Joel Meyerovitz Talk at Darby Format 2011

I went to Format festival In Darby. This will be the last Space I will visit as it must be full steam ahead with my Exhibition. I went to Format two years ago. The Main Reason was to see a talk by Joel Meyerovitz  the American street  photographer I knew that this would be good to  see but I wasn’t ready for how much of a impact it would have on me. I’m not a fan of modern street photography as I see that most of it has been done in the past by masters like Meyerovitz Arbus and Winogrand. He was said to be on for over 1hr. 2.15mins later he asked did anyone have any questions?

He was like a evangelist giving a sermon. He spoke about his early days in graphics and the guy coming in to take pictures of his work which was Robert frank. He worked a lot with the Maverick Tony Ray Jones. where they both discussed the putting the subject at the side of the image as it was just as important as the traditional Middle. He talked how ” he would sharpen his skills by knowing where in as shot he didn’t have time or show courage”. Meyerovitz said the main lens he would use would be a 35mm on his Lieca as this was closest to the human eye. He kept preaching that you should always carry a camera that is how he got most of his shots. He Said “The world is dissolving in front of you have to take every second”.

When he started out there was only one small gallery in a  underground basement in the whole of New York that would show Photo images. The only Exhibition he ever saw there Ansell Adams and you could buy a original of his images for $25. It wasn’t until M.O.M.A curetted by John Swarovski. That photographty become recognised. He encouraged The crowd with “ Take a risk, take bad photographs be provocative”. All this was rumbling along at a great space to him using his view cam (10×8) camera. His work totally changed from the street photography that made his name. He had taken a large picture of the space at Versailles in the 1960s which in the mid 1970s become relevant and linked to the large format work he would from there on under take. However in October 2001 he was due to open an exhibition of work called looking south. This was from his studio and it was the changing skies of the world trade centre.

However there was on change in the September that the world could never predict. 9 days after 9/11 Meyerovitz had to do something. so he started to document inside the rubble of the World Trade Centre. He went from 10 stories high to 72 ft bellow sea level. I reckon that s about he size of the Blackpool tower to give a sense of scale. This is the only major document of the event. He had to cross red tape and threats of arrest to go about his job for the people. This will be shown in a book later. However through all the genius and Brilliance of the Talk. The last picture really choked me. A gray work man’s glove and rail track. This was the rail track of the land below the world trade centre that held the underground .9 months after he started photographing he was at the rail track. A Roland Barthes Comments With his Studium and punctum. This was a great example of it. You loved the image on first glance as you had a rough knowledge of the subject mater. It was when he explained that there was grass growing that had been covered for the thirty years that the trade centre had stud on it. He was using this for a Metaphor of how life heals and moves on. This was the closing statement from Joel Meyerovitz. Totally blown away by a master of his trade with a tear in my eye concluded a beautiful Experience.

 

How i fell for Andre Kertesz, while leaving a Paris Behind…

Striking while the irons hot is not always great in the long run. Did paris Fail or did i Fail Paris?

Judge for yourself!

Paris Photo 2010 at this moment in time feels like The Clash Signing to Capitol Records. Did they or did they not sell out. Am i more wiser to the whole corporate side of the photo extraordinary. Thing at the back of my mind was Brighton Biennial was better. I noticed a few things the main one being the amount of adverts in the book you get on the door. I just seemed to be embracing the dollar rather than the dergenotype.

The first thing to catch my eye was the work of Mitch Epstien the image taken from his American Power series. The image was a large aluminium A-0 print. It showed some kind of NYPD look out/guard. Who’s blue uniform stuck you first in the images darkness. He was looking out through his binoculars this creates the first sense of unease in the image. Your eyes then pull to the large sweeping stairs behind the officer. Giving you a sense of scale of what the man is in power of. Last of all you are pulled to the pump-action shot-gun on the table. This the smallest item in the image is the shock factor. Showing how Epstien try’s to document the people in the land of the free who hold the power. I Found a wonderful set of images by Eve Susman.

She had taken the standard from the car window shoot that has been familiar over the years. I thought Sussmen had just taken advantage of the the tinted windows in the car until we seen one of the image was polarized at the top with the over exposed at the bottom. A good solid set of images pushing a standard topic of shooting through a window.

Luis Strettners work in New York just had something differnt to the work you see of Bruce Davidson Mary Ellen Mark etc…

I guess when the above image was taken it may not have had the social impact that we Know associate with the World Trade Centre so i guess i can only talk about how i viewed the image. I just found the bird linking the two buildings so powerful.The thought of flight taken the the total juxtaposition we visualize today. Th gray of the images add to the distant memories people see unfold. Raymond Depardon work of almost isolation of houses in amongst a clutter of streets pulling through the individuality and craftsmanship of french architecture. I think Depardon for me a massive type of the hat of what im trying to achieve with my Maps: empty Spaces project

jessica backhaus beautiful im age of a wet empty tennis court

is simplistic and beautiful in many ways. the images although taken on wet miserable day still has a relaxing reflective feel to it. The clever use of the green enhances the lack of foliage on the tree. This possibly reduces some of the negativity the image may have is it was showing the sky in it as well.

Tom Hunter‘s work he is structured around the classical paintings of the past. He works his own modern-day interpretation by recreating the painting in a modern ay setting. I’m not sure where i stand with this process but if nothing else its clever and his use of retitling his image defiantly ads and give it credibility.

It was really nice to see Richard Billinghams image of himself, young child and  father. Who was documented in the book rays laugh where billingham documents the troubles yet strong love of his father and mother in the difficult life conditions of their Birmingham tower block accommodation.

For me this image brings closure of what happened after the book(as shown Above). The book almost leaves you with a lump in your throat at the deprivation. Some again may see this as exploitation, taken advantage of a inn cohesive alcoholic. When putting the images into context I guess people find this as way to coupe with how they have been brought up in the world.

Mike brodies work of cross processed images was a full set of images showing a group of punks in America. Just so powerful in an undesirable state of anarchism. The Nihilismtic feel that goes with the full body of work transcribes itself to almost a feel of the Mad Max films.

I was disappointed with my under par performance or maybe I’m just getting more refined in my old age.  I would say my favorite body of work was exquisite was the exhibition of Andre Kertesz life works

I always try to push and push to find everything out there but i would say most photographers have very little expression on how a capture scene subject or situation. I think from my collection of images below Kertesz has successfully infiltrated the mass random canvas of my mind…

Kurtesz was quoted as saying

“Everything is a subject. Every subject has a rhythm. To feel it is the raison d’être. The photograph is a fixed moment of such a raison d’être, which lives on in itself.

raison d’être meaning reason for existence was written in the exhibition. I think this is a very powerful statement i find it hard to break it down but to me it just makes sense in the way that i capture things. I don’t know why I do it I just do. Hopefully that doesn’t sound like a cop-out from breaking it down. Kertsez work seem like image of fine art they are so tight in there composition.

So im yet to decide if Paris 2010 will stand as an iconic moment in photographic journey. I was really disapointed to miss out on the Gaza W

Exhibition thats was in the french museum of modern art. I feel this would have given the trip a nice full stop in my mind. Every i have gone in the past ive ended on a peach of an exhibition the first year it was Lee Miller then Last year it was Robert Frank Diane Arbus and Henri Carier Bresson. I just didn’t feel any excitement which gallery’s often create for me.

Anyway im off to an evening with Excellent British Landscape Photographer John Davis in Liverpool @ the open Eye Gallery