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Thread: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

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    Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIMrH_45l68

    An interesting film of an Australian photographer from the 70's who died quite young. Seems to be quite unknown because this film has only been viewed by 413 viewers on Youtube. A bit risque but good.

    Enjoy Paul

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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    Carol would be unknown to many because of how long ago she lived, worked, and died. And in Australia too!

    Vale Street is Carolís best-known photograph. I knew of her and her work at the time, but not in any great detail; I was born three years after her, and began working as a commercial and industrial photographer in í76. I donít think she was a particularly skilled practitioner, but she did document life in Melbourne at the time and of a particular sub-culture.

    Nowadays she would probably be a BIG THING due to online networking and promotion. And she would have been able to shoot far more with digital! But she documented an era and a milieu that is long gone.

    So sad to hear about the death of Esben Storm at 60. He made at least one good film, In Search of Anna.

    Thanks very much for the blast-from-the-past link!

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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    This Article appeared in the Melbourne Age recently before the film ‘Girl in a Mirror’ featured in the Melbourne International Film Festival.
    The '70s stripped bare
    By Peter Wilmoth
    July 17, 2005

    She was young, talented and ferocious. Carol Jerrems focused her lens on Melbourne's 1970s sub-cultures in a way that no one else dared to do. Peter Wilmoth reports on a new film celebrating the photographer's work.

    It was when Carol Jerrems was making a film about a gang of 15-year-old sharpie boys from Heidelberg, most of whom had been expelled from school and, in their own words were involved in "bashing, beer, sheilas, gang bangs - which is rape - gang fights, billiards, stealing and hanging out" that she found out most clearly the cost of getting involved with her subjects.

    "So far I have myself only narrowly escaped rape but was bashed over the head by the main actor while driving my car, which had just been dented by the rival gang with sticks. They steal my money and cigarettes when I'm not looking, but I refuse to be deterred."

    Very little deterred Jerrems, even the game in which the sharpie boys drew straws to see who would "go off" with her. Her shy, earnest demeanor and angelic face framed by golden frizz belied a ferocious appetite for photographs that would capture the moment, a thirst for the next great shot that could - and sometimes did - endanger her life.

    Friend Michael Edols recalls in a new film about her life that he and Jerrems went into a pub in Sydney's Redfern. "I remember watching Carol in the middle of this room and she turned her camera on this young man and photographed him." The man grabbed at Jerrems and tore off her necklace while Edols dragged her out of the pub and into the car. "On the way out," Edols says, "I got whacked in the chest and cracked two ribs. We had every window of the car totally smashed in, including the headlights."

    "Carol was very shy and she didn't like being shy and she was always pushing against her inhibitions and her limits, and that often led her to dangerous situations," says Kathy Drayton, the director of Girl In A Mirror, about this extraordinary photographer's intense, short life. "There was a certain amount of naivety.

    "Her photographs engage the viewer in an intimate relationship with her subjects. It's not always a friendly intimacy - sometimes her subjects look defensive, irritated or even menacing, but you always sense that you're seeing beyond the mask into the soul."
    Jerrems was born in Melbourne in 1949, grew up in middle-class Ivanhoe and studied photography at Prahran College between 1967-70, where she was filmmaker and photography teacher Paul Cox's best student. "She stood out, she was odd," Cox says in the film. "She had this odd little smile."

    Jerrems had found her calling early. In her second year at college, her confidence was such that she made up a stamp, "Carol Jerrems, Photographic Artist" which she would stamp on all her finished prints. "We were a bit scared of Carol," former Daddy Cool guitarist Ross Hannaford, who was also at Prahran, says in the film. "She was real serious. Carol was the first feminist I ever met. I remember she gave me a lift home once. I said 'Thanks, baby'. She said 'Come here. You don't call me baby.' Got a bit of a lecture."

    Jerrems' success came quickly. In 1972, Rennie Ellis, the Melbourne photographer who died in 2003, opened Australia's first dedicated photographic gallery, Brummels, in South Yarra and selected the 23-year-old Jerrems' work as part of its first exhibition, a show called Erotica.

    Always carrying a camera and flirting with the idea of danger, Jerrems wanted to capture the raw edges of the world she saw around her, subjects others weren't focusing on artistically: sharpie subculture, street life and urban indigenous people. "People were stereotyping indigenous people," said a friend, Ron Johnson. "I think Carol was showing 'This is not what it's all about, look, look at the expressions on people's faces - see what they're really feeling."

    "People at the time were interested in traditional Aboriginal people while Carol was solely interested in urban Aboriginal people," says Kathy Drayton. "And at the time, sharpies were considered to be real bogans so it was unusual for someone of Carol's background to be interested in them."

    Jerrems found work teaching photography at Heidelberg College, in the middle of a tough housing commission area. She was fascinated by the anti-social wildness of the boys, and spent time photographing them swimming in rivers, hanging around in backyards, wearing their skinned-rabbit jumpers, tight jeans and short curtains of fluffy dyed hair.

