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Entries in photography (67)

Saturday
Feb252017

the exercise of wealth

The Critic, photograph by Weegee, 1943. Weegee (Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1943, above: Mrs George Washington Kavanaugh and Elizabeth Lehr Decies arriving at the last Vanderbilt Ball at 640 Fifth Avenue in New York just before it was demolished.  1,800 guests attended, in full fig clearly.  A set up: Weegee, the photographer, positioned the dishevelled person on the sidewalk where guests were arriving.  Not a particularly subtle piece of social criticism.

George Washington Kavanaugh was the son of Luke Kavanaugh, a knitting machine manufacturer and the inventor of a knitting burr. Mrs CGW was sent into posterity by Weegee; he snapped her several times on this particular night.  This was a mink-coated bejewelled waistless woman in her 70s with a limitless American textile and manufacturing fortune.  Her expression never changes, no matter who the photographer: face forward, sweet smile, full makeup, hair, tiara, she's like an American Queen Mum.

Do I care about any of this?  Am I in thrall to wealth?  Hardly, but I am interested in the ability of some photographers to be subversive, others to be sycophants: each is creating a narrative no matter how documentary they feel they are being.

Robert Doisneau wasn't taking a cheap shot when he photographed the matrons of Palm Springs below; he didn't set them up, at least any more than they were doing themselves.  Slim Aarons genuinely felt he was part of the rich and famous, and serious about it.  He wouldn't have seen any reason to set them up.  These positions are difficult for us to take seriously in this overly ironized post-irony age— Doisneau's humanism, Aarons's affection, even Weegee's blunt social commentary.  And then there is Marina Garnier's curious social eye below, photographing wealthy women in New York at le Cirque for lunch: specimens to be pinned down like beautiful beetles. 

Marina Garnier, photographer. Eva Gabor and Ivana Trump leaving le Cirque, 1990Had I not been taken by the moonlit image of a small house in Palm Springs with a t-Bird in front of it, I would not have arrived here.  But it has led me to think about how one can try to understand worlds we are not part of and how to use art to comment, resist and oppose: not to bludgeon, but to put into context.  The rich are not like us; they are always with us.

Monday
Feb202017

Hal Leavitt: Morse Residence, Palm Springs 1961

Tom Blachford, photographer. Morse House, Palm Springs, from Midnight Modern: Palm Springs Under the Full Moon. Brooklyn: Powerhouse Books, 2016

What I like about this particular Hal Levitt house (Theodore & Claire Morse Residence) is how horizontal it is, as is the 1957 Thunderbird: one could cast a level on the body and have it precisely parallel to the road.  This was the kind of house that even on Vancouver Island in the 1960s, signified Architecture, rather than the cottagey English-y steep-roofed 1930s houses we were all living in. For most at the time, this kind of modernism, prosetylised by Sunset Magazine could only be exercised in the yard: breeze block walls proliferated, front doors and garage doors, previously windowed, became blank.  Picket fences disappeared, as did gardens, rockeries and perennials, replaced by green landscapes and lawn that stretched flat to the street.

Blachford's photographs were taken by moonlight, giving them a curious source of light that picks up pale colours and sinks darks such as asphalt into deep shade.  It is not clear in the publisher's blurb whether or not the cars are stage design or the owner's allegiance to the era.  Le Corbusier put a contemporary car, all wood, canvas and spoke wheels in front of the 1927 Weissenhof-Siedlung Houses 14 and 15 to show how architecture should be as streamlined and as instrumental as automobile technology. It was a long time, as Will Wiles points out, before there was any sort of stylistic alignment between houses and cars.  It might have come close in the 1960s.  

All of this cool flat minimalism promised great freedom from convention, busybody neighbours, maintenance: wealth could buy this level of abstraction. Under the theory of the 60-year nadir – that things in their sixth decade of existence are unloved, scorned and often demolished, both this house and this car qualify.  Again, only wealth could buy such preservation.  For the less wealthy most things 60 years old come under the heading of mid-century modernism which is eminently collectible as here (unloved, etc. and not in LA or Palm Springs) it is quite cheap.  

The Morse house (not at all cheap) has a Class 1 Historic Site designation and is described thus:
One of the most interesting modernist homes in the prestigious Vista Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs, the Theodore & Claire Morse Residence (1960) started life as an Alexander tract home designed by the firm of Palmer & Krisel. In 1961, the Morses commissioned renowned Los Angeles architect Harold "Hal" Levitt to glamorize and expand the home turning it into a Hollywood-style "entertainment residence." The Morse Residence is considered by many to have the best pool and bar entertainment combo in Palm Springs.

