Monday, 16 January 2017

Make America Kittens Again




Mio Dio! è troppo brutto!

Dove sono gli gattini carini e dolci.

Grazie, Make America Kittens Again. Tutti le fotografie del Donald Trump cambiano in fotografie del gattini. Bellisimo.


E in Inglese

My God! it is too bad!

Where are dear and sweet kittens.

Thanks, Make America Kittens Again. All photographs of Donald Trump change of kittens pictures. Bellisimo.



(Other) Adventures of Pinnochio: Il Mio Primero Recesione del Libro in Italiano:


Tutti le fotografie sono del Pinnochio (grazie Tipi. Li ho rubato)

Faccio come voglio con il mio Blog. E por quest'anno voglio imparare le lingue straniere per mi; Italiano, tedesco, francesce e spagnolo. Forse...?

Ma non ho il tempo per scrivere il mio blog e imparare le lingue straniere. Pero la soluzione è facile; io scrivo il blog in le lingue straniere. Io scrivo particolarmente le recensione di libri perche c'e molto difficile per scrivere in Inglese e ci vuole molti tempo.

Da ora in poi, le recensione sono un pocco corte, pero io impararo un pocco Italiano (o francese, o tedesco). Allora,una dia, io non sono il inglese stupido chi posso parlare inglese solamente. Forse, Inglaterra e la nazione del brexit, pero io voglio essere un po più europeo.Allora, il mio primero recensione in Italiano è (other) Adventures of  Pinnochio da Lorenzo Triccoli.



Il libro è la historia del Italia nel ventisimo secolo. Ci sono le fotografie che Tricoli ha trovuto sul Internet, Ci sono i capzioni e ci sono una granda storia sul retro del libro con un indice. è molto chiaro e ho imparato molto su la storia della Italia. Più importante sono le parole del Carlo Collodi, l'autore della historia del Pinnochio. Allora, il libro è satirico e politico.

Vediamo le historie del mafia, del disastre chemica Seveso, i scandali del Vatican e molti di piu.
Allora, ci è un libro historico e per mi è molti interessante. E con le parole di Tricoli, faccia una granda panorama della Italia oggi. E le parole sono interesante, non sono noioso. Leggo tutti le parole rapidamente!

La storia è chiaro e facile di capire, e le strate del fotografie e parole unianno insieme.

Per finire, questo libro di Lorenzo Tricoli è molto buono!

Puoi comprarlo qui

Scusa per il mio Italiano. è molti difficile! Che porco!




Le parole nove

Forse = perhaps

Da ora in poi = from now on

le recensione di libri = book reviews

 ci vuole molti tempo = it takes a lot of time

un po più europeo = a little more european

nel ventisimo secolo = in the twentieth century

sul retro del libro = at the back of the book

noioso = boring


Google Translate verzione in inglese

I do as I wish with my Blog. And por year I want to learn foreign languages ​​to me; Italian, German, and Spanish francesce. Maybe...?

But I do not have time to write my blog and learn foreign languages. But the solution is easy; I write the blog in foreign languages. I write particularly the review of books because there is very difficult to write in English, and it takes a lot of time.

From now on, the review are a short light steamed, but I impararo a Pocci Italian (or French, or German). Then, give a, I'm not the stupid English who I can speak English only. Perhaps, England and the nation of brexit, but I want to be a little more europeo.Allora, my primero review is Italian (other) Adventures of Pinnochio by Lorenzo Triccoli.

The book is the historia of Italy in ventisimo century. There are photographs that Tricoli has trovuto on the Internet, There are capzioni and there are a granda story on the back of the book with an index. It is very clear and I learned a lot about the history of Italy. More important are the words of Carlo Collodi, the author of the historia of Pinnochio. So, the book is satirical and political.

We see the histories of the Mafia, the disastre chemica Seveso, the scandals of the Vatican and many more.
Then, there is a book historico and for me many interesting. And in the words of Tricoli, granda face a panorama of Italy today. And the words are interesting, they are not boring. I read all the words quickly!


The story is clear and easy to understand, and strate unianno of photographs and words together.

Finally, this book by Lorenzo Tricoli is very good!

