Photography

Thomas Joshua Cooper at LACMA

Artist Philip Braham wrote a powerful essay that included an analysis of the work of Thomas Joshua Cooper in issue 3 of Art North magazine. For fifty years, Cooper has been making photographs outdoors, often realised through intense physical travel to remote and isolated sites. His stunning, large-scale, black-and-white photographs encapsulate the psychological impact of the place through geographic and atmospheric details.

As Braham explained Cooper’s practice in relation to his work on the far north coast of Scotland: “Cooper lugs the camera and its wooden tripod to the furthest cardinal points of the landmass and insists on taking only one image at each point. In June 1990 he began a series titled The Swelling of the Sea that necessitated a three-month circumnavigation of Scotland, making the first photograph at Ardnamurchan, the most westerly point of the UK, in a Force-8 gale. The camera and lens require long exposures, but that gives time for contemplation. Only when Cooper is certain of the right moment at which to open and close the shutter will his vision be fixed onto film then fully developed as a print.” 

Announced by the Ingleby Gallery recently, upcoming is Cooper’s exhibition at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (September 22, 2019 – February 2, 2020) which comprises sixty-five large-scale and seventy-five 8 x 10 inch black-and-white photographs that together showcase Cooper’s The Atlas of Emptiness and ExtremityThe World’s Edgethe Atlantic Basin Project, which he first embarked upon in 1987, charting the Atlantic Basin from the extreme points of each north, south, east, and west coordinate.

Thomas Joshua Cooper ,  First Light—The South Indian Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope, #2 ,  South Africa, the Southwest-Most Point of Continental Africa , 2004, Collection Lannan Foundation, © 2019 Thomas Joshua Cooper, photo courtesy of the artist.

Thomas Joshua Cooper, First Light—The South Indian Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope, #2, South Africa, the Southwest-Most Point of Continental Africa, 2004, Collection Lannan Foundation, © 2019 Thomas Joshua Cooper, photo courtesy of the artist.

Using a 19th-century Agfa Ansco view camera, his singular exposure of each site includes neither a horizon line nor the terrain below his feet, but rather the surrounding “sea spaces” that are unique, dissimilar, and not readily identifiable. For Cooper, each place is a point of departure allowing contemplation of the ocean’s emptiness beyond the extreme points of the land.

The exhibition will be complimented by a conversation-based gallery talk as part of the LACMA’s monthly Art of Looking programme – a monthly one-hour conversation-based gallery tour focusing on the permanent collection and special exhibitions. Visitors can join Elizabeth Gerber for a discussion and exploration of Thomas Joshua Cooper: The World’s Edge on October 10 (12.30pm).

Norrie Maclaren

Resipole Studios is currently showing Conversation Around Luck – a walk through the most influential moments and images in the life of Highland-based television and film producer, Norrie Maclaren. Through photographic images, multi-media displays and props, the exhibition explores Maclaren’s career to date, from seeking opportunities in the creative world, to his work as an assistant to director Stanley Kubrick on Barry Lyndon and The Shining.

Norrie Maclaren ,  Soldiers being prepared , gold silk print, 30 x 40 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Norrie Maclaren, Soldiers being prepared, gold silk print, 30 x 40 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Included are his fashion photography, magazine work, and images relating to his cutting edge television programs for Channel 4. The exhibition, which is situated in the upper gallery space at Resipole Studios is supported by a number of events and talks, presented by the artist who is sharing his expertise, knowledge and experience of the photographic and film industries.

Norrie Maclaren ,  Sweet Shop 1 , gold silk print, 30 x 40 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Norrie Maclaren, Sweet Shop 1, gold silk print, 30 x 40 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Norrie Maclaren was born in 1948 and lives on the West Coast of Scotland, near to Fort William, in the former summer house of florist and cook, Constance Spry. Describing himself as a ‘gifted ‘generalist’, not one to sit still for long, Maclaren is developing a number of film and television projects through his production company on the Ardnamurchan peninsula.

