All posts filed under: BJP

What a princess should wear, Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh, 2013. From A Myth of Two Souls © Vasantha Yogananthan

Vasantha Yogananthan on his epic series, A Myth of Two Souls

When Vasantha Yogananthan was a child growing up in France his Sri Lankan father would tell him stories from the Hindu epic poem the Ramayana. Tales of heroism, filial duty and love full of magic, allegory and divinity, these stories were at the time just that – stories. But when Yogananthan first visited India in 2013, he came face-to-face with the pervasiveness of myth and legend on the subcontinent. In a land steeped in ancient history, folklore and veracity are deeply intertwined, and attempting to disentangle the two can be futile. Eventually, Yogananthan decided to stop trying. Historians and archaeologists estimate the composition of the Ramayana to the 4th century, and it is at once a foundation stone of Indian literature, one of Hinduism’s key texts, and a model for familial relationships. It follows the journey of Prince Rama, who travels the length of the country to get his wife, Sita, back when she is abducted by the demon Ravana. It’s a complex story, and its characters have become embodiments of virtue and honour in Indian society, but the story touches …

2017-01-12T12:34:33+00:00

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#BJP 7856: Tales of the City

“It’s my sexiest project, for sure,” says Richard Renaldi of his latest photobook, Manhattan Sunday. Shot late at night and early in the morning in New York’s clubs, it’s a portrait of a nocturnal playground, peopled by free spirits. Renaldi moved to New York in 1986 and immersed himself in its clubs; 20 years later, he still enjoys a night out dancing, but set up a large format camera and tripod to shoot his series, on the dance floors and on the streets nearby. It was, he says “a little nutso, given the liability issues….but fun”. Renaldi’s series is BJP’s latest cover story, in an issue which explores many other facets of urban life. Dayanita Singh’s shots of factories in her native India offer a very different view of the city, for example, recording a country in flux as its manufacturing goes post-industrial. Fred Mortagne’s book Attraper Au Vol, meanwhile, show how skaters adapt rigid cityscapes to their own design, re-imagining the spaces and their possibilities. Meanwhile Mark Neville also explores how the environment is reshaped through play, shooting …

2017-01-04T17:46:46+00:00

Fran © Jack Davison

Jack Davison – an interview from the BJP archives

Walking down the street with Jack Davison can be time-consuming. A sharp-suited bloke talking on the phone, a pretty young girl in a hurry, a bored construction worker seated by the side of the road, a balding old soak nursing a pint; Davison approaches each without a moment’s hesitation. After introducing himself and chatting for a few seconds he’s circling round them, or leaning over them, or down on his knees, with his camera often inches from their face. He keeps talking to them throughout, framing quickly and firing off a few shots. He’s relaxed, composed in the moment, then gives a short thanks and he’s gone, walking down the street, briefly checking his new portrait. Davison turned up at BJP’s offices on a road bike that had seen much better days, sweating under the sun, wearing a baggy white t-shirt, denim shorts and a cycling helmet. He didn’t look like a fast-emerging photographer and, like any 24-year-old, is still trying to work stuff out, to get his head around the complexities of making a …

2017-01-09T16:26:51+00:00

All images from the book You Haven't Seen Their Faces © Daniel Mayrit

Daniel Mayrit’s portraits of the rich and powerful financial elite

“In the past, no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance,” wrote George Orwell in his novel 1984. But where his work depicts an imaginary dystopian society, a version of the mass surveillance it describes is now an everyday reality in the West. Civil liberties, some contend, are being traded for security. That’s the debate Spanish photographer Daniel Mayrit engages with in You Haven’t Seen Their Faces, a seminal work which won the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation First PhotoBook Award in November 2015. The book is a bizarre collection of CCTV-style, strongly pixellated and blown-up portraits of “The 100 most powerful people in the City of London”, coarsely printed on Kraft paper and bound together with three gold-coloured screws. Every image is tagged with hand-written notes and a caption, giving the same information about each subject – full name, position, company, reported net worth and/or salary. The basic data that goes with the picture of Christian Levett, for example, reads “Founder. Clive Capital. £13m salary. Net worth £250m”, presented in a font that suggests officialdom. …

2016-11-29T16:07:04+00:00

Lutz & Alex sitting in the trees, 1992

Wolfgang Tillmans – an interview from the BJP archives

On first sight, Wolfgang Tillmans’ east London studio has a relaxed feel, verging on the messy. But look closer and you notice the meticulously organised files of invoices, alongside boxes of letters and out-of-date films. The objects around this studio are often the subject of his photographs, and in many respects it helps explain his work. With their informal aesthetic and seemingly loose approach to subject matter, Tillmans’ photographs have been mistaken for casual snapshots. Don’t be fooled. He has deliberately abandoned “the language of importance”, but his images are carefully thought out and are often partly staged. “I guess there is a tendency for any artist in any field to want their work to be noticed,” he laughs. “But the artists who are a little bit more interesting go beyond that and realise that of course it’s much cooler to make it all look effortless.” Despite the apparent ease of style, Tillmans’ work is instantly recognisable, and he’s become one of the most celebrated artists of his generation. A decade ago he was the …

2016-11-23T16:38:21+00:00

BJP Staff