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Sofa Portraits now available for pre-order

  1.          Sofa Portraits is now available for pre-order from my website (orders will deliver in October/November)   The pric...

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Run OJ, Run: A great story with great storytellers

There's a feeling that to make a good documentary you need all sorts of tricks, that you need to mix the performative with the reflexive, that the story won't stand up on its own.

But then sometimes you get stories that are just great stories, and they're told by great storytellers, who actually allow the story to be told with as little interference as possible. It makes me wonder if great story-telling really changed that much ever. Sometimes we like to think that the more sophisticated the story, the more layers we lay upon it, the better it is.

But then you get documentaries like OJ: Made in America (which won an Oscar for best documentary).I started watching it yesterday and it's fantastic. It's also very simple.

First of all, it's the first time I've seen what the attraction of American football might be, and why Simpson was such a sports star (he was Pele and Maradona and Messi all wrapped in one  and then some. The old footage of him is quite something).

Secondly, it combines sports, politics, race, fame, education and the American dream in a package that is entertaining, intelligent and ultimately quite tragic. It's not just about sports in other words. It's about advertising, about business, about class, about the depth of skin colour and the superficiality of skin colour, about community, about individuality, about isolating yourself from your history, or maybe creating your own history.

Finally it's a documentary that comes with no voiceover, no reconstructions (not yet anyway - I haven't watched to the end). There are no tricks in OJ: Made in America. There's nothing new in there. It's a very traditional way of telling a story. But it's a great story and it's told brilliantly.

This is what the director, Ezra Edelman says about the film in an interview with the Guardian.

OJ: Made in America is constructed as a seamless oral history, told by friends, colleagues, relatives, lawyers, detectives, even jury members. The lack of narration adds to its authority and immediacy. Edelman says he had no agenda: “There was no point I was trying to prove, beyond searching for greater clarity and understanding. This was about the recollections of these people who lived through this history, and I very much did not want to manipulate that. Who am I, as this outside arbiter, to come in and say I’m going to write this story? No, I’m going to let you tell these stories.”

The thing is the people who are interviewed do tell the story and they tell it beautifully, with wit and humour, anger, regret, frustration and sometimes love. I said at the beginning that it's a simple story  but of course it's not. The awareness of history of how all the elements mentioned above coincide and interfere with each other, the finding of the people to interview, the vivacity with which they talk, the clips that are shown, the life that is brought to the subject is immensely difficult to do. It's easy-difficult, the most difficult kind of difficult there is.

Read the whole interview here. 

Watch OJ: Made in America on iplayer here (if you're in the UK at least).

Friday, 24 February 2017

Ciao Lorenzo!

My first ever venture into a foreign language review was of Lorenzo Tricoli's new book, (Other) Adventures of Pinnochio. Very sadly, Lorenzo died of a heart attack in the mountains last week. His funeral is today at 2pm.

I only met Lorenzo once, at Gazebook Sicily, but what a man he was, so full of life and energy and ideas. He was working on Pinnochio when I met him and had a dummy. We talked about books and photography and life and we swam in the sea. He had an eye for comfort, for finding the spot of shade, for understanding how to live life, for being on the move and finding all the beautiful places. And perhaps that's how he left this life, in a landscape, in the mountains that he loved!

Goodbye Lorenzo.

(Other) Adventures of Pinnochio: Il Mio Primero Recesione del Libro in Italiano:

Tutti le fotografie sono del Pinnochio (grazie Tipi. Li ho rubato)

Faccio come voglio con il mio Blog. E por quest'anno voglio imparare le lingue straniere per mi; Italiano, tedesco, francesce e spagnolo. Forse...?

Ma non ho il tempo per scrivere il mio blog e imparare le lingue straniere. Pero la soluzione è facile; io scrivo il blog in le lingue straniere. Io scrivo particolarmente le recensione di libri perche c'e molto difficile per scrivere in Inglese e ci vuole molti tempo.

Da ora in poi, le recensione sono un pocco corte, pero io impararo un pocco Italiano (o francese, o tedesco). Allora,una dia, io non sono il inglese stupido chi posso parlare inglese solamente. Forse, Inglaterra e la nazione del brexit, pero io voglio essere un po più europeo.Allora, il mio primero recensione in Italiano è (other) Adventures of  Pinnochio da Lorenzo Triccoli.

Il libro è la historia del Italia nel ventisimo secolo. Ci sono le fotografie che Tricoli ha trovuto sul Internet, Ci sono i capzioni e ci sono una granda storia sul retro del libro con un indice. è molto chiaro e ho imparato molto su la storia della Italia. Più importante sono le parole del Carlo Collodi, l'autore della historia del Pinnochio. Allora, il libro è satirico e politico.

