Josef “Jupp” Soetebier
Raised in the American Midwest in what was once known as The German Triangle, Josef “Jupp” Soetebier’s work explores what effect his Deutsch heritage, ancestral family, and the mythology of his peoples have had on memory and the way he perceives and goes about the world.
Jupp Soetebier calls his work an examination of “personal archaeology and the genesis of memory, while revealing some of my identity.” His abstract sculpted surfaces expose a complex, multi-layered journey. The layers are composed of wood, fibers, and acrylic paint that are hand-sculpted across a visual plane, melding discovery into tactile and emotive experiences.
This set of works, taken from the series Studies on asemic interferences on and within concrete structures, insists on the exploration of asemic germination framed/constrained within concrete contexts, the latter ones often contributing sparse, residual meanings. Asemic texts seem to constantly rely on the reader’s canny clairvoyance to disclose their meaning, not to leave him standing before the melancholic contemplation of its loss. For this reason, they may appear as a radical, conceptual research into the nature of language, which intentionally drops the contents of experience and hides behind the mimicry of well-known languages, institutionalizing text falsification.
While writing is always the starting point, asemic writers express themselves on the edge between pure literature and visual art, often insisting on the original, innate characters of handwriting, rather than on traditionally text-based works: every dot, every stain or even every single digital bit in an image is as real as a consonant or a vowel. They often behave like smugglers, creeping along the guarded frontier of meaning, with their bags crammed with somewhat secret or confidential schemes, scripts, preparatory notes or sketchbooks. There may no longer be codes to draw signs from: language restlessly reinvents itself in the common forge of form and meaning.
Sinejan Kiliç Buchina
Sinejan Kiliç Buchina has for the last several years been exhaustively working on a series focused on time, material growth and social diaspora. Her practice relies on her personal history and traditional artistic education while also striving to break from both. Reminiscent of a relief, she uses thick and heavy materials on canvas to the point where the work moves into the territory of assemblage, highlighting the cracks of the layered paint, the bumps and bruises, the footprints of both wounds, thoughts and gesture.
The artist’s works are looking at our era under a microscope to depict depravity and resurgence, mold to rot and deterioration, as a machine which has been abandoned to decay and rust and thus takes on a new form and purpose. These melodramatic and nihilistic notions bring with them their own optimism as the wounds inflicted as cracks and scars are integrated into a canvas. Sinejan examines the conceptual dilemma of painting by using noncommon painting materials such as spackling paste, spices, pigments extracted from food, binding agents, natural inks and more, while still holding the canvas as her foundation.
For seven days, I walked the streets of Old Havana always in the late afternoon. My goal was to find the light Cuba eradicated—I found it and I loved it.
A mixture of pulse, contrast, architecture and people on all sides. Moments of mutual coexistence, jokes, games, music and movement. The simplicity and creativity of a welcoming people who do not deserve to go through so much shortage of essential goods.
It is a country unlike anything you can imagine, both for its geographic location and politics. Its greatest wealth lies in its citizens.
Over a hot August weekend not too long ago, my family, friends and I were exploring the backcountry outside McCall, Idaho. As we sat enjoying the campfire one night, our traveling companion, Drae, took out her guitar and began to play bluegrass. Inspired, the other musicians in the group joined in with fiddles, mandolins, and ukuleles. As the sun set on our impromptu wilderness serenade and shadows moved in, I noticed the glow of the fire on Drae’s guitar as her hands worked the strings. I couldn’t resist capturing the moment.
As an emerging photographer, I am always hunting light and shadow. For me, low-key black and white images bring core elements into focus. Here, the lines of age in the hands of a seasoned guitar player contrast the timeless lines of the instrument. There’s history in the wear of the strings, and an endless passion lies hidden in the shadows and highlights. They tell a story of a woman’s journey through life and music, all leading up to this singular moment in time. In that story, I see a dream that continues past sunset.
For me, the artwork is not just the photograph. The process starts before the photograph and continues after it is made. I begin with historical research and end with the telling of forgotten stories. I photograph history. I look for places of deep significance, like the place featured here in my series "Steelworks: Carrie Furnace," Carrie Furnace in Swissvale, PA (Pittsburgh). The American Steel industry stands as a symbol of American industrial might and also as one of shifting economic values and downfall. The photos, all black and white, depict the decaying steel edifices and surroundings of the Carrie Furnaces from what remains of the blast furnaces and their structures to the graffiti found around the site.