GUP - Your Guide to Unique Photography

Off Grid Adventures
In this newsletter: Antoine D'Agata, Paul Simon, Cansu Yildiran, Ming Smith, OFF Bratislava, and Matt Slater.
From the very first day of the Covid-19 lockdown, Antoine d'Agata (b. 1961, France) refused to be confined to his home and instead wandered the streets of Paris with a thermal camera, which detects radiant heat rather than light. Between March and May 2020, he also captured the interplay of doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, and patients involved in the pandemic. These signature documentations have resulted in a sizeable book, 'VIRUS'.

Romanian-American artist Paul Simon (b. 1995) creates an altered reality, one in which the body is confronted, transfigured and – ultimately – accepted. As a queer person grappling with issues of masculinity, gender expectations and body dysmorphia, his various artistic endeavours always aim to evoke the complexities of such issues by creating puzzling (self-) portraits. Rejecting the use of digital cut-and-paste tools, he operates within the innate limits of the image.

Deep in a valley of the Kusmer Highlands, in the Black Sea region of Turkey, lies the village and ancestral homeland of photographer Cansu Yıldıran: Çaykara. Tradition decrees that the women of this village may not own the homes or the land that they live in — that right belongs to men, exclusively. Yıldıran photographed this landscape and the women who inhabit it, by way of a personal investigation into identity, belonging, and what it means when neither of those are certain.

Ming Smith is the first African American female photographer whose work has been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Her poetic gaze and experimental photography, reflective of the 20th century African American experience, has now been composed into a large retrospective monograph published by Aperture and Documentary Arts. Covering four decades of Smith's work, one can be immersed into busy street scenes, energetic music, theatre, dance and poetry performances alongside her self-portraits. The voluminous book is accompanied by intriguing essays and interviews that shed light on the perks of the artist's life and her contribution to the photography scene in America.

OFF Bratislava's OPEN CALL: the Festival is in search of photographic projects concerned with the theme 'Family' - in a literal or a transferred sense, an ideal or a profaned concept.
In his series Efflorescent Cherry, Matt Slater (b. 1994, South Africa) photographs the beauty and oddities of nature whilst in transition and captures the serene and melancholic poetry that he witnesses in its decay. He uses a variety of analogue photographic practices to open the work up to spontaneous 'mistakes' and irregularities, to amplify this message of transience.

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