Vediamo le historie del mafia, del disastre chemica Seveso, i scandali del Vatican e molti di piu.
Allora, ci è un libro historico e per mi è molti interessante. E con le parole di Tricoli, faccia una granda panorama della Italia oggi. E le parole sono interesante, non sono noioso. Leggo tutti le parole rapidamente!

La storia è chiaro e facile di capire, e le strate del fotografie e parole unianno insieme.

Per finire, questo libro di Lorenzo Tricoli è molto buono!

Puoi comprarlo qui

Scusa per il mio Italiano. è molti difficile! Che porco!

Le parole nove

Forse = perhaps

Da ora in poi = from now on

le recensione di libri = book reviews

 ci vuole molti tempo = it takes a lot of time

un po più europeo = a little more european

nel ventisimo secolo = in the twentieth century

sul retro del libro = at the back of the book

noioso = boring

Google Translate verzione in inglese

I do as I wish with my Blog. And por year I want to learn foreign languages ​​to me; Italian, German, and Spanish francesce. Maybe...?

But I do not have time to write my blog and learn foreign languages. But the solution is easy; I write the blog in foreign languages. I write particularly the review of books because there is very difficult to write in English, and it takes a lot of time.

From now on, the review are a short light steamed, but I impararo a Pocci Italian (or French, or German). Then, give a, I'm not the stupid English who I can speak English only. Perhaps, England and the nation of brexit, but I want to be a little more europeo.Allora, my primero review is Italian (other) Adventures of Pinnochio by Lorenzo Triccoli.

The book is the historia of Italy in ventisimo century. There are photographs that Tricoli has trovuto on the Internet, There are capzioni and there are a granda story on the back of the book with an index. It is very clear and I learned a lot about the history of Italy. More important are the words of Carlo Collodi, the author of the historia of Pinnochio. So, the book is satirical and political.

We see the histories of the Mafia, the disastre chemica Seveso, the scandals of the Vatican and many more.
Then, there is a book historico and for me many interesting. And in the words of Tricoli, granda face a panorama of Italy today. And the words are interesting, they are not boring. I read all the words quickly!

The story is clear and easy to understand, and strate unianno of photographs and words together.

Finally, this book by Lorenzo Tricoli is very good!

You can buy it here

Sorry for my Italian. it is a lot harder! What a pig!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

La Donna con molte stelle del cinema per il suo padre (The woman with many movie stars for his father)

tutte le fotografie del Natalya Reznik

Così oggi io faccio un recensione del libro 'Looking for my father' (è Cercando mio padre' in italiano!) del Natalya Reznik.

Questo libro è racconta la storia del padre del Reznik. Lui era un marinaio in l'URSS e lui ha contranto la madre del Reznik in Sochi. Ma questo padre era un padre cattivo. Non era bravo perchè non era a la casa del Reznik per giocare con la sua bella ragazza! Il padre  aveva una altra famiglia; una altra moglie e altre bambine! Io no credo questo. Che stronzo!

Pero la memoria è ancora presente e Reznik vuole ricordare la vita del il suo padre. Alora, lei ha fatto un album famiglia. La problem era ci non serano molti fotografie del suo padre. Ma, questo non era una problema por Reznik. In sua memoria, suo padre era un uomo bello, come le stella del cinema, come Belmondo (io non lui amico in Breathless. Un altro stronzo!) e Mastroanni. e Delon. Queste stelle del cinema erano molti famose in l'URSS.

Così Reznik ha fatto un nuovo album, pero invece di le fotografie del suo padre, Reznik ha usato le fotografie del Mastroanni e gli altri. Il libro è un confabulazione della nuova famiglia, la famiglia del sogno del Reznik. Il libro è un pocco come il lavoro del Trish Morrisey o Nikki S.Lee combinato con il lavoro del Jenny Rova.

Mi piace il libro perchè è come un storia nuova e è  come un puzzle; chè è la realita e chè è il sogno? Non so!

Compra il libro qui.

Prezzo 25 euro + spese di spedizione. Si prega di contattare natalya.reznik@gmail.com

E con Google Translate por i pigri Inglese

And with Google Translate por lazy English

So today I make a review of the book 'Looking for my father' (Trying is my father 'in Italian!) Of Natalya Reznik.

This book is the story of the father Reznik. He was a sailor in the Soviet Union and he contranto the mother of Reznik in Sochi. But this father was a bad father. He was not good because it was not in the house of Reznik por playing with his beautiful girl! The father had another family; one other wife and other children! I do not believe this. What an asshole!

But the memory is still present and Reznik commemorates the life of his father. Alora, she did a family album. The problem was we did not serano many photographs of his father. But, this was not a problem por Reznik. In his memory, his father was a handsome man, like the movie star, like Belmondo (I do not friend him) and Mastroanni. and Delon. These were many famous movie stars in the USSR.

