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Joshua Rashaad McFadden: How Will I Be Judged Years From Now?

All pictures from Joshua Rashaad McFadden/Ceiba except one I still remember the days when it was ok to boo the national anthem at Br...

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

East meets West, Writing, Photography and some new work



It was a rare pleasure to talk and run a crit/workshop (along with a great talk by Max Barnett of Pylot Magazine) at the East Meets West Masterclass run by Grain and Format. It was a pleasure because it is one of an increasing number of really fantastic courses and workshops that are popping up around the country - offering an affordable but absolutely top end opportunity to develop your work. 

I was talking about writing and photography so in part the workshop was about writing and how words can either really push forward your work (but can also hold it back - and sometimes all you need is a title or a caption - as Bill Owens or Karen Knorr prove). But it is also about how words can help you anchor and focus and push forward a project. 

There were people who had studied at MA level, BA level, or had worked in commercial settings and now wanted to spread their creative wings. There were people who had never studied photography before or who had come to it late. What was notable was how much was brought to the class by every participant, and the range of life experiences and approaches that were apparent. There was participatory photography, speculative documentary, the family, the fictional, the archive, the psychogeographical, the personal, the psychotherapeutic, collage, documentary, portraiture, extreme materiality, and a very scientific mapping survey. It was such a range

Anyway, here are some examples (and I could have put everyone's up). The top picture is by Lucy Turner who is also running a callout for pictures with gas fires in. If you have any, get in touch with her via lucyturnerphoto@gmail.com

LUCY TURNER 

My Grandfather worked for the marketing and advertisement team for the company Southern Gas. This project looks at the archived imagery that was taken and produced between 1950’s-1970’s for Southern Gas advertisements, as well as the posed company photographs that accompany them. 




Part of my recent research and photography project is based around Gas heaters such as the one featured in this image. I’m doing a call out for anyone that has family photographs with this style of heater featured somewhere in them, it doesn’t have to be the exact same as this as long as it’s a gas fire or heater. If you wouldn’t mind it being possibly featured in my project, could you please email me at lucyturnerphoto@gmail.com regarding any family photographs you have that could help with this. Thank you in advance!'


Inge is an amazingly talented artist. Her painting studio is on her allotment and this is the place she said she feels most beautiful and so where she wanted us to make her portrait. The allotments are just outside of Nottingham city centre but to get there I had to turn down a road that was more like a country lane. Even from the car park we had to walk for at good 5 minutes along a narrow path to get to Inges allotment. The allotments were all gated and enclosed by tall hedges which made it silent, serene and eerie. Inge went into her studio and emerged wearing the floor length, red silk, antique dress just as the sun started to drop. I only had about 10 minutes to get the shot. Inge is a quiet and thoughtful woman but she was incredibly nervous. I wasn’t sure I’d actually get a useable portrait but once I got my camera out and started making light readings Inge became very serene and was actually a natural.

'The Luminous’ was commissioned by 'The Renewal Trust’ based in Nottinghams Creative Quarter. ‘The Luminous’ explored the myriads of beauty with the local women of Sneinton, Nottingham. It was a fairly long form, highly collaborative project; each participant entered into an ongoing conversation with me to decide where and how they wanted their portrait made. The project was funded by Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation and culminated as a solo exhibition at ‘Surface Gallery’, a set of postcards and a zine (which was printed on recycled paper and with vegetable inks).






" I'm a social worker and photographer. These images are contemplative and reflective moments both towards, and returning from assessing a persons capacity to safeguard a child within their family, or a child they are connected to. A child who has suffered from significant harm in the care of their primary caregivers and deemed unable to return to their care.  The images are made through train windows, each in harmony with my preparations, doubts, optimism, conflicts, thoughts, analysis, and feelings whilst undertaking an assessment. 

The images are spontaneous as journeys are fully controlled by the cases allocated to me. Going only to where I am asked to carry out a statutory legal duty, fulfilling one jigsaw piece in the protection of children, ensuring they get the best out of the care system/keeping families together where possible. " 





“The hands have an infinity of pleasure in them. The feel of things, textures, surfaces, rough things like cones and bark, smooth things like stalks and feathers and pebbles rounded by water, the teasing of gossamers . . . the scratchiness of lichen, the warmth of the sun, the sting of hail, the blunt blow of tumbling water, the flow of wind - nothing that I can touch or that touches me but has its own identity for the hand as much as for the eye.” Nan Shepherd

‘this is how the earth must see itself’ is an investigation into classification. A human urge to identify and organise the natural world. These systems of observation reveal how we see and understand the world around us, and are testament to our quest to find our place within it.


