All posts filed under: Portrait

Wilteysha, 1993 © Dana Lixenberg. Courtesy of the artist and Grimm, Amsterdam

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2017 shortlist announced

Questions of truth and fiction, doubt and certainty, and the relationship between the observer and the observed are the key themes of the 2017 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize. The £30,000 prize rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which is felt to have significantly contributed to the medium of photography between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016. The shortlisted artists have been nominated for the following projects: Sophie Calle, born in 1953 in France, has been nominated for her publication My All which finds the artist experimenting with yet another medium – the postcard set. Taking stock of her entire œuvre, this set of postcards functions as a portfolio of Calle’s work, as well as a new investigation of it, in an appropriately nomadic format. Over the past thirty years, Sophie Calle has invited strangers to sleep in her bed, followed a man through the streets of Paris to Venice, hired a detective to spy on herself before providing a report of her day, …

2016-11-24T17:02:42+00:00

Irene, Orpington, from the series Hen. All images © Bex Day

Bex Day photographs gender fluidity in the UK’s older trans community

‘Hen’ translates as a gender-neutral pronoun in Swedish, and is intended to move beyond the binary for those who identify neither as male or female. Hen is also the title of photographer Bex Day’s forthcoming project, which focuses on the older generation in the UK’s trans community. Featuring 50 subjects over the age of 40, Hen tells personal stories and investigates the common themes of loss and discovery that unite its subjects. A deliberately empowering study of individuals often placed at the fringes, it records both light-hearted and disquieting experiences they have had. “When I was younger everyone thought I was a boy and my brother was a girl,” says Day. “My parents never told me ‘You’re a girl so you should dress in pink’; I really wasn’t a stereotypical girl, I was quite boyish and as I got older I felt more and more displaced. “I think, particularly within the trans community, that feeling of displacement can be quite prevalent as well. There’s something about not fitting in, and not succumbing to stereotypes.” Day found potential participants for Hen through online forums, and formed close friendships …

2016-11-24T16:10:41+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

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Max Pinckers – Japanese Tourist

In the West, Japan is like a fantasy. A strange, isolated culture of almost perfect self-preservation, we imagine suited Yakuza, manicured raw fish, a blubbery sumo, bonsai trees, samurai swords, wasted bankers, Geishas, karaoke. When Max Pinckers arrived in Japan, via a commission from the Belgium-based cultural project European Eyes on Japan, he couldn’t find much of the Japan he’d come to imagine.

2016-11-04T18:38:44+00:00

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Charlie Kwai’s Unapologetically Confrontational Street Photography

Born and raised in London, Charlie Kwai has always been fascinated by untold narratives about those around him, but it wasn’t until a stint working as a freelance graphic designer in tourist hotspot Piccadilly Circus that he started to carve out his singular niche in street photography. He soon discarded the Pentax K1000 he had stolen from college almost a decade earlier in favour of a digital camera, and began to seek respite from his frustrating day job by capturing the characters he found around him. “I’d go out on lunch and spend a full hour taking photos. I wouldn’t even eat sometimes, and then after work I would stay out from six until eight most nights,” he says. Before long, his uncanny ability to pinpoint moments of clarity and stillness in bustling crowds of tourists – a Burger King-crowned princess perched pensively on a stone step, or a family so archetypal they appear like a waxwork parody of themselves – grew into a day job all its own. “What gets me out of bed …

2016-10-25T16:23:37+00:00

Aly Gadiaga, Catania, Sicily, Italy, June 2015. Aly, 26, left Senegal and spent three years travelling to Libya, washing dishes in Mali and Burkina Faso in order to earn the money to board one of the dangerous convoys and cross the Sahara. Aly speaks Wolof (a language of Senegal), French, Italian and English fluently. He has lived in Catania for two years and has not yet received a work permit. Everyone in the market knows him as “Gucci”, a slang term for “good” or “all right”, because of his remarkably positive attitude. He has not seen his family for six years.
Images © John Radcliffe Studio.

Foreigner: Migration into Europe 2015-2016

On 13 and 19 April last year, two migrant boats capsized off the coast of Libya, with the loss of more than a thousand lives. Many of those who drowned were refugees, fleeing civil war, and therefore protected under the 1951 Refugee Convention, but their deaths won little sympathy on the pages of some of the UK’s biggest newspapers. On 17 April, The Sun columnist Katie Hopkins wrote an article comparing migrants to cockroaches or the norovirus, adding that Britain needed gunships, not rescue boats, to send them back. “No, I don’t care,” she wrote. “Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care.” As the so-called migrant crisis continued unabated, so too did the negative press. By July, the Daily Mail, Britain’s most-read newspaper brand and Hopkins’ new employer, was running headlines like “The ‘swarm’ on our streets”, calling for the army to go to the Jungle refugee camp in Calais. A year later, the Daily Express warned of …

2016-10-20T12:14:51+00:00

BJP Staff