Well, there we go.

Tuesday
Nov152016

Leonard Cohen: The Partisan, 1969

Oh the wind, the wind is blowing. Through the graves the wind is blowing.  Freedom soon will come.  And then we'll come from the shadows.

Friday
Apr152016

Malick Sidibé: Mali, 1936-2016 

Malick Sidibé, Bamako, 2001

Have thought often of Sidibé since the start of the conflict in Northern Mali in 2012, Touareg liberation movements meeting Al Qaida in the Maghreb and inching south towards Bamako. I wrote about Sidibé in 2010, here, on the occasion of his 'discovery' by Europe and an exhibition and documentary film about his work. 

Modernity, liberation movements, post-coloniality, secularism and photography: all collided in Sidibé's seemingly open and joyful Bamako.  I wonder now if the joy had anything to do with such social movements, and if it is still there just in different, more constrictive clothing and religious edicts. This is just one of the many things we do not know about Africa.

Saturday
Dec202014

panoplies of war

Robert Longo. Untitled (Ferguson) Diptych, 2014. Photograph: Petzel GallerAfter writing about Robert Longo's drawing of Ferguson, in the previous post, I kept thinking of another battle painting featured on Amanda Vickery's The Story of Woman and Art, Lady Butler's 1874 Calling the Roll.

Elizabeth Thompson, Lady Butler. Calling the Roll After An Engagement, Crimea, 1874. The Royal Collection, London.And this led me to John Singer Sargent's Gassed, of 1918:

John Singer Sargent. Gassed, 1918. The Imperial War Museum, London

From the Civil Rights Movement:

Martin Spider, Troopers charging marchers at the Pettus Bridge, Civil Rights Voting March in Selma, Alabama, March 7, 1965. Reproduced after: Steven Kasher, The Civil Rights Movement: A Photographic History, New York 1996, 179And lastly, because by this time it seems so obvious, the frieze on the entablature of the Parthenon:

Entablature Frieze on the Parthenon, the Acropolis, Athens, Greece. 447-432 BCThere is something about the linear array of warriors that perhaps has its roots in the rendering of the endless wars – war as a permanent state of existence – between gods, states and cities of the eastern Mediterranean.  Sargent's Gassed is an oil painting, but acts visually as a bas-relief: little depth of field here, and what is in the background is a smaller repetition of the foreground. 

Lady Butler is known for a new sensitivity to the reality of war; conventional paintings of British heroism portrayed the heart of battles, all glory and snorting horses, rather than the ongoing grind of war.  The Roll Call showed British soldiers in a state of extreme and weary collapse, after the battle, not in the battle.  The Grenadier Guards are not shown in their full complement, but are crowded into a dark cluster of wounded spirit.  This was the ordinary, unheroic side of war, a depiction unusual for its time.  Now, I cannot find anywhere that says that Lady Butler actually saw a battle. Sargent was there, Longo wasn't, Martin Spider clearly held the camera.  The painting is not necessarily a witness, rather it supplies a narrative needed, politically, by certain groups at the time.  The nineteenth century British Army needed reform, mid-twentieth century America needed suffrage, The Great War needed an ending, early twentieth-century USA needs to re-examine the licence and the impunity given to its institutions of law and order. 

The Parthenon frieze aside as it is included here for its formal structure, in all of these artworks we see the backs of men, the artist is a viewer from a distance, not gassed, not beaten, not weary. The men do not pose for the artist, or as is the unspoken intention, they do not pose for us, thus they do not accuse.  That is left for the artist to do. 

There is a horizontal datum line through the heads in these pieces, above is an empty air, below all is struggling uncertainty. There is no perspective, and perhaps no perspective can possibly justify these scenes.  We are not asked to engage, the precision of the row exludes us, we are forced to simply gaze at the panoply, and this shocks us.  And it shocks us into muteness because the subjects can't or won't hear us. 

Wednesday
Aug202014

Eddie's Cafe

© Ed Freeman, 2014

Found a series of these Ed Freeman photographs of abandoned highway buildings in California.  Not quite real, the original background has been removed and replaced with a series of moody skies and deserts.  Clearly Eddie's Cafe is in a city, at 1208 Something Street, not in the middle of nowhere.  

