New Books!

They took awhile to arrive but finally they did! I ordered “What Remains” and “Immediate Family” from Sally Mann. The first I thought to be more special than it ended up to be and the latter was also meant to support to the classes I’m preparing to give next year. Luckily it got here in time.

“Immediate Family” is really special: (her own) child’s portraits as I have never seen them. So intimate, like you’re watching something that you shouldn’t yet so familiar at the same time. My own youth consisted out of different emotions and a part of them felt represented in that book in a way. Quite special. She shows stuff that most people would think about twice, mostly in a ” what-would-other-people think-about-me/them” kind of manner and it’s great seeing those photos in there. They are very open, sometimes sceneries but very open nonetheless. Too bad she has been sewed because of the nude displayed. People are such hypocrites.

Immediate Family

Immediate Family

“What Remains” I thought to be something different. I saw the documentary, which I loved, but this book displayed many lousy Collodion plates. Horrible qua technique with only flaws supposed to make the photo. I don’t like that. I know she’s a technical well executable person but that just lacked it. I remembered landscapes that had more mysteriousness to them and more liquid darkness while still being able to see somewhat of an image to let loose your imagination. I remembered more of her sick husband, those photos seemed brilliant. The book contained none of that but that could be my own misconception. I thought more of it and was disappointed but still glad I bought it to have a wide representation of her work, of which most I do love.

The first part of the book shows photos of her dead decomposed grey hound Eva. The second part contains photographs of dead and decomposing bodies at a federal Forensic Anthropology Facility, also known as the “body farm”. Here she was allowed to take photos of the bodies lying there which really gives for some creepy images. Amazing she could stand the smell. The third part displays her property where an armed and escaped convict was killed. The fourth part is a study of the grounds of Antietam (the site of the bloodiest single day battle in American history during the Civil War). And the final part is made out of close-ups of the faces of her children. The study of mortality, decay and death ends with hope and love; so is the message.

What Remains

What Remains

The 3rd book, Keeping Shadows, I just bought out of the blue because someone advised me to buy it. So I did and have yet to see what it is about. The photos inside look old, the text looks interesting so I can’t be disappointed I guess 🙂

Keeping Shadows

Keeping Shadows

Sally Mann has been the subject of 2 film documentaries. One is called “What Remains” and the other “Blood Ties”. Have to look up that last one, haven’t seen it yet.

And, hopefully, next Tuesday to the Fotomuseum Den Haag to see the exhibition of Sally Mann. One of the few days I can make it and I hope the train will ride that day arrgghhh!

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12 responses

  1. csant

    If you are interested in Sally Mann and the work with her husband, I could highly recommend Proud Flesh, just published this past year. 🙂 And I am glad I bumped into this blog of yours since I might have missed the exhibition in Den Haag – will try to make it!

    December 26, 2009 at 19:08

    • Thanx for you comment and the tip! Indeed, Proud Flesh might be the book I confused What Remains with. The photos I saw of her husband regarding that theme were brilliant. Thanx again!

      I have yet to visit the exhibition in The Hague myself. Time is such a problem for me during these days…I’ll probably go and see it on the 3rd of January. Hope you enjoy the show!

      December 27, 2009 at 12:24

  2. Thank you for hosting such a terrific weblog. this weblog is not just knowledgeable but also very inventive too. We find very few professionals who can write technical content that creatively. I look for articles about this topic. I Myself searched in many blogs to come across knowhow with respect to this.I will check back often !!

    December 29, 2009 at 06:34

    • Thank you! I try my best. I wanted to write about my experiences so that others could learn from them but not in a boring kind of way; it has to be fun after all. You make it sound as if I’ve succeeded in that regard, Thanks!

      December 29, 2009 at 13:45

  3. Thank you for giving such a informative weblog. this blog was not just knowledgeable but also bvery imaginative too. We find a limited number of professionals who can think to write technical articles that creatively. All of us search for articles regarding this subject. I went through dozens of websites to find information with respect to this.Keep writing in !!

    December 29, 2009 at 09:38

  4. I couldn’t agree more about “What Remains.” I loved the documentary, but the photos themselves are pretty boring. The idea behind them is great (didn’t really get why her children’s faces were in the series) but the execution is just sort of… meh.

    January 11, 2010 at 05:37

    • The photos in that documentary came across as way much more interesting as in the book. I missed quite a bit from what was in the film such as the mysterious landscapes and such. The execution on Collodion was bad unfortunately, it was not nothing but vague stained photographs.
      The childrens’ photographs were meant to stand for hope, I believe after all the death and decay she has dealt with.

      January 11, 2010 at 09:59

      • Yeah, I absolutely LOVE the landscapes she’s done. I was unimpressed with pretty much everything else.

        I thought her explanation for including the children came off as artspeak. Other than being made with collodion, they had nothing to do with the rest of the series.

        January 14, 2010 at 11:20

      • The landscapes were stunning indeed. Immediate family rocked too but the vague Collodion ones meant nothing to me.

        Sent from my iPhone

        January 14, 2010 at 14:35

  5. Hallo Contrastique,

    Die wetplate dat is wel wat voor jou, er is ooit eens een reportage van sally Mann op tv geweest, de VPRO geloof ik, deze opname is nog altijd terug tezien http://video.yandex.ru/users/alexey-mischiha/view/86/

    Groet,
    Theo van Mourik

    April 29, 2010 at 23:38

    • Hoi Theo!

      Het wetplate gebeuren bevalt me bijzonder goed! Voorlopig houdt dat me wel even zoet.
      Die documentaire is inderdaad uitgezonden bij “Het uur van de wolf” en was echt heel interessant.

      Jouw blog ziet er trouwens ook goed uit! Proficiat met je tentoonstelling! Ik zal proberen te komen kijken want je theaterfotografie is echt heel goed.

      Groetjes,

      Indra

      April 30, 2010 at 10:44

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