A collaboration with Klompching Gallery
Editor's Note: Flak Photo is proud to partner with Klompching Gallery to present photography stories from FRESH, a group exhibition featuring five new voices in contemporary image-making. The objective of Klompching's annual summer program is to showcase photography that is fresh in approach and vision. This year's exhibition was curated by photo collector Fred Bidwell and gallerist Darren Ching and is on view through August 18, 2012. For more information, visit Klompching.com
Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman: The hybrid process used in Natural History is a combination of cyanotype experimentation and our portraits of older women. Lindsay coated one of the digitally printed portraits with cyanotype solution, placed a frond from a bleeding heart plant on it and exposed it to the sun. The black and white portrait emerged through the Prussian blue “photogram” of the botanicals. What developed was a revelation — the moment when ideas synthesize and photography becomes a medium of magical alignment. The impressions created a layering of narratives that we search for in making our work. The process recalled Anna Atkins, the 19th-century botanist who first used cyanotype to produce her books on British ferns and algae. The unpredictable application of cyanotype solution on paper is the antithesis of the mechanical product of the digital print. In these transformed portraits, surface and interior blur; historical processes blend with contemporary techniques and remind us of the evanescence of light and life – the shadow we live in.
Ciurej & Lochman are based in Chicago, Ill. and Milwaukee, Wis. Learn more about them on their Flak Photo Profile »
Tabitha Soren: For the past two and a half years, my Running series has taken me from my home in California to twelve states, Mexico and Canada in search of willing subjects. The only casting requirement was that the people could run. In this series, I’m attempting to acknowledge the world unseen beyond the frame, while caging my subjects inside. When people are running, their bodies contort and we get to glimpse emotions that are normally hidden. The fight or flight response is something each of us can connect with. Yet, the cause and effect of what is happening in each Running picture remains a mystery. I’m inviting viewers to mine their own secrets to expand on each picture's narrative. I want them to participate. The role of accident, panic and resilience are consistent themes in my work and sometimes all three arise during one shoot. For example, for Running 000516, my next-door neighbor, an opera singer, came out of the water with her body covered in flesh-colored leeches. I had no idea leeches came in any other color than black so naturally, a surge of horror and guilt came over me for what I had just put her through. However, because the singer had grown up on a Bay Area commune, she said, “Oh yeah, this has happened before,” and casually plucked them off one by one with her towel.
Tabitha Soren is based in Berkeley, California. Learn more about her on her Flak Photo Profile »
Martin Bogren: From the beginning, I wanted to make a portrait of my childhood village, but along the way this project came to be more about memories, about growing up — and a more personal and subjective story began to take shape. I've always traveled and I frequently make photographs that tell personal stories in foreign places. It’s easy to fascinate one’s self with exotic locales and the Lowlands project was a way for me to photograph something closer, something part of myself. I began to make images of the people and places in my home village four years ago. In the beginning I worked mostly with pocket and rangefinder cameras, and the pictures I was making resembled classic documentary. A few years ago, I started working with a medium format (6x6) camera, which slowed down my process and put me closer to my subjects. I tend to be most productive in late summer in the seasonal shift just before the fall. There is a kind of "after summer” look to these images. It's something with the light, but also in my mood.
Martin Bogren is based in Malmo, Sweden. Learn more about him on his Flak Photo Profile »
Monika Merva: After completing a long-term, site-specific project I wanted to do something personal, that got back to my roots. At the time I was a stay-at-home mom, so it made sense to photograph my family, friends and the objects I hold dear. These pictures were made in Budapest and Brooklyn, two cities I call home. The imperfect, perfect peaches were plucked from my cousin’s tree, the wet hair on my daughter’s back I see every evening during her bath, the portrait of a woman with a comb in her hair is of my great aunt, who held my hand while I jumped in puddles as a toddler, and the complex expression of the woman sitting in the gold chair belongs to my friend’s mother. Andrew Wyeth once said, “I think one’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.” I read that quote more than fifteen years ago while studying for myMFA. As I was scanning my bookcase for inspiration I found my bound thesis, covered in dust, and opened it up to read a few pages. Not much has changed my motivations for making photographs. For me, the camera helps convey my love and appreciation; it’s a way to explore the world.
Monika Merva is based in Brooklyn New York. Learn more about her on her Flak Photo Profile »
Shawn Rocco: Curiosity. It leads to exploration, discovery, understanding and knowledge. That is my attraction to documentary photography; I'm curious about life in all its aspects. How we live our lives, interconnected on so many levels, to each other and the planet. I'm also fascinated at how reality is processed through the mechanizations of the camera. I often photograph for no other reason than to see the world interpreted through the lens. And sometimes, like in this instance, the reward is witnessing a spectrum of reality that would otherwise go unnoticed. I was in an office taking ambient light exposures when I rocked back in a chair and happened to look up. With no preconception, I raised the camera. Surprisingly, through the LCD screen, I noticed that the flickering wavelengths of the fluorescent lighting above me were more distinctive than my naked eye could see. Attracted to the beauty of not just the image, but the act of discovering something new in the ordinary and familiar, I took a photo. Was the pattern peculiar to only this fixture? Is it just in this room? What was going on? This intriguing phenomenon invited exploration. I was curious and my camera showed me something new.