In the past, I would spend the third week in August driving from the cool nights of the eastern slopes of the Rockies at 52° N to the obliterating heat of central Texas which never seemed to cool down at night from its late summer  daytime 100°F.  On the way I would pass dozens of places like Eddie's Cafe, truly in a desert with nothing before it or after it, no photoshop needed.  

Perhaps one of the reasons such cafes, gas stations and motels stand boarded up is one of distance and vehicles – my first trip to go teaching in the States was in my elderly 1957 Austin, top speed 50mph.  Compared to real cars and trucks whose tanks of gas would take them 500 miles, I didn't want to ever be more than 15 miles away from help.  It is something like the old placing of grain elevators every 6 miles along the railway tracks: a function of time and distance for horse drawn wagons delivering grain.  

But these long driving trips were beautiful — an America off the freeway, out of the cities, quiet, deserted. 

Wednesday
Jun042014

Indian Candy 2

Dana Claxton. Contact billboard, 9th Avenue SE, Calgary. right: Tantanka (buffalo) 2013. Indian Candy in the process of disappearing. Real billboard images are clear, art is ambiguous; advertising is immediate, art prints itself on the mind and sits there the rest of the day as one tries to make sense of it.

Artefacts exist, but it is not necessary to 'see' them.  Claxton is interested in the image, not the artefact, and how the image has a life much more insidious and invasive that the material thing.  It makes one rethink the value of archives (all the originals) and their digitisation, free to use in a way the originals will never be.

Claxton's images in Indian Candy belong to an era before even my time, more like the 1920s-40s, the era of the Hollywood western.  We used to see them at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday mornings when I was a kid, and on Fun-o-Rama, a kid's late afternoon TV program from Seattle in the 1950s: endless reruns of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, the Three Stooges, lots of David Niven as a swashbuckler.  But even then the white hat/black hat/Indian chief thing was remote, disconnected to all the kids from the Esquimalt Reserve that went to our elementary school.  It never occurred to me that Donny Albany was an 'Indian'; it was something I learned much later, that he was the son of the Esquimalt band Chief. (old terminology, I know, but it was the 50s, sorry)

The power of Claxton's images is that they pinpoint an era and a process whereby the stereotypes were formed and then embedded in the American psyche via popular culture: the midway, movies, toys, games, TV.  During the long era of residential schools in both the US and Canada which were gutting the structures of North America's indigenous peoples, they were portrayed as dangerous, fearsome and inscrutable – a portrayal that was, and still is used on any group resisting assimilation.

Dana Claxton. Contact billboard, 9th Avenue SE, Calgary. Sitting Bull's signature, 2013Forgetting that this was our Contact billboard, I first thought it was something to do with the Stampede which starts its advertising about now.  However, violet is not a Stampede colour, nor is the dangerous allusion to difficult histories.  Clearly, if this is Sitting Bull's signature, he was taught to write in commercial script.  Is it shaky because someone else wrote it for the Wild West Show postcard and it seemed appropriate?  Another act of embedded 'weakness'? 

I don't think it is his signature.  You cannot trust documents. 

Tuesday
Jun032014

Dana Claxton: Indian Candy

Dana Claxton. Contact billboards, Dundas Street West, Toronto. left, Geronimo in Pink, 2013; right Tantanka (buffalo) 2013

Dana Claxton is one of the exhibitors at Scotiabank Contact this year, and three of her works are on billboards on Calgary's 9th Avenue SE: on my corner is Sitting Bull's signature taken from a postcard handed out by Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, where such troubling heroes had become exhibitions.

The billboards are owned by Pattison, and the exhibition of Contact works is part of Pattison's Art in Transit programme. May and June each year are a treat, as our same billboards always have Contact works, and then they go back to being commercials.  Would it be too much for Pattison to denote these billboards as permanent sites for photographs from the best of Canada's artists?  It gives so much to think about, these beautiful and provocative images.

Claxton's billboard images are drawn from her series Indian Candy, chromogenic prints on aluminum of the clichés of the 'wild west' indian: Tonto, Geronimo, Maria Tallchief in exotic headdress, a buffalo, writing on stone petroglyphs, Sitting Bull, a feathered war bonnet, a ledger drawing, all taken from the vast archive that is the net, pixellations and all, and then washed in bright candy-coloured chemical colours. The narrative line is the ambiguity between history and popular culture, the Wild West Show exemplifying the confusion: were the Indian Wars, the stock in trade of the western movie, history or entertainment?  After Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull crossed the border into Saskatchewan, living there for five years. Claxton's reserve is Wood Mountain First Nation and is descended from Sitting Bull's people.