Early maps required no legend to read their paper landscape. Over time, map language has been simplified and digitalised to an abstract system of points, lines and areas. The Ordnance Survey (OS) map today uses just twelve symbols and three colours to describe the ‘natural features’ and ‘vegetation’ of the whole of Great Britain.

Looking at the individual symbols, I began to question why there is a need to identify and differentiate between particular types of natural features. What do they reveal about the way we view the natural landscape? How do they reflect the purpose of the maps making?

These OS symbols are used as a guide for exploring the landscape. A hunt for loose rock, bracken, scrub, scree. The process of ordering the photographs into these pre-defined categories throws up questions as pebbles become boulders, flowing water becomes outcrop, vines become the path. As with all classification systems, the rules are subjective, leading to their own telling of the story.

SUSANNA DE DIOS 



With my parents and older sister, Asturias, April 1979.

We should have been his comfort in life. He should have let us help him.»
                        
Even though we lived in different countries for over twenty years, the morning Dad died I was only a short trip away from his hospital bed. I had arrived in Spain at midnight the night before. Early the next morning I was woken up by a phone call from my sister telling me that we had to rush to hospital as he was deteriorating rapidly.

When we got there it was too late, he had passed away just a few minutes prior. 

I hadn’t seen my Dad for over a year, and couldn’t really remember much about the last time we spoke to each other, or how - or even if - we said goodbye. 

That Sunday morning was the end of my journey with Dad. A journey that had had happy moments but was often marred by dysfunction and conflict.

Dad suffered from mental health problems, which got progressively worse as he got older. For as long as I can remember these were managed at home by my Mum, my older sister and I without a word about it to anyone.

Our family album was the only glimpse of family life that we would show to others. It would always come out during special occasions, when we had friends or family over, as a way to showcase our good times and share amusing anecdotes.

Choosing when and where the family photos were taken and selecting which ones would go into the family album was a way to curate our family narrative and present a certain image of our life together to the outside world. 

As I look through my family album once more, I can clearly remember the memories that the images represent,  but   also   the   difficult   experiences and feelings that  were   there   at   the   time  but   remain undocumented. 


My purpose with this work is to tell our story and look at the childhood experiences that have shaped me.  The  project  will combine  photos taken  from the album with new work to lay  bare  our  family dynamics and portray a more authentic account of our time together.




Some of these projects are well under way, some have just started;  I'm looking forward to seeing how they all develop, and how words are use to  focus and communicate ideas. 

So look out for all the great affordable courses and workshops taking place around the country near you. The options for photographic education are opening up and it's a great thing to see.




Thursday, 23 January 2020

Why I didn't buy this book 2019





I bumped into ABC's Worst Photo Books of 2013 post a couple of days ago. this is what they said about Mishka Henner's Less Americains (which was one of my books of the year that year - even though it wasn't really a book).

1. Less Américains by Mishka Henner

He trashes Robert Frank, need we say more? Worst photo book of 2013. Let’s hope for Less Henner in 2014.


So Henner is part of ABC, so it's satirical, but at the same time it's not, how dare he, the bastard!I did a post a few years ago on my best books and then why (other) people didn't like them. So this is what was said about these books, it's really a Why I didn't buy this book list.
"Have I got to do it this way. I don't like being told how to read a book." "It's a bit foldy isn't it." "It's like a menu, but it doesn't have any food in it."

"Ha ha ha. That's great. How much is it?" "£20." "It's not very big for £20. I don't like it."

Ivars Gravlejs' Early Works  "It's stupid." "If he wanted to make it really good, he wouldn't have had a picture of a sticker on the cover, he would have had a real sticker on the cover."

I really like the best of year photobook lists, they get me wondering at all these books I haven't seen and give me a general sense of visual illiteracy. But at the same time, I wonder how many are that great and who the audience is (which is what the post is all about really).

The shelf-life of the Best Photobooks lists is so short too and they come out and then kind of end. And nobody ever says a bad word about any of the books - which is good and lovely, but at the same time, as the above comments show, we don't all think quite as alike as we sometimes think we do.

