Somewhere To Disappear - A film with Alec Soth

Teaser - Somewhere To Dissapear from Arnaud Uyttenhove on Vimeo.

Somewhere To Disappear - A film with Alec Soth

  • Posted 5 hours ago by Jack Lowe · film · news
  • "Somewhere To Disappear" is a new documentary by Laure Flammarion and Arnaud Uyttenhove which explores the desire to run away. For two years Flammarion and Uyttenhove followed world-renowned photographer Alec Soth on his journey across America - documenting people who have retreated from society for his series "Broken Manual". These modern-day hermits and monks live in caves, mountain cabins and deserts, which Soth feels is "in the culture right now" and is, in some ways, "preparation for the decline of the American empire."
    "This film is about men, America, Alec Soth and the dream to disappear."
    If you want to see this and you live in either Minneapolis, Toronto or New York - you're in luck! Screening dates are below:
    Minneapolis: 2 May, 7pm at the St. Paul Film Festival.
    5 May at 7pm and 7 May at 1:15pm at the HotDocs Festival.
    New York:
    9 May, 8pm at The New School.

PIETER HUGO: "The Dog's Master" (2007)

Alhaji Hassan with Ajasco, Ogere-Remo, Nigeria 2007

The Dog's Master

By Pieter Hugo

These photographs came about after a friend emailed me an image taken on a cellphone through a car window in Lagos, Nigeria, which depicted a group of men walking down the street with a hyena in chains. A few days later I saw the image reproduced in a South African newspaper with the caption 'The Streets of Lagos'. Nigerian newspapers reported that these men were bank robbers, bodyguards, drug dealers, debt collectors. Myths surrounded them. The image captivated me.

Through a journalist friend I eventually tracked down a Nigerian reporter, Adetokunbo Abiola, who said that he knew the 'Gadawan Kura' as they are known in Hausa (a rough translation: 'hyena handlers/guides').

A few weeks later I was on a plane to Lagos. Abiola met me at the airport and together we took a bus to Benin City where the 'hyena men' had agreed to meet us. However, when we got there they had already departed for Abuja.

PAUL GRAHAM: "The Unreasonable Apple" (2010)

From A1 - The Great North Road, 1981-1982

By Paul Graham

This month I read a review in a leading US Art Magazine of a Jeff Wall survey book, praising how he had distinguished himself from previous art photography by:

“Carefully constructing his pictures as provocative often open ended vignettes, instead of just snapping his surroundings”

Anyone who cares about photography‘s unique and astonishing qualities as a medium should be insulted by such remarks, especially here, now, in 2010, in this country, in this city, which has embraced photography like no other.

Now this is maybe just an unthinking review, but what it does illustrate is how there remains a sizeable part of the art world that simply does not get photography. They get artists who use photography to illustrate their ideas, installations, performances and concepts, who deploy the medium as one of a range of artistic strategies to complete their work. But photography for and of itself -photographs taken from the world as it is– are misunderstood as a collection of random observations and lucky moments, or muddled up with photojournalism, or tarred with a semi-derogatory ‘documentary’ tag.

This is tremendously sad, for if we look back, the simple truth is that the majority of the great photographic works of art of the 20th century operate in precisely this territory: from Walker Evans to Robert Frank, Diane Arbus to Garry Winogrand, from Stephen Shore traveling across America in Uncommon Places; Robert Adams navigating the freshly minted suburbs of Denver in The New West, or William Eggleston spiraling towards Jimmy Carter’s hometown in Election Eve, who would seriously propose that these sincere photographic artists were merely “snapping their surroundings”?