So Reznik made a new album, but instead of photographs of his father, Reznik has used photographs of Mastroanni and others. The book is a confabulation of the new family, the family dream of Reznik. The book is a light steamed as the work of Trish Morrissey or Nikki S.Lee combined with the work of Jenny Rova.

I like the book because it's like a new story and it's like a puzzle; which is the realita is that it is the dream? I do not know!

Buy the book here.

Price 25 € + shipping. Please contact natalya.reznik@gmail.com

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

What the hell are all you honest, kind, and self-sacrificing idiots doing? Who needs you?

Sputnik Photos is my favourite Eastern European Photography/Design/Book Cooperative.

But their latest publication, Lost Territories Wordbook is not really photographic, even though it does have photographs in (it doesn't actually need them. The words do the job!). It's a book of 100 texts, an alphabetic guide through the past, present and future of Eastern Europe. Lost Territories is a kind of psychogeography into all those places that you visit when you indulge in your own nostalgia; the world of old toys, tv, of cars, and private spaces, of the way of thinking, of schooldays and family life.

Sometimes in photography when we look at countries or worlds beyond our own, we forget how much these things really matter and really shape a place. Instead we look at places in visual ways that we are grid-like and somehow non-human.

Lost Territories doesn't do that. It's a very human book and it tells you something about the personal, the emotional and the public ways of thinking that have formed much of Eastern Europe.

Here are two  of my favourite stories, both of which resonate and are remarkably familiar in a western sense.


My generation was beaten senseless, circa 1991, the way a whimpering dog turned over on its back is nailed with shitkickers. Right in the ribs. Repeatedly. As hard as possible. No mercy.

We were just kids. We believed what we were told. Trusted in Lenin, the Party, and Communism. In the fact that Russia had never attacked anyone. That the collective always came first. That all people were honest and kind. We were taught that money is the least important thing in life. That the most important thing wasn’t profit but altruism. That you needed to be honest not successful. Die yourself, we were spurred, and save your comrade.

Be like a little Lenin, they instructed us. Smart and responsible. Be like Tolstoy. Kind. Be like the Young Pioneer heroes of the Soviet Union. Fearless. Be like General Karbyshev. Unyielding. Be like Gorky’s Danko. Self-sacrificing. Year after year, they filled our heads with all this stuff. Our hearts, too. On TV, in school, at home.
And then they turned around and demanded, “If you’re so smart, where is all your money?” And we didn’t have an answer. We froze. We couldn’t believe it. After all, just a few years back, the same adults were convincing us of the very opposite.

And now it was, “What the hell are all you honest, kind, and self-sacrificing idiots doing? Who needs you? Who needs any of that? Look around. You’re going to be eaten alive. Pedal to the metal! Prove yourselves! Self-actualize! It’s you against the world!”

And so we learned from scratch.
We grew callous.
We stepped on toes. We wised up and made some dough. We became two-faced opportunists and toadies.

Fast forward to today and when I meet my peers, I see, in the far recesses of their eyeballs, buried deep inside beneath seven layers of jerk and cynic, someone just like me.

A missing kid. An ex-Pioneer.

Stanislav Patriev


By the 1930s, an influential school of genetic biologists had formed in the Soviet Union, headed by the renowned botanist and geneticist Nikolai Vavilov. The Communists initially supported developments in the sciences, a fact which underscored their conviction that Soviet science was superior to its Western counterpart, as well as their seeking of scientific support for the precedence of materialism over idealism.

Quite soon, however, the field of genetics exposed the fundamental untenability of the communistic vision, for in their efforts to create a New Type of Man unfettered to the past, the Communists ran up against the inconvenient fact that the laws of nature do not always choose to adhere to political dogma. Ideologues demanded biological rebirth and advancement through unfolding revolution, whereas geneticists stipulated the limitations of hereditary inheritance.

It wasn’t long before Party authorities, under the sway of a charlatan agrobiologist by the name of Trofim Lysenko, began to punish geneticists for the ideological incompatibility of their theories. Lysenko, a proponent of Lamarckian “soft inheritance,” which allowed for the passing of genetic characteristics acquired during an organism’s lifetime to its offspring, opportunistically played off the pipe dreams and skepticism of the revolutionaries (after all, who had ever seen a chromosome?) by spearheading Lysenkoism, a pseudoscientific campaign of vitriol directed against geneticists and their practice.

