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The European Design Award 2016 just took place in Vienna, and Volume IV of the magazine THE OPÉRA from Kerber publishing was the only German entry to receive an award. GoSee extends its congratulations! Every body tells a story, and nude photography makes the stories visible. THE OPÉRA is committed to collecting and passing on these stories by referring to a selection of contemporary and traditional exponents of nude photography – one of the most immediate and intimate means of portraying human bodies and emotions.
In the fourth volume of the series, publisher Matthias Straub in cooperation with designer Romano Dudas once again provides an overview of current developments, unusual approaches and new perspectives of the art form. The fifth and, for the time being, last volume of the series – the brilliant finale – will be published soon.
Publisher Matthias Straub is active in the areas of art, music and editing. He was the publisher of Kinki magazine for several years and is the Chief Editor of Digital Storytelling at fischerAppelt, play GmbH. What he likes most about photography is that it captures moments and emotions. Important for him is that a photo conveys as much as possible. The idea for THE OPERA was borne from his passion for photography and his interest in people – and the reason why he created a nude compendium with five wonderful acts. Since he sees the human body as both stage and theater play, the comparison to this art form is natural. The photographs in THE OPÉRA reflect classic as well as modern nude photography, and the cover motif of each volume is meant to arouse curiosity about the content inside the book.
In a conversation with the publishing company, Michael explains how he got the idea for the name of the magazine: “Opera is for me a beautiful metaphor for high-quality nude photography: the human body as both stage and theater play. In opera, several different artistic approaches can be found (music, dance, song, acting, scenery) toward the nature of the human being. The audience observes from a certain respectful distance a portrayal of life which is at times opulent, at others euphoric, or sad and even reserved. The solemn and dignified character of opera is for me a suitable comparison to nude photography. In the structure of classic drama according to Gustav Freytag, which is also widely used in opera, I also found the structure for the five chapters of the book: exposition, complication, peripeteia, retardation, and catastrophe.” Read the complete interview at Kerber Publishing.
Here on GoSee, we present an exclusive preview of the new volume appearing in summer and the cover as well as insights into the previously published books.
25.05.2016 // show complete article
“Reality as mud as dense as air” reads the spine of Sofia Borges’ book The Swamp, and equally, the series of photographs that she presents is as leaden as it is impenetrable. Spanning a seven-year period, it largely records Borges’ countless visits to natural history museums, zoos, aquariums and research centers, where the artifice of reality became her point of focus. For Borges, displays such as habitat dioramas serve as the ultimate form of representation, where objects have the virtuous task of representing “themselves” – a type, genre or group that is inherently bound to language through layers of history and meaning. As a motionless walrus lies in its plastic Antarctic locale and the beady eye of a fossilized bird catches your glance, what glares back at you from the depths of The Swamp is not the thing itself, but the image, of an image, of an image.
“What I seek are images, which, in their very artifice, are able to present themselves as a problem”, Borges has said. Beyond the comical absurdity of museological spectacles that spawn the living dead, The Swamp takes aim at the notion that images can be “read”. Taking inspiration from the insoluble language of Beckett on the one hand, and the cinematic mind-twists of Lynch on the other, Borges disrupts logical processes of comprehension, offering seemingly random sequences of images, whose monstrous forms and coarse surfaces purposefully assault the senses.
Sofia Borges The Swamp . published by Mack Books . Winner of the First Book Award 2016, Open spine softcover book with wraparound dust jacket, 184 pages, 49 color plates, 22 black & white plates, 21 cm x 26 cm, Publication date: May 2016, €30.00 £25.00 $35.00, ISBN 9781910164624. mackbooks.co.uk/The-Swamp
23.05.2016 // show complete article
Since the early 1970s Billy Sullivan has accompanied New York’s underground, art and fashion scenes with his camera, using the resultant photographic material as templates for oil paintings, pastel drawings and elaborate multi-part slideshow installations. Sullivan shows his friends, family, lovers and muses, as well as the worlds and demimondes in which they move: clubs, ateliers, rumpled hotel rooms, and elegant beach houses. In Sullivan’s imagery, which dispenses with any chronological order, the underground scene, the cultural elite and high society are always very close together, as are surface and abyss, the lust for life and the transience of youth. This distillation of Sullivan’s photographs, paintings and drawings showcases an ongoing dialogue between camera and paintbrush that characterizes his work.
Sullivan’s pictures are intimate, sensual and minutely observed. In his latter-day paintings, moments captured by his camera forty years back look as though they’d taken place only yesterday, defying the passage of time. They are unabatedly existential in their painstaking observation of casual beauty, desire and love in their every facet – between family members, lovers, fly-by-night acquaintances and kindred artistic spirits.
Sullivan succeeds in doing wholly without shock effects, voyeurism, irony, and maudlin melancholy. The key to his work lies in the sincerity with which he approaches his subjects and to which they respond in kind. He juxtaposes images without comment or value judgment, piecing them together into a visual autobiography that is at the same time a chronicle of Bohemian New York.
Billy Sullivan with texts by William J. Simmons, Linda Yablonsky, design: Marietta Eugster, Gebunden, 296 pages, 396 color ills., 30 × 23.5 cm, ISBN: 978-3-906803-03-6, language: English
Billy Sullivan (b. 1946) has been exhibiting nationally and internationally since 1971. His recent solo exhibitions include shows at kaufmann repetto, New York (2016), Ille Arts, Amagansett (2015); Freymond-Guth Fine Arts, Zurich (2014); Salomon Contemporary, East Hampton (2010); and Regen Projects, Los Angeles (2008). He has been included in important exhibitions such as Ugo Rondinone’s I Love John Giorno, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015); GLAM! The Performance of Style, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2014); Open Windows, Addison Gallery of American Art, curated by Carroll Dunham, Andover (2012); and Whitney Biennal: Day for Night, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2006). Sullivan’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Parrish Art Museum, and the Denver Art Museum, as well as many other public and private collections.
23.05.2016 // show complete article