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Louise Parker’s globe-trotting take on the conventions – and constructions – of beauty. June 20, 2017

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Last year, when Foam announced the 10th edition of their annual, international talent call, they weren’t short of responses. The invitation – which was introduced by the gallery to identify and celebrate young artists shaping the future of photography through new trends, themes and developments demonstrated in their work – received a staggering 1,494 submissions from 75 different countries, stretched across six continents.

After a long selection process, the Foam jury declared a list of 24 talents as their 2016 winners. The selected photographers – all of whom are under the age of 35 – went on to appear alongside their work in Foam Magazine’s eminent autumn “Talent Issue”, as well having their images appear in the gallery’s travelling group exhibition. After completing in Amsterdam and New York, the Foam Talent instillation is now set to touch down in London for its UK leg, officially launching on May 18 at the Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall.

The collective exhibition – which is visiting London for only the second time – is made up of more than 100 photographs from the selected winners, installed alongside each other. It’s an eclectic, multifaceted assemblage of images and works, from a range of young photographers operating all over the world; be it Stefanie Moshammer’s enigmatic visual journey through the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Samuel Gratacap’s documentation of stranded migrants confined to Tunisian refugee camps, or model-turned-photographer Louise Parker’s globe-trotting take on the conventions – and constructions – of beauty.

Foam Talent due to run in London for a month, with a special opening by Dazed’s co-founder Jefferson Hack on May 17, 7pm. Keep an eye on Dazed Digital this week as we profile four on-the-rise talents.

Full List of Artists include: Sofia Ayarzagoitia (MX), Juno Calypso (UK), Bubi Canal (ES/US), Paolo Ciregia (IT), Sam Contis (US), Jack Davison (UK), Nicolo Degiorgis (IT), Katinka Goldberg (SE/NO), Andrea Grützner (DE), Samuel Gratacap (FR), Maxime Guyon (FR), Felicity Hammond (UK), Alexandra Hunts (UA/NL), Taejoong Kim (KR), Nico Krijno (ZA), Leo Maguire (UK), Stefanie Moshammer (AT), Andrés Felipe Orjuela (CO), Antonio Ottomanelli (IT), Daan Paans (NL), Louise Parker (US), Andrejs Strokins (LV), Ilona Szwarc (PL/US) and Daisuke Yokota (JP)

Foam Talent London opens on May 18 at Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, 22 Newport Street, London, SE11 6AY

Vichy : Liu Bolin, Artist of Camouflage and Confrontation June 20, 2017

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Master of camouflage, Liu Bolin uses his body to literally melt into his chosen background and produce some amazing photos. For more than ten years, this artist who seems to pass through walls has used the same modus operandi. With the help of his assistants who paint him from head to toe, he hides in supermarket shelves, the door of a safe, a pile of coal, a newspaper kiosk display. This rare retrospective of his work enables the public to discover his spectacular images, which are also works of resistance. In becoming this “invisible man” who shows up where he is not expected, Liu Bolin affirms his stubborn and insubordinate presence in a world that tends to deny the uniqueness of everyone’s destiny.

Liu Bolin is represented by the Paris Beijing gallery in Paris.



Liu Bolin, camouflage et contestation
Fifth edition of the Portrait(s) festival
The City of Vichy’s photographic rendezvous
From 16th June to 10th September 2017
Outdoor exhibition, Lac d’Allier Esplanade


Prestigious Photo Agency Magnum to Receive Outside Investment June 15, 2017

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Prestigious Photo Agency Magnum to Receive Outside Investment

Jun 13, 2017
A year ago when photographers with Magnum Photos met in London to select the new members, associates and nominees who would be joining the prestigious agency, they also approved a new plan and structure that would bring—for the first time in Magnum’s history—a capital injection from outside investors.

The investment—the exact amount of which is undisclosed—comes from Nicole Junkermann and Jörg Mohaupt, two media experts who have financed over the years various technology ventures. The pair will join the board of what will be named Magnum Global Ventures, alongside Magnum CEO David Kogan and four members of the agency.

Magnum Global Ventures will be a subsidiary of Magnum Photos International, the cooperative owned by the agency’s 91 photographers and estates. And while the photographers will retain control over their intellectual property (including the copyright over all of their work), the new structure will assume control of the agency’s assets—from its offices in Paris, London, New York and Tokyo to its staff.

The deal, which Kogan started engineering in the months following his appointment as CEO three years ago, is designed to help Magnum grow in an ever-changing digital landscape. “We need to be able to experiment and take risk to do interesting stuff with our photographers,” Kogan tells TIME. “You have to keep up with all the technological changes and the means of showing the work.” But, he adds, for the last 70 years, Magnum has been a business “that’s full or risk,” with cash flow and debt issues. In the past, Magnum has mostly relied on a volatile editorial market for most of its revenues.

