French cleaners scrub off street art - BBC News

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Citizens of Reims in northern France lose a brand new artwork commissioned for the town, after the anti-graffiti brigade scrubbed it off.

Source: French cleaners scrub off street art - BBC News



Rosko vers An Uhelgoad

Stephen Shore - Instagram


Research question feedback

Last Monday, we were supposed to present the research question to the group and discuss it, question it. Unfortunately I wasn’t very well, so didn’t get to do it, but the group discussed what I’d submitted anyway, albeit without the benefit of any talk-over and Q&A, etc. to elaborate on the context. They very kindly sent me some questions and thoughts though, which I’ve responded to on a gut-reaction basis, the details are below:

Sue asked: What is the difference between taking holiday snaps on an American road trip holiday and the relationship between photography and the American road trip?

The difference between a holiday snap and contemporary photography of the American road trip will be “intent”. Whilst some photographers (Robert Frank for example) may have used a 35mm camera, many actually used large format cameras, albeit sometimes with the casual style that might be associated with the vernacular. Some of Stephen Shore’s images might be similar to things that you might see on Facebook, diarising a holiday, etc. They were taken in the 70s though. They’re also similar to some of the things that Martin Parr gathered together as his "Boring Postcards USA” - ah well...

Ines asked: If you were going to do a 'google' type photographic study of the American road trip?

I’ve thought about it, and you can argue that some of the work done on the MA is exactly this - using Google to recreate the road trip photographs of Ed Ruscha and Stephen Shore.

Máire asked: Yours artists are a mix of photographers, writers and painters - I am wondering if this question might be about a photographic visual narrative but why do you look at writers and painters swell?

Writers? Kerouac has influenced those that have taken the road trip on, an inspiration to those outside of America too (Daido Moriyama has cited him as an influence)
Painters? I find something of a photographic quality to Hopper’s paintings (especially in terms of composition), and his images speak of Americana, which is much of the attraction to the road trip for those outside America, and also to those within - the road trip has been described as the "first American culture that could truly call itself national” - are people looking for something of the way things used to be?

We all wondered why America, and not France? You spend a lot of time in France. Would you consider doing something on Brittany?

Actually, another part of what I’ve been doing is photography in France. It’s more about documenting an “area” though, rather than the “journey” per se. For it to be a similar scale, it would need to be more akin to the old “grand tour”, which I’d actually like to take on, but not sure when I actually ever could (something for my retirement perhaps?)

Máire asked: Im wondering if you could take an aspect of the American road trip and ask about an aspect of what seems interesting to the viewer i.e. fuel stations , Motels etc. and what aspect of the road trip are you interested in?

What do I find interesting? It’s the journey itself I guess, and all those mundane things that populate that journey. The things that pop up to make that journey possible. I wouldn’t want to take an element of that away from the others, I’m more interested on how the journey will change going forward now that that particular thought has raised itself in my mind - it’s a short history so far, and things are changing rapidly. I must say, there’s a charm to some older gas stations that’s lacking now...

Mathew mentioned the significance of the history of photography in France (re you having house there etc and might make a connection)
There’s a far more significant history in France than America - Louis Daguerre for a start! I’m just not really sure it’s relevant to me though. Perhaps I’m being disingenuous, and perhaps a little uneducated, but for me, French photography is really all about Henri Cartier-Bresson or Guy Bourdin - both photographers I admire hugely, but not really all that relevant to my practice. I’m not up to speed on contemporary French photography, but for me it’s a historical thing...

I’ll ponder some of these questions more whilst I write my answer to the research question.

Research question brief


Of the land & us - Inspired by Ernest Hemingway...

Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, Irish but Belgium-based photographer Garry Loughlin took to bicycle to travel on his very own version of the well-worn American road trip. Between Spaces is the series of work that resulted from his journey, focusing on Louglin’s interest in “documenting the beauty of banality”. The images are quiet and subtle, but in them Loughlin has fantastically composed moments and scenes which reveal the American landscape. We particularly love the often strong graphical visuals, the straight lines, balanced compositions and low lighting that make the images seem almost too perfect, as if they were computer-generated.

Source: of the land & us - Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, Irish but...

Why Are Stylish Gas Stations A Thing Of The Past? – Petrolicious

With a few notable exceptions, modern fueling stations are often a mishmash of depressingly decaying features: old bolts rusting onto cracked concrete, a plethora of punchy advertisements for junk (and junk food), and architecture inspired by the inside of a cereal box.

Yes, we’re cherry-picking some fantastic examples of retro gas stations, and yes, many older stops were little more than some pumps and attendants—but what gives? Why can’t all stations look fantastic?

Source: Why Are Stylish Gas Stations A Thing Of The Past? – Petrolicious

TYB : Kergloff

Kergloff have agreed to be the fourth venue for Le loup... it feels like I’m getting there.

TYB : A tutorial with Les

Last week I had a tutorial with Les Bicknell on the Testing Your Boundaries project. I’ve left it late to document it, but here is what I recall:

There was a very brief discussion about the lack of time and therefore enthusiasm that I’d been having, which had been lifted slightly with the news of acceptance from the first of the French mairie’s to host images as part of TYB. Plans for moving home are taking over at the moment (due to be completed some time around Easter…)

There was more prolonged discussion about how the villages that will be displaying the work might be connected to each other, whether there was any logic to the choice of venues (there wasn’t really – they’re a mix of those I’d been photographing). A phrase I wrote down during this time was

Extend to Exchange…

By this it was meant how to use connections from the UK in France, and vice versa. For example, is it possible to use a connection in the UK to open doors in France, to get past “gate guardians” that might block the way? Can twinned towns provide any possibilities – display in the UK to display in France, etc.

