Dustwound by Pouria Khojastehpay are mysterious images described by the artist as “Futures of the recent past. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone”. Dystopian ruins of Brutalist structures scattered on desolate landscapes seem to be all that is left of our time in Earth. Khojastehpay is a Dutch/Iranian artist and photographer, currently living in The Netherlands. He was born in 1993 in Shiraz, Iran before spending a large part of his childhood in a Dutch refugee camp.
There is a place where no one is born and no one dies. Of course, you can die anywhere but you cannot be buried here, as it has been discovered that bodies fail to decompose. And you definitely cannot be born here because pregnant women are made to return to the mainland to give birth.
There are also no cats, no trees, no traffic lights. There is no amusement park—but there is a circus troupe. In the winter time it is completely dark, but in the summer, the sun never sets.
The place is called Longyearbyen and it is the largest settlement and an administrative center of Svalbard. It is also the world’s northernmost city. Although it is difficult to regard it as the best place to live, many people fall in love with it at first sight. Some people came here just for two weeks and have stayed for five years or more.
But not many decide to settle down here permanently. Sometimes you get the impression that people here are trying to escape from something; that this is just a retreat. This is not a real life.
“... it is middle England territory, a town dominated by skilled manual workers ... whose values, habits and preferences are believed by both left and right to hold the key of electoral success.”
Magic Party Place takes you to the heart of BREXIT England. It is a series of intimate encounters documenting contemporary England through the paradigm of the new-town of Basildon, in Essex. Located 25 miles outside London, it was built as part of a massive urban renewal program following the devastation of London in the Second World War. As a constructed community, the town is statistically close to the national average, which makes it the perfect paradigm through which to explore the state of the nation.
Published by Kehrer Verlag, the book will be released in July 2016. To purchase a copy, visit the shop.
In a new travel book series, luxury lifestyle brand Louis Vuitton whisk readers to five luxurious locations around the globe—California, India, Miami, Paris and Shanghai—through the work of five seminal fashion photographers.
In the second release from the series, Paris-based Canadian photographer Kourtney Roy transports us to the sun-drenched vistas of California. The latest in a long liner of female photographers, Roy was born with image making in her blood. Her highly stylized approach to the medium has landed her in the fashion industry working for brands like Dior and publications including Wallpaper*.
Here, the burgeoning artist lends her unique style to a pop-hued take on the Golden State—from the baking desert sun to the poolside shade.
James Laxton reveals the secrets to his cinematography in this behind the scenes look at Moonlight.
The second feature from writer-director Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) follows its young protagonist from childhood to adulthood as he navigates the dangers of drugs and violence in his depressed Florida neighbourhood, in addition to his complex love for his best friend.
The early settlers dubbed California The Golden State, and The Land of Milk and Honey. Today there are the obvious ironies – sprawl, spaghetti junctions and skid row—but the place is not so easily distilled or visualized, either as a clichéd paradise or as its demise. There’s a strange kind of harmony when it’s all seen together—the sublime, the psychedelic, the self-destructive. Like all places, it’s unpredictable and contradictory, but to greater extremes. Cultures and histories coexist, the beautiful sits next to the ugly, the redemptive next to the despairing, and all under a strange and singular light, as transcendent as it is harsh.
The pictures in this book begin in the desert east of Los Angeles and move west through the city, ending at the Pacific. This general westward movement alludes to a thirst for water, as well as the original expansion of America, which was born in the East and which hungrily drove itself West until reaching the Pacific, thereby fulfilling its “manifest” destiny.
The people, places, and animals in the book did exist before Halpern’s camera, but he has sewn these photographs into a work of fiction or fantasy—a structure, sequence and edit which, like Los Angeles itself, teeters on the brink of collapsing under the weight of its own strangely-shaped mass.
Gregory Halpern was born in Buffalo, New York. He holds a BA from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. In 2014 he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He currently teaches photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology. For editorial or commercial inquiries, please contact Tom Claxton.
The Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers stretch from the western edge of China across Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, spanning a distance of 2,500km. They are the lifeblood of the vast, landlocked region between China, Russia, Iran and Afghanistan. The Greeks knew the two rivers as the Oxus and the Jaxartes. An islamic hadith holds that they are two of the four rivers that flow into Paradise. The Silk Route linking China to Europe followed the paths of the rivers.
After the Soviet government took control of the region in 1917, it began one of the most ambitious engineering projects in world history, diverting massive quantities of water from the rivers to bring cotton production to an area too arid to sustain such a thirsty crop. Such large quantities of water were diverted that the Aral Sea, once the world’s fourth largest lake, began to disappear. When Moscow’s rule ended in 1991, five new Central Asian nations appeared, burdened with failing economies, incongruous borders, and a growing environmental crisis. The Aral Sea has nearly vanished, replaced by salt and dust storms.
Two Rivers follows the rivers from their endpoints to the source. It is a photographic record of a place where political allegiances, ethnic bonds, national borders, and physical geography are in constant flux; a vast ecosystem where nature, money, and history are intertwined.
Carolyn Drake studied Media/Culture and History in the 1990s at Brown University, where she became interested in the ways that history and reality are purposefully shaped and revised over time, and in the ways that artists can interrupt and shift these narratives. She worked for multimedia companies in New York after graduating from college, but eventually left her office job at the age of 30 to engage with the physical world through photography. In 2006, she moved to Ukraine, where she spent a year examining cultural partitions in a country pursuing a unified national identity - a cloistered Soviet era orphanage near the European border; private, state-owned and illegal coal mining groups vying for influence in the Donbass; Crimean muslims claiming land rights. She made images everywhere, not as much for historical documentation as to come to terms with presumptions stemming from her Cold War childhood in the USA. The experience made her question the journalistic impulse to define, and to look for ways photography can emphasize ambiguity.
Based in Istanbul between 2007 and 2013, Carolyn traveled frequently to Central Asia to work on two long term photography projects. The first, “Two Rivers,” is a poetic exploration of the shifting borders, histories, and life systems between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers. The interconnectedness of ecology, culture and political power come to view in a territory on the edge of global attention.
The second Central Asia project is an amalgem of photographs, drawings, and embroideries made in collaboration with Uyghurs in western China. Framed between passages from Nurmuhemmet Yasin's contraband story "Wild Pigeon," the book puts forth a counter narrative about China's western frontier, Islam, and the freedoms associated with modernity. In the collaborative images, contrasting visual tools intersect, drawing attention to the awkward, difficult, sometimes beautiful cultural exchange that lies at the root of this series.
Carolyn returned to the US in 2014 and is now based in Vallejo, California. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, the Lange Taylor Prize, a Fulbright fellowship, and the Anamorphosis prize, among other awards. She joined Magnum Photos as a nominee in 2015. She is currently making work in the US and Ukraine.
Disco Night Sept. 11 is a chronicle of America's wars from 2006-2013. The photographs shift back and forth from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the USA, unsparingly capturing the violent, ceaseless cost, but also the mystery and the madness, the beauty and absurdity at the core of each conflict. The narrative is complemented by nineteen gatefolds which elaborate on places and individuals.
Photographs are fragments, sometimes only loosely tied to important experiences. An extensive text records some of the missing pieces. The stories that precede and follow the moment of the photograph, conversations with soldiers, anonymous graffiti that's part confession, part boast.
Disco Night Sept. 11 is an expansive yet intimate account of this defining era of history.