So I wonder what more critical comments on the best photobooks list of 2019 would look like. If anybody would like to contribute succinctly and politely the little niggles you felt, please do and I'll make a list to put up later...


I had these books in my list as best....

This is my own contribution, based on the fact that for the last 10 years I've subscribed to the Iranian Cheetah Newsletter which used to come with loads of camera trap pictures of cheetahs at night. 

The Pillar by Stephen Gill

"OK, so he sticks a post in the ground and the camera trap photographs the birds. What kind of picture is that. And why isn't there something exciting. Like cheetahs. And why's it called a pillar. It's not a pillar. It's a post. So the title's wrong."




Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Yellow Wallpaper



I'm looking forward to seeing how Ioana Marinca's powerful and very personal Yellow Wallpaper project on Instagram, a project that begins with how women cope with endometriosis, adenomyosis and PCOS, but goes way beyond that. It is so fundamental and so necessary. I

It's an exploration of women's bodies, medical responses to those bodies and scientific and social gender bias. It's about pain bias (where women are judged to feel less pain than men - this extends to children, and across race as well). it's about gendered testing (including a test to see how to combat the higher rates of heart disease experienced by women who had decreased oestregen as they aged - the test was done on over 8,000 men), it's about the Invisibility of women to science, and the inbuilt medical prejudices experienced by women since the Victorian era. It's about real women's experiences of these things, how they have been affected by them, and how understanding can be broadened to make for a better medical, social and scientific understanding for everyone.

Follow Yellow Wallpaper on Instagram here. 

And read the book where it gets the name from here.

This is the introductory statement to the project.

When I was 14 I was picking up my sister's Bacalaureat exam results. I went with a friend, it was a short walk from home. I was on my period and already in pain, but nothing i wasn’t used to. On the way home i remember blacking out. Not through pain, my vision just completely went black. I grabbed my friend's arm, explained what was happening and went to sit down on the side of a flower bed until it passes. I remember throwing up in the flower bed, and my vision coming back after a few minutes.

That was the only blackout I had, but for the next 20 years I lived in constant fear of my period, but accepted that mine came with pain. Despite regular visits to different doctors and specialists I never knew why.

Last year, at the age of 34, after nearly passing out in the office I decided to investigate my periods again. During a scan the nurse showed me my womb on the monitor and said “Look, it lights up like a Christmas tree!”. I finally had a diagnosis, it was adenomyosis. I asked the doctor what treatment options there are, and she said none, but suggested inducing me into menopause. I wanted to punch her.

This project asks the question why – why is there no treatment? How many other women are in a similar situation, and how do they live with womb related conditions that science has yet to fully understand.

Through personal experiences of the women I've met and photographed, Yellow Wallpaper examines how women have been excluded from medical research, have not been listened to – especially when experiencing pain, causing women's bodies to become medically, scientifically and socially invisible.


Monday, 20 January 2020

The Queen's Headscarf in a car






The crisis continues in the UK, but let's not talk about that. Let's talk about the picture of the queen in the paper a souple of weeks ago  - which is all to do with the Royal Family's and the British Media's treatment of Megan Markle (I still like to call her that). 

And I could go on about that because at the moment England is like a fat-bellied skinhead rolling around on the ground to reveal the underbelly of just about everything that should be kept hidden and concealed in the hope that it would eventually wither and die and become just a blank memory. 

The first  thing that really thrilled me about the picture is the Queen's headscarf. It is amazing. Look at that dog. How more dog-like can you get than that dog.

I have a strange fascination with headscarves. I remember the northern women on my street wearing them when I was a kid, hard-faced lower middle class women from Lancashire and Yorkshire who would never go out without a headscarf. Everybody wore headscarves (not my mum, because And then suddenly they did and nobody was wearing headscarves.

Till there the queen pops up again, the headscarf as an upper class motif.  Or there's the Grace Kelly glamour headscarf, but to be honest who wants to go there when you've got brilliant headscarf pictures like Robert Blomfeld's wealthy Glasgow woman with chickens (and they are very nice chickens),  Martin Parr's Weymouth woman (it's out of focus Martin!) and, my personal favourite, Rob Bremner's women from Liverpool.





My mother never used to wear a headscarf when I was a kid, but that's because she is bourgeois German (and she never cooked chips either which I always regretted. Going to my neighbour's for tea was like a real treat). My grandmother never used to wear them either because she saw herself as upper-middle class and wore formal hats that had roots in the 1920s. She never went out without a hat. 

