Malcolm Venville - The Women of casa X
'The Women of Casa X' on The Angry Bat's nice photobooks blog!
Yesterday we had a wonderful night at the very crowded presentation of Louise Baring’s book “Emmy Andriesse - Hidden Lens” which took place at the Amsterdam Photoq Bookshop. Guests of honour were of course Louise Baring and Emmy’s son Joost Elffers.
Hesitating Beauty by Joshua Lutz has been selected by writer and curator of photography Susan Bright, as one of TIME’s Best Photobooks of 2013!
“Hesitating Beauty is a rare gem of a book. Lutz weaves together text, vernacular photography and his own photographs loaded with associations of memory, time, regrets and imagination in an attempt to connect with his mother who suffered from mental illness. It is both a tribute and cathartic exercise. Truth and fiction collapse, and the viewers conceptions of maternal responsibilities and mother/son relations are called into question. As a viewer we are given permission to enter a very private and primal space between mother and son. It’s a reminder to everyone that holds and looks at this book that nobody is perfect and that in attempting to connect with somebody with mental illness it is best done with love, kindness and empathy and not with judgements.”
—Susan Bright, writer and curator of photography, author of Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood
Read more: TIME Picks the Photobooks We Loved in 2013 - LightBox http://lightbox.time.com/2013/11/25/time-picks-the-best-photobooks-of-2013/#ixzz2lgEuN9hM
Great new reviews of ‘Resort 1’ and ‘Hesitating Beauty’ in fLIP Magazine by the renowned gallerist, writer and curator Laura Noble.
Schilt Publishing catalogue January-June 2014
View Schilt Publishing’s 2014 Spring catalogue, featuring new books from: Robert King, Elena Perlino, Gesche Würfel, Magical Thinking, Matt Gunther, Nicholas Albrecht, Scott Daniel Ellison.
Two new books from World Press Photo ‘Stories of Change: Beyong the Arab Spring’ and the 2014 Yearbook.
Also we have collaborated with FotoFest Houston in the making of ‘View from the Inside: Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art’.
A new series of interviews between Mary Bisbee-Beek and Schilt Publishing’s photographers
Q: Can you tell us the story behind ‘The Women of Casa X’?
A: It was in Mexico City while photographing Luchadores for my book Lucha Loco, about masked Mexican wrestling, where I heard about Casa X. Lucha Loco was about colour but Casa X is exactly the opposite, the darkest side of the human condition. It was somewhere I wanted to go after spending a life working in studios. I harbored a wish to make something that had meaning and power and this was it. So I moved forward. The producer Concepción Taboada introduced me to the journalist Amanda de la Rosa who had written aboutorganized bare knuckle fighting in Mexico City. Amanda made the connection with the women and when the conditions were right I travelled to Mexico City with my plate camera.
It was Amanda who ensured the effortless progress of the shoot in Tepito. She made the denuded women feel comfortable in front of the stranger. The women actually felt sorry for me as I fumbled under my dark cloth that I used to frame and focus the 5”x4” film camera. As I found my frame by looking at the upside down and reversed image on the camera screen (this style of photography is similar to the way the human eye works, we see an upside down and a reversed image) I could see the women laughing at me. They felt pity for me. Resurfacing from under the dark cloth and picking up the cable shutter release, they became serious again.
Q: What or who inspired you during the making of this project?
A: Richard Avedon’s In the American West had always seemed to me to be a remarkable project because it was entirely focused on the body. With this in mind, I struggled to find the right place to photograph the women in at Casa X, so I opted to remove it by using the seamless grey background in one of the rooms there, a makeshift studio. I wanted to draw attention to the core of the womens’ lives and it was clear that their bodies were the USP.
Q: What’s the best comment you’ve heard to date on the book, whether from a friend, colleague, gallerist, or perhaps one of the women in the book?
A: I haven’t taken a poll on audience reaction, I’m unlikely to do that as the images speak for themselves. They are a celebration of survival.
Q: If money was no object, what photo book would you buy?
A: Probably a first edition of Cartier Bresson’s Images a la Sauvette with a cover by Matisse.
Q: On your nightstand now — or what are you reading?
A: Defying Hitler by Sebastian Haffner.
Q: What was your favorite book as a child?
A: The Observer Book of Birds.
Q: Who are your top photographic inspirations?
A: Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Bill Brandt, W. Eugene Smith, August Sander, Gregory Crewdson, Don McCullin, Karl Blossfeldt, Cartier Bresson, Edward Curtis, Edward Weston and Diane Arbus.
Q: What book has changed your life?
A: I’m sorry to say that not one book changed my life. Movies and music changed my life. Hitchcock’s films such as Vertigo and Rear Window affected me as did Powell and Pressburger’s A Canterbury Tale and A Matter of Life and Death. The films of Woody Allen and Robert Bresson also. Musically it was The Smiths, without hearing The Boy With the Thorn in his Side, my life would have been different.
PREVIEW 'The Women of Casa X' on Issuu
'The Women of Casa X' by Malcolm Venville is available to BUY on Schilt Publishing’s webshop
Also in Snoecks 2014 is a feature of Cig Harvey’s ‘You Look At Me Like An Emergency’ (published in 2012 by us). Unfortunately the first edition is completely sold out.
Watch the video of the book here: http://vimeo.com/40190947
You can also view images on Cig’s website: www.cigharvey.com