Sunday, May 11, 2014

Henry Bond

Video, for example, is nowadays becoming a predominant medium. But if Peter Land, Gillian Wearing and Henry Bond, to name just three artists, have a preference for video recording, they are still not “video artists.” This medium merely turns out to be one of the best suited to the formalization of certain activities and projects.” ~Nicolas Bourriaud

Henry Bond (b. 1966) is a London-based street photographer and psychoanalyst. 

Bond graduated from the University of London in 1988, and was among the ranks of those who went on to be known as the YBA's. He then went on to earn his Master's at Middlesex University, and his Doctorate's at the University of Glouchestershire, studying psychoanalysis. He was particularly influenced by the teachings of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, and went on to publish Lacan at the Scene (2009), in which Bond applies Lacanian psychoanalytic theory to homicide-related crime scenes.

Henry Bond is most well known for his street photography. His work deals with ideas of surveillance, voyeurism and paparazzi photojournalism. These themes arise in both Point and Shoot (2000), and the video that Bond created, titled "The South of France" (featured below). It is this type of video work that Bourriaud references when dropping Bond's name in his Relational Aesthetics. I believe that his argument, though a little vague and ill supported, is trying to convey that artists of the current era are less likely to be defined by a single genre.

Henry Bond is currently the senior lecturer of Photography at Kingston University.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Vivian Maier

"A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."
~ from the "About" section of

Vivian Maier (1926-2009) was a nanny, and covert street photographer. The mystery and intrigue that surrounds her relates to how secretive she was about her photography during her lifetime. It was only after her death that her work was discovered - nearly 100,000 undeveloped negatives left in a storage unit that was put up for auction in 2007. Since this discovery, there has been Vivian Maier craze of sorts, with people interested in the mystery of her life, the professionalism of her works, and the ownership rights of her photographic legacy.

I had the honor of hearing Pamela Bannos,
senior lecturer in Northwestern University's Department of Art Theory and Practice,  speak about her extensive research on Vivian Maier and her "fractured archive." She described her dedication to demystifying Maier's life, and her process of research that bordered on the practice of forensic science.

Throughout Pamela's talk, I was continually struck by how amazing it is that Maier was capable of keeping such a high level of secrecy. I think my wonder stems from the contrast of Maier's guarded life in comparison to the world we live in today - one of constant sharing (see video below)