I had to find peculiar fragments of reality, which after having been recorded and printed will have the particularity to disappear before my eyes.
Naturally, landscape studies became my place of predilection for my research. During the last two years, I rode my motorcycle with a 4×5 Ebony Camera through the landscapes of France, Belgium and England.
The sites found became sanctuaries of sorts to which I can go back and explore their evolutions according to the time and seasons, until their possible disappearances.
Using techniques that are as discreet as possible, the elegance of the landscape’s harmonious inner natural composition and the application of the contrapuntal principle, I want to create potential moments where a photograph will visually destabilize me, triggering specific cultural memories.
During these moments, my spirit has no choice but to spontaneously build webs of visual, emotional and musical sensations freely above the original documentary print.
— Pascal Demeester, New York City
What most attracts me to photography is the ability to no longer experience an environment but rather simply observe it. I find that when I bring the camera to my eye I am completely removed from my surroundings. Once looking through the viewfinder I go back to exploring the same themes that I have always loved. I am particularly fascinated with the interaction between the constructed and the natural world and how that affects the way people move within it.
— Jeremy Kohm, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
An architectural and anthropological research along the banks of the river Po. Attentive to the landscape, but focused on housing. Stilts, boats, barges beached like whales. Hanging houses in a world a part. Details on the border with the city, because it is discovered that you want to talk to them, the mansion built by the mighty river. The hanging houses. Between everything that moves constantly and the will of man to put down roots. Among the tales of a never-ending story and metaphorical signs of a past not yet forgotten. Inside the landscape created by the force of the Po.
— Ettore Moni, Parma, Italy
I see gas stations as contemporary monuments. I imagine that very soon in the future there will be no more gas stations, because of the end of fossil fuels, so they will not have any function in the future. They will become past architectures and witnesses to our society.
I deal with photographic research in the context of landscape, urban and otherwise. The silences, the empty spaces, are the subjects I prefer. The human presence is not physical, but it exists. My photographic research is inspired by human traces, signs, overbuilding uncontrolled where the uncontaminated is replaced by urbanization. My research is almost exclusively about urban areas, a subjective/objective vision that leads me very close to the documentary photography.
— Giovanni Albore, Bari, Italy
My light-painted night work captures the abandoned and discarded underbelly of the American West. I sneak through fences during the full moon to capture the inevitable march of nature, scrappers and developers, who conspire to erase the fading memories of all these things we once held so dear. I convert these dark, dirty, places no one wants into surreal, glittering wonderlands, colorful, ghostly echoes of what once was.
I started lighting because, right from the beginning, I saw these places as theatrical. As dark movie sets. The thing that makes a stage set compelling is lighting. So I use key lighting and shadow areas to control the composition and lead the viewer’s eye. It’s basic cinematic story-telling. As a life-long, career artist (graphics, painting, illustration, etc.) I understand and take advantage of color theory and the cultural meanings of colors. The feelings they evoke. Generally, I like to use colors that contrast/balance with the ambient tonal range of the scene or enhance the natural colors of the subject.
— Troy Paiva, Redwood City, California, USA
Folkestone was one of the most important seaside resorts of England and for many years the centre of all British commerce with Europe, due to the fact that it had the only port where trains could directly reach ships.
When the Eurotunnel was inaugurated in 1994, there was a direct challenge to the ferries and this was a disadvantage for the city. Tourists started traveling by the tunnel, affecting the local economy. The terminal was forced to close in 2001 due to the lack of transit. This was the starting point of the crisis in Folkestone: high unemployment and people departing to other places in England.
When you go to Folkestone you find a place of lost remembrances, closed stores, empty bars and deserted streets. Walking by the misty coast you can see France and old people who have chosen this place to retire.
— Federico Estol, Montevideo, Uruguay
Palermo is a den of missed opportunities and failures.
Palermo is an amazing city. Potentially.
It overwhelms you, you are powerless. It bewitches you and drags you down. You know it’s a bitch, but that is not enough to make you leave.
The more I try to go away from it and settle somewhere else, through fate or a cosmic joke, the more my camera and I find ourselves back there, walking through its streets, its perfumes, its blinding light and thick shadows.
When I leave Palermo, I don’t feel guilt, but anger, therefore love. So, I come back and photograph for the time that I can stay in apnea: I test my lungs and walk through Palermo holding my breath, only smelling and observing, chewing kilometers with an urge to scream louder and louder.
Palermo Imploded is a photographic project divided into ten chapters, a collection of stories about Palermo. A series of “x-rays” which try to show the divide between what we are used to seeing and what we would prefer not to see.
The unifying theme in the project is Palermo’s contradictions, as well as my own in relation to the city.
My conflict is between hope and deep skepticism.
They are different symptoms of the same disease.
— Michela Battaglia, New York City
hide began as a commentary on Wisconsin’s hunting tradition, using deer stands as a visual motif. When my sudden cancer diagnosis interrupted the project, hide took on a more personal meaning. I was inspired on drives through Wisconsin by deer stands, and began asking hunters about them. Some described building stands for the next generation, especially sons who would inherit the land. I was anticipating the birth of my own son and thinking about my legacy to him, so this idea resonated strongly with me. Others emphasized that the stands did not represent violence, but oneness with nature and time spent with their children. I wanted these photographs to capture that serenity. When I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011, my work on hide was put on hold. I was 32 with a 3-month-old baby at home. Having to face mortality so unexpectedly made me come back to the project with a new perspective on the ideas of permanence and impermanence, legacies and family, and accepting change.
— Jason Vaughn, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Many people take water for granted when they turn on the faucet and they drink water without thinking about its value. We need it. Each American, on average, consumes 100 gallons of water each day, whereas in other countries a person consumes as little as 1 gallon a day. When viewers examine my images in this series, I want them to consider from where our water comes, how many states rely on the Colorado River, and what will we do without water. Sustainability is an issue I care about personally, and I hope that viewers will be moved by the images to examine their personal relationship with water.
This current project has two main focuses: water production, the production of drinkable water, and water transportation, the delivery of water to the Coachella Valley via the All American Canal and Great American Canal. I am trying to show a sense of place through this photo series of the Twin Oaks Water Treatment Plant. Twin Oaks Water Treatment Plant processes 100 million gallons of water a day. While the plant is controlled by computers, highly trained individuals work behind the scene. Processing the water, employees test for any viruses or bacteria while delivering safe, drinkable water to the San Diego community.
The second part of this project explores the All American Canal and the Coachella Canal delivering water to the Coachella Valley. I try to visually represent through my photographs how the water is transported throughout the valley. Efficient water transportation is vital to the California agriculture and the nation’s economical growth. I love photographing the infrastructure because the network looks like a series of obscure objects out in the desert, but it has a vital role in the water system and our society.
— Vince Baworouski, San Marcos, California, USA
Silver of the Sea
“Herring is one of this century’s principal shapers of Icelanders’ destinies. Without herring it is questionable whether the modern society that now exists in Iceland could ever have been developed.”
– Icelandic Historical Atlas
Icelanders of a certain age still talk fondly of the “Herring Years,” when a season’s fishing could buy a young couple their first house, jobs were bountiful and money flowed freely.
In the late 1950’s, the fish left.
— Mitch Karunaratne, London