Volume V of SPBH Book Club, features the work of artist Esther Teichmann. The book presents a rarefied and ambiguous exploration of female pleasure. Backdrops and shells, sculptures and the sea, the imagined and the painted, the real and the staged – it all appears in Teichmann’s chimerical paradise. By referencing classical representations of women in the history of art, most often in the hands of and for the consumption of men, Teichmann reclaims the traditional pictorialism of femininity in a subversive and provocative manner. All of the complex forms of womanhood and yearning emerge – the lover, the mother, self pleasure, sensuous pleasure and the women appear as characters, specters and statues as flesh turns to stone and back again.
STORIES OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
PHOTOGRAPHS AND INTERVIEWS BY MARIELLA FURRER
My Piece of Sky is a personal journey for South African based photojournalist
Mariella Furrer that began over 30 years ago when a stranger molested her. She writes in the book’s foreword: “You lose your childhood really, your innocence is snatched away, and what little is left of that once-pure child is now being transformed into a sexual being, a child with knowledge of things way before her time.”
In 2002 a U.S. based women’s magazine hired Mariella to take photographs for a story about infant rape in South Africa. She was so appalled by the number of victims she continued to explore the issue on her own. She spent the next ten years working in close collaboration with child protection advocates and the police to research and document stories of child sexual abuse with her camera and a sound recorder.
The results of Mariella’s ten-year project are gathered together in her critically acclaimed new book My Piece of Sky: Stories of Child Sexual Abuse which presents over 600 pages of photographs, interviews, artwork and poetry that together deliver an unprecedented examination of child sexual abuse, from how it impacts on the survivors and their families, to its effects on the local child services professionals, police, prosecutors, and the community at large. The book enters particularly difficult and risky terrain by offering insight into the backgrounds of the perpetrators, and how their own childhood experiences may have led them to abusing children.
Although Mariella focuses her attention on South Africa, the tragic reality is that the sexual abuse of children is a global issue, and one that is rapidly on the rise. It is her hope that her book will help kick off a global campaign to stop the abuse of children.
My Piece of Sky was unveiled internationally last fall at the annual photojournalism festival, Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan. Mariella recently sat down for an interview about her work with Christiane Amanpour for CNN International. To view the interview, go here. The book will have its U.S. debut on Tuesday, May 13 at 6pm with a book launch event at Aperture Gallery and Bookstore. Mariella will be in conversation with American photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair, whose work explores similar terrain, including gender and human rights issues such as child marriage and self-immolation. Sinclair is the founder and executive director of Too Young To Wed, a charitable organization dedicated to eradicating child marriage.
Among the exceptional aspects of My Piece of Sky is the extraordinary access Mariella had to her subjects. Through patience and persistence, she was able to get child organizations and law enforcement authorities, which are usually reluctant to open their doors, to do so. The trust she established enabled her to get her subjects to talk about their experiences with remarkable candor. While working with the children, she would sit on the floor to make them feel more comfortable. If they cried she would hold their hands. When speaking with sex offenders she told them that she did not regard them as “monsters,” and wanted to understand what motivated them and when they were first attracted to children.
The stories presented here reveal unspeakable depravity, horror, and suffering, but also reflect the resilience of the survivors. Susanna, Venus and Dylan are among the seventeen survivors who are interviewed in the book. To protect the identities of the subjects, the real names are not revealed unless otherwise mentioned. Here are snapshots of their stories:
Susanna was eight years old when she was initiated into a satanic cult where initiation activities included sexual abuse, gang rape and bestiality. As a result of the trauma she experienced, Susanna developed DID (dissociative identity disorder) as a coping mechanism, and has over 200 identities, many of whom are self-mutilators. (Pictured below are her mutilated legs.)
Venus was also eight when she was stabbed through her heart and lung, raped, sodomized, strangled and left for dead. The man who did this to her was a family friend. Venus hid overnight in the bushes. She was unable to cry for help because of the strangulation. She managed to pull herself onto the road in the morning where miraculously she was discovered by a neighbor and taken to hospital.
