dienacht double Special Issue: Nigeria – out now!

dienacht Magazine proudly presents a double issue about the Nigerian photography scene – it’s a catalogue for the Lagos Open Range festival on the one side; and showcases works by Nigerian photographers made in photography workshops in Lagos over the last two years on the other side.
This Special Issue was kindly suported by the Goethe Institut in Lagos.

“[...] The Lagos photographic scene is idiosyncratic in outlook – more than any other African city. Every new day sees the birth of a ‘star’ keen to make their mark in the seething cauldron that they are thrust into. Here artists, photographers, freely swap ideas on various themes that often embrace politics, the economy, religion.

Nigeria’s eclectic mix of poverty, wealth and instability provide a glut of subject matter, create a rich source of ideas for the discerning artist. The invitation into the ‘art’ has been mostly informal and self-reliant. The work environment (and ambience) has been ad hoc to say the least and the pedagogy has not been based on any articulated format or curriculum.

There were no preconceived themes. The artists were domiciled in the city (Lagos) and the city was their subject matter. The chosen themes were often impromptu, but with the passage of time these have become ‘classics’ in their own right. The ‘classical’ themes paved the way for collaborations with foreign agencies with the resultant exposure on the international scene.

The role of workshops pioneered by the Goethe Institute together with Akinbode Akinbiyi cannot be underestimated. These ensured the continuous growth of photography in Nigeria. Akinbode Akinbiyi consistently strived to build a mentorship strategy that developed and created a pool of some of the finest photographers in Nigeria today.  His principles have developed into productive manifestations in the form of two Masterclasses in 2013 with the Incursion: Sing The Blues in Lagos, and in 2014 with the Documentary Dissonances and it’s cultural heritage undertone.

Many photographers in Nigeria approach their craft from the obvious, easy way, through its commercial or business side, because they do not have access to fundamental financial support for their artistic development. There is virtually no financial incentive or budget from any government agency or institution for the promotion of artistic production, cultural exchange and residency programs. Therefore, to meet daily needs and challenges,  many focus more on the commercial rather than the artistic and critical aspects.  This stunts innovations in art photography, in the ability to contextualize and make it relevant. And even though the sector is already internationally oriented, with the interaction of artists from all over the world through biennales and festivals, there is a lack of understanding within society of its relevance as a medium or language of expression. [...]
– Uche Okpa-Iroha, Director of the Nlele Institute

” [...] The Lagos OPEN RANGE exhibition is primarily conceived to promote a new form of intuitive photography, and to empower photographers and video artists who ordinarily are not getting the critical attention their works deserve.  The exhibition intends to give visibility to artists who have a consistent practice and show signs of promise of developing their oeuvres significantly. We are ambitious about the Open Range and hope it transits into a bi-annual event that will explore the new diversities, fragmentations and relationships of photographic images in relation to subjects, spaces and scenarios in Nigeria and (potentially) beyond. What inspires this project and the curatorium’s genuine aspiration, is the promise of  the realisation through the exhibition and publication of the daring eyes of the artists, their commentaries on our contemporary lives and the specificity of Lagos. [...] ”
– Abraham Oghobase and Jude Anogwih, Curators, The Lagos OPEN RANGE 2015

300 copies available
18 x 15 cm, 144 pages + 12 text pages on terracotta paper
open thread binding
flip issue with 2 mm cardboard covers
offset print, in English
12 Euro (+shipping)
Please choose:

Paweł Jaszczuk – Kinky City

dienacht Publishing proudly presents: Paweł Jaszczuk’s ‘Kinky City’!

Tokyo nights are full of toys. Dolls, costumes, threads and needles, masks, fancy dress and many more. Naturally, it isn’t kids’ stuff, but toys for the grown-ups. Paweł Jaszczuk watched them play. This needs some determination, of course. For about three years, from 2007 to 2010, he routinely grabbed his bike after returning from his day jobs and dived into the metropolis’s nightlife, looking for Tokyo’s swinger clubs and happening bars, its couple kissas and private sex-parties. He won over their hosts and owners, sat at bars and in booths, listened to at times questionable music and convinced the guests to be pictured by him while living their fantasies. He deliberately took the part of the voyeur, which is an integral element of the role play in place anyway – though usually without a camera.

