“The passion for utilising and finding meaning in any national or personal trauma or catastrophe is perhaps one of the main driving forces of the human spirit”

I found this text from an exhibition called Catastrophe and the Power of Art held at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo earlier this year.  The exhibition included photography, for example the directly representational works of Naoya Hatakeyama, who photographed after earthquake and tsunami hit Tohoku.  “It is as though the artists saw no point in altering perception since the catastrophe itself already provided the mediation between them and the normal state of things, the “real” life before the mess.  […] Continue reading

The gallery is one space in the town or city which “can break the circuit, arrest the flow, by encouraging us to contemplate a still, or at least a slow, image.”

The subject of photographs as art, photographs in galleries, photographs as having monetary value, photographs as replicable objects etc. continues to be brought under scrutiny.  It is evidence for me of the sheer speed of photography’s spread and capabilities as a technology.  Continue reading

Justine Khamara: “If my work could inspire anything I would hope that it might be a moment’s silence”

Justine Khamara takes two dimensional photographs which she hand-cuts to use in the construction of sculptural, three dimensional forms.  Her work adopts a variety of approaches from garbled shredded faces to dreamlike masses of arms that appear as if they might move.  It is the spherical portraits that I found particularly engaging, entitled ‘Now I am a radiant people’ (2011). The ‘scales’ that cover the surface of the spheres appear at first almost creature-like, as if each ball might unfurl and slink away; or perhaps they are huge pinecones fallen to the ground, waiting to open and seed.  It is not until closer inspection that one realises they are constructed from a rhythm of tiny human portraits, changing scale, giving the impression of a living, expanding thing; they appear to be animal, plant and human all at once.

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