All posts filed under: BJP

Obituary: Abbas, photographer and Magnum Photos member, 1944-2018

“I used to describe myself as a photojournalist, and was very proud of it,” wrote Abbas in 2017. “The choice was to think of oneself either as a photojournalist or an artist. It wasn’t out of humility that I called myself a photojournalist, but arrogance. I thought photojournalism was superior, but these days I don’t call myself a photojournalist because, although I use the techniques of a photojournalist and get published in magazines and newspapers, I am working at things in depth and over long periods of time. I don’t just make stories about what’s happening. I’m making stories about my way of seeing what’s happening.” Abbas has been described as a “born photographer”, who over his 60-year career covered war and revolution in Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Biafra, Chile, Cuba, Apartheid South Africa, and Northern Ireland. He also pursued a lifelong interest in religion in his work, shooting in 29 countries to create the book and exhibition Allah O Akbar: A Journey Through Militant Islam, and publishing long-term series on Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and animism. 

2018-04-26T10:31:30+00:00

Portrait of Britain: Diversifying the Traditional Group Portrait

Frederic Aranda is a photographer specializing in group portraiture. His work has twice been selected for Portrait of Britain, with both his winning images standing out for their dramatic feel and quirky composure. Aranda works against the grain. His images shirk traditionally hierarchical, staid forms of group portraiture, and aim for naturalism and diversity. Aranda was born in Switzerland but moved to the UK twenty years ago, initially to study Japanese at Oxford. A completely self-taught photographer, Aranda has since worked for a number of high-profile publications, including Vanity Fair and Vogue. He has also been shortlisted by The Times as Young Photographer of the Year, and his first photobook, Electric Fashion, was published by Skira in 2015, and launched at the V&A. Since being selected for Portrait of Britain, Aranda has won first prize for editorial in the Swiss Photo Award, for his portfolio of group projects. How did you create the selected portraits that you entered into Portrait of Britain 2016, and what are the stories behind them? I had two images selected: …

2018-04-25T09:58:05+00:00

NEW: DEFENCE at Essex’s Coalhouse Fort pops up on 28 April

With its dungeon-like chambers, ghostly corridors, and casemates on which guns would have stood, Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury, Essex, is an unlikely art gallery. But on 28 April 2018, the 144 year fort on the edge of the Thames Estuary will open its doors to the public for a pop-up exhibition, featuring artists such as Felicity Hammond, Dafna Talmor, and Corinne Silva. Caught between a military past and its current use as a tourist attraction, the fort’s identity is shifting. The building is deteriorating and being reclaimed by nature – the antithesis to its original role as a robust military base. A team of volunteers is working with the local council to restore it, and keep it from falling into obscurity. But while it may be ramshackle, it is a space full of artistic possibility, and that is what captured my imagination when I was invited by artist and lecturer Michael Whelan to curate a pop-up exhibition there. Whelan had been working with Thurrock Council to digitise its rich archive of photographs, documents, and military-related artefacts and, noticing the site’s potential as a space to show art, decided to put on an exhibition.

2018-04-23T14:19:12+00:00

Senta Simond’s Rayon Vert on show, in print, and in BJP

“Tu sais qu’est-ce que c’est le rayon vert?” Marie Rivière’s listless character Delphine asks, her legs swinging, in Éric Rohmer’s 1986 film Le Rayon Vert [The Green Ray]. The film – a portrait of its main character’s halting search for summer romance – was based on Jules Verne’s 1882 novel of the same name. While in theory its title refers to an optical phenomenon – in which the appearance of the sun as it rises or falls beyond the horizon creates a brief flash of green, and with it a supposed moment of mental clarity for all those who see it – in reality its subject matter is far more elusive. “I related the ‘rayon vert’ phenomenon to the process of photography – this special and quick moment that happens rarely,” Swiss photographer Senta Simond explains, referring to her project of the same name. Her series, which will be published by Kominek and shown at London’s Webber Gallery soon, adds a new, compelling layer to the meteorological event/Jules Verne/ Éric Rohmer mix of references. Indeed, Simond, a former student of ECAL, University of Art and Design Lausanne, from which she graduated last summer, first encountered the concept via the 1986 film.

