Lincoln Clarkes’ Female Heroin Addicts

female heroin addicts

female heroin addicts

female heroin addicts

female heroin addicts

Photographer Lincoln Clarkes examines the street corners of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to expose moments in the lives of over 400 female heroin addicts over the course of five years.

It began when Clarkes took a photograph of his long-time friend, Leah, “shooting up” against the backdrop of a Calvin Klein billboard starring Kate Moss- and interesting juxtaposition indeed.

“Heroines” captures the bleak realities of female addicts within the city. Clarkes exposes the physical and emotional scars of women whom inhabited a space were death was always nearby. Although the images are disturbing in many levels, it is hard to ignore Clarkes’ attempt to make the women shine through a different kind of light, perhaps a positive one, where their vulnerability brings forth an unusual kind of beauty. The photos serves as a kind of a tableau vivant of unwitnessed experiences in the social history of the Vancouver city life. (via Huff Post Exposure)

heroin addicts

 Lincoln Clarkes Lincoln Clarkesheroin addicts Lincoln Clarkes Lincoln Clarkes Lincoln Clarkes

 Lincoln Clarkes  Lincoln Clarkes  addict o-PO-900


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Posted in Documentary, documentary photography, heroin, Photography, Vancouver, women

Scott Dalton Photographs Of Mexican Faith Healers

Scott Dalton

faith healers

Scott Dalton

Scott Dalton, an award-winning photographer and filmmaker based in Houston, Texas documents the pilgrimage devoted to Mexican faith healer, Niño Fidencio, in Espinazo, Mexico.

Through the years in Mexican cultural history, Curanderos (Faith Healers) have served an important role in peoples’ medical and spiritual lives. In fact, many of these healers become celebrities, as their miraculous healing creates huge followings. In the early 20th century, El Niño Fidencio became one of the country’s most celebrated healers; today he is regarded as a folk saint by thousands of his devotees, or, as they call them, fidencistas.

In 2009, Dalton traveled to Espinazo to document the festivities devoted to El Niño Fidencio.

“What interested me in the project was just the idea of faith, and how it takes a variety of forms in peoples’ lives. This project just looks at one part of that, but I think it serves a reminder of how important faith is for so many people throughout the world, and how we all come to terms with our own belief system within the context of our own society and environment.”

Fidencistas believe that modern-day curanderos can channel the spirit of Fidencio; these photographs show many of the rituals provided by these modern day healers. To us this looks unusual, cinematic and surreal, but to them these ritualistic activities only mean their salvation. Dalton said he witnessed transformations, in which the eyes of curanderos would roll back and they’d assume a high-pitched voice- taking Fidencio’s spirit in order to heal. (via Slate)

Scott Dalton

Scott Dalton  Scott Dalton Scott Dalton Scott Dalton Scott Dalton

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Posted in curanderos, Documentary, Mexico, Photography, religion

Diane Arbus: Photographing Freaks Or The Costumes We Wear Year-Round

Diane Arbus - Photography

Diane Arbus - Photography Diane Arbus - Photography

Diane Arbus - Photography

As we wave goodbye to Halloween, let’s take a minute to mediate on the innately striking work of Diane Arbus and her unbiased approach to documenting not just the spookier side of humanity, but even more so, the masks or costumes we present to the world as a species, as human beings, as ourselves . . . year-round.

Now, when I use the word “unbiased” here I am not suggesting Arbus’s eye is roaming and invisible. Quite the contrary. Her eye is always distinctly there: focused, from one frame to the next. This “unbiased” quality has more to do with her indiscriminate examination of each subject in the same oddly intimate and unflinching way– regardless of class, age, gender, sexual preference, or race. In other words, a child with a toy hand grenade in the park looks equally as strange as the a woman lounging next to a toy poodle or a handful of residents dressed up on Halloween at a home for the mentally retarded. No one person, group, or act is more privileged. No one is all the more beautiful. We are all playing dress-up as far as identity and image is concerned.

By seeking out each individual’s innate desire to present him or herself and critically or creatively twisting that into her own perception of costume in each person’s presentation, Arbus became not just a photographer, but an alchemist, shifting our ideas of self, reality, and personal intention. Whether you are a part of celebrity culture or a more marginalized society spread out along the fringe, Arbus’s certain way of looking did not glorify one way of living over the other.

Diane Arbus - Photography

Perhaps Hilton Als explains this concept best in a New Yorker article:

“Above all, Arbus knew what this exchange meant—that is, the dialogue between the portraitist and her subjects, their reality and her imagination. ‘I work from awkwardness,’ she said. ‘By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.’ That arrangement is about humility: you don’t change the subject, the subject changes you. Arbus’s pictures are characterized by a certain reverential silence; she listens as her subjects explain something of themselves. Listening and watching the slide show, one arranges one’s body not so much to fit the sound of Arbus’s language as to open oneself up to her enthusiasm for this or that image, and for the beautiful inscrutableness that comes with making anything at all. Indeed, one reason for Arbus’s continued controversy as an artist may have something to do with what she demands of the viewer: that they change their shape—their socially acceptable self—in order to meet her totemic drag kings and queens, nudists, soothsayers, and so on.”

So, in the vein of Arbus’s legacy, let’s toast our glasses in November to our own shape shifting beyond trick or treating– to these twistings in life, through the looking glass or lens, into the art of everyday presentation or performance, beyond this year and far into the next.

Diane Arbus - Photography Diane Arbus - Photography Diane Arbus - Photography Diane Arbus - Photography Diane Arbus - Photography Diane Arbus - Photography

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Posted in black and white, costumes, diane arbus, Documentary, freaks, magazine work, Photography, untitled