This Month in the History of Photography

This Month in the History of Photography

The following events occurred this month in the History of Photography:

Annie Leibovitz was born on October 2, 1949, in Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1968, she went to study painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. There she discovered photography and was seduced by the immediacy of the medium. In 1973, she became Rolling Stone’s chief photographer and it’s been said that her work helped to define the look and style of the magazine. In 1983, she joined Vanity Fair and created some of the most memorable covers for the magazine. In 1991, her work was exhibited at the International Center of Photography in New York and according to William Hartshorn, then Deputy Director of the ICP, this exhibition was designated as one of the most popular in the history of the venue. Many of her images have been called icons of our time, including the photograph she took of John Lennon and Yoko Ono for the cover of Rolling Stone and the controversial image of Demi Moore for the cover of Vanity Fair.

Stephen Shore was born on October 8, 1947. When he was six years old an uncle gave him a Kodak darkroom set and that initiated him into photography. At nine, he got his first 35mm camera and by the time he was 11 years old he was convinced that he would be a photographer. In the 1960s, he met Andy Warhol when Shore was only 17 years old. Shore has said that meeting Andy Warhol was a turning point in his life and surely marked some of the photographer’s aesthetic interests. By 1971, he had exhibited his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York becoming the youngest living photographer to have a solo exhibition at the MET.

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Dorothea Lange, Resettlement Administration photographer, in California. 1936.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540

Dorothea Lange died on October 11, 1965, in San Francisco, California, at age 70. When Lange’s doctors told her she only had months to live, the photographer was still thinking about photographing her family to make a documentary about the Farm Security Administration photographs and to document the unionization of migrants workers in California. None of those projects would be completed. The last project she was involved with was a retrospective of her work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Lange and John Szarkowsi, head of the Museum’s Department of Photography, collaborated closely on the decisions of content and the organization of the photographs. The exhibition opened in January 15, 1966, after the death of the photographer.

On October 27, 1972, LIFE magazine published a photograph of Edwin Land where he demonstrates his new invention, the SX-70. A camera that could be folded down to the size if a cigar case and could fit in a coat pocket. The magazine titled the piece, “A Genius and his Magic Camera” and it shows Land surrounded by children holding the SX-70 model. This camera was the first automated, motorized, folding, single lens reflex camera to produce self-developing instant color prints. By 1973, the SX-70 model was sold at the rate of five thousand a day.

153: Entrevista con Lodoe Laura

153: Entrevista con Lodoe Laura

“El acto de resistencia tiene dos caras. Es humano y también es el acto del arte.

Sólo el acto de resistencia resiste a la muerte, sea bajo la forma de obra de arte, sea bajo la forma de la lucha de los hombres.”

Gilles Deleuze

 El 27 febrero de 2009, el tercer día de Losar (palabra tibetana para designar el año nuevo), un joven monje de nombre Tapey se auto-inmoló. En forma de protesta contra las políticas del gobierno Chino en Tibet, Tapey corrió a la calle y encendió con fuego su túnica impregnada de gasolina. En llamas, levantó la bandera del Tibet con una fotografía del Dalai Lama al centro. En ese momento, la policía militar china le disparó.

153 es la exposición de la artista Lodoe Laura en el Ryerson Artspace, la cual aborda los hechos ocurridos ese día en febrero y las muertes subsecuentes de 150 tibetanos que han elegido el camino de la auto-inmolación, siguiendo los pasos de Tapey. Recopilando fotografías de aquellos que sacrificaron sus vidas en acto de protesta contra el violento dominio chino en el Tíbet, Laura hace estas muertes visibles para el público occidental a través de una serie de imágenes impresas en incienso. En esta obra la joven Tibetana-Canadiense e hija de un refugiado, nos previene de olvidarlos y hace hincapié en la importancia de la obra de arte como un acto de resistencia.

Me puse en contacto con Lodoe Laura para conocer más acerca de su trabajo y el proceso que siguió para crear 153. La siguiente conversación se llevó a cabo vía correo electrónico.

Claudia Pretelin: ¿Cuéntame cómo te interesaste por el arte? ¿Cómo comenzó todo?