Dylan was sexually abused from a very young age by two of his male teachers. Filled with guilt, self-hate, and low self-esteem, he became a male prostitute and a drug addict, stole cars, lived on the streets, and was in and out of jail. At times he was able to regain control and hold a job, and for a while he was happily married, but it never lasted. In 2008 he was arrested and told that he would spend a very long time in prison. The day of his arrest he hanged himself in his cell.
The book also presents interviews with six sex offenders, a senior superintendent with the South African Police Service, and two prosecutors. The stories of two children who were raped and murdered are remembered on the dedication page. The searing interviews are the backbone of the book.
In the book’s preface, Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. Senior Fellow, The Child Trauma Academy, Houston, Texas writes: “My Piece of Sky is an astounding work of transforming evidence. Calling My Piece of Sky a book is too limiting. The raw narrative of the survivors; the power and evocative force of their drawings; the haunting photographs … all combine to create a multi-sensorial experience that in the end allows a view of sexual abuse that is unparalleled ... “
An estimated fifty child rapes are reported every day in South Africa, and child activists estimate the real rate of rape could be twenty times higher as many victims are too afraid or ashamed to report the abuse.
Martina Bacigalupo Gulu Real Art Studio
27 March - 25 April 2014
Fabio Zonta, Untitled, 2012
Stephen Bulger Gallery have artists showing at the AIPAD Photography Show
The Park Avenue Armoury, 643 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065
April 10-12: 11am to 7pm; Sunday, April 13: 11am to 6pm
Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, Photographer, Mabou Mines, NS, 7/17/75
Phil Bergerson, Untitled, Martinsville, Indiana, 2006
Scott Conarroe, Prairie Tracks, Saskatchewan, 2008
Sunil Gupta, Mundia Pamar, Uttar Pradesh / Upper East Side, New York, 2003
Joseph Hartman, Gage Park, Hamilton, 2008
Clive Holden, MOUNTAINS, REPETITION – Remix, 2014
Sarah Anne Johnson, Sparkles, 2013
André Kertész, Carousel Horse, Lady and Lion, circa 1930
Sanaz Mazinani, War Equipped 3, 2012
Alison Rossiter, Eastman Kodak Bromesko (London), exact expiration date unknown, c. 1940’s, processed 2013
Larry Towell, Village elder and daughter with US military in Kunar Valley. Kabul, Afghanistan, 2010
Source: Cyprus Daily (Nicosia based newspaper)
College forced to abandon evening class
after ‘ghost’ walks in
By Elli Psevtis
A tutor at the Cyprus College of Art in Larnaca was left baffled by screams from her students last Friday, who claimed a ‘ghost’ had walked in on the class.
The specially arranged evening class at the College’s historic Cornaro Institute building in Larnaca was meant to help students applying to study abroad improve their drawing skills. But it came to an abrupt end with several students screaming and running out the classroom.
According to the Director of the Cyprus College of Art, Dr Michael Paraskos, the students claimed a ghost had walked in on the class. ‘It is difficult to understand how they knew it was a ghost,’ Dr Paraskos added, ‘but something seems to have spooked them.’
The tutor in charge of the drawing class, Angela Witney, said she did not see anything until the students started screaming and running out of the room. ‘When I caught up with them outside I was told a man had walked into the classroom as if looking for someone and then just vanished.’
Ms Witney admitted that the College had experienced some strange events ever since the arrival of two historic sculptures from Israel. The sculptures, life size reproductions of the Venus de Milos and Poseidon of Artemision, were installed in the main entrance hall of the College in February. ‘Since then several students have refused to be left alone with them,’ Ms Witney claimed.
Although the College has instructed students not to talk to the media about the event, one of them was willing to speak. Skev Efpistos claims something definitely came into the room. ‘I wasn’t able to see what it was, but you know when something or someone comes into a room. The air changes.’
