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© Laura Pannack

Laura Pannack is based in the UK and Lydia Panas in the US.

Pannack deals with the awkwardness and the concealed emotions of adolescence, Panas deals with the small gestures between family which may or may not infer awkwardness and concealed emotions.

The bare back, the turned back, the turned head, the caught glimpse and the avoided glance are all enticing props for a charged portrait.

Through their eye contact, both Pannack and Panas’ subjects foolishly ask us questions. Foolish because, let’s be honest, what do we know about childhood or teenage conundrums?

© Lydia Panas

© Laura Pannack

@ Lydia Panas

© Laura Pannack

© Lydia Panas

© Laura Pannack

© Lydia Panas

And Still We Gather With Infinite Momentum 1. © Justin James King

© Justin James Reed

Both of these photographers deal with big spaces in different ways.

Justin James King

Justin James Reed

I am currently obsessed with Alex Webb and the way he piles everything on top of everything else. Working on a post last week, I was reminded of a commercial shoot I saw last year.

© Alex Webb/Magnum Photos. CUBA. Sancti Spiritus. 1993. Baseball fans.

@ Ben Baker. FedEx Board of Directors

Ben Baker‘s website and interview. Alex Webb‘s website

"Francois. 34 ans. Arret de Developpement intellectuel conscentif. Idiotisme." From ‘Traites des Degenerescences', by Morel (1857)

"Francois. 34 ans. Arret de Developpement intellectuel conscentif. Idiotisme." From ‘Traites des Degenerescences', by Morel (1857)

Green Hill, 2000 (C) Steve Davis

Green Hill, 2000 (C) Steve Davis

A couple of comments that have blown me away in the last 24 hours.

Convergence

From Patrick McInerney;

The similarity between Steve’s photographs and the scientific studies of psychiatric inmates the mid nineteenth century asylums is striking. (For a particularly good example see pictures of psychiatric inmates in Benedict Augustin Morel’s 1857 ‘Traites des Degenerescences: physiques, intellectuelles et morales de l’espèce Humaine

And its interesting that they have a similar effect today as the early images did in the past, i.e. they encourage us to read the prisoner’s “true” character in their faces, with all the difficulty that incurs. It was obviously not Steve’s intent to mimic 19th c. scientists but maybe its quite understandable he feels that the style has become a bit jaded … it has after all been around for some time!

Steve was jaded not only by the limits of the portrait to communicate but also by the disconnected agendas viewer brought to his works, “People respond to these portraits for their own reasons. A lot of the reasons have nothing to do with prison justice. Some of them like pictures of handsome young boys; they like to see beautiful people, or vulnerable people, whatever. That started to blow my mind after a while.”

It is a serious issue within photography that we are all lazy viewers. The less curious and less open we are, the more likely we are to fall back on pleasing, self-affirming bias.

Memory

Three months ago I posted some images of the Prison Ship/Torture Museum, The Success

Wooden Coffin / Wooden Maiden / Iron Maiden?

Wooden Coffin / Wooden Maiden / Iron Maiden?

Today, I received this;

I believe it was around 1944 that a prison ship, maybe it was The Success came to Cleveland Ohio at Lake Erie. I remember seeing the torture devices and one sticks in my mind to this day. I was told it was called the ‘Iron Maiden’, but your photos call it the ‘Wooden Coffin’.

Although I saw it as a child the memory stays with me to this day.

Age following age has propagated its own fascination with the macabre and majority-assigned human defect. From “scientific” research to childhood memory the will to understand difference has played out (and continues to play out) the shifting – and ultimately false – parameters of normal.

High Security Prison, Beit Lid, Israel, 1969. © Micha Bar Am

High Security Prison, Beit Lid, Israel, 1969. © Micha Bar Am

Hyse (from the Fish Work Norway series) © Corey Arnold 2009

Hyse (from the Fish Work Norway series) © Corey Arnold 2009

Convergences Archive

A study Salvador Dalí drew for a dream sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Spellbound” (1944). Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí/Artists Rights Society, New York

A study Salvador Dalí drew for a dream sequence in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Spellbound” (1944). Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí/Artists Rights Society, New York

A detainee kicks a soccer ball around the central recreation yard at Camp 4, Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, June 10, 2008, during his daily outdoor recreation time. Detainees in Camp 4 get up to 12 hours of daily of outdoor recreation, including two hours in a central recreation yard. Photo Credit: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Sarah Cleveland

A detainee kicks a soccer ball around the central recreation yard at Camp 4, Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, June 10, 2008, during his daily outdoor recreation time. Detainees in Camp 4 get up to 12 hours of daily of outdoor recreation, including two hours in a central recreation yard. Photo Credit: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Sarah Cleveland

View: Archive of Prison Photography Convergences

Germany; Indoor Pool "Tropical Islands" in Berlin Brandenburg; Tourist watching the evening show. ©  Reiner Riedler / Anzenberger

Germany; Indoor Pool "Tropical Islands" in Berlin Brandenburg; Tourist watching the evening show. © Reiner Riedler / Anzenberger

Nuclear Test on Bikini Atoll

Nuclear Test on Bikini Atoll

Lenscratch was right to single out the work of Reiner Riedler from the 50 chosen artists of Critical Mass at Photolucida, Portland, Oregon.

The search for the authentic undertaken by the tourists of Fake Holidays creates paradoxically inauthentic (“anti-authentic”) spaces. Invariably, engagement with these theatre-sets of leisure is as spectator. Of the audience, the spectacle requires passive acceptance and, to some degree, a surrendering of their self identities as agents of change.

Many of Riedler’s images are caustic in their humour but others are flat out depressing. “Tropical Islands” reminded me of the images of 50’s movie-goers in 3-D glasses; fun at the time but now cut into apocalyptic montages of human division, destruction and powerlessness.

Riedler’s image suggest little progression since the late colonial exploitations of Europe in the South Pacific. It is as if he turned the camera 180 degrees on its tripod, eradicated half a century, added colour and caught the masses still gawping.

Furthermore, “Tropical Islands” can be read as a simulation of the defacement of human existence. The fake plastic trees, sealed dome architectural skin and industrial spotlights have me imagining these people kicking back on their loungers as a nuclear winter takes hold outside their chlorinated, hemispherical world. It is as if the only method of survival in this radioactive-proof conch is to relive (in full surround-sound) the astounding beauty of the awesome act that drove them to their hermetically sealed lives.

Also, while we are on the topic of nuclear holocaust, you should listen to Nitin Sawhney’s Beyond Skin.

Archive of Prison Photography Convergences.

Floating Maze, Festival der Regionen. 2007, by Peter Sandbichler.

Floating Maze, Festival der Regionen. 2007, by Peter Sandbichler.

This weeks convergence pairs Peter Sandbichler’s Floating Maze with Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. Smithson’s pile of rocks have been subject to the rise and fall of the Great Salt Lake waters. Only recently has it re-emerged in a walkable state. If Smithson wasn’t so obsessed with the “Mud, salt, crystals, rocks, water” he may have come up with a buoyant solution that was always atop the surface.

Spiral Jetty, 1970. Robert Smithson (EUA 1938-1973). Great Salt Lake , Utah

Spiral Jetty, 1970. Robert Smithson (EUA 1938-1973). Great Salt Lake , Utah

Source: Sandbichler

Source: Smithson

Archive of Convergences

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@BROOKPETE ON TWITTER

  • RT @Tzuniha: “Clothing Inside: Addressing American Prisons” is available to view at the Aronson Gallery within Parsons, The New School (Sep… 4 days ago
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