All posts filed under: Exhibitions

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

A man floats in the 57th-floor swimming pool of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, with the skyline of “Central,” the Singapore financial district, behind him.

Arles 2015: What do the world’s tax havens look like?

The global financial crisis has led to unprecedented scrutiny of financial institutions and the individuals and companies that use them. Tax avoidance – the legal exploitation of loopholes a tax system to minimise an individual or company’s tax liability – has been a particularly contentious issue, with a growing number of voices arguing that while such behaviour might be legally permissible, it is morally indefensible. This issue provides the inspiration for Gabriele Galimberti and Paolo Wood’s The Heavens, Annual Report, which is currently on display at the Les Rencontres d’Arles Festival in the south of France. Woods explains that the idea for the project emerged during a period of time he spent living in Haiti, one of poorest parts of the Americas. During a visit from Galimberti, the two photographers became conscious of the stark contrast between Haiti and the Cayman islands, which lay only an hour away from Haiti but which was by contrast incredibly wealthy due to its tax haven status. Travelling from the Cayman Islands to the City of London, from Panama …

2015-07-22T16:28:00+00:00

Countryside

Arles 2015: North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality

As a photographer, how do you make insightful work about a place where media is as heavily controlled as it is in North Korea, ‘a big black hole on the world map’ where government propaganda is ubiquitous and stage managed photo opportunities are the norm? For Alice Wielinga the solution was to take that propaganda and imposed control and turn it back on itself, by creating detailed composite images that blend familiar North Korean propaganda paintings with her own photographs of the secretive state. The resulting series North Korea, a Life between Propaganda and Reality, has been on display at the Les Rencontres d’Arles festival following Wielinga’s win in the portfolio review prize at the previous year’s festival. Wielinga’s composites, which each take weeks to produce, are richly detailed vistas which could easily be dismissed at first glance as conventional propaganda. Closer inspection however reveals incongruities between the painted elements and the new photographic ones. Alongside the stylised faces of smiling workers and bold soldiers, she inserts the tired people and emaciated landscapes she photographed …

2015-07-24T16:51:04+00:00

photo-2

Les Rencontres d’Arles 2015: Review

Markus Brunetti’s monumental series, Facades, is the closest thing you’ll get to a modern-day Grand Tour, capturing European cathedrals and churches in the kind of extraordinary detail that eludes even first-hand experience. Alex Majoli and Paolo Pellegrin take their work to another level with Congo, and the exhibition is the best of Les Ateliers – every much as layered and ambitious as the book. Cosmos-Arles Books was a welcome addition to the festival proper, but it was disappointing that this year’s book awards featured the short list only. Markus Brunetti’s Facades In town, Another Language, featuring largely previously unseen (in the flesh – often literally) work by eight Japanese photographers, from Eiko Hosoe to one of the country’s newest stars, Daisuke Yokota, was the biggest hit of the festival. Though Masahisa Fukase’s obsessively captured pictures of his wife are slight compared to his best known work, The Ravens, made after their split – evidence that the darker the mood, the better it feeds the creative soul. Mathieu Chedid’s musical accompaniment brings out another side to …

2015-07-20T14:56:33+00:00

From 1800 Millimètre © Emi Anrakuji

Emi Anrakuji – ‘1800 millimetres. It’s the size of my bed’

The elusive Emi Anrakuji. Her work seems to have exploded onto the photography scene in early 2000, attracting the attention of Daido Moriyama in 2004. “He was very much impressed,” says Emi, whose body of work is a series of self-portraits in which she often focuses on the most intimate details of her anatomy while simultaneously concealing her identity. It’s this contradiction that obfuscates the viewer. Legs splayed, crouched on a bed on all fours, a finger inserted into her vagina – the self-portraits in 1800 Millimètre, Emi’s latest body of work, “are not erotic at all,” she says. “1800 millimetres is just the size of my bed.” A bed to which she was confined, which came to represent her world – the very world from where her work originated. “It’s work that came out of my sickbed.” In 1800 Millimètre, Anrakuji poses nude, in solitude, in close shadowy settings – the confines of her bedroom staged for the gaze of a lens. She describes herself as “an alchemist of images”, blurring the contrived and the authentic …

2015-07-17T12:48:37+00:00

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, 1963 © Raymond Cauchetier

Raymond Cauchetier’s Nouvelle Vague: “Artists are creators. I am a witness.”

