Eat The Darkness

by matthew ratajczak

Archive for April 2008

Remain in Light

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                                  Copyright (c) Ed Panar All Rights Reserved

Remain in Light, not the Talking Heads masterpiece from 1980, but rather the new publication of contemporary photography, announced a couple weeks ago the twenty photographers they have selected to feature in the independently funded publication. You can see who they are here. It’s interesting to see who RiL has chosen to represent contemporary photography in 2008. What does this branding mean anyway when referring to photography? Is there certain criteria that needs to be met in order to be included in the contemporary club? Just curious. Maybe someone can enlighten me. Actually, I think I grasp the concept of what most consider contemporary, but wonder why a lot of what is, feels so similar in tone to me. Maybe my eye is just not as sophisticated as it should be. I’m working on it. More importantly, I just don’t like that such a narrow slice of visual expression and creativity is put on this pedestal called contemporary, thus seemingly elevating it above all else, leaving all other photography as, well something else, but not contemporary.

                                  Copyright (c) Yann Orhan All Rights Reserved

This being said, I am really inspired and excited by a lot of photography that is considered contemporary. I’m a fan. I think it’s the exclusive label that bothers me.

Looking through the work of the twenty photographers via the provided links to each artist’s website, I was truly blown away by some of the work. There was also some work that made me scratch my head and wonder what it is that made them stand out and be included. However, my ass was blown away more than puzzled. This is not meant to disparage any of the artists. It is only my humble, unsophisticated opinion. I challenge anyone to love all twenty of the photographers included in this project.

                                  Copyright (c) Shawn Records All Rights Reserved

A few of my favorites from the twenty are Ed Panar, Yann Orhan, Anne Lass, Shawn RecordsNicholas Haggard and Richard Barnes.

Check out the Remain In Light website, or the above links, to see more work by the twenty photographers included in the project. With an open mind, I think you will enjoy some of the work. If not, I’m sorry you wasted a few minutes reading this.

If you do like what you see, take a look at Jonathan Saunders work here (his personal work is mixed in with his editorial so you have to look for the real gems). He’s a friend of a friend that I have had the pleasure of meeting a couple times. A tremendous talent. Check out his blog too.

Written by eatthedarkness

April 30, 2008 at 12:35 AM

Mini-series 1: Cemetery

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I can’t sleep. I was tired all day. I don’t understand. So if my words don’t make sense, you’ll know why. Anyway, here are some relatively new photos. I’ve been working on putting together a collection of these different…shit, I don’t know what to call them, groupings, mini-essays, mini-series…whatever, call it what you want. I’d like to someday put them all together into book form as a collection of these different series.

I like to spend a little extra time, in between all the other stuff I have to do, at places I find interesting, places most people would find quite ordinary. I try to make as many interesting photographs I can, hoping I can get a handful that I like, and create some sort of narrative. Maybe narrative is not the right word. Maybe they are simply small details or documents of a certain place, at a certain time, that moved me enough to make a photograph. I don’t know if they will really work for other people or not. I’ve never really shared them. Maybe somebody will like them. Here’s the first one. Maybe I’ll share more in the future.

 

  

Copyright (c) 2008 Matthew Ratajczak All Rights Reserved

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April 26, 2008 at 2:58 AM

Findings

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Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

I recently received Hiroshi Watanabe’s new book “Findings” in the mail. It’s been a while since a body of work has moved me and inspired me so much. Enough to at least write about it here, not as a review, but as a brief ramble to celebrate Watanabe’s vision and to hopefully inspire a few of you reading this to invest some time with his work.

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

I keep coming back to the 61 black & white photographs almost every day, usually at night before I try to sleep.

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

This is fitting since he seems to have stepped into our dreams, eyes wide open, receptive to all the possibilities before him.

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

Copyright (c) Hiroshi Watanabe All Rights Reserved

I hope you enjoy these quiet observations as much as I am. Thank you Mr. Watanabe.

Written by eatthedarkness

April 19, 2008 at 7:58 PM

Convergence Part 1

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From my ongoing project “Convergence.”

                Copyright (c) 2008 Matthew Ratajczak All Rights Reserved

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April 17, 2008 at 12:29 AM

This Will Make You Millions

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I was recently going through some boxes full of odds and ends I’ve carried around with me over the years. You know, that junk you don’t need, but just can’t seem to get rid of. Old magazines with photographs you thought were inspiring, rolls of mystery film, photos from a drunken Halloween party back in 1998, trinkets from various states and countries, film developing tanks you thought might make a good pen holder, etc… Every year, to the delight of my girlfriend who is always looking for more storage space for her clothes and shoes, I’m able to throw more and more away.

In doing this, I came across a real treasure. Actually a treasure map. Well, more of a diagram. And supposedly worth millions.

My memory is cloudy. But I’m sure there were several pitchers of beer involved as we sat in one of the booths at our favorite pizza/beer joint in Columbia, Mo. My professor/mentor/friend and I were having one of our many unofficial weeknight meetings where I could listen to a new joke, he has thousands, and we could talk freely for hours about photography, movies, music, art and life in general. Some of the best times ever. They were comical, insightful, educational and almost always inspirational. Below is what he left me with one night on the back of a beer coaster. A studio lighting diagram. I haven’t been able to toss it. Call me sentimental. Although this hops and barley induced wisdom hasn’t made me millions, to me it remains priceless. Thanks KK.

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April 12, 2008 at 3:23 PM

For Cecelia

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 My thoughts are with you, your brother and your family.

Copyright (c) 2008 Matthew Ratajczak All Rights Reserved

Written by eatthedarkness

April 8, 2008 at 1:25 PM

Gouge Away

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Who doesn’t love the Pixies? I don’t know anybody who doesn’t. OK, maybe a few people. What about Radiohead? If you’re fans of these two incredible bands, two of my all-time favorites, check out Pitchfork’s new sister site Pitchfork.tv to see a live Radiohead performance of “Bangers & Mash” in Nigel Godrich’s basement, and for one week, watch “loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies.” The site just launched Monday. So if you have tons of time, or maybe just a few minutes, to waste in front of the computer, check it.

Written by eatthedarkness

April 8, 2008 at 12:43 AM

Posted in Music