Tag Archives: the Roaming Eye

Hotshoe Blog morphs into The Roaming Eye but it’s business as usual where photography is concerned

A quick post for those who haven’t heard from me for a while. There have been a lot of changes afoot and ahead and I am in the process of repositioning this blog.

I set the blog up four years ago on June 6 2009, to be precise, and there have been huge changes in the way blogging works, its technical capabilities and the reach of blogs. Finally, Hotshoe has revamped its website and added a blog section to its site where I will be a contributor. To stop confusion, and because I want to continue to curate and develop this blog as I have for the last four years, I have changed the URL (theroamingeye.wordpress.com). All traffic from my previous address will be redirected; so don’t be surprised if you see the web address change.

The header will be replaced with a logo design I am creating for my alter ego, The Roaming Eye, but it will take a little time to produce. This will also allow me to develop the blog, expand the type of content, bring in new voices and push the blog out further, so that I can maintain total editorial freedom and incorporate my various overlapping work strands. So for now, please bear with me while I  tweak my blog over the next couple of weeks.

The Roaming Eye even has a theme tune courtesy of the B52s:

This blog is a labour of passion and I intend to keep this sentiment at its core. This is still the place to come for news, reviews, comments and conversation in the field of contemporary photography.

Thank you to all followers and supporters for your patience.

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Under Exposed: the Roaming Eye gives photography and multimedia work by Nikki Luna and Emil Kozak cyber time and space

© Nikki Luna, Leaf Cuttings

© Nikki Luna, Leaf Cuttings, the mother of one of the missing women opens a drawer

© Nikki Luna, Leaf Cuttings

 

Emil Kozak, Little White Plastic Bird

Emil Kozak, Big Black Nothing (2010-ongoing)

The Roaming Eye (tRE) comes across work in both physical and virtual spaces and will be presenting some of it under the heading Under Exposed. The aim is to support the less well-known, the small, and those who reach out to connect and share. There are many ways for photographers and visual artists to promote work; some have agents or galleries to do it for them, some have universities to push the work (and its reputation), some are brilliant DIY self-promoters. But then there are many, many others.

Those who are quieter; those who are still there – reading, looking and listening – who may push out occasionally, sometimes apologetically, often tentatively. Under Exposed is a space for these kind of photographers and visual artists – the ones who don’t overuse, or abuse, the social-media promotion machine, yet still feel that they have created something they want to share and to communicate. What have you got to lose? Certainly, you won’t lose face as cyberspace is the place to take risks.

So, Bring It On.

Get in Touch: If this sounds like you, or someone you know and want to support, then take a chance on the Roaming Eye and get in touch via email or the blog. Simply email some examples of work and/or a link. All work will be looked at and considered for inclusion. But remember, this is a curated blog so there is a filter system, but tRE likes to think its approach is open-minded and open-hearted. If you don’t agree, then why not comment. Web 2.0 was designed with dialogue in mind.

NIKKI LUNA
To kick off, tRE presents some images from Nikki Luna (whose website is, temporarily, in the process of being updated). Luna writes: “For the show, Shade my eyes and I can’t see you, (the title is from the lyrics of the Pink Floyd song Green is the Colour) my focus was to share the story of some women, who apart from being human-rights defenders, also chose to live and work with the poor, rural communities, teaching reading and writing. They were taken by military forces and were never seen again. Three of these women were killed by state security forces. The other two are still missing.

“These women are, first and foremost mothers, daughters, wives and sisters, and women to the people they have left behind. Not everyone may know, or understand, human-rights defenders, but we all know and have some close relationships with a woman in our lives. It’s sad that these women, all in their 20s, lost their lives and may be soon forgotten. The struggle to search and find them, the constant pushing for the truth, and the fact of injustice still goes on.”

For those who want to know more about the context, there’s an Amnesty International video documenting the story of the two women who are still missing. Note that the video The Escape of Raymond Manalo has subtitles and shows scenes of a graphic and disturbing nature.

“University of Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan were among those who disappeared. Raymond Manalo, who was kidnapped by the Philippino army under the ex-General Jovito Palparan, was tortured but escaped and lived to tell the tale of his plight and of the other people he met in the camps. Among them were Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno. He reports that he saw them naked and hanging upside down, while they had water poured on them, were hit and sexually violated”, writes Luna.

Luna will be showing work in a group show at the Equator Arts Project gallery at the Gillman Barracks in Singapore, as well as in two solo shows – firstly, at the Pablo Art Gallery in the Philippines from May 26 – June 23 where she has a video/photo projection and a soil/land installation and later in the year at the Manila Contemporary art gallery in September, date (tbc), where she will be creating a multimedia installation that includes stoneware.

EMIL KOZAK
On a different note, Emil Kozak who is from Denmark but lives in Spain, has two bodies of work Big Black Nothing (2010-ongoing) for which he walks until he “gets scared or can’t go any further, then takes a photo, and goes back” and Little White Plastic Bird – a project based on a true story.

Colombo Art Biennale 2012 Schedule of Talks and Conversations 15-19 February

Beware of the critic whose reputation depends on the power to impress the public with a semblance of knowledge, and the artist who attempts to do the same with skill and technical swagger. An artists’ perspective, see Gallery Talk 16 February Critique versus Criticism

This looks like a timely talk topic and one that’s sure to get us all thinking about our roles – as both critics/reviewers and art producers. It’s also important to challenge the taste makers and gatekeepers in the arts, especially those who like to dazzle and, sometimes, befuddle with language games and (apparent) knowledge. Also, to the artists who place technical virtuosity above all else.

