EXPO: Barbara Galvács – Dignity

Before I even start describing what is going on in the back room of VondelCS I must admit: Barbara Galvács is a dear friend of mine, a companion in emotional times. I’m unquestionably biased.

Now that you are aware, I can introduce you to this group exhibition in the midst of the beautiful greenery of Vondelpark. An excellent spot to show (off) what you got. Barbara Galvács, Cissie van der Ven and Juel McNeilly joined forces with Ingeborg Brounts to introduce you to what they call the ‘female identity’. A hip topic these days, especially after the Olympic Games bringing up all the discrimination women have to deal with. Being a woman isn’t easy. (For the record, I’m not saying it’s easy to be a man, but let’s talk about that another time.)

Galvács’s photography is fragile, in the most noble sense. It’s like a beautifully arranged set of stained glass windows in conversation with one another. No meaningless chatter but dignified, deep thoughts bring them together. Wise words whispered from one suffering body to another, the proof of virtue and the strength of the human soul.

Cissie van der Ven’s self portraits are a radiant match – quite literally. Daring reflections of alter egos we all long to prove at some point in life. Most of us never ventures into the fancy worlds of animal prints and nipple pasties though. Sometimes I wonder: would it be a better place with less self-consciousness – or just a world where selfie sticks are on the lower levels of Maslow’s pyramid.

Ed van Teeseling’s Rubenesque sculptures, thanks to the collaboration with Ingeborg Brounts, the late artist’s wife, and Juel McNeilly’s collection of light-hearted (yet thought-provoking) street interviews make the exposition complete.

I am convinced there is nothing better you could spend 30 minutes of your free time on. Go grab a coffee and look around in that back room of VondelCS. You have until 4th September.

Bordeaux

Streets of London

Going analogue

Remember me saying I would share some of my analogue experiments with you? The time has come! (Took me only a little bit more than 7 months…)

About a week ago I got back in to the dark territories of analogue photography once again – and also got back all those butterflies in my stomach. The good kind of butterflies. I have never been much into kinky stuff but the red lights of a photo lab give me goosebumps.

I was borrowed a beautiful Lubitel2 to play with. God, that device needs a completely new set of mind! And one learns to appreciate rules like the Sunny f/16 even more, especially when their light meter decides to retire itself. (By the way, this Android App works surprisingly good.)

The first roll has been exposed and developed. My eyes are still not to be trusted when it comes to sharpness but that’s not new. (Autofocus is my very best friend for a reason.) Nevertheless, lessons learnt. Here come two of my shots: exported4 The second roll is loaded and I walk the streets of Haarlem and Amsterdam like a looney accompanied by my old school camera(s). I just ordered about a dozen rolls of expired 35 mm films (for my Minolta) so I think this fever will last for quite a while. (Well… If it’s up to me it will never end.)

Oh, and I made my very first photogram this week. Have I mentioned I’m deeply in love?

(To be continued…)

Some offers that worth to be checked out, should you be on the hunt:

On my affair with UNSEEN Amsterdam

I should have been blogging day and night the last week as UNSEEN Amsterdam was on fire and I was there to make sure I get close enough. (Well. I am always there, all day every day as a devoted volunteer, ready to serve, ever since the very first festival back in 2012.)

Since it is sort of late to come up with a long and meaningful post I will simply let you know who and what was my favourite. You all are dying to know, after all.

Whoever missed the somewhat hidden Amsterdam Diorama by Sohei Nishino should start Googling it like crazy. It’s one jaw-dropping master piece. (Despite the fact that it’s made of 1000 smaller prints.) If I had the money I would buy the whole thing along with a canal house with a wall big enough for that gorgeous, captivating, inspiring work of art. It was really, really hard to walk away.

image

Stina Gromark and Louise Naunton’s Human Printer was something I didn’t find very interesting – until the moment I started to help them. I love the concept! And I am the happiest person ever that I was given the chance to work on their biggest piece so far.

My favourite gallery remains M97 from Shanghai with their bold, experimental imagery. If there is only one UNSEEN artist you are willing to check out make it Wang Ningde. Impressive stuff.

