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Kai Moerk
Kai Moerk
Kai Moerk

Kai Moerk

Country: Germany
Birth: 1964

My nationality is German and I was born 1964. After graduating from the Adolf Lazi Academy near Stuttgart/Germany with a degree in media design and a job in a film studio, I tried something completely different: mountaineering, climbing and other outdoor activities. For a few years I lived completely isolated with my current wife in northern Italy. Without neighbours, TV, telephone, electricity and warm running water. The experiences and impressions in the peace and seclusion moved me deeply and taught me to observe my environment carefully. This was followed by a contrasting program. I got a job in Munich/Germany as a press photographer which I practiced for several years. Today I live and work without constraints and obligations as a Freelance Photographer, Fine-Art-Printer in Italy and Germany.
 

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Rafał Milach
Poland
1978
Rafał Milach is a Polish visual artist and photographer. His work is about the transformation taking place in the former Eastern Bloc, for which he undertakes long-term projects. He is an associate member of Magnum Photos. Milach's books include 7 Rooms (2011), In the Car with R (2012), Black Sea of Concrete (2013), The Winners (2014) and The First March of Gentlemen (2017). He is a co-founder of the Sputnik Photos collective. He won a 2008 World Press Photo award. 7 Rooms won the Pictures of the Year International Best Photography Book Award in 2011. In 2017 his exhibition Refusal was a finalist for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. Milach was born in 1978 in Gliwice, Poland. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice in 2003 and the Institute of Creative Photography (ITF), Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic. With ten other Central Eastern European photographers, he co-founded Sputnik Photos, a collective documenting transition in post-Soviet states. For his first book, 7 Rooms (2011), Milach accompanied and photographed seven young people for several years living in the Russian cities of Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Krasnoyarsk. In the Car with R (2012) was made on a 10-day road trip, driving 1450 kilometers around Iceland's circular Route 1. Milach made photographs and his local guide, the writer Huldar Breiðfjörð [de], made diary entries. Black Sea of Concrete (2013) is about the Ukrainian Black Sea coast, about its people, of whom he made portraits, and the abundant Soviet-era geometric blocks strewn along the coastline. Milach spent two years in Belarus from 2011 exploring its dire economic and political situation. Belarus is "a country caught between the ultra-traditional values of an older Soviet era and the viral influence of western popular culture." Milach was interested in the clean, tidy glamorous facade maintained by the state. His book The Winners (2014), portraits of winners of various "Best of Belarus" state and local contests promoted by the government, is a typology of state propaganda. It depicts mostly people, but also anonymous interiors that had won awards. The obscure official prizes are intended to foster national pride but to an outside audience might appear tragicomic. Milach travelled around the country working in the role of "an old-fashioned propaganda photographer". He was guided by the authorities as to who, where and how to photograph, a process which only improved his revealing the ideology of the state. Milach has said "the winners are everywhere, but the winnings are not for the winners – they are for the system", "the state is not interested in individuals, only in mass control." The First March of Gentlemen (2017) was made on a 2016 residency at Kolekcja Września to make work about life in Września. The town is synonymous with the Września children strike, the protests of Polish children and their parents against Germanization that occurred between 1901 and 1904. In 2016, there were many demonstrations by Citizens of Poland, a civic movement engaged in pro-democracy and anti-fascist actions, opposed to the political changes brought about by the government led by the Law and Justice (PiS) party. Milach's book of collages mixes illustrations of the children's strike with characters that lived in Września during the communist era in the 1950s and 1960s taken by local amateur photographer Ryszard Szczepaniak. This "delineates a fictitious narrative that can be read as a metaphor, commenting on the social and political tensions of the present