• Ngbero

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36 (detail)

Publication

Publication: Nick Ballon's extraordinary new book documents the decline of Bolivia's once-proud airline

Posted by Rob Alderson,

“Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.” Now most of you godless lot probably won’t recognise that as Ezekiel 36:36, the biblical verse which is also the title for photographer Nick Ballon’s terrific new series.

Nick has long travelled between the UK and Bolivia, documenting facets of the South American country’s social and cultural fabric of with we would have otherwise been sadly unaware. But his latest project is his most ambitious yet, a study of the Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano, one of the world’s oldest airlines and for decades a real source of bombastic national pride in Bolivia. Sadly since it was privatised in 1994 it has slipped into decline as chronic mismanagement brought this once-great company to its knees.The remaining staff, who number only around 180 now, keep turning up day after day in the increasingly forlorn hope of some kind of salvation, or any potential windfall its final asset-stripping might lead to.

  • Ezekielproductshot1487_11

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekielproductshot1480_09

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekielproductshot1412_01

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekielproductshot1425_02

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekielproductshot1428_03

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekielproductshot1443_04

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekielproductshot1457_06

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekielproductshot1460_07

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekielproductshot1469_08

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

Nick’s series (named after the only LAB plane still in operation) is a brilliant documentation of this strangely fascinating story, where some 20th Century themes – technological, political and commercial – go hand-in-hand with a very timeless narrative about pride, loyalty and hope. What I really like about the images is that that although very poignant – sometimes almost painfully so – Nick doesn’t chase ham-fisted metaphorical detail. We the viewer are given the space (and the respect) to make our own connections. In fact the sumptuous book designed by StudioThomson puts all the captions at the end, allowing us time to absorb the images before we quite know what we’re looking at.

The book also includes a great inset of some of the LAB’s brilliantly retro graphics (below), wrenching readers back to consider the company in its confident pomp.

Ezekiel 36:36 is available now, and an exhibition of the work is on show at London’s KK Outlet until August 31.

  • Ezekiel3636_28

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekiel3636_02

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekiel3636_04

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekiel3636_10

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekiel3636_30

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekiel3636_32

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekiel3636_19

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36

  • Ezekielproductshot1497_14

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36 (graphic inset booklet)

  • Ezekielproductshot1499_15
  • Ezekielproductshot1503_16

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36 (graphic inset booklet)

  • Ezekielproductshot1514_17

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36 (graphic inset booklet)

  • Ezekielproductshot1516_18

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36 (graphic inset booklet)

  • Ezekielproductshot1523_19

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36 (graphic inset booklet)

  • Ezekielproductshot1550_20

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36 (graphic inset booklet)

  • Ezekielproductshot1558_21

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36 (graphic inset booklet)

  • Ezekielproductshot1569_22

    Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36 (graphic inset booklet)

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Photography View Archive

  1. Stefaniemoshammer-int-main

    “Las Vegas is the strip club capital of the world,” says Stefanie Moshammer, an Austrian photographer whose recent project led her to the underbelly of Nevada’s shimmering city. Stefanie began work on a series called Vegas and She, in which she documents strippers, nightclubs, and various bits and bobs that represent Las Vegas culture: bright pink limos, dust trails, palm trees, and diving boards into sapphire pools.

  2. Neilbedfordgsj-classicfootballshirts-int-list

    All football fans have a fetishistic relationship with the shirts that runs deeper than simple affirmations of tribal loyalty. We obsess over the exact shades of colours, the detailing on the cuffs, and the stitching on the crest – and most of us can vividly remember how certain shirts smelled (is this getting weird?). Anyway a new project from the chaps over at The Green Soccer Journal celebrates this relationship between fan and jersey in a new series of photos shot by their long-term collaborator Neil Bedford. Occasionally we glimpse a club name or badge but this is more universal than that and the close-ups in particular speak to the intensity of our addictions.

  3. Andreaalquati-fukushima-3-int_copy

    Andrea Bonisoli Alquati has been researching and photographing the ecological effects of nuclear disasters since 2007. First, he was doing so in Chernobyl and since 2012 he’s photographed in Fukushima’s exclusion zone, where as part of his PhD research he assesses the health and condition of individual animals, populations and community dynamics in the area.

