WHAT SORT OF LIFE IS THIS BY ALBERT ELM by Zisis Kardianos

Albert-Elm-Untitled-2015-35mm-colour-film-C-type-print

Today I launch "Sunday's Read" a new blog series where I'll be presenting an eclectic selection of photobooks straight out of my library's shelves. The first book to present is "WHAT SORT OF LIFE IS THIS" by Danish photographer Albert Elm.

Albert Elm is a photographer whose career has taken him to enviable heights over the past couple of years. After studying at Fatamorgana school in Copenhagen and graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 2015, he then went on to assist Magnum photographer Jacob Are Sobol. His work has been published in numerous established magazines, such as Photoworks, Vice and the British Journal of Photography, alongside various exhibitions across Europe. After publishing his first book in 2014, titled Elsewhere, Albert moved on to further ventures and placed his inquisitive mind on to his second photography publication.

What sort of life is this is Albert Elm’s ongoing photography series that has captured his thoughts, questions and observations of the world around him for the past eight years. The first photograph was taken in 2009, where the whole thing unintentionally blossomed into a personal exploration through the means of photography. “At that time I didn’t know that I was working on a book, or that it was going to be called What sort of life is this, I just began to work with a 35mm point and shoot to get into the essence of what photography meant to me,”

The images throughout depict a hyperreal — although scarily honest — representation of life. Albert is drawn to anything he finds “bizarre, beautiful, odd, ugly and interesting”, or something that he thinks “tells a ‘useful’ story about living, or at least questions it”. After finding his muse, he then imprints a harsh flash infused with the grainy outcome of analogue film onto the subject, resulting in a mysterious depiction of that moment in time. “I don’t have a specific message or agenda. The book has come out of my own curiosity and maybe my own attempt to make sense of the world around me — or a way of giving things meaning,” says Albert. “I hope it evokes a sense of curiosity and wonder in people, as it’s supposed to be open for people to read in their own way. I’m not dictating anything, rather I’m pointing the viewers in a direction. Of course there’s messages in there that I’ve thought of and I trust that it’s apparent enough to read it. But if people see something else, that’s alright too.”

By keeping the format and curation of the book simple, the disjointed layout and misplaced segments in parts plans to draw a feeling of unease and a thirst for answers. Photography acts as a powerful tool in this way; to enable the viewer to decipher their own meanings and emotions, rather than take in exactly what is given by the person behind the lens. Albert plays on this concept in his book: “I thought that no matter what, people would read it their own way,” he explains. “I think that’s the power of photography and images in general; that it plays with one’s imagination. But it’s challenging to find the balance between being mysteriously open to interpretation and then being oblivious and demystified. I think the story is stronger when the surprise and mystery isn’t ruined by too much explanation.” Source: It's Nice That

"What sort of life is this" was shortlisted by Paris Photo - Aperture Foundation for a Photobook Award in the category First Photobook.

COLOPHON

128 pages / 8 x 11 in. / Hardcover with jacket
56 color / 16 BW photographs
ISBN 978-0-9897859-8-3
Edition of 750 copies / Published by The Ice Plant / 42 USD
September 2017

You can order the book here

There is an interesting interview with Albert Elm on Aesthetica Magazine

and an extended podcast in Cultural Bandwith

PICTURES FROM A FESTIVAL by Zisis Kardianos

Spent a wonderful 4 days in Bielsko-Biala during one of the best photo festivals in central Europe. Met a lot of great photographers whom prior to the festival I only new from their images. Full program with solo exhibitions spread in galleries and museums around the small city, meetings with the audience, presentation and an authentic Polish hospitality. Really honoured to have been one of the invited guests.

FOTO ART FESTIVAL IN BIELSKO-BIALA by Zisis Kardianos

I'm presenting my work in a solo prints exhibition as part of the main exhibition program of the next Foto Art Festival in Bielsko-Biala, Polland, between Oct 13th to Oct 29th, 2017.

I'm thrilled to have been invited to the festival along with some great photographers such as Antonin Kratochvil, Evgeniy Vasen, Michael Ackerman, Otto Snoek, Jens Juul, Michal Adamski  and more!

I'm looking forward to present my work and myself to the welcoming Polish audience and to meet my fellow photographers both guests and visitors. 

WORKSHOP IN BRUSSELS by Zisis Kardianos

I'll co-lead a joint workshop with my colleague in Burn My Eye Barry Talis in the coming Brussels Street Photography Festival. It's not going to be a typical street photography workshop, but a workshop towards making a collaborative project centered in exploring place identity and character. The area will be Molenbeek which has gained a negative publicity during the last years as the hotbed of radical Islamists in Belgium. We are sure that there are other positive sides in the area worthy to exlpore and bring out to people's attention. The workshop is hosted in a community center of Molenbeek and we will try to get access to private places and activities of the local community. It's a workshop that will touch on the overllaping boundaries or if you prefer, the common ground of social documentary and street photography. It will involve a meticulous editing process that will continue long after the 3-day on-the-field practice is finished, with one-to-one online sessions until the final body of the participants' work emerges as a final series, which will give a rounded and varied photographic representation of the borough. It is the BSPF's intention to exhibit the produced series later in the year or perhaps during the next year's festival. This workshop aspires to offer a comprehensive knowledge towards collaborative project making, visual storytelling and shooting for a stoty rathen than for stand alone pictures. We truly believe that emergent photograpraphers will have a lot to gain from this, they will hone their picure-making and editing skills and at the end they will enjoy the process.

Dates: From Wednesday, October 4, 2017 until Friday, October 6, 2017

Location: Molenbeek [see map], a neighborhood in Brussels. Specific venue will be communicated after successfully registering.

Participants:Limited to 16

PUBLIC AWARD FOR MY SERIES IN LIMBO IN BSPF by Zisis Kardianos

 I am very honoured to have won the Public Prize for my series  "In Limbo"  in the Brussels Street Photography Festival 2016 (International Series Category).  The Public Prize is a result of a voting by all the visitors and fellow photographers during the first two days of the exhibition in Gallery Ravenstein in Brussels.  Congratulations to all the winners and participants. Here is the results in the two international contests.  International Series. First Prize:  Sylvain Biard  from France. Second Prize:  Sixft Whiterabbit  from United States. Public Prize:  Zisis Kardianos  from Greece.  International Singles. First Prize: Davide Albani ( Egb Shootr ) from Italy. Second Prize:  Paweł Piotrowski  from Poland. Public Prize:  Jeffrey De Keyser  from Belgium. Honorable Mention:  Pau Llobet Buscató  from Spain. Honorable Mention:  Yota Yoshida  from Japan.

I am very honoured to have won the Public Prize for my series "In Limbo" in the Brussels Street Photography Festival 2016 (International Series Category).

The Public Prize is a result of a voting by all the visitors and fellow photographers during the first two days of the exhibition in Gallery Ravenstein in Brussels.

Congratulations to all the winners and participants. Here is the results in the two international contests.

International Series.
First Prize: Sylvain Biard from France.
Second Prize: Sixft Whiterabbit from United States.
Public Prize: Zisis Kardianos from Greece.

International Singles.
First Prize: Davide Albani (Egb Shootr) from Italy.
Second Prize: Paweł Piotrowski from Poland.
Public Prize: Jeffrey De Keyser from Belgium.
Honorable Mention: Pau Llobet Buscató from Spain.
Honorable Mention: Yota Yoshida from Japan.