Series of Photographic Portraits: A Century of Photographs

August Sander, Jungbauern, Westerwald, 1914

Helmar Lerski, Everyday Heads, 1931

Heinrich Riebesehl, People in an Elevator, 1969

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait in Drag (Reddish-Brown Wig, Plaid Tie), 1981/82

Michael Schmidt, Aus der 81-Teiligen Serie Frauen, 1997-1999

Judith Joy Ross, Protesting the U. S. War in Iraq, 2007

Series of Photographic Portraits: A Century of Photographs

Series of Portraits: A Century of Photographs is an exhibtion of 20th century portrait photography, which is presently on display at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg. Portraiture is one of the traditional genres in art and was a driving force behind the invention of photography in the 19th century. Portrait photography continually redefines itself, between dissolution of the traditional concept of the subject in the masses, toward the pursuit of individuality and identity. The image of the human being is subject to constant change, which is also reflected in photography, sometimes with spectacular results.

Photo-Gallery: Series of Portraits/A Century of Photographs

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Scenes From the Suburbs: Navigating an Oppressive Dystopia

Scenes From the Suburbs: Navigating an Oppressive Dystopia

I wish I could remember every little moment,
But I can’t/ Why do I only remember the moments that I do,
I wonder what happens to the others.

Scenes From the Suburbs is a 30-minute short film directed by Spike Jonze, a companion piece to Arcade Fire’s Grammy-winning third album, The Suburbs.  The movie premiered this year at Germany’s Berlinale Festival and was screened the SXSW Film Festival in Austin.

The film is a meditation on life, a remembrance of things past by a group of friends who spent a languid summer together in an unnamed town that was taken over by the army. Back then, a summer, so long ago. They couldn’t leave town, because outside the country was at war, and the military controlled life and all the  gateways. The teenagers wandered aimlessly about town. Winter was a long way off, and love and longing and friendship still meant everything.

Scenes From the Suburbs: Navigating an Oppressive Dystopia

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Melvin the Magical Machine: A Machine with Its Own Identity

Melvin the Magical Machine: A Machine with Its Own Identity

Melvin the Magical Mixed Media Machine (or just Melvin the Machine) is a wild four-minute short film created by members of the design studio HEYHEYHEY. Art space MU asked HEYHEYHEY to design their show for the Dutch Design Week, Holland’s major design event. Mu gave them complete freedom on one condition: the show wasn’t to be a show of new products, but it should rather be a moment. Since they like a challenge, they decided to build a massive chain reaction with an identity.

Melvin is best described as a Rube Goldberg machine with a twist. Besides doing what Rube Goldbergs do best, performing a simple task as inefficiently as possible, often in the form of a chain reaction, Melvin has an identity. Actually, the only purpose of this machine is to promote its own identity. Melvin takes pictures and makes videos of his audience, which he instantly uploads to his blog, Facebook and Twitter account. Besides that he makes his own merchandise. All of this within 4-minutes of craziness, which you just have to witness yourself.

Melvin the Magical Machine: A Machine with Its Own Identity

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Pencilface: A Girl Falls Victim to Her Greedy Desires

 

Pencilface: A Girl Falls Victim to Her Greedy Desires

 

He’ll help you draw,
He’ll help you erase;
Waste not want not,
He’s Pencil Face.

Pencilface is a very creepy short film by Christian Simmons, which was an Official Selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Pencilface is a film that is so creepy it will burrow deep into your brain and lurk there for years, waiting to creep you out whenever it once again flits across your conscious mind.

The film tells the story of a bored girl playing in the scrub grass of some unknown, nowhere place, who encounters Pencilface, a giant, maniacal-looking yellow pencil with the ability to transform drawings into reality. The girl takes advantage of Pencilface’s unique ability, but things soon go terribly bad for the girl when her greed takes hold, and she ultimately falls victim to her own desires.