In his photographs one encounters a round of tradition and pop, pain and desire, sex and taboo, intimacy and anonymity. Jaszczuk used an extremely light sensitive film with his Leica, which leaves only few things in the dark. The bluntness of the images, the physicality in the games of dominance and submission, and the array of fetish paraphernalia – uniforms from French maid to SS – make for a somewhat disturbing experience. Moments of dizzy rush, captured in close ups, alternate with scenes depicted from a rather distant perspective of a curios beholder. Frenzy takes turns with the prosaic. The night presents itself as the heady opposite of the daily grind, though at the same time the practiced fantasies – however kinky they are – are marked by a set of recurring roles, motives and traditions. Eventually daybreak means a change of attire for the revelers: from latex and uniform to suite and business costume, which cover up the bruises of the past hours.

This book is co-published by dienacht Publishing and the Leica Gallery Vienna, on the occasion of the exhibition PAWEŁ JASZCZUK / KINKY CITY, Leica Gallery Vienna (4 June to 12 September 2015, in cooperation with Leica Gallery Warsaw, curated by Rafał Łochowski).

‘naked’ book in a relief silkscreened slipcase made of raw cardboard
10,5 x 15 cm, 120 pages
open thread stitching
Edition of 400 copies, designed by FLUUT

28,00 Euro

CALL FOR ENTRIES for a feature slideshow at the OBSCURA Festival in Malaysia

CALL FOR ENTRIES for a feature slideshow at the OBSCURA Festival of Photography 2015 in Malaysia.
Deadline → June 1st, 2015.

I am honoured to be one of the guest curators for this year’s slideshow at the OBSCURA Festival in Georgetown / Malaysia.

“Hidden / Intimate” – Curatorial statement
Photographers bring some of the most amazing stories about our world into our realm of reality through the images they create. The role of the photographer/subject are well defined: “This is the photographer, and here is the story”. There is always a small gap between them.
This curation of works seeks to reveal the inner psyche of photographers through the camera turned onto themselves and their very personal surroundings. It is a peek into the inner fragility of a world that is seldom seen, into the deepest and / or darkest sides of oneself, seen through the lens. This is the realm of the hidden/intimate.

→ What to submit:
A PDF with your works, featuring a short description and a very short biography
→ How to submit:
By e-mail to speak2me@dienacht-magazine.com

Find out more about the festival: http://obscurafestival.com


dienacht #17

dienacht #17 is back (5 different Covers – same content!)!

This issue turned out to become a small extract of the “Condition humaine”, in all it’s tenderness and abysses. And since the magazine’s cover is a kind of preview of what is to be expected inside, I have decided to chose no less than five different title pictures. After all, the “Condition humaine” is a mess, not only on the personal level.

Some of the photographers form this issue: Arne Svenson controversial series “The Neighbors”, Léonard Pongo showing a selection from “The Uncanny”, Sofia Bucci’s personal and intimate series “The Taste of Leaves”, Stacy Kranitz’ anarchistic “Study on Post-Pubescent Manhood”, Gert Jochem’s observation of sexuality in Flanders, and many more incredible photographers and photobook reviews.

1000 copies, numbered
128 pages, 15 x 18 cm
offset print, in English and German
PLEASE NOTE: you will receive ONE copy with a random cover
7,00 Euro
Please choose:

New book: Calin Kruse – Marble

Juliane, 24 y.o. and mother of two, contacted me a while ago. She likes getting spanked, and she asked me to document her bruises.

A story about instincts.

Silkscreen printed cardboard cover, bound with screw connection
Size: 29.7 x 19.2 cm
50 pages printed on 250 g/m² paper
Print run: 40 numbered copies
45 €
Please coose:

Peter Dobis: The Shadows | Portfolio

The Shadows project tells the story of a community living on the edge and at the periphery of the mainstream society in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. I started this long term-project in the summer 2013 when I decided to cover the life of poor and homeless people. But in different way than we usually see homelessness presented. Thus, my pictures do not show homeless people sleeping and begging directly in the streets for I did not want to come with a typical homeless street images. My goal was to unhide the parallel world hidden in our city. We do not have slums in Bratislava. People stay at any kind of abandoned buildings, shelters, cottages or garages or sleep in social dormitories if they want to and have few euros for it.

I had to start somewhere. First idea was simple, go out and find first people to photograph. During summer 2013, I photographed first homeless couple that I found living in an abandoned building. The beginning was not easy and I spent lot of time with this couple, working with them, trying to make good pictures. However, I learned a lot during these first months. I began to understand the way these people live, where they stay, how they survive.

