Selected as a finalist for the 2019 Leica Oskar Barnack Award, seventeen prints of Tomas van Houtryve’s Lines and Lineage will be exhibited in Berlin with the other finalists from September 25 to October 25, 2019.
Lines and Lineage takes aim at America’s collective amnesia of history. The work addresses the missing photographic record of the period when Mexico ruled what we now know as the American West. To visualize the people and places from the remarkable yet unseen Mexican era, Tomas van Houtryve chose to photograph the region with glass plates and a 19th-century wooden camera. Portraits of direct descendants of early inhabitants of the West—mestizo, Afro-Latin, indigenous, Crypto-Jewish—are paired with photographs of landscapes inside the original border and architecture from the Mexican period. Lines and Lineage lifts the pervasive fog of dominant Western mythology and makes us question the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West. The work will be published as a monograph by Radius Books in Autumn 2019.
The Leica Oskar Barnack Award honors “professional photographers whose unerring powers of observation capture and express the relationship between man and the environment in the most graphic form.” It is named after Oskar Barnack, the inventor of the Leica camera, and it has been awarded since 1979. Previous winners include Martin Kollar, Guy Tillim, Andrea Hoyer, Luc Delahaye, Claudine Doury, Larry Towell, Eugene Richards and Sebastiao Salgado. Tomas’ series, Behind the Curtains, was also chosen as LOBA finalist in 2011. For the 2019 award, the members of the jury were Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Max Pinckers, Milena Carstens, Enrico Stefanelli and Steve McCurry.
The Enigma Room challenges perception–the fact of the photograph versus the mystery of digital alchemy. In this work, Ed Kashi allows coding to transform his extensive archive, spanning the globe over the course of four decades. Kashi has often been at the forefront of experimentation with visual language, and for this installation he embraces coding as the new mode of creation and consumption of photography.
In The Enigma Room, Kashi weighs truth against reality, searching for where the two intersect, and where they diverge. Through digital translation, this work weaves photographs, video, and audio, transporting the viewer to discover new planes of subjective realities. This visual journey immerses us in the physical and transcendent elements of life through cycles of chaos, calm, celebration, and rebirth.
The Enigma Room leverages the computational image to a new level of experimentation. Together with Michael Curry, Brenda Bingham, and Rachel Dennis, Kashi seeks to push the evolution of photography by deploying technology as a tool on par with the camera. The installation’s abstract connections link images across time, place, and context. The result is a dreamlike reverie that exposes the enigma of life.
BORN FREE – Mandela’s Generation of Hope
Twenty-five years ago in 1994, Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president and his nation was a free country. The segregation system of apartheid had ended; Mandela had high hopes for the youth.
The children born in the years following the end of apartheid are now young adults: the born-free generation for whom racial segregation is a thing of the past. They were to be the face of a new, free and successful South Africa.
Ilvy Njiokiktjien’s personal project, which has spread over 12 years, looks into how free the born-free are actually living, and how modern-day racism influences their day-to-day lives.
“When you think of what climate change looks like, perhaps you think of giant icebergs melting in the Arctic. But it’s so much more than that.” This piece from CNN features photos and words from photographers around the world, including VII’s Nichole Sobecki and Ed Kashi, that show us how the planet is changing.