A wave of denunciations followed amid a full-scale suppression of genetics. The field was derided as “a prostitute of imperialism” and “a fancy idea of that priest Mendel”; and for a geneticist to be denounced as a proponent of the hereditary theories of August Weismann or Thomas Hunt Morgan was tantamount to being labeled a spy or enemy of the people. Beyond invective, university scientists were stripped of their professorships, laboratories were shuttered, and research material was confiscated and destroyed (not even the Drosophila fruit flies used in genetics research were spared). Thousands of geneticists were barred from conducting scientific inquiries, and hundreds were arrested and deported or else condemned to forced labor camps in which many died, including an imprisoned Nikolai Vavilov, who starved to death, in 1943.

It was only in the 1960s that the study of genetics was rehabilitated in the USSR, although the history of its suppression remained a taboo topic well into the 1980s.

Taras Prokhasko

Buy the book here - scroll down the info page for link to paypal. 

Stanislav Patriev (b. 1978 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia) is a journalist and political strategist who has, since 2005, participated in political campaigns in his native Russia in various capacities. He has little sympathy for political forces and processes in his country, by the way. An atheistic true believer, he lives in Krasnoyarsk.

Taras Prokhasko (b. 1968 in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine) is a novelist, essayist, journalist, and former student of biology. His many literary works include a novel, The UnSimple, which has been translated into English; З цього можна зробити кілька оповідань [You Can Make a Few Stories Out of This], a novella; and Хто зробить сніг [Who Will Make the Snow], a children’s picture book (with Maryana Prokhasko), which was named the BBC Ukrainian Children’s Book of the Year, in 2013. He lives in Ivano-Frankivsk.

Lost Territories Archive concept: Paweł Szypulski
Book concept: Rafał Milach, Ania Nałęcka-Milach

Andrej Balco, Jan Brykczyński, Andrei Liankevich, Michał Łuczak, Rafał Milach, Adam Pańczuk, Agnieszka Rayss

Monday, 20 February 2017

World Press Photo and the Taste of Photography

I buy newspapers every day. When I look at the pictures in a newspaper I want to be informed, moved, entertained, shocked and thrilled. I want to see pictures that sell newspapers which might sound crass but it's the case that pictures are emotional things, pretend as we might that they are not. On the whole, I don't want to see banal photographs (because they are banal. Which is a step away from boring), or photographs about in-between-places or data or algorthims. I don't want to see pages of conceptual landscape photography or typologies or trawls through the archive. They are not, as I sit on the 7.36 train to Bristol what I want from images. I want pictures that are direct, obvious, illustrative and part of a bigger wider world.

They are one of the things I want from photography. And it's not the same as what I want if I buy a photobook or go to an exhibition or visit a website. If I buy a photobook I don't want to see the same kind of pictures that I see in a newspaper. The same as when I go to an exhibition.

It's the same with books. I might be perfectly happy to read Primo Levi or Doestyevsky or whoever in the peace of my home when my brain is strong and muscular, but it's not what I want at the crack of dawn when my brain is weak and limp-neuroned. In the same way that I don't want to read English news on a Greek beach, I'd much rather have Patricia Highsmith or Raymond Chandler.

There are different kinds of writing for different situations and for different moods, locations and mental states. And there are different kinds of photography that fit for different occasions in other words. They serve different functions, different needs, different people...

Press photography is one of those kinds. But you can tick them off; fashion, advertising, documentary, wildlife, wedding, commercial, pornography, forensic, crime, medical, dental, passport, identification and on it goes.

There are many forms of writing, or film, or music. And we categorise these forms and we judge them. But sometimes we should be aware of our judging. We get a bit partisan about it and we can get snobby, especially when you enter the joyless discourse of sobriety that marks off much of the critical photography world. You have to talk with a certain tone. It's a tone you'd like to slap if it were a face.

It's like when people were only allowed to like one type of music to the exclusion of everything else. Photography can be a bit like that - you're only allowed to like whatever the photographic equivalent of Kraftwerk is. Maybe you can have some Steve Reich in there. Philip Glass would be too flamboyant. Whoop-de-doo!

I remember when I first got interested in photography. My taste followed a fairly familiar kind of trajectory.

It started with travel photography (because that's what I did), moved up to National Geographic, went on to World Press Photo, extended to Magnum and classic concerned photography, then that got me interested in Photobooks, then I learned something about Japanese photography, everything became a bit more autobiographical, a touch of the vernacular came in, so did the archive then things moved on to more multi-media visual representations with the trend being the move away from the actual image to everything that surrounded it. What's interesting is that as you move along this developmental trajectory, the numbers get smaller - how many people are actually interested in this kind of photography, how many people look at it, how many people buy it.

It's a trail followed by many people (but not everybody - what's your visual trail). People won't always admit it because they're is a hierarchy of taste in there and it roughly corresponds to the scale above. What's important in that scale is that there is a move away from photography, the purity (??) of the image, which can be regarded as the essential stupidity of the image - it's point and shoot.

