April 18, 2014

Ghosts in the Sun: Hitler’s Personal Photographers at Dachau, 1950

Do places have memories? Do buildings where people did terrible, bestial things to other human beings somehow retain an echo of that savagery within their walls, their floors, their foundations? Is it just our imagination that makes the skin crawl at places like Cambodia’s Genocide Museum, or Elimina Castle in Ghana, or any one of the Nazi’s extermination and slave-labor camps — or is it possible that there’s still something there, palpable and chilling, years later?

Even the most die-hard realist might find it hard to resist those sorts of questions when looking at Hugo Jaeger’s eerily quiet, color pictures from Dachau in 1950. Jaeger, after all, was not just another visitor to the former concentration camp; as Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer, he traveled with and chronicled Hitler and his Nazi cohorts at rallies, military parades, parties and, frequently, in quieter, private moments. The photos Jaeger made during his stint with Hitler were evidently so attuned to the Führer’s vision of what a Thousand Year Reich might look like that Hitler himself reportedly declared, upon seeing Jaeger’s early work: “The future belongs to color photography.




April 18, 2014

Russian Criminal Tattoo Archives Photographs

1. Mikhail Kovanev, poet, artist and musician, was serving a sentence of fifteen years for murder. He claimed he was innocent of this charge. Every part of his body was covered with tattoos, many of his own design. The eyes on the stomach mean that he was a homosexual (the penis makes the ‘nose’ of the face). In the colony he became a drug addict and was subsequently killed.

2. These tattoos are in the ‘traditional’ style: a large central tattoo covering the chest and stomach area. The central motif is based on Raphael’s Madonna from the Sistine Chapel. This was a popular thieves’ ‘talisman’, reserved only for the highest ranking areas of the body.

3. Traditionally tattoos bearing images of Lenin and Stalin were usually tattooed onto the chest, it was a commonly held belief that Communist firing squads were not permitted to shoot at an image of their leaders. Text above Lenin reads ‘Wake up Ilyich (Lenin)’, above the tiger ‘They (criminals) are getting brazen’.

4. This convict’s tattoos were applied in the camps of the Urals where the tattoo artists produce work of exceptional quality. Because they were so held in such high regard, criminals often attempted to be transferred there in order to be tattooed. The dollar bill on the shoulder signifies the bearer’s commitment to a life of crime.

5. The text at the top of the thigh reads: ‘The earth is empty without you’. The ‘Made in CCCP’ tattoo on the right breast is the state quality mark of the USSR. This symbol was only applied to consumer goods of the ‘highest quality’. The rose tangled in barbed wire on the shoulder, denotes that the bearer celebrated their 16th or 18th birthday in the ‘zone’.

6. This convicts apparently random tattoos denote his rank within the criminal world. They embody a thief’s complete ‘service record’, his entire biography, detailing all of his achievements and failures, his promotions and demotions, his ‘secondments’ to jail and his ‘transfers’ to different types of ‘work’. A thief’s tattoos are his ‘passport’, ‘case file’, ‘awards record’, ‘diplomas’ and ‘epitaphs’. In this world a man with no tattoos has no social status whatsoever. Across the chest ‘Death is not vengeance / the dead don’t suffer’. On the arms ‘I live in sin / I die laughing’.

7. Orthodox religious tattoos are still among the most popular amoung criminals today. The crucifix and the Madonna and Child, depicted in the Orthodox tradition of icon painting, meant ‘my conscience is clean before my friends’, ‘I will not betray’. The Madonna signified ‘prison is my home’ – that the wearer was a multiple offender and recidivist. The number of domes on the tattoo of a church indicates the number of convictions. If a dome was adorned with a cross, it meant that the sentence had been served in full. As well as being a totem of a pickpocket, the scarab beetle is considered to bring luck to the wearer, these are usually tattooed on the hands, rarely (as in this image) they appear on other parts of the body.

8. The tattoos across the eyelids read ‘Do not / Wake me’. The genie on the forearm is a common symbol of drug addiction. If an addict is imprisoned for drug offences, he or she will have to go through withdrawal in the ‘zone’ (prison). Epaulette tattoos (on the shoulders) display the criminal’s rank in a system that mirrors that of the army (major, colonel, general etc).

9. The tattoo on the neck reads ‘I don’t need happiness’, beneath the neck ‘I live in sin, I die laughing’. The scar on this criminals face is usually forcibly applied as a punishment to any convict who has informed or betrayed his fellow inmates.

10. Prison is this thief’s home, he is of the highest rank in the thieves’ social hierarchy. His ring tattoos show that he was the only underage detainee in his circle of thieves, and that he is an ‘anti-social’: an inveterate transgressor of the prison regime, who completely refuses to work. The text on the arm reads ‘Communism only produces victims’.

April 18, 2014

Rachel Sussman

The Oldest Living Things in the World

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April 18, 2014

Acacia Johnson

Aialik

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April 18, 2014

Bieke Depoorter

After the Revolution: Interior lives in Egypt

The change demanded by tens of thousands of people in Tahrir Square more than three years ago came quickly and subsided even faster. The leader of three decades, Hosni Mubarak, finally stepped down; a democratic vote put the Muslim Brotherhood at the seat of power; and the nation’s army chief, who helped orchestrate a coup last July, resigned—only to run for president. That turmoil, along with a deadly crackdown on Islamists and attacks on the press, has made progress hard to pin down.

Bieke Depoorter, a photographer based in Ghent, Belgium, found a way to capture the often-unseen reality of a nation collapsing into its past. She would ask people on the streets of Cairo and other areas to stay a night in their homes. In each of her four several-week trips since late 2011, she would spend a few nights photographing, each time with a different family, then take a day off and repeat. She’s been to between 30 and 40 homes but denied entry from far more.

Depoorter, 27, doesn’t know Arabic, but the language barrier hasn’t proven a fault. “By not speaking, just being together, you can really get to know each other in a more thoughtful and real way,” she says. “People give me a lot and I give a lot, and it’s easier with strangers because they know I’m going away the next morning,” she adds. “It’s a very short, intense moment. It’s there and it will never come back.”




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April 18, 2014

From Casa Susanna: Photographs from a 1950s Transvestite Hideaway

2:20am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z8bgTy1DM7_RL
  
Filed under: photography vintage 
April 18, 2014

Guido Mocafico

Portraits of Modeled Glass Street Creatures created by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka

April 17, 2014

Alexander Kent

Website

April 17, 2014

Dinah Fried

Fictitious Meals

1. Alice’s adventures in Wonderland

2. Oliver Twist

3. The Bell Jar

4. The Catcher in the Rye

5. On the Road

6. Heidi

7. To Kill a Mockingbird

8. The Dragon Tattoo

9. Swann’s Way

10. Moby-Dick or The Whale

Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals is a book of 50 photographs of meals from literature—ranging from The Secret Garden to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, published by HarperCollins.

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April 17, 2014

Gem Fletcher

Ouch