Pencilface: A Girl Falls Victim to Her Greedy Desires

 

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel Leads Chicago’s 42nd Annual Gay Pride Parade

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Leads Chicago’s 42nd Annual Gay Pride Parade

The 42nd Annual Chicago Gay Pride Parade kicked off from the northside Lakeview neighborhood at noon on Sunday, led by Chicago’s new mayor, Rahm Emanuel. It was the first time in a long time that a sitting mayor has appeared in the parade, a salute to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. An animated Rahm Emanuel marched directly behind the parade’s lead banner and platoon of police on horseback. Dressed casually in a light blue shirt, white jeans, tennis shoes and black shades, Emanuel brought the crowd to a roar as he stopped to high-five a little girl and hoisted a young boy over the metal barricade for a peck on the cheek.

Emanuel is a regular at the parade, having appeared at the festivities almost every year while he served in Congress. He has been a relentless advocate of gay causes, including HIV/AIDS funding, civil unions and gay marriage. Joining him in the parade was Governor Pat Quinn, who recently signed the Illinois civil union legislation, as Illinois became the sixth state to allow civil unions or their equivalent, giving same-sex couples the same state-level rights that come with marriage.

The parade usually draws around a half-million celebrants, but coming right on the heels of winning the long-sought right for same-sex couples to enter into civil unions and the historic passage of the New York bill allowing same sex marriage Friday night, this parade swelled to an estimated attendance of 750,000, which was likely a record number of rainbow-clad spectators.

Viewers can read a short history of the gay rights movement in Illinois here.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Leads The 42nd Annual Chicago Gay Pride Parade

Chicago’s 2010 Gay Pride Parade

The Chicago Gay Pride Parade Celebration

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New York Senate Votes 33-29 to Approve Gay Marriage!!

New York Senate Votes 33-29 to Approve Gay Marriage!!

The New York Senate voted on Friday to legalize gay marriage, a breakthrough victory for the gay-rights movement in the state where it got its start. New York became the sixth state where gay couples can wed, and by far the biggest. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who campaigned on the issue last year, has promised to sign it. Gay weddings could begin 30 days after that.

Although New York is a relative latecomer in allowing gay marriage, it is considered an important prize for advocates, given the state’s size and New York City’s international stature and its role as the birthplace of the gay-rights movement, which is said to have started with the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village in 1969.

Gay-rights advocates are hoping the vote will galvanize the movement around the country and help it regain momentum after an almost identical bill was defeated in New York in 2009 and similar measures failed in 2010 in New Jersey and this year in Maryland and Rhode Island.

NY Sen. Tom Duane’s Moving Speech for Marriage Equality

Rachel Maddow: NY Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Stonewall: The Stone Wall Against Oppression

The Stonewall Riots: A Night That Changed the World

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American Dreams: Iconic Images of 20th Century Life

Richard Avedon, Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, 1981

Gertrude Käsebier, The Sketch (Beatrice Baxter), 1903

Lewis Hine, Powerhouse Mechanic, 1920

Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936

Mary Ellen Mark, Lily with Her Rag Doll, Seattle, 1983

American Dreams: Iconic Images of 20th Century Life

American Dreams is a wonderful exhibition that provides a survey of the great American photographers of the 20th century. The exhibition consists of of photographs from arguably the world’s most important photographic museum, George Eastman House, and is currently being shown at Australia’s Bendigo Art Gallery.

The works highlight the pioneering role these American artists have had on the world stage in developing and shaping photography, and the impact these widely published images have had on the greater society. Their far-reaching images helped shape American culture, and had an impact on the fundamental role photography has in communications today. Even more than this, we can see through these artists the burgeoning love of photography that engaged a nation.

These images show us not only the development of photography, but also provide some of the most powerful social documentary photography of the last century. We see extraordinary moments captured in the lives of a wide range of Americans, works that distil the dramatic transformation that affected people during the 20th century: the affluence, degradation, loss, hope and change, both personally and throughout society.

American Dreams: Iconic Images of 20th Century Life

Photo-Gallery: American Dreams/Iconic Images of 20th Century Life

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