As you go up the scale there's a distance from photography then and people sometimes imagine this distance is a mark of sophistication. It becomes less about the image and more about everything that surrounds the image. That's why so many people involved in photography really don't like photography. They don't even like looking for heaven's sake. I'm not sure I should pay any attention to somebody who doesn't like looking. It would be like buying a cookbook from somebody who doesn't like food. It doesn't make any sense.

Anyway, back to whatever it was I was talking about. So on these terms National Geographic is kind of low brow, Martin Parr is low middle-brow (and proud of it), Magnum is Middle Brow and Wolfgang Tilmans is high-brow but the low end of it (the hierarchies also tie in to economic, social and cultural hierarchies).

Photography is a taste culture then. And sometimes we are so narcissistic that we mistake our taste for some kind of absolute, or we mistake the dearth of people who share our taste for some kind of mark of sophistication. Or we mistake the evolution of our taste as symptomatic of a hierarchy, maybe because the idea of hierarchies are embedded in the evolutionary.  I think that is because the photography world we  talkative ones inhabit (academic, photobooks, documentary) is very small - we would rather be big fishes in small ponds then allow the vastness of the photographic universe to pollute the quasi-Brahminic rituals of our sphere of influence. And so we shut it out by creating artificial barriers.

Of course, we get work that crosses those barriers, that can make the leap from one taste-strata to another. We do have half an eye on the economic and social realities of the photographic world so work with elements of crime, or sex, or drugs, or youth culture can leap across boundaries; Weegee, Metinides, Brodie, spring to mind. And as mentioned above, we all like a bit of cash and glamour on the sly, so some genre-slipping is as much to do with the veneer of the work as with the content.

I think this is what happens with World Press Photo every year. It's a competition for press photos. These are pictures that fit into a particular genre and serve specific needs, including being beautiful, spectacular and impactful.

The winner this year, Burhan Ozbilici's picture of Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş murder of Andrey Karlov fits into all those categories. It's a difficult picture because, like many of the other World Press Photo Winners, it shows somebody who has died. Unlike most of these pictures, it also shows the killer. And he is a killer.

He's a killer who wants to be photographed. Let him be photographed. He wants to be written about. Let him be written about. Ultimately he will be judged for what he is; a murderer. For all the style and glamour and posing of the image, that is what will stick.

Because if we don't allow this death to be shown, then what death do we show. Disasters of war, memento mori, sharpshooters, lynchings, holocausts, murders, assassinations, executions, car crashes, falls, remains, corpses, cremations, post-mortems... pictures that witness, provide evidence, glorify, honour, memorialise, remember, warn, prosecute, celebrate... I'm not sure what can be shown and what can't be shown. And then if it can't be shown, it can't be written about or talked about or spoken of and we end up with a world that is fundamentally dishonest and in denial of what it is to be human.

Maybe also we overestimate the influence of photography, especially our kind of photography. Photography didn't end the Vietnam War, it didn't begin it. Photography didn't end any war. There are far more vivid and dramatic and heroifying images and clips of murders circulating online (Lina Hashim's work deals with this for instance) that do influence people and opinion, that do glorify murder and death - and they don't come from photojournalists or documentary photographers. And if you think about the images that have had a major effect on the lives of people, what kind of pictures are they? Who took the Marlboro Man pictures? How many deaths did they lead to? If they did lead to any? And who took all the countless anti-smoking photographs around the world. Which qualitatively have been determined to have led millions of people to stop smoking. And so, it could be argued, have saved thousands of lives.

In the UK, death is always hidden. We don't show the bodies and we don't show the killers - who is building those drones, who is pressing those buttons. This is a case where the killer is shown. Does it glamourise him, does it promote his cause? I don't think so. It's a great picture and fully deserves its award. It's photojournalism at its best.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

I Miti di Italia con Luca Santese e Pasquale Bove!

 tutti i fotografie del Pasquale Bove

Da ora in poi, io scrivo le recensioni di libro in Italiano. Inizio con Italy e Italy. Le fotografie sono di Pasquale Bove e il libro curato di Luca Santese.

Ci sono molti fotografie en il libro, quasi quattrocento. Le fotografie sono del Rimini en gli anni 1990s. è un libro sul italianata e i miti del' Italia; una paesa dove la musica, il sesso, le droghe sono la vita Italiano!

Questo libro è una storia nostalgico pero Santese capisci questa nostalgia. è una nostalgia che se sa (??).  è una Italia che sa i miti del'Italia e le cose cattivo del'Italia. Ci sono crimine e corruzione pero anche il libro mostra la credenza del molti Italiani che la viva era migliore nel passato. Ahh, Italia con  le vacazione marviolloso, con la musica, il sole e il glamour, uno mondo dove la familia e suprema e non sono immigranti o uno disastro bancario.