Norrie Maclaren ,  Carolyne Marshall I , gold silk print, 60 x 50 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Norrie Maclaren, Carolyne Marshall I, gold silk print, 60 x 50 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Norrie Maclaren ,  Ryan Watches Stanley , gold silk print, 30 x 40 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Norrie Maclaren, Ryan Watches Stanley, gold silk print, 30 x 40 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Norrie Maclaren ,  Speakers' Corner , gold silk print, 30 x 40 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Norrie Maclaren, Speakers' Corner, gold silk print, 30 x 40 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Norrie Maclaren ,  Stanley Kubrick , gold silk print, 40 x 30 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)

Norrie Maclaren, Stanley Kubrick, gold silk print, 40 x 30 cm. (Image courtesy Resipole Studios and Fine Art Gallery)


Norrie Maclaren
Conversation Around Luck

Until 11 October

Resipole Studios
Acharacle
Argyll
PH36 4HX

Tel: 01967 431 506

FLOW Photofest 2019

Ahead of Art North covering many of the venues featuring work under the FLOW Photofest umbrella, you can download the programme here. We’ve devised our longlist of exhibitions we’ll be covering already, but if there are any special requests for coverage of your favourites and those you think most worthy of attention, now is the time to tell us here. We’ll be rolling out our shortlist of top picks very soon. Alternatively, drop a comment at the end of this post and we’ll see if we can add it to our coverage.

Image top of page by Elena Chernyshova from the series Days of Night – Nights of Day, about which the artists writes, “Days of Night – Nights of Day is about the daily life of the inhabitants of Norilsk, a mining city northernmost of the polar circle with a population of more than 170 000. The city, its mines and metallurgical factories were constructed by prisoners of the Gulag. With 60% of the present population involved in the industrial process, this documentary aims to investigate human adaptation to extreme climate, ecological disaster and isolation. Norilsk is the seventh most polluted city in the world. The average temperature is -10C, reaching lows of -55C in winter, when for two months the city is plunged into polar night. The living conditions of the people of Norilsk are unique, making their plight incomparable.” The cover of the 2019 programme features another image from the same series.

Torbjørn Rødland's Fifth Honeymoon

Norwegian artist Torbjørn Rødland (seen below) is known for carefully staged photographs that evoke emotions. His photographs are highly charged and intimate, often centered around the human figure. Bodies appears in Rødland’s work both as portraits and as individual parts such as hands, feet, ankles and knees or they appear as staged, typologized “characters” in the midst of a telling moment. Like the artist’s many still lifes, these photographs are made to reflect our complex and layered reality. The results are ambitious and ambiguous images that both appeal and repel.

Torbjørn Rødland . Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Petri Virtanen

Torbjørn Rødland. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Petri Virtanen

In his works, Rødland often combines figures asymmetrically. Old is coupled with young, different ethnic backgrounds mix, and the power relations of the models are out of balance: one dominates while the other submits. However, Rødland’s aim is to deconstruct these dichotomies by showing that they are intertwined. This idea repeats in many Eastern philosophies that for instance posit that it is impossible to comprehend good without evil.

Torbjørn Rødland ,  The Ring,  2017, Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper, 60 x 76 cm, Courtesy of Galerie Eva Presenhuber

Torbjørn Rødland, The Ring, 2017, Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper, 60 x 76 cm, Courtesy of Galerie Eva Presenhuber

The feeling of unease is also often present in Rødland’s photographs. In his works the viewer encounters an ambiguous scene which may be the result of either tenderness or violence. It is up to the viewer to interpret the situation.

I am interested in things that have more layers that can go in different direction, both ways.
— Torbjørn Rødland

Although Rødland’s medium is photography, the key work in the exhibition Fifth Honeymoon is the new film Between Fork and Ladder, shot in Los Angeles and the scenic landscape of Norway’s Lofoten Islands.