You can buy it here

Sorry for my Italian. it is a lot harder! What a pig!


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Happy New Year: The Face of 2017




I watched Strictly Ballroom over the New Year and saw Barry Fife, the corrupt dancing judge (who incidentally didn't get elected to Queensland's federal government. Queenslanders aren't as dumb as some we could mention).



And I thought "there it is. That's the face of 2017. Crass, venal and corrupt. The face of life-denying tradition."

But it's not Fife  who triumphs in the film. It's Fran and Scott and everyone else. And they're not crass, corrupt or venal. They affirm life. They go with love. They try new steps.

So it's love that's won. And old hate's down for the count.

So they're my faces of 2017. Rather than continuing with the traditional British discourse of, er, progress; an endless litany of self-obsessed finger pointing, hectoring, mean-minded narcissism, droning monologues, myopic hobbyism and downright misery, let's go for an affirmation of life, Fran and Scott. Faces of love, doing something new, facing up to the enemy and carrying on regardless. In an entertaining way, that takes the people with them.

Let them be a lesson to us all

Happy New Year.

O Buon Anno! Si, e vero. l'italiano è in arrivo. Inizio la prossima settimana.


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Why Photography is Better than Painting


A Painting of 3 Farmers = Far inferior to the photograph

Painting is an incredible invention. Combining the technology of animal hair with the science of paper and the ingenuity of pigments and all kinds of chemicals, painting provides an insight into the minds of artists from time immemorial.

But let's be clear on one thing. Though paintings can be great, they can also be monumentally stupid when they are framed and put on show as though the self-indulgent and loose-leafed mimicry of the artist is something we should treasure and value.

Why show paintings on the wall when they belong on the easel or in the studio where they belong. Why divorce them from the sense of place from which they came, a sense of place which combines with that sense of being and self which created them. Paintings have a place and that is where they belong.

I know this isn't a popular thing to say, and it is with great trepidation that I say it. The public do like their paintings so and can often be seen to be enjoying them. Above is a painting that I recently saw on show. I walked around the exhibtion and the audience were enthralled by it, taking in the colours and the tones and the shapes for a long, long time. This was something I simply couldn't do.

A Photograph of 3 Farmers = Far Superior to the Painting

But when I look at this painting and see it framed on the wall, I can't help but compare it to the great photographs of our time, photographs it tries but fails miserably to emulate. Where is that sensitivity of character compared to the August Sander photograph it so shamelessly attempts to copy. What depth of sorrow and loss has been lost in these few daubs of paint that the Sander captures so brilliantly through his use of photographic optics with photographic paintings? Throughout history, painters have attempted to emulate this mastery of the photographic art by using the tools of photography but to what end. The efforts of Canaletto, Vermeer, Velazquez, Da Vinci, Degas, Hockney are pitiful in comparison.



A Famous Work of Art by Velazquez

Similarly, the embarrassing daubs of paint on canvas are just blotches compared to the timeworn expression caught in Lewis Hine's photograph, made properly using a camera, film, chemicals and paper. These images have depth and soul, they have performance, participation, deceit and determination at their heart, a social complexity that goes beyond the surface smudges of these sad simulacra of creative experience that these paintings represent. These are photographs that changed the world, that made it a better place. What painting can claim that?


Painting = Shite



Photograph = Great!





It is therefore absurd to pretend that painting can in any way, shape or form can be comparable to the miracles of light and lens that have produced the great photographs of our time. And if you disagree, why not try this experiment. Look at the door on your fridge, the walls of your house and see if any of the paintings on display there have the energy, vitality or grace of the photographs on show at any number of famous galleries around the world.


Acknowledgements are due to Mr J.Jones for the inspiration.


Happy New Year from Jonathan Jones.

'Kate Middleton is rightly honoured for her photographs – they are full of love'

Every year, Jonathan Jones of the Guardian clickbaits us all into place with his insightful thoughts on art. Here he is musing on photography. I'll leave the extracts to suffice. 


 'I would much rather look at these honest documents of familial love than Mario Testino’s fake flattery of royal glamour.'

'If you want to take a great photograph you need to discover something unique.'

