banal ball(s)

Writing in today’s Observer newspaper, Laura Cumming’s review followed the headline (at least in the print version) ‘These swings don’t mean a thing’ describing the Superflex installation in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern as ‘by far the worst Turbine Hall commission in the history of the Tate Modern’, and went on to suggest that, if she were Hyundai (who sponsored the commission), she’d ask for her ball back.

I am no art critic, but I wonder if her review missed part of the essential point of the Tate Modern? It is an open expansive space, much of which can be viewed freely. A space where those unfamiliar with art can have their eyes opened, their lives changed. The vast expanse of the Turbine Hall is indeed a challenging space for any artist to fill, no matter how sweeping their ambition or profound their talent.

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the ongoing moment

Everyone was nowhere to be seen
― Geoff Dyer

During all my frequent flying, I’ve finally got round to reading Geoff Dyer’s The Ongoing Moment, which I purchased in The Tate Modern Bookshop well over a year ago.

I’ve been particularly fascinated by the hatted figures in raincoats which feature in the work of Kertész. Blurred, and often awkwardly placed within the frame, strangely compelling, we share a fleeting moment in the life of these strangers.

This morning, as I nursed a cup of strong coffee after an overnight flight from Accra to London, I also lingered over an image of a group of people on a bench, World’s Fair New York 1964, made by Garry Winogrand.

I was about to delete the image above (too blurry and clumsy), but there was something about the group of people, the interplay between them, the connections, the role played by the pictured photographer unaware of her own involvement in another photo, something that made me stop pressing the delete button.

So, this image, blurry and unsatisfactory though it is, is my homage to Geoff Dyer for opening my eyes and encouraging me to learn from the work of some of the greatest photographers.

pedestrian (a modern reflection)

beautiful insane
in the rain
― Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans


Everything but pedestrian, for WordPress weekly photo challenge.

Today, I finally bought my own copy of The Americans by Robert Frank with a sublime introduction by Jack Kerouac.

The perfect blend of photography, writing and poetry.

Inspired by one of my sporadic visits to the Tate Modern.


*Shot with Fujifilm X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) lens at ISO 800, f/5.6 and 1/200s with edits applied in Lightroom CC and Analog Efex Pro 2*

pedestrian

…places where, if you die, you may simply die with the knowledge that your killer was in the wrong
― Lucy Wadham, The Secret Life of France

For WordPress weekly photo challenge – pedestrian


*Shot with Fujifim X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) lens at ISO 200, f/4 and 1/120s with a smidgen of editing in Lightroom CC and (my old favourite – and free – plugin) Analog Efex Pro 2*

layered

In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost, and what you had, and what you lost
Dreams – Fleetwood Mac


I took this shot during a walk back in Salamanca before returning to Africa.

Even at the time I took the shot, I was captivated by this painting. Had the artist been there I would indeed have taken it there and then.

But, it was not to be.

There were at least three paintings, each with a dreamlike quality, each stacked against each other, seeming to peel back a layer of the beautiful city which formed a backdrop to the canvases.

And, in preparing this image, I couldn’t resist adding another layer of my own.

For WordPress weekly photo challenge – Layered.


*Made with Fujifilm X100F and 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) fixed lens, ISO200, f/4 at 1/1500s with an extra layer of oil applied in Photoshop CC*

waiting

Waiting for you to come along
Waiting for you to hear my song
Waiting for you to come along
Waiting for you to tell me what went wrong

Waiting For The Sun – The Doors

Lizard, waiting, in Akosombo, Ghana, for WP Weekly Photo Challenge – Waiting

I think it is a male West African Rainbow lizard (‘agama agama africana’). If you know more, please do say. 

*Shot with Fujufilm X100F and fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) lens at ISO 200, f/4 and 1/150s*

structure

Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man
― Henry Adams

My photo captures a sculpture on the South Bank of the Thames in London. It caught my eye because the distorted reflection of grandiose structures that now shape the financial district, the City of London, appeared so much like the Earth as I imagine it from space.

The placing of the fantastical city on the edge of the beautiful blue earth seemed a metaphor for man’s misplaced sense of mastery of the universe.

I wonder how many passing by that day felt the same?

For WP Weekly Photo Challenge – Structure

*shot with Fujifilm X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent lens) at ISO800, f/9.0 and 1/900s*

In Wetin You Go Do?

In Wetin You Go Do?
– Title of an installation at the Tate Modern, created by Nigerian born Otobong Nkanga

The title of Nkanga’s piece, when translated from Nigerian Pidgin, an English-based Creole language widely spoken across Nigeria, is ‘What are you going to do?’. ‘In Wetin You Go Do’ integrates voice and sculpture to reflect on contemporary anxieties.

The theme of anxiety stitched a ragged thread through the time I spent lingering in the Tate Modern after my early morning arrival in London. Or perhaps, when visiting a gallery such as this, the feelings we have, that we bring in through the door, colour the way we see the exhibits, determine the way we select what to linger with and what to pass on by?

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