UK 76 (detail), 1976. Set of 11 archival inkjet pigment prints printed 2016, 40 × 60 inches. Copyright Victor Burgin, courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York.
Victor Burgin began his career taking photographs of the floor. His 1967–69 Photopath, included in the British iteration of the seminal conceptual art exhibition Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form, returned those photographs to their original site, creating a diagonal “path” of prints that mirrored the wooden floor beneath. Both a doubling and an alteration of the exhibition space, Photopath traced the edge between reality and representation. In doing so, Burgin’s work asked viewers to contemplate both the context and conditions of spectatorship. But site specific to the extreme, Photopath verged on tautology. Burgin soon decided to use photography not simply to scrutinize the gallery, but to probe the connection between the aesthetic realm of the white cube and the world outside with a body of work that at once mimicked and manipulated the codes of commercial advertising. His 1976 Possession is the canonical example: featuring an appropriated image of a pampered white couple, it is bracketed by a question—What does possession mean to you?—and a firm statement of fact: 7% of our population own 84% of our wealth. And importantly, while the work has appeared in galleries, it has also been postered on city streets.
UK 76 (detail), 1976. Set of 11 archival inkjet pigment prints printed 2016, 40 × 60 inches. Copyright Victor Burgin, courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York.
Another major body of work from this time, UK 76, made on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee, is currently on display at Bridget Donahue in a sort of fortieth-anniversary celebration. Here, Burgin continued his reorientation of photography from floor to wall, but rather than transform his pictures into precious prints, matted and framed, Burgin fixed his images to the gallery as a series of posters, pasting them straight to the wall (although not, as with Possession, out in the streets). The project’s eleven black-and-white prints don’t so much hang as stick, and the scenes depicted—a white woman staring into space at the grocery store; a black woman on the sidewalk; power lines soaring over an empty street—resonate with a slew of genres, from landscape painting to magazine spreads—which simultaneously fit them into their gallery context and provide them with distance from it. The prints are large: years before Jeff Wall expanded photography so that it might compete with painting, and gave it the frames and colors to match, Burgin made it clear that “big photography” already existed in the form of advertising.
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Sandy Skoglund was born in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1946. Skoglund studied studio art and art history at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts from 1964-68. She went on to graduate school at the University of Iowa in 1969 where she studied filmmaking, intaglio printmaking, and multimedia art, receiving her M.A. in 1971 and her M.F.A. in painting in 1972.
Skoglund moved to New York City in 1972, where she started working as a conceptual artist, dealing with repetitive, process-oriented art production through the techniques of mark-making and photocopying. In the late seventies Skoglund’s desire to document conceptual ideas led her to teach herself photography. This developing interest in photographic technique became fused with her interest in popular culture and commercial picture making strategies, resulting in the directorial tableau work she is known for today. Skoglund currently lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.
‘HENDRIK KERSTENS DID NOT TRAIN FORMALLY AS AN ARTIST. HOWEVER, HE WISHED TO DEVOTE HIMSELF TO A MORE CREATIVE PROFESSION AND IN 1995, AT THE AGE OF FORTY, HE LEFT THE BUSINESS WORLD AND TOOK UP PHOTOGRAPHY. HIS WIFE ANNA WORKED FULL TIME TO SUPPORT THIS CHANGE OF DIRECTION. IN A REVERSAL OF MORE TRADITIONAL ROLES, KERSTENS CARED FOR THEIR YOUNG DAUGHTER PAULA, WHILE ALSO STUDYING PHOTOGRAPHY DURING THE DAY. HAVING A CHILD LEFT A DEEP IMPRESSION ON KERSTENS. THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY, HE EXPLORED THE ACCOMPANYING FEELINGS OF RESPONSIBILITY, VULNERABILITY AND LOVE HE FELT TOWARDS HIS DAUGHTER, STARTING WITH DOCUMENTARY FAMILY SNAPSHOTS. AS PAULA PHYSICALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY GREW, KERSTENS SEARCHED FOR AN ARTISTIC MANIFESTATION OF THESE CHANGES, LEADING TO HIS INTERPRETATIONS OF THE GREAT DUTCH MASTER PAINTERS OF THE 17TH CENTURY WITH PAULA AS HIS MUSE.’
