Last year in the summer during my visit to Bonn in Germany, I have decided to venture out to the Japanese Garden before my visit to the Kunst Museum Bonn. It was rather by accident that I have walked into a beautiful garden after taking a wrong turn which proven to introduce me to a calming scenery and a welcome escape from the noise of the city. I stayed for a while, snapped few pictures and thought about life before returning to reality of the world of art. So if you are ever in Bonn, Germany, I would highly recommend an escape into the Japanese Garden near the Museum Mile.
It appears that 2015 is my year to explore the world! In April, I was invited to visit Oman and Qatar, and only a month later, a dear friend of mine suggested a visit to Morocco as part of my annually trip to Germany. Of course, I could not decline such offer, and mid May I was on my way to Rabat, Morocco. It was beyond amazing trip not only because I have gotten the chance to see my dearest friend, but also explore the city and its many sights and enjoy the typical everyday life of Morocco.
One of the amazing and interesting sights we have visited has been Chellah in Rabat. A place with beautiful gardens, ruins, architectural elements, royal tombs, many storks and eels which are all part of a rich history of the monument. But why not see for yourself what I have experienced while visiting. And because there was so much more to see than I could possibly include in one post, feel free to also check out this additional photo gallery and follow me on Instagram (anitam_com).
And just in case you want to know little of the history about Chellah in Rabat, Morocco:
Chellah or Sala Colonia (Arabic: شالة), is a medieval fortified necropolis located south of Rabat, Morocco. Chellah existed since pre-Islamic times and houses complex of ancient Roman Mauretania Tingitana and medieval ruins. First spot of Salé, this latter was completed towards the north of the river. It is the most ancient human settlement on the mouth of the Bou Regreg River. Chellah was abandoned during the Almohad-era, then rebuilt by the Marinids. The Phoenicians and the Carthaginians, who founded several colonies in Morocco, probably inhabited the banks of the Bou Regreg. Actual Chellah is the site of the ruins of the Roman town known as Sala Colonia, referred to as Sala by Ptolemy. Excavations show an important port city with ruined Roman architectural elements including a decumanus maximus or principal Roman way, a forum and a triumphal arch. Chellah was a center of Christianity since the second century. One of the two main Roman roads in Morocco reached the Atlantic through Iulia Constantia Zilil (Asilah), Lixus (Larache) and Chellah. Another may have been built toward south, from Chellah to modern Casablanca, then called Anfa. The Romans had two main naval ouposts on the Atlantic: Sala near modern Rabat and Lixus. Sala remained linked to the Roman Empire even in the fourth century after the withdrawal of Roman legions to the area of Roman Tingis and Septem in northern Mauretania Tingitana: A Roman military unit remained there until the end of the fifth century. Some objects, including elements of Visigothic and Byzantine belt even attest to the persistence of commercial or political contacts between Sala and Roman Europe until the Byzantine presence in berber north Africa during the seventh century. The site was abandoned in 1154 AD in favor of nearby Salé. The Almohad dynasty used the ghost town as a necropolis. In the mid-14th century, a Merinid sultan, Abu l-Hasan, built monuments and the main gate, dated to 1339. These later Merinid additions included a mosque, a zawiya, and royal tombs, including that of Abu l-Hasan. Many structures in Chellah/Sala Colonia were damaged by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. The site has been converted to a garden and tourist venue. Actually it is included in the metropolitan area of Rabat. (Source: Wikipedia)
As we know today, the history of photography goes back into the ancient times when camera obscuras were used to form images on walls in darkened room. Over centuries the quality output of the camera obscura has improved, but it was not until 1826, when Frenchman Joseph Nicephore Niepce combined the camera obscura with photosensitive paper, and created the first permanent picture.
By 1827 Niepce has partnered with Louis Daguerre, who later, in January of 1839, introduced Daguerreotype to the French Academy of Science. A process that creates images on silver-plated copper coated with silver iodide and develops with warm mercury. And only weeks after the introduction of Daguerreotype, Englishman Henry Fox Talbot announced his invention of Calotype to the Royal Institution of Great Britain. A process that creates permanent negative images using paper soaked in sliver chloride, fixed with salt solution, and creates a positive image by contact printing onto another sheet of paper. This technique is considered to be the basis of modern photography.
During the same time period a French civil servant and photographer, Hippolyte Bayard, invented his own process known as direct positive printing. A process that involves exposing silver chloride paper to light, which turned the paper completely black. It was then soaked in potassium iodide before being exposed in the camera. After the exposure, it was washed in a bath of hyposulfite of soda and dried. The resulting image was a unique photograph that could not be reproduced. In fact, Bayard claimed he had invented photography earlier than Daguerre in France and Talbot in England, the men usually credited with its invention. He might not have been known as the one of the inventors of photography, but on June 24th 1839 he presented the world’s first public exhibition of photography with some thirty of his photographs.
One of Bayard’s most interesting photographs is his self-portrait, where he is depicted as a downed man. He is leaning back, in almost upright position, with is knees bent in sitting pose. His nude torso and arms are pale and appear almost life-less, opposite to his tilted head and crossed hands that are tanned, yet still motionless. His eyes are closed, and little to no facial expression project peacefulness and rest. His body’s posture and the props in the image, big hat staged on his right side and the white sheet covering his lower body, have similarities to post-mortem photography that was very common in the 19th century. Perhaps it was Bayard’s way to tell the world that he is at peace for not being known as the inventory of photography, hence the portrait of death. Or perhaps he wanted to use it in protest against the injustice happening to him. In fact this image is the first known example of the use photography for propaganda purpose.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that his “outside the box” thinking and his artistic abilities have paved the way, not only technical but also creative ways, to what we know today as modern photography.
Recently, I was invited on a trip to the Middles East (Oman & Qatar) where I've had the opportunity to explore the magnificent art of the islamic world right in front of my eyes. One of the first and most amazing places I had the pleasure to walk into on my visit happened to be the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman. After years of reading about the architecture and significance of mosques to the followers of Islam, it was a very moving moment for me to set foot into such beautiful structure despite its rather young age. Nevertheless, it was nothing but a grand experience to walk around barefooted and veiled while enjoying every single piece of art (calligraphy, marble, wood works, carpets, carvings, chandeliers, stained glass windows, etc.). But for now enough of talking about my visit to the Grand Mosque as I would like to invite you to see it for yourself below.
While traveling around Germany, I am making an appearance at POPUP STUDIO in SAARBRUECKEN with a selection of photographs of New York City. I always wanted to bring my "new home" to the people I grew up around, and when the opportunity presented itself I didn't hesitate to say YES. So if you happened to be in town between NOV 28-30 2014 feel free to stop by.
Photos by anitam.com
Time surely flies but some memories we collect on the way never seem to fade. And while winter is approaching fast and I just returned from yet another trip to Germany, I could not help but to think of the great times I've had in the mountains of France in the Summer of 2012. Perhaps the longing for summer and warmth made me revisit my archives and take another look at the photographs taken on my way up to Grand Ballon where I not only had the pleasure to hike, but enjoyed freedom in the sky.
See the full gallery on anitam.com
Cynthia "Cindy" Morris Sherman (born January 19, 1954) is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits. In 1995, she was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Through a number of different series of works, Sherman has sought to raise challenging and important questions about the role and representation of women in society, the media and the nature of the creation of art. Her photographs include some of the most expensive photographs ever sold. Sherman lives and works in New York.
See more of Cindy Sherman's photographs in the collection at the Museum of Modern Art, art21 video, artnet and also on her website at cindysherman.com.