In July 2016, Diamond Reynolds’ partner was shot dead by a police officer during a traffic-stop in Minnesota. Reynolds used Facebook Live to broadcast the moments after the shooting, creating a video that became widely circulated, amassing over six million views, and which was also played to a jury as evidence in June 2017 – in a court case which saw the officer acquitted of all charges. In November 2016, Thompson invited Reynolds to collaborate on a project that would portray her in a different way to the original, publicly-consumed image. The resulting 35mm film, autoportrait, shows Reynolds apparently deep in thought and seemingly unaware of the camera, and is presented as a large-scale installation without a soundtrack. First exhibited in London’s Chisenhale Gallery in 2017, it’s been picked out of the winner of the £30,000 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018, over the three other shortlisted artists – Mathieu Asselin, Rafal Milach, and Batia Suter.
“The whole jury was in agreement that Eva has a very strong vision and that her work is characterised by a consistency both in aesthetic and content, since the concepts explored are the hot topics of our contemporary society,” says Alessia Glaviano, senior photo editor on Vogue Italia and member of the Hyères Festival photography jury this year – which has awarded the grand prix to Eva O’Leary. The New York-based photographer has won with a series called Spitting Image, which shows American girls aged 11 to 14 photographed while looking at themselves in a mirror. A project involving both photographs and videos, Spitting Image shows both the girls’ discomfort with being put in front of the lens, and the ways in which they – and others – present themselves for the camera.
One of photography’s earliest subjects, food is still a mainstay of the medium and provides an important insight into our fantasies and beliefs, says Susan Bright – who’s just published a book on the topic
“When I first arrived, my military escort said, ‘Gitmo: the best posting a soldier can have. There’s so much fun here!’,” recalls US photographer Debi Cornwall. “So I said, ‘Show me the fun!’” She had just touched down at Guantánamo Bay naval base, home to the infamous detention centre established in 2002 by US president George W Bush for the interrogation of suspected terrorists, enemy combatants and “extremely dangerous individuals” – “the worst of the worst, they call them” – following the 9/11 attacks. Since then, it has forged a reputation as hell on earth, where men are held for years without charge or legal process, and are often tortured. With 12 years’ experience of working as a wrongful-conviction lawyer, Cornwall began to enquire.
With a Lebanese-American mother and an Emirati father, Farah Al Qasimi has lived much of her life between the United States and Abu Dhabi, where she grew up. Now completing a Master of Fine Arts at Yale, she is still oscillating between her two home nations, and producing work that explores home, belonging, representation and clarity.
It’s Saturday night, and darkness has spilled across the city, transforming Manhattan’s sidewalks into a catwalk of bacchanalia, spotlighted by street lamps and neon piping. Clusters of sinewy figures in tank tops lean on metal railings outside favourite haunts such as Studio 54 or Paradise Garage, hips cocked, smoking cigarettes. A wall painting of a large, fleshy tentacle reaching out of a rolling wave frames a set of black doors with signs indicating ‘General Admission’ and ‘VIP Only’. Stepping into a hidden world, you head downstairs and join a steadily expanding crowd of bodies swaying to tribal house beats, swirling in artificial mist and the odour of hormone-spiked sweat laced with chemical stimulants. Faces blur. Everything begins to lose focus. It’s just past midnight when we join photographer Richard Renaldi’s journey through the night. The timestamp [00.07] captions the first image – a shiny, half-full dance floor – in his new photobook, Manhattan Sunday, published by Aperture. Shot over five years, the book delineates a night out on New York’s gay clubbing scene, celebrating its …
The founder of Mack Books talks through the photographic exhibitions, events and publications that made his year
Worried that your pictures are boring and predictable? Here’s Justine Kurland’s advice: “When a student makes conventional or cliche photographs, I suggest they do a Google image search to find how many other people have made the same pictures.” Kurland chips away at other forms of predictability. She dreads students who make “Francesca Woodman-inspired work”, rejects commercially influenced projects, and has railed against portraits she describes as a “pinned butterfly – those perfectly centred, well-lit frontal topographies that treat subject as specimen”, she explains. “I encourage students to try to animate their subject inside the frame by using a more complicated geometry in composing the picture.” Her approach exemplifies that of two new books from Aperture – one by Larry Fink and the other edited by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern. Larry Fink on Composition and Improvisation, part of a new series called The Photography Workshop Series, examines how the photograph can be animated through composition, engagement and passion; Fulford and Halpern’s The Photographer’s Playbook contains 307 assignments designed to inspire, enlighten and educate students, …