All posts filed under: Exhibitions

RAR Carnival Against the Nazis Leeds, 1981 © Syd Shelton

Rock Against Racism – how an artistic movement took on the National Front

Rock Against Racism (RAR) was a meeting of musicians and artists and political activists. Working together, they promoted racial harmony and understanding in the fraught political environment of the late 70s – a time of major social and economic instability. But it also acted as a counterweight to the insurgent rise of white nationalist groups such as the National Front – a party which, in the 1979 election, fielded 303 candidates, polling 191,719 votes nationally. Anti-immigrant graffiti regularly adorned the walls of housing estates and demonstrations (such as the infamous ‘Battle of Lewisham’) could easily descend into rioting – sending terrifying shockwaves throughout non-white communities. This, alongside the infamous ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’ signs that adorned many pub entrances well into the 70s seemed to typify a widespread acceptance of racist ideology in the UK. Additionally, RAR sought to distance itself from the impression of white entitlement synonymous with certain figures of the musical elite – rock stars like Eric Clapton, who had made a declaration of support for the far-Right Conservative MP Enoch …

2015-09-04T17:46:16+00:00

Keith Arnatt, Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of his Former Self, 1969 copy

Keith Arnatt: the conceptual photographer who influenced a generation

Unless you’re well-versed in the British conceptual art scene of the 1970s, Keith Arnatt’s name might not register the strongest recognition. Yet, Arnatt has a case for being one of the most influential British artists and photographers of his generation, pushing the boundaries of his mediums and going on to be a chief influence on the likes of Martin Parr and Paul Graham. A major exhibition of his work, Absence of the Artist, is currently showing at Sprüth Magers in London, marking the years between 1967 and 1972 during which some of Arnatt’s most vital and enduring work was created. Today, artists and photographers freely cross the boundaries between what was once considered ‘art’ and ‘photography’. But Arnatt, who studied philosophy at Oxford and trained in drawing and painting at the Royal Academy School in London in the late 1950s, was a pioneer in bringing conceptual ideas from the sphere of art to photography. The early phase of his career explored the boundaries between landscape and sculpture, echoing the work of artists like Richard Long and …

2015-09-04T16:21:43+00:00

© Mike Harvey from the series Taxi

The creative collective bringing Welsh photography to the forefront

While Scotland has formed a modern sense of civic nationalism and England publicly grapples with its own ideas of self-definition, the contemporary Welsh identity hasn’t been as thoroughly excavated. The creative response from artists can often be the most potent, yet the most famous writer to hail from Wales wrote, “Land of my fathers, and my fathers can keep it”. Dylan Thomas, now revered as a Welsh cultural titan, loved Wales but was ambivalent about Welsh nationalism. Perhaps then, referencing him is as bold a way to nail your colours to the mast as any. For A Fine Beginning, the Welsh photography collective who take their name from Thomas’s unfinished novel, it’s a signal of intent. The collective’s second group exhibition, Made in Wales II, will be showing at Cardiff MADE from the 9th to the 19th September, going on to London in November and finally in North Wales in March 2016. The Welsh photography collective and eponymous blog was brought together by Swansea-born James O. Jenkins as a platform for people to share work …

2015-09-03T17:28:43+00:00

Transnistria Conglomerate © Anton Polyakov

Finalists revealed for top Boundaries prize at Zagreb’s Organ Vida photography festival

Organ Zida, the impressive new independent photography festival from Zagreb, Croatia,  has announced the ten finalists to compete in their main prize, orientated around the theme of Boundaries. Each of the finalist’s photography whose photography will be presented at the main festival exhibition, at the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb from the 3rd to the 18th September 2015. The exhibition is the central tenant of a diverse offering of photography from the only documentary photography festival in the Balkans. Sorting through over 300 projects from 47 countries was no small feat for the international panel of judges, consisting of photography heavyweights such as internationally-acclaimed photographer Roger Ballen, editor of Aperture magazine Michael Famighetti, Dutch photographer and publisher Rob Hornstra, Italian photographer and former World Press Photo winner Alessandro Imbriaco, British photographer Hannah Starkey and Croatian academic and photographer Sandra Vitaljić, as well as BJP editor Simon Bainbridge. Rob Hornstra says of the judging process: “The way the finalists distinguish themselves is because they go beyond registration and make a personal interpretation of theme they are working on. There is …

2015-09-02T12:53:34+00:00

Strangers in the light, 2009 © Catherine Balet

Noorderlicht Photofestival grapples with information overload

Founded in 1991, Noorderlicht is one of the more experienced heads of the European photography scene. The Dutch festival has a decidedly ‘current’ scope, aiming to address social discussions and processes as they play out. Growing out of the Noorderlicht Photogallery in Groningen, for the festival, “photography is a socially inspired medium” and this year’s main theme is as rich as it is relevant: ‘Data Rush.’ WikiLeaks, the NSA, Sony vs. North Korea — information is being siphoned off and redistributed on a staggering scale, and inspired by the inundating stream of words, images, videos and combinations therein, this year Noorderlicht is tackling the digital age. This year, half of the planet’s population will have access to the internet, and ‘the next billion’ are beginning to grapple with the repercussions of constant connectivity. While contemporary artists have explored ideas surrounding technology thoroughly in recent years, Noorderlicht is focusing on the sheer scale of information overload, and through the images, asks what effect it may have on us. “‘Online’ is such a drastic concern”, says Wim Melis, curator …