Joshua Hoffine is one of the most recognized photographers in the world. He is a pioneer in the subgenre of Horror photography. He stages his photo-shoots like small movies, with sets, costumes, elaborate props, fog machines, and SPFX make-up. Everything is acted out live in front of the camera. He uses friends and family members, including his own daughters, as actors and crew.
Joshua Hoffine was born in Emporia Kansas in 1973. He graduated from high school in Kansas City in 1991, and earned a B.A. in English Literature from Kansas State University in 1995. Shortly after graduation, Hoffine began making photographs. He earned an M.F.A. degree from Miskatonic University in 2001.
In 2003 Hoffine began making what he called ‘Horror photographs.’ His Horror photography exploded on the internet in 2008 when he released a series of images exploring the nature of childhood fears. Since that time his work has been featured in numerous magazines, anthologies, and news outlets around the world, and he has developed a cult following for his meticulously staged photographic works.
In 2014 Hoffine released his first short Horror film titled BLACK LULLABY. The 4 minute film features a young girl and her confrontation with the boogeyman. Starring his daughter Chloe Hoffine and SPFX make-up from J. Anthony Kosar, the film was created as the climax to his photo series dealing with childhood fears.
In February of 2018 Hoffine releases an oversized 12″x12″ hardcover collection of his Horror photographs with publisher Dark Regions Press. This comprehensive volume spans 13 years of work (2003-2016) and includes rare behind-the-scenes photos and artist commentary. The release includes a signed and numbered leather Deluxe hardcover edition of 300 with dust jacket and linen slipcase.
He has announced that his next project will be a full-length Horror movie.
Joshua Hoffine lives and works in Kansas City. He is married to Jen Hoffine and has 5 daughters.
Mixed Media: $2 Million Flag by David Hammons is a Work of Art, Political Statement, and Art World Commodity by VICTORIA L. VALENTINE on May 30, 2017 • 5:58 am
NEARLY THREE DECADES AGO, David Hammons hoisted his newly created red, black, and green “African-American Flag” (1990) above Museum Overholland. He was participating in “Black USA,” a group show organized by Christiaan Braun, director and curator at the Amsterdam museum.
Recognizing the lack of exposure and awareness of African American artists in Europe, Braun organized the exhibition of seven artists with the intention of presenting a broad group with distinct practices. He selected Hammons, Jules Allen, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, Martin Puryear, and Bill Traylor. No African American women were featured in the show.
Lot 2: DAVID HAMMONS, “African-American Flag,” 1990 (dyed cotton, edition of 5). | Estimate $700,000-$1,000,000. Sold for $2,050,000 (including fees)
Based in New York, Hammons had been working in Europe at the time and was already known for the insightful comments on race and society imbued in his installations, performances, and mixed media sculpture and paintings. The “African-American Flag” was among the works Hammons contributed to “Black USA” (April 7-July 29, 1990).
The 1990 flag was executed in an edition of five and an example from the series was offered at auction for the first time at Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale on May 18 in New York. Consigned by the Collection Over Holland, the work was expected to yield $700,000 to $1 million and sold for more than $2 million (including fees), twice the high estimate.
WHEN HE PRODUCED THE FLAG, Hammons was inspired by two disparate symbols: The U.S. flag and the Pan-African flag adopted by Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and African Communities League in 1920. Realized in red, black, and green, the UNIA flag’s powerful palette would continue to symbolize Black Power and the African Diaspora into the 1960s, 70s and beyond. The artist also drew from the stars and stripes design of Old Glory. Hammons’s hybrid interpretation brings into sharp relief the mixed messages of America’s checkered history.
There are many accepted myths about the origins and meaning behind U.S. flag that are not grounded in fact. Regardless, the American flag is universally viewed as a banner of freedom and justice. Yet, America’s march from a colonial outpost to a visionary nation and world power is intertwined with Native American slaughter, 400 years of slavery, Japanese internment, Jim Crow, and the latest backlash against Muslims and immigrants.
In turn, the “African-American Flag” is an emblem for a people, a shared history, experience, and outlook. Today, a version of the flag flies out front of the Studio Museum in Harlem. A beacon of pride and cultural affirmation, it’s a political statement that feels powerful and especially suited to the historic neighborhood and the groundbreaking institution that describes itself as “the nexus for artists of African descent.”
The flag flies out front of the Studio Museum in Harlem. A beacon of pride and cultural affirmation, it’s a political statement that feels powerful and especially suited to the historic neighborhood and the groundbreaking institution.