My wife's mother always wore a headscarf though, but that's because she was born in Slovenia. She wore it peasant like, tied behind the head (if you were upper class you wore it tied beneath the chin) in true Lilya Brik style. But I guess that's another story altogether.



The thing that really thrilled me about the picture was seeing the queen get so gloriously papped. It reminded me of  my very favourite car pictures, the one of Thatcher driving out for a last time from Downing Street.

I love those car pictures, they have such a tradition going back to the 1950s and are such a staple of this kind of low-rent photojournalism.

It gets me wondering how people learn to do this stuff. I have a secret fantasy that somewhere there's a university being honest about everything and saying fuck you to the collaborative community-based module which inflicts gaggles of photography students reciting Rosler, Sontag and Sekula (and why not - they're great to recite) on some poor community centre being buried under the combination of funding cuts and time heavy funding applications.

Instead of all that, they could teach modules on paparazzi techniques. You could have the doorstepping module, the beach module, the car grab module, the sandwich eating module. You could get Oscar Monzon to give a modern take on the car pap.

Maybe you could have a whole course in unethical photography. You could follow the paparazzi module with the voyeurism module. It would be fucking amazing and , and have workshops by Kohei Yoshiyuki and Merry Alpern. It would be great!

The Cultural Appropriation module would be amazing and with a high fee structure and limited bursaries, all forms of privilege would always be entertained.

Sustainability is a thing so in semester 2,  there will be a sustainability module that will include a networking tour of world-class sustainability projects in  Lagos, Doha, Tokyo, Sao Paolo and Mexico City where students will meet key players in sustainability. In the name of sustainability, no photographs will be taken during this module.

There would be  the body module and the advertising module, the commercial module, the diaristic narcissism module, and the don't-leave-the-house module.

There will be social media led critical theory and teaching will take place in some of the best storage cupboards and corridors that teaching have to offer. Class sizes will be large (100+) but don't worry about attention because the specially trained staff have favourites who think like them and make work like them so you will always get time if you do the right thing.

In terms of facilities, we will have a scanner and a room that is dark. There will be a light and a camera you can borrow, including one of those big ones because they are very important. There are excellent printing facilities that you can use if you are first in the queue at 8am in the morning, and the ink will last all morning on printers that have the best colour calibration that staff won't have taught you to use. There will be an array of papers on offer including matt, glossy, and nasty.

A highlight of the course will be professional development week where students get to meet art directors, publishers, and editors from the world's finest soft-right, consumption-oriented publications (and negotiations on running a special feature on the sustainability module are in progress with one of these). And for the art photographer, there will be the who to sell to, and sponsorship module, as well as the turning a blind eye to harassment and bullying module.  These lead on directly from the Artwashing and Greenwashing modules ensuring there are direct links between theory and practice in what is a thoroughly integrated course for the contemporary photographer. All students will be guaranteed great grades (unless they are not a favourite) thanks to the combination of financially dependent entry requirements (overseas students especially welcome!) and all staff will have undergone special grade inflation workshop training to this end.

Ah, no, about twenty people have already thought of those already. Damn.


Here's Thatcher. Enjoy.





Saturday, 11 January 2020

Photographers and their Musical Equivalence

Before Christmas there was a post on Facebook about Alec Soth and Aron Morel posted that Soth is like the Coldplay of photography which is a bit cruel but not too cruel. To be fair, someone else said he was the Leonard Cohen of photography which is so, so, so much nicer.

So it got me thinking who are the musical equivalents of photographers. It was said that you can't really compare the two, but that didn't stop people when I put up a post wondering at who would be who in musical terms. These are the answers below - and feel free to add more diverse photographers and music as we go.

 Somebody asked if there was a prize. There isn't but if there was, it would go to Markus Schaden for his suggested match up of Cindy and Bert (no, me neither, but I do now) to Andreas Gursky. This is Cindy and Bert's version of Paranoia by Black Sabbath, given a Holmesian twist.

If you watch only one thing today, watch this...

And enjoy the rest of the answers, some fit perfectly some don't. And nobody was too cruel, for the most part...





Alec Soth

Alec Soth = coldplay!

Alec Soth = Leonard Cohen

Roger Ballen

Roger Ballen is Die Antwoord, but everyone knows that :-)
or Throbbing Gristle
not quite




Daido Moriyama

Moriyama / Tom Waits
 Good call
 yes both are equally irritating and forced.

