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Agence VU - Michael Ackerman
Michael Ackerman

Represented by Gallery VU'
American. Born in 1967 in Tel Aviv. Lives in Warsaw.

Since his first exhibition, in 1999, Michael Ackerman has made his mark by bringing a new, radical and unique approach. His work on Varanasi, entitled "End Time City," breaks away from all sorts of exoticism or any anecdotal attempt at description, to question time and death with a freedom granted by a distance from the panoramic – whose usage he renewed – to squares or rectangles.

In black and white, with permanent risk that led him to explore impossible lighting, he allowed the grainy images to create enigmatic and pregnant visions. Michael Ackerman seeks – and finds – in the world he traverses, reflections of his personal malaise, doubts and anguish. He received the Nadar Award for his book "End Time City" in 1999, and the Infinity Award for Young Photographer by the International Center of Photography in 1998.

In 2009, he won the SCAM Roger Pic Award for his series "Departure, Poland".

His last book "Half Life" has been published in 2010 by Robert Delpire.


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Portfolio

Portraits

Stories

Half Life (2010)

Half Life is Michael Ackerman’s third opus. After “End Time City” (1999), a crazy journey through the city of Varanasi, India, and then “Fiction” (2001), where unity of place is shattered into a sequence of images that seem to have been made in haste between New York and Europe, “Half Life” fills in the outlines of a territory that Michael Ackerman has depicted as his life has progressed, in recent years focusing on Poland and Berlin. Portraits and landscapes emerge from pitch darkness and the kind of surreal lighting only Ackerman knows how to achieve. They reveal a mindscape that borrows from reality just enough to feed itself. Michael Ackerman’s approach involves no...

Poland (1999-2007) (2007)

A long term story in Poland, from Kracow to Katovice, the Eastern borders of Europe. This essay is about a border: the one that separates the European Union and its Eastern neighbours, but also the one that separates us from dream and unreality. Yet, we are awake and Michael Ackerman compels us to have our eyes wide open. The border is also the contact point with the Other. It’s a meeting place. Bodies and landscapes are bathed in an intangible haze and yet, they are unmistakably printed on film.

Smoke (2000)


New York (1999)

In this series, Michael Ackerman shows us a tormented New York. A urban vision underpinned by the photographer’s fears, which are sometimes confused with our own. In an instant, the atmosphere is discovered: a city in perpetual motion, whose history resurfaced with a hint of popular imagination.

Books

Half Life

Half Life est le troisième livre de Michael Ackerman que nous publions.
Ce n’est pas un hasard. C’est qu’il est une valeur sûre de la nouvelle génération. Plus encore que les spécialistes, ce sont ses pairs en imagerie qui lui reconnaissent un talent, un style, un rapport très particulier aux sujets qu’il traite, une qualité d’analyse exceptionnelle ce que confirment d’ailleurs les expositions et les versions internationales de ses livres.
End Time City pouvait laisser croire, que, comme beaucoup de ses confrères, Michael avait parfois besoin d’exotisme, et celui que lui offrait Bénarès ou le Gange avait l’étrangeté qu’il cherchait. Mais non, il n’est pas de ces turbulents de l’oeil qui sillonnent le monde sans que leurs déplacements soient motivés par un événement politique ou par une catastrophe naturelle.
Michael est un exilé. Comme tant d’autres. Mais ce n’est pas l’envie de retrouver sa trace qui le pousse à partir souvent de New York où il vit, vers l’Europe d’où il vient. C’est l’envie d’aller ailleurs, de voir d’autres hommes, une autre lumière sans chercher des souvenirs d’enfance ou les rémanences d’un temps révolu. Il faut que le pays, la ville, l’attirent et le retiennent. Comme l’ont fait la Pologne, Berlin ou Cracovie. Qu’il puisse y vivre assez longtemps pour en connaître les jours et les nuits. Qu’il épuise son univers dans le souci constant de restituer ce qu’il a vu, non pas dans la description d’un personnage, d’un paysage urbain ou campagnard. Ce qu’il fixe, c’est l’évocation d’une vision qui a été la sienne et non le témoignage d’un fait. La plupart de ses photos semblent nées sous un voile, dans une brume de petit matin ou de la tombée du jour, mais c’est à travers cet écran qu’il perçoit la réalité. Son regard glisse souvent sur le sujet, comme si Michael ne s’arrêtait jamais pour voir, ou plutôt comme s’il avait besoin de ce non-ajustement à une vérité. Les visages de femmes ou d’hommes qui surgissent par instant de l’ombre, n’échappent pas à ce mouvement subtil comme s’il étaient découverts sans s’être annoncés, comme si les sujets que Michael a choisis tentaient d’échapper à leur prédateur, comme si une force les poussait hors du cadre, la perception fugitive qu’en avait eue Michael ne nuisant pas à l’expression ni à l’esthétique d’une image mais en renforçant la valeur, celle d’un instant fixé dans une fuite qui survalorisait les significations.
Michael Ackerman est, à l’évidence, un artiste de notre temps, un temps tragique, un temps dont la mouvance interdit de tracer les frontières entre le présent et l’avenir, entre l’instantané et le souvenir.
Robert Delpire
Text by: Denis Kambouchner

