Friday, September 30, 2016

Copyright and the Southern Photographer

The Southern Photographer (who made the image above) sincerely believes in copyright, and all its protections. 

The Southern Photographer believes that one owns one's images, and that they are copyrighted from the moment one presses the shutter button, or whatever act one makes to admit light to the recording medium.

The Southern Photographer believes in giving credit where it is due, and would never, ever, do anything that would imply that someone else's work was his, or do anything that enable him to earn money through the use of someone else's images. 

The Southern Photographer also believes in the doctrine of Fair Use, which says the following:

The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. 

The Southern Photographer believes that his use of low resolution images of other photographers' work on this blog falls within this definition of Fair Use. 

The Southern Photographer believes that his system of documenting the source of images he uses on this blog is appropriate, clear, informative, and enabling of other photographers' getting full credit for their achievements.  

The Southern Photographer also believes that the way he documents work on this blog is sustainable, while other methods of documentation would be sufficiently time-consuming as to bring the viability of this blog into serious question. 

The Southern Photographer is grateful to all those photographers who have expressed their appreciation for the extra bit of attention to their work that might have been achieved by its appearance on this blog. 

Such expressions of appreciation help keep this blog going. 

I'm grateful for them.

Stacy Kranitz is having a wonderful 2016, and its only September

Stacy Kranitz (see images above and below) has a new book of work made in the Appalachians now out from HERE Press, go here.

The book is entitled Speak your Piece, and contains work Kranitz has made over the past six years of living and working in the mountains of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. 

Kranitz calls her portfolio of this work  As it was Give(n) to Me.

Her new book draws on images from that portfolio, but also includes material drawn from an archive of text, drawings, and objects that explore the histories of the Appalachian region.

Kranitz's images and text explore the human impact of the exploration and extraction of the natural resources of this area

She also examines the history of representations of reality in Appalachia, considering photography's capability for depiction, but also the flaws and ruptures in our notions of the truth inherent in the image making process.

Some of the material in this book explores the human and natural costs of the coal industry, and its current decline

Kranitz looks thoughtfully and respectfully at the consequences of this decline, including the prevalence of drug use, strife in family relationships, love, lust and loneliness.

Her images document how the human responses in this region to the challenges of economic change can range from the heartwarming to the heartbreaking, from the comic to the tragic. 

For Kranitz, what is remarkable is how these responses are universal as well as local, unique to this region but also generalizable to broader considerations of human experience. 

Everywhere, not just Appalachia, has its customs and rituals, its many-faceted approaches to making meaning of life.

Kranitz' work is getting national press coverage, here, for example, on Juxtapoz.

And here, on The Fader, where Kranitz was proclaimed to be one of 25 photographers we need in our lives. 
The publication of Speak Your Piece anticipates a solo show Kranitz is having of this work at Little Big Man Gallery in Los Angeles in February 2017.

More on that show still to come on The Southern Photographer.

Cade Martin Photographs William Eggleston

Cade Martin is not a Southern photographer, but he was recently in Memphis and made this beautifully seen and truly splendid portrait of legendary Southern photographer William Eggleston.

Here's the story of the shot from PDN's PhotoServe:

"Martin describes the portrait session as a lucky encounter that almost didn’t happen. 

"In a Tumblr post, Martin explains that he was in Eggleston’s hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, when he had some extra time to kill. 

"He called Eggleston’s son and was invited to the Eggleston home to chat with the legendary photographer. 

"The two had a long conversation in Eggelston’s bedroom, talking about the photographer’s past and the types of cameras he used throughout his career. 

"Towards the end of the conversation, Martin convinced a reluctant Eggleston, now 77, to have his portrait taken. 

“At first [Eggleston] said he would not go outside, and I got up and left for a bit,” Martin tells Photoserve. 

“I went outside and took a few photos of a makeshift-setup I had created in the park [right across the street from his home]. 

"When I came back, [Eggleston had moved from his bed] and was playing the piano. 

"He told me that the light was nice there, and that we would take the picture.” “It was nerve wracking,” Martin recalls. 

“During the visit, I felt comfortable, but once I got behind the camera to take his portrait, I thought, ‘how am I going to pull this off?'”

But did he ever! 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Brett Abbott Leaving High, Headed to Texas

Brett Abbott, until recently the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family Curator of Photography and Head of Collections at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, has announced his resignation. 

Abbott will move to Fort Worth, Texas, to become Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, beginning late October. 

Abbott came to the High in 2011 from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where he served as associate curator of the department of photographs.

During his tenure at the High, Abbott supervised the acquisition of more than 2,000 prints to the museum's collection, and contributed significantly to the furthering of photography as a significant part of the High's mission as a repository of fine art. 

Abbott also worked with philanthropist and photographer Lucinda W. Bunnen to establish the museum’s first dedicated gallery space for photography.  