Shawn Rocco is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Learn more about him on his Flak Photo Profile »
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Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman collaborate on photographic projects that address the confluence of history, myth and popular culture. Their collaborative practice developed from their work at the Institute of Design and in the alternative art world. Their photographs are in public and private collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Walker Art Center, Museum of Contemporary Photography and Milwaukee Art Museum and most recently included in Review Santa Fe 100 and exhibitions at Schneider Gallery (Chicago) and the Annenberg Space for Photography (Los Angeles). The upcoming issue of Diffusion Magazine will feature their work. Ciurej is a photographer/graphic designer living and working in Chicago. Lochman is a Milwaukee-based photographer and lecturer at the University of Wisconsin.
Tabitha Soren was born into a military family and grew up all over the world. Snapshots were one of the few ways she had to remember the details that made up her life in the last town or base — so she took them incessantly and spent many afternoons cataloguing them. She headed to New York for college where she received a BA in Journalism and Politics at New York University. After a career in television news shooting 30 frames a second, Soren decided she wanted to concentrate on one frame at a time and spent a year studying photography at Stanford University. Over the past ten years, her projects have been published in The New York Times Magazine, Canteen, Vanity Fair and New York, among others. Soren's work speaks to the twists of fate in life that can unhinge us. Her pictures address what havoc human beings can survive — and what they can't. Public collections include the Oakland Museum of Art, in California, the New Orleans Museum of Art as well as the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, both in Louisiana. Her Running series debuted at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Indianapolis this summer but is currently on display through June 1 in a solo show at the Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles.
Martin Bogren was born 1967 in Sweden and is now based in Malmo. His photographic practice has developed by a personal documentary tradition in the early 90’s – photographing bands and artists. His first book, The Cardigans - Been It, was published in 1996 after several years touring with the band. Bogren's work became widely known in the mid 2000s as the book Ocean was published – which later toured Scandinavia, France, Poland, Italy and USA. The book was shortlisted for Best Photobook prize in Arles in 2009 and received the honorable prize for the Best Photobook in Sweden the same year. In 2011 his Lowlands series was exhibited at Fotografiska in Stockholm and published by Max Strom. The same year he was awarded the Coup de Cour at the Recontres Arles review in France and the prestigious Scanpix Photography Award in Sweden. His work is represented in several public and private collections including Bibliothèque du Nationale de France, Oregon Fine Art Museum and Fotografiska in Stockholm. He is represented by Fotografiska in Stockholm and by Swedish Photography in Berlin.
Monika Merva (b. 1969) received her B.A in Philosophy from Northeastern University and her MFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design in 1998. Her project The City of Children was awarded second place under photojournalism in the PX3 2009 Competition. The monograph, The City of Children (Kehrer Verlag, 2010), was a finalist in this year’s The Pictures of the Year International Awards, and The City of Children was selected by Alexa Becker of Kehrer Verlag as one of the Discoveries of The Meeting Place. Her most recent work, Origins of an Emotion was selected for the Fresh Klompching Gallery’s Annual Summer Show. She has been exhibited in the U.S and internationally. Her photographs are in the collections of The George Eastman House, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Johnson and Johnson Corporate Art Collection, among others.
Shawn Rocco is a staff photojournalist with the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, and an adjunct professor in the Journalism School at UNC-Chapel Hill. Raised in Yonkers and then Goshen, New York, he graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a BA in environmental science and a minor in photography. He's received awards for his photography and multimedia from the National Press Photographers Association, Southern Short Course, Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, and the North Carolina Press Photographers Association. In 2011 he was named Photographer of the Year by the NCPPA. In 2012, work from his Cellular Obscura was exhibited in a solo show at the Ackland Museum Store Gallery, Chapel Hill, NC, and group shows at: Haverford College, Haverford, Pa., Kiernan Gallery, Lexington, Va., Project Basho's Onward Compé 2012, Philadelphia, Pa., and VAE's Contemporary South in Raleigh, NC. He lives in Raleigh with his wife Joanna and their dog Cooper.
Debra Klomp Ching is the owner and director of the Klompching Gallery in New York, founded in 2007 in partnership with Darren Ching. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Pavilion (UK), served as an Officer at the Arts Council of England and was a lecturer in photographic practice at the University of Coventry (UK) and history of photography at Derby University (UK). Her experience in the photography industry spans more than two decades—she has participated in several notable photography review festivals, panel presentations and conferences, curated exhibitions in Europe, Canada and the US, juried several photography awards and contributed to online and print publications on the subject of photography. She is an international adviser to the Executive Director of CENTER (Santa Fe) an adviser to the Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins) and a photo editor for At Length Magazine. Klomp Ching has a BA (Hons) in Photographic Studies, an MA in Critical History and Theory of Photography, a PG Diploma in New Media Management and has attended graduate studies in Curating.
Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2012.
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