Short Cuts 13 presents 4 brandnew photobooks. It starts with New Orleans and ends with Mom!
(1) Akasha Rabut: Death Magick Abundance (Anthology, 2020)
More than any party, parade, team, or disaster, New Orleans is the people. The ones who persevere, survive, strengthen, and transform the city in all its unceasing vibrancy. For nearly a decade, photographer Akasha Rabut has documented this thriving culture.
In Death Magick Abundance, her first book, she reveals the city’s spirit through the pink smoke of the Caramel Curves, the first all-female black motorcycle club; alongside the Southern Riderz, urban cowboys on horseback in the streets; and many others who represent the next generation of New Orleans.
Akasha Rabut is a photographer and educator based in New Orleans. Her work explores multi-cultural phenomena and tradition rooted in the American South. She also founded Creative Council, a mentoring program for young people in New Orleans pursuing careers in the arts.
Her photographs have appeared in museums and galleries around the world. She has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
(2) David Billet & Ian Kline: Rabbit / Hare (Deadbeat Club, 2020)
David Billet and Ian Kline made the pictures in Rabbit / Hare on a road trip to Texas.
But the real glory of Rabbit / Hare is how surely its makers have defied easy stereotypes: these pictures do not derive their palpable life from mere subject matter. In this book, butterflies and back hair are equally magical and mundane, as they should be.
Qualities of light are equally qualities of sensibility. The human beings in the pictures gently revel in the pleasures of riding horses, or smoking cigarettes, or exposing skin to sun and air.
Ian Kline was born in 1994 in York, Pennsylvania. He received his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2017 and currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
David Billet is an artist currently living and working in Baltimore, MD. He received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2017.
Artists: https://www.iankline.com/#0 /// http://david-billet.com/
(3) Michael Gessner: Masse (Drittel Books, 2020)
Michael Gessner’s Masse sheds sharp new light on the signifiers of surveillance embedded in everyday life. Conceived as a sociological exploration of mass behaviour in the digital age, the photo book invites contemplation on the myriad ways in which individuals are monitored – and in which they monitor themselves – as they transition through the blurred boundaries between the digital and the physical.
Michael Gessner is a photographer from Germany. Landscapes, urban architecture, and product photography are central themes to his work.
(4) Charlie Engman: Mom (Edition Patrick Frey, 2020)
Charlie Engman (b. 1987), originally from Chicago, started taking pictures while studying Japanese and Korean studies at the University of Oxford. Intertwining with his art practice, he now stages, styles and photographs people and objects for notable fashion magazines and brands.
MOM was exhibited in solo shows at the Scrap Metal Gallery in Toronto in 2018 and in the Lishui Biennial in China in 2019. He is based in Brooklyn, New York.
The book’s title reveals the identity of its protagonist: Kathleen McCain Engman has been posing for her son Charlie since 2009. And yet MOM shows us a face we never really get to know: while we soon become acquainted with her freckled complexion and intense gaze, her position in the images becomes increasingly unclear.
Engman first began shooting his mother because she was available, ever-willing to meet the demands of one of her children. But what began as a casual, organic process evolved into an intense collaboration.
The result is neither a family album nor a filial tribute but a much deeper and far more complex interaction: one that raises questions about the limits of familiarity, the rules and boundaries of roles and representation, vulnerability and control, and what it means to look and to be seen.
Please click on image to enlarge and scroll through gallery!