A photographer whose work over the past 20 yrs has been themed around a probing & stretching of the meaning of the word ‘battlefield’ in all its forms
FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE.
For several years now, my work has been an exploration of the Sublime in the landscape; those sights whose boundless beauty is countervailed by feelings of fearfulness and powerlessness. There is an appalling beauty in what human ingenuity can achieve when (given endless resources) it thinks only of more elegant and more brilliant ways to kill people. Nowhere is this clearer than what I call the Military Sublime - for example the nuclear missiles and satellite launches that I photographed.
This dialectic runs throughout the world of modern rocketry. Their launch vehicles are massive cans of metal and tonnes of industrial fuels; yet the satellites and missiles themselves are infinitely delicate packages of microchips and sensors. A practical world of the limits of rocket science is conjoined to a world of weightlessness and omniscience.
Glory Trip 197. Here launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, an unarmed U.S. Minuteman III missile with a National Nuclear Security Administration experiment on board. The missile’s single unarmed warhead travelled 5250 miles to a target area just off Guam in less than 30 minutes.
It’s been an honour to see my work find its way into the collections of some amazing institutions, including the Tate Modern in London, MET in New York, J.Paul Getty Museum in LA and the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco…
Here one of the largest prints,
recently exhibited at Untitled, Miami: ~
The Spirit of Enquiry, 2017
Archival pigment print
90” × 70” (228.6 × 177.8 cm)
Edition of 3
(contact @benrubi_gallery for further details.) ~
Seeing the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland, I was amazed that it resembled the view one has bending one’s neck back and looking up into the cupola of an English cathedral, or the domes of the mosques I once photographed in Isfahan or Istanbul. In vast, columned chambers, the blades of the LHC were being assembled in an atmosphere of methodical, industrial piety. But when I made the final prints of the pictures, they seemed to resemble crop circles or Tibetan mandalas. One of the disks is even fronted by a massive, stonehenge-like trilithon.
Delighted to have been asked to help judge the inaugural Earth Photo Award …
Earth Photo is an innovative new competition and exhibition developed jointly by Forestry Commission England and the Royal Geographical Society which reflects the organisations’ common interest in enabling a better understanding of the world around us through the complementary disciplines of the Environment and Geography. Earth Photo will focus on People, Nature, Place and Change and award categories will celebrate the best in each subject, as well as recognising emerging talent through a Next Generation Award.
CALL FOR ENTRIES >>> DEADLINE: MONDAY 18 JUNE 2018
Here photographed during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, the heavily bombed missile complex at Rashid Military Base in southern Baghdad. Local families wander through the site in a daze. Baghdad 19-27 April 2003
Follow @simonnorfolkstudio for updates, outtakes, unpublished and archive material.
Chichen Itzá was a large pre-Columbian Maya city in Yucatán State, Mexico and was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from the Late Classic Period (c. CE600–900) through the Terminal Classic (c. CE800–900) to the Postclassic period (c. CE900–1200). Architecturally, the site exhibits a multitude of styles, reminiscent of central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the Northern Maya lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most recent interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion.
Here photographed, Las Monjas ("The Nuns" or "The Nunnery"), a complex of Terminal Classic structures built in the Puuc architectural style. The Spanish named this complex Las Monjas but it was actually a governmental building. On the left here is a small structure known as the La Iglesia, ("The Church"), decorated with elaborate iconography.
Tik'al is one of the largest pre-Columbian sites. It is located in the archaeological region of the Petén Basin in what is now Guatemala. The ruins lie among the tropical rainforests that formed the hearth of lowland Maya civilisation. Tik'al reached its peak during the Classic Period (CE 200 to CE 900). During this time, the city dominated the Maya region militarily, economically and politically. A dynastic line has been established for the city, including at least 33 rulers spanning 800 years. Studies of hieroglyphic inscriptions found at the site indicate that the city was then known as Yax Mutal or Yax Mutul. The site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979.
Here photographed the 47m (154ft) high Temple 1 (also known as the Temple of Ah Cacao or Temple of the Great Jaguar) seen from Temple 2. The structure is a funerary pyramid dedicated to Jasaw Chan K'awil, who was entombed in the structure in AD 734. To the left are some of the stelae (carved stone shafts, often sculpted with figures and hieroglyphs) that front the Northern Acropolis.