Lodoe Laura: Inicialmente me interesé por la fotografía documental y el fotoperiodismo, pero por medio de mis estudios en la School of Image Arts de la Universidad Ryerson, mi trabajo dio un giro conceptual. Así que además de hacer fotografía, también trabajo video, instalación y escultura.

CP: ¿Cómo elijes los temas que quieres explorar?

LL: Exploro temas de cruces culturales, memoria colectiva y la intersección de prácticas políticas y culturales. Algunas veces mi obra es muy política y trato de trabajar a través de la representación de conflicto y comunidad. Otra veces, mi obra puede ser muy personal. Por ejemplo, el último proyecto que hice fue un video de mi padre enseñándome el alfabeto Tibetano. Escojo hacer obra sobre lo que estoy reflexionando y uso la práctica artística para comunicar esas reflexiones y temas que creo que son importantes.

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Cortesía de la artista Lodoe Laura

CP: ¿Qué tipo de proceso sigues para crear tu obra?

 LL: Comienzo con una idea, la cual por lo general inicia a partir de conversaciones, experiencias o de alguna lectura. Paso tiempo investigando aquello en lo que estoy interesada y busco otros artistas que hayan respondido de una forma similar a esos eventos o experiencias, ya sean poetas, escritores o artistas visuales. De esta manera, el proceso se va desarrollando, cambiando y la obra va tomando forma. Trabajo con varios medios, los cuales me permiten experimentar con libertad y utilizar el medio adecuado para el tema al que me dirijo. A menudo utilizo materiales poco convencionales o utilizo materiales de manera poco convencional. 153 son fotografías impresas a mano con incienso y antes he trabajo con otros materiales como arena coloreada y concreto.

 CP: ¿Cómo utilizas nuevas tecnologías y redes sociales en tu obra?

LL: Para la exposición 153 las imágenes provienen de distintos activistas y grupos de exiliados. Puede ser muy complicado encontrar fotografías o información de las auto-inmolaciones ocurridas en Tibet desde occidente. Esto debido en gran parte al bloqueo de información por parte del gobierno chino dentro de Tibet. Comentar o mostrar imágenes de la gente que se ha auto-inmolado en protesta del clima sociopolítico dentro de Tibet es en directa oposición a la narrativa que las autoridades intentan presentar: Shangri-la un paraíso del Himalaya; una idealizada tierra utópica y mítica. Lejos de esto, las acciones de los auto inmolados son sólo algunas de las muchas formas que los tibetanos están socavando esa narrativa desde dentro. Debo darle reconocimiento a Woeser, autora, activista, y blogger dentro de Tibet quien valientemente escribe sobre los auto-inmolados y tanto su blog como su más reciente libro Tibet on Fire, fueron fuentes primarias de información para obtener nombres, fechas e imágenes.

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Cortesía de la artista Lodoe Laura

CP: ¿Puedes contarnos específicamente sobre los materiales utilizados en el proceso de creación de 153?

LL: El carbón es utilizado en un ritual de oración budista tibetano llamado Sang, humo de ofrenda ritual similar al incienso. La primera parte del proyecto consistió en ir a varios monasterios y casas de la comunidad exiliada donde recolecté el carbón y las cenizas de incienso de la ofrenda Sang. Debido a su uso como ritual de oración, recopilar esto significó para mí una forma de recolectar las oraciones de la comunidad.Después, con mi padre molí, sequé y tamicé la mezcla hasta hacerla un fino polvo. Una vez que acumulé un archivo de fotografías de los auto inmolados en mi computadora, comencé a analizarlas. Debido a la falta de información desde dentro del Tibet, el número depende de acuerdo a la fuente, pero por medio de mi investigación, 153 fue la lista más completa que pude compilar.

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Cortesía de la artista Lodoe Laura
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Cortesía de la artista Lodoe Laura

La mayoría de las imágenes que los grupos activistas pudieron recuperar fueron de teléfonos celulares y con muy baja resolución, así que convertí cada imagen en archivos Bitmap –que lo que hacen es que convierten imágenes fotográficas a color en imágenes hechas sólo a puntos blanco y negro. Posteriormente las imprimí en acetato el cual utilicé para imprimir en las pantallas de serigrafía en el cuarto oscuro.

