All posts filed under: Exhibitions

Live music inside L'Altro Mondo, Rimini, 1967. © Pietro Derossi

The radical architects who designed the discos of post-war Italy

As Italy emerged from World War II in the 1960s and 70s, the country found itself in need of reinvention. With the shadow of Mussolini and fascism looming large, the country set out to rebuild itself economically, culturally and socially. Out of this period of great transformation and uncertainty came the avant-garde designs by architects from the Radical design movement.  These architects, constrained by what they saw as the limits of post-war modern design, wanted to redefine the role of architecture in society. Inspired by the opportunity for experimentation, many viewed discotheques as an ideal vehicle for their creative drives. Innovative architects like Gruppo 9999, Superstudio and UFO designed a number of nightlife spaces that opened across the country. Radical Disco: Architecture and Nightlife in Italy, 1965 – 1975, is currently on show at the ICA until the 10th January and displays photographs from this fruitful, if brief period in Italian culture. As Sumitra Upham, co-curator alongside Catherine Rossi, tells BJP, the architects saw discos as an ideal avenue for the new ideas they wanted …

2016-01-06T17:02:13+00:00

Daniel Sachon, An Air of Prontezza

The teenage fashion photographer mixing advertising and pop culture

Fashion photographer Daniel Sachon is only 19, but in the last five years he’s racked up experience working for clients and publications like Models1, Select Models, Papercut Magazine, Fiasco Magazine and Slang Magazine. Disruptive Innovation, his first solo exhibition, is currently on show at the Londonnewcastle Project Space in east London. It features key images from his nascent body of work, including his playful reimagining of iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe. Sachon presents ‘Millennial Marilyn’ with contemporary products – an iPhone, a Starbucks cup.  Perhaps a comment on rampant consumerism and the bastardisation of iconography or merely combining two recognisable ‘brands’ from different eras, Sachon is keen to explore this dynamic.  “I’m inspired just as much by the art world as I am by the worlds of advertising and pop culture,” Sachon says. “Despite being inspired by both worlds and seeing so many similarities between the two, society seems to constantly disparage this link which I find inspiring and frustrating in equal measure.” “In this exhibition, I try to walk the fine line between these …

2016-01-13T14:32:41+00:00

Belfast Exposed – a photography gallery that crossed the sectarian divide

On 17 October, 1983, a show called Belfast Exposed opened at the Peoples’ Theatre, Conway Mill, between the Falls and Shankill Roads on the nationalist side of the ‘Peace Wall’. It was the height of The Troubles and Belfast was still dealing with the social trauma of the hunger strikes – the series of politically motivated, self-imposed fasts that had killed 10 Republican prisoners at HM Prison Maze, including Bobby Sands, a Republican political prisoner who was elected to the British parliament while on hunger strike. But this exhibition aimed to cross the sectarian divides, and to go beyond the usual photojournalism to articulate the working-class experience of the city. It was put together by Danny Burke, a local teacher and trade unionist who put out the call for “any photographer who wishes to explore any aspects of the city or its people – photographs being preferred on the basis of content rather than artistic or technical merit”. He aimed to show Belfast “from the inside”, rather than through the lens of outsider press photographers, …

2016-01-13T14:33:24+00:00

Frank Sinatra’s adolescent self-portraits exhibited on his 100th birthday

Over the course of his singular career, Frank Sinatra sold over 150 million albums worldwide, starred in a variety of Hollywood pictures, and won a panoply of awards – including honorary degrees, Oscars, Grammies, Walk of Fame stars and – remarkably – an Israeli Medal of Honour. The latter was bestowed upon him after he reportedly raised $6.5m in bond pledges for the state of Israel through his concerts. He’s now the subject of a new exhibition at Proud Chelsea, London, in celebration of Sinatra’s 100th birthday. Titled Sinatra at 100: A Century in the Making, the collection is taken from the Sinatra Family Archive, and curated by Sinatra’s granddaughter, Amanda Erlinger, who has access to Nancy Sinatra Senior’s family photo albums as well as self-portraits taken by Sinatra himself in his early, formative years, only discovered in the past few months. Alongside, Proud show photographs of Sinatra in his heyday, taken by photographers of the calibre of  Milton Greene, David Sutton, Ed Thrasher, Ken Veeder, John Bryson and Allan Grant. Sinatra was a performer who divides opinion; his reputed Mafia connections, alongside political flip-flopping (he publicly backed both Democrats and Republicans) suggest Sinatra …

