J. Daniel Hud

These photographs show the soldiers, volunteers, and civilians shaping the conflict in Ukraine on and off the frontline. In the beginning of the war when Russian-backed separatists were advancing through large pieces of Ukrainian land facing resistance only from poorly prepared government troops, The Ukrainian government encouraged the creation of volunteer militias to combat the push of the separatists.

These militias were created around specific ideologies often drawn from historical movements in Ukrainian culture. Many of these battalions feature explicitly fascist ideologies, all of them have different goals for the future of Ukraine. Civilians in Eastern Ukraine often have no choice other than to have their cities host rotations of these non-governmental armies of men, some of them sporting haircuts of 15th century slavic warriors, wearing insignia referencing the third reich, and bearing arms banned by the Minsk agreement.

Given their success on the battlefield, many civilians prefer certain volunteer battalions. The battalions have made a number of efforts to have a broader impact on Ukrainian society with some making moves into politics and others creating youth sports groups. The unique conditions created by this war have made Ukrainian society a petri-dish for a new kind of militant nationalism. My photographs explore where these ideologies meet the conflict, the culture, and the politics of the new Ukraine. www.jdanielhud.com

Sarah Malakoff

Personal History | For as long as I can remember, I have had a preoccupation with domestic interiors. My long-term photographic project looks at the ways we arrange our most intimate spaces. Our tastes, personalities, quirks and culture are expressed through our décor choices – sometimes intentionally, but often without realizing bits of our most authentic selves have seeped to the surface.

In this body of work, I look closely at objects we display within the home that reference history and culture. These items may speak to the ancestral lineage of the occupant or perhaps merely a desire to appear sophisticated or knowledgeable. Whether they are paintings, photographs, or sculptures of historical figures or events, documents or books, they point to a longing for connection to the past and an engagement with the world at large. They resonate, often humorously or uncannily, with the other objects and architecture that surround them. This collection of private spaces asks the viewer to imagine the people who inhabit them and their relationship to these histories. www.sarahmalakoff.com

Micah McCoy

Articles of Faith | This body of work is tentatively titled, “Articles of Faith”, and explores my unique experience with religion and my memories of growing up in a a fundamentalist Christian church. Themes of segmentation, alienation, and memory are present in the work and important in understanding my relationship with the church. The work was shot in my hometown around the churches I attended growing up as well as at our family home. Shot on black and white film and developed with well water from our rural farm, the work is intended to evoke nostalgia and melancholy. I combined self-portraits as well as portraits of my family to create a cast of characters that could stand in for my memories. Throughout the process of making this work I attempted to come to terms with my conflicted feelings about my upbringing. The photos created tell my story and exist as a proxy for my memories. www.micahmccoy.com

Carl Bower

Chica Barbie | The pageants of Colombia provide a distilled environment for examining the nature of beauty and how we cope with adversity. Set against a backdrop of poverty and decades of armed conflict, nowhere are the contests more ubiquitous and revered. In these carefully scripted shows of fantasy, beauty as a concept, commodity and singular goal is stripped to its raw elements. There is no ambiguity or pretense that anything else matters.

The queens are celebrities. Icons of a rigidly defined ideal, the contestants highlight the conflated relationship between beauty and attraction. Many of them seem familiar, stirring recollections of the same perfect features seen elsewhere, along with identical flirtatious laughter, mock surprise and relentless optimism. In their quest for adoration, they erase all traces of individuality.

While the inherent objectification of the contests and the values they convey to young women often provoke outrage and ridicule elsewhere, in the Colombian context the issue is more complicated. The millions who pack stadiums and follow dozens of national contests on live television often have a vicarious relationship with the queens, clinging to the fantasy of magically transcending poverty. The queens themselves often claim to be working the situation to their advantage, even as they perpetuate a mindset which ultimately limits their opportunities.