day." Milach is an associate member of Magnum Photos. He is married to Ania Nałęcka-Milach and is currently based in Warsaw.Source: Wikipedia Rafał Milach was born in 1978 in Gliwice and is currently based in Warsaw. He graduated in graphic design from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, as well as studies at the Institute of Creative Photography of the Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic, where he’s offering lectures. He’s also a professor at the Krzysztof Kieślowski Film School in Katowice Poland. In 2008, he received first prize in the Grand Press Photo competition and in 2011 he received an honorable mention in the Magnum Expression Award Competition. In 2008 he received first prize in the Grand Press Photo competition and in 2011 he received an honorable mention in the Magnum Expression Award Competition. In 2013 he was among the 10 laureates of Magnum’s 2013 Emergency Fund grants, which allowed him to continue his Winners project, set in Belarus and giving viewers an intimate look at the "last dictatorship in Europe." At the 2012 edition of the Month of Photography in Bratislava Milach’s 7 Rooms were announced the best contemporary books in the CEE Region this year, along with two other albums published by Sputnik Photos – Stand By and Distant Place. About his style of photography, he says the key to his craft is filtering his subject through his own consciousness to find a novel, distinctive perspective on an object or issue, even if it has been portrayed by dozens of photographers. "It’s about finding something interesting for us", he told, "something we want to speak about. I believe there are no bad subjects, there are only bad productions."Source: Culture.pl
Nieves Mingueza
Nieves Mingueza is a lens-based, mixed media artist working with experimental photography, collage and text. Born in Spain, based in London. The often-cinematic themes in her projects have in common her fascination with old books, film stills, vintage cameras, poetry and minimal drawings. Ultimately, Nieves' work is about the foggy relationship between fiction and reality. In addition, she is currently exploring about immigration, mental health and human conflicts. Nieves' work has been exhibited widely, including Copeland Gallery -Peckham 24-, Les rencontres de la photographie Arles, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Retina Scottish International Photography Festival, The Royal Academy of Arts, PhotoEspaña, Saatchi Gallery and Tate Britain. Publications that have featured her work include Editorial 8mm, Fisheye magazine, Der Greif magazine, Low Light Magazine, Shots magazine, Eyemazing, Sarmad Magazine, YET Magazine and L'oeil de la photographie, among others. Lens Culture also featured a selection of her works. Recently, in July 2019, her first monograph book was released by IIKKI Books Editorial. All about The malady of Suzanne by Nieves Mingueza A few months ago, I moved to my new flat in South London. Once settled in my new home, I realised that the building had previously been a mental health hospital. In this hospital, people with mental health issues were treated and helped to reintegrate into society. One night, I was relaxing, reading in my living room. There was a sepulchral silence, and suddenly I heard a noise coming from the ceiling. I was scared and I noticed that there was a small loft. The next day, a neighbour helped me open the loft. Unexpectedly, we found a suitcase that contained photos, letters and documents that had belonged to a woman named Suzanne. Reading her letters, I learned that she was a Vietnamese woman who had been a teacher in her home country. There, she fell in love with an Englishman, and finally they decided to move to London together. This happened in 70s. Apparently she began to experience signs of a rare disease: loss of speech and isolation behaviour. I also found out from her documents that she had changed her name in London, because her real name was very difficult to pronounce for English people. She called herself Suzanne in honour of Leonard Cohen's song. By combining found archives with my documentary photography work, I am exploring the story of a Vietnamese female with mental issues in 70's London. This is an on-going project about the complex relationship between memory, immigration, mental health and human conflicts. Additionally, is there any reciprocation between Suzanne and myself? We have both lived in the same space. I am an immigrant in London, I work in a school, and I have modified my name because it was difficult for my students to pronounce. I also love silence.