Less than 10 years ago, for example, the agency owed its own photographers hundreds of thousands of dollars, forcing it to sell some of its assets such as its physical archives, which were acquired by Michael Dell’s investment firm and donated to the Harry Ransom Center.

In recent years, Magnum, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary, found new ways to inject capital in the agency through its insanely popular Instagram print sales and the development of new educational events and workshops. But, Kogan says, “that doesn’t help us grow quickly enough or innovate fast enough.” To him, outside investment was the logical next step. “There’s a complete logic to trying to find other forms of financing,” he tells TIME.

Meanwhile, Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak believes the move will preserve the agency’s independence, while at the same time “allowing outside investments that will help us to better photograph, document, the confusing world we are in now.”

David Kogan, CEO of Magnum Photos commented:

“Magnum Photos celebrates its 70th anniversary with the creation of a company that allows us to plan for the future. We are already creating new opportunities for the photographers and the business of Magnum.

“Our two new investors have stellar backgrounds in the global sectors of media, music, intellectual property and technology. We welcome them for their expertise and know that they can add a huge amount to the development of the agency.”

Nicole Junkermann said: “I will never forget seeing a Magnum photograph of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. It captured a moment in history so powerfully that it has left a lasting impression on me.

The deal was approved by all 91 stakeholders, who will vote next week for the four agency representatives to join the board of the new subsidiary.


The Spirit of Hong Kong Photos by Master Photographer Fan Ho June 14, 2017

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Fan Ho’s haunting black-and-white photos chronicling old Hong Kong show how much the city has changed since the 1950s. In some ways, however, many of the scenes remain familiar to Hong Kong people today.

“The city’s architecture, the political landscape has indeed transformed a few times over, but the struggle of the grassroots remains the same,” said Ho’s long-time collaborator Sarah Greene of Blue Lotus Gallery and Consultancy. “The poor are still poor.”

Ho documented the street life of Hong Kong throughout his career as a photographer, offering a glimpse of the lives of city-dwellers with his moody images that were carefully composed with the use of light, shadow, and the contours of architecture. His works earned a great deal of attention and also helped launched his career as a film director until he retired at 65.

“In my memory, there has always been a deep yearning of Hong Kong. I particularly miss the location I like to photograph the most—Central Hong Kong,” Ho said in a 2014 interview, referring to the city’s main business district that is also chock full of winding alleyways, wet markets, and street vendors.

More than 30 photographs by the late Ho are being shown this month by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong at an exhibition entitled Visual Dialogues: Hong Kong Through the Lens of Fan Ho, together with the launch of his new book Fan Ho: Portrait of Hong Kong.

Ho was born in Shanghai in 1931 and moved to Hong Kong with his parents in 1949, the year the Chinese Communist Party won the civil war. He began taking pictures with a Kodak Brownie camera from his father when he was 10 years old. The hobby became more serious when Ho turned 18 and his father gave him a twin lens Rolleiflex camera, which he used for the rest of his career.

The photographer moved to San Jose, California with his family in the 1980s and passed away there in June 2016 at the age of 84. He visited Hong Kong for the last time in November 2014.


Heritage expert Winnie Yeung, who arranged Ho’s last trip to Hong Kong for a heritage project, said rather than being records of history, Ho’s photographs were artistic works through which he conveyed his feelings towards Hong Kong and its people.

“He had a tremendous amount of empathy towards the hardship that [the people] faced, and admiration towards their tenacity and can-do spirit—the qualities that characterized Hong Kong for generations,” said Yeung. “[He was] an absolutely brilliant and profound genius.”

The Necks at the Rosemount Hotel for Tura New Music Photos Bohdan Warchomij June 11, 2017

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Australian trio The Necks exist in a nebulous, spectral realm at the crossroads between free improv, jazz and a deconstructed form of music that is most remarkable because it is experimental, unpredictable and quite radical.  The audience at the Rosemount enjoyed two album-length tracks that progressed in minute detail and with surprising twists and turns throughout the two half performance. Many of the audience had seen the Necks on numerous occasions and were happy to be surprised by yet another two tracks that were novel and evolutionary.

Death of the Original Batman June 11, 2017

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Adam West, who donned a cape, cowl and tights to became an overnight sensation in 1966 as the star of the campy “Batman” TV series, has died, according to a family statement. He was 88.