It is interesting that actual location of all the original pieces she uses are in various archives – where doesn't matter as they can all be found on the web, somewhere, copied and re-assembled, manipulated, emphasised, re-arranged. The validity of the images is not in the contiguity of evidence, original piece next to original piece that traditionally makes a good archival collection. Their validity is that the images circulate in the public domain, and someone has pulled pieces together to say something. The order in which the fragments of evidence are shuffled tells particular histories: the way the US Department of the Interior arranged them both demonises and patronises Sitting Bull's resistance to colonisation; the way Claxton recontextualises the same pieces tells the aftermath.

 

Monday
Feb242014

Thomas Morrison: families on the isle of Lewis, 1900s

Island life: a Lewis family, photographed by Norman Morrison in the first decade of the 1900s. Photograph: Tormod an t-Seòladair

The kinds of faces that built Canada, Highlanders and Islanders from Scotland. These, from Lewis, were photographed when they didn't know what they looked like – there is no rearranging of their faces for the camera: this was them.  No one is allowed that grim set to the mouth anymore, even if you actually feel it.  

For such a hard life, living in that pile of stones and sods that is a black house, every woman has a bit of lace somewhere - a collar, a shawl, a bed cover — clearly something so clean and precious, in which to invest one's pride.  

The image above is linked to an article on how the photos were found, and the one below takes you to a slide show of them.

A family group taken between 1910 and 1920. Photograph: Tormod an t-Seòladair . This was the era of mass emigration from Scotland to the Canadian West, especially; my own great grandparents in 1910 for example. It was hard in Scotland, it was hard on the Canadian prairies.

Saturday
Feb222014

failure to update: 20 February 2014

What is the point of Google satellite maps if they only present clean copies taken in the summer? Is there no satellite path near Independence Square/ Maidan Nezalezhnosti/ Майдан Незалежності in Kiev these days? 

Here is the structure of the square: divided in two by a main road. 

and here is the reality of Thursday, 20 February 2014:

or marginally closer to the ground:

Tuesday
Feb182014

Nancy Holt: 1938-2014

Nancy Holt. Sun Tunnels, completed in 1976. Photographed by Mary Kavanagh (image is linked to her site). Four large concrete tubes are arranged in an open X. The 9' diam x 18' long sections of culvert are pierced by holes of varying size that correspond to the pattern of the constellations Draco, Perseus, Columba and Capricorn. The tunnels line up with the rising and setting sun on the summer and winter solstices.

Nancy Holt, who died last week, was one of the original land artists working in New Mexico, Utah and Arizona, along with Dennis Oppenheimer, Michael Heizer, James Turrell, Walter de Maria and Robert Smithson, all of whom had little time for the constricting space and rules of urban galleries and art museums.  They said they were making art for the land, the ultimate expression of 1960s freedom – at the beginnings of the environmental movement and working at the scale of infrastructure, the military and the mining industry.

Land Art had its roots in Minimalism and Conceptual Art, where 'art products' are often ephemeral, unrecognisable or self-destructing.  Looking back on it now it appears as a real struggle to return agency to the artist: Nancy Holt bought the 40 acres of Utah desert for Sun Tunnels, and hired, as she listed: '2 engineers, 1 astrophysicist, 1 astronomer, 1 surveyor and his assistant, 1 road grader, 2 dump truck operators, 1 carpenter, 3 ditch diggers, 1 concrete mixing truck operator, 1 concrete foreman, 10 concrete pipe company workers, 2 core-drillers, 4 truck drivers, 1 crane operator, 1 rigger, 2 cameramen, 2 soundmen, 1 helicopter pilot and 4 photography lab workers' to install it. Plus the culverts.  

The places that Land Artists worked were marginal – in those vast deserts of the American southwest, there were hardly any roads.  When in 1982 Reyner Banham wrote Scenes in America Deserta, a reprise of Charles Doughty's 1888 Travels in Arabia Deserta, Banham was well aware of the elision of desert and deserted.  And in the mid 1990s when I tried to plot a winter route from central Texas to Calgary through all the flat bits, I found one cannot cross Nevada from north to south.  This is a deserta militaria, for most of those deserts are used as test sites, training exercises, speed tests and places to go mad in.

