Month: November 2015

Chongqing IV (Sunday Picnic), Chongqing Municipality, 2006 © Nadav Kander

Photo London announces its return next year

After the success of its inaugural edition earlier this year, Photo London has announced its return in 2016, putting on a week-long celebration of photography taking in city-wide exhibitions, installations and talks from the 19th to the 22nd May next year. Produced by Candlestar, the company behind the Prix Pictet and numerous other curatorial-based enterprises, this year Photo London housed more than 70 galleries at Somerset House. As Michael Benson, co-director of Candlestar and co-founder of Photo London alongside Fariba Farshad, told us, the fair has whet the city’s appetite for photography. “Next year we’ve extended to include 80 galleries – we have been so inundated with applications that we’ve even had to create a temporary structure in the courtyard.” Exhibitors include Flowers Gallery, Galerie Polaris and TJ Boulting, with top photography galleries showing alongside a ‘Discovery’ section for emerging galleries. Work shown also includes a site-specific commission by London artists Walter and Zoniel, a series of works by Turner Prize-winning artist and photographer Craigie Horsfield and an exhibition of work loaned from the Moscow …

2015-11-30T15:29:26+00:00

Unsentimental portraits of Ireland’s most notorious travelling communities

At best, images of Britain and Ireland’s travelling communities are romanticised; bow-topped caravans populated by gruff adults and grubby-faced children. At worst, travellers are characterised as crime-addicted, violent gangsters, living a law onto themselves, taking what they want without a moment’s thought for the rest of this Sceptered Isle. Northern Irish photographer Chris Barr, who earned his MA in photography from the University of Ulster, wanted more. He wanted to understand who these ancient, prideful, private communities are. And so he has spent the last ten years photographing travellers throughout Ireland as part of his ongoing series Katabasis.  The project began as an exploration of the horse within traveller culture. “The horse has long been at the heart of the travelling community”, says Barr. “I was interested in how travellers identified their horses. It’s a system handed down from father to son and sits outside the formal methods normally used to identify horses.” The project evolved into an exploration of gangsterism within the travelling community, focusing on the infamous Irish traveller Pa Rubber Óg O’Reilly. Barr recalls his …

2015-12-01T14:41:22+00:00

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The traditions, biases and ranks inside modern British military spaces

Over 2014, Ross Young photographed the military barracks near his home in Belfast. Driving to work in the morning, the 25-year-old would pass the barracks, seeing scattered buildings beyond barbed-wire walls. “I became really fascinated by the modern military,” he says. “What they do, how they have changed, who they are, what they stand for now.”     The nephew of a lieutenant colonel, he gained access to the barracks and photographed everything: portraits of the soldiers, the buildings, beds, dorms, gyms and churches. But it was the communal eating areas that held his gaze. “Everything is split by rank. The junior rank, middle rank and officers each have their own spaces, and each one is visibly different,” he says. “They had such an impactful personality. They revealed so much to me about life in the Army. It shows the difference in the ranks; what soldiers have to go through to work their way up.”     He was born in Killyleagh, a suburban area to the south of Belfast, and now lives in the …

2015-11-26T17:57:11+00:00

from Pontus © Délio Jasse

Dissecting post-colonial memory with colour and experimental print techniques

The work of Angolan photographer Délio Jasse is colourful and textured, experimenting with analogue photographic printing processes such as cyanotype and platinum. His work has caught the eye of London gallery Tiwani Contemporary, who now represent the 35-year-old. Jasse has previously exhibited at the gallery, which focuses on Africa and the diaspora, as part of the group exhibition The View From Here, and recent exhibitions include a solo show at SMAC Gallery, Cape Town (2014) and group shows at Savvy Contemporary, Berlin (2013) and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2013). Jasse was also one of three finalists in the BES Photo Prize (2014), and is part of the official selections for the Angolan pavilions at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) and World Expo, Milan (2015). His work draws links between generations and cultures, combining found imagery with his own photography to explore memory. As he tells us, “Photography and memory are deeply connected. Photography can bring you back to a moment in the past, we need a visual hint to remember certain things or faces. At …

2015-11-26T16:17:27+00:00

Million Mask March: Anonymous white collars on their lunchbreak

Jonathan Meades, one of our great commentators on the built environment, once wrote: “We are surrounded by the greatest of all free shows. Places.” This idea drives Nicholas Sack’s Lost In The City, a new photobook published by London’s independent publishers Hoxton Mini Press, the eighth instalment of the publisher’s ongoing East London Photo Stories. “This is an ongoing, long term adventure for me really,” Sack says in a bar in the Square Mile, the heart of London’s financial industry, and the locale for his photography series. “I’ve been walking around this area for 30 years taking pictures,” he says. “What attracts me to the Square Mile is this collision of architecture, the old and the new; 17th century Wren churches slap bang next to a modern tower of glass and steel. That’s the joy of London to me, it wasn’t planned in the way that Paris was.” The work of Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, two of the heavyweight architecture triumvirate in the building boom of the 1970s and 80s, can be spotted amongst these arrangements. But Sack …