West, who later lamented being typecast as the iconic Caped Crusader but eventually embraced having been part of American pop culture, died Friday in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia, according to multiple reports.

A former Warner Bros. contract player, West was appearing in TV commercials in the mid-1960s to help pay the rent. But several commercials he did for Nestle’s Quik chocolate powder — parodies of the popular James Bond movies in which West played a dry-witted character called Captain Q — had an unexpected outcome.

They caught the attention of 20th Century Fox TV producer William Dozier, who was looking for someone to star as Gotham City millionaire Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego, Batman, in a farcical new series for ABC.

Based on the DC character created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger in 1939, “Batman” debuted in January 1966 as a twice-weekly half-hour program — 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, with the Wednesday episode ending on a cliffhanger.

West knew his life would never be the same the night the heavily promoted first episode aired.

“I stopped at the market on the way home,” he told Esquire magazine in 2004. “I thought, ‘Tonight, I just want to be alone. I’ll stop, get a steak and a six pack, whatever, then go home and watch the debut of the show.’

“As I walked through the checkout line, I heard people saying, ‘C’mon, c’mon, hurry up. “Batman” is coming on!’ And I said to myself, ‘Goodbye, anonymity.’ ”



The tongue-in-cheek series roared into public consciousness like the Batmobile out of the Batcave.

With West as the strait-laced crime fighter who spoke with what has been described as ironic earnestness and Burt Ward as his youthfully exuberant sidekick, Robin, “Batman” was a pop culture phenomenon in a decade that was full of them.

“This whole thing is an insane, mad fantasy world,” West said of the show in a Chicago Daily News interview shortly before its debut. “And my goal is to become American’s biggest put-on.”

It was high camp indeed, with fight scenes punctuated by comic book-style “POW!” “BOP!” and “WHAP!” exclamations flashing on the screen and an array of guest-star villains that included Frank Gorshin as the Riddler, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin, Cesar Romero as the Joker and Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.

West quickly learned the key to slipping into the Batman persona.

“You pull on the mask and the utility belt and the gloves, and you must believe the moment that’s done that you really are Batman,” West said in a late 1980s interview on TV’s “Entertainment Tonight.”

“What I loved about Batman was his total lack of awareness when it came to his interaction with the outside world,” West told London’s Independent newspaper in 2005. “He actually believed nobody could recognize him on the phone, when he was being Bruce Wayne, even though he made no attempt to disguise his voice.”

In the first episode of the series, he recalled, “Batman goes into a nightclub in the cowl, cape and bat gloves. When the maitre d’ says: ‘Ringside table, Batman?’ he replies, ‘No thank you. I’ll stand at the bar. I would not wish to be conspicuous.’ ”

In June 1966, The Times reported that “Batman” had been a “life-transforming” success for West: Fan mail was arriving “by the wagonsful” — as were requests for everything from personal appearances to locks of his hair.

But West, The Times said, had “no panic about becoming solely and totally identified with the caped role.”

“I love doing the show, and frankly it’s given me more identification than any three movies could have,” West told The Times. “What I’ve got to feel is that if I can make a success of this characterization, I can make a success of other characterizations.”

The Surreal Experiments with double exposures on film of Polina Washington June 7, 2017

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I took a very simple, old Soviet LOMO camera and loaded it with film. I reasoned that there are two ways to create multiple exposure work on 35mm film—either by using a special mode on your camera, or just load and shoot one film roll twice. With the LOMO, I used the latter method because it had no multiple exposure mode. Working like this was different from my Nikon—I had to shoot the whole roll and then go through it again afresh, meaning I lost control. As it was impossible for me to remember what I had shot in each frame, the resulting combinations were a consistent surprise.

It ended up taking me several months to finish exposing one roll twice. After developing it, my risk was affirmed. Some of the pictures were completely new and far divorced from the objects I shot.And for many of the combinations, I felt that they could not have existed in any other variation. Really, in the end, I felt that the bestcombinations had occurred.

I also soaked the film in various substances to increase the surreal feeling in the images. My technique was very spontaneous, I would use whatever I could get my hands on: lemon juice, detergent, wine, etc. Again, the results were a pleasant mystery. Even when I found a combination I liked, I chose to mix the ingredients without marking down my recipes—part of the continual experiment and the surprise.

I suppose the process for “Bloom” could be seen as unprofessional. But I prefer to look at it as risky and thus exciting. I never could have imagined that my images would look like this. Soaking the film could destroy it all—but if even one image came out well, it was worth it. As they say: the battle is worth the blood.