July 19, 2015: DAVID HAMMONS, “African-American Flag” 1990, flies outside the Studio Museum in Harlem. | Photo by Victoria L. Valentine
ONE OF THE ORIGINAL FLAGS from the 1990 series is also in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. A gift from The Over Holland Foundation, the work was acquired in 1997. An example of the work is in the Pizzuti Collection in Columbus, Ohio too.
In 2014, an “African-American Flag” was displayed at the grand opening of Jack Shainman’s upstate New York location in Kinderhook. Flying atop a pole in front of the old school building that now houses white-walled gallery spaces, the flag anticipated an inaugural exhibition of works by Nick Cave. Hammons’s flag also flew in Long Island City, greeting visitors to MoMA PS1’s “Greater New York” exhibition in 2015.
Earlier this year, it was presented in Paris in “The Color Line: African American Artists and Segregation” (Oct. 4, 2016-Jan. 15, 2017), the group exhibition at musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.
SINCE ITS CREATION, the flag has been invoked in the broader art world, drawing attention to the irony that threads Hammons’s practice. Its sheer existence and prominent display over the years gives voice to the artist who has had a conflicted relationship with the “art world,” and brings to the fore the race and social justice issues raised in his work.
This month, it was a major lot at Phillips. One has to wonder if the symbolism and meaning of Hammons’s “African-American Flag” is diminished when it’s bid up to $2 million at an art auction where the monied one percent places value on a work intended to draw contrast between American justice, freedom, and opportunity and the reality experienced by many African Americans who, despite their contributions to the nation’s progress, across generations, haven’t always felt represented by red, white, and blue of the U.S. flag. In this context, there is a real absurdity. Or, perhaps, therein lies its strength and power. CT
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Michael is based out of New York City, but can also be found all around the world scouting for his next location shoot, from Paris, to Croatia, to Vieques PR, Venice, London and more. When not shooting in amazing locations around the globe, you can find him submerged under the surface photographing his next Underwater Series. His work has been featured on the covers and inside various magazines, as well as for various advertisements. Notably his work has been featured at Gallery OVO in South Orange, NJ (Heavy Like Rain) and Camilla Richman Gallery, MA (selected Works). He has also published a photography book, titled “Croatia. Old Home New Home.”
“Why are we here?” … The answer may lie in convergence. Technology may have to wait for the power of the human brain to fully develop its (super)natural abilities. Will the technologies that are then produced be miraculous in that they may not require material substance to work but a faith, a belief in laws of physics so subtle than matter itself cannot withstand their logic? Will they be based in technology so discreet that it will be indistinguishable from the very fabric of the universe and all that is created within it? When we look at science and religion, are we looking at the same technology at different levels of evolution? …
Aim at the Stars, composition of 23 paper collages on board with gold leaf frames, 200 x 390 cm, 2009
Aimez-vous, Paper collage on board with gold leaf frame, 52 x 39 cm, 2009
Juice, Paper collage on board with gold leaf frame, 52 x 39 cm, 2009
Mamma e bimbo, Paper collage on board with gold leaf frame, 43 x 34 cm, 2009
Aleksandra Mir (b. 1967) develops projects that take her around the world to examine the dynamics of popular cultural myths and historical events. In The Seduction of Galileo Galilei (2011), Mir engages in a dialogue with the seventeenth-century Italian “father of modern science,” in a new video work that documents a collaborative, Galileo-inspired gravitational experiment. A selection of collages from Mir’s series The Dream and the Promise (2008–2009) will accompany the video installation. These works, which combine religious iconography with images and symbols of space travel, allude to the complicated, and not always contentious, relationship between science and faith.