Torbjørn Rødland ,  Silent Scream,  2017, Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper, 57 x 45 cm, Courtesy of KODE – Art Museums and Composer Homes, Norway

Torbjørn Rødland, Silent Scream, 2017, Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper, 57 x 45 cm, Courtesy of KODE – Art Museums and Composer Homes, Norway

Torbjørn Rødland (b. 1970, Stavanger, Norway) lives and works in Los Angeles. Fifth Honeymoon is one of Rødland’s newest bodies of work. It’s also his first solo exhibition in Finland. The exhibition is produced by Bergen Kunsthall in collaboration with Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki.

Torbjørn Rødland ,  Race Cards,  2017, Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper, 57 x 45 cm, Courtesy of STANDARD (OSLO)

Torbjørn Rødland, Race Cards, 2017, Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper, 57 x 45 cm, Courtesy of STANDARD (OSLO)


Torbjørn Rødland
Fifth Honeymoon
Kiasma, Helsinki

13 September 2019 – 5 January 2020
Kiasma
Kaivokatu 2
00100 Helsinki
Finland
Tel: 0294 500 200

AMBIT Artist Talks

At the end of May, Sasha Buchanan alerted readers of this Blog to AMBIT, an exhibition of photography showing across two renowned venues. AMBIT celebrates new and diverse approaches to photographic image making in Scotland, and the participating artists deploy diverse approaches, including the everyday in social landscape, performative and object based intersections with photography, alternative processes embracing hybrids between photography and printmaking, and themes from the theatrical and mythical, to those of gender and citizenship. See Sasha’s original post here.

The videos posted recently via YouTube are from Csilla Kozma, Edyta Majewska, Katy Hundertmark, the Highlands-based photographer Iain Sarjeant, and Matthew Arthur Williams – see the videos below. Each short video includes narration from the artist on the thoughts and ideas behind their work.

A contrasting record of contemporary Scotland is offered by Scottish photographer Iain Sarjeant. Whilst being based in the Highlands of Scotland Sarjeant has travelled the length and breadth of the country to create a startling yet understated document of everyday Scotland, documenting common place yet often overlooked landscapes to create a visual record of a nation in flux. 

Katy Hundertmark is a German born artist based in Edinburgh. Her photographic practice employs performance as a way of inhabiting the photographic space. In ‘Studies in Gravitation’ Hundertmark revisits the performative potential of photography through a series of photographs that reintroduce the self as performer and capture her attempt of grasping the intangible.

The performative possibilities of photographic images are at the core of Hungarian born Csilla Kozma, whose most recent body of work explores the idiosyncratic nature of the Mordançage process. Kozma’s unique and expressive prints explore the representation of the figure and self through a post-photographic lens, utilising the potentiality of alternative photographic processes to evoke tension and mystery whilst creating her own photographic reality. 

Similarly Edyta Majewska turns the camera on herself as she documents the arduous process of applying for British Citizenship. Majewska, a Polish born artist who has been based in Glasgow for over twenty years, turns her experience of being an Eastern European national in Post-Brexit Britain into 'Other White', a moving and immersive photographic installation and a timely record of the precarious and hostile political climate of modern day Britain.

Matthew Arthur Williams’ series ‘In Conflict’ is a collaborative project that stems from a personal quest developed through conversations with friends, family and peers. Williams’ photographs address forms of acceptance and surviving in a British context described as ‘other’.

AMBIT is a partnership between Street Level Photoworks (Glasgow), and Stills (Edinburgh), Scotland’s public venues dedicated to photography. The exhibition will be presented across both venues and is a joint venture aimed at showcasing some of the current tendencies and innovative talent from the photography sector in Scotland.


AMBIT Artist Talks

Saturday 22 June at 3pm
Free and all welcome.
Further information from:
http://www.streetlevelphotoworks.org/event/ambit-artist-talks