Polish demonstrations, carnival revue, plant life. And other beautiful works.
correspondent of Release in the United States, the journalist Julien Gester is also a photographer. Exhibited at Croisière, his combinations of diptych images, bathed in a brooding golden light, offer a detached wander on the threshold of a world on the brink of apocalypse. This visual journey also has the merit of opening a debate: for or against large colored ribbons to hang photos? We vote for! His and Julia Gat’s books are published by Actes Sud, which is launching a new collection of small, flexible and beautifully bound photobooks.
khamsa khamsa khamsa by Julie Gat and This end of the world will still have given us beautiful sunsets by Julien Gester. “48 Views” collection at Croisière, Méjean association until September 25.
Winner of the Rencontres d’Arles author prize, the red book Strike by Rafal Milach is a jewel of graphics, photography and political commitment. He documents the protest movements against the anti-abortion law in Poland: abortion is legal there only if the pregnancy is the result of a criminal act or if it endangers the life of the mother. The cover features the logo of the “Strajk Kobiet” (“women’s strike”) protest movement. The sequence of close-ups of faces, demonstrations of smokers and walls of buildings dotted with an overwhelming flash creates a long cinematographic traveling where the population connected by mobile phones seems totally defenseless against the authoritarian and conservative power.
Strike, Strajkde by Rafal Milach & collective, delpire & co editions, Jednostka Gallery, 256 pp.
During confinement, in 2020, Simon Vansteenwinckel from Brussels was walking around Wuhan… through Google Street View. As we know, the Chinese city of 12 million inhabitants was at the time the epicenter of the Covid pandemic. In front of his computer screen, the photographer strolled along the banks of the Yangtze, in restaurants and shopping streets, to record landscapes using Washi F film, a film traditionally used for lung radios. In close-ups appear the inhabitants that look like ghosts. The great black and white grain of the images gives a ghostly consistency to this dystopia. A striking work.
x-ray of wuhan by Simon Vansteenwinckel, Light Motiv editions, 100 pp.
It is an encounter that is imposed as evidence. Emanuele Coccia is a young philosopher who takes an innovative and sensitive look at life, taking an interest in both fashion and plant life – title of a great essay in which he wrote: “Thanks to flowers, plant life becomes the scene of an unprecedented explosion of colors and shapes, and of the conquest of the domain of appearances.” Viviane Sassen has invented a photographic language that uses collage, ink or paint to weave new and colorful forms, bordering on the sculptural and vegetal. Together they sign a book that crosses 80 photographs and an essay and gives rise to a fruitful dialogue, focused on the creative power of matter within the living.
modern alchemy by Emanuele Coccia and Viviane Sassen, JBE Books, 160 pp.
A newborn is a party. Especially when the baby’s name is the useful idiot. And that is the work of photographer Hubert Crabières, winner of the American Vintage award at the 34th festival of fashion, photography and fashion accessories in Hyères, and an ingenious group of talented graphic designers, writers and stylists. Foutraque, playful and yet perfectly orchestrated, this revision shakes up fashion codes with images shot in Argenteuil. Printed in 500 copies in Belgium, the useful idiot drinks from the carnivalesque and shakes plastic references. Welcome to this gay boy band having a blast in a pristine white studio.
useful Idiot, LeMégot editions, 35 euros