2016-01-13T14:38:45+00:00

How London’s new buildings show how the city is facing terminal decline

Cities are places of constant change. It’s the nature of them, and it’s what makes them attractive. But not all change is equal; change can be organic, but it can be pernicious and abnormal. London has always been a city in flux. But, for anyone living in London, the transformations of the past few years are impossible to ignore. Huge swathes of the city have been redeveloped, remarkable buildings demolished, long-standing communities displaced. This current period of activity is unique, for it is is undoing many of the things that make the city unique. As social housing becomes luxury flats, as their inhabitants are forced out to the suburbs, the inner zones of the city become ever more homogenous, expensive and dull. This issue is what underlies Metropole, a project that aims to visualise the changing skyline of London, to imagine how the city will come to look in the future and, most importantly, seeks to recreate the sensation of feeling lost in a city that was once familiar. It’s a project partly inspired by the city symphony movies of the 1920s, films …

2016-01-13T14:42:52+00:00

Photographing Kung Fu in the Qufu School of Shaolin Kung Fu, China

Ameena Rojee’s collection, Hard Work, documents life at the School of Shaolin Kung Fu in Qufu, China. Rojee travelled to the school following a “split-second decision”, she says, inspired by the martial arts films she had watched growing up, and as part of a broader interest in exploring human limits and our power to break them. The images candidly depict a world poised between the romance of the old and the expediency of the new, where traditional monk’s robes float above Nike trainers, and religious icons vie with plastic bags for the viewer’s attention.                       It is a leitmotif Rojee shares with photographer Jon Tonks, who she cites as a key influence. She says the juxtaposition of ancient practices in the modern world is something that has always intrigued her, being rooted in her mixed Mauritian and Spanish heritage and UK upbringing. “I essentially grew up in a mix of old and new”, she explains. Nowhere is this more striking than in an image of …

2016-01-13T14:43:18+00:00

Mad raver, 12/4/1997, Pleasuredome.

Lost in Music: the story of dance music in 500 images

This Friday, theprintspace are putting on a party. Lost in Music is a major exhibition of 500 photographs that document the history of dance music, from the early rumblings of DIY DJ nights to the behemoth that is modern club culture. In conjunction with PYMCA, the world’s largest youth culture picture agency, the Shoreditch photographic pro-lab hopes to create a visual story that includes the full breadth of the movement, including professional photographers as well as personal snapshots from club-goers and DJs. Photographers being exhibited include Normski, Dean Chalkley and Dougie Wallace. The exhibition will tour the UK starting from February, but on the 4th of December, theprintspace are hosting a club night at Village Underground – the venue will be plastered with paraphenalia from various eras, hundreds of clubgoers and of course, the photographs. Recruiting the likes of Dean Chalkley, Gavin Mills and the legendary Danny Rampling to man the decks, the aim is to present music photography in the most natural, inevitable setting: the club. I went down to theprintspace offices to find out …

2015-12-03T11:26:47+00:00

Comings and Goings, Brick Lane, 1986

London Life: Colin O’Brien’s reflections on a changing city

Hackney-based Colin O’Brien has carved out of a reputation as one of the most important photographers documenting life in the capital. The steady buzz around his work continues to grow with the release of his latest book, London Life, published by Spitalfields Life Books, and his new exhibition at the new Leica Store City gallery based at The Royal Exchange, London. Now in his mid 70s, he is a delight to interview – witty, pithy and passionate. Over a coffee, O’Brien reflects upon a career in photography that started when he was eight, taking pictures of his friends playing together on the bomb sites of postwar London. Over decades O’Brien has built up a vast archive of images, so it is perhaps unsurprising that anyone viewing his work becomes acutely conscious of the changing face of life in the city he records.     These days Hackney itself seems to be a metaphor for constant urban renewal, something O’Brien is all too aware of. “When we first moved to Hackney [in the early 1980s], a …

2015-12-02T14:06:10+00:00

At Home With Mental Illness © Yuyang Liu

Keeping the flame of photojournalism alive, the Ian Parry Scholarship exhibits winning images

Launched in 1991, the Ian Parry Scholarship is an annual photographic competition for young photographers under the age of 24 or attending a full-time photographic course. Announced in July, this year’s winner Yuyang Liu, hailing from China, submitted a portfolio of images documenting the lives of people suffering with mental illness from Guangdong Province. Hosam Katan (Syria) was highly commended for his work, and Hashem Shakeri (Iran), Isadora Kosofsky (USA) and Salahuddin Ahmed (Bangladesh). An exhibition of this year’s winning and commended work, curated by Rebecca McClelland, is being exhibited this month at London’s Hoxton Gallery. The award was launched in 1991 in honour of Ian Parry, a 24-year-old photojournalist who was tragically killed whilst on assignment for The Sunday Times in December 1989 in Romania. The Scholarship comes with a £3500 grant for the production of a documentary body of work. The winner also receives a choice of equipment from Canon, has their work published in The Sunday Times Magazine, is automatically added to the final list of nominees for the Joop Swart Masterclass …

2015-12-02T17:04:09+00:00

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

BJP Staff