At the FLOWERS EAST GALLERY, in Shoreditch, is a collection of work from the photographer Michael Wolf. Primarily the images shown are from China and Japan, with these colossal prints of buildings, consisting of a seemingly uncountable amount of floors, all stacked up on one another. One instantly feels claustrophobic, which is a theme that seems to run throughout his work. There are a number of images from his series ‘Tokyo Compression’, where we stand safely on the other side of subway doors, free to move about on the outside, whilst looking inside where bodies have been rammed together, and again packed tight like the apartments in his large-scale pictures. And yet, in these images, there are some beautifully quiet moments, as if some of them have been suspended in time, frozen; dream-like, ethereal, and held in place behind the condensation of the glass.
With Michael Wolf you are given the ultimate ticket of voyeurism, the chance to stand unseen, and to gaze at miniature, contained worlds, small pockets of living spaces encased behind glass.
A little late, though well worth bringing up, is the photography slideshow from this years FOTO8 summer show. It is a powerfully stirring selection of photographs, from humour and wit, to fantastical, almost unbelievable events. We are confronted with photojournalism and the raw realism of so many stark, revealing moments in the people we’re viewing. It is a wonderful insight into so many diverse types of photography right now, of its many, proliferating directions.
The show also includes a really good friend of mine, Nick Ballon, who I have been lucky to assist on numerous shoots. I have learned a great deal over the years from Nick, and continue to pester him even today, with many photography questions he always answers with the utmost patience.
I took this photograph at Seaside Heights, in New Jersey, which was used as part of the ‘Dear America’ series, curated by ZARA for their launch into the U.S. The series consists of 50 photographs for the 50 States of America, a quiet and gentle series, full of texture and landscapes and peaceful sights that undulate across the country.
“Photography isn’t looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”
Although best known for his war photography, there is a lot more to Don McCullin than his stirring B&W photographs of the Vietnam War. He shot strong, eye-opening pictures of the homeless in the East End of London, as well as the poor in the North of England, in the early sixties, giving us these stark, industrial landscapes where we can still see the scars of World War II; a battered, beaten country, a shadow of its former, colonial self. And now, at the Tate Britain, there is a collection of his British landscapes, capturing the changing seasons of England, as he explains in this short clip on TateShots..
This collection is on at the Tate Britain until 4 March 2012, admission is free.
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