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Cortesía de la artista Lodoe Laura

Una vez que las pantallas quedaron listas, regresé al incienso que recolecté de la comunidad de exiliados. Mezclé el fino polvo del carbón con tinta tradicional haciendo goma para crear tinta hecha a mano. Utilizando la pantalla como negativo y presionando el carbón y la goma a través de la pantalla hice un positivo en papel. Esto creó las imágenes finales de los auto- inmolados las cuales están expuestas en el Artspace. Si miras de cerca cada imagen, especialmente las que muestran mucho más negro, puedes ver el granulado y la textura del carbón y las cenizas del incienso. Dado el uso como ritual de oración, para mí es una representación no sólo de la protesta de los inmolados, sino una representación de la oraciones de la comunidad de exiliados. Por esta razón, es importante que la textura quede aún visible en las impresiones finales.

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Cortesía de la artista Lodoe Laura

CP: Y también hay un video que acompaña las impresiones.

LL: El video que hice es una base de datos con las fechas de las auto-inmolaciones. La impresión de las imágenes a mano fue un proceso muy lento y de intensa labor, quería hacer algo que contrastara con la repetición lenta de las imágenes impresas. Este video muestra las fechas de cada auto-inmolación en sucesión rápida. Cambia rápidamente de luz extrema a oscuridad extrema. Debido a la rápida sucesión entre ambas, los ojos no tienen tiempo de ajustarse al cambio. Esto pretende crear el efecto perturbador de una imagen posterior, de esta manera las fechas son visibles incluso después de que el observador deja de mirar. Inicialmente me topé con esta idea después de ver la pieza de Alfredo Jaar, Geometry of Conscience en el Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos. El arte de protesta política será necesariamente insuficiente. Mi trabajo existe sólo como un hilo en una conversación más grande y compleja que se está llevando a cabo en la sociedad tibetana acerca de la auto-inmolación, las protestas y lo que significa que estas acciones se lleven a cabo.

CP: Leí que estás planeando graduarte este año. ¿Qué sigue para Lodoe Laura?

 LL: Una de mis metas ahora que tendré más tiempo es mejorar mi habilidad para aprender el lenguaje tibetano. Estoy asistiendo a uno de mis profesores favoritos, Clare Samuel, en algunas de sus clases y estoy interesada en enseñar en el futuro. Estoy buscando programas de posgrado en Canadá y en el extranjero. He estado en Toronto por siete años y aunque está comenzando a sentirse como mi hogar, tengo la esperanza de un cambio y un nuevo reto.

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Lodoe Laura

Del 1 al 25 de septiembre de 2016

Ryerson Artspace

Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto.

Lodoe Laura es una artista multidisciplinaria que vive y trabaja en Toronto, Canadá. En 2015, fue acreedora de una beca de fotografía de Magnum, actualmente está terminando el programa de fotografía en la Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts. Su trabajo ha sido reconocido con la beca AIMIA½AGO y este año fue ganadora del premio Flash Forward Award otorgado por la Fundación Magenta

Si quieres ver más de su trabajo síguela en Tumblr y/o en su website

Claudia Pretelin es una escritora de la ciudad de México que actualmente reside en Rochester, Nueva York. Terminó la carrera de comunicación y recibió un título de maestría y un doctorado en historia del arte en la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

153: Interview with Lodoe Laura

153: Interview with Lodoe Laura

“The act of resistance has two faces. It is human and it is also the act of art.

Only the act of resistance resists death, either as a work of art or as human struggle.”

Gilles Deleuze

On February 27, 2009, the third day of Losar (the Tibetan word for New Year), a young monk by the name of Tapey set himself on fire. In an act of protest against China’s Tibet policies, Tapey ran into the streets and lit his gasoline-soaked robes. While in flames, he raised a Tibetan flag with a photograph of the Dalai Lama. Then he was shot by Chinese military police.

