Author: BJP Intern

Foam hosts retrospective of Malian photographer Seydou Keïta

When Seydou Keïta (1921-2001) was given a Kodak Brownie Flash by his uncle in 1935, his career path took a new route. Originally an apprentice carpenter for his father, Keïta spent the following years teaching himself the technicalities of photography and eventually opened an outdoor studio in 1948 in Bamako Koura. As word quickly spread, it wasn’t long before Malians began flocking to his studio to have their portrait taken. “My experience taught me the positions that my customers liked best,” Keïta said. “You try to obtain the best pose, the most advantageous profile, because photography is an art, everything should be as close to perfection as possible.” As well as ornate backdrops, Keïta kept an array of props in his studio – from paper flowers to Vespas – and occasionally sitters would bring their own. In the black-and-white images he took during the late 1940s and 1950s, Keïta captures members of Malian society radiating with confidence, dignity and grace, epitomising Mali’s emerging freedom from colonialist rule and portraying them how they wished to be …

2018-05-01T11:07:45+00:00

Clare Strand looks at misinterpretation of information in the digital age

Throughout her career, Clare Strand’s work has been deeply embedded in the act of research. Best known for projects such as The Betterment Room – Devices For Measuring Achievement (2005), Skirts (2011), 10 Least Most Wanted (2011), The Happenstance Generator (2015) and The Entropy Pendulum and OutPut (2015), her interests are often centred around the medium of photography itself, “investigating its origins, uses – and limitations.” For her latest work, The Discrete Channel with Noise, Strand draws on references as diverse as Claude Shannon’s information theory to Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to discuss the nature of communication. It was the book’s Mike Teavee character explaining the process of transmitting a photograph that was one of the starting points for this project, says Strand. In the 1971 film adaptation, Mike says: “You photograph something then the photograph is split up into millions of tiny pieces and they go whizzing through the air, then down to your TV set when they are all put together in the right order.” What Mike fails to predict are the complications and disruptions which can occur …

2018-04-06T17:18:11+00:00

Tereza Zelenkova explores legend, myth and solitude in two upcoming solo shows

For Czech photographer Tereza Zelenkova, it is the stories behind the images that fascinate her. “I guess a good way of looking at some of my works is as if they were illustrations for a book that does not exist,” says Zelenkova, whose work will be shown in two upcoming solo shows in Amsterdam

2018-05-29T13:11:09+00:00

“What if birth, long shrouded and parodied by popular culture, was made visible?”

When she was a teenager, Ohio-based artist Carmen Winant discovered a collection of photo albums filled with pictures of her mother giving birth to her three children. “It was an amazing and slightly terrifying feeling to witness myself being born [in 1983],” she recalls. In 2016, Winant became a mother herself, and noticing a lack of visual work about the experience of giving birth, was moved to produce her own series. “Though it is so common, there is nothing normal about birth,” she says. “I wanted to create a visual, pictorial language that might contribute towards a greater, and more nuanced, understanding.” The resulting installation at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) and the coinciding book, My Birth, incorporate her mother’s photographs of herself giving birth and found imagery of anonymous women undergoing the same experience, as well as a written piece by Winant exploring the shared yet solitary ownership of the experience of birth. Presented chronologically, the images trace the process of labour and birth from the earliest contractions to the breastfeeding of …

2018-06-19T10:09:39+00:00

Memory and dreams in Portugal’s Beira Interior

Since childhood, the Portuguese landscape of Beira Interior has held a personal resonance for photographer Tito Mouraz. “I have a relationship and a past with this region,” he says. Encouraged by “a fusion of happy memories”, Mouraz began a new body of work named Fluvial, which focuses on the landscape and the people that come and go there. For Fluvial, he returned to the familiar territory for six consecutive summers between 2011 and 2017. Described by Humberto Brito as an “ode to leisure”, the images blend fiction and reality, capturing meditative junctures by the water. “These are informal moments in the Portuguese society, predominantly migrants returning home from northern Europe for the summer holidays to join their families,” explains Mouraz.

2018-03-29T13:12:21+00:00

Shedding light on the threat of large-scale mining in the Ecuadorian Amazon

“In my youth, I had a significant dream about the area of the Alta Amazonia, the place where I later based my project,” the Italian photographer Nicola Ókin Frioli tells BJP. “One day I met someone who confirmed I had a kind of calling to this area and advised me to go.”   Ókin took his first trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon in January 2015, which coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Alto Cenepa War, a conflict that broke out between Ecuador and Peru over disputed territory from 26 January to 28 February 1995. “It was a war of the governments, not of the natives. Yet they participated anyway as civilians in support of the inexperienced military,” explains Ókin. “For the indigenous people, particularly the Shuar and Achuar, it was a resistance because their territory was in danger.” Now, the indigenous communities are facing another imminent threat – that of large-scale mining. Rich in copper and gold, the Shuar and Achuar territories are in danger of being exploited and its inhabitants risk being forcibly …

2018-04-17T11:51:03+00:00

Fresh talent first in indie photo magazine Splash and Grab

After graduating in 2012 with a BA in photography from University of the West of England, Bristol, Max Ferguson became quickly disillusioned by the lack of viable career paths or platforms that would publish his or his friends’ work.. Growing frustration quickly turned into inspiration, however, and with that came the idea to create a platform from scratch in the form of Splash and Grab.

“The magazines I really liked or wanted to work for were either shutting down or not in a position to reply to emails, let alone give me a job,” he explains. “So I just decided to start something myself. Lots of magazines start in those DIY circumstances I suppose, with some hot headed graduate who thinks everything will be really easy but ends up finding it really difficult.”

2017-12-07T17:19:53+00:00

César Dezfuli on his Taylor Wessing-winning portrait of Amadou

“This image documents a transcendental fact in the life of the person portrayed: Amadou had just been rescued from the sea by a European vessel,” says Dezfuli. “Apparently his dream is fulfilled. However, fear, mistrust and uncertainty are present, as well as determination and strength.” For his series, Passengers, photographer Cesar Dezfuli took a sequence of 118 photographs in 120 minutes as a boat load of refugees were rescued just off the coast of Libya. These people had journeyed from different countries looking for a better future in Europe.

2018-01-09T09:29:25+00:00

In Paris: Three promising Irish photographers defy cliché in Triptych

“This exhibition doesn’t have any of the clichés people might expect Irish photography to have,” says Vivienne Gamble. “I want it to give a viewpoint of the country that a lot of people wouldn’t necessarily expect.”

The director of Peckham’s Seen Fifteen Gallery is talking about Triptych, an exhibition showing in Paris from 09-12 November in association with Centre Culturel Irlandais. The exhibition, which will be held across the three levels of the Espace Lhomond gallery just across the street from the CCI, features work by three of Ireland’s most promising photographers: Ciarán Óg Arnold, Megan Doherty and Martin Seeds, each of whom is showing photographs deeply rooted in their homeland.

2017-11-10T10:34:23+00:00

A sense of the strange in Zhao Qian’s Offcut, the edge

“I hope the project can make the audience feel like they walking through a cloud of mist.” Zhao Qian, a Chinese photographer living in San Francisco, has recently been announced as a runner-up in this year’s BJP Breakthrough Awards. His series, Offcut, the edge, is inspired in part by the feeling of jetlag, which he describes as creating a fog on his surroundings.

2017-10-19T11:52:27+00:00

BJP Staff