The popularity of the pageants ebbs and flows with the level of violence in the country. The contests project an image of normalcy and vitality in the face of social upheaval and fear, a refusal to be defined by the violence or to live as if besieged. In a country rife with conflict, the pageants are a form of both denial and defiance. www.carlbower.com

Tricia Capello

The Space Between | WAHE GURU: Wahe Guru ਵਾਿਹਗੁਰੂ : Wahe "wondrous" + gu "darkness" + rū "light" is that which reveals truth and triggers destiny.

This mantra expresses the indescribable experience of going from darkness to light, from ignorance to true understanding. It is the infinite teacher of the soul.

“Something amazing happens, “WAHE GURU”. Something very painful happens, “WAHE GURU”. It takes you into the between, and that’s the realm of blissfulness where you can alter the circumstances of your life in a dharmic fashion. That’s where you access the tantric life force, it is in the between.” -Jai Dev Singh

The space between in essence is the center of all creation, the vesica piscis, the seed from which all is and has been created. This body of work brings together the power and energy of ancient mantra, signs and symbols. It harnesses them into understanding daily contrast by exploring the journey and revelations from the wonders of the dark, the light and into the vitality and stillness of the space between. All images are found moments as they occur in the everyday, with little to zero post-production. www.triciagahagan.com

William Mark Sommer

Established View | In creating Established View, I want to confront the way the National Parks are experienced from the scenic drives to the curated viewpoints that made these natural wonders memorable. I became fascinated with the way these landmarks were being utilized from the experienced hiker to the weekend tourist waiting in line for the next selfie. By observing this modern culture that comes to inhabit the parks I seek to discover how long is a moment to these travelers. By utilizing multiple frames of film I seek to explore this movement of time within a place to better understand how this moment of discovery becomes memorable. www.williammarksommer.com

Jussi Puikkonen

Afterparty | Jussi Puikkonen’s Afterparty explores human traces in a landscape. His works focus on a carnival landscape and what happens to it after a celebration. The images show the signs of joy and getting together before the cleaners arrive. The series includes photographs from different festivals, public events, anniversaries and house parties in Finland, the UK, Netherlands, Spain, Mexico and France. The works depict the moments after people have left the venue, leaving behind trash, decorations and tents as well as wear and tear on the environment.

 I didn’t take part in any of the events featured in the exhibition, but some of them did disturb my sleep. As a child, I found it fascinating to be the first one up in the morning after knowing that my parents had held a party. Our home looked different when it was full of dishes, bottles, leftovers, decorations and unfamiliar smells. I was so young that I was sleeping during the parties. Grown-up parties were something mysterious and I was only able to hear the buzz of conversation and see the mess in the morning. It was fascinating to imagine who had been at the party and what had happened. Through this project I have returned to that moment after a party, a moment familiar from my childhood.

Human traces raise questions as to what has happened in a certain place, giving rise to thought-provoking, imaginary stories. The traces left on the landscape are a concrete sign that something special happened right before the photo was taken, although in reality special things have happened in the same place for centuries. The photos are proof, based on which one’s imagination builds a story.

Jussi Puikkonen (b. 1980) is an Amsterdam-based photographer. He graduated from the Lahti Institute of Design in 2007 and since then has actively displayed his works at solo and group exhibitions. His previous solo exhibition, Sauna Folk, toured in Helsinki, Kaunas, Rotterdam and Budapest. His works have been on display as part of group exhibitions, for example, at Santral Istanbul, Dortmunder U, Vienna Künstlerhaus and the Finnish Museum of Photography. His works are included in the collections of FOAM Amsterdam. Edition Patrick Frey has published Puikkonen’s photography book On Vacation. www.jussipuikkonen.com

Lotta Lemetti

The Ordinary | For me creating still life compositions is a form of self-exploration. The creating process is an intriguing and almost devotional journey through my mind. Through predilections in aesthetical decisions such as subject matter, color and composition the work reflects who I am, where I come from, what I’ve experienced and what I want to pursue.

I am fascinated by how much beauty exists in an ordinary thing such as a piece of toast, if looked at it in a certain way. The proverb ”There is beauty in everything, just not everybody sees it”, is being illustrated throughout this series of still lives. Nothing is too insignificant or ordinary, that there wouldn’t be beauty in it.

