Bite! magazine » Recommending Viewer

Hunters Of The Far North

Yagi’s documentation of the Eskimo and Aleut is beautiful to look at. He works in a manner that has completely disappeared in my part of the world, photographing on 8 by 10 inch sheet film – the size of a magazine page – and printing them on hand coated paper. This method is a perfect mirror for the subject matter of this work, the disappearing cultures of the Northern native people. It results in a body of work that is both beautiful and sad to look at, as it underlines the fact that the developments described in Yagi’s project statement are irreversible and picking up speed. Viewing these photographs feels like looking at the past, while, in fact, we are looking at a disappearing present.

One Of My Fondest Childhood Memories

Martin Amis on his series Racing Seen: One of my fondest childhood memories is my regular trips horseracing with my father. I loved to watch the horses race, but I loved even more to watch the strange men betting on them. As a boy of less than ten years of age, I would follow my father around the betting ring, looking up at this motley cast of characters placing their bets, as I tried to make sense of the surreal world I had become part of. The stench of beer, tobacco and sweat filled the air. The bookmakers’ chants of the latest odds, cut through the hubbub of lively conversation. 

I loved every moment.

I Kept Thinking I Saw My Father Going Past

Judith van IJken was recommended to us by Sebastiaan Hanekroot. Judith van IJken’s work “Mimicry” raises interesting questions about the development of identity and personality. At first seemingly candid-like, there definitely is a wonderful second layer in this project. Van IJken’s portraits are emotionally charged and very strong and each of them matches the found photography brilliantly. I would be very interested to know what her counterparts in sociology and social psychology are finding on the questions raised by Van IJken. If there is anybody out there who can fill me in on some of these details, I would be very interested to listen.

The Optimism Of My Own Teenage Mythology

The seeds of the Mum project were planted when I injured both my hands, and was forced into a different sort of homecoming, retreating to my childhood home in North Texas to recuperate. While trying to fill my time with something other than learning to open doors with my feet, strains of the high school marching band lured me to my alma mater’s Homecoming Game. Confronted by stands packed with cheering Mum devotees, I immediately realized an opportunity to not only reconnect with the optimism and energy of my own teenage mythology, but to deconstruct and document the Mum praxis.

The Line That Goes From The Heart To My Left Hand

Maputo Diary, by Ditte Haarløv Johnsen: “I grew up in Mozambique. These are images from the times I’ve been back – of friends, family and the moments in between.Maputo and surrounds. 2000-2009.”

A Notorious Fact Of Italian Life

The phenomenon of foreign women, who line the roadsides of Italy, has become a notorious fact of Italian life. These women work in sub-human conditions; they are sent out without any hope of regularizing their legal status and can be easily transferred into criminal networks. The majority are Africans working as prostitutes to send money home to their families. For nearly twenty years the women of Benin City, a town in the state of Edo in the south-central part of Nigeria, have been going to Italy to work in the sex trade and every year successful ones have been recruiting younger girls to follow them. The Nigerian trafficking industry is fueled by the combination of widespread emigration aspirations and severely limited possibilities for migrating to Europe.

Each Work Is A Visual Performance, A Visual Fable

Featuring Benjamin Ong’s Songs For Sorrow. “Indeed the idols I have loved so long, have done my credit in this world much wrong, have drowned my glory in a shallow cup, and sold my reputation for a Song.” Songs for Sorrow is inspired by the works of Omay Khayyam, an 11th Century poet, astronomer and philosopher. Abandoning any notion of the photograph as a document of the real, each work is a visual performance; a visual fable that finds it’s truth in imaginative resonance rather than hard evidence.

Nothing Is What It Seems To Be

Annick Ligtermoet was recommended to us by Pyhai and by Melanie McWhorter. Pyhai says: The photographs of Annick transport me to a nostalgic, timeless world in which I can set aside the hecticness of my daily life for a moment. The way she captures her subjects – be it portraits of solemn people, pensive birds or poetic, deserted landscapes – is slightly unsettling, but at the same time very delicate and touching. It is this tension that keeps me returning to her work. Melanie says: [Ligtermoet's] photos, even though taken in contemporary Russia, reflect back to an earlier Soviet era. These “Russian fairytales-based photos” are taken in a world where it seems that not much is allowed to change because of the cold, the same cold that appears to illuminated each frame fixing each scene in a cloud of timelessness.

A Meeting Point Between The Human Hand And Nature

Kim Kauffman’s Florilegium series challenges our understanding of how a photograph is made, and indeed, the very definition of what constitutes a photograph. This work is made without a camera. It hearkens back to the cameraless sun prints of William Henry Fox-Talbot and Anna Atkins, to the photograms of Man Ray and the abstract color studies of Henry Holmes Smith. And, yet it is also a pure product of the digital age. Each plant piece is scanned. Kauffman catalogues and stores thousands of individual scans in her electronic image library. It is after this step that the magic begins.

The Next Day I Followed A Campesino Home

The “Cuba: Campo Adentro” series is an accidental discovery in 2002 as I traveled west from the Havana hustle, searching for a short weekend break in the beautiful valley of Vinales, Pinar del Rio province. I attended a cockfight high in the hills and the next day I followed a campesino home and felt I had entered a museum diorama. I knew I must return and for the next several years I traveled several times each year to live and work with the campesinos and their families, who subsisted with no modern conveniences. ‘Campo Adentro’ is translated metaphorically as deep within the countryside. I had no intention to disturb life within el campo. Working from the raw, simple details, I set out to create out a poetic portrait of daily life of tobacco farmers and their families.