By Andy Adams
Earlier this summer, I attended LOOKbetween to facilitate a discussion addressing new trends in online publishing. The weekend was filled with exciting ideas and featured nightly photo projections presenting multimedia work from the 90 photographers who participated in the festival. I’ve selected a handful of my favorites here, in no particular order. For details about LOOKbetween and to learn more about this year’s photographers, visit Look3.org/events/eventslookbetween.
1. Raised to Hunt by Brian Lesteberg
Minnesota-based photographer Brian Lesteberg’s Raised to Hunt records his family’s annual hunt following the migratory birds that descend from Canada to central North Dakota. A meditation on nature’s vulnerability as well as his relationship with his father, the project depicts a family tradition as steady as the migrations it depends on. Lesteberg’s images chronicle the people and places of his native land and they bear witness to an age old ritual and its place in the layered order of the natural world.
2. Home, Away From Home by Justine Reyes
After the death of her uncle Vinnie four years ago, photographer Justine Reyes vacationed with her mother and uncle in Bermuda as a way to allay the family’s grief. Since then, she’s been photographing her elders at home and in hotel rooms around the world. At times playful, these intimate portraits emphasize the aging family’s fragility — her uncle’s broken nose, her mother’s injuries from a fall, uncle Vinnie’s empty bedroom — and remind us of our own longings to hold on to the ephemeral and transitory things in our lives.
3. Brigitte et Bernard by Audrey Bardou
On the advice of Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey, Audrey Bardou began photographing her parents, Brigitte and Bernard. A personal collection of snapshots documenting the daily routines of her family’s life at home in France, Bardou’s pictures elegantly present the quiet moments we take for granted with the ones we love most. Hers is a touching view of a happy home and a pictorial love letter to the exceptional, if anonymous, couple who infused her with the artist’s sense of wonder and curiosity.
4. Black Walnut Bride by Susan Worsham
Thought not directly autobiographical, Susan Worsham’s Some Fox Trails in Virginia acts as a metaphorical map of the rediscovered paths of her childhood home and the people she knew as a girl. Inspired by stories told by her oldest neighbor Margaret Daniel, Worsham’s photographs replay her memories in pictures. In Black Walnut Bride she turns the camera on Margaret and her husband Harrison and blends family photos with her own images to add a new dimension to her family history, bridging the gap between her past and the present.
5. The Light of Day by Simon Biswas
It’s not hard to grow old but making peace with the challenges of aging is no easy task. Photographer Simon Biswas glimpses the conflict in a series of emotional video portraits that tell his subjects’ stories with honesty and dignity. His sitters regale us with fond memories of collecting Brooklyn Dodgers autographs and tragic losses like the death of a child. The Light of Day celebrates the experience of growing old and pays respect to those who have preceded us in making sense of life’s many unanswered questions.
Andy Adams is the Editor / Publisher of FlakPhoto.com, a contemporary photography website that celebrates the culture of image-making by promoting the discovery of artists from around the world. An online art space + photography publication, the site provides opportunities for a global community of artists and photo organizations to share new series work, book projects, and gallery exhibitions with a web-based photography audience. Adams will be participating in panel discussions during Magenta's Flash Forward Festival, and will curate the artist portfolios in the November issue. More about him at AndyAdamsPhoto.com.