Aleksandra Mir was born in Lublin, Poland, in 1967, and is a dual citizen of Sweden and the United States. She received her BFA at the School for Visual Arts, New York in 1992, and from 1994 to 1996 studied Cultural Anthropology at the New School for Social Research, New York. Mir currently lives and works in London, England. Since 1995 her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe, including the Venice Biennale (2009) and the Whitney Biennial (2004). Her work is included in important public collections such as the Tate Modern, London and Kunsthaus Zürich, as well as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, EASTERN CONGO, JULY 2007: Conservation Rangers from an Anti-Poaching unit work with locals to evacuate the bodies of four Mountain Gorrillas killed in mysterious circumstances in the park, Virunga National Park, Eastern Congo, 24 July 2007. A Silver-Back Alpha male, the leader of the group was shot, three females were also killed. Two of the females had babies and the other was pregnant. The two babies were not found and it is thought that they will have died of stress and dehydration. The motivation for the killing is not known but it is suspected that there are political motivations. The local illegal Charcoal industry clashes with conservation efforts in this very poor area and Rangers have been threatened, tortured and killed as a result of this clash of political and Rangers have been threatened, tortured and killed as a result of this clash of political and economic wills. Over 100 Rangers have been killed in their efforts to protect the Gorrillas of Virunga, one of the world’s most endangered species. The Congolese Rangers in this particular group are working with Wildlife Direct, a Conservation organisation. The Rangers receive a salary based on donations to Wildlife Direct and perform one of the most dangerous jobs in the world of wildlife conservation. The DRC has the highest toll of human casualties of any country since the second world war, a figure in the region of 4.6 million dead as a result of war and resultant displacement, disease, starvation and ongoing militia violence. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images for Newsweek.)
OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY, KENYA: A four man anti-poaching team permanently guards Northern White Rhino on Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, 13 July 2011. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is an important “not-for-profit” wildlife conservancy in the Laikipia District of Kenya and the largest sanctuary for black rhinos in East Africa. It is also the home of 4 of the world’s remaining 8 Northern White Rhino, the worlds most endangered animal. There has been an increase in poaching incidents on Ol Pejeta recently, in line with a massive worldwide increase in rhino poaching linked to the rise in the Asian middle class. Anti-poaching teams provide close protection to the rhino, with 24 hour observation over all rhino on Ol Pejeta and 24 hour armed guard protection over the 4 Northern White Rhino who are kept in their own Boma area. The team have developed extraordinary relationships with these Rhino, leaning on them, scratching them and displaying tremendous affection towards these most endangered of animals. Each of the men in these teams feels a genuine vocation towards the protection of these animals, something the rhino seem to sense, and this emerges on a daily basis as the men walk with the rhino through their day.
MBOKI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, 25 NOVEMBER 2014: Soldiers on patrol from the African Union Ugandan Armed forces, UPDF, base at Mboki, Central African Republic. The Ugandan contingent based here are focused on the aprehension of the Lord’s Resistance Army, LRA, the notorious rebel group led by Joseph Kony which has terrorized citizens of Uganda, C.A.R, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the last 4 decades. Soldiers are seen crossing a river, a technique they have perfected with ropes despite the fact that many of the men cannot swim. Captain (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine.)
Brent Stirton is a South African Photographer with an extensive history in the documentary world. Brent’s work has been published by: National Geographic Magazine, GEO, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Time, The New York Times Magazine, The UK Sunday Times Magazine and many other respected international titles.
He has worked for WWF, CNN, the Ford, Clinton and Gates Foundations, the Nike Foundation and the World Economic Forum. Brent also shoots regular reports for Human Rights Watch. He has done numerous commercial assignments including annual reports for Novartis.
Brent was elected a member of the Young Global Leaders, an affiliate program of the World Economic Forum, in 2008. He is also a Canon Ambassador, one of 12 photographers representing Canon photography.
Brent has received 9 awards from World Press Photo and 10 awards from The Pictures of the Year International contest. Brent has received multiple Lucie Awards including International photographer of the Year. He has received multiple awards from the Overseas Press Club, The Webbys, The Association of International Broadcasters, the HIPA Awards, the Frontline Club, the Deadline Club, Days Japan, China International Photo Awards, the Lead Awards Germany, Graphis, Communication Arts, American Photography, American Photo and the American Society of Publication Designers as well as the London Association of Photographers.
Brent has been recognized by the United Nations for his work on the Environment and in the field of HIV/AIDS. He has won the Visa D’or at the Visa Pour L’ image Festival in France for Magazine photography. He also won the National Magazine Award for his work in the Democratic Republic of Congo for National Geographic Magazine. In 2016 Brent won the National Geographic Magazine Photographer’s Photographer Award. Brent guided a documentary on Virunga National Park in Conflict for National Geographic Television as well as appearing in the show. The documentary won the Emmy for Best Documentary Feature as well as a Bafta Award for Best Documentary. Brent received a Peabody Award for his work with Human Rights Watch for most significant work in an electronic medium. He was named Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year three years in a row by the Natural History Museum of the UK.
