Monday, April 4, 2011

The Dark Side of Photography (Part 1)

Trying to analyze what moves you is always very difficult. It’s an internal reaction to what you see that cannot always be explained. Henri Cartier Bresson said that ‘to take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart."  I guess falling in love with an image or a photography style is similar in a way. Images that move you are the ones that succeed in touching your eye, your head and your heart.
I’ve always been drawn by dark very contrasted black and white images and by the work of a few photographers that push the limit of the camera to it extremes. Partially blurred or totally unfocused, their images feel like they come from the darker side of the photographers’ subconscious, the darker sides of our memories. The following 3 photographers perfectly represent this idea and belong to a category of artists that succeed in expressing strong emotions through their art (of course they’re not the only ones…). Their images procure very mixed sensations and for me that’s what makes their attraction and complex beauty. They search for unknown parts of life, dive in to unexplored territories, shake our visions of the world and maybe reveal darker sides of us  (or maybe just of me!).
Michael Ackerman
I’ve already mentioned Michael Ackerman when reviewing images from Benares, India as he has created some of the most amazing images of that place. However the rest of his work is as compelling and emotionally disturbing as his first book ‘End Time City’. Through a few reportages and a second book ‘Fiction’ he continues to deliver his personal testimony of life through a very innovative visual style. The last opus of his work is called ‘Half life’ and was on view at the Vu gallery in Paris last summer. The images follow each other but they’re not a narrative essay. They feel like selected moments of life, selected emotions that throw you in to another universe. They explore the past and the present, they explore personal and universal History. Sometimes you feel the photographer’s anxiety but most of the time his work questions your own doubts and your own feelings towards people and the world. By this complex series Michael Ackerman once again reaffirms his unique style between poetry and strangeness, between isolation and mystery, between drama and love.
‘Every picture is for me a surprise’ 
Here are 2 interviews of Michael Ackerman where he talks about ‘Half Life”: the story of the book, the portraits of vulnerable men, the landscapes of Poland... Quite rare and very interesting.
on youtube:
on artnet :
Smoke 2000
Fiction 2001
Half Life
Half Life
Half Life
Half Life
More on Michael Ackerman:


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