    In this milieu, Jerrems found what Drayton calls the "brash sexuality of Australian youth in the '70s, a sexuality laced with vulnerability and darkness", and it inspired her most famous photograph. Vale Street 1975 is a mesmerising portrait of Melbourne model Catriona Brown flanked by two sharpie teenagers, the boys standing just behind in the shadows. The shot was taken at a house in Vale Street, St Kilda, at the end of a long day of shooting. Brown had asked Jerrems to take a shot for her folio, and Jerrems agreed, as long as she could shoot the boys with her, and use the shot for her folio.

    The photograph is, says Drayton, regarded as a significant moment in Australian photography "as it bridges documentary realism and the more subjective style of photography that marks the post-modern era". The power of the photograph was the human connection. "Jerrems does not presume that she is outside the event without influence on it," wrote Helen Ennis, former curator of photography at the National Gallery of Australia.

    Jerrems' development as a portrait photographer coincided with rising interest in photography as an art form in Australia. Photographers were beginning to be deeply involved with their subjects rather than discreet observers shooting at a distance. Jerrems saw the traditional documentary style of photography as exploitative and believed the more personal collaborations between photographer and subject to be more honest, even if they were more risky personally.

    Paul Cox once wrote: "She had to experience everything and feel things deeply before she could record them. She lived to the fullest, then withdrew into her own world."

    Part of the power of Jerrems' work stems from its reflection of a certain pocket of life in the mid to late 1970s, the world of filmmakers, photographers and other creative types living in group houses. The sexual freedom and youthful confidence of the time, as enunciated and encapsulated by Skyhooks' Living In The Seventies album, is everywhere in her work. Drayton says Jerrems was "adventurous and forthright in her sexuality", having affairs with many of her friends, men and women, reflected in her work, "at times seductive, at others, frankly post-coital".

    In the film, one of her great loves, the filmmaker Esben Storm, remembers Jerrems arriving in Sydney with new photographs. "Inevitably they'd be photographs of her waking up . . . with someone. While I'd been off sort of having wild times, she'd be having her wild times. She would sleep with someone and that would mean there would be an intimacy that would allow her to take photographs.

    "It was the time of free love in a way, even though we weren't that free. There were ideals that it was uncool to be jealous and that you weren't possessive. We all tried to live by that, even though we couldn't really."

    Greg Macainsh, Skyhooks' songwriter, remembers Jerrems photographing the band for a book called Million Dollar Riff. "She came to a number of gigs," he says now. "She was very quiet, reserved. She would make herself virtually invisible. I remember her in the dressing room being very still in the corner. She didn't take a lot of shots, she would wait for the right moment. She wasn't a motor-drive type, she was a bit like a sniper, waiting for the perfect opportunity."

    Ross Hannaford was close to Jerrems for a while at Prahran College and remembers the seriousness with which she pursued her photography. "It was a time when there was incredible optimism in the air," he says now. "If you had a dream, you could do it. There didn't seem to be anything holding people back. I'd watch Carol shooting and I didn't realise what she was up to. 'What are you taking all that rubbish for?' But when you look back it seemed to encapsulate the times and the life around you. Her work took on a significance later on."

    But amid the gaiety and youthful charge in Jerrems' pictures, Helen Ennis says a distinct change in mood is evident in the work. "The early photos between 1972 and 1975 were all about optimism. There's a huge amount of energy in them. It was all bound up with the excitement about the Whitlam government and this desire for change. But from 1976 I don't think they were anywhere near as optimistic."

    Darkness
    It wasn't just the Whitlam dream fading that gave Jerrems' work this darkness, nor the mood captured in the Skyhooks song Whatever Happened To The Revolution? ("We all got stoned and it drifted away"). While there is great exuberance in the decade the film documents, there is also a profound sadness about Jerrems' life. The odd little smile that Paul Cox talks about is rarely seen in the several self-portraits that feature in the film. Instead, there are many hints of the depression that she struggled with. Her friend Robert Ashton, who lived with Jerrems in a group house, remembers her bedroom door being closed for hours and even days.

    In 1979, Jerrems went to Hobart to teach. Shortly after arriving she was diagnosed with polycythemia, a rare blood-related cancer. She underwent months of invasive and painful procedures, but came to a realisation she was dying. Jerrems photographed and wrote about her physical decline. She photographed doctors hovering, the scars on her stomach, and her mother, with whom she had a difficult relationship, visiting. As the camera pauses on a shot of her mother, an actress reads from Jerrems' journal: "She is one of the few people with the ability to push me over the edge into tears or screaming."
    Carol Jerrems died in Melbourne in February 1980, three weeks before her 31st birthday. Her work was bequeathed by her mother to the National Gallery of Australia. In 1990 a retrospective was staged, but until now Jerrems has remained unknown outside photographic and film circles.

    Girl In A Mirror gives an insight into the counterculture of the 1970s - the music, the cars, the fashions, the social tensions, the sexual experimentation. Kathy Drayton, with help from the National Gallery of Australia, had access to hundreds of Jerrems' photos as well as shots from Rennie Ellis (who photographed Jerrems often), friend Robert Ashton and Henry Talbot. The journals Jerrems kept after 1975 are used to "narrate" the film.