As part of Hotshoe Blog supporting the Colombo Art Biennalee (CAB) 2012, the Roaming Eye (tRE) – who has been travelling off shore looking at all creatures great and small – is delighted to share the talks and conversations scheduled for the festival. It’s an exciting and interesting line up with international and local artists and curators contributing to a diverse range of topics. The schedule is still evolving, so keep checking in as relevant updates will be posted. However, The Roaming Eye will be at the biennale for the 18 and 19 February and will be reporting from the festival, talking to some of the photographers and visual artists and attending a couple of the talks on those days.

Of particular interest to readers of this blog is photojournalist, activist, writer and curator Dr Shahidul Alam from Bangladesh. The Roaming Eye hopes to do a short interview with him for the blog, so look out for it as a short podcast especially if you’re unfamiliar with his work.

It’s always good to discover new things and search for fresh perspectives – one of the hallmarks of Hotshoe and its tagline. But we’re also aware that it’s easy to say we do it but the proof is in actually getting out there and doing it – not just saying we do. Otherwise, we’re just blowing hot air. Plus, in an increasingly global world, a global approach is needed to stave of Eurocentrism and Northern-America bias in the photography and arts worlds.

See more for details of some of the scheduled talks.

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Photo Show Stroll – East is West: Three Women Artists show video works in Singapore

Still from Journal by Mariana Vassileva, courtesy the artist and DNA Galerie

Transition Detail from Nezaket Ekici's performance video shot with iPhone Miranda Gavin

Almagul Menlibayeva, The Aral Beach 2, 2011 Duratrans print in lightbox 36 x 48 in. (91 x 122 cm) Edition of 3. Still courtesy of the artist and Priska C Juschka Fine Art

East is West: Three Women Artists runs until 15 February at the Lasalle College of the Arts in the Earl Lu Gallery, Singapore. This wonderful exhibition – more to come in a later post  – introduces three women artists from outside Western Europe who now live in Berlin. Curated by Dr Charles Merewether it features Mariana Vassileva (Bulagaria), Almagul Menlibayeva (Kazakhstan) and Nezaket Ekici (Turkey).

Some of the work explores the subject of women as well as cultural differences that lie within their countries of origin and between national boundaries. Integral to their practice is performance that is recorded and subsequently shown as independent work, invloving both themselves directly as the subject, as well as others.

The Roaming Eye (tRE) took some iPhone photos (see below) and stayed at the exhibition for a couple of hours watching four video works by each of the three artists and absolutely loved the show. Of course, of the twelve video works, ranging from a couple of minutes up to 24 mins or so, there are favourites including Ekici’s performance piece Veiling and Reveiling, Menlibayeva’s Transoxiana Dreams and Vassileva’s Journal.

What was so refreshing for tRE was the way the conceptual and the technical merged to produce beautifully articulated and visually engaging works that were strong and often, profound. Sometimes, one aspect is foregrounded at the expense of the others, but this was not the case here. The videos also demonstrated a level of maturity and depth that may have something to do with the women’s ages – all are in their 40s – as well as their particular cross cultural experiences and artistic educations.

It is so nice to get away from the UK and the often London-biased exhibition scene and familiar styles of works that are – at times – dominated by certain institutions, such as the Royal College of Art. Look out folks, it’s going to be costing £25,000/year for international students to do the two year Masters in Photography – that’s a huge investment and is, if we are honest, not just about the art and the critical forums that the RCA provides for its students, but also about the brand and its status.

There’s nothing wrong with this and there are undoubtedly some exciting visual artists and photographers that have emerged from the RCA and its photography Masters. But art and photography should, in tRE’s opinion, be discovered by looking outside the usual remits and circles and seen in different environments and countries as house styles do tend to emerge and sometimes works gets repetitive, stale and becomes uninteresting. More images from the show in a later post, there’s a lot to cover. One other point, light from outside spilled inside and it compromised the bottom right-hand corner of the screen where Menlibayeva’s work was projected, as the blinds behind the glass door were not fully closed.

See over for more photos…

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Photo News – Colombo Art Biennial and the Roaming Eye arrives in Sri Lanka

I made it. Hotshoe Blog will for the next five weeks have the Roaming Eye (tRE) reporting from Asia – Sri Lanka and Singapore – as well as covering its usual eclectic mix of photo-related news. Any leads, events or photographers from, or living in these countries, let us know and we can take a look at what you do.

It’s time to get away from the desk and from the usual stream of photo PR, which we will still be covering, and get out and about on a voyage of discovery. While tRE adjusts to the East and a different time frame, I leave you with two music videos. One sums up the experience of travelling and is the theme tune for the Eye, the other reminded me of many photos I have seen in documentary projects shot in and around Eastern Europe. Images and sound, but particularly music, have a power to transport me… I hope these do too. Till tomorrow and a report on the Colombo Art Biennale (CAB) taking place from 15-19 February.

“The Second Edition of the Colombo Art Biennale with “Becoming” Sri Lankan Contemporary Culture at it’s very best. Experience the City of Colombo over a period of five days becoming an artistic phenomenon. The Colombo Art Biennale this year adopting the theme of “Becoming”, which will be reflected by the astonishing variety of the best of the best contemporary art on show. “Becoming” will be showcased at The National Art Gallery, JD Perera Gallery, Park Street Mews and Maradana Warehouse Project.”

Roam – B52s

I Believe – Simian Mobile Disco