July 26, 2014

Mark Strandquist

Windows from Prison

For the Project’s Website: Windows From Prison

When individuals from Washington, DC are placed in the federal penitentiary system they can be sent to any prison across the country (potentially thousands of miles away from family or friends). Windows From Prison* utilizes photography as a way to bridge this distance while creating space and humanistic entry points for students, faculty, NGO’s, family members of incarcerated individuals, former prisoners, and policy makers to engage with the sources, impacts, and alternatives to mass incarceration. 

“If you could have window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?” This question is asked to individuals who are from Washington, DC area but sent to prisons across the country. The corresponding photo requests are then fulfilled by students at George Mason University and Duke Ellington High School and mailed back to the incarcerated participants. 

In spring 2014 the images and corresponding prisoner’s writing were printed on 12x9 ft banners. These will be displayed on campus in GMU’s central public square. The banners will be placed in a circular design so that that the photos create and carve out a real and symbolic space for a multidisciplinary group of GMU scholars, policy/justice activists, artists, and community members. The public exhibition will include an expansive set of public programs, events, debates, and brainstorming sessions. GMU journalism students will be on hand for every event to document and interview those participating. At the end of the exhibit a newspaper will be designed and written by students including information on the project, images/text from the photo exchange and public events, and various editorials written by GMU students and faculty. The banners will then be separated and placed in different locations across the region. Each will have a corresponding newspaper box positioned next to it. 

In 2014, from April 7th-21st, the images and corresponding prisoner’s writing were printed on 12x9 ft banners. These were then displayed on campus in GMU’s central public square (in the grassy area between the Fenwick Library and Sub 1). The banners were placed in a circular design so that that the photos created and carved out a real and symbolic space for a multidisciplinary group of GMU scholars, policy/justice activists, artists, and community members. The public exhibition included an expansive set of public programs, events, debates, and brainstorming sessions (info below). 

Mirroring the project’s ethos, the exhibit didn’t seek to impose information upon a community, but to create avenues and space for local knowledge to emerge, complicate, and activate the project’s artistic and civic potential. The exhibit included an extensive set of public events, workshops, film screenings and community forums. Click here for additional images, audio, and additional information.

*The project was awarded a 2013 Photowings/Ashoka Foundation Insight project grant and is a partnership with Free Minds DC, George Mason University’s School of the Arts, GMU’s VA Writing Project, The Washington Project for the Arts, and Duke Ellington High School. 

July 25, 2014

Matthew Brandt

From Lakes and Reservoirs

Website

July 24, 2014

Emma Powell

From In Search of Sleep series

July 24, 2014

Yusuke Sakai

Skin

1. Reticulatad Giraffe

2. Hippopotamus

3. Bactrian Camel

4. Emu

5. Asiatic Black Bears

6. African Elephant

7. Japanese Deer

8. Goat

9. Zebra

10. White Rhinoceros

Website

July 22, 2014

Jean-Paul Cattin

From Designers Block

An old house located in East-London. A place taken over by artists and designers. Their contemporary creations, sometimes sober and functional are melting up with the old walls of the house, where several layers of paintings betray the time passing. A spatial evading in these cracks and drips.

Une vieille maison désuète située quelque part dans le East-London. Un lieu investit par des artistes et des designers. Au milieu des créations contemporaines, parfois sobres, fonctionnelles et épurées se mélangent les vieux murs de la bâtisse, ou plusieurs couches de peintures, de tapisseries trahissent l’inexorable écoulement du temps sur celle-ci. Une perdition spatiale dans ces craquelures et coulures.

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July 22, 2014

Konstancja Nowina Konopka

A Thousand Evil Deeds

This is a story about the kids from Biskupice — a rusty-with-ill-reputation industrial district of Zabrze in the Silesian Highlands of Southern Poland.

Children from Biskupice have the luxury of freedom which their peers from big metropolities can not feel. Children from Biskupice do not have fenced play areas, and they are allowed to trample lawns. They can play football everywhere they want, enjoy adventures and secret places, and not always behave well.

Their world seem to be infinite.

This is a story about five friends who democratically share fags, chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks. They steer clear of a bully, “Big Aneta”. These boys hate school and already two of them left it for good.

They can not start with a clean slate though. Szychta with Kalus dumped a cat off the bridge. Kalus with Bajlas devastated the local cemetery. Bajlas with Szychta set fire to an old shed. And Bajlas smashed a dinner plate on his school friend’s head.

