Crude Metaphors

Mona Kuhn: Private

  • Truth or Consequences was a 12-hour drive from Los Angeles so she left shortly after midnight. She’d pick him up, and it would take a further 4 hours to the hot springs spa they’d booked for the weekend. They had agreed she would break her journey in a motel near the Painted Desert, about 8 hours from home. She could shower, eat breakfast and rest up, so long as they arrived at their final destination before dinner. She was an uncertain driver at the best of times -- nervous about the route, the timings, the weather and all the intangible unpredictability of such a long road trip.The night was cold and crisp, with a full moon and starry sky. The freeway traffic was light and she soon cleared [...]

  • Pedro Alfacinha has spent the past five years working at the highly respected publisher MACK. This autumn he is opening a new gallery in Lisbon, representing an exceptional list of both homegrown, and international artistic talent. At a time when the international media seems solely interested in Portugal’s economic turmoil, Harry Hardie talks to Alfacinha about his commitment to employing photography to create an exciting and positive future.HH: Tell me a bit about your background, I know you were obviously at MACK, where you have been for some time, but before that?PA: I was born in Lisbon and in 2006 I moved to London. I had been interested in photography all along, and decided very early that I wanted to study in London. In 2007 I enrolled in [...]

  • War photographs are by definition haunting, but few are as mysterious and surreal as the ones taken in the Democratic Republic of Congo by Irish photographer Richard Mosse, part of his multi-year project documenting the conflict there. The pictures utilise an obsolete Kodak infrared film once used in the military to detect enemy camouflage, which in print renders ordinary greenery in hallucinatory, almost unearthly, shades of fuchsia. The resulting landscape appears contaminated, “marked” and rather menacing – part of a conscious strategy by Mosse to uncover traces of the country’s intractable and largely invisible violence.    More recently, Mosse has made the leap to film with The Enclave, a multi-channel video, also shot on infrared, which multiplies the visceral impact of the photographs with hypnotic sound and editing. The [...]

  • Katharine Cooper was born and raised in Africa, but as an African of European descent, she was part of the minority growing up. She talks to Alia Thomas about the significance of her series, “White Africans”, and touches upon the issues that are still present within parts of the African community. Deryl Barlow Dressed As Cleopatra With Greyhounds - Montagu, SA 2013AT: How did your interest in photography come about?  KC: I grew up surrounded by it. My father is a photographer – he studied journalism, edited the local paper and had a darkroom at home.  At first I swore I would never become a photographer – I hated the chemicals and the hours of hard work. Then one day, I picked up one of my father’s cameras – a [...]
  • Ever since photography’s inception, the scientific underpinnings of the medium have served to distance it from traditional forms of visual media.  A desire to reconnect photography to the inherent human proclivity for mark-making forms the basis of London based photographer, Oliver Eglin’s 2014 project Markings, recently selected as part of Daniel Blau Gallery’s annual 5 Under 30 group exhibition.  Taking as it’s subject matter the intricate carvings inscribed in the bark of the Ficus Macrophylla trees by visitors in the Giardino Garibaldi in Sicily, research by Eglin into the origins of the Ficus revealed it’s use by Australian Aborigines who would utilise it’s bark as pigment for rock paintings.  Looking at the sensuous, twisting roots of the Ficus tree in images such as Ngamadjidj, it’s easy to imagine that the [...]
  • David Campany is a writer, curator, artist and reader of photography at Westminster University. He has written extensively on Photography, Art and Cinema including books such as ‘Art and Photography’ (2003) and ‘The Open Road’: photographic road trips across the world (2014). He is also the recipient of the ICP Infinity Award for his writings on photography. Clare Bennett recently say down with David to talk about his new book Walker Evans: The Magazine Work, published by Steidl earlier this year. Clare Bennett: Where did the idea for the book come from?David Campany: From a young age I was aware of Evans' photographs, the famous ones, taken in the 1930s in the American south. Those are the ones in museum collections and they appear in just about every history of photography. I [...]