As it happens, Tanya and I have been talking with a small group of photographers we’ve exhibited in the past about photographing the English city of Oxford with the intention of having the images displayed in Oxford, Nova Scotia, and then if I go over there for the exhibition, photograph NS to display in England… The same principle.

Also, my wife (who just so happens to be French, hence my connection to the country) is a member of a twinning committee here in the UK. I’ve yet to broach this, but we have been invited over to France via this twinning committee to photograph the street art in Vitry sur Seine – I’ve no time to do this at the moment, so something for the future.

This all seems to be leading towards “art tourism” – I liked this phrase and will likely reuse it at some point. This came from my idea that you would need to go out of your own area to see the other images and those from your own (acknowledging that many will actually just look online if they’re interested), and that I hope to put flyers/posters in the tourist information offices, etc.

The actual display of work was also discussed, and how the work and the display can become a “book” in its own right, the work on one page and the work on display on the facing page – a recto-verso pairing. It might well be a worthwhile exercise to produce this book as part of the documentation.

Returning to the way that the mairie were selected, there was s recognition of the gap between the two (the mairie and the site the photograph was taken), it is not planned for any mairie to display an image taken in its own locale, so there is something of a journey to be taken between the two, the art tourism thing. This then lead to how this might be exploited, and to talk of video taken en route from the ferry to near my house – a similar thing might be done here also (Go-Pro stop motion type thing – “draft” video here).

The project is slowly progressing, with the exhibition planned to commence the first week in April (our next trip to France), and with the website at and social media promotion starting now.

Tokyo: the city that came out of the shadows | Art and design | The Guardian

One of Daido Moriyama’s best-known images is of a stray dog he encountered on a street in Aomori in northern Japan. Taken in 1971, it has become a metaphor for his way of working, symbolising his relentless wanderings though the streets of Tokyo in search of the essence of the city – an essence that for him often lies in the overlooked and the everyday, the makeshift and the mundane.

Source: Tokyo: the city that came out of the shadows | Art and design | The Guardian

Photographer documents the back roads of America from Washington to Memphis | Creative Boom

The architecture in Robert Götzfried's photography series Back Roads is unmistakably American. Wooden structures with tin roofs, often painted in shades of pastel or white, hark back to a bygone era. The Munich-based artist shot the collection of images during a road trip from Washington DC to Memphis, Tennessee. Rather than take the interstate route he instead opted for the roads less travelled, uncovering some "amazing places" along the way."When I drove through the southern states of the USA I decided to avoid the interstates and travel on the back roads instead. I found amazing places in a world that only existed in the past, I thought. Obviously I was wrong.

"Götzfried is familiar with iconic architecture, having previously documented Australian homes and shops. He has also turned his attention to bus stops, cinemas, bowling alleys and train stations. He excels at transforming something that might be considered ugly into a thing of beauty.

Source: Photographer documents the back roads of America from Washington to Memphis | Creative Boom

TYB : a third venue...

Loqueffret (Lokeored) have just confirmed that they will be taking part in the exhibition, which is great news. Three boards so far, with only one rejection.

They have come up with something that I’d never even thought about, which probably positions me somewhat within the art world. They asked me to confirm that I wouldn’t be expecting any payment from them for hosting the exhibition! I’m near the bottom of the arts food chain, I’m expected to pay for the chance to exhibit places (entry fees for exhibition calls and competitions, etc, or rental costs for a week in a gallery). I’m not in the position where I expect a fee to exhibit somewhere. That’s not my reality. Not yet at least, although I do follow campaigns like Paying Artists, etc. Without payment, how are artists supposed to survive? Which of course ties back in to the asynchronous discussions on value in the art market...

Anyway, I’ve sent them confirmation that I won’t be expecting any payment, and a thank you.

I’ll also be sending a follow up e-mail to the others to confirm this, and to nudge them along, although it is school holidays in France this week and next, so there may be a limited response, I might know more by the end of the month (fingers crossed).

TYB : Another update

Another quick update - Brasparts have agreed to exhibit an image! That’s two confirmed... that’s officially more acceptances than rejections.

Self-driving cars and the paradox of automation from 99% Invisible.

Will Self-Driving Cars Spell the End of the American Road Trip?

Source: Self-driving cars and the paradox of automation from 99% Invisible.

TYB : First rejection...

I’ve received my first rejection from one of the mairie’s approached for the noticeboard exhibition as part of Testing Your Boundaries. Guerlesquin (Gwirliskin) have stated they do not want to take part. Never mind, you can’t win them all...

But on a much more positive note, I’ve had my first acceptance too! Poullaouen (oddly enough, Poullaouen in Breton too...) have agreed to host a photograph. So that’s it, even if it is just the one noticeboard, there will be some form of exhibition.

A couple of others have murmured in an quietly positive manner too, but nothing definite yet, hopefully they will swing over to confirmations in the next couple of days - I need to send a few more e-mails and letters to refresh memories, and to those where the mail hasn’t arrived for some reason... (one mairie has moved, another wants it for the attention of someone else, etc.).

So some bad news, which was always to be expected, but accompanied by the good!

Appropriation, Art and Photography after the Internet | Panel Discussions at The Photographers' Gallery | The Photographers' Gallery

Panel discussions at The Photographers' Gallery

Source: Appropriation, Art and Photography after the Internet | Panel Discussions at The Photographers' Gallery | The Photographers' Gallery

Unfortunately, like the RPS photography collection - it's in London...


I saw this tweeted and it seemed so relevant...