Publisher: Delpire (2010)
166 pages
Size: 30,5 x 20,7 cm  



Les photos sont les seules preuves de ce qu'on a éprouvé. Non des faits eux-mêmes. Que quelque chose ait eu lieu, qu'on l'ait vécu ne veut pas dire qu'on sache effectivement ce dont il s'agit et ce que cela signifie pour soi. C'est souvent la limite de la photographie - elle ne pénètre pas. Je voudrais y voir ce que j'ai ressenti. Voilà le lien avec la réalité et le vécu. Si ce n'est pas le cas, c'est, je crois, parce que je ne suis pas allé assez loin dans ce que j'ai vécu. Comme par lâcheté. Certaines photos viennent de nulle part, je ne me souviens pas de les avoir prises, elles sont, avant tout, liées à la réalité de ce que j'ai ressenti.
Michael Ackerman

Publisher: Nathan / Delpire (2001)
160 pages
Size: 27x20 cm  

End time city

From Library Journal
"India and the people who live there are the subjects of these books, each of which demonstrates a different approach to the art of documentary photography. A seasoned photojournalist, McCullin first visited India on assignment in the late 1960s. This survey of his photographs from many subsequent visits includes 90 black-and-white and four color imagesAmostly group scenes and portraits. Some of his images are well known, especially the street scenes depicting beggars and the portraits of refugees. These sometimes disturbing images depict a people and their circumstances over the last half of this century and represent an impressive collection for the photographer. Whereas McCullin photographs his subjects in a classic documentary style, with clarity, precision, and a sense of distance, Ackerman takes a more emotional and immediate approach. This young photographer's first book comprises primarily images made in Benares between 1993 and 1997. Though the title refers to the cremation grounds to which people travel from all over India to end their temporal existence, Ackerman's photographs are kinetically alive. His eye ranges from the streets to the cremation grounds, from interior moments to ritual dances. The approximately 70 images depart from straight documentary by inviting bursts of light and dark, blur, grain, and texture as aesthetic components. The result is a compelling collection of charged images. Where McCullin shows us what India and its people look like, Ackerman lets us know what India, especially Benares, can feel like. End Time City would make a good addition to academic collections, and both books should be considered for large public libraries.ADebora Miller, Minneapolis, MN"
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Text by: Christian Caujolle et note d'Adam Cohen

Publisher: Nathan / Delpire (1999)
140 pages
Size: 26,7x29,8 cm
ISBN :209754195X   

Awards


    2009 - SCAM Roger Pic Award

    1999 - Nadar award for his book "End Time City"

    1998 - Infinity Award for young photographer (International Center of Photography)

Exhibitions



Half Life (Paris)
From 2010-11-05 to 2010-12-11

Half Life is Michael Ackerman’s third opus. After “End Time City” (1999), a crazy journey through the city of Varanasi, India, and then “Fiction” (2001), where unity of place is shattered into a sequence of images that seem to have been made in haste between New York and Europe, “Half Life” fills in the outlines of a territory that Michael Ackerman has depicted as his life has progressed, in recent years focusing on Poland and Berlin. \r \r Portraits and landscapes emerge from pitch darkness and the kind of surreal lighting only Ackerman knows how to achieve. They reveal a...

More information...



Half Life (Strasbourg)
From 2010-09-10 to 2010-10-24

“Half Life” is the achievement of a work shot by Michael Ackerman from New York to Paris, Havana, Warsaw, Cracow, or Berlin. His pictures, getting rid of the traditional report’s constraints, confuse geographical borders and definite a space which, out of any narration, is a pure mental creation. Served by surreal lights, deep blacks and exploded grain, his pictures are the expression of feelings like tenderness, love, loneliness, and restlessness mixed together, and reveal something of the artist’s psychic functioning, of his affects and obsessions.

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Half Life (Sète)
From 2010-05-07 to 2010-05-31

Michael Ackerman's series “Half Life” is the achievement of a work which began in 2001, after the publishing of his book “Fiction”. Michael Ackerman went to New York, Havana, Paris, Warsaw, Cracow, and Berlin where he has settled recently. His pictures, getting rid of the traditional report’s constraints, confuse geographical borders and definite a space which, out of any narration, is a pure mental creation. Served by surreal lights, deep blacks and exploded grain, his pictures are the expression of feelings like tenderness, love, loneliness, and restlessness mixed together, and...

More information...

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