Gregory Halpern
United States
1977
Gregory Halpern (born 1977) is an American photographer and teacher. He currently teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology and is a nominee member of Magnum Photos. Halpern has published a number of books of his own work; Zzyzx won PhotoBook of the Year at the 2016 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. Halpern grew up in Buffalo, New York. He holds a BA in history and literature from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. He has taught at California College of the Arts, Cornell University, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harvard University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He currently teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Halpern is married to the American photographer, Ahndraya Parlato. Omaha Sketchbook (2009) is an artist's book portrait of the titular city. Harvard Works Because We Do (2003) is a book of photographs and text, presenting a portrait of Harvard University through the eyes of the school's service employees. A (2011) is a photographic ramble through the streets of the American Rust Belt. East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a collaboration with Halpern's wife, the photographer Ahndraya Parlato. Zzyzx (2016) contains photographs from Los Angeles. Let the Sun Beheaded Be (2020) was made over several months in the French archipelago of Guadeloupe.Source: Wikipedia Gregory Halpern is known for his intuitively rich colour photography that draws attention to harsh social realities as well as the unerring strangeness of everyday life. His work is rooted in both the real and the sublime and this approach has lead him to photograph life in post-industrial towns of the American Rust Belt, the people and places of Los Angeles and the uniquely unifying experience of a total solar eclipse. “What’s interesting to me about the world is its chaos and contradictions, the way opposites can be so beautiful in relation to each other,” says Halpern of his practice. Though Halpern says he is primarily motivated by the desire to “create” rather than “document”, his work is powerfully affecting. A study of working conditions for janitorial staff at Harvard, created while he was a student there, resulted in a successful bid for the minimum wage and was published as a book, Harvard Works Because We Do (2003). While his images of life in post-industrial towns of the American Rust Belt were published to critical acclaim in A (2011), and show resilience in the face of harsh social and economic realities. Selected clients include The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Le Monde, Bloomberg Businessweek, Sports Illustrated and VICE.Source: Magnum Photos
Ernest Cole
South Africa
1940 | † 1990
Ernest Cole was born in South Africa’s Transvaal in 1940 and died in New York City in 1990. During his life he was known for only one book: House of Bondage – published in 1967. In 2011, the Hasselblad Foundation produced a follow-up: Ernest Cole: Photographer. Cole’s early work chronicled the horrors of apartheid and in 1966 he fled the Republic of South Africa becoming a ‘banned person’. He was briefly associated with Magnum Photographers and received funding from the Ford Foundation and Time-Life. In North America, he concentrated on street photography in primarily urban settings. Between 1969 and 1971, Cole spent an extensive amount of time on regular visits to Sweden where he became involved with the Tiofoto collective and exhibited his work. From 1972, Cole’s life fell into disarray and he ceased to work as a photographer, losing control of his archive and negatives in the process. Having experienced periods of homelessness, Cole died aged forty-nine of pancreatic cancer in 1990. In 2017, more than 60,000 of Cole’s negatives missing for more than forty years were discovered in a Stockholm bank vault. This work is now being examined and catalogued.Source: Magnum Photos Ernest Cole (1940–1990)—one of South Africa’s first black photo-journalists—created powerful photographs that revealed to the world what it meant to be black under apartheid. With imaginative daring, courage, and compassion, Cole portrayed the everyday lives of blacks as they negotiated apartheid’s racist laws and oppression. Apartheid, which means “apartness” in Afrikaans (the language of South Africa’s white minority of Dutch descent), was an often brutally enforced legal policy that separated people by race in all aspects of life, within a white supremacist hierarchy of power. Born in Eersterust, a black freehold township in Pretoria, Cole was forcibly relocated with his family to nearby Mamelodi in the late 1950s. While still a teenager, he began working as a darkroom assistant at Drum, a black lifestyle magazine in Johannesburg. There he mingled with young black South African photographers, journalists, jazz musicians, and leaders of the burgeoning anti-apartheid movement. Inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photo-essays, Cole embarked on a life mission to produce a book that would awaken the rest of the world to apartheid’s corrosive effects. House of Bondage was published in New York in 1967. Although it was immediately banned in South Africa, contraband copies spurred on the country’s emerging activist photographers. Cole’s images are hard-hitting