Pero questa credenza e uno mito! Questo e chiara in Italy and Italy.. Più le cose cambiano più rimangono le stesse! Si, sono molti contento di questo!

 Compra il libro qui. 

E in Inglese con Google Translate 

And in English with Google Translate

From now on, I write the reviews of the book in Italian. Beginning with Italy and Italy. The photographs are by Pasquale Bove and edited book of Luke Santese.

There are many photographs en the book, almost four hundred. The photographs are of Rimini en the years 1990s. is a book about italianata and the myths of the 'Italian; a paesa where music, sex, drugs are the Italian life!

This book is a nostalgic story pero Santese understand this nostalgia. is a nostalgia that if you know (??). It is an Italian who knows the myths del'Italia and bad things del'Italia. There are crime and corruption but also the book shows the belief of many Italians that the living was better in the past. Ahh, Italy with acomodation marviolloso, with the music, the sun and the glamor, one world where the familia and supreme and are not immigrants or a bank disaster.

But this belief, and a myth! This is clear in Italy and Italy .. The more things change the more they stay the same! Yes, many are happy about this!

 Buy the book here.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

British Photographic Culture: Made by Europeans?

pictures by Mimi Mollica

Here in the UK we are very quickly approaching a Brexit. We're in the process of leaving Europe has started and there really isn't that much opposition to it at a political level. The Labour Party, our main opposition party, is voting for it with the government (except for the 50 MPS who opposed their leader) - part of a tradition where the opposition votes with the government on policies they are supposed to be against. They voted for government benefit cuts a couple of years ago. This is in keeping with that dumbass decision.

The idea that because of the Brexit vote, the people have decided and we should all shut up and get on with life is laughable.

This decision determines where I can live, where I can get health care, where I can travel.

It determines where my non-British friends can live and raises the possibility of them being forced to leave a country they call home.

It determines where my daughter can live, or get an education - already her opportunities have been shut down completely. She won't be able to study in Europe on the much cheaper courses that have been opening up. The UK will be her only simple option.

On top of that, the decision has caused such a huge amount of heartache, anguish and stress to people who are at the knuckle end of Brexit, for whom it really matters, it is heartbreaking.

The idea that people should stop talking about it and accept the decision of a slender majority of voters (and a massive minority of the British people) is laughable, is contemptible and is selective and anti-democratic. You fight for what's right, not what the Daily Mail and anti-Europe political leaders decide. The selfishness of the arseholes, of the two main parties, who say it's the will of the people is despicable,

Keep on complaining. Keep on being a noisy bastard. Keep on lettiing people know what the real human costs of Brexit are. Never shut up!

That's not being melodramatic, that's being realistic. These are headlines that you get every day in the UK in newspapers like the Daily Mail. These headlines lead to racist attacks, discrimination, abuse andheartbreak for people who imagine the UK to be their home.

And they apply to everyone who is a migrant (and not just a refugee) here. My wife is a migrant, her parents were refugees, my mother is a migrant, I've been a migrant. It's life itself. Why the fuck should I, or anybody who supports and has lived by migration, shut up because somebody tells me to. How anti-democratic, how narrow-minded, how closed!

Why should anyone support a decision that was fomented by racist in politics and the press, and enabled by feeble political leaderships. I don't support the totality of these headlines below and it doesn't matter to me, or anybody I respect, if 52%, 60%, 80%, 90% support these sentiments. Humanity, principles and belief in a world that goes beyond the market come above 52% I'm afraid!

There has been an increase in racism since the Brexit vote. I know people who, within days of the Brexit vote, experienced it for the first time. And every post-open borders European migrant I know experienced a huge amount of anxiety because of the vote.

That abuse and the possibility that people who have lived here half their life, or all their life, might not be able to live here any more is not unthinkable. In the past, British People would get deported from the Netherlands because they were looking for work. I remember hitching through Germany and getting checked for how much money I had. It's not long ago and it was in a far friendlier time.

So although it might seem a long way off (and how distant did Brexit and Trump and Theresa May seem a year ago), the possibilities are very real. And should be confronted. So don't shut up.

One of the most upsetting parts of all this from a UK point of view is the number of European (and other nationalities) photography professionals we have in the UK. Not only do they add to our visual understanding of Britain, they also add hugely to the photographic and visual culture of the country. They break through some of the barriers we little-britishers create for ourselves and get things done simply by getting things done. And when they go, those things don't get done. European migrants to Britain create culture and that culture is lost when they go. Or even when they don't come.

