In: fashion photography
Annie Collinge | Table For One | 2020August 25, 2023
Annie Collinge | Table For One | 2020
There are a number of places to stand (or crouch, on your knees with your head tucked under, like the resting chicken ‘downward dog’ work by Collinge) in considering Table For One.
Some are more light-hearted (when I first encountered Collinge’s performative scenes, I was having the type of day where staying at home in a banana bag or sitting stoically as a snug, solitary tomato was a comforting concept. Table For One might mean being grateful to be left alone, that day). Other responses may be darker : perhaps these are incongruously bright, vibrant metaphors for loneliness and separation. Eating alone at a table for one is interpolated as isolation – and assumed to be by reluctance not preference – which feeds (sorry) into the history of how eating with others and communal meals are lauded as linchpins of social structure. This is – of course – debatable, as it has a rank stench of nostalgia, like those who lament the myth of ‘family dinner.’
I offer this as someone who often goes to movies alone, or eats in restaurants alone, but have been told I’m ‘extroverted’ in other social interactions.
When considering art, I often cite what Jeanne Randolph describes as the ‘amenable object’ : it’s a ‘vessel’ that we pour our own experiences into, and thus construct its meaning in collaboration with the artist. Fashion falls within this, and is also a manifestation of art and social history : its a history we wear and perform. As with art history, it is sometimes subversive, sometimes explicit. Table For One exists within that space.
“Puppetry, dolls and larger-than-life costumes populate the images of London-based photographer Annie Collinge. Visual trickery abounds, as if Alice had just stumbled upon a magic potion in Wonderland, with scale (the very large and the very small) frequently distorted. The human body becomes a foil to its surroundings, offsetting imaginative surroundings that conjure the escapist storybooks of childhood. A head appears amidst a mushroom patch, or else a gloved hand clutches at a disembodied head. Like the best fairytales, these images carry as much menace as they do whimsy.” That quote is from an interview with Collinge : more of that conversation can be read here.
~ Bart GazzolaRead More
Life In Movement – The Tanya Liedtke storyNovember 8, 2021
Life In Movement
I have 3 ½ left feet. As a sometimes musician I have a great sense of rhythm, but it has never been able to translate into my limbs. As a pre-teen and adolescent, I never knew anyone taking dance classes, never attended any recitals or ballets or other artistic events involving dance… in short, I am the last person you might think who would offer up Closer Productions’ Life In Movement as a documentary film that made such a difference in my artistic practice.
The multi-award-winning film focuses on Tanja Liedtke, the late choreographer of the Sydney Dance Company, who was killed at age 29 before she could take her position. A lauded professional dancer, Life in Movement documents Liedtke’s intentional cultivation of a creative life and her near obsessive process. The dance sequences she created seem to defy physics; she would push her dancers to their breaking points yet pushed herself even further.
Watching the film made me question my own motives as an artist. Liedtke was “all-in” to an extent that I could not emulate as a musician. My passion for photography was/is a completely different animal, and I poured everything I had into it. Life in Movement helped me to focus my intent and my path forward.
The documentary will bring joy, sadness, admiration and reflection to any artist who watches. It is NOT available for streaming in Canada but you can purchase a copy from the Closer Productions website. ~ Mark WaltonRead More
Edward Steichen – In High Fashion, The Conde Nast Years 1923-1937September 28, 2021
Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, The Conde Nast Years 1923-1937
by Todd Brandow (Author), William A. Ewing
W. W. Norton & Company
To anyone with even a smattering of knowledge of photographic history, Edward Steichen stands as a giant. He, along with Alfred Steiglitz, helped to solidify the medium’s standing as a fine art form, and embellish his own reputation in the process.
Much to the chagrin of Steiglitz and the other purists, Steichen had the audacity to construct a lucrative career for himself, as evidenced by the book Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, The Conde Nast Years 1923-1937, and became the pre-eminent photographer of fashion and celebrity culture.
I was very lucky to see the show for which this book serves as the catalogue at The Art Gallery of Ontario… actually I was lucky enough to practically LIVE at the gallery as I wore out my membership card poring over these stunning images again and again. Steichen DEFINED fashion photography as we know it, taking the work of Baron de Meyer (and others) from the end of the Belle Époque and perfecting it.
One can stare at “On George Baher’s Yacht” and “Screenwriter Anita Loos, C. 1928“ and marvel at their fluid tonality. You can see evidence of Steichen’s work to this day as photographers continue to mimic the poses and backgrounds used by him.
~ Mark WaltonRead More