Isabel M. Martinez’s Quantum Blink

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Per­cep­tion is a recur­ring theme within my prac­tice, and has become a foun­da­tion for me to explore ideas that reflect on notions of time, space, simul­tane­ity and dura­tion. As an artist, I am inter­ested in the aspects of expe­ri­ence where the real, the known, and the imag­ined col­lide. Spatio-temporal rela­tions, and visu­al­iz­ing the invis­i­ble are pre­dom­i­nant sub­jects. My inter­pre­ta­tions are informed in part by sci­ence, phi­los­o­phy and fic­tion. Exper­i­men­ta­tion and process are at the fore­front of much of my work, at times result­ing in ambigu­ous nar­ra­tives and hybrid exercises.

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In my work I attempt to artic­u­late some­thing in between the freez­ing of time—that so often char­ac­ter­izes photography—and its con­stant pass­ing. I allude to tem­po­ral­i­ties that are fluid, hypo­thet­i­cal, and impre­cise. The pho­tographs in Quan­tum Blink are com­posed of two expo­sures taken instants apart. Each pho­to­graph in the series holds a brief sense of con­ti­nu­ity, almost like an ani­ma­tion, slightly cin­e­mato­graphic. How­ever, though they pro­vide a notion of move­ment and pro­gres­sion, their begin­ning and end is ambigu­ous and indistinguishable.

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Dany Peschl’s Disturbation

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Prague-based Dany Peschl’s pho­tographs are cut to the bone with social commentary.

These pho­togra­phies are only frag­ment of a long time project called “disturbation”:

In the recent series I retell in pic­tures sev­eral sto­ries that should never be seen. The pho­tos cap­ture dif­fer­ent peo­ple dur­ing var­i­ous inti­mate sit­u­a­tions in a “caught in the act” way. It made us unwanted spec­ta­tors of strange rit­u­als and obscure moments as sim­ply every­day rou­tine. Because it is. But “dis­tur­ba­tion” is not art­less open­ing of locked or semi-closed doors to children’s rooms, toi­lets or mas­sage salons. For­get voyeurism and fetishism cliché. These pho­tos aspire to reflect not just actual social issues. Pol­i­tics, pop icons, pope… There­fore to speak only about inti­macy as an act is defi­cient. It is also about what peo­ple hide inside them­selves. In their inner space full of opin­ions, atti­tudes, thoughts, dreams and taste.’

Although most of the visual sto­ries are mock­u­men­tary or recon­struc­tion of true and some­times false mem­o­ries, the rest remains truly authentic.

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Falling Self-Portraits by Kerry Skarbakka

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Pho­tog­ra­pher Kerry Skar­bakka cre­ates fright­en­ing self-portraits in which he appears to be falling. The pho­tos are cre­ated with the use of safety rig­ging, how­ever the process is clearly not for the faint of heart. For more pho­tos see his series “The Strug­gle to Right One­self” and “Life Goes On.”

The images stand as omi­nous mes­sages and reminders that we are all vul­ner­a­ble to los­ing our foot­ing and grasp. More­over, they con­vey the pri­mal qual­i­ties of the human con­di­tion as a pre­car­i­ous bal­anc­ing act between the strug­gle against our desire to sur­vive and our fan­tasy to tran­scend our humanness.

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Where Children Sleep by James Mollison

Where Chil­dren Sleep- sto­ries of diverse chil­dren around the world, told through por­traits and pic­tures of their bedrooms.

James Mol­li­son explains: It occurred to me that a way to address some of the com­plex sit­u­a­tions and social issues affect­ing chil­dren would be to look at the bed­rooms of chil­dren in all kinds of dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances. From the start, I didn’t want it just to be about ‘needy chil­dren’ in the devel­op­ing world, but rather some­thing more inclu­sive, about chil­dren from all types of sit­u­a­tions. It seemed to make sense to pho­to­graph the chil­dren them­selves, too, but sep­a­rately from their bed­rooms, using a neu­tral background.

The book is writ­ten and pre­sented for an audi­ence of 9–13 year olds ’ intended to inter­est and engage chil­dren in the details of the lives of other chil­dren around the world, and the social issues affect­ing them, while also being a seri­ous pho­to­graphic essay for an adult audience.


Jesus Days, 1978 — 1983 Photographies by Greg Reynolds

In the late 70s and early 80s, Greg Reynolds was a clos­eted gay man in his 20s, work­ing as a cam­pus min­is­ter for an evan­gel­i­cal Chris­t­ian stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion called the Inter­Var­sity Chris­t­ian Fel­low­ship. Dur­ing these years, Greg strug­gled with his homo­sex­u­al­ity. He was over­whelmed by grief and saw no option other than to repress his desires for sex and love. In 1978, a mis­sion­ary friend gave Greg a 35 mm Pen­tax K1000 that she didn’t use:

I knew very lit­tle about pho­tog­ra­phy, but I loved tak­ing pic­tures. It wasn’t my inten­tion to doc­u­ment the Amer­i­can evan­gel­i­cal move­ment, but rather to take pho­tographs of the peo­ple and places that were impor­tant to me. Now I see that the cam­era allowed me to say in pic­tures what I could never say in words.

When ther­apy and prayer failed to change me into an enthu­si­as­tic het­ero­sex­ual, I came out as a gay man and resigned from the min­istry. Today, I am work­ing on turn­ing my Kodachromes into a photo book called Jesus Days. I just launched a Kick­starter, which you can sup­port here to help me bring this project to life. These pho­tos offer a unique per­spec­tive into the pecu­liar world of IVCF, which, at the time, boasted 500 affil­i­ated chap­ters on sec­u­lar col­leges and uni­ver­sity cam­puses across Amer­ica. I cap­tured my fel­low evan­gel­i­cals pray­ing and coun­sel­ing with stu­dents, lead­ing Bible stud­ies and group meet­ings, and engag­ing in mis­sions abroad. Here are a few pic­tures from my col­lec­tion.‘


Diane Arbus in Martin-Gropius-Bau

Diane Arbus’ (New York, 1923–1971) bold sub­ject mat­ter and pho­to­graphic approach pro­duced a body of work that is often shock­ing in its purity. Her con­tem­po­rary anthropology—portraits of cou­ples, chil­dren, car­ni­val per­form­ers, nud­ists, middle-class fam­i­lies, trans­ves­tites, zealots, eccentrics, and celebrities—also stands as an alle­gory of the human expe­ri­ence, an explo­ration of the rela­tion­ship between appear­ance and iden­tity, illu­sion and belief, the­atre and reality.

The Martin-Gropius-Bau presents a selec­tion of two hun­dred pho­tographs that afford an oppor­tu­nity to explore the ori­gins and aspi­ra­tions in the pho­tog­ra­phy of Diane Arbus. The exhi­bi­tion shows all of the artist’s iconic pho­tographs as well as many that have never before been pub­licly exhibited.

22 June to 23 Sep­tem­ber 2012