  4. Gaeanwoods-int-main

    Gaea Woods caught our eye the other day with the portraits she took of her friend Samantha, seemingly covered all over in Vaseline. A bit of research led us to finding out that Gaea is actually a photographer with a whole host of talents under her belt, particularly when it comes to shooting things really close-up. Gaea was born in rural northern California and now resides in LA, where she’s making her career as a photographer.

  5. Wailin-editorial-7-int_copy

    Photographer Wai Lin Tse’s portfolio balances dewy, sun-kissed babes with photographs of plants and chubby-cheeked kids. It’s quite the melting pot and can be seen in editorials for Lula, The Plant and Apartamento magazine. Lin’s photographs are impeccably-lit and somehow both poised and quite tongue-in-cheek. She seems equally comfortable shooting landscapes as she is people, perhaps partially down to the fact that she is based in both Stockholm and Barcelona and surely taking lots of exciting cross-continent road trips.

  6. _thom-atkinson-guy-the-gorilla_-natural-history-museum-int-list

    Removed from their cabinets, museum pieces take on a strange quality. Once the glass is gone, some of their mystique goes too; and they feel almost like everyday things to be used and touched, rather than alien relics to be admired. It’s this disorientating new quality that’s captured so beautifully in Thom Atkinson’s series Museums, showing pieces from the Wellcome Trust and National History Museum collections.

  7. List-adrian_skenderovic_down_the_river-15

    There’s something very peaceful, but slightly voyeuristic about Adrian Skenderovic’s series Down the River. The photographs show the bateaux-mouches tourist boats that gently cruise down the River Seine in Paris, but here the spectacle isn’t the Louvre or Notre Dame, but the tourists themselves. It really awakens our nosey nature seeing the little bald heads and bathing ladies from above, and creating our own narratives about what might be happening on these seemingly serene vessels, with the colours and perspective helping us float along with the subjects. Last time we posted about Adrian’s work it was to showcase his brilliant series of images of lonely basketball hoops, and it seems he has a knack for taking objects that feel familiar and totally shifting our take on them.

  8. Boyhood-interview-2-int_copy

    In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 25 years, and missed last night’s Oscars ceremony (congratulations Patricia!) Richard Linklater is an Austin-based filmmaker who until recently would have been best-known for coming of age classic Dazed and Confused, the Before trilogy or School of Rock. That is, until the release of Boyhood.

  9. Yenertorun-int-list

    Yener Torun is a 32 year-old architect who has turned Istanbul into the geographical equivalent of Aladdin’s cave of wonders. Tucked away among the beautiful Ottoman and Byzantine architecture and the blue Bosphorus are a wealth of impossibly bright buildings dominated by geometric patterns, rainbow hues and funny architectural idiosyncrasies. And through his Instagram account, Yener has been slowly but steadily documenting it all.

  10. Charlotterutherford-fashed-4-int

    Charlotte Rutherford’s photography is fun, bright and tinged with humour and 1980s sass. Shooting editorial for the likes of Vice and Tank magazine and look-books for Lazy Oaf and Baby G, the self-taught photographer maintains an aesthetic that is both well-informed and original. She cites David LaChapelle and Pierre et Gilles as major influences on her work, saying that they prove the encouraging dictum “OK cool, you can do like ANYTHING.” I couldn’t agree more.

  11. Hipgnosis-portraits-p193-int-list

    You can almost smell the creativity, hash and late late nights behind the images in Hipgnosis Portraits. Or perhaps that’s just the super-shiny, huge full-colour pages. Either way, the enormous tome from Thames & Hudson transports you into a world of surreal scenes formed of surreal characters, taking us into the archives of the Hipgnosis design agency that helped form the mythologies surrounding some of the biggest names in music in the 20th Century.

  12. Labadie-van-tour-pool-intlist

    Few things look quite as fun as floating about in a big blue pool, surrounded by those foam wiggly things right now. The moustachioed gent above, reclining in the water, was shot as part of photographic duo Labadie / Van Tour’s Pool series for a Vers Beton magazine feature about Rotterdam’s public swimming pools.

  13. Bgm-int-list

    Blair Getz Mezibov is the photographer responsible for taking men, mere mortal men, and transforming them into what are essenetially demi-gods. Case in point, here’s some of his refined editorial work for glossy magazines like GQ Style, Rollacoaster magazine and Out magazine, elevating models to immaculately poised and dapper gents caught mid-swing in a game of tennis, or perhaps leaning nonchalantly over the back of a director’s chair, looking like they’ve been carved from marble.