153, Lodoe Laura’s solo show at the Ryerson Artspace, addresses the events that occurred that day in February and the subsequent deaths of more than 150 Tibetans that have chosen the path of self-immolation, following the steps of Tapey. Collecting images of those who sacrificed their lives as desperate acts of protest against the Chinese violent rule in Tibet, Laura makes them visible to Western audiences through a series of hand printed in incense images. In this body of work the young Tibetan-Canadian daughter of a refugee prevents us from forgetting them and stresses the importance of art as an act of resistance.

I reached out to Lodoe Laura to learn more about her work and the process she followed to create 153. The following is a conversation that took place over email.

Claudia Pretelin: What got you into art? How did it all start?

Lodoe Laura: Initially, I was interested in documentary photography and photojournalism, but through my studies at the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University, my work has shifted to be more conceptually based. So in addition to photography, I also work in video, installation, and sculpture.

CP: How do you choose the topics you want to explore?

LL: I explore themes of cultural crossover, collective memory, and the intersection of cultural and political practice. At times my work is highly political and I am trying to work through the representation of conflict and of community. Then, other times it can be highly personal. For example, the last work I made was a two-channel video piece of my dad teaching me the Tibetan alphabet. I choose to make work about what I’m thinking about, and I use my artistic practice to communicate my thoughts and things that I feel are important.

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Courtesy of artist Lodoe Laura

CP: What sort of processes do you use to create your work?

LL: It starts with an idea. Usually it comes from conversations, experiences, or from my reading. Then, I spend time researching whatever it is I’m interested in. I look at other artists of many media – poets, writers, visual artists, and performers – who may have responded to similar events or experiences. Then, the process develops and changes as the work starts to form. I work across many media, which allows me the freedom to experiment and to use the right method for the topic I am addressing. Oftentimes, I use unconventional materials or I use traditional materials unconventionally. 153 are photographs hand printed in incense, and I’ve worked before with colored sand and concrete as materials.

CP: How do you employ new technologies and social media for your work?

LL: For 153, the images are sourced from different activist and exile groups. It can be very difficult to find photographs or information on the Tibetan self-immolations in the West. This is due in large part to the Chinese government’s communications crackdown inside Tibet. Discussing or displaying images of the people that have set themselves on fire in protest of the sociopolitical climate inside Tibet is in direct opposition to the narrative authorities attempt to present – that is, as a Shangri-la paradise in the Himalayas; an idealized, mythical, utopian land. It is far from it, and the actions of the self-immolators are just one of many ways Tibetans inside Tibet are undermining that narrative. Therefore, activist and advocacy groups in exile collecting and publishing online the photographs, dates, and stories of the self-immolated, is an act of resistance to the presented narrative. I do want to recognize Woeser, who is an author, activist, and blogger inside Tibet. She bravely posts about the self-immolations and her blog and most recent book, Tibet on Fire, were primary sources for information – names, dates, and images.

CP: Can you tell us more specifically about the materials and the process to create 153?

LL: Charcoal is used in a Tibetan Buddhist prayer ritual called Sang – a smoke offering ritual similar to incense. The first part of my project involved going to several monasteries and homes of the exile community where I collected their charcoal and incense ash from the Sang offering. Because of its use in prayer ritual, collecting this was, for me, a way of

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Courtesy of artist Lodoe Laura

collecting the prayers of the community. Then, with my father, I milled, dried, and sifted the mixture so that it was a fine powder. Once I amassed an archive of photographs of the self-immolators on my computer, I started going through and looking at them. Because of the lack of free flowing information from inside Tibet, this number varies depending on your source, but through my research 153 was the most complete list I could compile.

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Courtesy of artist Lodoe Laura
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Courtesy of artist Lodoe Laura

Most of the images the activists were able to recover were from cell phones, and were of a very low resolution. So I turned each image into Bitmap files – what this did was turn the images from full color photographs into an image made only up of black or white dots. Then, I printed them onto transparency film, which was used to print onto silk-screens in the darkroom.