But Dr Paraskos later suggested a different explanation for the whole event. ‘The truth is some of the students didn’t want to work in the evening. They were trying to get us to move the class to a daytime slot for weeks. Now none of them are willing to come into the building after dark we have no choice.’
Yet for Mr Efpistos and his fellow students the truth is far simpler. ‘It’s an old building,’ he says, ‘so of course it is haunted. We know it is and the teachers know it is, but they are never going to admit it in public.’
He adds, ‘It just one of those things that makes it a more interesting place to work.’
Cant wait for the opening of the Will Cotton exhibition at the Ronchini Gallery
25th June - 9th August 2014
American artist Will Cotton’s first UK solo exhibition introduces new large- scale oil on linen paintings.
Based in New York, Cotton is known for his works depicting landscapes of a flawed utopia composed of sweets, pastries and melting ice cream, often occupied by pinup style models.
Elegantly created and strategically composed, Cotton’s works are layered with cultural references from European 18th-century masters to American mid-century pinup painting.
Cotton makes paintings about the pure, the fragrant, the land of plenty, the desirable and the dream of perfection and complete indulgence. Through works which are sincere and masterfully executed, he uses food as an allegory for the human condition; sweets become a substitute for everything desirable and a metaphor for pure pleasure.
Cotton Candy Katy, 2010, courtesy of the artist and Ronchini Gallery
Cotton Curls, 2006, courtesy of the artist and Ronchini Gallery
Cupcake Katy, 2010, courtesy of the artist and Ronchini GalleryFrosting Flowers, 2013, courtesy of the artist and Ronchini Gallery
Winner: Vici Watkins
"The use of daylight makes the image appealing and gives it a calm, feeling of tranquility. The composition, balance and proportions work well and draw the viewer in to look at the details." This month’s winner was selected by guest Christine Santa Ana, Of The Afternoon and theprintspace.
The Yancey Richardson Gallery
April 3rd - May 10th 2014
Yancey Richardson is pleased to present History’s Shadow, the first exhibition at the gallery by American artist David Maisel. For over twenty-five years, Maisel’s photographic work has been wide-ranging in scope, and yet deeply focused on what he describes as a “long-term investigation into the aesthetics of entropy, and the dual processes of memory and excavation.”
History’s Shadow GM12, 2010. Archival Pigment Print.
David Maisel, History’s Shadow GM3, 2010
History’s Shadow GM8, 2010. Archival Pigment Print.
Creating the future of photography
Dubai celebrates the HIPA Photography Awards 2014 with fireworks, Cirque du Soleil and some remarkable images
Excitement was brewing in downtown Dubai. The preparations were in place for 2014 HIPA Photography Awards, which promised to be a spectacular evening embracing the art of photography. A vast stage and screen, big enough to grace the Cannes Film Festival, and seating, including comfy armchairs for more than 1,000, had been installed.
The gardens that decorate Dubai’s financial district were trimmed to perfect neatness and decked out with white sofas and vases of flowers in readiness for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, and his entourage of dignitaries and special guests.
The lawns were a sea of stylish men in their white dishdashes, very glamorous Emirati ladies in chic black abayas, plus a mix of sparkly expats and the world’s press, flown into Dubai to report on the goings on at the world’s biggest photography prize. A couple of hundred waiters delivered tasty treats and glasses of juice and the sun kindly shone down after the threat of rain.
1st General, Vladmir Proshin, Russia
This year there was a strong UK presence on the nine-strong international judging panel, which included Caroline Metcalfe, director of photography at Conde Nast Traveller magazine, Cheryl Newman, director of photography at the Telegraph Magazine, Jon Jones, photographer and director of photography at the Sunday Times Magazine, as well as Susan Baraz, the chairman of the Lucie Awards and head of judging at the International Photography Awards in Los Angeles and the photography director of AtEdge.
The competition received a staggering 26,000-plus entries from 156 countries, including Iran, India, China and Europe, as well as strong entries from the United Arab Emirates, which were judged over an intense 10-day period.
