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AND THE BEAT GOES ON! ALLEN GINSBERG’S PHOTOGRAPHY

Posted on January 28, 2013 by Isabella Cecconi

“Without even intending it, there is that little shiver of a moment in time preserved in the crystal cabinet of the mind. A little shiver of eternal space. That’s what I was looking for.” – Allen Ginsberg

The beat movement, the cultural and literary movement that woke up a nation’s consciousness. Never too big but gigantic in influence and cultural status. The years after the Second World War, the loss of conventional structures of society, the post war economic boom, the rampant materialism. The Beat Generation was the result of questioning on capitalism on dissatisfaction with the consumer culture, the taboos against sexuality. The Beats stood in opposition to the clean formalism of the early twentieth century modernists. Their literature was bold, straightforward, provocative. The “founders” of the Beat Generation were Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, but also  Lucien Carr, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Neal Cassidy. Gregory Corso and  great William S. Burroughs. In 1956, the publication of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl was a turning point in the history of Beat literature, not to mention American literature in general. The long-form poem to be read aloud, almost chanted, a sort of return to an oral tradition neglected in literature for a long time. In the beat movement there were drug-addicts, drifters, prostitutes, and swindlers. Continue Reading →

SNAPPING EVERY BREATH WE TAKE: DANNY LYON

Posted on November 21, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

If you have never heard of Danny Lyon, I’m really glad to introduce and getting to know this magnificent filmmaker, writer and self-taught photographer born in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York. After a graduation at the University of Chicago, with a BA in Arts in 1963, Lyon began creating his own photo books with the pictures he would take during his many adventures. His first, was a study of outlaw motorcyclists as he was member and part of the Outlaws motorcycle club of Chicago. He traveled with them and shared their lifestyle. He later got interested in the Texas penal system and started taking pictures of prisoners. Lyon also befriended many of the prisoners. His images are nowadays considered part of the New journalism movement, meaning that the photographer had become immersed, and was a participant, of the documented subject. For the past five decades he has produced a mix of documentary photographs and film, both politically conscious and personal. In the 1960s when photographers where working the poetry of the streets and snubbing their noses at the tradition of photojournalism, Lyon embraced both the lyrical potential of photography as well as its ability to raise awareness to political issues. Some of his earliest images were as staff photographer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee documenting the civil rights demonstrations against segregation in the South. Later, when he moved to Texas he lived and documented for 14 months the Texas prisons. Lyon’s work belies the detachment of documentary in favor of a more complicated subjective involvement, his style is marked by its pursuit of the moment, in the communities of the outskirts, the outsiders of mainstream society, the exceptional and strong political consciousness and concern. Throughout his long and prolific career, Lyon has combined an eye for beautiful compositions with passionate interest in political struggle and change. Photographs from all periods of the artist’s career as well as images from a new series create poetic reflections on memory, family and life. Nowadays he runs a blog where you can follow his adventures. Today 70, Danny Lyon is a continuous flow of passionate photography.  

http://dektol.wordpress.com/

http://www.bleakbeauty.com/home.html

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POR UNA CABEZA..HORACIO COPPOLA!

Posted on October 19, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Have you ever been to Buenos Aires? To me it’s like feeling home. I simply adore this city, giving that I’m more than sure that I was Evita Peron in my previous life or Carlos Gardel, the tango singer. And do you know who Horacio Coppola is? Oh well, you have to. Think about the 30’s. Think about cafes, side streets and neon-lit boulevards of the capital of magnificent Argentina. Think about ordinary objects like a typewriter or a doll, a shop window, a simple man reading a newspaper, a restaurant. Coppola’s photographs of Buenos Aires are a pictorial love letter to his city, demonstrating Argentine metropolis emerging from its grand traditions to embrace modernity either in its street scenes or nocturnal vistas with bars and music halls, trams and all the vibrant and juicy material of his photography. In his 105 years of life (yes sir, I said 105), Coppola has been documenting his city thought superb black and white shots. Mr. Jorge Luis Borges, a friend to Coppola, launched the photographer’s career by using some of his shots to illustrate a book of poet Evaristo Carriego. Born in Aires, to Italian parents, he was the 10th son of an immigrant couple. All though his long life, Coppola explored many photographic approaches in search of the “magic chiaroscuro”. Coppola’s influences included the modernist movement, architectural angles and shadows and obviously his fascination with cinema. All the shots were executed with a 35mm Leica. Brassai is to Paris like Coppola is to Buenos Aires. Viva Argentina!

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