Polaroids from China (Photography)

Polaroids from China

by Sergey MelniTchenko

“The Consciousness of Misery,” from E. M. Cioran’s A Short History of Decay
Translated by Richard Howard 

Everything conspires, elements and actions alike, to harm you. Arm yourself in disdain, isolate yourself in a fortress of disgust, dream of superhuman indifference? The echoes of time would persecute you in your ultimate absences… When nothing can keep you from bleeding, ideas themselves turn red or encroach on each other like tumors. There is no specific in our pharmacies against existence; nothing but minor remedies for braggarts. But where is the antidote for lucid despair, perfectly articulated, proud, and sure? All of us are miserable, but how many know it? The consciousness of misery is too serious a disease to figure in an arithmetic of agonies or in the catalogues of the Incurable. It belittles the prestige of hell, and converts the slaughterhouses of time into idyls. What sin have you committed to be born, what crime to exist? Your suffering like your fate is without motive. To suffer, truly to suffer, is to accept the invasion of ills without the excuse of causality, as a favor of demented nature, as a negative miracle…

In Time's sentence men take their place like commas, while, in order to end it, you have immobilized yourself into a period. 

Sergey Melnitchenko was born in 1991 in Mykolayiv, Ukraine. Today he lives and works in China. He is a member of UPHA – Ukrainian Photographic Alternative. His photography has recently been spotlighted in Feature Shoot, and his first printed publication was Loneliness Online, centering on loneliness and video chats in the modern age. His work has recently been exhibited in Sweden, Israel, Germany, and Chile. Order prints of his work on Eyemazing Editions, and visit his website here

Photography, Publishing

Podcast: John Brian King in New Books Network

The photographer Lorena Turner spoke with John Brian King about his recent and not-so-recent artistic work in a podcast for New Books Network. They discuss everything from Nude Reagan and LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980–84 to King’s cryptically titled series “Hospital.” Seriously, King’s scathing description of Ronald Reagan is not to be missed, plus King brings up one of his sources of inspiration for Nude Reagan that anyone who is reading this page is sure to love: J. G. Ballard’s short story “Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan.”

INCIDENCE OF ORGASMS IN FANTASIES OF SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH RONALD REAGAN. Patients were provided with assembly kit photographs of sexual partners during intercourse. In each case Reagan’s face was super imposed upon the original partner. Vaginal intercourse with “Reagan” proved uniformly disappointing, producing orgasm in 2% of subjects.

Photography, Publishing

An Ugly Seduction: “Nude Reagan” Reviewed in Flavorwire

The day has finally arrived: John Brian King’s Nude Reagan is available! Or, to christen this monumental new public holiday properly: Nude Reagan Day is here! You can find John Brian King’s deviant oddity on our website and on Amazon (not in bookstores).

Flavorwire’s Moze Halperin got a sneak peek at the book, and he had some lovely things to say:

Reagan as a symbol whose repercussions still feel forced upon American citizens makes for rather disquieting photography, particularly when they seek to highlight, as the press release describes, Reagan’s “own frozen, Brylcreem-lathered satanic countenance” against “mold green…muddy gray… brilliant white…[and] dense, all-encompassing black” and resting imposingly atop displays of bare female triumph, self-presentation, and sexuality, complicating the country’s fervent obsession with and the Right’s frequent rapturous praise of the former President. Here, he’s both a grotesque imposition and an ugly seduction.

So enjoy June 1 – Nude Reagan Day! And don’t forget to take 10% off orders over $50 and over with the promo code: spurl.


Snow and Rose (Photography)

Snow and Rose & Other Tales

by Marianna Rothen

If Playboy Magazine had been taken over by an aberrant feminist collective for a month in 1978, and this collective had seen Altman’s 3 Women and Polanski’s Repulsion one too many times, the resultant photographs might look a little like Marianna Rothen’s work, which is to say: fantastic. Rothen’s photographs are funny, alluring, and utterly distinctive. She achieves her milky colors and fading, monochromatic look by combining digital and instant-film processes. Thanks to this, her images really do seem of the era. She was influenced by films from the 1960s and ’70s, both obscure and classic, especially “the pauses in between dialog or shots, how each frame was like an image with just enough clues to elude at the plot, the personalities of the women: always tormented but always in control.” Rothen’s images are those odd, unsettling pauses, which now seem to have disappeared from our hyper-speed visual language, but not from our collective memories.

Marianna Rothen was born in Canada and lives in New York City. After becoming a model at age 15, Marianna spent several years traveling, working, and documenting the experience through photographs. Rothen now focuses her photography on female characters within the scope of a nostalgic dystopia. Combined with decrepit interiors, wilderness, and seductive subjects, Rothen’s photographs emanate overtones of mystery and dissatisfaction that become part of a larger narrative. Since 2007 her work has been exhibited internationally and in 2014 her first book, Snow and Rose & other tales, was released with b.frank books. Marianna is currently completing a new series of photographs, Shadows in Paradise. Visit her website here.


Spurl Editions Recommends:

Marianna Rothen’s Snow and Rose & other tales

John Brian King’s Nude Reagan