and incendiary, yet often subtle and even elegant. He frequently worked clandestinely with a hidden camera to capture scenes he was forbidden to photograph, employing striking perspectives and framing. Many of the prints on view here are displayed for the first time uncropped, as he originally intended, and often accompanied by House of Bondage’s incisive captions. In 1966 Cole was arrested by the South African police. Fleeing to Europe, he took with him little more than the layouts for his book. He spent the remaining 23 years of his life in painful exile between Sweden and the United States; after 1975 he was often destitute, living on New York City streets and in the subway. In 1990 he died of cancer at the age of 49—one week after Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Nearly all his possessions were lost; fortunately, he had given some prints to Tio Fotografer, a Swedish photographers’ association, which later donated them to the Hasselblad Foundation. Bringing this remarkable artist’s works to the international stage, Ernest Cole Photographer commemorates his pioneering efforts to capture the complex truths of day-to-day, lived experiences during harrowing times. Critiquing institutionalized segregation and celebrating human resilience, Cole challenged the status quo, and his work continues to speak eloquently and forcefully to contemporary issues of poverty and racial inequality in the United States and worldwide.Source: Grey Art Gallery, NYU
Thomas Eakins
United States
1844 | † 1916
Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25, 1844 – June 25, 1916) was an American realist painter, photographer, sculptor, and fine arts educator. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important American artists. For the length of his professional career, from the early 1870s until his health began to fail some 40 years later, Eakins worked exactingly from life, choosing as his subject the people of his hometown of Philadelphia. He painted several hundred portraits, usually of friends, family members, or prominent people in the arts, sciences, medicine, and clergy. Taken en masse, the portraits offer an overview of the intellectual life of contemporary Philadelphia; individually, they are incisive depictions of thinking persons. In addition, Eakins produced a number of large paintings that brought the portrait out of the drawing-room and into the offices, streets, parks, rivers, arenas, and surgical amphitheaters of his city. These active outdoor venues allowed him to paint the subject that most inspired him: the nude or lightly clad figure in motion. In the process, he could model the forms of the body in full sunlight, and create images of deep space utilizing his studies in perspective. Thomas Eakins also took a keen interest in the new technologies of motion photography, a field in which he is now seen as an innovator. No less important in Eakins' life was his work as a teacher. As an instructor, he was a highly influential presence in American art. The difficulties which beset him as an artist seeking to paint the portrait and figure realistically were paralleled and even amplified in his career as an educator, where behavioral and sexual scandals truncated his success and damaged his reputation. Eakins was a controversial figure whose work received little by way of official recognition during his lifetime. Since his death, he has been celebrated by American art historians as "the strongest, most profound realist in the nineteenth and early-twentieth-century American art". Eakins has been credited with having "introduced the camera to the American art studio". During his study abroad, he was exposed to the use of photography by the French realists, though the use of photography was still frowned upon as a shortcut by traditionalists. In the late 1870s, Thomas Eakins was introduced to the photographic motion studies of Eadweard Muybridge, particularly the equine studies, and became interested in using the camera to study sequential movement. In the mid-1880s, Eakins worked briefly alongside Muybridge in the latter's photographic studio at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Eakins soon performed his own independent motion studies, also usually involving the nude figure, and even developed his own technique for capturing movement on film. Whereas Muybridge's system relied on a series of cameras triggered to produce a sequence of individual photographs, Eakins preferred to use a single camera to produce a series of exposures superimposed on one negative. Thomas Eakins was more interested in precision measurements on a single image to aid in translating a motion into a painting, while Muybridge preferred separate images that could also be displayed by his primitive movie projector. After Eakins obtained a camera in 1880, several paintings, such as Mending the Net (1881) and Arcadia (1883), are known to have been derived at least in part from his photographs. Some figures appear to be detailed transcriptions and tracings from the photographs by some device like a magic lantern, which Eakins then took pains to cover up with oil paint. Thomas Eakins' methods appear to be meticulously applied, and rather than shortcuts, were likely used in a quest for accuracy and realism. An excellent example of Thomas Eakins' use of this new technology is his