In Bristol we have people like Alejandro Acin and  Rudi Thoemmes, In Cardiff, people like Maciej Dakowicz, Joni Karanka, and Bartosz Nowicki set up the Third Floor Gallery, in Bristol there's Rudi Thoemmes and Alejandro Acin who set up IC Visual Labs. If you saw Juno Calypso speak there a couple of weeks ago, or are going to see Rob Hornstra tomorrow night, you have Alex to thank.

Then there's Federicca Chiocchetti, Bruno Ceschel, Federica Seravalle, Philipp Ebeling. Luca Desienna, Mimi Mollica - all of whom have enlivened and enervated British, European and global photography from these shores. And there are many, many more.

I think there are a few people who are more comfortable without the competition to be honest, because they do sometimes show us up. What is it they do that we don't do. And if you're open-minded and honest with yourself, you extend that to what can I learn from their approach? And generally it's something to do with drive and not caring too much about what other people think or say - especially when it is a defence mechanism against British snobbery, laziness and complacency.

So hats off to everybody who has come to the UK from Europe and added to our culture, enriched our culture.

And if you're in the UK, support them by attending their events or buying the books or just showing that they are valued and you are not a see-you-next-tuesday who reads the Daily Mail.

You can do that by attending ICVL events (but Rob Hornstra is sold out tomorrow) or by buying books like Mimi Mollica's brilliant Terra Nostra.

It's launching tomorrow (but that's sold out as well I think) and you can buy it here.

Read Sean O'Hagan's Review here.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Espanol es impossible! Un resena del Passport del Alexander Chekmenev

todos los fotografias del Alexander Chekmenev

Hoy escrivo en espanol. No puedo escriver en espanol, pero hay no problema for esto blog, la Piedra Rosetta di Fotografia. Pero quiero decir pardono me a todos los personas qui hablant espanol en el mundo. Pardono me!


Entonces, hoy el libro fotografia que Yo reseno es Passportde Alexander Chekmenev. Es muy bien. Al frente del libro, hay fotografias passoporto pequenos del personas muy viejos. Pero, estas fotografias son viejos tambien, del annos 1994-95. Chekmenev tomo las fotos en la decada 1990s quando los personas Ucraino no son Soviet  mas.

Los personas en los fotos no son ricos, pero son muy pobre y quantos son infermos. Chekmenev tomo sesenta fotos en una dia. Es multi fotos por un dia.

Pero, Chekmenev ha fotografia los cuartos donde los viejos vivan. No son grande pero son pequeno y muy pobre. Es muy triste.

Entonces, el libro es muy bueno y mi espanol es muy malo.



Y en Ingles con Google Translate

And in English with Google Translate

Today I write in Spanish. I can not write in Spanish, but there is no problem for this blog, the Rosetta Stone of Photography. But I want to say pardon me to all the people who speak Spanish in the world. Pardono me!

So, today the photograph book that I re-read is Alexander Chekmenev's Passport. Is very good. To the front of the book, there are small passoporto photographs of the very old people. But, these photographs are also old, from the years 1994-95. Chekmenev took the photos in the 1990s when the Ukrainian people are not Soviet anymore.

The people in the photos are not rich, but they are very poor and how many are inferences. Chekmenev took sixty photos in one day. It's multi photos for a day.

But, Chekmenev has photographed the rooms where the old people live. They are not large but they are small and very poor. It is very sad.

So the book is very good and my Spanish is very bad.


Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Importance of Failing: Giovanni Caroto's Young Boy with a Drawing.

I first saw this picture on Great Works by Tom Lubbock in the Independent. I still miss Tom Lubbock's writing on art and I still miss the Independent.

The picture is Portrait of a Young Boy holding a Child's Drawing (circa 1515), Giovanni Francesco Caroto and it shows a young boy with a drawing.

It's fabulous. It is one of the those pictures that absolutely nail something that we should know but we often sometimes forget - that people in the past are very much like those in the present, or that people in the present are very much like those in the past.

And the drawings they do as children are very much the same as children do now.

It's also the first depiction of child art in European painting and that's significant.

In the article, Lubbock talks about the allure of that childlike primitivism featured in Caroto's painting and the difficulty of trying to capture that childlike art.

'But the most telltale characteristic, and by far the hardest to imitate, is simply the quality of a child's drawn line. It's wrong to think of it as wildness. That wouldn't be so tricky. You can lose control and fling your flailing arm at a page at any age.
Child art is not pure wildness. Children are trying to get something right. They want to but they can't.'
He also. They want to but they can't. It's the same in photography as in art. We all want to but we can't. We can't fail in the same way that children fail - fail while trying, so not failing at all. And it seems that in his depiction of a child drawing, Caroto is failing in some way too. As Lubbock says. 
'And of course, this drawing is not a drawing. It's a painting of a drawing, made in the infinitely correctable medium of oil paint. Caroto has closely observed how children draw. He probably hasn't tried to unteach his own hand. He has faked it. And his careful copying has preserved for us evidence that while art styles change, children 500 years ago failed much as they do today.'