    Drayton, who has worked as an editor with SBS television as well as editing a variety of independent experimental films and short dramas, says her interest in Jerrems was piqued when she saw three of her photographs at a New South Wales Art Gallery exhibition. The "deceptively simple power and beauty" of the three photos haunted her, and she began to research Jerrems.

    "There's an emotional intensity and intimacy with Carol's photographs," she says.

    Who was Carol Jerrems? "There were a huge number of perspectives from people about Carol," says Drayton. "She went into roles with people, played games. She became whatever people wanted her to become."



    (from: August2005)
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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    Nowadays she would probably be a BIG THING due to online networking and promotion. And she would have been able to shoot far more with digital! But she documented an era and a milieu that is long gone.
    Carol Jerrems mainly documented teenagers who dropped out of the Heidelberg technical school and formed gangs involved in "bashing, beer, sheilas, gang bangs - which is rape - gang fights, billiards, stealing and hanging out". I do not think there is a shortage of school dropouts forming gangs in the present time. I would imagine they still are involved in "bashing, beer, girls, not always consensual sex, gang fights, billiards, stealing and hanging out". Don't you think so?

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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    Carol Jerrems mainly documented teenagers who dropped out of the Heidelberg technical school and formed gangs involved in "bashing, beer, sheilas, gang bangs - which is rape - gang fights, billiards, stealing and hanging out".
    Jerrems also photographed the music scenes in Melbourne and Sydney, and perhaps in the US. And she photographed her own milieu and life (eg aprŤs-sex-mornings-in-bed); so the drop-outs werenít her only focus [cough]. Did she knock off [euphemism] any of those under-age lads? Unknown to me. It would have been an offence then, and still is in this country.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    I do not think there is a shortage of school dropouts forming gangs in the present time. I would imagine they still are involved in "bashing, beer, girls, not always consensual sex, gang fights, billiards, stealing and hanging out". Don't you think so?
    Obviously, but whatís your point? There are differences between then and now, one of them being that Jerrems isnít here to blaze away with her Nikon; what would she think of the self-obsession that Facebook brings to the psychological table?

    And selfies has taken over the universe!

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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    Jerrems also photographed the music scenes in Melbourne and Sydney, and perhaps in the US. And she photographed her own milieu and life (eg aprŤs-sex-mornings-in-bed); so the drop-outs werenít her only focus [cough]. Did she knock off [euphemism] any of those under-age lads? Unknown to me. It would have been an offence then, and still is in this country.
    And just as well: there is still a music scene and people still have sex and wake up in the morning in someone's else bed.

    Obviously, but whatís your point? There are differences between then and now, one of them being that Jerrems isnít here to blaze away with her Nikon; what would she think of the self-obsession that Facebook brings to the psychological table?

    And selfies has taken over the universe!
    My point is that it is probably not the "scene" which changed, but the way we relate to it. It would probably still be possible today to take the kind of pictures Carol Jerrems took at the time, but nobody is doing that any more. Or, more precisely, some photographers still take pictures of highschool dropouts and alternative music scenes, but our relationship to these pictures as viewers is completely different.

    I am not trying to prove anything, I am just wondering what changed exactly. It seems obvious that sexuality permeates Carol Jerrems pictures, so I suspect that part of it is that our relation to sexuality is different. Why it is different and what it changes, I don't know.

    As to selfies: Carol Jerrems took many self-portraits, this is why the movie is called "Girl in the mirror". And I don't think the taste for selfies has changed much: in the 60's, people used a tripod to photography themselves in front of the Eiffel tower, nowadays they put their iPhone on a selfie stick to do just the same. Selfies have a long tradition: Julia Margaret Cameron took quite a few, for example. Come to think of it, I think that self-portraits are more common for women and couples than for men, so maybe it also has something to do with sexual roles.

    Another quick point: I think that Carol Jerrems used a Pentax, not a Nikon.

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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    Jerome_m

    "And just as well: there is still a music scene and people still have sex and wake up in the morning in someone's else bed."

    Forgot something... Carol grew up when "the Pill" revolution started. This was a major change in society especially for the newly liberated women and that revolutionary time frame will never be repeated. Also the new designer STD's were not yet created; so her sex scene had minor long term repercussions.

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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    Quote Originally Posted by camping View Post
    Forgot something... Carol grew up when "the Pill" revolution started. This was a major change in society especially for the newly liberated women and that revolutionary time frame will never be repeated. Also the new designer STD's were not yet created; so her sex scene had minor long term repercussions.
    I understood that. Still: there are still plenty of people living an alternative lifestyle today, yet the photographs they take do not make them famous.

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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    Just to add...

    The Youtube film got busted...

    In case you missed it these might be interesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcTtMs3t9lE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Kd_eqwMLI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4AgUueAM2U

    Enjoy Paul
    Thanks 1 Member(s) thanked for this post

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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog


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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    Some more Australian photogs...

    https://www.theguardian.com/artandde...an-audio-essay

    Paul

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    Re: Australia Carol Jerrems Photog

    .... some more from Australia...

    https://www.theguardian.com/artandde...an-audio-essay

    Enjoy

    Paul

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