painting A May Morning in the Park, which relied heavily on photographic motion studies to depict the true gait of the four horses pulling the coach of patron Fairman Rogers. But in typical fashion, Eakins also employed wax figures and oil sketches to get the final effect he desired. The so-called Naked Series, which began in 1883, were nude photos of students and professional models which were taken to show real human anatomy from several specific angles, and were often hung and displayed for study at the school. Later, less regimented poses were taken indoors and out, of men, women, and children, including his wife. The most provocative, and the only ones combining males and females, were nude photos of Eakins and a female model. Although witnesses and chaperones were usually on site, and the poses were mostly traditional in nature, the sheer quantity of the photos and Eakins' overt display of them may have undermined his standing at the Academy. In all, about eight hundred photographs are now attributed to Eakins and his circle, most of which are figure studies, both clothed and nude, and portraits. No other American artist of his time matched Eakins' interest in photography, nor produced a comparable body of photographic works. Thomas Eakins used photography for his own private ends as well. Aside from nude men, and women, he also photographed nude children. While the photographs of the nude adults are more artistically composed, the younger children and infants are posed less formally. These photographs, that are “charged with sexual overtones,” as Susan Danly and Cheryl Leibold write, are of unidentified children. In the catalog of Eakins' collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, photograph number 308 is of an African American child reclining on a couch and posed as Venus. Both Saidiya Hartman and Fred Moten write, respectively, about the photograph, and the child that it arrests. Late in life Eakins did experience some recognition. In 1902 he was made a National Academician. In 1914 the sale of a portrait study of D. Hayes Agnew for The Agnew Clinic to Dr. Albert C. Barnes precipitated much publicity when rumors circulated that the selling price was fifty thousand dollars. In fact, Barnes bought the painting for four thousand dollars. Eakins died on June 25, 1916, at the age of 71 and is buried at The Woodlands, which is located near the University of Pennsylvania in West Philadelphia. In the year after his death, Eakins was honored with a memorial retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in 1917–18 the Pennsylvania Academy followed suit. Susan Macdowell Eakins did much to preserve his reputation, including gifting the Philadelphia Museum of Art with more than fifty of her husband's oil paintings. After her death in 1938, other works were sold off, and eventually another large collection of art and personal material was purchased by Joseph Hirshhorn, and now is part of the Hirshhorn Museum's collection. Since then, Eakins' home in North Philadelphia was put on the National Register of Historic Places list in 1966, and Eakins Oval, across from the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, was named for the artist. In 1967 The Biglin Brothers Racing (1872) was reproduced on a United States postage stamp. His work was also part of the painting event in the art competition at the 1932 Summer Olympics. Since the 1990s, Eakins has emerged as a major figure in sexuality studies in art history, for both the homoeroticism of his male nudes and for the complexity of his attitudes toward women. Controversy shaped much of his career as a teacher and as an artist. He insisted on teaching men and women "the same", used nude male models in female classes and vice versa, and was accused of abusing female students. Recent scholarship suggests that these scandals were grounded in more than the "puritanical prudery" of his contemporaries—as had once been assumed—and that Eakins' progressive academic principles may have protected unconscious and dubious agendas. These controversies may have been caused by a combination of factors such as the bohemianism of Eakins and his circle (in which students, for example, sometimes modeled in the nude for each other), the intensity and authority of his teaching style, and Eakins' inclination toward unorthodox or provocative behavior. Eakins was unable to sell many of his works during his lifetime, so when he died in 1916, a large body of artwork passed to his widow, Susan Macdowell Eakins. She carefully preserved it, donating some of the strongest pieces to various museums. When she in turn died in 1938, much of the remaining artistic estate was destroyed or damaged by executors, and the remainders were belatedly salvaged by a former Eakins student.Source: Wikipedia
Graciela Iturbide
