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27 Aug

day one hundred & sixty-six |

In Uncategorized by ccadmin / August 27, 2015 / 0 Comments

It’s been awhile.

My eyes have failed me lately.

Cataracts in both eyes over the last two years.

Retina detachment left eye with 3 surgeries & procedures last year.

Now more surgery to come.

Last July I was told I nearly lost my sight in my left eye.

Thanks to amazing doctors at Ottawa’s Eye Institute – a world leading institution & founder Dr. Brian Leonard (my doctor) – I didn’t.

Around this time, I bought a book about Dorothea Lange, one of America’s best documentary photographers.

Looking through it, I stumbled across a searing quote.

Lange shot some of the most iconic images from the 1930s Depression of rural America.

The famous “Migrant Mother” in March 1936 as part of the series “Human Erosion in California”.

Her quote is from an interview during an AQED San Francisco Audio Recording from 1964-1965.

She says:

“One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind.

To live a visual life is an enormous undertaking, practically unattainable.

I have only touched it, just touched it.”

I can still see.

 

 

 

 

 

08 Mar

day one-hundred & sixty-five |

In Uncategorized by ccadmin / March 8, 2015 / 0 Comments

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Six weeks ago I bought a book called “Vivian Maier:  A Photographer Found” by John Maloof, with forward by author Laura Lippman and text by Marvin Heiferman.

Finally got around to reading and seeing it today.

Stunning.

While she was still alive in 2007, five storage lockers containing boxes of negatives and documents compiled by Vivian Maier were auctioned in New York because she failed to make rental payments.

It was bought for $250 by a Chicago auctioneer, then divided into five separate lots and sold off.

Real estate agent John Maloof bought one lot for $380 that contained 30,000 negatives and other documents.

After reviewing some of the negatives and thinking there may be a back story, Maloof scanned 100 negatives and put them up for sale on eBay.

Spotted by artist & critic Allan Sekula, he advised Maloof to ‘think twice, withdraw the material, and learn more about them and their maker’.

Maloof pulled them, then searched Google after finding Maier’s name and address on a film processing label.

It led him nowhere.

Maloof tried again in April 2009 coming across a death notice for Vivian Maier placed in the Chicago Tribune and referring her as a ‘photographer extraordinaire‘.

Shortly thereafter, Maloof set up a website and blog, posting some of Maier’s images on Flickr crowdsourcing what he should do.

The images went viral, as did Vivian Maier’s private legacy.

I finally took the time to look at her images today.

An incredible, authentic eye.

Four things hit me.

First, she shot what appealed or challenged her – once – then moved on.

Her high rate of successful compositions attest to a confidence and command of her weapon of choice, predominately a Rolleiflex (twin lens reflex camers producing 2 1/4″ square format negatives).

Instragram relevant before @Instagram mattered.

Second, she shot evocative self-portraits – very, very strong self-portraits – often reflected back from mirrors and windows and surfaces with textures.

In some cases, you see Maier & the camera reflected ways that challenge the imagination; in others, her shadow is seen, subtly or boldly taking up real estate, reminding the viewer of the human hand and its relationship to creation that connects space, time and people.

Finally, she never played the art world game – apparently preferring to shoot images of the world around her (notably New York & Chicago, as well as travels to Europe, Africa & Canada) for herself.

This seems to have created a problem after her death in that mainstream curators, galleries & museums, what Hieferman says are ‘…stymied and restrained when it comes to talking about and collecting Maier’s work.’

Why?

Because she didn’t edit her work, nor print much of it either.

Hieferman says:  “If the history of photography, as art museums present it, it is a story of image makers whose photographic passions are matched by the willful intention to insert themselves and their work into that history and its critical dialogue.  Maier is something of an odd woman out.”

Seems like the art world needs to categorize and characterize an artist within certain linear parameters, and according to a prescribed historical narrative in order for the artist to be taken seriously, and eventually collected.

How 19th century.

Finally, she shot what was around her, wherever and whenever she was or would be.

Handling the camera(s) like a weapon, seizing moments without asking permission or feigning regret.

And without drawing attention to herself while doing it.

Its ironic how a private life spent shooting images for pleasure, professional development and who knows what other possible reason, is now such a social, public and pivotal persona.

How will history treat the photographer Vivian Maier for being an odd woman out?

I hope with the respect she has earned.

And I hope the above image evokes the spirit of Vivian Maier.

First shot.  Portrait.  Mrs. Maria Kostiuk preparing traditional Ukrainian cabbage rolls at the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral for Rizdvo (Christmas), January 2010, Ottawa, Canada.  Mrs. Kostiuk died on March 7, 2015.  She was 89.

 

 

07 Mar

day one hundred & sixty-four |

In Uncategorized by ccadmin / March 7, 2015 / 0 Comments

DSC_5789

Hockey playoffs happening.

What does that mean?

Potential medal for the 8 year old?

Potential try-out for scholarship for the 14 year old?

Who knows.

 

01 Mar

day one hundred & sixty-three, again |

In Uncategorized by ccadmin / March 1, 2015 / 0 Comments

Russia is imploding.

Boris Nemtsov’s murder in the heart of the Kremlin’s Moscow was searing.

