Jaakko Kahilaniemi


Rebecca Topakian

Artist Feature

Every week an artist is featured whose single image was published by Der Greif. The Feature shows the image in the original context of the series.

Brian M. Cassidy & Melanie Shatzky - The Children

Oct 18, 2017

In The Children, collaborative artists Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky explore the ephemeral nature of childhood with a tough and tender immediacy, fixed by harsh flash, deep shadows and a pointed use of primary color. The Children shows us a world at once familiar and strange, where the more vulnerable aspects of youth are explored in a manner recalling the crime scene photography of the Speed-Graphic era or Technicolor film noir.


The children in these images inhabit a remote institutional setting and are enveloped by an untamed natural world. At times radiating innocence and joy, the images also suggest trauma. By limiting the factual origins of each photograph, Cassidy and Shatzky present an atmosphere in which the melancholy dislocation of these children reach us as if by way of dream logic. Within this abstract narrative context, the viewer is encouraged to reflect upon these boys and girls, not as documentary subjects, but rather as apparitions or symbols from our own fragile childhood, as if recollected through the darkened pathways of memory.

Artist Blog

The blog of Der Greif is written entirely by the artists who have been invited to doing an Artist-Feature. Every week, we have a different author.

Selections from the Instagram of Melanie Shatzky

Oct 22, 2017 - Brian M. Cassidy Melanie Shatzky

The following is a series of found images featured on my Instagram (@melanie_shatzky). I’ve long been interested in creating narratives from found images of unrelated sources.





Selections from the Instagram of Brian M. Cassidy

Oct 21, 2017 - Brian M. Cassidy Melanie Shatzky
The following images are from my Instagram feed (@brian_m_cassidy), many of which I have found online, the origins of which are largely unknown to me.

A Photographer’s Eye: Photography and the Poetic Documentary

Oct 20, 2017 - Brian M. Cassidy Melanie Shatzky

In 2015, we were invited by RIDM (Montreal International Documentary Festival) to curate a series of films at the intersection of still and moving images. Since we work in both film and photography, finding cinema made out of a similar impulse proved to be a great joy. Below is the text that accompanied the series in the RIDM catalogue.




The sister disciplines of photography and documentary film have different relationships with reality, in particular because the first transforms it into still images while the second works with motion and duration. Nevertheless, the two art forms converge in certain documentaries, in which artists demonstrate a photographic sensibility in their creation of moving images. The films in question are shot and edited with a photographer’s eye: whether it is in the attention to composition, the apparent or real static nature of shots, or the relationships established between images to create meaning and emotion, these films retain something of the aesthetics of photography. In this program, two guest programmers for the 18th RIDM, the filmmakers and photographers Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky (The Patron Saints, Francine), present several of these works by cine-photographers.


Infused with a deep sense of poetry and a visceral relationship with reality, the selection includes, first, documentaries made by well-known photographers. These include films by the Americans Helen Levitt, William Wegman and Roger Ballen, the French photographer William Klein, British photographer Richard Billingham, the Netherlands’ Ed van der Elsken and Sweden’s JH Engström, as well as Quebecers Donigan Cumming, Michel Lamothe and Guy Borremans (whose legendary work La Femme Image, an entirely fictional surrealist poem, stands as an exception in the otherwise all-documentary program). Other works, mainly by artists who have divided their careers between photography and film, illustrate the photographic sensibility in film (Johan van der Keuken, Chris Marker, Agnès Varda, Arthur Lipsett, Jem Cohen, Ulrich Seidl and Khalik Allah). Lastly, the films of Harun Farocki, Lisa Steele, Miroslav Janek, Karsten Krause and Philip Widmann open further avenues for reflecting on the act, itself, of photographing.


The short-film programs highlight certain recurring themes: family, love and loss, filmed with almost brutal realism (Culture, Fishtank, Bertil & Maggan); the observed woman who in turn observes (Birthday Suit with Scars and Defects, An Image, The Photographer’s Wife); and the strange worlds – either imposed upon or inhabited by – people living on the fringes (Roger Ballen’s Outland, Death in the Port Jackson HotelThe Unseen).



Children in Mid-Century Cinema

Oct 19, 2017 - Brian M. Cassidy Melanie Shatzky

Our new series, The Children, was created largely out of intuition. It was only after having made the images that we began to notice an antecedent in certain technicolor, noir, horror and thriller films made mostly in the 1950s and 1960s.