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Courtesy of artist Lodoe Laura

Once the silk-screens were made, I went back to the incense I collected from the exile community. I mixed the fine charcoal powder with traditional ink making gum medium to create handmade ink. Then, using the screen as a negative, the charcoal and gum were pushed through to make a positive image on paper. This created the final positive images of the self-immolated, which are displayed at the Artspace. If you look closely at each image, and especially one of the heavily black images, you can see the granules and texture of the charcoal and incense ash. Because of its use in prayer ritual it was, for me, a representation not only of the burning protest, it was also a representation of the prayers of the exile community. So for this reason it was important that the texture was still visible in the final prints.

      

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Courtesy of artist Lodoe Laura

CP: And there is also a video along with the prints.

LL: I made a video, which is a database of the dates of the self-immolations. The hand printing of the prints was a very slow, labor-intensive process, and I wanted to make something that contrasted the slow repetition of the hand printed images. This video displays the dates of each self-immolation in rapid succession. It flips quickly between extreme light and extreme dark. Because it switches so quickly between the two, your eyes don’t have time to adjust to either. This is intended to create the unsettling effect of an after-image, so the dates are visible even after you’ve stopped looking. I first came across the idea of an after-image after viewing Alfredo Jaar’s Geometry of Conscience at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights. Art about political protest will necessarily be insufficient. My work exists only as one thread in a larger, complex conversation that is being held in Tibetan society about self-­immolation, protest, and what it means when these actions are taken.

CP: I read that you are planning to graduate this year. What’s next for Lodoe Laura?

LL: One of my goals now that I’ll have more time is to improve my Tibetan language skills. I’m assisting one of my favorite professors, Clare Samuel, in some of her undergraduate classes, and am interested in teaching in the future. I’m looking into graduate programs in Canada and abroad. I’ve been in Toronto for seven years, and even though it’s starting to feel like home, I’m hoping for a change and new challenge.

153

Lodoe Laura

Exhibition Run: September 1st- 25th, 2016

Ryerson Artspace

Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto.

Lodoe Laura is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. She was a recipient of a Magnum Photo scholarship in 2015, and is completing her BFA in Photography at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts. Her work has been recognized with the AIMIA AGO Scholarship Prize, and most recently was a winner of The Magenta Foundation’s 2016 Flash Forward Award.

If you want to check out more of her work follow her on Tumblr and/or her website

Claudia Pretelin is a writer from Mexico City and currently resides in Rochester, New York. She holds a B.A. in Communications and received her M.A. and a Ph.D. in Art History from The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Este mes en la historia de la fotografía.

Este mes en la historia de la fotografía.

Los siguientes eventos tuvieron lugar este mes en la historia de la fotografía: [1]

De acuerdo a la historiadora Naomi Rosenblum, los primeros manuales para hacer daguerrotipos llegaron a los Estados Unidos desde Inglaterra en Septiembre 1839, muy poco después del anuncio por parte del gobierno francés sobre la adquisición del nuevo invento.

En Septiembre 1, 2015, el fotógrafo pionero de la fotografía moderna japonesa y co fundador de la revista fotográfica Provoke, murió a las 77 años. Nakahira nació en Tokio en 1938 y se graduó de la Universidad de Tokio en el Departamento de Español. En los años sesenta, se convirtió en fotógrafo de tiempo completo, pero también se desempeñó como escritor, crítico y activista político. En Provoke, propugnó por un estilo fotográfico conocido en su lengua como are, bure, boke, (granulado, borroso y fuera de foco), un estilo que cuestionó si el realismo en fotografía era posible. In 1969, el trabajo fotográfico de Nakahira recibió el Newcomer Award por parte de la Asociación Japonesa de Críticos de Fotografía.

Hace ciento veintiocho años, la marca Kodak nació en los Estados Unidos y pronto se convirtió en sinónimo de fotografía por más de un siglo. En Septiembre 4 de 1888, George Eastman registró formalmente la palabra “Kodak” como la marca de su compañía. Acerca del nombre tan peculiar, Eastman escribió a la oficina de patente británica: “Esta no es una palabra o nombre extranjero; fue inventada por mí para servir a un propósito definido. Como marca tiene los siguientes méritos: Primero. Es una palabra corta. Segundo. No puede ser pronunciada incorrectamente. Tercero. No se parece a nada en el arte y no puede ser asociada a nada en el arte, excepto a Kodak.”

