All posts filed under: Architecture

The New Medium: exhibiting the first photographs ever taken in India

It is a cool midsummer’s evening in Mayfair’s Cork Street – the nucleus of London’s contemporary art world. Number 33 is the professional home of Prahlad Bubbar – collector of Indian and Islamic art – and the location of his new exhibition, The New Medium: Photography in India 1855-1930. The New Medium is a neat survey of the birth and rise of photography as a major art form in the subcontinent. Twenty-five photographs are ordered chronologically around the bright, airy rooms of the gallery, each one chosen to reflect a distinct decisive moment in Indian photographic history. Driven by Bubbar’s background in art history, his recognition of context binds the project together as the beginnings of a technological and artistic revolution in the context of one distinct and, in itself, rapidly evolving culture. In the middle of the 19th century, photography took over from painting as the new mode of representing the world – hence the name, The New Medium. The exhibition frames an era in which the diverse customs of India – the temples, animals and people – could all …

2015-06-19T10:09:02+00:00

U.A.E. Dubai. The view from Jumeirah Beach Residence in the Marina. 2013

Olivia Arthur photographs Dubai’s obsession with wealth

Stranger, the latest photobook from Magnum photographer Olivia Arthur, is a journey through contemporary Dubai – a city which, since 1960, has expanded from a population of 90,0000 to over 2 million, metamorphosing from a modest fishing settlement into a land of promised riches, the ultimate playground of excess. Moving through the images in Stranger, we are presented with golden beaches, men clad in white flowing robes, sunlight illuminating towering skyscrapers, and many, many flash cars. “In Dubai, everybody, from all backgrounds and walks of life, come to make money,” says Arthur. In Stranger, the consumerism and extreme wealth synonymous with the ‘City of Gold’ is palpable. But photographing Dubai in a straight documentary mode didn’t interest Arthur. “I wanted to avoid looking at Dubai through my western eyes,” she says. “I wanted to force myself to see things afresh.”

2015-06-25T16:27:13+00:00

Victorian photographs of the abandoned Dreamland amusement park in Margate, Kent

At its peak in the 1960s, Dreamland Margate thronged with visitors. Millions of them, young and old, families and couples, piled into the seaside amusement park to laugh, flirt, ride the famous Scenic Railway rollercoaster, try their luck at the coconut shy, and wolf down candy floss and jellied eels. But over the decades that followed Dreamland waned in popularity, changing its name, losing its lustre and eventually shutting in 2003. Now, thanks to a local campaign and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the park is about to throw open its doors again to the public, reimagined by Hemingway Design as a hip, vintage attraction. In the years between closure and redevelopment, Dreamland was left to rot. From 2013, photographer Rob Ball captured this Dreamland, mainly using the Victorian tintype wet collodion process. Tatty, forlorn but still oddly majestic, the empty park takes on a haunting air in his photographs. The tintypes will go on show at The Photographers’ Gallery. They also feature in a book, published by Dewi Lewis, along with contemporary …

2015-06-15T15:55:52+00:00

FUTURO

Unfathomable: Geert Goiris’ futuristic objects in abandoned landscapes

To create his expansive, understated work, Belgian photographer Geert Goiris journeys to far-flung locations – polar regions, deserts, mountain valleys. There, with a large format camera fixed to a tripod, he brings into stark focus desolate landscapes littered with modernist ruins and futuristic objects. The shots themselves are mundane yet spectacular, familiar yet unfamiliar, as if we’ve entered a not-too-distant future in which people have abandoned their homes because of some natural calamity. Exploring these isolated locations is at the heart of what Goiris does. “I’m very much drawn to open spaces and sites that are hard to live in or colonize or hard for people to domesticate,” he says. “I think these places, first of all, give us a strange mix of calmness and relaxation with anxiety and fear; they also show what existence is without human beings, when there is no infrastructure… it’s very much this detached, alien point of view as well.