In addition, he worked with the museum's development officers to attract a number of major gifts in support of the High's photography collection, including a $2 million endowment from the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family to endow a permanent curator of photography position at the museum.

During his time at the High, Abbott also organized a number of notable exhibitions, including a retrospective of Wynn Bullock’s work. His legacy at the High is embodied in a soon-to-open show of new works from the internationally renowned German photographer Thomas Struth. 

The Struth show will open on October 16, and will will feature more than 30 pieces of new work by Struth, the first time any of this work has been seen in the USA.

I once had the opportunity to tour the High's photography exhibitions with Abbott as my guide, and I came away with a strong impression of his knowledge of photography, especially Southern photography, his awareness of current trends in fine art photography, and his commitment to making the High Museum the major museum of photography in the South. 

Abbott has certainly succeeded in his goals, and this success has earned him a promotion. 

Texas' gain is Atlanta's loss, but Abbott has built a strong foundation for future development of the photography collection under new leadership.

Thanks to Abbott for his leadership in Atlanta, and best wishes for all success in Fort Worth.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Photography Festivals in the South -- Fall 2016

Cooler nights and the first glimpses of autumn color in the leaves remind us that the fall photography festivals across the South are about to begin.

Leading off, of course, is the most Southern of festivals, SlowExposures, this year on from September the 15th through the 18th in Pike County, Georgia.

The full schedule is here. The list of exhibitors in the juried show is here. The list of pop-up shows is growing, signaling continued expansion of this wonderful event, full listing is here.

So much to look forward to in Pike County, Georgia, this weekend!

October, in central North Carolina, brings us CLICK! the Triangle Photography Festival, running from October 1st through 30th in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.

Special highlights this year include lectures by Distinguished Southern Photographer Jerry Uelsmann and celebrated South African photographer Zanele Muholi, as well as an expandee field of shows and exhibitions and an expanded portfolio review.

For a list of events that are part of CLICK!, go here.

October, in Georgia, of course brings us what my father would call the Daddy Rabbit of Southern Photography festivals -- Atlanta Celebrates Photography --which started out being about the month of October but now starts in September and continues long past the end of the month.

The full ACP Guide is here. 

So much good photography to see, so many learned speakers to hear, so many events to take part in! 

And there is more to come. Check back for news of more on festivals later in the fall. 

The life of the Southern photographer is full, and good.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sally Mann at the Gagosian Gallery

Distinguished Southern Photographer Sally Mann (see image above, (c) Sally Mann and used courtesy of the Gagosian Gallery) is about to have a show of new work at the Gagosian Gallery in NYC, opening September 22nd and up through October 29th, 2016.

This show features images from Mann's portfolio Remembered Light,  images made in the studio of Virginia-based, distinguished American painter Cy Twombly

The Gagosian Gallery's press release for this show describes Mann's work thus:

"In her latest exhibition of photographs . . . [Mann] records in fleeting impressions the working habitat of the late Cy Twombly, her close friend and mentor . . . both natives of Virginia. 

"The landscape to which Twombly returned each year is also the memoryscape of Mann’s connection to him. 

"This was documented in her recent and celebrated memoir Hold Still, in which she recalls his elemental nature, his southern courtesy, his wry and gentle humor. 

Mann has been fascinated with the play of light in much of her recent work, including work in this show, as illustrated by the image above, also (c) Sally Mann and used courtesy of the Gagosian Gallery.

The Gallery says that Mann's relationship with Twombly "was documented in her recent and celebrated memoir Hold Still, in which she recalls his elemental nature, his southern courtesy, his wry and gentle humor. 

"Recalling her time with Twombly, Mann writes, “Our part of the South, remote, beautiful, and patinaed with the past, allows us such a remove, the distance of another time.

"Under Mann’s gaze, and the warm light of Virginia, the accumulations and ordinary objects in Twombly’s studio reveal themselves not only as evidence of a richly imaginative and cultivated life lived and marked by tactility . . .  “the leftovers, smears, and stains, and an absence turned into a presence.” 

Mann's work in Twombly's studio has been the subject of a feature story in the NY Times, go here.

Also note the image of Twombly from the NY Times, directly below. 

Hilarie Sheets, the author of the NY Times piece, makes connections between Mann's work as a elegy for Twombly and Mann's more recent grief at the death of Emmett, Mann's eldest child, who, having struggled with schizophrenia in adulthood, took his own life this past June, at the age of 36.

Sheets says of Mann that in her writing and in her photographs she stares "as squarely as she [can], contemplating the passage of time and the transience of life."

The relationship between life and art, and especially between grief and art, is complex, contradictory, defying simple description.  

The making of meaning in the visual arts is especially valuable, however, because it works through non-verbal media, suggesting that the act of creativity is the meaningful event, not the verbal explanation for it. 

Mann's capacity to turn the simplest traces of human creativity into compelling images that draw us back, over and over, is a powerful demonstration of this capacity.