Archive for January, 2011
“In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.” – Ernst Fischer
On january 4 Raoul Kramer (1978) presented his self-published book ‘Lost Track’ in Gallery Bart in Amsterdam.
As a photographer Kramer, despite his young age, has already progressed quite a bit. From confronting photojournalism in the West Bank through picturesque portraits of families in China, he went on to a more abstract kind of photography: simply capturing what's there without necessarily being beautiful or narrative.
‘Lost Track’ tells the story of the railway built around 65 years ago, with forced labor in Burma and Thailand. Kramer's grandfather was one of the surviving labourers and often told stories about it. In 2009 the young Kramer looked at the remnants of the track through the eye of his anologe camera.
With the stories of his grandfather in his head it's like a trip back in time. The book is beautifully constructed with photos shot every few kilometers which reveal a deeper meaning only because of the captions. A few hills, some rocks, a few trees, at first glance it seems a meaningless picture but if you read the accompanying story on the left page you suddenly look at it with very different eyes. The design by Eva van der Schans is also very efficient: caption on the left page, photo on the right, lots of white space around the text, unadorned, old, randomly and vertically placed, authentic black and white photographs enclosed separately.
Busy with the possibilities to publish this blog in different languages. You can now select a language on the right side of the blog page: currently English, Spanish or Dutch. It's not perfect yet but I think most of the postings are already fairly understandable in other languages.
The disadvantage was that the first postings are all written in English so sometimes there are some strange bits in Dutch that I have not yet rewritten.
Interesting article in The Guardian on future developments in the field of automated translation using computers!
The contemporary breed of Sphynx (known also as the Canadian Sphynx, distinct from the Russian Sphynx breeds – Peterbald, Don Sphynx) started in 1966, in Roncesvalles, Toronto when a hairless kitten named Prune was born. The kitten was mated with its mother (backcrossing), which produced one more naked kitten. Together with a few naked kittens found later it became the primogenitor of the breed. The first sphynx breeders faced a number of problems: The genetic pool was very limited; breeders had rather vague ideas about sphynx genetics, and many kittens died. The naked male Epidermis born in 1975 to short-haired mother provided new material to sphynx fanciers and new genes for further breed development. In the early stages of the breed crosses with devon-rex were used, but later this crossing was frowned upon because it caused health problems. Now the Canadian Sphynx is a breed with a sound genetic pool.
The New Talent Portfolio Night is a recurring event organized by Blend and Streetlab and this time around took place in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. Young or not quite so young artists (designers, illustrators, photographers) submit their creations to the scrutinizing eyes of a choice of professionals from the Scene. The atmosphere was trendy and nervously expectant. Naturally you hope that your work will leap to the eyes of the judges and that you’re recognized as the great new talent for this decade.