2015-06-17T14:02:37+00:00

A photographer documented the building of London’s 100km Crossrail Project

As Londoners go about their daily business above ground, unbeknownst to many of them, construction workers below are busy excavating, navigating and building a network of tunnels for the much-anticipated Crossrail. “You pop out of a hole in the middle of Oxford Street and no one knows where you’ve come from,” marvels John Zammit, one of the photographers charged with documenting its progress. “It’s a completely different world down there.” Transport for London subsidiary Crossrail has spent £14.8bn building that world, which will add a capacity of 10 percent to London’s railway network when it opens in 2018, and will be the most extensive addition to the city’s public transport system since World War II. Spanning east to west from Shenfield and Abbey Wood through central London and out to Heathrow and Reading, the subterranean course measures 100km, and Zammit has followed the entire route – carrying an 80lb camera bag, kitted out in safety gear from head to toe – hard hat, protective glasses, industrial boots, and toting an MSA self-rescue breathing unit and …

2015-06-17T14:02:13+00:00

Fifa, The UN, The French Communist Party: Luca Zanier goes inside the corridors of power

A visit to the United Nations in New York is what first provided the spark for Luca Zanier to begin photographing the buildings that appear in his series Corridors of Power. Now numbering over 30 images, the series captures the dramatic interiors of the buildings around the world where political decisions are made. Zanier shoots the buildings empty of people, so the focus instead is on the architecture: the rooms therefore seem paused, with the chairs waiting to be filled, braced for the debates and the decision-making to take place. “I’m interested in politics,” says Zanier of his reason for being intrigued by the spaces. “You see the news all the time, and the people are changing all the time, the really important people that make the decisions. I realised that there are a lot of organisations around the world where they make decisions, and you know about the decisions, you know what’s going on, but you don’t know about the places where they make them.” Zanier has photographed buildings in New York, but much …

2015-05-29T17:27:01+00:00

Looking up the Core, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008

A vision of urban decay in Johannesburg wins the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015

Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse were awarded the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015 at The Photographers’ Gallery this evening, Thursday 28 May 2015. The £30,000 award was presented by previous prize winners Oliver Chanarin on behalf of the artist duo Broomberg & Chanarin. Subotzky and Waterhouse won for their publication Ponte City (Steidl, 2014), which depicts a 54-floor apartment block in Johannesburg, built in 1976 for a white elite under apartheid rule. After the end of Apartheid, it became a refuge for black newcomers to the city and immigrants from all over Africa, and it came to be seen as the prime symbol of urban decay in the city – the epicentre of crime, prostitution and drug dealing. Subotzky and Waterhouse began their project in 2007 after a failed regeneration project. Working with remaining residents and using photographs, architectural plans, archival and historical material, they created an intimate social portrait of the building’s community of residents. An accompanying sequence of seventeen booklets containing essays and personal stories complete the visual and spatial narrative of this …

2015-06-09T11:57:39+00:00

Photo-collage with Two Segments at Richard Neutra's Silver Lake house in Los Angeles 1939 © Barbara Hepworth, The Hepworth Photograph Collection

Barbara Hepworth’s never seen before photographs go on display in London

This June, Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World – the first major retrospective of the work of British sculptor Barbara Hepworth, as well as her never-before-seen photographs, will open at the Tate Britain. The set of photographs reveal the importance of photography to Hepworth, and how she used it to shape public opinion of her work. As Sophie Bowness, Hepworth’s granddaughter and co-curator of the Tate show explains: “Hepworth had a life-long appreciation of the importance of photography in the recording and reception of her work.” The Hungarian Constructivist artist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy is thought to have taught Hepworth how to use her first camera – a Zeiss Ikon in 1933. The two became friends when Moholy-Nagy moved to London to escape Nazism, and his modernist ideas influenced her greatly. It was after a meeting with the artist on his first trip to London that Hepworth produced her first Self-Photogram (1932 – 33), two self-portraits depicting her fuzzy profile surrounded by a halo of hair. A photogram is an image made by placing objects directly onto photosensitive paper and exposing them …

2015-05-12T13:15:08+00:00

BJP Staff