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Archive for the 'photography' Category

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein & Evelyn Kalka (Marie)

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

One of the most beautiful bodies of work a photographer can make is the one where his wife is his muse. I just adore the Harry Callahan photographs of his wife and muse Eleanor made over 50 years and the work of Alfred Steiglitz around Georgia O’Keeffe. There is a long tradition of artist and muse; wife as muse. This is where I approach the gorgeous photographs of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910-1983) and Marie.

The man was an interesting self-taught American outsider artist from Wisconsin spanning over 40 years of creativity across the genres of poetry, more than a thousand post-apocalyptic landscape paintings, drawings, hundreds of sculptures made of chicken bones, ceramic and cement and thousands of intimate photographs of his wife and muse, Marie.

Evelyn Kalka met Eugene Von Bruenchenhein in 1939. She was 19 years old, he was 29 years old. They married three years later. Marie was a name apparently taken on by Evelyn in honour of Eugene’s favourite aunt. In their small bungalow they created an artistic reality that was overshadowed by real poverty. Inside their bungalow he created art that wasn’t recognised until after his death. This art included the thousands of photographs of his wife, Marie.

That’s exactly what I love about the wife as muse work of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein and how it played a part in the larger stage of his private reality of personal creativity inside that bungalow.

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Three Almost Random Vernacular Photographs

Friday, January 10th, 2020

I’ve always been an admirer of vernacular photography. That being defined as travel and vacation photos, family snapshots, photos of friends, class portraits, identification photographs, and photo-booth images. Photography by the people and for the people, you might say. And, as I’ve aged, the power of this genre of photography has done nothing but be further enhanced by my own stories over time. After all, 90 percent of what we see in a photograph is what we bring to it as the viewer.

The first example (below) is a 1970s photograph of someone I knew rather well in an on/off roundabout villainous manner. On one occasion, totally randomly, on the day I was discharged from the Royal Australian Navy I sat on the plane beside this guy. He just had this way of popping up in my youth. Robert Jeffries died in, if I remember correctly, late 1993 along with someone else I knew quite well back in the day… so he’s long left the earth. Therefore I won’t talk about his villainy. That can rest.

Needless to say this photograph of Rob with a girl named Sylvia Skell (also deceased) is taken on the foreshore of the area of Northern Tasmanian coastline where I grew from a child to an adult. Within this vernacular photograph I can smell and feel the wind (drunken and sober); I have layered memories of these people across time; it’s much like Rebecca Solnit described in River of Shadows as the capture of space and time in a two dimensional frame. For me, at least, this is a powerful photograph.

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Groups Killed my Passion for Film Photography

Friday, June 14th, 2019

Self portrait holding a Zenza Bronica ETRSi 120 film camera

Photography, especially shooting old film cameras, was a passion only five or six years ago. I enjoy slowing down and really looking and thinking about what a picture should become on that piece of analogue film. I loved processing the film in chemicals in the bathroom; I loved scanning them into my computer frame by tedious frame; sometimes I loved to get a picture printed, as well. I never did get around to building that darkroom.

That passion ended for me when it was made clear that I’m not and never will be a part of the film photography community. And it all started with a random tweet by Shelley Sometimes about film photography not being analogue. I’m sorry, but anything that isn’t digitised is analogue. It’s a simple matter of understanding what the hell digitisation is and how it works… but we needn’t go there. Somebody cool told all the cool kids that it was uncool to say analogue in relation to ‘analogue film’ and things got ugly.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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