'Kim Kardashian looks at what she loves, too, and so does Sebastião Salgado. If you want to take worthwhile pictures, concentrate on what really matters to you, be it your bum or the lost peoples of the Amazon. It is the scene that is wondrous, not the snapping of the shutter.'

Flat, soulless and stupid: why photographs don’t work in art galleries


'It just looks stupid when a photograph is framed or backlit and displayed vertically in an exhibition, in the way paintings have traditionally been shown.'

'It’s amazing how long some people can look at a photograph. I observed the observers, rapt before illuminated images that I really can’t look at for more than a few seconds.'

That is because when you put a photograph on the wall I cannot help comparing it with the paintings whose framed grandeur it emulates, and I can’t help finding photography wanting.

'A photograph, however well lit, however cleverly set it up, only has one layer of content. It is all there on the surface. You see it, you’ve got it.'

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Burhan Ozbilic's Iconic Photograph of the Ankara Assassination


picture by BURHAN OZBILIC for Associated Press


Yesterday was a terrible day for news. There was the Berlin attack, the electoral college elected Donald Trump as US president (despite,er Russian, interference in the election) and the Russian ambassador, Andrei Karlov was assassinated at a photography exhibition in Ankara by Mevlut Mert Altintas (who is now being painted as an off-duty anti-Erdoganist riot policeman)

I saw the picture of the assassination come up on the AP Twitter feed and was stopped in my tracks (which is why the blog has come back to life briefly). It was amazing, an instant icon that brought up so many contradictory feelings and linked to so much of visual culture and history.

It is such an astonishing picture that it almost blurs over the fact that two real people died in this attack, both the gunman and the ambassador himself.

What makes it astonishing is the timing. It was an assassination. I don't know exactly what happened in Aleppo in the previous days and weeks and months, except that there was death, violence and a brutality in attacks that targeted civilians, hospitals, medical staff, everybody. And that the bombing of Aleppo was led by the Russians and Assad forces. And that thousands of innocent people died.



picture by BURHAN OZBILIC for Associated Press

If you kill innocent people, you are culpable of something, if you defend the killing of innocent people you are culpable of something. That doesn't justify murder, but it goes some way to explaining it, and categorical imperatives notwithstanding, we do have that idea of what goes around comes around hard wired into us. For most of us that idea is never too far below the surface.

This assassination was an accusation then. Again, it doesn't justify it. It's murder. Andrei Karlov was a real man with people who loved him. But it's still an accusation. And that's the first thing, rightly or wrongly, that came out of the picture. It's a picture that accuses, it's an assassination that strives to see itself as just. In this case the victim is a Russian ambassador. In another case, it could be a British, an American, a Saudi, an Israeli, an Indian, a Chinese, an Indonesian, an Egyptian, a Burmese, a Thai, a Filipino, an almost-anywhere ambassador, or minister, or leader.

So there's this terrible idea embedded in the picture that the ambassador was a justified target.

But the picture also memorialises Aleppo. This is an astonishing picture and the reason this murder was committed (because it was murder let's not forget. The same as dropping a bomb on a hospital is murder) was as revenge, a terrible thing.  A by-product of that revenge is a memorial. This will make Aleppo stay in the memory because embedded in this act of violence are all the acts of violence that preceded it, that made it happen.

That's one side of it. There are all the other visual elements that make the picture stand out; the dress, the shoes, the sticking out tie, the long finger, the mid-speech and especially, especially the revolutionary stance.

It's John Travolta in Saturday Night fever meets Reservoir Dogs all in the setting of a white cube gallery - that adds a level of performance to it. And places it in a moral vacuum so we're further distanced from the horror of the act.



But the pose is also meant to be heroic. It's Berlin 1945, it's Marianne (shown above in Delacroix's painting), it's Les Miserables, it's Iwo Jima, it's every propaganda poster going. And because it's a photograph we don't hear him shouting Allahu Akbar as you do on the TV footage so there's a thing.

After Altintas shot the Karlov, he gave a speech about the injustices in Syria and this being revenge. You can bet that he practised that countless times, that he rehearsed it in his head. In the same way that he rehearsed how he would stand, how he would pose. So the whole thing is a performance as well. It's a propaganda piece. In a gallery. It's Chris Burden gone wrong.

