Aaron Schuman: Folk

  • Few publishers ever truly become household names, even fewer printers ever achieve such esteem, however, one man over the course of a lifetime spent at the press and in the company of some of the world’s most notable photographers has done just that.  GB: Gregory Barker GS: Gerhard Steidl GB: Let’s begin at the very beginning. How did you get started as a printer? GS: When I started, I had no idea I would work as a printer. I wanted to do photography. I had my camera, I had a darkroom and I wanted to design posters and printed matter with my own photography. Right at the beginning I had no idea about printing, but I designed a poster with my own photograph for a student play [...]

  • There is a light that guides us throughout 700 Miles, a project by Argentine born, UK resident Seba Kurtis. No tourist when it comes to illegal immigration, Kurtis has experienced the difficult position first hand, as well as working with the subject in his large format photography for many years. Accustomed to the trails and trials of those who leave Latin America for Europe or the US, in 700 Miles he visits the notorious billion-dollar stretch of steel fencing signed into law by George W. Bush in 2006 and erected along the US-Mexico Border. 2000 miles long, the Southern Border that joins New Mexico, California, Arizona and Texas is a leviathan of border control that incorporates 700 miles of concrete and steel pedestrian fencing to connect [...]

  • Recent graduate Rebecca Scheinberg deploys the language and efficiency of advertising imagery to reference itself, creating a wholly unique clarity of vision. Vivid and sensuous, she enhances the formal qualities of her subjects, including the classic photographic genres of the still life and the nude. Ambiguous in their source, the images could be outtakes from Scheinberg’s own commercial shoots, or equally borrowed images already in circulation from other contexts. Glossy and seductive, the glamourous veneer of the work shields a deeper, more thoughtful critique of capitalism and commodity culture beneath the surface.  Tohu Va Bohu is an installation comprising a set of large framed photographic prints, a reflective aluminium shelf supporting smaller mounted prints and an illuminated display cabinet with six revolving iPads showing moving images. Between surreal-like [...]

  • History has come to an end many times in Europe, and with each successive conclusion, memories thought consigned to the collective unconscious have only returned to haunt the continent.  Compelled to examine the effects of the recent Eurozone crisis, Lewis Bush travelled across Europe in 2012 to discover how the cycle of collective amnesia could have returned with such vengeance.In each of Lewis Bush’s images, history threatens to recommence once more as traces of the past return in the most incongruous of details, cracks in the steel and plastic sculpture which sits at the entrance of the European central bank, bullet marks scattered across a Franco-Prussian war monument, a no-entry sign lies at the foot of the gates to a synagogue in Budapest.  Partly inspired by the cliffhanger conclusion of [...]
  • At first glance, the former industrial town of Bilsner, Illinois could be any town in the American mid-west: battle-scarred by the recent recession and successive waves of outsourcing by multi-national conglomerates, it’s residents now face an uncertain future where mass-unemployment is the new norm and formerly loyal industries have shut up shop for good.  At least, this might be the media narrative if Bilsner, Illinois existed in reality, instead it is the construction of Daniel Shea who returns to photograph the formerly industrial towns of southern Illinois in his new book Bilsner, IL, a sequel to his 2012 work Bilsner, Ill. An aggregated archetype of post-recession America, Shea’s oeuvre employs fictive strategies to explore how photography can been used to mythologise a once illustrious past.  In Bilsner, IL, fiction mirrors [...]
  • The cognitive dissonance induced by the spectacle of images is laid bare to an un-nerving degree in Fala Urfali’s Dear Lebanon, whereby the Lebanese born, London based photographer juxtaposes mass-market tabloid photography with documentary images depicting the horrors of the recent conflicts in Lebanon.  An officer rushing to the attention of a sunbather lying on a pavement, bodybuilders posing as the city burns around them; for Urfali, “the war of images” is expanded beyond the frame of the carefully codified, government sanctioned press photograph to encompass competing genres whose juxtaposition exposes the superficiality at the heart of contemporary mass-media coverage of the Lebanese conflict.We spoke to the recent London College of Communications graduate about her work.AK:  What first sparked your interest in photography?FU:  In 2008, my family and I fled [...]