank Arisman). We laughed about the fact that I almost turned him away thinking he was a salesman... He acquired a significant number of works and we ended up 3 weeks later presenting them to Stephen Shore in his home in upstate New York. We’ve become great friends in the interim.

PDN's Best Books

It is that time of year again when all those photobook nerds start releasing their 'best of' lists (Mine will be out soon). PDN beat most of us to the punch. Their list includes:

Beaufort West by Mikhael Subotzky
A Road Trip Journal by Stephen Shore
Interior Exposure by Jessica Todd Harper
Frenchkiss by Anders Petersen (interior image shown above)
Saguaros by Mark Klett
and a few others.

View the entire list and the reviews at PDNonline.

A Few New Calls for Entry

Houston Center for Photography Call for Entries for 2009 HCP Photography Fellowships - Deadline December 1, 2008

Type Directors Club for 55th Annual Type Directors Club Exhibition- Deadline December 19, 2008.

Center's Review Santa Fe, Project Competition, and Singular Image - Deadline January 23, 2009.


Jonathan Hollingsworth Book Party, November 22nd in Santa Fe

Everybody I Ever Met in L.A. by Jonathan Hollingsworth.

Consumerism: Sarah Kane

I found this photo by Sarah Kane Hey, Hot Shot blog.

Another definition:
Attachment to materialistic values or possessions

Two Big Photo Events this Friday, November 21st in Santa Fe

Radius Anniversary Party with 6 of the Radius artists hand signing their books:
Julie Blackmon, John McCracken, Michael Lundgren, Judy Tuwaletstiwa,
Johnnie Winona Ross and Joan Watts and have all 8 of the 2008 books, as well as our titles from last Fall.

And Through The Lens: Creating Santa Fe opens.

Theory of Relativity and the Role of Photography

This history of the relationship of Einstein and photography really begins with a young man named Erwin Finlay-Freundlich. Freundlich was an assistant at the Observatory in Berlin. After Einstein wrote an open call to astronomers to help verify his Theory of Relativity, Freundlich responded. Einstein needed someone to help prove his theory by photographing the sun and surrounding sky during the time of a total eclipse to prove that the light from the stars would bend around this large body and its gravitational field. The next total eclipse would be seen in 1914 in the Crimea in Russia. But his superiors at the Observatory were not interested in sponsoring such an expedition. Freundlich then turned to the Lick Observatory in America and William Wallace Campbell agreed to take up the challenge.

Campbell and Freundlich both led expeditions into Russian in 1914. Soon after arrival, Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated and this sparked World War I. Russian troops found Freundlich and his crew in Crimea, arrested him as a prisoner of war (as he was German) and confiscated his equipment. Campbell and his American crew,who were camped near Kiev, were allowed to continue the experiment, but the eclipse was clouded over and the trip was a failure. In 1917, after another eclipse photographed with substandard equipment (as his original equipment was left in Russia), Campbell declared Einstein's theory incorrect only to be contradicted by the photos taken by British
Arthur Stanley Eddington in Africa in 1919.

Campbell was driven to get results. In 1921, he went to Australia to document this next eclipse. He was not the only expedition there, but was the only one to get firm results. His team examined the plates and the location of the stars compared with non-eclipse photos of the star patterns. The locations did indeed reveal that the light was bending around the sun and he had confirmed Einstein's theory with the use of photography.

More links:
1921 NY Times article
Linda Connor's photo of 1918 glass plate
Recent eclipse images
Partial article on Lick's Einstein
1922 Eclipse in Australia
William Wallace Campbell bio



Now that I am working on the Dress Show for Fraction, my next theme to obsess over is consumerism, for now with this definition:

the concept that an ever-expanding consumption of goods is advantageous to the economy. (from dictionary.com).

The first two images shown here are by Susana Raab from her portfolio Consumed.


New Fraction Magazine Launched

© Adrienne Salinger

©Suzanne Revy

This month's Fraction Magazine features images by Richard Renaldi, Adrienne Salinger, Suzanne Revy, David Eisenlord, Norman Mauskopf, and the Typologies Group show; an interview with Renaldi by Jörg Colburg of Conscientious; and two books reviews--Visions of Paradise by Joshua Spees and Ron Jude's Other Nature by Melanie McWhorter (of this blog).


Photography in Santa Fe in November

Photographic Events in Santa Fe for the next couple of weeks:

Mass book signing at College of Santa Fe on November 15th from 1 to 3 pm. See the invitation below for a list of photographers and location.

Following the signing is a unrelated lecture and panel discussion hosted by Santa Fe Art Institute titled History of the Future/La historia del futuro with Michael Berman and Julian Cardona at Tipton Hall across the hall from the Marion Center. The panel discussion will be from 3 to 5 pm and a signing and reception at Santa Fe Art Institute is from 5 to 7pm.