Marches today in support of his vision for a democratic Russia speak to population desiring openness, transparency and freedom.

Instead, the response was Russian President Putin taking over the investigation of Nemtsov’s murder.

Promising resolution.

Of what type?

And on whose terms?

Nadiya Savchenko, 34 years old.

One of Ukraine’s first women trained as an air-force pilot, and to date Ukraine’s only female aviator of the Sukhoi Su-24 bomber and the Mil Mi-24 helicopter.

Captured by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, later handed to Russia and charged with killing two Russia journalists during the 2014 insurgency in Donbass.

While held as a political prisoner, she resigned from the Ukrainian army after being sworn in as a member of the Ukrainian parliament in 2014.

Her lawyer, Mark Feygin, calls her a “prisoner-of-war“.  Calling on the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations to immediately release her and other Ukrainian POWs as Russia is held in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Here’s my take.

Russia doesn’t care about conventions or the United Nations or any type of Budapest agreement signed by a country.

Proved by Russia’s overtake of Crimea and infiltration in Eastern Ukraine and beyond.

Putin has proved international agreement do not matter.

And thanks to Bill Clinton, it just keeps getting better.

So its a brave new world out there.

For Nadiyka, Boris and Russia.

First – Nadiyka needs to live and thrive.

Because Putin can’t handle a strong, vibrant and non-Russian woman.

For a Ukrainian, military woman to live and speak with a global voice is threatening.

Second – Boris is the voice of Russia’s conscience.

Because Putin can’t handle dissent, especially from his own culture.

Finally, Russia.

For the Russian people who strive for security, freedom and a voice that is unique in this world.

Because the world embraces what the people desire.

Brutal time.

Brutal world.

But hope remains.

Heroes never die.

Regardless of culture.

 

01 Mar

day one hundred & sixty-three |

In Uncategorized by ccadmin / March 1, 2015 / 0 Comments

DSC_5828

 

Its semi-final season in competitive and house league hockey.

The chance to squeeze in more practices and ice as the playoff games come and go.

Its interesting to see who is left standing just before March Break when, theoretically there is time off of ‘activities’.

Except with new teams being formed for spring AAA hockey – the play as you play, no Hockey Canada rules abound tournaments – there is barely time to breathe.

An observation having lived minor hockey competitive and house league seasons over the last 8 years.

The NHL has nothing over minor, especially novice and atom, hockey games.

The most entertaining sport to watch in real time, with real kids, playing and trying to play a game.

Kudos to the 8 year old’s novice minor hockey coach this year.

For motivating the kids to pass with a simple contest.

Most passes during the game wins a $5 Tim Horton’s card.

Especially for an outdoor classic in January.

Who knew hot chocolate would make such a difference in an entire year….

Bring on the playoffs.

21 Feb

day one hundred & sixty-two |

In Uncategorized by ccadmin / February 21, 2015 / 0 Comments

Social media challenges you.

I’m now on five platforms.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, & Linkedin.

How does one manage?

Apparently with great precision.

If one has a clear brand strategy.

So I strive for pure & clear images.

Shot for authenticity.

Yup, juggling these platforms takes time.

And a ruthless editorial eye.

 

 

 

24 Nov

day one hundred & sixty-one |

In Uncategorized by ccadmin / November 24, 2014 / 0 Comments

November 21st is the Feast Day of  St. Michael.

The Archangel.

One of the most celebrated of Angels and powers.

Called the Archistrategos, or chief commander, of angels.

According to the Holy Scripture and tradition, Michael has interceded for humanity multiple times and continues to serve as the Defender of the Faith.

Most often invoked for protection from invasion by enemies and from civil war, and for the defeat of adversaries on the field of battle

And my birthday.

So I worked on a visual story in the spirit of St. Michael.

This is the result.

Professor Georgios Kordis.

Contemporary iconographer artist at the International Byzantine Arts Symposium in Ottawa, Canada September 2014.

Creating an icon in real-time at St. Elias Antiochian Cathedral and Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church.

Performance art.

An amazing experience.

http://chrystiachudczak.com/gallery/georgios-kordiss-modern-icons/

19 Nov

day one hundred & sixty |

In Uncategorized by ccadmin / November 19, 2014 / 0 Comments

Ice dance is a dangerous, beautiful and cut-throat sport.

Where technique and skill are theoretically graded impartially.

And artistry is graded in the eye of the beholder.

Minor sports are still a pure narrative.

To a degree.

New images of ice dance.

http://chrystiachudczak.com/gallery/ice-dance/

18 Nov

day one hundred & fifty-nine |

In Uncategorized by ccadmin / November 18, 2014 / 0 Comments

New angles interest me.

Along with new stories.

And minor sports are the purest narrative.

Check out trampoline.

Its good to bounce.

 

DSC_0421

17 Nov

day one hundred & fifty-eight, again |

In Uncategorized by ccadmin / November 17, 2014 / 0 Comments

D5, again.

B&W Challenge Doubleheader.

Minto Skating Club.

November 17, 2014.

5:30 p.m.

7 year old John Peter with E.

Remember  Dorothea Lange (1964-65) …

“One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind. To live a visual life is an enormous undertaking practically unattainable. I have only touched it, just touched it.”

AQED San Francisc Audio Recording.