Their world can appear fascinating with its limitless living space and imagination, but then it makes you puzzled with the moral code. This poses the question of how many evil deeds are yet to be committed to reach anticipated adulthood…

— Konstancja Nowina Konopka

July 22, 2014

Carlo Gianferro

Roma Interiors

Gypsy Interiors is a series of portraits capturing the private world of these outwardly loud, vivacious people. Here he finds a rich and profound intimacy, hidden but exhibited among antique furniture, tapestries, paintings, religious images, china, staircases and mirrors, set into large rooms or sometimes minimized in empty spaces waiting to be filled. Images of women sitting on elegant sofas or portrayed during intimate family moments, young people lounging on beds in their luxurious rooms, elders immortalized amongst their mementoes, proud faces of parents admiring their children. These are portraits of a people wanting to show that they have finally succeeded in finding and forging a place and a dignified future within our society, without losing the gypsy values, handed down orally, that come from the hearts of their ancestors. 

ROMA INTERIORS for Postcart, 1st prize portraits stories World Press Photo 2009

July 22, 2014

Danila Tkachenko

Escape

 I was traveling in search for people who have decided to escape from social life and lived all alone in the wild nature, far away from any villages, towns or other people. The major part of my trips were done in Russia.

      I grew up in the heart of the big city, but I’ve always been drawn to wildlife - for me it’s a place where I can hide and feel the real me, my true self, out of social context.

      I am concerned about the issue of internal freedom in the modern society: how feasible it is, when you’re surrounded by a social framework all the time? School, work, family - once in this cycle, you are a prisoner of your own position, and have to do what you’re supposed to. You should be pragmatic and strong, or become an outcast or a lunatic. How to remain yourself in the midst of this? (artist statement)

July 22, 2014

Lorenzo Vitturi

A Dalston Anatomy

Lorenzo Vitturi’s vibrant still lifes capture the threatened spirit of Dalston’s Ridley Road Market.

Vitturi – who lives locally – feels compelled to capture its distinctive nature before it is gentrified beyond recognition. Vitturi arranges found objects and photographs them against backdrops of discarded market materials, in dynamic compositions. These are combined with street scenes and portraits of local characters to create a unique portrait of a soon to be extinct way of life.

His installation at the Gallery draws on the temporary structures of the market using raw materials, sculptural forms and photographs to explore ideas about creation, consumption and preservation.

Website

July 22, 2014

Cuba Then

Cuba Then (Monacelli Press) features some 260 images from the Ramiro A. Fernández Collection of more than 4000 photographs of Cuba dating back to the late 1800s. It is a sequel to I Was Cuba(Chronicle Books), which in 2007 offered a first selection of similar images from Fernández’s in-depth and often intriguing holdings. A New York-based former photo editor for various Time, Inc. magazines (Entertainment WeeklyPeoplePeople en Español) and current contributing photo editor of Americas Quarterly, Fernández emigrated from his native Cuba to Florida with his mother, sister and 22 pieces of luggage when he was eight years old. That was in 1960, shortly after the triumph of Fidel Castro’s dictatorship-crushing political revolution.

1. Annemarie Heinrich, The Lecuona Cuban Boys on tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1940-1941), silver print, 8 x 10 inches. This was a popular Cuban orchestra, which toured the world extensively during the 1930s and 1940s. It was founded and promoted by the Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona (all photographs courtesy The Monacelli Press unless stated otherwise)

2. Photographer unknown, an unidentified Cuban youth takes part in a voluntary security detail outside the Habana Hilton as curious onlookers edge in for a glimpse of Fidel Castro, who had moved into the hotel for a while (January 1959), silver print, 5 x 7 inches.

3. Photographer unknown – World Wide Photos, unidentified performer in a Cuban-operated circus carrying an anaconda (non-indigenous) snake in Camagüey, Cuba (circa 1942), silver print, 8 x 10 inches.

4. Photographer unknown, the actor Alec Guinness in the Old Havana section of the Cuban capital, seen here in a publicity still from the movie, “Our Man in Havana.” The movie was an of the British author Graham Greene’s 1958 novel. This Columbia Pictures motion picture was the last Hollywood-scale production carried out in Havana before relations between the United States and Cuba were severed (1959), silver print, 8 x 10 inches (courtesy of Columbia Pictures)

5. Photographer unknown, Passengers on a municipal bus (known as a “guagua” in Cuban Spanish), Havana (1954), silver print, 8 x 10 inches

6. Panama Pacific Line, Morro Castle, situated at the entrance to Havana Harbor, viewed from the port side under misty conditions (circa 1925), silver print, 8 x 10 inches

7. Photographer unknown, a rain-soaked crowd during a storm on Havana’s gulf-side avenue and promenade, the Malecón, with a view toward the east (circa 1935), silver print, 8 x 10 inches

Cuba Then (2014) is published by The Monacelli Press.