"Issei Suda began his career in 1967 as a stage photographer and documentarist of the avant-garde theatre group "Tenjo Sajiki," a theatrical troupe directed by poet-playwright Terayama Shuji. In the early ’70s, his travels through Japan brought about the series "Fûshi Kaden". This title was taken by Suda from the textbook of Japanese Noh Theatre written in the beginning of the 15th C by the Noh master Zeami. The Noh Theatre is a synthesis of the arts of word, music and dance.
An approximate translation of “Fûshi Kaden” is “the transmission of the flower of acting style.” The “flower” referred to in the title is central to the concept of Zeami. For him, the flower is the symbol of beauty, and in the sphere of Noh, it describes the creation of a new apparition. This new image arises through the expression of an individual’s innate nature fused to the exact perception of the surrounding environment. Issei Suda refers to Zami’s world of thinking with the use of this title. The photographs made by the artist on many travels concentrate on street scenes, on the beauty of patters and textures, and above all on people at traditional celebrations. In his images, Suda shows people as unconscious actors in the area of tension between the ordinary and the extraordinary. The people portrayed are seen in mysterious scenes, in part bound to dreamlike landscapes; however, they are also often seen as isolated and lonely. This dual perspective of everyday life provokes us to feel what is described by Zeami as “futei,” or “artistry.”” [Priska Pasquer]
Ossian Brown - Haunted Air, 2010 (with an introduction by David Lynch and afterword by Geoff Cox)
"Anonymous Halloween photographs from c.1875–1955—truly haunting Americana, with a foreword by David Lynch. The photographs in Haunted Air provide an extraordinary glimpse into the traditions of this macabre festival from ages past, and form an important document of photographic history. These are the pictures of the dead: family portraits, mementos of the treasured, now unrecognizable, and others.” [Amazon]
Originally published in 1935, Dr. Hans Killian created this photographic study of the faces of patients awaiting death for doctors and physicians. This powerful and disturbing document sensitively captures the beauty and fragility of the human condition. These portraits were seen as a scientific work of empirical observation; a theory Dr. Killian was propounding whereby the underlying diagnosis of a person’s illness could be seen written in the tensions and expressions on their faces. Despite the difficult subject matter, each plate provokingly captures these moments with empathy. Facies Dolorosa holds an important place in the history of photography, cited by many as a photographic masterpiece. [LN-CC, Dark Dissolution]