There will be a lecture at College of Santa Fe's Tipton Hall with Tony O'Brien titled Afghan Dreams on Wednesday, November 12th at 6pm. The show opens at Verve Gallery of Photography on Friday, November 14th, along with the work of Ruijie and Karin Rosenthal.

On Friday, November 21st from 5 to7pm, Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe exhibition opens at the Palace of the Governors.


Dress show deadline today

If you want to submit to the dress show I am curating for Fraction Magazine, the deadline is today. Here is the info. Email if you have questions.


You read the text, now what do you think of the photos?

"... but if a photographer is producing a project
book I think they should be careful with text. Sometimes it's necessary, to open up a project, to help free it from conventional perception. An interview is always clarifying, but the three-page catalogue essays you see everywhere are no fun. I don't read them. They're like the liner-notes on LPs from the 1960s. You know why they're written, and they carry no weight. " from Shane Lavelette's interview with photographerr Torbjørn Rødland courtesy photo-eye Magazine

This interview, in addition to being outstanding and loaded with wonderful quotes, brings up the issue that I did not address with the "read the text" comment in the previous post. I See Angels Everyday; The Pond; Ghetto and Chicago all have essays, you can elect to read or do as Rødland does skip this extra info and read only the images.

Arguably, the most successful use of text accompanying images is Jim Dine and Diana Michener's 3 Poems. Many of the pages have text printed at the bottom of the page, one of the 3 poems possibly, overlayed on the images. It is blatant and gives the images another signification

Text has a place and it is usually not adjacent to the photos. Text applies meaning.

Some more quotes to share from the interview:

"A cliche is only interesting if it contains a hidden truth"--
Torbjørn Rødland
"No medium does melancholia better than photography"--Torbjørn Rødland


Four very fine essays + two more

In flipping through the Blind Spot tribute issue (No. 32 dedicated to the founder Kim Caputo), checking out mostly the photos, I noticed an article by Tim Davis. Tim's new book, My Life in Politics, had just come out so his name caught my attention. Pausing only briefly from my thumbing of the pages to read the opening line of his essay "No one reads the essays in art books. Admit it." Speaking for myself, I admit it. I have not read the text in at least half of the art books I own although I have read some. I can think of four in particular that are of note:
The prelude in Hiroshi Watanabe's I See Angels Everyday; the opening story of John Gossage's The Pond; the historical (and political) text accompaning the images by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin in Ghetto and Chicago; and Carol Mavor's introduction to Taj Forer's Threefold Sun.

Forer has documented the communities around the US associated with the Waldorf Schools and the teachings of Rudolph Steiner. Carol Mavor describes the images with the most poetically descriptive terms, stating that the lucky will be touched with the "mud and snow and blue juniper berries, their green cabbages and sun-baked farmer, their crusty gnome holes and missing maypole ribbons". She not only explores the photos, but also the historical and philosophical ideas equating Forer's photos and the communities with Thomas More's concept of Utopia. Her selection of vocabulary-- blue, heavens, daydream, wishful, poetic, envisioned, calm-- generate a feel of the ideal within the essay itself.

Now, juxtapose this writing with the new regular contributing editor to Art in America magazine, Dave Hickey. Hickey reintroduces himself in the October 2008 issue with an essay on the utopian verses the pagan. Starting in the opening paragraph he begins with a reference to the book My Life as a Traitor by Zarah Ghahramini and Robert Hillman and how Ghahramini's belief in Zoroastrianism, and ultimately, in "pink shoes" and all things pagan, saved her from her kidnappers and torturers in Iran. He goes on for only two pages in classic Dave Hickey style, but no worries, the next issue has more.

Although I have previously mentioned the new issue of Nueva Luz, I read the text last week. Darius Himes edited this issue on the topic of race and opened with an introduction of how he, as a curator, intended to deal with this complex topic. Possibly sensing the feeling of change in our nation, or not, nevertheless apropos, Himes states "In an era of rampant tribalism, nationalism and racialism, the task of our time is to internally reconcile the paradox of being separate as distinct and unique individuals--through culture, class, race, religion, education, and individual talents-- and yet connected to all of humanity."

From utopian, to pagan, to
altruistic. Read the essays!

Newspace Call for entry: Flora & Fauna

Newspace Center for Photography invites photographers to submit images for our themed juried exhibtion. We are seeking work that celebrates the beauty and mystery of the plants and animals we share our lives with. Portland photographer and Newspace Program Director Laura Valenti will be selecting images for the exhibition. Deadline is Friday, November 15, 2008.

An Email from Paris

Bonjour Melanie,

I'm really proud of American people. You must see the reaction in Paris people were on the Avenue des Champs- Élysées celebrating, as if OBAMA was elected President of France . I believe if he ran for the first "world president" he would have been elected...I mean it. So many people desiring change from Africa to Europe , passing through the middle east. You are the envy of the rest of the world for showing us the real America.

America became younger and the rest of the world older.