A new book is available of Billy Monk’s nightclub photography. Billy Monk worked as a bouncer in the notorious Catacombs club in the dock area of Cape Town, South Africa, during the 1960s. He originally began taking pictures in the club with the intention of selling the photographs to the customers – the people he was photographing. His aim was not to make a social statement, but his money-making scheme quickly turned into something else as he increasingly captured the raw energy of the club, its decadence and tragedy, its humanity and joy. As someone who shared the experiences of those club-goers he was trusted by them and was able to convey their world and their experience with great energy and honesty. As photographer David Goldblatt has written in the forward: “These are photographs by an insider of insiders for insiders. If inhibitions were lowered by the seemingly vast quantities of brandy and Coke that were imbibed, trust, nevertheless, is powerfully evident. Not simply in the raucous tweaking of bared breasts, or the more guarded but evident ‘togetherness’ of two bearded men, as well as the open flouting of peculiarly South African sanctions such as prohibitions on interracial sex. It is also present in the quiet composure of many of the portraits. People seemed to welcome and even bask in Monk’s attentions.” Monk stopped photographing at the club in 1969. Ten years later his contact sheets and negatives were discovered and in 1982 the work was exhibited at the Market Gallery in Johannesburg. Monk could not make the opening and two weeks later, en route to seeing the show, he became involved in an argument. A fight broke out, Monk was fatally shot in the chest and never saw his work exhibited. The book, Billy Monk: Nightclub Photographs, is now available.
Amuse is a fashion film by Berlin based Nicolai Niermann and Phillip Humm, and styled by Augustin Teboul, for ASVOFF (A Shaded View On Fashion Film) Festival. For the first time, Barcelona will hold the 1st edition of ASVOFF from January 24th until the 27th at CaixaForum Barcelona. View film after the jump. [SEE MORE...]
Portland, OR—Charles A. Hartman Fine Art presents Joseph Sterling: 30 Years of Photographs. This exhibition of more than 25 images reveals the artist’s range and embraces both the famed series, The Age Of Adolescence - a documentary masterwork exposing the life and milieu of the pre-Vietnam War era American teenager – and a variety of other imagery, including important photographs from the Pictus Twistus and Bird’s Eye View series. Joseph Sterling: 30 Years of Photographs will be on view at the Charles A Hartman gallery from January 18 to February 25, 134 NW 8th Ave Portland, OR.
On view this month at the MMK Museum in Frankfurt, the short Super 8 films of Anja Czioska in a retrospective of the filmmaker’s twenty-year career. “I will show bathing and shower filmportraits of me and my friends, experimental film visions on single-frame, performances, happening, portraits, me and my camera, scenes of daily art like filmed during my travellings to Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, San Francisco, Paris, London and home base diaries of a Frankfurt artist’s life,” says Czioska. On view January 25 at the MMK in Frankfurt Lecture Hall.
Today is the second day of the 2012 Modernism Week in Palm Springs, a 10-day festival that celebrates mid-century modern design, architecture and culture, and features over 80 events including home tours, films, lectures, fashion, and swank receptions at locations rarely-seen by the public. Modernism Week will commence on February 26.