Pleased to see 3 of my images coming up for auction next week at Phillip’s “ULTIMATE Evening & Photographs Day Sales”
Including this image entitled, North Gate of Baghdad, 2003. Chromogenic print 40”x50” (100 x125 cm) Edition 2 of 10
The North gate of Baghdad, the scene of fierce fighting during the invasion. 19-27 April 2003. Saddam built these faux Babylonian brick gates around Baghdad in attempt to show his lineage back to the ancient kings of Babylon. Closer inspection shows their concrete frames.
This work was included in ‘Long Exposures: Contemporary photo-essays from the permanent collection,’ LACMA, Los Angeles an also in a show called ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’ that travelled to the Illinois Holocaust Museum, The Russian Academy of Fine Arts and the Shanghai Art Museum amongst other places.
AUCTION DETAILS: 18 May 2018, 14:00hrs
(Public Viewing: 12-18 May 10:00-18:00)
30 Berkeley Square, London W1J 5BF
Delighted to have been chosen for inclusion in the PDN 2018 Photo Annual … for the recently launched new website (link in bio)
Thanks again to Bite Digital for helping mould it into shape.
Isfahan was once one of the largest cities in the world, flourishing from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th & 17th centuries during the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. Even today, this Iranian city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Persian–Islamic architecture, with many beautiful palaces, boulevards, mosques, minarets and bridges. This led to the Persian proverb “Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast" (Isfahan is half of the world). Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Persian: میدان نقش جهان Maidān-e Naqsh-e Jahān; trans: "Image of the World Square") is located at the centre of Isfahan. Built between 1598 and 1629, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has an area of almost 90,000 sq metres (964,000 sq ft). Also referred to as Shah Square or Imam Square, it is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era, including the Grand Bazaar (Persian: Bazar Bozorg, بازار بزرگ, also known as "Qeysarriyeh Bazaar" (بازار قيصريه). Follow @simonnorfolkstudio for updates, outtakes, unpublished and archive material.
Chichén Itzá was a large pre-Columbian Maya city in Yucatán State, Mexico. The city was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from the Late Classic Period (c. CE 600–900) through the Terminal Classic (c. CE 800–900) and into the early portion of the Postclassic Period (c. CE 900–1200). The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the Northern Maya lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion.
The ruins of Chichén Itzá are federal property, and the site’s stewardship is maintained by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History). The land under the monuments had been privately owned until 29 March 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatán. Chichén Itzá is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with over 2.6 million tourists in 2017.
Here photographed: (left) Plataforma de las Aguilas y los Jaguares and (right) Plataforma de los Cráneos also called ‘Tzompantli’ (NB - not actually a Mayan word, probably a word from the cultures much further north in Central Mexico)
Great cover story on race in this month’s National Geographic magazine.
Meanwhile, buying coffee in small-town Spain is like visiting 1953.
Uxmal (Yucatec Mayan: Óoxmáal) is a Classic Period Maya city in present-day Mexico. It is considered one of the most important Maya archaeological sites. Most of the city's major construction took place while Uxmal was the capital of a Late Classic Maya state around 850-925 AD. After about 1000 AD, Toltec invaders took over, and most building ceased by 1100 AD. After the Spanish conquest of Yucatán, early colonial documents suggest that Uxmal was still an inhabited place of some importance into the 1550s. Thereafter it was largely abandoned. Uxmal is a designated World Heritage site.
Here photographed the Eastern Colonnade (Columnata Oriente), Uxmal, Yucatán, Mexico.
Constructed between 1599 and 1602 The Allahverdi Khan Bridge (Persian: پل اللهوردیخان), popularly known as Si-o-se-pol (Persian: سیوسهپل, literally, ‘bridge of thirty-three [spans]’) is one of eleven bridges in Isfahan, Iran. It is the longest bridge on the Zayandeh River, with a total length of almost 300m (977ft), and is one of the most famous examples of Safavid bridge design. Isfahan was once one of the largest cities in the world, flourishing from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th & 17th centuries during the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. Even today, the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Persian–Islamic architecture, with many beautiful palaces, boulevards, mosques, minarets and bridges. This led to the Persian proverb “Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast" (Isfahan is half of the world). The Zayandeh River used to have significant flow throughout the year, unlike many of Iran's rivers which are seasonal, but today runs dry due to water extraction before reaching Isfahan. In the early 2010s, the lower reaches of the river dried out completely after successive dry-outs.