To me, the process of creating these images was as important as the end result. Starting with a blank white table, as an empty canvas, I started creating shapes and forms exploring them and appreciating the beauty of my subject’s unique qualities. Slowly shapes transformed into arrangements. I had a picture in my head of a certain feature of an item I was photographing, revealing that quality became my starting point and a core of the finalized image.

The fundamentals of my photographic work: the use of light, color and and empty space are distinctly present in this series, as well as my desire for simplicity and lightness. I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration for my work from Laura Letinsky’s and Wolfgang Tillmans’ still lives.

With the series The Ordinary I want the viewer to share my sense of wonder and joy in the ordinary objects of everyday life. I want to give the audience a moment to appreciate the things we so often take for granted and overlook. I wish to encourage people to slow down from the hecticness of life to a more tranquil pace in which they are able to fully observe and receive the beauty and peculiarity of this miraculous world we live in. www.lottalemetti.com

Joan Lobis Brown

Phantasmagorica | “Phantasmagorical” is the title of my photo series in which I merged reflections from the exterior with the interior and created my own fantasyland.

I purposely crafted a world in which reality is overtaken by imagination. In my world, birds perch on coffee cups and fly free around my kitchen. Human beings, still central and recognizable in my fantasyland, take on new shapes and dimensions, sometimes friendly, sometimes menacing. The boundary between the objects in the home and the flora and fauna in the garden is blurred. This is a world where magic emerges from the images, where it is a joy to observe and live.

As the project continued, I realized this is not simply whimsical and illusory; the photographs could also be viewed metaphorically. “Phantasmagorical” represents the dichotomy of what we as humans present to the world, and what we as individuals keep hidden internally– that which is our own unique true selves. It alludes to the split between what people are feeling on the inside and the mask people put on in their everyday lives. It symbolizes our collective public face and our secret realities. This is our human condition.

I took these images exactly as I saw them through my camera’s viewfinder. Each image represents the "rush" that I feel when capture what I want to feel in the face of what actually exists. www.joanlobisbrown.com

Nastya Fedkina

I want the viewer to feel the mood of my photographs, while looking at them. Color with light together help me create the atmosphere in the frame. With the help of color, I want to share with what eyes I look at this world. Light only helps to the open up the given idea. I like to search for quiet and mysterious locations for my future work. Sometimes, I appear spontaneously in such places. I think the most important part of my work is to share my vision with people and to try turning their attention to the environment. Every day we don’t notice how beautiful this place can be that we just pass by. One has only to stop and look from the different point of view.

Marinos Tsagkarakis

Wild Goose Chase | Under what criteria can we define absurdity? Is "common sense" the perfect reference for recognizing the meaningful, and the rational?

I grew up under the common western norms of what is reasonable. Actually, I followed all the "right" steps that lead safely to a successful and happy life. I received a good education, I found a respected job, I got a nice house and a fancy car...Actually, I did all the "correct" things that lead safely to a successful and happy life.

Looking back, the last time I felt excited and genuinely happy about something was during my childhood; with my vivid imagination, I was constantly experimenting, tasting, feeling the world around me.
This amazing feeling came back in my adult life only when I started being interested in the absurd; chasing objects, and life scenes that make no practical sense; events and facts that you doubt about their existence.

In a world full of rationalism and ubiquitous political correctness, these small spikes of confusion may be the key for subverting the absurd into something substantial, and fascinating. www.marinostsagkarakis.com

karen Navarro

EL PERTENECER EN TIEMPOS MODERNOS (Belonging in Modern Times) | explores the online self-representation used as a venue to create a sense of belongingness. Humans are innately driven to attain a sense of belonging. Just like water or shelter the sense of belonging is a human need. In modern times, as this phenomenon has transcended from the physical to the digital, social media platforms function as sites to congregate and connect.

Every day, an average of 93 million selfies are being taken all over the world with many of them being posted online. In El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos (Belonging in Modern Times) (2019), I use Instagram to explore the ways in which people use social media as a platform to project an assimilated version of themselves.

