1. They did what human beings looking for freedom, throughout history, have often done. They left.
German photographer Henrik Spohler (born 1965) inquires into the conditions of food production and the landscapes that it creates in the process. This volume presents his portraits of contemporary agriculture, outdoors or under glass or plastic, in Spain, Holland, Germany and the United States.
Slovakian photographer Martin Kollar’s images from Israel occupy an elusive space. In some cases resembling still lifes or other premeditated situations and arrangements, these documentary photographs poetically describe both the mundane and surreal realities of life in Israel. One key resonance is that of psychological weight. It is no mistake that in his artist statement for Field Trip, Kollar makes a comparison between the tensions his childhood growing up behind the Iron Curtain in the former Czechoslovakia and the day-to-day realities of life in contemporary Israel. This incredible series arrives courtesy of MACK (London).
Archipelago is a journey into an interior, upriver, towards an enigmatic hinterland. At any one instance, Matthew Porter sets up correlations between disparate images, configured on each page like islands in an archipelago, clusters which form their own, indigenous subjects. Short texts, placed at intervals, reveal the connective tissue binding varied subjects – Jane Fonda and the Vietnam War, the Hawaiian Island of Kaua’i and Hollywood. What interests Porter is the legacy of the photographic image, and its capacity to reach across history, to make intelligible to us what we already know, or, encountered at the right moment, that which we could not otherwise know.
“Porter’s stills function like portals”, writes Lindsay Caplan, “obliquely suggestive of historical events, modernist styles, and codified genres, sometimes all at the same time… this very contemporary condition in which knowing too much and knowing too little invoke the same visceral state”. Published by MACK (London).
Produced over a period of 12 years, Christopher Koller’s plastic camera photographs of gardens and otherwise mediated greenery forge a very different atmosphere to what one would expect from such subject matter. Warped, stretched and almost affronting in their blurred optical qualities, the images that fill Paradeisos are vivid and almost visceral in their odd beauty. Published by M.33 (Melbourne).