When Gideon Mendel left South Africa in 1990, three years before the official end of Apartheid, he left a huge archive of transparencies and negatives in storage.
In 2016, 25 years later, Mendel learned that the top inch of one the boxes had been water-damaged. Coincidentally, the photographer had been working on a long-term project about climate change and flooding called Drowning World
These images, many seen for the first time, are now presented in Mendel’s latest photobook, Freedom or Death. Split into three parts, each section is categorised by a different process of intervention.
Through this attempt to re-engage with these documents of history — a history of conflict, tragedy and struggle — Mendel was also able to re-engage with his own memories. “I’ve come to realise that to some extent I was packing away those traumas within myself, like how I packed away the boxes,” he reflects. “Unpacking it has been an...
Harry Borden’s portraits of Holocaust survivors.SURVIVORS
Exactly 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz and while a international forum is held at the Jewish Holocaust memorial of Yad Vashem those images and testimonies are more than ever topical.
Borden only discovered his Jewish ancestry as a teenager and has never approached the subject before. Indeed, his career has been in commercial and editorial work, rather than conceptual portraiture, through long relationships with The New Yorker, Vogue and Time.
“At the age of 40, having spent half my life photographing famous people, I wanted to do something with meaning,” he says. “I grew up on a farm in Devon in England. My dad, Charlie, was a resolutely atheist Jew who derived nothing from his background except a fear of anti Semitism. “When I was a boy, he once told me that the Nazis would have killed us. I was shocked. I attended a Church of England primary school, sang in the choir and had always considered myself a Chris...
The life and times of Alvin Baltrop.EPHEMERAL
The piers were an enchanted place during their heyday in the seventy’s and late photographer Alvin Baltrop made the ephemeral hookups that occurred there a central focus of his work and his life. Baltrop, was an American photographer who was unknown to the mainstream art world when he died in 2004 at 55. Today he is exhibited in a major retrospective at the Bronx museum. That he was black, gay and working class accounts in part for his invisibility, but so does the subject matter he chose: a string of derelict Hudson River shipping piers that, in the 1970s and ’80s, became a preserve for gay sex and communion. In assiduously recording both the architecture of the piers and the amorous action they housed, Baltrop created a monument to the city itself at the time when it was both falling apart and radiating liberationist energy.
‘THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ALVIN BALTROP’ at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (through Feb. 9)....
the line between the reader and writer has blurred - and so have the distinction among tweet, blog post, newspaper story, magazine article, the line between professionals and amateurs - practically beyond recognition. More than ever we can still crave for latest updates or ever-changing trends.