Written review by
Independent curator and teacher
At this point, I felt that it would be useful to propose a sample of pictures as they constitute for me an interesting approach and condensed. Of course, I did so with my personal artistic requirements, since I am as the spirit of a work, insce I am as interested in the shape than in the meaning of images.
First of all, I found a quality : that is, the fact that it emerges from this work a kind of strength, an energy and should I say, the desire to express something. All of this in a very short instant. A rather crude capture which describes a part of reality, but refers as well to the state of mind of the photographer at a given time. A kind of urgency driving to make an image.
Black and white technique fits perfectly with this approach since it goes to the bulk ; the image doesn’t drift away in details. A strong contrats : light/darkness, and furthermore, some coarse-grain. By the way, you should take care to preserve this unity in the production of contrasts and of the quality of the grain.
The framing is dynamical, not to say aggressive and nervous. I have appreciated as well the fact that this framing is well built along the vertical and horizontal directions.
Another plus : this work takes place in the context of a very contemporary practice of B&W photography, under the influence of Anders Petersen’s work, of course, and of another Swedish photographer that Anders appreciated a lot : Christer Stromhölm.
But this picture shows equally some links with the very fashionable esthetics of Daido Moriyama, from Japan. A current exhibition in Paris Lab, shows the works of a group of Japanese photographers, the same generation as Daido Moriyama, and who published in the Provoke magazine during the sixties.
That gives me the opportunity to highlight an important issue related to the connection between shape and meaning. The Japanese of Provoke developed a photographic art that could be seen as very revolutionary, in a formal way. But this disturbing way, disrupting from a beheaved and leveled expression, had a goal. Something corresponding to a will of change in the Japanese society of the sixties.
Which drives me to underline that one never should forget what one wants to express. The intent should not consider solely the way you frame or compose things. It has to accompany a project of signification of the artistic gesture.
This is the reason why I selected the photographs that included a readable subject, literally or in which you could detect a symbolic, metaphoric shape.
Some remarks about this selection :
I selected #26, but after some hesitation. Plastically, it is rather nice, thanks to the point of view and the perspective, among other things, thanks to the production of textures, of its light. However, I don’t see any telltale.
I selected #40, but I don’t like so much those little white hyphens forming a question mark.
The # 23 gives a feeling of motion, I kept it, but it is somehow the only one to be treated this way. You will have to think about possible development in this direction.
#33 could be reworked a little to bring out the shoe.
This last point – the printing – is obviously paramount. I can only judge an image which is in a virtual status and not rendering the total of the artistic intent. What I consider is potentialities. But photography doesn’t have an end with shooting, it is completed when one found its ideal shape onto paper. On a print or in a boo : the finality of a project must be appreciated through its place in a certain context. It must be thought of as part of a series of or a sequence.
Generally speaking, I have discarded those images which seemed to fade in abstraction, or where the form was not exactly mastered when speaking of the shaping : framing and composition, or based upon only on a groundless visual effect.
The question of the text now : of course, an image must exist by itself. However you have in this case an existential data which looks important, not to say somehow determining. You can guess in this photographer a desire to accompany a life with the practice of photography. And not necessarily for therapeutic reasons.
It is clear that, for nowadays photographers, working in this existential vein, a trend to deliver images only, without any contextual indication. They let the viewer cope with the question of signification. Art, that is to bring a meaning into an experience of creation.
Last point : one of the most expressive images to me is # 24 : the frame shape merges well with the expression.
Gabriel Bauret, September 27, 2016