Technical aspects aside, “Bloom” is about colors and forms, about the subtle matters that surround us. It is about feelings. I believe that we “see” only the tiniest part of the whole world—we are not taught to see “deeper.” All the unseen forces—their vibrations and energies—affect us and our lives. Tuning into these forces is a necessity if we want to be a part of the world.

—Polina Washington


WA Day Celebrations Photos Bohdan Warchomij June 5, 2017

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Valery Melnikov Black Days of Ukraine for Lens Culture. June 4, 2017

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 Valery Melnikov, has created a small window into the Russian view of the Ukrainian eastern front.

Valerery Melnikov’s photos are very very good. Lens Culture gave him the journalism award in their annual competition in 2016. The captions are less definitive, less informational. They read as follow: ” A rebel fires near the Krasnyi Partizan checkpoint. Luhansk region”, “A funeral for the rebel Vladimir Tcymbalist in the Chernukhino village. Luhansk region.” “A rebel trying to catch a signal near the frontline. Luhansk region.” They are not separatists, not mercenaries, not Russian regulars. They are purely and simply “rebels”, a term which is vague and ambiguous. History is always told from two sides. Both protagonist and antagonist choose positions. This is the weakness of photography, a way of obscuring the truth. Unfortunately neither the word “separatist”, nor the word “rebel” nor the word “civilians” come close to explaining the complexity of the historical position in Ukraine.


At the Last Second. Civilians escape from a fire at a house destroyed by air attack. Luhanskaya village. © Valery Melnikov. Photojournalism Single Image Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2016.

Born in Nevinnomyssk, Valery Melnikov studied journalism in Stavropol, Russia. His photographic career began when he started to work for The North Caucasus newspaper. For ten years he was a staff photographer for Kommersant publishing house and since 2009 for international news agency Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today).

(see the Columbia Journalism Review http://archives.cjr.org/feature/what_is_russia_today.php)

The Guardian’s take on the reporting of Boris Nemtsov’s assassination in Moscow: “Nietzsche said it first: “There are no facts, only interpretations.” But Vladimir Putin has perfected it into a political strategy. Within hours of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov’s murder on Friday, multiple explanations of what had gone on had been supplied to media organisations. It was because Nemtsov had forced his girlfriend to have an abortion. It was connected to Ukrainian nationalism. It was something to do with his business interests or his take on Charlie Hebdo.

It is a tactic straight out of Mr Putin’s KGB playbook from the 1970s. Generate a plurality of narratives, so the truth can be obscured. In such circumstances, the very idea that there is such a thing as “the truth” can itself be called into question. “There is no objectivity – only approximations of the truth by as many different voices as possible” is how Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of state-backed Russia Today, puts it. This is weaponised relativism.

It is a tactic straight out of Mr Putin’s KGB playbook from the 1970s. Generate a plurality of narratives, so the truth can be obscured. In such circumstances, the very idea that there is such a thing as “the truth” can itself be called into question. “There is no objectivity – only approximations of the truth by as many different voices as possible” is how Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of state-backed Russia Today, puts it. This is weaponised relativism.

Mr Surkov grasps that all this chimes closely with the idea, familiar in the west, that any and every perspective can be legitimised as a matter of individual opinion. On the basis of this lazy philosophy, the idea that one view is right and another wrong can be made to sound like some unwarranted imposition of authority. You can already hear the objection to the assertion of truth: “Who is to say who is right?”

What Russian state spin demonstrates is that, by dispensing with what we used to be comfortable calling the truth, we are left with nothing but sheer power. In other words, relativism leads inevitably into nihilism.”


Accurate captions are important in photography and particularly photojournalism in telling the truth. Subjectivity should never be allowed to cloud the truth, nor to assist in propaganda.


A rebel fires near the Krasnyi Partizan checkpoint. Luhansk region. © Valery Melnikov. Photojournalism Single Image Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2016

Valery Melnikov has dedicated himself to documenting the political and social life of societies in conflict. Valery’s professional biography includes coverage of Chechen war, conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia, Lebanese war in 2006, uprising of Mali Republic, Syrian civil war. In 2014, Valery began documenting war in Eastern Ukraine. This work continues in his current ongoing project, Black days of Ukraine, about ordinary people who became participants of the military confrontation created by the Russian invasion of Eastern Ukraine. (The words in italics are mine). The captions he has used are a dangerous way to report on what has been an invasion of a sovereign country.

A rebel trying to catch a signal near the frontline. Luhansk region. © Valery Melnikov. Photojournalism Single Image Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2016

The photographer lives in Moscow.

London Bridge Executioners June 4, 2017

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London Bridge: Three terrorists shot dead in the Borough Market, at least six people killed, dozens injured after van, knife rampage.