All posts tagged: contemporary

On the verge of disappearing: Francesca Woodman’s self-portraits

FN is often coming back to the work of Francesca Woodman.  She was an American photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring herself and female models. Many of her photographs show young women who are nude, blurred (due to movement and long exposure times), merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Her work continues to be the subject of much critical acclaim and attention, years after she committed suicide at the age of 22. FN also really likes her video work – but it’s hard to find places to view it. There’s this one film on youtube – a work I remember seeing at the 4th Berlin Biennial, the year it was curated by The Wrong Gallery trio: Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick. Although Woodman used different cameras and film formats during her career, most of her photographs were taken with medium format cameras producing 2-1/4 by 2-1/4 inch (5.7 by 5.7 cm) square negatives. Woodman created at least 10,000 negatives, which her parents now keep. Woodman’s estate, which is …

REPRESENT III – Hamra Abbas

Hamra Abbas represented by Lawrie Shabibi Hamra Abbas’s work is playful and unpredictable, it has a definite presence, but is so versatile that it is hard to pin down exactly what it is about an Abbas work that tells you it is hers. Fat Nancy takes a look at why she likes it so much. Firstly and overarching, Abbas’s work is pure. In its use of colour, its concepts and humour, she sticks to absolute and direct messaging. The colours she uses are sharp, clear and translucent, even when used in prints. They remind FN of David Batchelor’s works, often managing to bring a similar brightness to the fore without the need for artificial light, using instead natural light, colour on paper, on glass, with food colouring in plasticine, as a tool to manipulate and reflect the intensity she desires. Abbas’s life, and consequently her work, could be said to be somewhat fractured – coming from Pakistan and a deeply Islamic community and now living and working in the USA. Perhaps it is this contradiction that makes it addictively erratic, fickle and playfully …

I Am The Center (Private Issue New Age Music In America, 1950-1990)

I will rarely be found at vegan store or a health food emporium. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with beetroot leaf yoghurt or paying $20 for an aubergine. No, it’s because it’s usually frequented by self righteous new age hippies and middle class parents – moaning on about how they weaved their own trousers from fluff they found in a gutter whilst listening to new age  music that re-centred their chakras.   Fortunately the tracks on Light in the Attic’s ‘I Am the Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America 1950-1990′ are tracks you’re not likely to hear playing in your local Whole Foods store. I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America, 1950-1990 is the first major anthology to survey the golden age of ‘New Age’ and reveal the unbelievable truth about the genre. I Am The Center, is a reverberation of psychedelic music, and great by any standard. This is analog, handmade music communicating soul and spirit, often done on limited means and without commercial potential, self-published and self-distributed. …