All posts filed under: Fine Art

From the series Talcum © Seba Kurtis, courtesy Christophe Guye Galerie

Seba Kurtis’ new work on migrants goes on show

It was discarded by the side of the road in Austria – a poultry lorry seeping human decay. When the authorities entered in August 2015, they found 71 bodies collapsed in a heap of necrosis, among them children, one a baby. All had died of asphyxiation. Beyond the horror, the discovery pointed to a complex global network of traffickers and asylum seekers. Some of the dead were confirmed as Syrian; others were harder to identify. The owner of the lorry, which had set off from Budapest, was a Bulgarian of Lebanese origin. Shortly after, the Hungarian police detained three East Europeans and an Afghan, all likely “low-ranking members of a Bulgarian- Hungarian human-trafficking gang”. A week later, a photo of three-year-old Alan Kurdi’s body washed up on a beach near Bodrum, went viral, putting an innocent human face on the migration crisis in Europe, which by now had become a deeply divisive political issue. The lorry in Austria was different. The victims remained invisible. The descriptions of the discovery forced you to make your own …

2017-02-20T13:14:43+00:00

From the series Fade Like a Sigh © Rana Young and Zora J Murff

Fade Like A Sigh

“Collaboration is a comfortable way of telling our stories in the company of someone else, as this content is too heavy for each of us to revisit alone,” says Rana Young, a Masters student at the University of Nebraska, who’s worked with fellow student Zora J Murff to make a series called Fade Like A Sigh. Initially thrown together by sharing a studio, the pair got talking and soon realised they had much in common. Both come from the Midwest and take a similar approach to photographing “imagery that describes home, or place generally”; both grew up with an absent parent. “Our personal experiences of that are unique, but through conversation we found a commonality,” says Young. “It’s easy to assume that your exposure to a shared experience is different to someone else’s.” Working together felt like a natural next step but they didn’t start to do so until last Autumn, when they were offered a two-person show. Finding images that didn’t quite fit into their other projects, they compared them and “began to notice how …

2017-02-16T16:33:28+00:00

From the series A Smiling Man A Hidden Snake © Yurian Quintanas Nobel

An uneasy vision of Sri Lanka in A Smiling Man and a Hidden Snake

Before Yurian Quintanas Nobel went on holiday to Sri Lanka, friends told him how welcoming the people there are. “And they really are,” he says, “but I always felt there was a kind of darkness in this country. “The recent history of Sri Lanka is very painful in human terms,” he explains. “The country suffered a long civil war that finished only eight years ago, and they had a devastating tsunami in 2004. I remember one afternoon I was taking pictures of a ruined house when a man came out to say hello. We talked for a while and then he told me that his wife and his child had died in the tsunami, and he pointed next to us where they were buried. “These kinds of situations shocked me, and influenced me more than other things like the hospitality of the people and the beauty of the country. What I had in mind while taking pictures was that not everything is what it seems. Sometimes things are not as beautiful as you thought and sometimes, …

2017-02-16T14:01:11+00:00

Installation shot of Incoming by Richard Mosse in collaboration with Trevor Tweeten and Ben Frost at The Curve, Barbican. Image © Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Barbican Art Gallery

Richard Mosse – Incoming

“A camera is a sublimation of the gun,” Susan Sontag wrote in her seminal collection of essays On Photography, first published in 1977. “To photograph someone is a subliminal murder – a soft murder, appropriate to a sad, frightened time.” But for Richard Mosse’s latest work, Incoming, his camera wasn’t a sublimation – it was the weapon itself. The Irishman’s rise has been vertiginous. Graduating from an MRes in cultural studies in 2003, a decade later he was representing his home country at the Venice Biennale, by way of a postgraduate course in fine art at Goldsmiths, an MFA in photography at Yale University and dozens of solo and group exhibitions in between. In 2015, the Irish photographer was nominated for membership of Magnum Photos – he was to be one of the youngest members of the prestigious agency, invited on the back of one extraordinary photography series, his Congo-based Infra work, which had won the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize a year earlier. But, even as he was welcomed in by Magnum, Mosse privately harboured an increasing sense …

2017-02-22T11:48:48+00:00

D is for Deconstruct. Photos are often reliable documents that show things as they truly are. But just as you cut and paste with paper, scissors and glue, so too can you deconstruct and rebuild a photo – snipping, clipping and nipping as you please. Image from the series “I want to be...”, 2014, Kid’s Wear magazine, vol. 40 © Achim Lippoth, taken from the book ABC Photography

Making photography as easy as ABC

ABC Photography, a children’s guide to photography featuring images by Martin Parr, Wolfgang Tillmans, Nan Goldin, Alec Soth, Sebastiao Salgado and many more, opens at the V&A Museum of Childhood this weekend. Inspired by the recent book edited by Jan von Holleben – who also shoots children’s books himself – the project takes one photographic concept per letter to explain ideas such as deconstruction, composition, exposure and perspective. The text, by Monte Packham, is child-friendly and witty, and draws on the images to make a satisfyingly holistic whole. An exhibition by Tom Hunter called Searching for Ghosts also opens at the V&A Museum of Childhood this weekend, featuring work made with children living on the Boundary Estate. ABC Photography is free, and is open until 11 June in London’s V&A Museum of Childhood. ABC Photography, ed Jan van Holleben, is published by Tarzipan Books. Searching for Ghosts by Tom Hunter is open until 21 January 2018.

2017-02-09T13:54:22+00:00

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Q&A: Theo Simpson on his current solo show, The Land of the Day Before

Theo Simpson lives and works in the North of England, where he is an associate lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. He has published several books, including Eleven Miles of Derbyshire Power Lines, A Survey of Operational Deep Coal Mines in the UK, and What We Buy. He has shown work in The Naughton Gallery at Queens, Belfast; SIA Gallery, Sheffield; Royal Institute of British Architects, London; Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland; and currently has a solo show, The Land of the Day Before, at Webber Gallery, London. BJP: What do you hope to show with your photography? TS: I’m interested in showing an alternative communication of the landscape around me – to reconsider and re-imagine it, as a site for new opportunity and possibilities. What I’m attempting is a more honest and progressive way of thinking about these specific environments. BJP: What are you showing in the Webber exhibition? TS: My work method involves bringing together different approaches and strategies for examining the landscape. This methodology involves observing the surrounding land over a prolonged period of time and examining how …

2017-02-16T13:40:01+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

Animal Instincts, from the series Brother & Sister © Viktoria Sorochinski

How Viktoria Sorochinski shot a whole series on a three-week residency

In the spring of 2015 Viktoria Sorochinski found herself on a three-week residency on the island of Halsnøy, Norway. At only 15 square miles, Halsnøy is home to a population of just 2500, but its sylvan landscape became the setting for her series Brother & Sister. Sorochinski had won the residency after a portfolio review at Rencontres d’Arles with organisers Øyvind Hjelmen and Helén Petersen, and was initially very daunted by the prospect. “I was scared because I thought trying to make a whole new narrative project in three weeks seemed like a crazy idea,” she says. “I didn’t even propose a project. I wanted to allow myself to get inspired by the place, and to create something spontaneously. I had been lacking in inspiration for a while before, so this residency brought me back to life, in a way.” When BJP first interviewed Sorochinski it was 2010, and she was living in New York and working on Anna and Eve, her Lucie Award-winning series chronicling the changing relationship of a young mother and her daughter …

2017-01-31T13:49:53+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

BJP Staff