Kurt Cobain, lead singer for the band Nirvana, has been dead for nearly 18 years, but for those who lived or grew up in the periphery of his artistic and musical contributions, his legacy will live on and in the future his music will undoubtably be bequeathed to other generations to share. Cobain, a casualty of his own genius and subsequent fame, and a victim of dependence on the protective shields, namely heroin, that one uses to protect themselves from the burden of human commoditization has become an icon. With what he hoped a bullet would achieve still could not release his personality from the shackles from which he was so tightly bound. But does everything really have to be such a tragedy? “It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” Cobain once wrote in his journal, borrowing a line from a Neil Young song, but it couldn’t be truer. At the young age of 27 Cobain was dead and forever his image will be trapped in that impenetrable mirage of myth. Cobain was a representative to an entire culture of youth searching for that voice to air their angst – he was the epitome of the teenage rebel – not in age, but in metaphor and his lyrics were the soliloquy of life’s dark, unanswerable questions. Sometimes its take 20 years to realize that once someone is gone you can’t go back and beg for answers – questions begin to pile up like kind of unpayable debt on our curiosity. Adarsha Benjamin, who grew up around Seattle in the 90s, knows the Cobain myth well and through artistic exploration attempts to answer some of those questions and perchance pay some of the debt. The project, which is currently in the works, is an art film by Benjamin in collaboration with Nina Ljeti that abstractly portrays the many masks of the Cobain myth, and is more so a “retrospective” of Kurt Cobain, exploring the many facets of his personality and life through multiple actors including Benjamin herself and Henry Hopper. The project, which is tentatively called ‘Kurt’, is still in production and has no set date for release, but Pas Un Autre was able to get a hold of a few production stills from a recent day on set in Brooklyn and ask Adarsha Benjamin a few questions. Read interview after the jump. [SEE MORE....]
The most celebrated and controversial French novelist of our time, Michel Houellebecq, now delivers his magnum opus—about art and money, love and friendship and death, fathers and sons. The Map and the Territory is the story of an artist, Jed Martin, and his family and lovers and friends, the arc of his entire history rendered with sharp humor and powerful compassion. His earliest photographs, of countless industrial objects, were followed by a surprisingly successful series featuring Michelin road maps, which also happened to bring him the love of his life, Olga, a beautiful Russian working—for a time—in Paris. But global fame and fortune arrive when he turns to painting and produces a host of portraits that capture a wide range of professions, from the commonplace (the owner of a local bar) to the autobiographical (his father, an accomplished architect) and from the celebrated (Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Discussing the Future of Information Technology) to the literary (a writer named Houellebecq, with whom he develops an unusually close relationship). Then, while his aging father (his only living relative) flirts with oblivion, a police inspector seeks Martin’s help in solving an unspeakably gruesome crime—events that prove profoundly unsettling. Even so, now growing old himself, Jed Martin somehow discovers serenity and manages to add another startling chapter to his artistic legacy, a deeply moving conclusion to this saga of hopes and losses and dreams. [purchase]
Music video for the Caged Animal’s track All The Beautiful Things in the World, directed by Jamie Harley
Roberts & Tilton gallery in Los Angeles presents an exhibition presenting new and vintage photographs by Gusmano Cesaretti, curated by Aaron Rose. The main gallery will feature work from the early period of Cesaretti’s career (1970s) in which he immersed himself in the East Los Angeles culture. His photographs of this era celebrated a sub-culture that had rarely been captured before. The exhibition will include twenty-four vintage, unique prints that have recently been discovered and will be shown for the first time in Los Angeles. An Italian immigrant who moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s, Cesaretti quickly became fascinated by East Los Angeles. Inspired by the colors, people and graffiti that populated the East Side, he began to capture the vulnerability and uncensored quality of this area. Always honest when shooting his subjects, Cesaretti presents them as they are: violent, loving, confident, scared, full of life. It is this energy and conflict inherent in those who occupy the edges of society that drives his photographic investigations. On view until February 18, Roberts and Tilton, 5801 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA
Blum & Poe gallery in Los Angeles presents an exhibition of new work by Banks Violette, his first one-person exhibition in Los Angeles. Simultaneously rooted in Minimalist form and contemporary in its use of industrial materials, Violette’s artistic practice freely employs diverse media, such as neon tubing, powder-coated steel, glass, salt, resin, and aluminum. Violette draws inspiration from a variety of subcultural communities, including hardcore punk and drone metal bands like Sunn O))), political conspiracy theorists, both left and right-wing religious fanatics, and most recently NASCAR and the iconography which populates the sport’s predominantly southern fan base. As if arrested in time, Violette’s sculptural objects and installations function as elegant reminders of darker moments past and present. On view until February 11, Blum and Poe, 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA