Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts from the ‘Arts’ category

Fotoeins Friday in MSP: Guthrie and the Gold Medal

Between 2003 and 2006, I spent three memorably enjoyable years in Minneapolis and working at the University of Minnesota. I visited the Twin Cities as one of many destinations during my year-long RTW in 2012, and I returned again briefly in 2019 to see what became of the city.

The “Gold Medal Flour” is a city landmark associated with the Mill City Museum and the history and economic impact of flour mills. Next door is another city landmark that is the Guthrie Theater; visitors can step inside to gaze at the architecture and interior design, as well as panorama views over the city and Mississippi River.

I made the photo above on 11 March 2019 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime and the following settings: 1/1000-sec, f/11, ISO1000, and 18.5mm focal length (28mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-gn1.

My Seattle: Chris Cornell

Above/featured: Customers’ contributions on the walls of Beth’s Cafe (Phinney Ridge) – 7 Mar 2020.

Where: Seattle, WA, USA.
Who: Chris Cornell.
Why: A search for traces he left behind in his birth city.

On 21 April 1991, an album of music both memorial and celebratory in nature was released, and changed not only the nature of rock at the time, but also the lives of many, both inside and outside the music industry. In the days and weeks after Andrew Wood’s death in March 1990, a group of people gathered to mourn and remember; they wrote new compositions and sang their songs. Temple of the Dog was born: the release of their self-titled album on that early-spring day in 1991 would be the only full-length album to the band’s name.

Decades later, the album’s 3rd track “Hunger Strike” is as compelling now as the first time the music video dropped in 1992 to grab my eyeballs and the harmony-melody-guitar-crunch latched onto my ears and brain. For lead singer Chris Cornell, intervening years included critical acclaim and success with Soundgarden and Audioslave, among solo efforts and other collaborations. Hours after performing on tour with Soundgarden, Cornell was found dead in his Detroit hotel room on 18 May 2017, shocking the community within Seattle and the community inside music at large; he was a young 52. Wherever they may be, that jam session with Cornell, Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, and Andrew Wood has got to be one for the ages.

21 April 2021 is the 30th anniversary of the release of Temple of the Dog’s eponymous album.


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My Mittenwald: mountains, masks, music, Mahlzeit!

Above/featured: From the regional train: facing southwest over Schöttlkarstrasse and the eastern end of the Wettersteinwand at right.

The German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1786 described the alpine town of Mittenwald as “lebendes Bilderbuch” or “a living picture-book”. Images and descriptions in print and provided by visitors became draw and lure. Funny thing is I’d set foot and stayed in nearby Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and hadn’t taken the easy 20-minute train hop to Mittenwald.

I took care of that with two visits within a 15-month interval.

Wandering through Mittenwald is a delight because of the abundant fresh mountain air, picturesque surroundings, and the easy compact nature of the town. It’s a very familiar refrain for alpine towns in this part of the world.

Mid-winter is special with the combination of seeing mountains freshly frosted with snow, people of all ages wearing masks and costumes during carnival season, houses painted in colourful “Lüftlmalerei”, and the town’s special place in music history. When clouds break in spring and summer, it seems like an endless vista of blue skies and lakes along with green meadows and mountains to accompany your time outside on walks and hikes in the area.


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Cindy Sherman, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday at Vancouver AG: Cindy Sherman

Above/featured: Untitled #586 (2016/2018).

The following descriptions are from the Vancouver Art Gallery where the Cindy Sherman retrospective is on display until 8 March 2020.

In 2016, Cindy Sherman was commissioned by the celebrated fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar to create a new series of photographs for publication. Responding to that commission, Sherman photographed herself wearing outfits by Prada, J.W. Anderson, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Gucci, and Chanel. She augmented these costumes with make-up, wigs, and digitally created backgrounds to create invented characters, based on so-called street-style stars. Her photographs gently lampoon a contemporary trend associated with fashion shows, which are attended by individuals whose ostentatious dress and exaggerated behaviour rival the main spectacle for attention. Nick-naming the phenomenon ‘project twirl’, Sherman explained: “I just loved the description of these people, these characters who go to the fashion shows – and twirl.”

Sherman’s collaborations with fashion are long-standing. Since 1983, she has worked with Dianne Benson, Dorothée Bis, ‘Harper’s Bazaar’ (for the first time, in 1993), Comme des Garçons, ‘Vogue Paris’, and ‘Garage’ magazine. Characteristically, her fashion photographs mock the self-regard associated with haute-couture. However, they have further significance shared with her work as a whole. Sherman observed: “I want there to be hints of narrative everywhere in the image so that people can make up their own stories about them.”


Organized by the National Portrait Gallery London, the current exhibition surveys the work of Cindy Sherman (born 1954), one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. Using make-up, wigs, costumes, and other means to transform her appearance, Sherman photographs herself acting out the roles of numerous fictional characters. Her images of these personae incorporate references to modern cultures, notably cinema, television, magazines, and fashion. By creating enigmatic appearances from various sources, her work critiques our image-saturated society and raises questions about the meanings we assign to the things we see.

•   Cindy Sherman: ‘I enjoy doing the really difficult things that people can’t buy’ – Sean O’Hagan, The Observer (Guardian), 8 Jun 2019.
•   Cindy Sherman review – pain-laced portraits of a shapeshifting enigma (NPG London) – Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 25 Jun 2019.

I made the photo above on 26 Oct 2019 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime (18.5/28) and the following settings: 1/40-sec, f/3.6, and ISO3200. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-fTa.

My Vienna: Holocaust Memorial, by Rachel Whiteread

Where: Judenplatz, in Vienna’s Altstadt.
What: Holocaust Memorial, by Rachel Whiteread (2000).

How do you commemorate or memorialize the absent or missing? How should the void be acknowledged, recognized, and remembered? Does the act of constructing a physical monument “draw a line”, creating a physical manifestation of marking an end that gathers and wipes away all subsequent future responsibility for remembering?

In Vienna’s Old Town, what was unjustly and violently removed from the city’s long historical memory and cultural identity comes into shape at Judenplatz. Under the public square are ruins of the medieval synagogue destroyed in the pogrom of 1421 with hundreds of Jews driven out, hundreds killed by burning, and the community erased. Directly above these ruins is the Holocaust Memorial which attempts to generate experiences and memories to address the void left behind after the systematic murder of 65-thousand people.

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