Late last night I finished a series of four abstract collages based on photos taken in Venice two weeks ago.
There contain mixes of Canon-made photos and Hipstamatic iPhone images. They are lose compositions of shots of many kinds, just reflecting my search for something “Venetian” that contrasts the usual – nowadays souvenir-kitch – image of that city.
Venezia Series # 2 © Jan Oberg 2011
They will be on show today at the “Cultural Night” of Lund, Sweden, where everybody is on their feet to experience culture in all its forms and shapes.Otherwise, in the post above you may see how Anders Jönsson and I during this Cultural Night create an experiment…”Pigment Bombs for a More Beautiful World”.
Today Soren Sommelius and I held two mini-lectures about pictures of violence and peace; it took place in the gallery where Sommelius’ exhibition, “Between War and Peace” is on show. We walked around and paused here and there and told the visitors the various stories behind single images.
We are both very concerned that there are so many pictures in media and entertainment that – consciously or not – convey the message that violence is natural and sometimes necessary – even the only tool to use.
In different ways we work with pro-peace images – but what that is, isn’t easy to define! I have no conrete idea about it. And there is a huge difference between photos of peace and photos for peace…if at all they exist and can be defined. Continue reading “Photos and peace”
I find so many pictures of women nowadays “cool”, hard, flashy, “sexy” – utterly un-interesting and artificial. What’s wrong with letting a personality and some humanity shine through too? Why must you look like a plastic doll to advertise a product? I simply don’t get it, even if it is technically perfect.
As any other serious photographer I look for the person, for the joie de vivre, conviviality, humour, the sense of goodness and humanity that one can sense, not least through the eyes of a person.
So instead of cool, give me warm-hearted. Instead of hard, give me soft. Instead of flashy, give me natural light and the quality that does not appear in the first moment but when you look twice. And instead of sexy, give me beauty and sensuality.
I have no interest in doing photography that suits the advertising business. But if some business or corporation would give priority to natural appearance and personality inside the picture, I’d be happy to sell.
This is a kind of introduction to a person you’ll also meet at my photo site in the future – Natalia B, a Russian born in 1988 that I take pictures of. Here is the story, or rather the beginning of it – and a little about why I am fascinated by this type of photography.
I teach peace and conflict resolution at the World Peace Academy in Basel every now and then. I was there last week. I meet so many young people there from all over the world – 30 in the room from about 25 countries…it gives me hope for the future. But we should never say that it is up to the young ones to take over; we should say that it is our duty to make it easy for them to succeed us, rather than leaving behind a world in a mess.
So happy that I opened my 7th exhibition yesterday with a dear friend’s photos…Sören Sommelius, cultural editor at Helsingborgs Daily and TFF Associate since 20+ years back. 62 images making up “Between War and Peace”. It’s been such a delightful co-operation and it’s his first photo exhibition ever.
More than 75 friends, family and connoisseurs came, so positive, so appreciative.
Sören and I spoke for a few minutes two times during the opening – emphasizing the need for counter-images to all those of violence thrown at us all day long.
One of the guests, a professional photographer, wrote – “Unfortunately, today there are few photographers who place fellow human beings worldwide and their conditions in focus. That’s why Sören’s images hit me straight in my heart.”
Here is the poster! Do come! It is Vegagatan 25, Lund, Sweden – and we are open anytime but by appointment only on +46 – (0)738 – 52 52 00…my iPhone.
“Between War & Peace“, July 14 – August 14, 2011
62 photos by Sören Sommelius from former Yugoslavia, the U.S., China, Ethiopia, India, Egypt and other places – pictures about war, reconciliation and peace – and peace activism. Sommelius is a cultural editor, columnist, traveler and author of many books.
The works have been processed by Jan Oberg and printed by him and Anders Jönsson, ArchivalInkJet in Lund.
Below the poster you find two links to interviews with Sommelius.
“The is always a new picture to be taken” – Helsingborg Daily, July 7, 2011.
“Photo exhibition about the peace after war” – Sydsvenska Daily, July 15, 2011.