Later on I met lot of different people. There was Zolo among others. He was very intelligent and clever and lived in his own handmade built shelter in the woods near the river Danube. He had never told me his full story but knew 3 times more about politics and literature then I did. He lived with cats and was one of the few who never wanted any money from me. In fact, we stayed friends and I visit him from time to time. He helped me as well and told me where to go next. And thus I found next people and next interesting places.

To be be honest, I did not meet only clever guys like Zolo and I got in touch with alcohol and drug addicts, former criminals or psychiatric patients. My project continued during whole 2014 when I met lot of new people. After several months I started to photograph in one social dormitory where I was very well accepted by Marta (former homeless) who was the chief of it. When I explained my idea and show some images she allowed me to move freely around the place, come whenever I wanted to and take photographs.

In general, I moved form one point to another as I was still meeting new people and discovering new things. It is a continuous process. On top of that, I became really accepted. Thus, after certain period of time I had several pictures from the outside (shelters, abandoned buildings) and from the inside of social dormitories as well. But this was not the endpoint as I was unhiding new areas of life of these people.

I want to cover this topic in its complexity. It means to document dark sides as drugs, violence and brutality in relationships as well. This is much more delicate and difficult to cover and I am still working on it. You need to be patient and very careful while dealing with these issues, try to find good contact points (if possible) and then take some risk as well. There is still lot to be covered. If everything goes well I want to continue in this work.


Christopher de Bethune: Sunshine | Portfolio

Trying to be there without being there.

What I like the most about wandering the streets, is that i sometime feel like a stray cat, both moving discreetly around with no precise destination, both being aware of our surroundings, both looking for different kind of food. The subject or the non-subject doesn’t matter anymore.

It can come to me in different forms, from a lonely soul to an old house or an empty street with the right light, I’m just trying to squeeze any beauty from the layers of thoses big cities.


Radoslav Daskalov: Systematic Desensitisation | Portfolio

Systematic Desensitisation is a project exploring my continual combat with an anxiety and panic disorder. It is named after a technique employed in cognitive behavioural therapy, where the subject is repeatedly exposed to the same stimuli in order to get used to and build a new reaction to them. I have adopted this method and day after day face my fears of leaving my house and interacting with other people.

I pose for a self portrait in front of a large format camera before going out. Each photograph depicts seven days of struggle through the use of multiple exposure. The images are printed on paper imported from my homeland, Bulgaria, whose flawed surface offers a true representation of my inner world. This effect was not achieved through manipulation on part of the artist, but is the result of improper storage for the past several decades, with submission to damp and mould. Therefore each image has a unique quality to it, that cannot be reproduced.


Julie van der Vaart: Le Sentiment De L’Éphémère | Portfolio

“What the photograph reproduces to infinity has occured only once: the photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially” – Roland Barthes

”Le Sentiment De L’Éphémère” is a personal project that revolves around the realisation that nothing is forever. The urge to capture moments of everyday life came from the this haunting thought, but it wasn’t until the sudden loss of a family member that I started this series. I think it is a very human thing to do, wanting to keep things close to you by capturing them in a photograph; and it is something that people have done for ages. It is also a very paradoxical thing to do, while taking a photograph the moment is already slipping through your fingers.

Even though this is a very personal project, I try to create a certain distance by making pictures that are bound to space nor time, this makes it possible for the viewer to identify himself with it.


Sissel Thastum: I am here when you are here | Portfolio

To my Mother and my Home

Through the nature, the landscape and the feminine form, I am here when you are here mediates a close and intimate relationship between mother and daughter. It is a bond that is found within the return to the familial; the home and the mother. Portrayed through a melancholic language our relationship to each other, to our age, our gender and our identity become underlying themes. The essential presence of nature in connection with the body calls up the notion of a cultural and symbolic identification, emphasising the feeling of the ‘Nordic’ ambience.

Within the return to the familial, an uncanny presence of both attraction and estrangement is evident. These elements enable a search for memory and, consequently, identity. Julia Kristeva connects this search with what Freud named the ‘umbilicus of the dream’ and she essentially states that it is “…something unnameable, which becomes, none the less, the source of our investigation”. This investigation of, and search for memory and identity; what we cannot talk about, what we try push out of our sight and out of our mind, therefore becomes the vital undertone of the images.

I am here when you are here is a personal project made between my mother, my home and I.


