Friday, April 20, 2007

Report from Arlington/Fort Worth

My hotel, Sanford House

The area around the Arlington is rather typical south west small town. Right angel streets and lots of car sales. The Division road all the way to Fort Worth, a modern town with a living center, is showing up a rather nostalgic US. I live at Bread and Breakfast, Sanford house, in a very nice old setting. Good breakfast and clean room. Antic rug in the bath room!
I visited a very nice art festival in Fort Worth with very high standard craftsman ship. Nice photo exhibitions, beautiful silver smith work and interesting paintings. The center of the town was modern with shops, bars and old and new houses. I recommend a visit. I had lunch in a book store.

Here you can have a look at some of the "signs in situations" I always look for when I travel.

I know that Americans are very clear, but I did not know that they had to tell that a door is a door.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Report from New York

It was impossible to get a flight out of Newark International airport on the 15th of April. The rain was falling like a wall over New York. The streets flooding and it was cold. A ferry would be better to use passing over the street.
Most flights were cancelled, so also mine, and I was standby in the afternoon. Placed on 5th place on the standby list I was hoping for a chance to escape out of NY. At the gate waiting in overtime with other fellow passenger suddenly a rugged fellow with two suite cases turned up and showed am id. He was quickly passed in to the plane before all waiting. My neighbor waiting fellow said it was a US marshal. He was ready to take out all mass destruction items.

I was glad to get an over night room at Marriott that night.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A wunderful day

An emty chair in the sun

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sally Mann provokes your mind

House of Culture (Kulturhuset), Stockholm

In the spring of 2007 Scandinavia is the place of two great photo exhibitions. The masters of American art photography Sally Mann and Cindy Sherman are on display in Stockholm and Copenhagen. Sally Mann is shown in the House of Culture (Kulturhuset) and Cindy Sherman is presenting a retrospective exhibition in the prestigious Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, outside Copenhagen.

One month after the opening of the Sally Mann exhibition, I shared the photos with many other visitors, even if the rain was pouring down outside the rather ugly modern building of House of Culture (Kulturhuset), formerly a provisory building of the Swedish parliament.

The exhibition has stirred up a great deal of interest and nation wide art TV programs have been devoted to the pictures and the life of Sally Mann. The art critiques of the press have given many points of views. The photo press and the internet have had a lot of open discussions.

All the photos of the different projects are very well exhibited and in the entrance hall is a TV interview running. The 24 large prints of the famous series – Immediate Family (1992) – are causing the most attention. The images of Sally’s children, photographed with a master’s hand in a dream like environment, are the ones that provoked the American public so deeply years ago. One of the pictures – The Three Graces — of 1994, has never been shown in public in the US, but has been part of the TV programs and news paper articles here in Sweden. It is showing Sally and her daughters pee

Sally Mann, The Three Graces, 1994

in sunshine back light. A picture of the most natural part of life, any human being and animal will do that daily, but never the less the one picture that has been discussed most on the inter net here in Sweden. May be this image is searching the accepted border line of art of photography. Any religious argument telling us that we should not show this kind a natural event feels kind of stupid. Should we be provoked by showing pictures of what any mammal is doing? We are accepting to see the animals peeing in the nature films. Is the human being superior and standing over nature? Of course not, we are a part of nature, as Sally Mann’s latest project – What remains—is showing. The reason why Sally Mann publishes – The Three Graces— in Scandinavia is not clear, but here it will never provoke anyone enough to be tested against the law of child pornography.

The pictures of – Immediate Family (1992) – appeal to most everyone, because we all have our pictures, in the head or in the photo album, of a time we like or dislike. The situations of the images are in our mind and they are some where between reality and unreality. The large prints shown here are printed beautifully, and masterly, with a wonderful gray scale holing out the lightning light parts of the prints. Maybe that’s why the images open my mind for a dream like state.

Sally Mann, Deep South 1997, and Madonna

The landscape photography project --Deep South (1997)—is by no means part of traditional landscaping. The pictures are recorded with an old home made big glass plate technology. Some of the solutions even include brown tea. Old lenses have given diffuse parts of the prints, and hair and cracks in the emulsions gives a strange reality of the dreamlike south country side. The branches of the trees tangles to get hold of you or your mind. Once again the spectator walks into a forest or landscape of his own, it is not Sally’s intention or mind that sets the role of what one thinks or sees, --she maybe guides you. Some of the large landscape are mounted on the walls side by side of windows, moving the visitors attention to view out over a central place of Stockholm, --Sergels square. The drug dealer’s square, and the center of big shops of modern business life. On one of the buildings wall shows an enormous print of Madonna in the cloth design of H&M. The view could not be more filled of contrast!

Sally Mann, Faces 2003

In the center of Sally Mann’s exhibition are big format portraits of Sally’s now grown up kids. All images are part of the project –Faces (2003). These are close up portraits, only showing parts of their faces, surprisingly stiff and without obvious contact, like a dead. The vast difference in size of the face in the image and in your own face hindered my mind to get contact with the content of the image. I just felt so small, like in front of the death.

Life outside the gallery 3

In all there is a fantastic challenge of your mind, laid out by the photos of Sally Mann to visitors of this exhibition. See her books or her exhibitions if you can. The exhibition is open until the 6th of May 2007. More pictures and information can be found on the sites:

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

14 000 Cranes at the Lake Hornborga in Sweden

Cranes at lake Hornborga, Sweden

The small lake Hornborga, situated in southern Sweden, 150 km north east of the town Gothenborg, is the target of cranes coming to Sweden each spring. Visitors to Sweden, in the beginning of April, should not miss this top event of the nature.

Stay over night in the small motel named Ålleberg, after the mountain near by, because the restaurant serves the best of meat balls, with potatoes and lingon-berry.

The visit to the cranes must start before 6 AM and the raise of the sun. More than 14 000 cranes come in from the shore side of the lake, where they rest in the night. They will land on the south side of the like, where food is supplied.

The dancing of the cranes is so wonderful to lock at that you will stay until 8 PM, when the cranes move back out to the shore sides for the night sleep out of the reach of predators.

Cranes landing at the lake early in the morning

Now its time for you to move back to the motel and have a beer, food and a good night sleep.

The statistics of the cranes at lake Hornborga can be followed at the site:

The modern digital cameras are fantastic tools for taking photos of this early morning event. The photo above is recorded with a Canon Eos 20D and the 100-400 L IS zoom lens. I used the 1.4X extender so the effective focal length became almost 900 mm. With the ISO 800 the exposure was f/8 at 1/30 sec. The good old analog film camera would never catch a photo like that.

You can have a look at a small selection of my 800 images recorded during one day at Hornborga at my site called under focus.