Nancy Holt did not go mad; she married Robert Smithson and continued to work in land art, film and photography from France to Finland and across the United States.  There was an exhibit of her photographs last year at Vancouver's Contemporary Art Gallery, whence this lovely image comes.

Nancy Holt, Concrete Poem, 1968. composite inkjet print on archival rag paper taken from original 126 format black and white negatives, printed 2012

Monday
Jan202014

Paul Nash: Wittenham Clumps, 1943-4

Paul Nash. Wittenham Clumps, 1943-4. oil and pencil on canvas, 24 1/8 x 29 3/4 inches. Tate T04157

The Tate catalogue entry says this sketch is one of Nash's rare unfinished paintings that he saved, then goes on to point out what it wrong with it: the curved shape in the centre is too large for the sun or moon, too precise for a cloud, probably the beginning of a parachute; abandoned as unsatisfactory.  But he didn't paint over it, so it must have said something to him worth retaining.  

The trees on the top of the hill he had painted in 1914, revisiting it in the mid-thirties and again in the mid-forties.  The trees sit like a fort on the rise, or pillboxes, or gun emplacements: this was the middle of the war. Was it possible to view a landscape after two wars as anything but strategic terrain? Was this painting left unfinished as the curved shape had entered the painting as an unwelcome visitor?  Nash was a surrealist: the curved shape doesn't have to be anything other than some harbinger of dread.  Perhaps he couldn't go on with it.

It reminds me of Man Ray's Observatory Time, a painting done in the 1930s where Lee MIller's lips float in a mackerel sky, and used here in 1936 in a photocollage of nude and chessboard.  There were no rules, however lots of people still try to tell us what things 'represent'.  They represent nothing accessible, but they do tell us things.

Man Ray. Observatory Time: The Lovers, 1936Very curiously, Paul Nash has come my way twice recently.  One contributor to On Site review 31: cartography + photography, Robin Wilson, found us through a post I'd done on Nash (the surrealism of ordinary things) in 2010, and Will Craig is writing a piece on the contradictions of modernism and nationalism as found in Paul Nash's work.  The time must be right to look at Nash again. 

Friday
Dec202013

Saul Leiter's winter

Saul Leiter, Red Umbrella, 1957. Gelatin silver print; printed later 14 x 11 inches Signed in ink on print verso. Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.

We've always had the winter, but not the photographers.

 

Saul Leiter, Postmen, 1952. Gelatin silver print; printed later 14 x 11 inches Signed in ink on print verso. Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.

Tuesday
Dec032013

William Klein, irrepressible

This came out in 2012 as a BBC program.  It is long, perfect for watching, as I did, while a snowstorm rages, drifts, beats at the windows.  Like, alright already. Yes it is winter. 

Never quite realised how influential Klein was until this film. His images were everywhere at one time, in magazines mostly: they taught us all how to compose a photograph, and probably a lot more, just about life.

Tuesday
Nov262013

tough form

Bas Princen, photographer. Cooling Plant, Dubai, 2009

Aaron Rothman, in Landscape and Illusion, writes that in Bas Princen's images 'buildings take on the morphology, presence and muteness of mountains'.  This particular piece has all the presence of a giant meteor flung from space to the glassy ephemeral surfaces of Dubai. It is a building, but it is also an image, and the particular mise-en-scene with the indigo jumpsuited workers, the heaps of rubble, the dirt road — could be cut out of the Khyber Pass – places the cooling plant as a hinge between making something and looking at something, specifically the towers of the super-rich in the background.  The towers need this plant, the plant needed the workers; that bit will soon be erased.

Thursday
Apr112013

Ed Ruscha: Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1962

Ed Ruscha. Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1962

The 26 stations were on the highway from Los Angeles, where Ruscha lived, to Oklahoma City where his mother lived.  In an interview for Artforum, Feb 1965, he said "I have eliminated all text from my books – I want absolutely neutral material. My pictures are not that interesting, nor the subject matter. They are simply a collection of 'facts'…"   By 1982 he positioned the gas stations metaphorically, akin to the Stations of the Cross, but he was older then.  