In between breathtaking performances from Cirque du Soliel, flown in by His Highness, the delighted amateur enthusiast photographer Fuyang Zhou from Jiang Xi province in southern China literally danced away with the top prize of a life-changing $120,000.
Grand Prize winner: Fuyang Zhou, China. Image © Fuyang Zhou
“I don’t come from an academic background,” Zhou said. “It’s my hobby and the most beautiful thing in my life. I like to photograph in rural villages. Winning this award will enable me to continue travelling the world to take pictures. I took the picture last October at one of the most ancient places in China – the Da Lian San district in Si Chuan province, central China. People who live there are very poor but they work hard and make great efforts to improve their life and to create their own future.”
The strong contingent of entries from China brought another winning image from Yanan Li, who won first prize in the black and white category, entering a touching image of slum dwellers in Islamabad, Pakistan. Ali Kh Al Zaidi from Kuwait was awarded first prize in the Creating the Future category and Vladimir Proshin took the gong for the general award.
1st prize B and W, Yanan LI, China
HIPA also honoured the legendary American Magnum photojournalist Steve McCurry with the Photography Appreciation Award for his long-standing commitment to photography.
Susan Baraz, who presented the winners in the general category, said, “It was interesting to see how HIPA’S process works to select and honour its winning competition images. We viewed images that spanned the world, though it seemed the largest groups were concentrated in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. As the only US jury member, I hope to see more entries from my own country. There is such sincerity and passion in making Dubai the centre of the photographic world, and they’re clearly well on their way towards achieving that goal.“
A film of the humanitarian works HIPA carries out through photography was also screened and the audience was moved and delighted by a children’s photography workshop in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.
The secretary general of HIPA, Ali bin Thalith, told me, “We received instructions from His Highness, the patron of the award, to take the lead in an initiative through which HIPA could create a humanitarian link using photography and held a series of photography workshops for the Syrian children at the Emirati-Jordanian camp. The impact of the initiative was unexpectedly great on the camp’s residents, and especially the children who were delighted to learn a new art form such as photography.”
2nd General UAE, Sulalman Al Hammadi
3rd Prize Creating The Future, Annelore Schneider, Germany
The theme for the fourth season’s prize, Life in Colour, was launched later at a packed press conference in Dubai on March 18th. The four categories for 2014/2015 will be General, Faces, Night Photography and Life in Colour, which will be the main prize. HIPA is passionate about photography and the aim of the awards is to reach out to photographers globally. This has been extremely successful so far. In only three years the entries have come from more than 150 countries.
His Highness launched the Hamdan International Photography Awards (HIPA) in 201I and is committed not only to the cultural development of the UAE but also to delivering the awards’ human and artistic message to the smallest of towns and villages globally. It’s important to mention that the award isn’t only for the professionals. The lack of an entry fee allows anyone who loves and is excited about taking pictures and this is what makes it so special. Not only does it allow the opportunity for the complete unknown photographer to have his work seen by a global audience, in some cases the generous prize money can be life-changing.
Cash prizes will be awarded to five photographers per category, which this year, the enormous prize purse has been increased to a mighty $400,000 for the winners of the single images submitted, which includes a $120,000 cash prize awarded to a single photographer.
HIPA will also award two special prizes made by invitation: a $20,000 Photography Appreciation Award that recognizes a photographer’s commitment to photography, and a $25,000 Photographic Research and Report Award.
Speaking for the HIPA board, Henry Dallal added, “There are no limitations to the future of the award and I see HIPA’s commitment to humanitarian projects growing. I do see co-operation and strategic alliances with other institutions, clubs and well-known photographers in special projects such as humanitarian and research endeavours. HIPA’s overall strategy is in line with that of Dubai hosting the World Expo 2020 to create a hub for creativity with a particular focus on the field of photography.”
Entry is by online submission only. The competition closes at midnight on December 31 2014. Visit http://hipa.ae/en/ to find out more and to enter