Rinko Kawauchi 

Rinko Kawauchi is Ryuichi Sakamoto

 I was going to say Rinko - Bjork

Rankin 

Rankin are Boyzone
Nah, Rankin is the Spice Girls (not in a bad way).
the spice girls weren't that bad... its a bit cruel to call them Rankin...
Stephen Shore is Dylan.

Rankin is definitely Nickelback.

Diane Arbus 

Diane Arbus - Patti Smith

Diane Arbus is Janis Joplin



 Malick Sidibe

Malick Sidibé / Fela Kuti




Chris Kilip

 Chris Killip is Richard Thompson

Ivars Gravlejs

Ivars Gravlejs is Stump




Niall McDiarmid 

Niall McDairmid is Blur.

 Niall McDiarmid is more Proclaimers than Blur....

Mark Cohen 

Mark Cohen is Talking Heads



 Bjork is more Maisie Cousins

 I dunno, bjork is too ethereal...




Eugene Smith 

Eugene smith - Bob Dylan

 Wolfgang Tillmans 

Tillmans - Brian Eno

 nailed it

Gareth McConnell

 Gareth Mcconnell - Cocó Rosie

Anna Fox

Anna Fox = some punk maybe The Slits? or Blondie? 

Zanele Muholi

Zahele Muholi = M.I.A ?  

Ernest Cole

Ernest Cole / Public Enemy

...Or Gordon Parks





Erwin Blumenfeld 

Blumenfeld is Bowie.

Georgiu Pinkhassov

Pinkhassov Cocteau Twins

No - he's a Cocteau Twins Album cover

Irving Penn

Irving Penn is Cole Porter



Who's Miles Davis?


Miles Davis - Atget

Frederick Sommer

Robert Frank

I suggest Thomas Ruff.

Huger Foote

Larry Clarke - think about it without prejudice.

 I think Paul Graham is Miles Davis. Both aloof and both continually re-inventing themselves.

 yes!

 hmmm - how much does PG actually re-invent... Miles really did go from Kind of Blue to On The Corner past In A Silent Way... MD broke every rule - every sound - every genre...



Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is Blondie

Vivian Maier

Joan Baez

Billie Holiday

Vivian Maier is Lesley Gore

Dayanita Singh

Dayanita Singh = Nina Simone

The Becher's 

Philip Glass is the Becher’s

Bernd and Hilla Becher - Cindy & Bert (see top)


Lee Friedlander 

Friedlander is Thelonious Monk


Nan Goldin 

Dare I say Nan Golding / Dolly Parton....

Nan Goldin is Björk

this is an interesting one...

 I would have went more punk... maybe Sonic Youth

Nan Goldin is Nico


William Eggleston 

Eggleston / Creedence

Eggleston is Elvis

Susan Barnett

Odyssey


Juergen Teller

Juergen Teller / Boney M

Haha



Keep 'em coming. I'm having my consciousness raised. Feel free to ask questions - like Who's Robertino, or who's Billy Holiday?

Yousuf Karsh

Billy Holiday is Karsh


Ralph Eugene Meatyard

 Is there a prize? Ralph Eugene Meatyard is Nick Cave.

 I’d say Ralph Eugene Meatyard is Hasil Adkins.




Arthur Tress

Arthur Tress? Arthur Brown



Lewis Baltz

Lewis Baltz.......Philip Glass (early).

lot of competition for Glass. Uta Barth?

Gursky is Glass

 Gursky / barbie girl by aqua (I think it was played on art zoo while his work was shown and I can't disasociate the two)




Radiohead?

 Jeff Wall is Radiohead

 I was thinking Trent Parke


John Myers

John Myers is Jarvis Cocker


Christopher Anderson 

Christopher Anderson has to be David Bowie - nearly every project is different from the last!


Don McCullin

Don McCullin - The Beatles.


Elliot Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt- Madness


Matt Black 

Matt Black - Godspeed You! Black Emperor




Who is Milli Vanilli

Andreas Serrano?



Who’s Tom Wood?

My music knowledge just wouldn’t do him justice.

...the Libertines?

Like it. I was thinking more 70s but yes that’s good, like it.


Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams is...Bryan Adams! (Do with this what you wish)


Sebastiao Salgado 

Salgado- Brahms


Antoine d'Agata

Antoine d'Agata is Trent Reznor

 not a chance. More like baby metal.


