Light Keeps Me Company

A brilliant documentary, ‘Light Keeps Me Company‘ featuring a celebrated cinematographer Sven Nykvist, directed by his son Carl-Gustaf is a sincere and detailed story of a master filmmaker, who collaborated with Ingmar Bergman on ‘Persona’ (1966) and many other films. Filled with warm and highly personal memoirs by Ingmar Bergman, Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Vittorio…

My Voyage to Italy

If you haven’t seen Martin Scorsese’s celebrated documentary ‘My Voyage to Italy‘ (1999) you should grab your copy now before they get out of stock. This is by far the best introduction to Italian Neorealism I have ever seen. Starting with the early precursors of this movement, ‘Ossessione’ (1942) and ‘La Terra Trema’ (1948) by…

Environmental Art at COP23

It is my great pleasure to announce that my environmental art from the “Magical Realism” series will be exhibited at the forthcoming United Nations UNFCCC COP23 meeting in Bonn. Environmental art can be a powerful language to attract attention to the world’s most important problems: climate change, biodiversity loss, plastics pollution in our oceans, the…

The Daybooks of Edward Weston

Rarely a photography book could be more exciting and captivating than ‘The Daybooks of Edward Weston“. A good copy is hard to find and they can be expensive, but all suffering is justified when you could connect and explore the world of one of the most renowned fine art photographers this world has seen. The…

Salgado: From my Land to the Planet

The little autobiographic book ‘From my Land to the Planet’ by the celebrated photographer Sebastião Salgado is a highly personal and hugely valuable memoir shedding light on Salgado’s life, influences, projects and publications. Starting with the description of his father’s farm in Brazil, where he grew up; his education as an economist at an elite…

Art and Sustainability

The ‘Art and Sustainability’ by Sacha Kagan published by Transcript is an immensely rich philosophical text exploring the necessary characteristics of philosophy of sustainability that could inform the new sustainable art. Drawing on the current theories of complexity and sustainability of Gregory Bateson, Fritjof Capra, Ilya Prigogine, Kagan discusses the principles of systems theory, emergence,…

Vilém Flusser

Vilém Flusser is one of my recent discoveries. Hugely engaging and a very powerful text re-contextualizing the photographic practice and our relationship with photography. Flusser considers images ‘mediations between the world and human beings’. He describes the nature of photography as a practice of magic and considers the invention of photography an event of a…

Jouer contre les appareils

While in Arles at the world famous Les Rencontres d’Arles photography festival (https://www.rencontres-arles.com/) I came across this wonderful new book by Marc Lenot. Written as a PhD thesis under the guidance of Michel Poivert, professor of art history at La Sorbonne in Paris, this book explores experimental photography from 1960s to the present day. A…

Walter Benjamin on photography

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) proposed a theory that the technology is capable of determining the prevalent art forms of the time and the changing modes of perception, reflecting the historic moment, ideas, beliefs, but also technology of the time. He writes: ‘Artistic production begins with figures in the service of magic’. (Benjamin, p.25). And continues: ‘Art…

Eisenstein on Montage

Serigei Eisenstein (1898-1948), a master of montage as a creative cinematographic tool and very much a person of his time, considered montage as a dialectic collision, out of which a new meaning emerges. He emphasized ‘the principle of optical counterpoint as one of the significant principles of visual conflict and considered several types of ‘cinematographic’…

Photographic Thinking at the Bauhaus

Another quote from Painting, Photography, Film by Moholy-Nagy, published in 1927. ‘Film practice has so far been largely restricted to reproducing dramatic action without, however, fully utilising the potentialities of the camera in an imaginatively creative manner. The camera as a technical instrument and the most important productive factor in film-making copies the objects in…