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Ricardo Martinez. Le Plus Beau Model du Monde.

par Catherine Balet - apres Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz. C'est un peu comme Juno Calypson, n'est-ce pas?

Bonjour, aujourd'hui, sur le "Rosetta Stone de Photographie" (merci pour ca, Monsieur Feurhelm), je fais une revue sure le livre, Looking for the Master in Ricardo's Golden Shoes par Catherine Balet.

Le premiere fois (pardon moi, mes amies francophones, mais il n'y aurai pas des accents en mes revues francais - pour example ou sont les accents ici sur le 'c' en francais et l'u' en ou. En Italienne et Allemagne je veux essayer un petit peu parce qu'il y a seulement un ou deux accents. Mai Francais est trop sophistique. Il y a quatre accents! Imaginee!)...

par Catherine Balet - apres Wily Ronis

Alors, je retourne a la revue du livre. Oui, le livre est formidable! Les images sont les recreations des photographies celebres mais avec un model tres charmant et intelligent. Ca c'est Ricardo Martinez, l'homme avec les chaussures d'or en le title!

Alors, Balet a recree photographies comme les trois agriculteurs par August Sander. C'est mon favorite. Ou il y a un recreation de Rineke Dijkstra, de Diane Arbus, de Muybridge, de Strand, de Steich, de tous les celebres  photographes.

par Catherine Balet - apres Sebastiao Salgado

Le style et le costume, et la lumiere sont tres precise. Mai les photographies aussi ont du caractere parce qu'il y a Ricardo dans les images. Ricardo a les chausseurs d'or, c'est vrai, mais il est plein de charisma donc les images ne sont pas recreations seulement. Ricardo est comme un garcon mechant, avec un air de espiegle!

Oui, j'ai recontre Catherine et Ricardo a Photobook Bristol il y a deux annees. Ricardo etait le plus beau model pour le promotion de Gazebook, une fete de photolivres en Sicily. Malheuresement Photobook Bristol ne serait se passe pas cete annee parce qu'il n'est pas d'argent, mais Gazebook Sicily serait se passe parce que les italiennes veux chercher l'argent!

Acheter le livre ici. 

Et pardon moi pour mon francaise. Je l'ai apprende en l'ecole! Mai, aujourd;hui, sur le jour que les Anglais commencent render a les Brexiteers, je veux me sentir plus europeen que un petit anglais.

Merci a Google Translate pour le version Anglais ( Mais toutes nous Anglephones devons apprendre les langues etrangers tout suite!)

Thanks to Google Translate for the English version (But all of us Anglephones must learn foreign languages ​​all suite!)

Ricardo Martinez. The Most Beautiful Model of the World.

By Catherine Balet - after Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz. It's a bit like Juno Calypson, is not it?

Hello, today, on the "Rosetta Stone of Photography" (thank you for it, Mr. Feurhelm), I make a review on the book, Looking for the Master in Ricardo's Golden Shoes by Catherine Balet.

The first time (forgive me, my francophone friends, but there will not be accents in my French magazines - for example where are the accents here on the 'c' in French and the ' Germany I want to try a little bit because there are only one or two accents.May Francais is too sophisticated.There are four accents! Imaginee!) ...

By Catherine Balet - after Wily Ronis

So I go back to the review of the book. Yes, the book is great! The images are the recreations of the famous photographs but with a model very charming and intelligent. This is Ricardo Martinez, the man with the golden shoes in the title!

So, Balet has recreated photographs like the three farmers by August Sander. He's my favorite. Or there is a recreation of Rineke Dijkstra, Diane Arbus, Muybridge, Strand, Steich, all the famous photographers.

By Catherine Balet - after Sebastiao Salgado

The style and costume, and the light are very precise. May the photographs also have character because there is Ricardo in the images. Ricardo has gold shoemakers, it's true, but it is full of charisma so the pictures are not recreations only. Ricardo is like a wicked boy, with an air of spiegle!

Yes, I met Catherine and Ricardo at Photobook Bristol two years ago. Ricardo was the best model for the promotion of Gazebook, a festival of photolibraries in Sicily. Unfortunately Photobook Bristol would not happen this year because it is not money, but Gazebook Sicily would happen because the Italian want money!

Buy the book here.

And forgive me for my French. I learned it in school! May, today, on the day that the English begin to render to the Brexiteers, I want to feel more European than a little English.