2015-08-27T16:53:50+00:00

Call for entries – BJP’s International Photography Awards 2016

BJP

British Journal of Photography’s annual International Photography Award is now open for entries, offering the winners the chance to show their work at TJ Boulting, an innovative gallery in the heart of Fitzrovia, central London. The winners will also have their work printed and framed by one of Europe’s leading professional photography labs, theprintspace. Now in its 10th year, the IPA has established itself as one of the photography world’s leading showcases for new work, with last year’s series winner, Dominic Hawgood, attracting rave reviews in The Guardian and Time Out. This year’s elite judging panel, drawn from the worlds of photography, art and media allow entrants to get their work in front of the most influential people in the industry. This year’s panel includes: Kate Bush, head of photography at Media Space within The Science Museum, London Sean O’Hagan, photography critic at The Guardian and The Observer Emily Graham, culture & education manager at Magnum Photos Bruno Ceschel, founder of Self Publish, Be Happy and photobook expert Hannah Watson, director of Trolley Books and TJ …

2015-08-27T15:40:03+00:00

Louise, Jacksonville, 2012

One Stephen Shore student is setting Paris alight

“I choose to work without limits. I follow my instincts and allow my subconscious to be in control. By neither having a theme nor a structured project, I am able to keep my photographic process as natural and intuitive as possible,” says 27-year-old Louis Heilbronn. His first exhibition, Meet Me On The Surface, at the Galerie Polaris in Paris in February 2013, was a revelation for many. Brigitte Ollier, art critic for the French daily Libération, described his images as “gifted, with a captivating power”, while Claire Guillot of Le Monde wrote that their charm came from their elusive nature. Heilbronn’s large-format photos, which were shown as small 23×30cm prints, flowed like an organic stream of consciousness, mixing portraits of loved ones such as his girlfriend with shots of strangers, images of everyday objects, and an array of varying landscapes. With no indication as to when or how far apart they were taken, the images created a quiet riddle to which each spectator found his own answer. The Brooklyn-based photographer graduated from the photography programme …

2015-08-28T13:37:27+00:00

Registration XP15431, Photograph, Circa 1901. Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Institution: Museum Victoria / Amoonguna, Northern Territory. June 2014. Image © Christian Vium, from the series The Wake.

Images 1-5: Sir Baldwin W. Spencer and Frank J. Gillen photographs are from the collections of the Museum Victoria and South Australia Museum. The repurposing of the images and the views expressed in the work are those of the author alone and in conjunction with community consultation

The re-enactments of Aboriginal history that won the Tokyo International Photography Competition

A series that includes portrait ‘re-enactments’ of archival images of Aboriginal people has won this year’s Tokyo International Photography Competition (TIPC). The Wake: Re-enacting the Spencer & Gillen photographic archive by Danish photographer Christian Vium was selected from eight shortlisted entries to be awarded the Grand Prix. Vium, who is a photographer, filmmaker and anthropologist, made his winning work in Central Australia between May and June 2014. His aim, he explains, was to creatively respond to the photographic archives of anthropologists and photographers Frank Gillen and Baldwin Spencer, who produced a comprehensive record of aboriginal life between 1875 and 1912. At the time, Vium had been researching the Spencer & Gillen archives at the Victoria Museum in Melbourne via the online digitised collection, www.spencerandgillen.net. “I wanted to revisit their cardinal work and use it as a point of departure for a contemporary dialogue about how we see and represent ‘the Other’,” says Vium in a statement about his work. “I went into the field with a selection of photographs divided into three categories: the portrait, the …

2015-08-13T10:26:33+00:00

Unseen © Rien de Jager

Amsterdam’s Unseen Photo Fair returns with new photography festival

Unseen burst onto the international photography scene in 2012, pitching itself as “a photography fair with a festival flair”. Organised by Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, along with arts organisation Platform A and Vandejong Creative Agency, the fair is back for a fourth year, and this time it includes a festival called Unseen, with exhibitions and events, such as Magnum Contact Sheets, held in various locations across the city. Unseen Photo Fair champions emerging photographers alongside more established names, and newly commissioned work is a key component of the 2015 edition. Luke Norman and Nik Adam from Wandering Bears Collective have been commissioned to create a collaborative project with Charlie Engman, for example; each artist will make five images that will be reworked collaboratively and then put on show, to be presented in the Unseen Niches. Norman and Adam often rephotograph works by adding paint or other marks, and Engman often uses digital post-production and collage in his work. Another highlight is a new project by Peter Puklus, who was commissioned by Unseen to produce the official artwork for the …

2015-08-12T12:38:58+00:00

John McNair, General Secretary of the ILP (Independent Labour Party) addresses the first Pan-African Congress in Manchester. Also on the stage is Amy Jacques Garvey, the second wife of Marcus Garvey. (Photo by John Deakin/Picture Post/Getty Images)

The Manchester town hall meeting that shaped Africa: remembering the Fifth Pan-African Congress

In October, 1945, as the European powers recovered from six years of, 87 delegates representing 50 organisations met in a town hall in Manchester. They came together for the Fifth Pan-African Congress, all with a singular, righteous purpose: the liberation of hundreds of millions of Africans living under colonial rule. Seventy years have passed since the Fifth Pan-African Congress, an event which, in hindsight, was one of the most significant happenings of African organisation ever to have occurred in Britain, perhaps the world. To commemorate, Autograph ABP are, for the first time, exhibiting photographs taken at the event.  The exhibition features over thirty photographs, a selection of rare ephemera and materials associated with the Congress and will be accompanied by a Pan-African Film Lounge, screening a programme of films exploring Pan-African history. “It’s an interesting chapter in history in many ways,” says Mark Sealy, director of Autograph ABP. “It’s significant in terms of who was there and why they were there — Jomo Kenyatta [the first leader of Kenya after independence], Kwame Nkrumah [who later led anti-colonial resistance in Ghana] and …

2015-07-27T12:08:06+00:00

BJP Staff