20 December 2011
R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe followed friend and fellow musician Patti Smith on tour for two weeks in 1995. Two Times Intro is his intimate and evocative visual diary of her return to live performance, along with portraits of other cultural celebrities, such as Allen Ginsberg, who appeared with her.
From 1975’s "Horses" to 1997’s "Peace and Noise", Smith’s creative vision has been a singular, explosive catalyst for artists and musicians worldwide — including Stipe. As William S. Burroughs writes in the introduction, Patti Smith’s “effect on the audience is electric, comparable to voodoo or umbanda rituals, where the audience members become participants, and are literally lifted out of themselves.”
In addition to the text by Stipe, William S. Burroughs and Patti Smith, there is also commentary from Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lenny Kaya, Tom Verlaine and others who have been inspired by Smith’s work. The photos in the book feel more like a personal scrapbook than a typical photobook (if there is such a thing). The book also includes reproductions of Stipe's diary and cut-and-paste experiments with text. Being a long-time fan of Patti Smith
Gallery on Lens Culture
13 December 2011
Since the disastrous March tsunami that devastated Japan’s eastern coast, some 18,000 workers have been sent to help clean up the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. James Nachtwey photographed many of the brave Japanese citizens who are putting themselves at risk to try to stabilize the contaminated reactors.
09 December 2011
Miracles are timid, fragile beings. Lucas, the child, which no one believed in any more, brought the belief in miracles back into Dana’s life. Friends painted angels. They stroke the restless soul and guard over the depleted body. Diagnosis breast cancer. In Germany alone, 57.000 women fall ill every year, the numbers rising. Most patients fall ill after menopause. With early diagnosis and optimal therapy, they are able to receive a nearly 100 percent chance of healing. Dana is 25, loves and challenges life while feeling the knot under the skin. After breast amputation and chemotherapy she decides for a new life in a different city. And for a son, who ekes out his place in this world, despite medical prediction. A short, a turbulent life – towards death and against time. Nine years later, Dana lies a the palliative care unit of a hospital, somewhere in Germany. She met many people in this other town.
She guarded the most precious amongst them, strung them together like pearls on a string. Sickness often causes loneliness. Dana is not lonely. Which is very rare according to the ward nurses who watch the many visitors in room H438 with benevolence. Dana succeeded in uniting very different people and in creating a circle of friends who carry her to the end and whose single chains support each other. In this way, a unique network was born: the friends meticulously coordinate visiting hours and the daily sleep-over guest, they sooth the dying with massages and surprise her with a cello concert at her own bed. Love fills the room, cloaks it in security and gentle farewell. Miracles astound us. Miracles are rare. Friends too. (Ines John).
I met Dana 19 days before she died and saw her for 12 days. It was her wish, to transport the idea of the friendship-circle to the outside world, to stimulate and encourage aggrieved parties and their companions. The text portions were taken from the corollary diaries of the circle of friends.
Gallery at Gordon Welters website
06 December 2011
In his long-running project METROPOLIS Martin Roemers photographs cities with a population of more than ten million. The key question is how people can live in such a crowded and overwhelming environment. His photos suggest that despite the chaos, the cities have managed to preserve their human dimension. Look at the little stories that take place in the midst of the hustle and bustle: that of the street vendor, the commuter, the tourist, the passer-by. Everyone seeks his own direction in the modern, urban society.