2018-04-19T13:09:44+00:00

BJP #7871: Hamburg Triennial of Photography

In a first for BJP we have partnered with the Hamburg Triennial of Photography this issue, catching up with the festival’s artistic director Krzysztof Candrowicz and examining the festival’s theme Breaking Point: Searching for Change. “For Krzysztof, photography provides a pertinent tool for examining these big subjects,” writes BJP’s editor Simon Bainbridge, “not just as a visual document of environmental emergency or hi-tech Armageddon, but as a tangible, thought-provoking exploration of transition.” From the 320 artists included in the festival’s open submissions, we bring you our favourites – including Salvatore Vitale and his project on Switzerland’s obsession with security, which scrutinises the ways in which it shapes not only the environment, but also the Swiss mentality. Sarker Protick draws our focus towards Bangladesh’s Padma River, offering a stark warning of rising water levels, while Gábor Arion Kudász’s Human is a study of mankind via the metaphor of a humble brick.   We highlight more of the thought-provoking work on show in Hamburg in our Projects section, including Carlo Lombardi’s series on an endangered loggerhead sea turtle. Gretje Treiber’s …

2018-04-10T09:31:14+00:00

Sparks from Ukraine by Wiktoria Wojciechowska

When Polish photographer Wiktoria Wojciechowska first heard about the ongoing Ukrainian conflict she was in China, shooting a project titled Short Flashes, which went on to win the 2015 Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award. “I was cracking the internet but everything was so blocked I couldn’t get any information,” she says. “I was asking all my friends, then I realised not many people knew about it, even though it’s so close [as Ukraine borders Poland]. I was really inspired to go by fear, by wondering how I would react if the same thing happened in my country.”

2018-04-04T14:43:31+00:00

Fuck it – Michele Sibiloni shoots Kampala’s eye-opening nightlife

Late in 2010, Michele Sibiloni left the sleepy town in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy where he had lived all his life and moved to Kampala in Uganda, a city eight times larger. He had come to cover the lead up to the 2011 general election in the country, which many had predicted might depose its leader, following the lead of the Jasmine revolution in North African countries. But, despite the jitter, all Sibiloni witnessed once the voting had ended was the swearing-in of President Yoweri Museveni for his fourth term in office since he helped overthrow Idi Amin in 1979. Even so, Sibiloni was hooked. “It’s so different to where I come from,” he tells me, by telephone from his apartment in Kampala. “At the beginning I found it really chaotic, but the more time I spent here, and the more I got to know about the surrounding region of East Africa, the more fascinated I became. In fact, I got really excited.”

2018-04-04T11:55:37+00:00

Posturing – a new vision of the body in fashion

Fashion photography is changing – as Holly Hay and Shonagh Marshall, co-curators of a new three-part project entitled Posturing: Photographing the Body in Fashion, will attest. In November 2017, the pair held a London exhibition which placed 42 framed photographs and six magazine shoots in a west London space. It called into question both the function of this branch of contemporary image-making and the changing role of the figure in fashion imagery, placing work by Johnny Dufort, Marton Perlaki, Charlie Engman, Brianna Capozzi and others side by side. The show was followed by a specially commissioned film by artist Coco Capitán, Learning to Transcend the Physical Barrier That Owning a Body Implies, examining the respective practices of a choreographer, an artist and the founder of a traditional film-based darkroom, interrogating physical selfhood in all of its guises. This month, they launch the third part – a book created with Self Publish, Be Happy, in which photographers, stylists, editors and set designers respond to ideas about the body in fashion.

2018-04-03T14:09:01+00:00

There should be more dark-skinned models and self-love in the fashion industry: This week’s Portrait of Britain People’s Choice winner Thomas Morgan

Thomas Morgan’ winning portrait is of Malick Darbo, a young model just starting out in the industry. The aim for the image and wider series was to highlight the beauty of dark skin, which has been underrepresented in the fashion industry for many years. Thomas maintains a particular interest in fashion photography. Since being given his first DSLR camera on his 17th birthday, he has spent time curating shoots with his family and friends. In 2016, he arranged a shoot with a friend he thought could be a model. Off the back of those images, his friend got signed to a modelling agency, and Thomas was invited to test shoot and build up portfolios for new models, giving him room to experiment with style and technique. Being selected as our People’s Choice Weekly Winner is the first public recognition Thomas has received for his work. Can you tell me about the portrait you entered into Portrait of Britain 2018? What is the story behind it? For a while I have wanted to do a series …

2018-04-03T16:46:48+00:00

Winner of the BJP International Photography Award 2018 Announced

The winners of the International Photography Award 2018 are Copenhagen-based collective Sara, Peter & Tobias, who have won with their series The Merge, an in-depth exploration into artificial intelligence and robotics, which aims to explore and visually interpret the possibility that we are living inside a simulation. Having shared a studio but worked separately for several years, Sara, Peter and Tobias came together to start a collaborative creative studio in 2013. “Coming together gave us room to experiment,” Sara explains. “We each wanted to move away from the conventional shape and form of documentary or editorial photography. Then we realised that if we wanted to do things differently, and wanted something different to happen, we needed to do everything differently, so we came together as a collective.” Since forming their collective, Sara, Peter and Tobias have made a name for themselves with their first project and photobook, Phenomena. This debut project was an anthropological study of UFOs and extraterrestrials, and was exhibited at Rencontres d’Arles and nominated for Prix de la Photo Figaro. It introduced …

2018-03-27T09:40:06+00:00

BJP Staff