It is pretty hard to tell you which photographer’s work I liked the most. 53 galleries… 53 GALLERIES!!! Not to mention the side projects. Nevertheless, Michael Wolf’s series taken in Paris was the first one that made me stop and stand still for long, long minutes. That’s a good enough reason to mention him here, isn’t it?

[Paris Tree Shadows no. 4 by Michael Wolf, 2014]

It was another wonderful week full of stirring vibes. New friends, lovely summer weather, talented artists everywhere. Volunteering at UNSEEN is a highlight of the year. See you there again in about 357 days.

The Big Darkroom Project – stage 4

Well, in the end I gave up on the idea of my very own darkroom—at least for the time being: I do not spend enough time at my mum’s place in Hungary, where the darkroom was about to be built, and it’s also not a cheap hobby, let’s be honest. Even though I have like 95% of the gear there is still quite some money to invest: I’m missing lenses for the enlarger(s), some filters would be handy, the sink is still to be installed, not to mention chemicals to purchase.

I’ve found the best rental darkroom in Budapest though with superb supervision assistance if needed where I plan to spend quite some time whenever I’m home in Hungary: lab4art. It’s a nice pro lab in the center with lovely people to guide you around the place and/or through the process. Darkrooms you can rent on an hourly/daily basis with or without assistance for a reasonable price—or you can attend their workshop(s) to learn how the whole thing works.

I will share some of my first experiments with you in the coming days as I developed some pictures taken by my father in the 1970’s. So much fun—and so much to learn. Just another part of photography I instantly fell in love with.

Weekly This and That – W3

Loads and loads of things happened this week. The list might seem long but it’s worth the time, I promise.

  • Not the Death of Photography, Just a Rebirth. Opinion on the mass democratization of photography by Lewis Bush. Compulsory, mostly for drama queens.
  • LensCulture Exposure Award 2013 winners. My personal favourite is Yijun Liao’s Experimental Relationship. (Don’t forget to take a look at the finalists either, plenty of good stuff there.)

    Some words are just between you and me. From the series “Experimental Relationship” © Yijun Liao

Needles and Haystacks #3 or How to Find Your Way Around in the World of Photo Festivals

It is not easy to see clearly when it comes to photography festivals. (To be absolutely honest I think it is impossible.) It is bothering me a lot since I am one of those who wouldn’t like to miss any of them and also tends to apply as a volunteer. I worked in London (Photo Art Fair) and Amsterdam (Pride Photo Award, UNSEEN) in the last couple of years and as soon as I win the lottery you will see me everywhere, as the only thing keeping me back is that I can’t afford volunteering all the time.

Anyway, not too long ago I came across this very, very useful article by Fotografia Magazine that inspired me to refresh my interest lists kept on Facebook. What I have had for quite a while is the “complete” list of events going on all over the world including 101 happenings. (There is quite a few that do not have a Facebook page and there must be a lot that I do not know about. Your input is more than welcome.) It is pretty hard to digest that one so I have created one for each continent now. (Well, more or less…) These seem to be pretty good sources of information, less is more after all. In case you would like to join any of them here come the links:

I think I should also create some Twitter lists following the same logic. Let me know if you like the idea:

This is my first poll here, please vote, don’t let me down.

Related:

The Big Darkroom Project – stage 2

A dustless room I have now that is still not dark. It is full of stuff I haven’t even seen for over a decade though. I think I am going to go for some workshop to lower the risk of making major mistakes.

I also need to find in the attic/buy/make and install a pretty sink then I am good to go. I wish there was a (preferably hot) handyman around to take care of this part.

Two articles I’ve found very helpful so far:

To be continued…

The Big Darkroom Project – stage 1

There is a tiny little room in my parents’ house that would make a perfect darkroom. I could finally develop all the pictures I took with my middle-aged Minolta or kind-of-old Zenit. I could make a dream of mine come true.

I also have everything but chemicals so there is no way to make any further excuses, I gotta get that room cleared and make it my very own hiding place.

I am going there right now and will make things happen.

I will keep you posted.

*steps fading away*

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