Inspired by cubism and the representation of the subject through the investigation of materiality and collages, I have reassembled the portraits depicting a distorted image that speaks about the constructed identities we perform on social media.

The individuals photographed were selected by an open call on Instagram and were asked to wear a specific

color clothing. The use of a specific color and the way they are all posed, are a way to equalize the individuals in each group. Using technologies of today such as 3-D printing and laser cutting was essential in my process of addressing contemporary media. The photographs were embossed with the top hundred hashtags on Instagram. Digital culture has changed and continues to change the ways we behave, relate and connect to each other. The tridimensional collages suggest multiple layers of meaning and aim to discuss the challenges of being authentic and real in a time of obsession over portraying an online illusion of ourselves. www.karennavarroph.com

Isabelle Pateer

UNSETTLED | Unsettled is a project on change. The series focuses on the impact of yielding capitalistic and political power on people and their environment. A global story, approached by focusing on a local example: the expanding harbour of Antwerp (Europe’s second largest port) and related nature compensation plans imposed by the European Union. A contemporary project showing the local effects of our shifting global economy and increasing import of overseas goods on people and their environment.

The series shows portraits of young inhabitants alternated by interior images and landscapes which bare witness to the transformed state of the area, either for industrial or (compensating man made) ‘new nature’ targets. The project questions notions as change, progress, value of land, migration, (manmade) nature, the power of money and the connection between identity and surrounding.

The series was started in 2007 and received International acclaim through several awards, publications and exhibitions. www.isabellepateer.com

Joaquin Palting

Last Days | We live in an era of frightening superlatives. Each morning the headlines blare, “July HOTTEST Month Ever Recorded”, “Climate The GREATEST Existential Threat We Have Faced”, and on and on. The warnings seem to come faster and faster falling on ears that seem to become deafer and deafer.

Last Days documents a small area of land, near Ventura, California , which was ravaged by the largest wildfire in the history of the state. The photographs foreshadow the near future that waits us as we move through the waning years of the Anthropocene. www.joaquinpalting.com

Susana Quevedo

There’s something quieter than sleep | This series comprises several self-portraits I made over the past few years. This obsessive need to turn the camera to myself became the only way to cope with the fear of disappearance and the ever-changing nature of my body riddled with vulnerability, as if it were a disease caused by the accumulation of time, fear, and memories.
Adding several layers of black charcoal to cover up the printed area of the photographic image, made it seem like it was fading to complete blackness; I then used a flat brush to remove the excessive amount of charcoal in order to make possible to get a glimpse of the photograph hidden beneath this black surface. One looks at these blackened photographs as if they were in the realm of memory invocation: memories are dark and distant as if they somehow inhabited the core of blackened soil.
This is a project about not wanting to be seen and choosing how not to be seen, an act of self-erasure. It is also about how the spectator looks at these images, it’s a way of playing with the gaze of the spectator. These images require you look at them with full attention and time, but simultaneously you’re unable to see the photograph clearly. You will get a glimpse of the subtle lines of my face or my hands, of the obscured shape of my petrified body.
Something you cannot see completely, something still and quiet, like the darkness inside the body, like the body asleep in the dark. www.cargocollective.com/susanaquevedo

David Johnson

Wig Heavier Than a Boot | Wig Heavier Than a Boot brings together photography by David Johnson and poetry by Philip Matthews. Revealing Petal—a drag consciousness as whom Philip manifests to write, and David photographs—the project crosses art-making rituals with isolated performances within domestic spaces and pastoral landscapes. Taken together, the resulting photographs and poems reveal dynamic relationships between author, character, and observer. By articulating a specific creative process in which one identity becomes two, the project in turn opens up a conversation about gender expression through an art-historical lens.

The photographs provide one record of author and character, blurring art-historical masculine and feminine postures and gestures. The poems provide another, which elaborate upon the lived experience of being, modeling, and sometimes, obscuring Petal. Subverting the ekphrastic literary tradition, Philip’s poems do not respond to Johnson’s photographs, nor vice-versa. Both forms are made in the present: as David directs the shoot, Philip makes performance notes that give way to the poem. The durational mode of writing parallels the time it takes to prepare for a photograph, while the sudden capture sheds light on the burst of line that yields a poem. In this process, David and Philip continually break open and leverage their own biases and desires to create an authentic body of work. 