2015-11-27T11:29:48+00:00

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Evolving attitudes towards women shown through vintage adult memorabilia

Hannah Farrell’s project, Close Your Eyes and Think of England, uses images found in vintage pornography magazines to explore notions of sexuality. “They are taken from early 1970s’ Penthouse magazines and other adult memorabilia, which I have collected over the past few years,” she explains. “What started out as an interest in the aesthetic of the photographs turned into a fascination with how the magazines comment on social movements of the time, particularly attitudes towards women. It’s interesting to explore the relationship between the evolution of photography and  how this is linked with changes in the female body.”     A graduate of Blackpool and The Fylde College, Farrell deliberately picked out images with earthy tones and natural light to play up a sense of nostalgia, but says this aesthetic also suggests a connection to the natural world and animal instincts – factors she emphasises in the still lifes she sets up. As such, her images feed into her ongoing exploration of nature versus culture, and how women in particular are socialised.         “I guess it …

2015-11-25T13:59:59+00:00

Newsha Tavakolian, from the series Blank Pages of an Iranian photo album

Newsha Tavakolian: Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album

Newsha Tavakolian, the 33-year-old Iranian photographer and one of the newest members of Magnum Photos, was barely a teenager when her father took her from Tehran to Berlin. It was a family holiday with friends, and she remembers a night dancing with her childhood friend before they saw the Berlin wall. “How could people live behind a wall and not be allowed to leave?” she asked Hamila, who couldn’t imagine either. So they continued to dance. That family picture of the two of them, dancing their childish dance, acts as the requiem for Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album, the first photobook of Tavakolian’s almost 20-year career. A self-taught photographer, she was born in the midst of the Iranian revolution and the country’s bloody war with Iraq. From a job as a 16-year-old working on a now-defunct woman’s magazine in Tehran, to photographing the 1999 student uprising in Iran, the 2003 war in Iraq, and then ensuing conflicts in Yemen, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Pakistan, she now has a collection of photographs, and …

2015-11-24T18:19:27+00:00

Firing

Shoot Ball, Not Gun

Earlier this year, Sebastian Gil Miranda won First Place in the Campaign category at the Sony World Photography Awards 2015 for his project Shoot Ball, Not Gun. The documentary project took place on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, where he visited one of the most dangerous slums in Argentina where two rival gangs violently struggle for turf and power. Focusing on the town’s children, he photographed them playing football within the courtyard of the Chapel Our Lady of Luján. The children, for whom hearing indiscriminate gunshots at night is common place, are connected to these gangs, with fathers, brothers and family friends caught up in the bloodshed. With entries to the 2016 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards closing soon, we caught up with Miranda to discuss the project.     What’s the genesis of the project? Usually I work helping NGOs and social foundations. In this case, I knew that Uniendo Caminos, a foundation dedicated to educational support for children in various slums of Buenos Aires, needed content to offer workshops in a centre that …

2015-11-24T17:12:40+00:00

A young couple kiss passionately by a red wall in a Newquay nightclub. July 2001

Cowboys, cheerleaders and the stars and stripes: classic Americana through British eyes

“Dallas is BIG,” writes British photographer Peter Dench in the forward to his book Dench Does Dallas. “The flags are big, as are the signs; sky; storm drains; food portions; restaurant tips; drive thrus; cows; cow horns and ‘brestaurants.’” So are his larger-than-life photographs of the city, which capture cheerleaders, junk food, baseball matches, men in cowboy hats and a healthy dose of starts and stripes. A celebrated photojournalist, Peter Dench is most well known for his iconic images of the British doing what they do best – drinking. As the title suggests, these pictures are all taken in the scorching-hot capital city of Texas, Dallas. Instead of travelling by car, Dench decided to traverse the 40-mile across Metroplex by foot and on public transport, in the middle of July in 35-degree heat.   The project began when Dench was approached by Olympus, who wanted him to test run their new camera, the E-M5. “They asked me where I would like to photograph,” Dench says. “And I said America. They then asked where, and I raced …

2015-11-24T15:24:58+00:00

From the series: Union
Trade Union Name:Seafarers International Union
Image Location: HQ Boardroom, Camp Springs, Maryland

Photographing the past, and future, of the union movement

Modern working life is so frenetic, we don’t often get the chance to dwell on how it is evolving, on how secure it is, on what we should do if it might ever become threatened. But who are the people, or groups of people, fighting against this seemingly inevitable trend? Who see, in the ways work once was, something noble, worth trying to protect. Noel Bowler’s new photography series Union, recently published as a photobook by the published by the Berlin-based publisher Kehrer Verlag, takes us inside the meeting rooms, and head offices, of industrial unions, introducing us to the people who try and safeguard the labour rights of ordinary people. Bowler portrays union offices from fourteen countries, ranging from Washington to Warsaw to Bowler’s native Ireland. He invites us to consider office spaces, meeting rooms and boardrooms as empty, dormant chambers, heavy with a sense of suspended conversation. By doing so, Bowler gives us the chance to consider how these beleaguered organisations – which sought to protect the rights of workers in the nineteenth century – have sought …

2015-11-24T13:06:22+00:00

BJP Staff