http://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/ William Yang documented two performances by the dance company of the late Pina Bausch (1940-2009) , capturing the elusive and enigmatic camera-shy choreographer's "Kontakthof" and "1980". (pictured, above and right) Yang's extensive experience in documentary and theatre photography enabled him to capture intimate and inspiring moments between Bausch and the performers as she directed two of her greatest works. Yang commented "In an interview she was asked how she chose her dancers, and her reply, as I remember was – if I could somehow love them. Her work had a huge impact on me. It was the first time I fully engaged with a dance work, albeit dance theatre, on a level of feeling, emotion and intellect.” Yang has also created an unsurpassed archive of photographs documenting Sydney social life with a strong emphasis on Sydney's artistic and gay community - as well as the Chinese presence in Australia. In the last two decades he has also made photography as a performance on stage his own, with his best known work "Sadness" (1992) being made into a film by Tony Ayres in 1999. The Sydney Opera House are exhibiting Yang's photographs in the Western Foyer during its astonishingly diverse Spring Dance 2011 Season. William Yang will give a talk on September 3 following Pina Bausch: A Celebration. http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/whatson/pina_a_celebration.aspx
Philip Quirk Sees The Big Picture
|"Oxford Street, Crossing William St, Paddington" by Philip Quirk|
Photographic Books Are Changing
http://www.jonnylewis.org/ continues his long committment to photographing some of the crucial social and environmental issues of our time. (Lewis was involved with the early years of Greenpeace http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/ in their campaign against whaling, for example) The new book is interesting for a number of reasons - it shows that Lewis has extended his documentary vision to exploring more fluid, spontaneous observations as well as producing his characteristic, confronting portraiture in which subjects address the lens very directly. This approach works well with the citizens of Kiribati, one of the first Pacific island communities to be affected negatively by global warming. In this book, with beautiful reproduction and production by Momento (details from two double page spreads, pictured) Lewis presents Kiribati's citizens unvarnished and unstereotyped - working, playing and leaving the viewer with a sense of the unique rhythm and nature of islander life. This book is also an example of the new publishing and printing techniques being currently pioneered by organisations such as Momento and Blurb http://au.blurb.com/ where the cost and practicality of publishing a book are managed by digital publishing - i.e., cutting your cloth by simply producing one, a hundred or a thousand books - whatever the budget allows. Lewis's book was one of several prize-winning books acknowledged during the recent Head On Festival. Details of the winners can be found at http://momentopro.com.au/photobookawards
The Sue Ford Archive is Online
http://www.sueford.com.au/ The Melbourne woman (pictured, right) was a force in Australian photography for several decades and her untimely death robbed our photographic community of a passionate artist who possessed a vivid, poetic vision. Ford's elapsed portraits, showing the changes in a subject's face after as little as a decade, form an important element within the history of Australian fine-art photography. For those wishing to explore her remarkable life's work, including her film-making and photo-media, this evolving website is most welcome.
The Occasional, Irresistable Photograph
Cindy Sherman Tops The Bill.
A 1981 Colour Copier Print by Cindy Sherman, "Untitled 96" (pictured, above) has established the highest price - $USD 3,890,500 - ever paid for a photograph at auction, eclipsing Andreas Gursky's "99 Cents II, 2001" which sold for $USD 3,346,456 at Sotheby's in London in 2007. Sherman's photograph was sold at Christies to prominent New York art dealer Phillipe Segalot. The picture's former owners had bought the Sherman print as one of an edition of ten in 1981, when the American artist's career was in its infancy. As an artist, Sherman plays an intriguing game with her audience - presenting herself as the central archetype in tableaux meant to illuminate and parody the transience of fame - the kind of notoriety so efficiently purveyed by American media, especially Hollywood. But look carefully at a Sherman image and the joke she is playing with the viewer can be seen, shimmering just beneath the surface. I confess to first being underwhelmed and singularly unimpressed by this artist's imagery until I saw a relatively unkown work of hers at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay. Instead of drawing from her more familiar faux Hollywood film stills imagery, Sherman presented herself as no less the mother of the Messiah, seen firmly balancing her infant in her arms - the chosen one. This photograph heavily referenced religious art but her meaning seemed clear: there was, in this essentially unremarkable looking woman, always the possibility of divinity - and in this image Sherman firmly pricked fame's bubble.