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Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Blog is 10 years old today

It's the tenth anniversary of my blog today, so to commemorate the occasion, here are some of my favourite posts from the last ten years.

Most viewed post: Dogs playing poker. Which says it all really.

Best video/best goal/best day: Oh this is simply wonderful by Mishka Henner. It is his tribute to his father on the day Manchester City won the Premier League in the final minutes of the season. Sadly, Henner's father died earlier this year so it serves as a kind of memorial which makes it both sad and beautiful.

Best Post: This interview with Sohrab Hura was fascinating in its own right, but inadvertently led to an outporing of hatred connected to sexual harrassment of one low-rent nobody in particular. Nice.

Best Post where Photography cuts through lies and empty rhetoric: This one on the horrific pictures of the Hillsborough Disaster.

Best Post on Photographic Taste: I'm a terrible snob in photography. Snobbery is everywhere in photography. This post will help you navigate through the taste culture of photography and explain why people pretend to like stuff when obviously they don't. It doesn't explain when people don't understand their avowed preferences and how those connect to the overall hierarchies of taste. But that's a different matter.

Best Post on Tory Cumfaces: Why did this ever stop?

Best Post I could repeat every day: It's this one to do with the drek of photographic musak. That's a good title too. 

Best Blog Post Title: I don't know if it is the best title but it's to do with Trump and  it's certainly the truest. It also gives me the opportunity to show him burning in the fire down below. Small is not always beautiful.

Best Movie: Om Shanti Om.  It's obviously not the best movie I have seen in the last 10 years, but it was a gateway drug for my wife. After seeing this she went on a three year Hindi Cinema binge, of which I partook gladly.

Best Documentaries: Let's have the Act of Killing for going in directly for something incredibly difficult and dangerous while ticking off all the Modes of Documentary. It's still brilliant and chilling however many times I watch it. And OJ: Made in America for its use of photography and its functions.

Best Crime Post: This was where the daughter of the man who took the Myra Hindley mugshot told the story of the picture.

But Photography, Amanda Knox and the Seven Deadly Narratives of Women Criminals was also good.

      image by Timothy Archibald

Best Projects: Tony Fouhse's Live Through This and Timothy Archibald's Echolilia have always stuck with me in a very big way.

Best Exhibition: I have not had as much fun at any exhibition as I did at Banksy's Dismaland. For a few weeks it transformed Weston-Super-Mare, it gave hope to Weston-Super-Mare. The visitors were a huge mix of everyone and it was piss-your-pants funny thanks to an incredible crew of deadpan fairground helps. Just brilliant.

                             Stacy Kranitz

Best Interview: There could be so many more but I'm going to go for Stacy Kranitz for the reasons stated here.

Best Sequence is not Narrative Post: Well it's not is it. This is the post.

Best Reviews: Lewis Bush's Haiku Critic. I hope he starts it up again. Bush shows that 15 syllables can do the job. This is him on Wolfgang Tillmans' Tate Modern Show this year.

It all means something,

Then it also means nothing.

Pastel nihilism.

Best Post that Exemplifies the Stupidity of How we Read Images: This one on a couple of pictures from Beirut and 911. And this is how we all read images most of the time. I've seen it in myself and I've seen it directly with others.

Best Projects that address that stupidity: Zun Lee's Father Figure and Joshua Rashaad McFadden's Come to Selfhood address the representation of the black male by showing something just a little bit different to the barage of imbalanced images that bombard us from all sides. 

Best Fucked-Up Pictures: My Broken Camera Pictures of course. The link is to another list but it's a good one and there are some Broken Camera Pictures in there somewhere.

Best books: These books by Charlotte Delbo and Primo LeviIf you haven't read these books, you should.

Best Talk: For the reasons mentioned in this post, it has to be Lina Hashim in conversation with Amak Mahmoodian. There were only 18 people there on a cold and rainy wintry night, but sometimes number don't matter and sheer class and the real deal shows.

Best Polaroids: Juliana Beasley's Lapdancer Polaroids. These should have a wall to themself somewhere. Or a book at least please.

Best Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Photographic Protest: Jill Greenberg and her take on John ("I called my wife a cunt in front of reporters") McCain.

Best Stupid Collage: Four Icons in One Image. I'm half-convincing myself that this is a work of genius. But it's not. Even. Close. But then nor is most photography-collage. Or writing on prints. Which makes this good. It's a work of genius. That was easy.

    from L'Amoureuse by Anne de Gelas

Best photobooks: Ivars Gravlejs, Amak Mahmoodian, Anne de Gelas, Ignacio Navas and  Vincent Ferrane are the authors. You'll find the books here.

Best Photobook Festival: Gazebook. It's by the beach, it's in Sicily, it's in the Open Air. It's fabulous. The open air is a clue to why it's so good. That and the fact that you're not stuck in your chair listening to talking heads all the time. In fact you don't have to listen. So there's that. And there's the town. And the food. And the drink. And the beach. It's a pleasure.

   image by Lewis Bush

Best Campaign for a Photobook Festival: This one for the first Gazebook, Gazebook 2015. That was good.

Best Photobook Festival Song; The one that Mik Artistik sang at Photobook Bristol 2015. Brilliant. Oh, and the best dancers. They're in the picture.

Best Photography Event:  Three Days in Tharoul. So you end up in a small town in rural Belgium with the lovely Philippe Malcorps hosting. There is a wine cellar with fine wine and Belgian beer (Rochefort and Orval), there's Fabrice Wagner cooking dinner, there is a fire and Pierre Liebaert is playing medieval choral music, there is Philippe playing a hurdy gurdy, Paul Gaffney's taking photographs, I'm writing the text and then Pierre makes a book of it all. In three days. Simply wonderful.

Best Photography Festival Muse: Alex Bochetto above or is it Mathieu Asselin below or maybe Rocco Venezia even more below.

Best Fox: This one, shown at the top.

Best Thing to Happen to me in Photography: Alex, All Quiet and ICVL.

Best Photography Misapprehension: Photography is a kind of social work.

Best 3D dinosaur: Don't even think about not clicking on this if you haven't seen it.

Best Beach: Rhossili, thank you very much. That's where the fox is.

Best Photograph-judging app: This one.

Best Worst-of Best-of Photobook list: This one where family, friends and students condescend all over my favourite books.

Best Photobook List: This one by Blake Andrews remains pretty spot-on.

Best Best-List: The one for 2016 was pretty good. Any best-of list that has a worst shave must be hard to beat!

And thank you everybody who has contributed to this blog in some way, shape or form over the last 10 years, thank you to everybody who has read it, or commented or engaged with it in some way.

Here's to the next 10 years. Or next year at least. I'll be having a break for now, but when I come back I'll continue the same random mix as ever.

Remember. The moral of this blog is that I haven't got a clue what's going on. And nor has anybody else. And if they say they have, well they must be jolly clever. Or delusional. And that's a fact!

Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!

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