Bruce Davidson

Bruce Davidson / Bob Dylan



Philip Jones Griffiths

Philip Jones Griffiths- The Doors


David Hurn

 David Hurn - Manic Street Preachers



Laurie Simmons

 Laurie Simmons is Talking Heads not Cindy Sherman lol


Vanessa Winship 

Vanessa Winship - Janis Joplin?

 oh yes!


Peter Hujar

 Peter Hujar - Lou Reed


Sally Mann

Sally Mann - Joni Mitchell

 I was thinking patti smith also


David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle is Prince, channelling Grace Jones and Boy George.



Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore / Jack Kerouac. Ok, ok, I know he's a writer, but it feels so right and I always wonder when I read Kerouac, if Shore was inspired by him at all, for his road trips.



Anton Corbin 

Anton Corbin/joy division

Krass Clement is Joy Division



Walker Evans

Walker Evans is? Tempted to say Mozart?


Who is Kraftwerk?

Thomas Demand

Good call.

 Thomas Demand is Paperlace




Martin Parr

Martin Parr is The Beatles

 You mean the Beatles spng hopladee hoplada on repeat?

 I mean they started off good but then as time goes on you realise how “establishment” they are.

Martin Parr - David Byrne

Martin Parr - U2

 Martin Parr as the Elton John of the photoworld is for me the most obvious one.

Elton John? No mate just no! An insult to Elton

 Elton is certainly as bitchy in private as Martin Parr’s photographs.

You're all wrong. He's somewhere  between Ivor Cutler and the Wurzels....




Tuesday, 7 January 2020

No photographs Please



Happy New Year. What a start to 2020, I'm getting nostalgic for 2019 already.

Aside from the fire, the floods, the assasinations, the impending war, the rise of Indian fascism (coupled with the rise of Indian counter-fascism - if there's hope it's here), Brexit and the irrelevance of Britain in anything, there is the decision by Vogue Italia  to publish an issue with no photographs.

I like Vogue Italia because it does interesting things on race, diversity, and body size. On a personal level, the website published a piece on Vincen Beeckman's Claude and Lilly which thrilled me and Claude and it bridges the gap, or tries to bridge the gap, between fashion and wider cultural trends. Not always perfectly, and not always consistently because it's fashion, it's photography and in publishing everybody (name a publication with photography in, and they are included) has a bit of shit on their shoes, especially if they're Louboutins.

Anyway, the rationale for this was to stop unsustainable photography that involves, as the editor writes...

'One hundred and fifty people involved. About twenty flights and a dozen or so train journeys. Forty cars on standby. Sixty international deliveries. Lights switched on for at least ten hours non-stop, partly powered by gasoline-fueled generators. Food waste from the catering services. Plastic to wrap the garments. Electricity to recharge phones, cameras ...'

It's an admirable effort, especially because the money saved would go to the flood damaged Venice museum of Fondazione Querini Stampalia.

But at the same time, fuck me gently with a chainsaw, because for one where did the idea that you had to have an oyster bar and international flights to photograph. Where exactly did this modus operandi come from, and if it is to be addressed, then address it consistently across a longer time scale in a sustainable fashion. Sustainable sustainability is a thing. The only problem is nobody knows what that means in fashion terms because there are no standards.

And then of course there are a mass of other things going on that you could mention in fashion, starting with the cycle (and high end and budget ends are connected), moving on to outsourcing, workers' rights, wages, environmental wastage, conspicuous consumption, transport (not of photographers),  and everything else that journals like Fashion Theory go into in great detail - these are some of the 'actors involved in fashion that Haug and Busch identify as relevant in establishing the question of what ethical fashion might be. Photographers are somewhere in the mix in number 7, under editors, publishers, owners etc. Haug and Busch identify these possible actors and question which have the power to change things. They also look at a range of fashion from fast fashion to haute couture and conclude that the two are actually closely linked, not that anyone on one side will admit it, and that the people who have the power to change things are the mediators (so Vogue etc) because they have the power to make the unethical unfashionable. Which is what they are doing with photography I guess. But there's such a big but. It's a bit like the US defense department going green by not allowing photographers to be embedded with their troops anymore. All those airmiles!