Ruscha took 60 stations, edited them down to the 26 most un-eloquent photographs, and published them without any text.  Dave Hickey has written about the kind of numbness that happens when one drives, repetitively, long distances; he mentions John Baldessari's 1963 documentation of the back of every pickup truck he passed between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.  In 1985 I took a photograph out of the side window every 50 miles between Duncan, BC and Halifax, NS, a trip I had done several times.  Fifty was a round number, there were 72 slides, 2 rolls of film exactly – the curious thing was that the 50-mile slices missed every city, so it was a long trail of rocks, trees, horizons, mountains, trees, highway guard rails, trees and one very small town in New Brunswick.  The only narrative was the process, something that was very exciting.  All the deconstruction of motive and meaning came later.

Ruscha photographed the trail of gas stations for all sorts of painterly reasons: serials, ready-mades, a rejection of aesthetics, photography as surface linked to the surface conditions of pop art, the iconography of the everyday.  Plus, there was Kerouac and Cassidy's spooling out of On The Road, and there were cars, cars, cars.  John Chamberlain's crushed car sculpture, Billy Al Bengston's car-enamelled panels: the car was a material with which one could make art.  

Monday
Jan282013

dogs

Life would be unsupportable without them.

These Were Our Dogs, photographs from the Libby Hall Collection, Bishopsgate Institute.

set this to full frame:

 

Wednesday
Nov072012

Isabelle Hayeur: in the middle of nowhere

L'île, 1998, Paysages incertains / Uncertain Landscapes, 107 cm X 244 cm / 42" X 96"

Isabelle Hayeur:  Au milieu de nulle part

As part of Paris Photo at the Canadian Cultural Centre
5, rue de Constantine 75007 Paris
November 14, 2012 to March 22, 2013
Opening reception on November 13, 6h30 pm

From Isabelle Hayeur's press release:

"in the middle of nowhere", which, come to think of it, raises the idea of a strange encounter between geometry and geography. A paradoxical expression that has a wide range of connotations (from irony to poetry, from disenchantment to contemplation), it is used to refer to an object or a place from a relatively unplaceable space. Here, photography demonstrates its power to represent space-time continuums outside our everyday world, outside its flux, noise and inattention. The subjects seem to be uprooted, deprived of rooting in nature, of links to the earthly continuum. For Pascal Grandmaison, Isabelle Hayeur and Thomas Kneubühler, the framing is a crucial process that proposes another way of dividing up reality to take us elsewhere. Not towards some form of exoticism but, on the contrary and more colloquially, to the middle of nowhere.

« Au milieu de nulle part » est une expression qui pointe une chose ou un emplacement isolé, qui sort de l'ordinaire ou qui fait saillie de manière inopinée à partir de l'immensité plane. Littéralement une situation insituable – une absurdité, un paradoxe, une tromperie, un leurre, un éclat – qui représente un objet fabuleux pour la photographie. Les photographes Pascal Grandmaison, Isabelle Hayeur et Thomas Kneubühler, réunis ici pour la première fois, ont en commun cet intérêt manifeste pour ce qui n'est pas censé être au centre de l'attention. Par le cadrage photographique ils proposent un autre découpage du réel pour nous emmener ailleurs. Non pas vers quelque forme d'exotisme mais, bien au contraire et plus familièrement, « Au milieu de nulle part ».

Friday
Aug312012

seeing without eyes

The TopFoto caption: EU001059.jpg Chariots of Fire legend, Harold Abrahams, sprints blindfolded against a totally blind man at St Dunstan's. Abrahams lost the race, 20 June 1920. c. TopFoto

This is the banner photo that TopFoto is using during the Paralympics.  Clearly Harold Abrahams has lost himself spatially.  Without his eyes, he can't focus his mind and body in a straight line, despite the interesting guide flag thing.  
This is what was so interesting about the Paralympics – it is so much about the mind, and the intellect, driving everything forward.  Even the body, perfect and imperfect.

Monday
Jul232012

Mohatella Queens and South Africa in 1974

Umculo Kawupheli.  from the description on youtube, 'Original song with self-made video, featuring clips of the Queens back in the 1970s with their backing, Makhona Tsohle Band.'  

1974: just two years to the Soweto Uprising, 14 years since Sharpeville, 10 years since the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela.

Steve Bloom's photographs of this era were in this years London Festival of Photography in June. A BBC news documentary was made of Bloom describing some of the work:

Steve Bloom. Beneath the surface. Guardian Gallery, London, June 2012. All images copyright Steve Bloom/stevebloomphoto.com. Music by KPM Music. Slideshow production by Paul Kerley. Publication date 31 May 2012