El 5 de septiembre de 1933, Bruce Davidson nació en Chicago. Davidson es considerado uno de los fotógrafos más influyentes de Estados Unidos. Estudió fotografía en el Instituto de Tecnología de Rochester y en la Universidad de Yale. En 1961, recibió una beca Guggenheim para documentar el movimiento de derechos civiles estadounidense. En 1970, su obra más conocida East 100 Street fue exhibida en el Museo de Arte Moderno de Nueva York. Sus fotografías han sido expuestas en numerosas instituciones en los Estados Unidos y en el extranjero y desde 1958 ha sido miembro de la agencia fotográfica Magnum.

La fotógrafa estadounidense Nan Goldin nació el 12 de septiembre de 1953. Goldin es reconocida por las imágenes que componen su obra La balada de la dependencia sexual. Su trabajo ha sido objeto de numerosas exposiciones y dos grandes retrospectivas. La primera, organizada por el Museo Whitney de Arte Americano en Nueva York y la segunda por el Centro Pompidou de París. En 2007, recibió el Premio Internacional de la Fundación Hasselblad y en 2014 fue la galardonada en los Premios Lucie por su logro excepcional en retrato.

Joel-Peter Witkin nació el 13 de septiembre de 1939. Las fotografías de Witkin han sido descritas como grotescas y morbosas. Su visión oscura e imaginativa a menudo hace referencia a otros artistas en la historia del arte y de la historia de la fotografía. Desde Coubert hasta Etienne Jules Marey, Witkin explora diferentes elementos en las obras de otros artistas y los incorpora en su propia obra. Sus fotografías han sido expuestas internacionalmente en el Museo de Arte Moderno de Nueva York, la Galería Fraenkel en San Francisco, la Galería Baudoin Lebon de París y la Biblioteca Nacional de Francia, entre muchos otros.

El maestro de la fotografía norteamericana Lewis Hine nació el 26 septiembre, 1874 en Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Hine se graduó de la Universidad de Nueva York y comenzó estudios de postgrado en sociología en la Universidad de Columbia. Como fotógrafo, su carrera comenzó en 1905 con una serie de fotografías tomadas en la isla de Ellis. En 1908, Hine renunció a su trabajo como maestro escolar de la ciudad de Nueva York y se convirtió en fotógrafo de investigación de tiempo completo para el Comité Nacional de Trabajo Infantil, para el cual trabajó durante dieciséis años. Hine viajó por los Estados Unidos para fotografiar a niños empleados en fábricas, talleres y minas. Sus poderosas imágenes de niños trabajadores expusieron los devastadores efectos del trabajo infantil y agitaron la conciencia norteamericana. Hacia 1940, año en el que Hine murió, la fotografía social se había convertido no sólo en un método aceptado para documentar, sino que también fue apreciado como una forma de arte.

[1] Image Credit. 11:00 A.M. Monday, May 9th, 1910. Newsies at Skeeter’s Branch, Jefferson near Franklin. They were all smoking. Location: St. Louis, Missouri. Artist: Lewis Hine (American, 1874–1940) Date: ca. 1910 Medium: Gelatin Silver Print 1970.727.3

This Month in the History of Photography

This Month in the History of Photography

The following events occurred this month in the History of Photography: [1]

According to historian Naomi Rosenblum, the first instruction manuals to make daguerreotypes arrived in the United States from England in September 1839, shortly after the announcement of the French Government’s acquisition of the new invention.

On September 1, 2015, Takuma Nakahira, pioneer of modern Japanese photography and co-founder of the photography magazine Provoke, died at age 77. Nakahira was born in Tokyo in 1938. He graduated from the Spanish Department of Tokyo University. In the 1960s, he became a full-time photographer but he was also a writer, critic, and political activist. In Provoke he advocated for a style known as are, bure, boke, (grainy, blurry and out-of-focus), a style that questioned whether realism in photography was possible. In 1969, Nakahira’s photographic work received the Newcomer Award from the Japanese Photography Critics’ Association.