Petal is alternately present and not, like a nonphysical entity invoked by a medium. The photographs capture the blend or distinction between Philip and Petal, and the poems hybridize their perspectives, enacting a relationship that is surreal, empowering, and unbearable, as the project title suggests. What is constant is a sense of a person wanting to belong to the place that hosts them (i.e. farmland in rural Wisconsin, the coast of North Carolina, an art museum in St. Louis, a small church), even or especially when the social norms of that place are felt to ostracize them. Both photographs and poems balance narrative with fragmentation and invite multiple interpretations. www.davidjohnsonstudio.com

Neal Johnson

Landforms | is a study of Iceland’s geothermal extraction infrastructure and its relation to the natural landscape in which it exists. The way in which the structures have been designed, whether intentionally or coincidentally, have a mass and a volume and an aesthetic that echo the natural landforms around them. These photographs explore how natural landforms and manmade landforms coexist in this unique environment while still maintaining an egalitarian and harmonious relationship towards each other. Using a 6x7 medium format camera to achieve optimal clarity and resolution for this process, Neal has been photographing Iceland for the past two years, examining this infrastructure and its relationship to the natural world. www.nealparkerjohnson.com


Mood, Memory, or Myth | My ongoing series Mood, Memory, or Myth is an exploration of the human experiences and memories of fear, anxiety, and pleasure, and the impact of growing up in a family that refuses to discuss any of that. Sex, sadness, death, and family illnesses are subjects that my family considers taboo. My family's inability to discuss these subjects openly left me without a voice. I discovered that the simple act of photographically depicting these forbidden subjects empowers me, allowing me to explore my feminine desires, my sadnesses, and to come to terms with my Mexican culture's and family's expectations of me as a female: to wed and have children. I create illusions that conjure the realms of the imagination without presenting a factual reality. Something very personal and complex, but which allows viewers to relate freely on their own terms. I use these subjects and memories to help me navigate the anxieties caused by my family’s expectations of me as a woman, and to fill the space left by my family’s silence on these taboos.

I work traditionally, shooting film, Polaroids, paper negatives, and making darkroom chromogenic prints, occasionally incorporating mixed media. Analog production allows me to insert more of myself into each print. www.shesaidred.com

Dotan Saguy

Venice Beach | In a city inspired by Hollywood’s excesses keeping racial, ethnic and socioeconomic differences under a tight lid, the Palm tree lined Venice Beach boardwalk is an oasis of spontaneity, diversity, and bohemian lifestyle where weirdness is encouraged and the moment is all there is.
I’ve been irresistibly attracted yet intimidated by Venice Beach ever since I moved to Los Angeles from New York in 2003. After all, this “Coney Island of the West” as some used to call it is nothing less than the birthplace of the worldwide fitness movement and modern skateboarding, also greatly influential to the world of rock music, surfing and street art.

My images immortalize decisive moments of Venice Beach’s quirky sub-cultures using complex multi-layered compositions. The choice of high-contrast black and white, unusual angles and back-light infuse the images with an edgy yet dreamlike quality that “feel” like Venice Beach to me. I aim to the place the viewer at the center of Venice’s edgy, eccentric but endangered culture, now quickly being eroded by gentrification and corporate appropriation. https://www.dotansaguy.comwww.dotansaguy.com

Stephan Jahanshahi

Domestic Interior | In November 2018 I got hurt at work. I’ve always carried the majority of my identity in the things I do; playing rugby, working manual labor, taking photographs. That all came to a screeching halt and was replaced by nerve pain, inertia, and insomnia while I waited for Washington State to process my medical claim and put me on a path to eventual surgery in the hope of getting my life back.

I don’t move around enough in the day to get tired by night, so most evenings my wife goes to bed alone. These images are for her, while we both wait for me to come back to a normal life. www.stephanjahanshahi.com