Graciela Iturbide was born in 1942 in Mexico City. In 1969 she enrolled at the age of 27 at the film school Centro de Estudios Cinematográficos at the Universidad Nacional Autónama de México to become a film director. However she was soon drawn to the art of still photography as practiced by the Mexican modernist master Manuel Alvarez Bravo who was teaching at the University. From 1970-71 she worked as Bravo's assistant accompanying him on his various photographic journeys throughout Mexico. In the early half of the 1970s, Iturbide traveled widely across Latin America in particular to Cuba and several trips to Panama. In 1978 Graciela Iturbide was commissioned by the Ethnographic Archive of the National Indigenous Institute of Mexico to photograph Mexico's indigenous population. Iturbide decided to document and record the way of life of the Seri Indians, a group of fisherman living a nomadic lifestyle in the Sonora desert in the north west of Mexico, along the border with Arizona, US. In 1979 she was invited by the artist Francisco Toledo to photograph the Juchitán people who form part of the Zapotec culture native to Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Iturbide's series that started in 1979 and runs through to 1988 resulted in the publication of her book Juchitán de las Mujeres in 1989. Between 1980 and 2000, Iturbide was variously invited to work in Cuba, East Germany, India, Madagascar, Hungary, Paris and the US, producing a number of important bodies of work. She has enjoyed solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou (1982), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1990), Philadelphia Museum of Art (1997), The J. Paul Getty Museum (2007), MAPFRE Foudation, Madrid (2009), Photography Museum Winterthur (2009), and Barbican Art Gallery (2012), between others. Iturbide is the recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Foundation Award, 1987; the Grand Prize Mois de la Photo, Paris, 1988; a Guggenheim Fellowship for the project 'Fiesta y Muerte', 1988; the Hugo Erfurth Award, Leverkusen, Germany, 1989; the International Grand Prize, Hokkaido, Japan, 1990; the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie Award, Arles, 1991; the Hasselblad Award, 2008; the National Prize of Sciences and Arts in Mexico City in 2008; an Honorary Degree in photography from the Columbia College Chicago in 2008; and an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009.Source: www.gracielaiturbide.org Graciela Iturbide photographs everyday life, almost entirely in black-and-white, following her curiosity and photographing when she sees what she likes. She was inspired by the photography of Josef Koudelka, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado and Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Her self-portraits especially reflect and showcase Bravo's influence and play with innovation and attention to detail. Iturbide eschews labels and calls herself complicit with her subjects. With her way of relating to those she is photographing, she is said to allow her subjects to come to life, producing poetic portraits. She became interested in the daily life of Mexico's indigenous cultures and people (the Zapotec, Mixtec, and Seri) and has photographed life in Mexico City, Juchitán, Oaxaca and on the Mexican/American border (La Frontera). With focus on identity, sexuality, festivals, rituals, daily life, death, and roles of women, Iturbide's photographs share visual stories of cultures in constant transitional periods. There's also juxtaposition within her images between urban versus rural life, and indigenous versus modern life. Iturbide's main concern has been the exploration and investigation of her own cultural environment. She uses photography as a way of understanding Mexico; combining indigenous practices, assimilated Catholic practices and foreign economic trade under one scope. Art critic, Oscar C. Nates, has describes Iturbide's work as "anthropoetic." Iturbide has also photographed Mexican-Americans in the White Fence (street gang) barrio of Eastside Los Angeles as part of the documentary book A Day in the Life of America (1987). She has worked in Argentina (in 1996), India (where she made her well-known photo, "Perros Perdidos" (Lost Dogs)), and the United States (an untitled collection of photos shot in Texas). One of the major concerns in her work has been "to explore and articulate the ways in which a vocable such as 'Mexico' is meaningful only when understood as an intricate combination of histories and practices." She is a founding member of the Mexican Council of Photography. She continues to live and work in Coyoacán, Mexico. In awarding her the 2008 Hasselblad Award, the Hasselblad Foundation said: "Graciela Iturbide is considered one of the most important and influential Latin American photographers of the past four decades. Her photography is of the highest visual strength and beauty. Graciela Iturbide has developed a photographic style based on her strong interest in culture, ritual and everyday life in her native Mexico and other countries. Iturbide has extended the concept of documentary photography, to explore the relationships between man and nature, the individual and the cultural, the real and the psychological. She continues to inspire a younger generation of photographers in Latin America and beyond." Some of Iturbide's recent work documents refugees and migrants. In her work Refugiados (2015), offers a stark contrast between love and family and danger and violence showing a smiling mother holding her child in front of a hand-painted mural of Mexico dotted with safety and danger zones. The largest institutional collection of Iturbide's photographs in the United States is preserved at the Wittliff collections, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX.Source: Wikipedia
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