One hundred and twenty eight years ago, the Kodak brand was born in the United States and soon became synonym of photography for more than a century. On September 4, 1888, George Eastman formally registered the word “Kodak” as his company’s trademark. About the peculiar name, Eastman wrote to the British Patent Office: “This is not a foreign name or word; it was constructed by me to serve a definite purpose. It has following merits as a trademark word: First. It is short. Second. It is not capable of mispronunciation. Third. It does not resemble anything in the art and cannot be associated with anything in the art except the Kodak.”

On September 5, 1933, Bruce Davidson was born in Chicago. Davidson is considered one of America’s most influential photographers. He studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University. In 1961, he received a Guggenheim fellowship to document the civil-rights movement. In 1970, his most well known work East 100 Street was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His photographs have been shown in numerous institutions in the United States and abroad. Since 1958 he has been a full member of Magnum Photos.

American Photographer Nan Goldin was born September 12, 1953. Goldin is most famous for her long-term visual diary The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Her work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and two major retrospectives, one organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and by the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In 2007, she received the Hasselblad Foundation International Award and she was recipient of the Lucie Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Portrait in 2014.

Joel Peter Witkin was born September 13, 1939. Witkin’s photographs have been described as grotesque and morbid. His darkly imaginative vision often references other artists in the history of art and the history of photography. From Coubert to Etienne Jules Marey, Witkin explores different elements in other artist’s works and incorporates them in his own oeuvre. His photographs have been exhibited internationally at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, the Baudoin Lebon Gallery in Paris, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, among many others.

Master American Photographer Lewis Hine was born September 26, 1874 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Hine graduated from New York University and began graduate studies in sociology at Columbia University. As a photographer, his career began in 1905 with a series of pictures taken on Ellis Island. By 1908, Hine quit his job as a New York City school teacher and became a full-time investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee where he worked for sixteen years. Hine traveled around the United States photographing child workers in factories, mills, and mines. His powerful images of working children exposed the devastating effects of child labor and stirred America’s conscience. By the time of his death in 1940, social reform photography had become not only an accepted method of documenting but also was appreciated as an art form.

[1] Image Credit. 11:00 A.M. Monday, May 9th, 1910. Newsies at Skeeter’s Branch, Jefferson near Franklin. They were all smoking. Location: St. Louis, Missouri-Artist: Lewis Hine (American, 1874–1940)-Date: ca. 1910 -Medium: Gelatin Silver Print- 1970.727.3.

Five Masters of Photography that You Should Follow on Instagram

Five Masters of Photography that You Should Follow on Instagram

Instagram has quickly grown into a massive social network. With about 500 million active users taking photographs everyday and sharing them with so many different purposes, it is hard not to feel lost while looking for something interesting to see and think about.

I personally have two different accounts, one for my family and friends and the other one to follow and share with people interested in photography and visual culture. So when it comes to my @INSTRUMENTSOFMEMORY account, I am looking for a more selective version of my interests. That is why I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that some of my favorite photographers in the world are using Instagram as well. Here are five masters of photography that you can find on Instagram and some of the many reasons why you should definitely follow them.

@DAYANITASINGH

Indian artist Dayanita Singh has described herself as a bookmaker that uses photography “to reflect and expand on the ways on which we relate to photographic images.”[1] She graduated in photojournalism from New York’s International Center of Photography. She shoots on traditional film, usually in black and white, but color has become part of her photographic language as well. Dayanita’s mother was an amateur photographer and has said that family albums were her first introduction to photography. When asked about Instagram, she responded, “What I love the most about photography is its dissemination.”[2] Her images on Instagram –a mix of building structures, flowers, quotes, ordinary objects, portraits, self-portraits, and even a video of a little girl criticizing how slowly Singh photographs—have garnered her 11.8k followers so far.