The fact that it happened in Turkey and involved Russia also gave the picture a historical context (Franz Ferdinand, 1914 etc - and see the clipping that Guy Martin put up on Facebook for some deeper historical context) and also the feeling that the image symbolises a very dreadful future. Let's hope that's wrong, and anyway, the dreadful future is a dreadful present for so many people near where this event happened. The most dreadful future might be that for the people of Turkey.



It's a picture that will feature in some places more than others, that will be censored completely in some places, that will be reproduced in all kinds of forms. Interestingly, it was not on the covers of any of the UK newspapers this morning apart from the Sun. The Sun led with the right story and the right picture. All the other papers led with Berlin. Which doesn't make you optimistic about picture editing in the UK

What does it all mean. I don't know. It's the suit, the setting, the banality of it all. David Fathi did a reverse image search in the minutes after the picture's release - this is what came up which is interesting in itself.

The image search now is still not that different. After the initial slew of Altintas images, we're into presentation land, grey suits, finger pointing and George Clooney. It's bizarre. No other images look like this one, but at the same time so many do.



And the photographer. Well, every now and then we say how there are no iconic pictures anymore. Mmm, here's one and it's by Burhan Ozbilic, a professional photographer who describes his experience of taking the pictures from which this image came. And it's amazing for so many reasons, most of which we don't even know yet. It's not just a picture of the year, it's the picture of a decade. And I don't know if that's a good thing.

Friday, 16 December 2016

The Ultimate Best of List for 2016 with one Worst Compiled by Experts in Photography, Effigies and Beach Nipples


Best Photography Festival: Location, Location, Location! People, People, People! When you're on a beach with the Mediterranean lapping at your toes surrounded by a bunch of photographers and generally great people from Italy and around the world... Step forward Gazebook Sicily! It's happening again in 2017!



Most Entertaining Conversation: Martin Parr and Krass Clement at Photobook Bristol was fresh, funny, spur of the moment stuff with fantastic photography that hit every spot. Photobook Bristol is not happening in 2017 but will be taking a break to return in 2018.



Most Thought-Provoking Conversation: Lina Hashim in conversation with Amak Mahmoodian at ICVL in Bristol. There were about 18 people here for this, but the depth of work and the commitment to it was a wonder to behold.



Best Interview: When you interview Dragana Jurisic, the world is your lobster. Bosnian spaghetti Westerns, Irish Modesty, Getting Burnt out of your Home, and the Myth of the Yugoslave Super Human all played their part.




Best Dancer: It's a tie between Krass Clement, Peter Mitchell, Ingrid, Mimi Mollica and Federica Chiochetti pictured below setting Punta Secca alight.



Best Beach Nipple; The best Beach Nipple is from Rhossili (which wins the best Beach award) and it looks like the Worms' Head, the promontory in the background.



Best Animal Picture of the Year: It's a Beach Fox, also at Rhossili. I might enter this in a competition. Maybe I'll become a wildlife photogapher. There's money in that!



Best Dead Duck; See, more wildlife. The wildlife photography dream is alive and kicking. Which is more than be said for this duck. It's dead and it's in Southgate, Bath, the shopping centre designed by people without souls or imagination. Which is what works in retail architecture, so fair play there.

You don't see many dead ducks on the street. It's normally pigeons, or seagulls. So it's positives all round!



Best Brutalist Hilltop Communist Conference Centre: Competition was tight for this one. There was a big challenge from the Solsbury Hill Hall for the Federation of Democratic Youth, but ultimately it was pipped by the fabulous Buzludzha Monument rising above the Shipka Pass in Bulgaria.




Most To-The-Point Graffiti for Everybody Everywhere in 2016: Ah, this is from Sofia in Bulgaria.



Best Effigy: With all due respect fuck off Lewes. It's this one, from Larkhall in Bath. 



Best Burning Effigy: More due respect to Lewes here, because it's this one. Monumental, Epic, and Mind Blowing!



Worst Shave: This one!



Which is an appropriate way to end 2016. 

See you next year, in all kinds of languages!



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