Arles: Other photographers

I had concentrated on After War and Street Photography but my tutor had recommended other photographers and I came across many more which I visited. It is practically impossible to visit every exhibition in three days especially if you want to take in some ‘walk arounds’ and work shops. I had to give the latter a total miss.

I have decided not to re-visit next year but to leave it until I have a portfolio which I can have assessed. I would also do a lot more pre-preparation before I go.

One photographer that my tutor recommended was Michael Ackerman. his work was listed under “Emergences” in the Palais Luppe. Olympus had apparently offered this photographer a digital camera to photograph whatever he wanted over a year. He was not, previously, a digital photographer.

michael_ackermanAckerman is a small very shy, self affacing character. He knew he had to do this ‘walk around’ but despite this fact he did not seem to have any idea what to say. He looked at the organiser who suggested he might explain the images he had chosen to exhibit. Ackerman is the father of a daughter and he seems to be verging on the obsessive about photographing her. He used this Olympus camera to photograph her in her sleep and he presented these images. I found them totally unimpressive. He had kept a diary during this work as he was convinced that he would be unable to produce any useful work. I did not find the work he managed to produce impressive. I was not sure if his behaviour was part of an act or whether he really is so introverted. Whatever the reasons for it, he aggrivated me and I did not like his work.

On the other hand en route to somewhere else when I stumbled across P.J. Harvey and Seamus Muphy’s work under “I am coming to you from a far off country“. This was a spell binding film about Kosovo, Afgahanistan and Washington. P.J. Harvey wrote the poetry which accompanied the film. Post war Kosovo and Afghanistan are bleak places but what was so surprising in the film was that Washington looked almost as bleak.

Africa Pop was another ‘genre’ which I visited on the advice from my tutor but neither Maud Sulters addition of masks to her images nor the Swinging Bamako film of the band Las Marvillas de Mali brought back any warm memories of my life in Africa.

I did visit other artists work but time was so short and the heat so intense that I did not feel I could do justice to their work.

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