All posts filed under: Events

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Mining the cosmos in Kaja Rata’s Kajnikaj

Kaja Rata lives in the Silesia region of Poland, a place where “nothing unusual happens”. “People are working hard as a miners, or drinking hard while they’re looking for the next job,” she says. “But the mines are slowly disappearing, because it’s an unprofitable industry right now. Basically, I can tell that I live in vanishing location.” She’s opted to break up the experience by making Kajnikaj, a series whose title means “here and there” in the local dialect. Documentary but also somehow fantastical, it focuses in on the “grey destroyed monuments of the Soviet era” and a celestial colour palette to create something that looks cosmic. “When I look at the sky over the decaying town, and when I build rickety contraptions, I am trying to find means to escape from the place I was born and raised,” she says. “Even though I know that it is a futile attempt.” Born in 1987 , Rata has been studying photography seriously for eight years; she graduated from the photography BA at University of Arts in Poznań in 2015, …

2017-02-10T09:32:30+00:00

From the series South London Bikelife © Dan Giannopoulos

How South London Bikelife sidesteps the negative stereotypes

In 2014, masked bikers started riding around Dan Giannopoulos’ neighbourhood in Greenwich, South London. The local and national press was instantly critical, but Giannopoulos was intrigued, and soon decided to start shooting them. “I like exploring subcultures and fringe communities; this was something that really sparked that interest and it was right on my doorstep so I had no excuse to not pursue it,” he says. “At the time I was shooting a project on the banger racing community, and moving straight into this seemed like an obvious thing to do…It felt like a natural segue – they explore similar themes of working class communities developing intriguing subcultures.” After a failed start with a group on the South London/Kent borders, Giannopoulos met a larger community riding near the O2 arena in April 2015; sending images to the riders after their first meet-up, he quickly formed a working relationship. What struck him was how friendly and humorous the riders were, he says, contrary to their reputation “They all looked out for each other,” he says. “Defiantly so. They all …

2017-02-16T13:38:28+00:00

half awake and half asleep in the water half awake and half asleep in the water by Asako Narahashi, scenography by ECAL, Arthur Desmet, Marie Millière and Arthur Monnereau. © Diana Martin/Festival Images Vevey 2016

Innovative installations rule at the Festival Images Vevey

Festival Images Vevey is known for its innovative photography installations, but in 2016 it outdid itself, placing images on the bottom of Lake Geneva, hiding them behind peep-holes, and much more. “The festival is interesting because it uses photography so unconventionally,” says Erik Kessels, the Amsterdam-based artist and art director who has shown his work and been a regular visitor at the biennial, and who recommended it to BJP. “It’s experimental, unafraid of risk.” The Swiss festival has been going since 1997, but when Stefano Stoll was asked to take over in 2008, it was in the doldrums. “It was a festival pretty much as any other,” he says. “You bought a ticket, entered a couple of galleries and discovered framed images on the walls. It wasn’t attracting many visitors, and the sponsors weren’t happy. I was tasked with coming up with a more innovative concept.” Stoll had previously co-founded a more conventional festival so he wasn’t interested in repeating himself, and felt there was little point trying to replicate what others were already doing so successfully …

2017-02-04T10:01:08+00:00

Shimen Temple, from the series Hard Work © Ameena Rojee

Miniclick Soapbox comes to London

BJP‘s Ameena Rojee is one of six photographers presenting and discussing work at the Miniclick Soapbox event in London this Thursday. The University of West England graduate, who is also BJP‘s commercial campaign manager, will show the series Hard Work, shot at the School of Shaolin Kung Fu in Qufu, China. Rojee was originally inspired to visit the academy by the martial arts films she watched while growing up, but says the reality was very different. “The pollution was awful, greying the landscape almost daily, and I had a bad cough and no voice by the end of my month there,” she told BJP back in 2015. “I had quite romantic notions about the area when I was planning to go to; being out in what was quite a rural area, I was expecting lush greens and beautiful sunsets, rich colours and airs clearer than London. I found very much the opposite to what I’d expected, ideals built from a lifetime of watching visually gorgeous martial arts films.” Rojee will be showing her work alongside Joshua Parker, Maria Kapajeva, …

2017-01-23T15:27:20+00:00

84 toothbrushes, collected 21 May, 15 September, 27 October and 28 October 2016 © Gideon Mendel

Gideon Mendel’s Dzhangal brings the Calais Jungle to life

Gideon Mendel’s new series Dzhangal is a portrait of the Calais Jungle, told through its abandoned objects. The title is an Afghan/Pakistani Pashto word meaning ‘This is the forest’, which became the colloquial name for the migrant camp, which existed until 26 October 2016. Mendel first went to the Jungle to teach photography with the University of East London’s Centre for Narrative Research, which was running courses and programmes for camp residents. He noticed a growing sense of antagonism towards photographers, with the refugees fearing that images would hinder rather than help their efforts to gain asylum, and looked to find a way of portraying them without identifying them. He decided to turn to their discarded possessions, collecting and recording what he found and bringing it back to London. “When I first came back with a whole bunch of bags full of what looked like random rubbish, my wife thought I’d completely lost the plot,” he laughs. “She thought I’d really gone mad, finally.” Some of this ‘random rubbish’ is now being housed at London’s Autograph ABP though, part of an …

2017-01-18T11:48:37+00:00

A Dream In Green, 2015, ffrom the series Joyce II: The Honeymoon Suite @ Juno Calypso

Simon Baker’s Best of 2016 and 2017

BJP

1. Araki at Musee Guimet 13 April-05 September, and Hamiltons 27 September-22 November Not a bad 76th year. A beautiful retrospective show at Musee Guimet in Paris, as well as a striking exhibition of new work at Hamiltons Gallery in London. Araki took the opportunity of being 76 to work with a 6×7 medium format camera and made some of his best work in years. 2. Provoke: Between Protest and Performance at Le Bal, 14 September-11 December Exhibition touring Europe, currently at Le Bal. Incredibly powerful. A historic show 3. Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection, Tate Modern Curated by my colleague Shoair Mavlian. A real surprise for many visitors and a highpoint of the year for me too.One of the great private collections of modernist photography, in incredible frames! 5. All the photography in the new expanded Tate Modern It’s everywhere now! Especially happy to see Boris Mikhailov and Sirkka Liisa Kontinen in the new Switch House. Both where they belong at the heart of the collection. 4. Juno Calypso It has …

2017-01-11T12:19:54+00:00

BJP Staff