“I’m famous here for Nouvelle Vague photographs but far more famous in Indochina for pictures like these,” Raymond Cauchetier says, gesturing to two pictures taken during his time in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. They are the only ones in the James Hyman’s Mayfair gallery that give us a glimpse of the other side of Cauchetier’s photographic career. Cauchetier has travelled to London for the first time to mark his 95th birthday, and to witness the opening of his first ever solo show in the city. Cauchetier has become synonymous with French cinema’s iconic 1960s movement Nouvelle Vague thanks to his frank shots of on the sets of directors like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, capturing performers like Jean Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina and Jean Seberg on films like A Bout de Souffle (1959) Une Femme est Une Femme (1960), Jules et Jim (1961) and Peau de Banane (1963). Cauchetier is still full of energy, snapping pictures of the journalists with his Leica. “My first camera was a Rolleiflex,” he says. “The advantage is that it’s very solid, when it falls in the water, you only need to dry …

2015-07-06T17:33:51+00:00

Holding room. From Corrections, 2015 © Zora Murff

Kid criminals: tagged, tracked and cast off by society

“My dad left us when I was four or five, and I’ve been estranged from him ever since. Things were rough for my mum trying to raise two boys on her own,” says 28-year-old Zora Murff, whose series Corrections is informed in no small part by his experiences growing up disenfranchised, with a family diminished by low income, lack of opportunity and alcohol abuse. Born and raised in Des Moines, where one in three children live below the poverty line, Zora could easily have become a write-off. His mother was forced to take jobs out of town at weekends to provide for her two boys, often leaving them unsupervised for many hours. “My brother and I were very close when we were young, and I spent a lot of time following him around, until he got to the age where it wasn’t cool to have your little brother tagging along any more. When that happened, I had to learn to be alone – I started to read a lot and draw.” As Zora got older – with …

2015-07-06T15:26:20+00:00

The New Medium: exhibiting the first photographs ever taken in India

It is a cool midsummer’s evening in Mayfair’s Cork Street – the nucleus of London’s contemporary art world. Number 33 is the professional home of Prahlad Bubbar – collector of Indian and Islamic art – and the location of his new exhibition, The New Medium: Photography in India 1855-1930. The New Medium is a neat survey of the birth and rise of photography as a major art form in the subcontinent. Twenty-five photographs are ordered chronologically around the bright, airy rooms of the gallery, each one chosen to reflect a distinct decisive moment in Indian photographic history. Driven by Bubbar’s background in art history, his recognition of context binds the project together as the beginnings of a technological and artistic revolution in the context of one distinct and, in itself, rapidly evolving culture. In the middle of the 19th century, photography took over from painting as the new mode of representing the world – hence the name, The New Medium. The exhibition frames an era in which the diverse customs of India – the temples, animals and people – could all …

2015-06-19T10:09:02+00:00

Slava in his handmade boat on the bay of Barents Sea near meteorological station.

Evgenia Arbugaeva took an icebreaker through the Arctic Ocean

When Evgenia Arbugaeva boarded an icebreaker ship in the Arctic Ocean, little did she know that the trip of several weeks would lead to a project that would have a profound and lasting effect on her. Arbugaeva, an award-winning photographer who was born in Tiksi, a settlement on the Arctic coast in northern Russia, hoped that something – a project – would come of the trip, but it would be many more weeks before she found her subject. The photographer, who graduated from the photography programme at New York’s International Center of Photography in 2009, first came across the polar north’s meteorological stations – outposts that are home to a handful of scientists whose job it is to measure temperature, snowfall and wind – while out on a husky sledding expedition with her father (he breeds husky dogs, she tells me when we speak on Skype). Bad weather forced the pair to stop at the research stations, which are located in areas that are otherwise uninhabited. Intrigued by the people who live there and their way …

2015-07-07T17:01:34+00:00

Woman Washing Herself

Delicate Demons: do women belong in the home?

Delicate Demons is a collaborative, ongoing project between Finnish photographers Satu Haavisto and Aino Kannisto, in which women are meticulously staged in domestic spaces. The spaces in the photographs are tight, with a room corner in most of the scenes, compressing the viewer and the subject into an uncomfortably proximal relationship and emphasising the sense of home as a potentially oppressive place. The women appear as mysterious characters, deep in thought. They feel heavy and complicated, physically embodying difficult emotions and experiences. The gaze of many of the women is strikingly intense. In one image, Woman on Balcony, her stare out of the frame feels somewhat over-constructed until, with a jolt, we see in a reflection she is in fact gazing directly at the camera. Face on, her look is more vulnerable, more anxious and raw. Props and settings combine to hint at troubling, ambiguous backstories: one figure clutches a kitchen knife, barely visible between her knees. Delicate Demons comes from the same vein as Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s novella The Yellow Wallpaper, in which the apparently innocuous wallpaper …

2015-06-25T16:26:40+00:00

BJP Staff