the murder of James Foley

Travis Mushett made me paaaauuuussssse when I came across Thirteen Ways of (Not) Looking at a Crime Scene… so of course I place a little pointer here on KP (my usual little effort) out to the thing… to the little glint that made me shade my eyes and go closer to look.

From his piece:


Remember the Iraq War? Remember the pictures of dead soldiers? The blood and flesh and busted bone? The cost of war? Me neither. We never looked. A survey conducted at the height of the war showed “that over a six-month period, no images of dead American troops appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Time or Newsweek.” When you’re trying to end a war, it’s better to wield a blunt instrument than show up empty handed.


Show a severed limb. Show a woman’s nipple. Show the word “shit.” A gang of Helen Lovejoys will rise up, gnashing teeth and barking to the heavens: “Won’t somebody please think of the children?!” They demand that we conduct discussions of the adult world’s adult problems in terms that won’t frighten a toddler. Baby might look, so no one can look.


Images are better at capturing specific instances than complex systems and shifting climates. After decades of global warming activism, we’re still recycling the same clips of polar bears on ice drifts. 400,000 people take to the streets of Manhattan, and it’s powerful, but the images are interchangeable with any other big protest march. The nation barely looks. We’ve seen this one before. The Sunday talk shows talk about other things. Everyone is too busy opining on videos of women beaten, on pictures of women without clothes, on how best to annihilate the purveyors of desert snuff films.


Read it here


(c) Lewis Baltz

A lot has been going on this last month or two… been up to my arm pits in self-delusion, trouble and general confusion. As always things have slipped, been sidelined or put on some sort of half-arsed ‘to do’ list…

But a month ago Lewis Baltz died. One of the New Topographic peeps. The stripped, naked architecture (of both building and landscape) that he placed in front of us as a challenge, a question and probably some sort of cosmic joke that we all miss.

The www fired up at the time… laments and references and the like… but of course the train didn’t slow much and it was all quickly left in the distance behind…. but what did remain was what has become knownas the ‘final interview’. Whether it is the ‘best’… well people can argue back and forth for as long as they want… but it is certainly a worthwhile read, a period of time spent picking around as he fiddles with language and even lays bare the simple, banal realities of much of what he did (and was forced to do).

“This was somewhere around the time when sculpture conquered the universe. Not object sculpture, but the idea that any object, or collection of objects, or spaces or acts could be seen sculpturally, no matter how commonplace. A pile of dirt could be read for its sculptural qualities; a pile of dirt on the back of a pick-up truck could be seen as a parody of kinetic sculpture. Everything could be recovered for this Weltanschauung, including painting (like early Frank Stella) and language (like by Lawrence Weiner or Joseph Kosuth). It seemed a triumph of the power of art. Art changed nothing, but by informing people’s perception of the phenomenal world it changed everything. The world was already in the condition of art, waiting to be noticed as such. As Robert Irwin famously said, ” I feel like a man sitting beside a river selling water.” I think that’s one of the reasons some or many of The Prototypes are jarring is because I use a high-art photographic technique to present views of nothing, that is, of no special interest per se. In my mind this was absurd, a metaphor of the condition.”

Find the time… sit down and have a little read… it’s accessible, not dense at all… irritating at times but wholly enjoyable.

The article is here



A big CONGRATS! to Joseph Sywenkyj on receiving the 2014 award for his work in the Ukraine. There has been quite a response to his pictures and the more sustained engagement that he has been pursuing.

So hats off to him – I hope this leads to more pictures, more opportunity for him, more space to explore and more exposure. Let’s see where he takes it.

See more here


… it’s better to watch something without subtitles… to simply listen to the native language (it’s pitch, pace and urgency…)… and look at the pictures.

More than enough in there to keep you busy for some time.

(yes yesy yes… you can find subtitled versions and use some simple solutions to drop them in on this file… but…)…

(c) Michael Goldberg

(c) Michael Goldberg

(c) Michael Goldberg

I’ve been enjoying the pictures Michael Goldberg has on his site.

Gilden-esque in their execution… (but to reduce his effort to that is unfair!)… there’s a lot of fun in amongst it and the colour is punch punch punch. Painting is somewhere there in his past.

He’s an Ozzie living in Lala… making his way through that loony place (no doubt) with camera in hand. Hope to see more.

Go check it:

papersafe issue3

The Wobbles has some pictures in the latest issue of Papersafe.

Looks like a pretty sweet little publication… and very limited so if you want one then get in quick!!!

Check it here

More of The Wobbles here


(c) Ray Metzker

Ray Metzker is dead. Went a few days ago.

His arrangements, cutting and pasting, the built and the graphic.

Some magic stuff amongst it all.

Journal 20141006 Backwoods - (c) Jamie Hladky

I crossed paths with Hladky over a beer a while back – he sketches about with that Flemish Creep and they seem to cruise on pretty sweet roadtrips; looks like good times all round.