Brent’s work has appeared in numerous print shows around the world and his images are in a number of museum collections. Brent currently spends most of his time working on long-term investigative projects for National Geographic Magazine. He remains committed to issues relating to wildlife and conservation, global health, diminishing cultures, sustainability and the environment.
Draybuck is a Detroit photographer who was in the news at the begging of this month for free climbing buildings in downtown Detroit. Draybuck has said “I do photography because no matter how many people leave my life or how much bullshit i go through this will always be here for me.” I know that he lost his mom when he was young. He isn’t a well know but I think his photography is beautiful and he takes a great deal of risk when he is taking photos.
Meireles conceived his two Insertions into Ideological Circuits projects for an exhibition of conceptual art held at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1970 entitled Information. The Coca-Cola Project and the Cédula or Banknote Project (see Tate T12512-38) explore the notion of circulation and exchange of goods, wealth and information as manifestations of the dominant ideology. For the Coca-Cola Project Meireles removed Coca-Cola bottles from normal circulation and modified them by adding critical political statements, or instructions for turning the bottle into a Molotov cocktail, before returning them to the circuit of exchange. On the bottles, such messages as ‘Yankees Go Home’ are followed by the work’s title and the artist’s statement of purpose: ‘To register informations and critical opinions on bottles and return them to circulation’. The Coca-Cola bottle is an everyday object of mass circulation; in 1970 in Brazil it was a symbol of US imperialism and it has become, globally, a symbol of capitalist consumerism. As the bottle progressively empties of dark brown liquid, the statement printed in white letters on a transparent label adhering to its side becomes increasingly invisible, only to reappear when the bottle is refilled for recirculation. The Currency Project followed a similar structure, with texts containing information and critical messages being stamped onto banknotes that were then returned to circulation. In both projects, the messages are in a mixture of English and Portuguese. Meireles has commented:
The Insertions into Ideological Circuits arose out of the need to create a system for the circulation and exchange of information that did not depend on any kind of centralized control. This would be a form of language, a system essentially opposed to the media of press, radio and television – typical examples of media that actually reach an enormous audience, but in the circulation systems of which there is always a degree of control and channelling of the information inserted … The way I conceived it, the Insertions would only exist to the extent that they ceased to be the work of just one person. The work only exists to the extent that other people participate in it. What also arises is the need for anonymity. By extension, the question of anonymity involves the question of ownership. When the object of art becomes a practice, it becomes something over which you can have no control or ownership.
(Quoted in Cameron, pp.110-12.)
In 1970, when Meireles produced the Insertions into Ideological Circuits projects, Brazil was undergoing the most oppressive period of its twenty-one year government by military dictatorship. At the time, the Insertions constituted a form of guerrilla tactics of political resistance in order to elude the strict state censorship enforced by the regime. Commentary stamped onto banknotes in the Banknote Project included references to a journalist who had died in police custody under suspicious circumstances and calls for proper, free elections. For Meireles, the texts on circulating bottles and banknotes ‘functioned as a kind of mobile grafitti’ (quoted in Cameron, p.13). The three bottles presented to Tate by the artist are relics or symbols of the work which, for Meireles, is only operating when the bottles are actually in circulation. Their display – standing in a line of three, one full, one half full and one empty – mimics their earliest appearance as a photograph that demonstrates the process of consumption through which the artist’s message disappears before returning to visibility when the bottle is refilled. The Coca-Cola Project has never been sold because the idea is that people may stick labels with messages on bottles and themselves send out views or commentary into wider circulation. In order to function, the work depends on a system of deposit, in which empty bottles are returned for recycling.
Meireles belongs to a generation of Brazilian artists who fuse conceptual thinking with a multisensorial approach that prioritises the body. Labelled Neo-Concretism, the movement was founded in the late 1950s by Lygia Clark (1920-88) and Lydia Pape (1929-2004) and extended in the 1960s to include Hélio Oiticica (1937-80). In his objects and installations, Meireles uses a range of strategies to engage the viewer as a participant in the work. The Insertions into Ideological Circuits projects go beyond the viewer in the gallery or museum, and extend to a wider public who may be unaware of their contact with art.
Open Systems: Rethinking Art c.1970, exhibition catalogue, Tate Modern, London 2005, reproduced fig.53, p.138 in colour.
Information, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Modern Art, New York 1970.
Dan Cameron, Paulo Herkenhoff and Gerardo Mosquera, Cildo Meireles, London 1999, pp.108-16, reproduced pp.108-9 and 111 in colour.