2/27/09

Susan Worsham


© Susan Worsham

Some very interesting, unique and odd imagery on Susan Worsham's site. She seems to update often, which leads me to return to take another look quite a bit; every time I'm struck by the strangely wonderful originality of her work. See more here.

2/25/09

Mother tongue

Being a mother has its own lexicon, a special language between me and Edie and June that has become second nature. Handful is transformed into handpile, tomorrow is "after this nap"; it's snowdy, not snowy, outside, and snowflakes are snow flags. I navigate the world differently as a result, loving these pet phrases, cherishing the humor in the girls' perfect mistakes. I miss when they move on--I'll never forget when Edie stopped saying "hold you" for "hold me." I try not to lose sight of this intimate way of communicating the more they adopt the "correct" wording.

Elinor Carucci's recent work

© Elinor Carucci

Elinor Carucci has updated her website and now has some images of her most recent body of work my children up here. I had seen these a few months ago as part of the talk she gave at Aperture and wrote about it in my post Motherhood and photography. It's wonderful to see the photographs online and I hope she'll put up more soon--the rawness of her work is startling.

2/23/09

Oy ya yoy

If you saw my last post on buying a copy of my magazine (which for the time being I've taken down) I'm posting to let you know there's a small technical error that I'm currently fixing. If you've already ordered a copy I think you should be able to cancel it; if not send me an email with your address and I'll be sure to get a free issue off to you when I have it perfected. Many apologies, I got excited and jumped the gun and I want to be sure that it looks the best it can. A new post will be up when it's once again ready for purchase.

Donate to The Exposure Project

As I've mentioned before The Exposure Project has been a wonderful support for my work. Now they need your help to get Issue 4 off the ground. Here are the details, via Ben Alper:

Over the last few weeks, we at The Exposure Project have started the involved process of organizing our next publication. We received an inspiring amount of exceptional work during our latest call for entries period and couldn't be happier with the selected photographers. It has always been our goal to continually expand the breadth of this project and unite a diversity of vision, process and philosophy within contemporary photography. Issue 4 marks our largest and most ambitious collaboration to date. But we need your help!

As it stands right now, we are lacking the necessary funds for the production of issue 4. In light of that, we are asking you to take a moment to consider donating to The Exposure Project. There is no minimum donation and all the proceeds will benefit the publication and distribution of issue 4. I am fully aware that economic times are hard right now, however, any contribution, no matter how small, would greatly benefit this project. Your generous contributions will be noted and printed in the back of the publication.

In addition, anyone who donates $50 + will receive an editioned, 8.5 x 11 print of their choice. You can view the available editions here. So, if you're interested in offering your support, visit our Donations page!

If you are unable to donate, we would greatly appreciate your help in spreading word in any way you can. We sincerely appreciate all of the support and enthusiasm we have received over the years and couldn't have done it without all of you!

Best,
Ben Alper
The Exposure Project

2/17/09

Some things never change


I was recently looking through some old sketchbooks and came across these prints. They're pictures of my little sister Annie when she was just about Edie's age, taken when I was a junior or senior in high school. It's amazing to see that even then I was drawn to images of family and childhood, and I'd forgotten that Annie and I had such a collaboration going. I suddenly feel as if in some ways I've come full circle. I was twelve when Annie was born and loved taking care of her; we had a real bond (we still do) and I feel like I learned to take pictures through her. She also played a large part in my senior thesis video when I got my MFA (I posted some of the stills here and here) and is now a filmmaker herself. I just got off the phone with her--a conversation in which she helped me hash out some ideas for a photo--and felt compelled to share the images above. I find a strong resemblance between her and Edie, and it's comforting to see these threads moving through my work and my life.

2/16/09

Waiting

Ideas for images and posts seem to be lost under a pile of laundry while germinating in a layer of thought-compost in my brain. I have a toddler who didn't nap today sitting on my lap, scribbling all over my to-do list while Edie is trying to kick me off the computer so she can play a game. Tomorrow will be the first day in a while when I have my babysitter and very little else planned. There's a lot of catch-up that needs doing. Now to rescue my notebook...

2/10/09

Death of a hermit crab


This summer on a trip to the Jersey shore my mother (known as Meema) took Edie to the five-and-dime on Main street and returned with two hermit crabs in a plastic carrying case. This is how we came to be in possession of Lila and Jed--one pink, one blue--named after my friend Elizabeth's twin babies. The hermit crabs were extensively played with until Jed pinched Edie on the lip one night as she was kissing him, after which she was much more cautious, despite still proclaiming her love for her "pets." (I use pet loosely as, all things considered, crabs don't require much care or interaction.) They went to school for Show and Tell and generally skittered around or spent hours asleep, burrowed in the corner of their aquarium.

Last week I went to rinse Jed off in the sink to give him a cleaning and he slipped out of his shell, obviously dead. I've never been afraid of bugs or snakes or the like, but there is something about an unprotected hermit crab that gives me the willies like I've never experienced. Even before Jed died, anytime it seemed as if he was emerging too far, I'd start to shake. I even had unsettling dreams about groups of crabs coming out of their shells. I'm sure it's a symbolic reaction that causes such a visceral sense of disgust in me--their unprotected, vulnerable bodies are too much to bear. I quickly put Jed in a bowl, transferred him to a plastic baggie, stuck him in the freezer and waited three days for the right time to inform Edie.

