Monthly Archives: August 2011

It was a year ago today that The US President Barack Obama gave his ‘end of combat operations in Iraq’ speech.

The Iraq conflict has largely fallen off our radar as other catastrophies (along with our fatigue) set in… so this entry is simply a moment to stop and actually consider the horrific undertaking..

I have a feeling that the violence is not well remembered (for nearly three times as many US troops lost their lives during the shorter Iraq campaign than have in the entire US/Afghani debacle); the coalition of the willing (shooting at Iraq for what?); the images of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse are but a vague memory (for to see them fresh with those gleaming smiles of the guards is somehow more sickening now – and all the perpetrators are out of gaol); the execution of Sadam Hussein with its hooded, chanting vengeful crowd (for he did not finish his prayer before the floor fell away from under him); the countless mass graves of Kurds and Shi’ite that were uncovered and shown to the world (but were then somehow a ‘good PR story’ as the rotting, bloated donkey of the WMD lie was still fresh in the noses of many)…

Yes: the lie.

In its many forms, its many repetitions and various shapes… have we forgotten the lie?

Pause.

It’s out.

Yep – there have been rumours, whispers, mumblings, hushed late night conversations down at the docks… and now it has been brought out into the blazing light of day.

Time Machine has launched.

Get on over for a good sticky beak!

www.timemachinemag.com

I’ve been quietly working away with Michael Cammack, the Director of the Kaori Gallery in Canberra, on a hang of my little polaroid prints known as Instant Pictures.

And after a few hours last night of holding tape measures just right, making little pencil marks on the wall, drilling, screwing, spak-filling and painting… it looks like the little snaps will do just fine up in the gallery – a change as this work has only existed in its little clamshell box format up until now.

So it’s sitting there waiting for the masses to pour through the door, to ogle at the work, to giggle and point, to walk away shaking their heads (or desperately calling their broker in order to secure the purchase – hah!).

Install pictures to come.

29 August – 24 September 2011

Kaori Gallery

Cnr London Circuit/Hobart Place

Canberra City, Australia

www.kaorigallery.com.au

Instant Pictures

She’s prolific. No stopping her I tell you! No lie, no story, she’s continuing to push her work and artistic practice.

Mayu Kanamori is shooting this weekend – and you can sit back and watch it all evolve.

All the details above.

Don’t miss it.

Just a little follow up to the entry on Amy Mills’ exhibition.

The Canberra Times rolled in and put in a great report on the show.

You can read it here.

There is a little show hanging in Canberra right now which will no doubt make a few peeps take a step back as the magnitude (and the sheer mundaine repetitiveness) of it all becomes apparent.

In the words of the photographer Amy Mills:

“For 30 days I wanted to record the life of someone with Cystic Fibrosis, a condition that affects the lungs, pancreas, and in my case the liver and bowel.

 As part of my Cystic Fibrosis, I had a liver transplant at the age of 12. As a result of the medication to stop my body rejecting the new organ, I got diabetes.

 Through photographs I have tried to capture my daily routine of taking up to 40 pills, injecting insulin, enduring nasal washes and wearing a mask to open my air ways.

 In the beginning this was an experiment. I wanted to challenge myself to take my medication as prescribed, which was something I have long struggled with because I am tired of being sick.

 This project started by taking 10 photographs per day for 30 days. I wanted each photo to be different even though the routine is continual and will be for the rest of my life. The rest of my life, that’s a strong statement and one I have always been afraid of.

There are 300 photos in this installation. I wanted to tell the truth, I wanted to be honest and I wanted to stop hiding this side of myself from the world.

 This is me, Amy Claire Mills.”

Sean Davey, the Education and Projects Manager at Photoaccess, adds these words.

“It is easy to look at others with a camera. It is somewhat natural to look outwardly at the world in amazement, with intrigue and wonder. To a certain extent, the photographer must be involved with their subject to make compelling and interesting work, but no matter what happens, the photographer can always walk away if things get too difficult or too complicated. But Amy Mills doesn’t have the option of walking away from her subject; she has chosen to do one of the hardest things a photographer can do (honestly), to turn her camera on herself. Amy is both subject and photographer in her work No More Tears, a series of photographs made over a one-month period in 2011.

Forty tablets a day, supplements, minerals, nasal flushes, injections, and mucus. These are some of the things that Amy deals with on a daily basis. This is what is it like living with Cystic Fibrosis and diabetes. No More Tears is an intimate and courageous photographic self-portrait of a vivacious young woman made by a talented photographer. Direct flash highlights little details,  and portrait after self-portrait the viewer is invited to experience Amy’s daily routine and to feel (only a fraction of) what it must be like living every day with her illnesses.

The compelling nature of this work makes me feel uneasy. It must be hard, and certainly it is sad. Then I look longer at the installation comprising of three hundred small images (Amy made ten pictures a day for thirty days) and I smile. Moments of tenderness and love appear, good times with friends and touching images of Amy with her mum, pictures that we can all relate to and that warm the soul. I am no longer looking at a visual description of an illness; I am looking at the wonderful life of a beautiful young woman. Reality; Amy must self medicate every day, repetitive actions of swallowing tablets and using machines to breathe and to clean her lungs of mucus. Similar pictures are displayed over and over again and then I sense that sometimes Amy feels overwhelmed at what she is up against.

I cannot really imagine what it is like to live life the way Amy is forced to, but Amy doesn’t have a choice. In essence none of us really do, we play the cards that we are dealt and then get on with it.  A small few, like Amy, do not pity themselves in the face of such circumstance; rather, they face life head on with courage, determination and a degree of cheekiness. No More Tears lives and breathes with Amy’s resilience and strength of character. Amy does not shy away from who she is or what she suffers from, rather, by photographing herself Amy is taking control of her illness and placing it within the context of her life; one that is full of love, family, friends, study, work and photography. Amy’s series of photographs reminds me how hard life can be for some people, while it simultaneously reveals just how precious and beautiful it really is.”

Heavy… heavy… heavy.

Don’t miss it.

www.photoaccess.org.au

I’ve been spoiled recently.

My birthday present from Wifey & Piggles was a card with a few IOU’s for some picture books.

Nothing better than that!

So I’ve gone for a hat trick of recent efforts by Aussies.

The second ball in the cricket analogy (for the slinger got one the other night against us) is Andrew Quilty’s The Mexicans.

I was really hot in the guts that I didn’t see Andrew’s show hanging a few months ago, so the book on the desk next to me is a chance to at least ponder the pictures (and really sometimes photography works much bettererer in a book than on the sterile gallery walls).

The short essay at the front of the book sets the tone – it allows you to find a point from which to approach some of the content – the base of these pictures sounds like it was a road trip of four months and many thousands of kilometres where he paused on occasion to put four edges around something that stirred his interest.

I have many hours ahead staring at these snaps.

www.andrewquilty.com

I had a wonderful object arrive in the post the other day.

A glorious little book! Beautiful, magic!

Louis Porter’s Bad Driving is a magnificent book to hold in your hands. It’s a 32 page (slightly bigger than A5) jewel of a thing put together by the crew at ERM books in Melbourne.

The excitement of receiving a package in the mail, the wrapping falling away, and then there is the cover staring back with its scribbly title and busted road marker…. luuurvly.

And…

$20 Aussie… that’s all… magazines cost more than that… and you own a gorgeous title by an ‘Aussie’ photographer (We’re claiming him).

Open your wallet and just order one (or more…)!

www.louisporter.com

www.ermbooks.com