Hester Scheurwater: Shooting Back | Portfolio

The mirrored self-images encompass my private fantasies. They are my way of reacting on the imitated and fake media images, which are constantly calling upon our imagination, without intending to be taken too seriously. I try to deconstruct this call’s effect with my reactions by switching the ’subject-object’ relationship, without being victimised by it. My self-images show I am not a victim of an imposed sexually charged visual culture, instead I give a self-aware answer, in which I try to show my feelings and/or views on the unreal and fake imagery, which is forced upon us daily. This series of photos emerged from a collection of daily uploads on Facebook and my personal blog. In the digital public space, I try to reinforce the exhibitionist nature by presenting them in the context of a living room or a living room setting. In this context exhibitionism and voyeurism come together. Using my own body as a sex object in corresponding poses and an auto-erotic gaze I study voyeurism and exhibitionism.


Maggie Shannon: Teeth of the Sea | Portfolio

My project Teeth of the Sea documents the relationship that residents of Martha’s Vineyard have with the ocean. The island where I grew up lies off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts and requires a forty-five minute ferry ride to gain access. Overwhelmed with tourists during the summer months, during the off-season the island reverts back to its lonely seaside town state when the population drops by more than half.

Islanders’ interactions with the water that surrounds them varies from the economical and recreational to the mystical as the ocean simultaneously provides financial security, enjoyment, beauty, isolation, and danger. For this project, I have explored these connections by examining the film Jaws which was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard in 1975. This event represents an extreme example of the complex relationship between islanders and outside influence.

The ocean is a constant presence on Martha’s Vineyard, even the air has a consistent note of brine. Much like the sense of danger the shark represents in Jaws, I have tried to make the water into a similar force: nothing tangible but instead a lurking apprehension that underscores our fear of dark waters and the unknown. The photographs record places and scenes central to the storyline of Jaws, exploring ideas and relationships inspired by these events. In this project, I have mixed fact and fiction, myth and reality, and past and present to shape and inform a narrative about islanders’ relationship with the ocean. Teeth of the Sea is less about Martha’s Vineyard itself and more involved in examining the ambiguous and deeper aspects of our complex relationship with the sea.


Mateusz Sarello: Swell | Portfolio

Void of everything that is important. I am trying to think about the “road.” I cannot. I am completely exhausted. All in all, I am going only because of the weather. The prospect of wind, snow, and my flashes on the beach did not let me sleep. Besides, I am afraid of the few days of thinking only about Her, and this way I will have the Baltic Sea. My Baltic Sea. Instead of.

“Swell” is a story of a break-up and of unaccepted loneliness. At first it was supposed to be
a documentary project about the Baltic Sea. A plan was drawn up and the places to be visited were marked on the map. During the trips to the Baltic I was accompanied by my girlfriend, until the moment of our parting. The parting changed me and I was no longer able to continue the project according to previously designed plan. I started going back to the places where we were together. Here the project ends, and a personal story begins.

My story “Swell” has been published as a book by the Instytut Kultury Wizualnej in Warsaw.

Book “Swell” was chosen as a finalist in the Best Photography Book Award at Pictures of the Year International in 2014, received 3rd prize at the International Photography Awards in 2013 and Honorable Mention in the Best Photography Book from Central and Eastern Europe 2013-2014 at the European Month of Photography in Bratislava in 2014 and was chosen for “Best Books of 2013″ list by Photo-Eye.


Peter Waterschoot: Soul Hotel | Portfolio

I drew an axis from Venice up to Hamburg, in consecutive travels, residing in reclusion, counterbalancing with backstage stops at Burlesque-and dragqueen shows. Trying to stay ahead of rapid gentrification. It seems that throughout Europe an Old Soul is disappearing. “Everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance”(*Kurt Vonnegut).

The locations I am hunting for, are, in the photoworks, totally freed from time and space, resulting in a somewhat strange, partially comforting, partially suffocating atmosphere. I call it Neon Poetry. It is my aim to bend kitsch into aesthetics. There are a lot of film noir and other cinematical influences in my photo work. In my recent shows I noticed that I was storytelling because all the imagesreally work well together, and they do so in all directions! The viewer can read many stories. In recent shows I more and more felt the need to give the images ‘a chance on their own’. Hence I now choose for as much decontextualisation and détachement as possible, which is leading towards new work literally to be called ‘Singularities’.