@STEPHENSHORE

 Stephen Shore is a celebrated American photographer. Alongside William Eggleston, he is one of the central figures of 1970s color photography. His images have captured the quotidian as a form or visual diary and have been widely exhibited and published in the United States and abroad. Shore joined Instagram in 2014 and loves it! He even lectured about the use of this app at the Photo London Festival in 2015. Shore has said that he is always open to technological development because it represents a new challenge.[3] In his case, before he learned that there was a way to post a rectangular image on Instagram, he was “challenged” to make square images, something that he had not done in fifty years. The immediacy of Instagram is something that Shore enjoys as much as his 7.5k followers who can see on his daily posts how he perceives the world. As you can imagine, his world is full of color with that particular style that shaped what has been defined as the snapshot aesthetic.

@MARTINPARRSTUDIO

Britain’s best-known photographer, Martin Parr claims to enjoy the banal. His iconic work has gained international recognition for his motifs and his very particular aesthetic, sometimes considered grotesque. Parr has published more than 90 books, and leisure and consumption are two of the main photographer’s interests. He shoots most of his photographs in color and his use of flash adds a hyper real quality to his images. Unlike Singh and Shore, Parr’s Studio uses Instagram as a platform to showcase past and new work and representative images of his work that have been taken with a camera and not with a mobile device. About Instagram and Flickr the photographer has said, “I welcome all of the different platforms for photography and their proliferation.” Martin Parr Studio joined Instagram in 2015 and now has 89k followers.

@ZOE STRAUSS

Zoe Strauss is a self-taught American photographer. She acquired her first camera at the age of thirty and started taking photographs of Philadelphia’s residents and neighborhoods where she lives and works. Her first photographic project, “I-95”, consisted of hanging photographs under the I-95 freeway for an exhibition free and open to the public. Since then, different institutions in the United States have recognized her work and her photographs have been included in the Whitney Biennial in 2006 and exhibited at the Philadelphia Art Museum and the International Center of Photography in New York. Strauss claims that she has no idea how to use Instagram. However, the diaristic images that she shares with more than 3000 followers focus on the distinctive features that the photographer has captured in her professional work: the struggles and beauty of everyday life.

@WOLFGANG TILLMANS

German photographer, Wolfgang Tillmans is an expert in using saturated snapshots with a lo-fi aesthetic in his photographs. In the 1990s, the now London based photographer started documenting youth clubs and the LBGTQ scene in Germany. Self- documentation is the core of his work. Considered one of the most influential contemporary photographers, his ouvre has been awarded the Turner Prize in 2000 and the Hasselblad Award in 2015. About Instagram and selfies, Tillmans has said, “Pictures are replacing words as messages.”[4] As you can see, the photographer uses this platform to raise his voice in visual statements about political and social issues. Before the EU referendum, Tillmans publicly endorsed the “stay in” campaign and created a series of posters for this cause that he shared with his 2.2k followers on Instagram.

[1] http://www.frithstreetgallery.com/artists/bio/dayanita_singh

[2]http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/magazine/serious-play.html?module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Magazine&action=keypress&region=FixedLeft&pgtype=article

[3] http://purple.fr/article/stephen-shore/

[4]https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/may/09/wolfgang-tillmans-interview

Celebrating 177 Years of Photography

Do you know why is World Photo Day?

On August 19, 1839, the French government acquired the patent of the daguerreotype and announced that the new process would be donated as a gift to the world.

The daguerreotype was a revolutionary photographic process developed and named after its inventor Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. It is a unique image on a silvered copper plate, sensitized with iodine vapors, exposed in a camera obscura, developed in mercury fumes and fixed with salt water or sodium thiosulphate. It has a mirror-like surface and it’s very fragile.

The invention of the daguerreotype was revealed in an announcement published in January, 1839, in the official bulletin of the French Academy of Sciences. Shortly after the public announcement, Daguerre published a manual on daguerreotyping and, despite the difficulty of transporting the equipment, the process immediately attracted devotees who rushed to purchase cameras, plates, and chemicals. The French press characterized the phenomenon as a craze or “dagueréotypomanie.”

The daguerreotype marked a breakthrough in photographic history and an opportunity for ordinary people to capture their own memories.