(1) Market regulators: National and cross-national institutions
defining laws and regulations for the focal consumer market
in relation to production, marketing, use of suppliers, product
materials, etc.
(2) Supplier regulators: National and cross-national institutions
defining laws and regulations for the production area in focus
(as mentioned, often developing countries).
(3) Consumers: Those exposed to the marketing efforts of the
fashion industry and those buying the fashion products.
(4) Mediators: Magazines, news media, forums, activist organizations,
etc.
(5) Designers: Those defining the fashion products.
(6) Marketers: Those advertising for and selling the product, i.e.,
retailers.
(7) Producers: Those making the decisions on which fashion
items to produce, how to produce them, which markets to
Towards an Ethical Fashion Framework 327
target, etc.
(8) Suppliers: Those producing item materials and manufacturing
the final products.
(9) Workers: The persons employed by the suppliers.

Finally though, removing photographers also devalues photography. There are people trying to add value and meaning to fashion photography, but this act seems to trivialise photography and its practioners in one fell swoop as flippant environmentally wasteful ne'er-do-wells. It's a good question to ask, but do be consistent and look in all directions including your advertisers and your core markets please.

Ultimately though, when images aren't included it means something. When photography isn't allowed it means something and it's not normally something good.

Which isn't to say there aren't some great examples of no photographs being used.



The best example I can think of is the case of the French newspaper, Liberation in 2013, a publication that

'...removed all images from its 14 November issue in a bid to show the power and importance of photography at a time when the industry is facing unprecedented challenges, say the newspaper's editors'

It served a purpose to show the poverty of a newspaper without images. It also captured something of the relationship between image and text, something the late Sarah Charlesworth  did even more effectively with her converse 'Unwriting' piece (where the text is removed) Modern History.

Here the removal of text emphasises the importance of the image, how it is shown, but also the gaps where text is needed to expand on and add to the story.


'Made between 1977 and 1979, the works in Modern History explore the power of images and their circulation through the mass media, specifically newspapers. In this series, Charlesworth focused on singular events and the reportage of these across multiple newspapers from all over the world. To make each multipart work, she removed everything except the newspapers’ mastheads, the images of the particular incident, and the image captions, making evident through her interventions the complex mechanisms of dissemination and interpretation. For Charlesworth, “unwriting” was an active undertaking, even as all the blocks of running text were literally blanked out. She called the process, “an engagement with text.” In spite of—or rather, because of—the lack of text in the work, its presence is strongly felt through the physical rendering of its absence.'


It's a project where what is missing resonates in the space of its own absence. It also challenges how we see and what we see, something Pavel Maria Smejkal  does in his brilliant Fatescapes.

These are some of his images below. They are instantly recognisable despite the absence of the supposedly salient features. How and why do we remember these backgrounds is the question they raise and how is it we recognise these pictures despite the absence of what we deem essential to the picture?







Elisabeth Tonnard's Indirections works in the same way as both the Charlesworth and the Liberation examples, but joins them up by separating caption and image, by creating a barrier between the two, a barrier held in place by a very tidy belly band and a piece of tape.

These are the outsides of the pamphlets she made. Open them up and you see the picture...



So for this caption, you get the picture below:

The children found a loving environment in this kindergarten built by Treptower communists on Kiefholzstraße.



You can't have one without the other, but if you do, you have a very different thing.

And that is the end of the first post of the year. Thank you for reading.


Also from Haug and Busch, some of the real environmental concerns linked to increased fashion cycles.

One may be led to believe that the growing market for ethical fashion
has had a positive impact on the overall effects of fashion consumption,
but many observations point in the other direction. For example,
it has been argued that the environmental impact of the fashion industry
has become increasingly detrimental because of the (1) accelerated
cycles of new fashion (O’Cass 2004), (2) the decrease in garment prices
(Morgan and Birtwistle 2009), and (3) the lower production costs in
developing countries (Jones et al. 2005). The accelerated cycles of new
fashion are strongly related to the concept of “fast fashion.” Fast fashion
refers to “low-cost clothing collections that mimic current luxury fashion
trends” (Joy et al. 2012), and the fast fashion chains in Europe have
grown faster than the retail fashion industry as a whole (Cachon and
Swinney 2011; Mihm 2010). Fast fashion implies that the former standard
turnaround time from catwalk to consumer of six months is now a
matter of mere weeks for companies such as H&M and Zara (Tokatli
2008). Thus, by its nature, fast fashion encourages greater disposability
(Fletcher 2008) (Figure 2).
Fashion