Joel Peter Witkin
A number of the contributors to this issue share a common concern with post-industrial culture and global capitalism. Paul Graham's eagerly awaited new work Empty Heaven, deals with concepts of historical amnesia in Japanese culture. Within a structured series of monumental photographic works, Graham presents an image of contemporary Japan through the symbolism of concealment, conformity and power. Allan Sekula's Fish Story, a six-year project to photograph the harbours of the world, presents capitalism in cultural and geographic terms.
Martin Parr's new body of work investigates the phenomenon of tourism. Small World explores an increasingly global culture, fuelled by corporate imperatives and the ease of travel and communications, and focuses on tourism's central paradox, the simultaneous celebration and loss of cultural identity. Pavel Büchler's Glasgow: 72 Rooms, a work produced specially for PORTFOLIO, comments on commodity exchange, in both the art world and home ownership.
Gone to Earth and Covert, Helen Sear's latest photographic works, combine landscape and studio photography to create delicate images where technology has transformed our relationship with the environment. In her exhibition In a Shaded Place: The Digital and The Uncanny, Wendy McMurdo explores the relationship between the traditional photograph and the composite, computer-generated image.
The work of Joel-Peter Witkin, considered simultaneously attractive and repulsive, was seen recently during Fotofeis, the International Festival of Photography in Scotland. Here we feature several new pieces alongside a thought-provoking essay by Emmanuel Cooper. Aberdeen Art Gallery also made a major contribution to the Festival: we profile the work of several of the artists whose work was seen in the UK for the first time: Dörte Eissfeldt's Doppelrosen; Lucinda Devlin's The Omega Suites, a series of clinical studies of death chambers in the United States; and Ann Mandelbaum's affectionate and untitled images of orifices.
Wendy McMurdo, In a Shaded Place
Sekula Fish Story
Parr Small World
Büchler Glasgow: 72 Rooms
Sear Gone to Earth
McMurdo In a Shaded Place
Ann Mandelbaum Photographs
Lucinda Devlin The Omega Suites
Dörte Eissfeldt Doppelrosen
Lucinda Devlin and Ann Mandelbaum
Light From a Dark Room
the Lens of History
Seydou Keita and Malick
Helen Sear Gone to Earth I