It’s interesting to see two photographers mining the same landscape (at the same time)… the way a shared patch of dirt comes together in their own arrangement through personal prejudices and preferences.

Anyhoo… Hladky has put up a new body of work on his webbly site: Backwoods

Well worth having a sneaky look at.

Journal 20141006 Hollywooooooood - (c) Sandro Miller

James Franco and his recreations and now Malcovich and his ‘iconic’ series with photographer Sandro Miller… kinda leaves me absurdly flat and wholly unimpressed. It’s like ‘appropriation lite’: won’t fill you up and make you feel bloated… and also lacking much of any flavor or intoxicant…. elevator music on the wall and, more importantly, in the effort.

I can’t find anything in this apart from celebrity and its recognition used as some sort of crossover vehicle… really really disappointing that it’s getting play and quite some space in galleries that have the opportunity to show magic work (and yet slump to this). There have been a few reasonably harsh responses and reactions even before it’s landed on the wall… but the movie star factor keeps it rolling.

So I guess good luck. My crummy whinge in this obscure blog won’t matter a damn… and probably nor should it.

From the Catherine Edelman Gallery website (

“At the age of sixteen, upon seeing the work of Irving Penn, Sandro Miller knew he wanted to become a photographer. Mostly self-taught, Sandro relied on books published by many of the great artists canonized in photographic history.  Through their pictures, he learned the art of composition, lighting and portraiture. More than 30 years later, with clients ranging from Forbes, GQ and Esquire, to American Express, Coca-Cola and BMW, Sandro has secured his place as one of the top advertising photographers worldwide.

His success in the commercial world allows him to continue his personal projects, which has included working in Cuba, photographing American blues musicians, various dance troupes, and extended endeavors with John Malkovich, his long time friend and collaborator. Sandro first met Malkovich in the late 1990s, while working on a job for Steppenwolf Theater. More than 16 years later, Sandro and John are still collaborating, which can be seen in their latest project, Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich.

In 2013, Sandro decided to do a project honoring the men and women whose photographs helped shape his career. After selecting thirty-five images to emulate, Sandro contacted Malkovich, who instantly agreed to participate. When speaking about Malkovich, Sandro states: “John is the most brilliant, prolific person I know. His genius is unparalleled. I can suggest a mood or an idea and within moments, he literally morphs into the character right in front of my eyes. He is so trusting of my work and our process… I’m truly blessed to have him as my friend and collaborator.”

Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich honors photographs that have impacted Sandro. Pieces include Irving Penn’s photograph of Truman Capote in a corner; Bert Stern’s photographs of Marilyn Monroe; Dorothea Lange’s image of a migrant mother; Robert Mapplethorpe’s self-portrait with a gun; Annie Leibovitz’s iconic image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono; Richard Avedon’s beekeeper, among many others.

John Malkovich is considered to be one the greatest American actors of the 21st century. In Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich, he demonstrates his chameleon-like proclivity, morphing into Albert Einstein, Che Guevara, John Lennon and Andy Warhol. Through his immense skill and Sandro’s amazing photographic eye, Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich pays respect to photographic history through the genius of a photographer and his muse.”


(c) Brenda Croft

The MGA down in sunny Victoria has a pair of shows running in to towards the end of the year that I’d love to see.

Bad Aboriginal photography

Bad Aboriginal photography is an exhibition of cheeky work by three Indigenous Australian artists: Brenda L Croft, Destiny Deacon and Tracey Moffatt. In different ways they each venture into the badlands of social etiquette. Croft speculates about her father’s mysterious past, Deacon makes fun of Aboriginal stereotypes, and Moffatt finds entertainment in personal trauma. With a sense of mischief and humour, these artists explore the underbelly of public history and personal memories.”


(c) Ruth Maddisson

Photography Meets Feminism: Australian women photographers 1970s-80s

During this period of the late twentieth century, photography helped feminism and feminism helped photography. On the one hand, feminists used the highly informative and accessible medium of photography to raise awareness of critical social issues. On the other hand, photographic artists embraced feminist themes as a way of making their practice less esoteric and more engaged with contemporary life. This productive exchange between feminism and photography fostered a range of technical innovations and critical frameworks that radically transformed the direction of visual culture in Australia.”

Would love to see the feminism show to see how it is dragged together on the wall and the curatorial/historical hand in it.

Anyway… for those within striking distance… it’s all there for you!

(c) Nicholas Nixon

The two or three clowns who read this pokey blog will know that I’m a bit of a fanboy of Nicholas Nixon. His ‘porch pictures’ rock my world… and of course the cities from up high… the sisters… family… it goes on and on.

One of his prints hanging in the MoMA knocked me over years ago when I skipped through the galleries.

So it is exciting that the entire ‘Brown Sisters’ series is up on the NYT website to enjoy. To look at a project that has been running for forty (40!) years. Something that is ‘live’… that continues… that is shown as it evolves (to see the thing hung now as opposed to fifteen years ago is an entirely different proposition).

Check it here: Nixon in the New York Times