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View Full Version : Discuss a Justyna Mielnikiewicz photograph



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David A. Goldfarb
08-20-2006, 03:12 AM
I didn't know anything about this Polish photographer working out of the Republic of Georgia before, but I just saw this fantastic image in the NYT and thought I would look for more--

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/08/20/weekinreview/20chivers1.600.jpg

Here's the article for context (and in case the link doesn't work)--

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/weekinreview/20chivers.html?hp&ex=1156132800&en=818848e38922ac1a&ei=5094&partner=homepage

And here is a slideshow connected to the article with her own narration--

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/khtml/2006/08/19/weekinreview/20060820_ABKHAZIA_FEATURE.html

And here's her website with a portfolio of B&W work--

http://www.justmiel.com/

Sparky
08-20-2006, 03:26 AM
Damn! It's an eastern block Martin Parr photo!

bjorke
08-20-2006, 03:56 AM
...or a color Mikhailov

JohnArs
08-20-2006, 06:08 AM
Martin Parr was also my thinking!

catem
08-20-2006, 07:18 AM
Do you think this one's like Martin Parr, then?

http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/gallery.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002575319&no=1

Or this?
Quite interesting in relation to another thread...

http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/gallery.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002575319&no=2

Cate

Sparky
08-20-2006, 08:02 AM
I think SOMEONE forgot to take their happy pill today!

catem
08-20-2006, 09:29 AM
Sparky, I'm following the suggestion that digging a little deeper furthers understanding. On the whole, a quite reasonable suggestion. Especially when that's done through looking at further work...She is not someone I would in general compare with Martin Parr, though I understand the connection in the first image. ;)

Gay Larson
08-20-2006, 07:15 PM
I find her work interesting. I like the one where she has the horse on the beach and is dressed like a cossack. It's not what you would expect.

Sparky
08-20-2006, 07:19 PM
Sparky, I'm following the suggestion that digging a little deeper furthers understanding. On the whole, a quite reasonable suggestion. Especially when that's done through looking at further work...She is not someone I would in general compare with Martin Parr, though I understand the connection in the first image. ;)

I was thinking the image superficially resembled a few I'd seen of Parr's. I wasn't, even for a moment, trying to suggest any sort of borrowing from Parr. Even if they were - I really wouldn't have a problem with it - I think it's pefectly valid. But I'm not even thinkin' that. I'm just sayin'...

blansky
08-20-2006, 07:28 PM
Doesn't float my boat.

Pictures of fat tourists holidaying in the Mediterranean, Black Sea or where ever doesn't do much for me.


Michael

Sparky
08-20-2006, 07:30 PM
Doesn't float my boat.

Pictures of fat tourists holidaying in the Mediterranean, Black Sea or where ever doesn't do much for me.


Michael

Parr did his as a sort of social critique - from that perspective his were kind of engaging. I don't really know enough about this photographer's work to really make any sort of serious comment - at least I feel that the sort of work begs some study.

David A. Goldfarb
08-21-2006, 06:24 AM
This image certainly borrows from imagery used by Parr, Boris Mikhailov, Weegee, and others, but I guess the question is whether she does something new with it. I think she does.

Parr was looking at a certain kind of middle and working class leisure, and Mikhailov was layering that sort of imagery on the backdrop of environmental decay in the late Soviet Ukraine.

Mielnikiewicz is also using the diagonal of High Stalinist graphics (whether deliberately or unconsciously--the ship is level with the horizon, so the camera is tilted), which once represented the heroic march into the future--

http://www.internationalposter.com/pimages/RUL10746.jpg

http://www.internationalposter.com/pimages/RUL07121.jpg

http://www.internationalposter.com/pimages/RUL06983.jpg

but now it's the rusting hulk of a ship that was once a floating bar, when Abkhazia was more of an elegant tourist destination in a Soviet sort of way. This is about Russians who still think of Abkhazia as a tourist spot in spite of the poverty and decay and the dissolution of the Soviet empire, and it's a good vignette of post-Soviet life.

Sparky
08-21-2006, 06:44 AM
Interesting observation David. I did a class in film aesthetics about a thousand years - where they showed similar soviet propagandist posters and suggested that this diagonal motif was actually borrowed from another, earlier, soviet source - namely the cinematic stylings of Dziga Vertov and Sergei Eisenstein...

David A. Goldfarb
08-21-2006, 07:08 AM
It was all part of the same phenomenon, happening in graphics, film, architecture, and photography.

Sparky
08-21-2006, 07:50 AM
I'd buy that for a dollar.

Struan Gray
08-21-2006, 02:25 PM
Eight red rectangles.

pentaxuser
08-21-2006, 04:26 PM
There's a great sadness here. Abandonment and a kind of hopelessness pervades every photo. People making a poor best of a bad lot. Powerful stuff. I have been educated and enlightened. I can't say that about the work of a lot of the photographers so far featured.

Thanks David

pentaxuser

pentaxuser

catem
08-21-2006, 04:54 PM
I agree her work is powerful and empathetic and informative in a true photojournalistic sense, and is refreshing to see.
Cate

Dave Wooten
08-22-2006, 03:53 PM
Some Rodchenko angles going here...thanks for posting

pablovski
05-28-2008, 02:30 AM
Doesn't float my boat.

Pictures of fat tourists holidaying in the Mediterranean, Black Sea or where ever doesn't do much for me.


Michael

You do not understand the context of the image. These are tourists vacationing what was considered the Red Riviera but is now a destroyed capital of an unrecognized republic in a conflict zone. The image cleverly reveals the irony of the situation. I think calling it a "picture of fat tourists" does the photographer an injustice.