I found my moment when June was asleep but no activities were planned; I was prepared for tears and didn't want to break the news too close to bedtime. I told Edie I had some something sad to tell her and came right out with it--she started bawling and sat in my lap for about ten minutes, crying over her poor little crab. I must say I ached for her--the sincerity with which she loved Jed and was worried about Lila being lonely was quite beautiful. Once she calmed down she was very curious: How did I know he was dead? How did he die anyhow? She asked to see him and I told her he would look different to prepare her. She was quite scientific and matter-of-fact about the physical aspect of it all. When June woke up Edie assumed the expert role: June, Jed is dead, he's never coming back, do you want to see him? He's gone forever. We're going to put him in the ground when it gets warmer so he can feed the trees.

That night Edie decided she wanted to make me an early birthday card. She told me to write out the following so she could copy the words: "Dear Mama, happy birthday, I love you so much, you're the best Mama but I'll miss you when you're dead." I opened it this morning, the words overlapping on the page.

Heartbreaking and hilarious, as so much of parenting is.

Happy birthday to me

I'm now 34, one year closer to being able to submit to Expiration Notice. If you're 35 or older check them out and show them some work. James got me the new Canon 5D, I can hardly believe it. And the girls were excited to help make me breakfast and put a candle on my toast and eggs. So far a fantastic day indeed.

Great post up on Mark Tucker's blog, by the way. I left a comment if you're interested in my take on it.

2/5/09

Oh, and...

© George Lange

...speaking of George and Stephie, George shot this photo of Edie over the summer--how much do I wish I'd taken this picture? We went for brunch and it was one of those perfect gatherings, the girls running around naked in the baby pool, a group of parents enjoying the scene. Makes me long for those days to return. You can see more of George's photographs and musings on his blog, Last 10 Minutes, which is a great read.

Impact


© Stephanie Lange

There's a nice interview with Darius Himes that went up on the Hey, Hot Shot blog yesterday. He ends with the following, which I find quite inspiring:

"I would advise photographers, particularly ones right out of school, to be in this for the long-haul. Being a working photographer or artist is a lot of work and you can't complain about how tough it is. Be upbeat, be confident, be persistent, and above all make work that is important to you. That may sound way cheesy, but be self-reflective, ultimately. Take account of yourself each day and be thoughtful about what you are doing in your life, what type of work you're making. Ask yourself, how does this serve the broader society, how does this contribute to an ongoing dialogue? In 100 years, would this work still be interesting to oneself? I don't know.... Be an artist and be serious and be so hard-working that you want to cry. And be happy for the chance to produce something beautiful for this world. Those qualities shine through and speak volumes..."

Well said. I ask myself often: how does my work contribute and serve? I don't want to create in a bubble; my photography is very much for myself and keeps me sane, but I also want to have an impact. Certainly getting into shows and publications is wonderful acknowledgment, but the biggest compliments to me are when I hear from fellow mothers (and fathers as well) that my work speaks to them. Perfect example: on Monday while picking Edie up from ballet I was introduced to a woman who said she'd seen my images because someone showed her my website during a playdate. Turns out it was our mutual friend Stephanie Lange, who makes gorgeous drawings (and has a beautiful, poetic website, see it here) and is married to the talented George Lange, also a friend. I was very touched that Stephie had taken the time to share my images; it's quite a feeling to know that my art is being seen by mothers who can relate to the emotion behind the photographs, and ultimately I think it's this sense of sharing and making manifest the complexity of parenthood in order to relate to a wider audience that is a large part of why I create the work I do.

2/2/09

Exposure Project Book-Issue 4

© Carlo Van De Roer
© Jens Windolf

I was very happy to find out this morning that my work will be included in the next Exposure Project book. They've given me a lot of support via a post on my images and Graphic Intersections, so I'm excited to continue my involvement with them and look forward to seeing how the various concepts turn out. Here's the list of artists:

Chris Bentley
Rona Chang
Daniel Farnum
Elizabeth Fleming
Lee Gainer
Matthew Genitempo
Inka LindergÄrd & Niclas Holmström
Natascha Libbert
Bradley Peters (solo show currently up at Melanie Flood Projects)
Carlo Van De Roer
Daniel Shea
Manuel Vazquez
Jens Windolf
Susan Worsham
Bahar Yurukoglu

2/1/09

Quiet

I'm feeling quiet on the blog front this week. My best friend from college was in town visiting from Texas, it's been freezing, and I find I just want to zone in front of other people's blog posts and waste time watching TV and generally procrastinating. It must be the depths of winter that have brought on this lack of motivation. I did attend Melanie and Amani's opening on Wednesday which was fantastic (the show is up until February 28th, get all the info here) and then I trekked into Brooklyn again two days later for another party. All in all I'm wiped out. I hope to get back in the swing soon and share new photos and musings.