It’s six years since the inaugural edition of Unseen Amsterdam arrived with the mission to shake up the art fair model, focusing on emerging photographers and collectors, and instilling a welcome dose of fun to proceedings. And despite its beginnings during difficult times for arts funding, the ‘fair with a festival flair’ has largely succeeded, developing into something more ambitious than a glorified trade show, with its own public programme and a city-wide celebration of the medium in one of the world’s great photography capitals.
The emphasis remains on championing new talent, and with this in mind, the latest addition to Unseen is Futures, a cross-European photography platform bringing together 10 cultural institutions from around the continent, each with their own talent programmes.
Magnum Photos just completed its annual AGM and has announced five new photographers are to join as Nominees – Rafal Milach (Poland), Sim Chi Yin (Singapore), Lua Ribeira (Spain), Gregory Halpern (USA), and Lindokuhle Sobekwa (South Africa).
Under Magnum’s system, photographers first join as Nominees, before graduating to become Associates a couple of years later. After a spell as Associates, they then become full Members – a status which confers life-time membership of the world-famous agency. Magnum has also announced that previous Nominees Sohrab Hura (India) and Lorenzo Meloni (Italy) have become Associates.
Born in Denmark in 1976, Jacob Aue Sobol studied at the Fatamorgana Danish School of Art Photography from 1998-1999. In Autumn 1999, he went to live in the Tiniteqilaaq settlement in Greenland, and mainly stayed with his Greenlandic girlfriend Sabine and her family for the next three years. The resulting book, Sabine, was published in 2004, and nominated for the 2005 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. In 2005, Aue Sobol travelled with a film crew to Guatemala, to make a documentary about a young Mayan girl’s first journey to the ocean. The following year he returned alone and he met the indigenous Gomez-Brito family, and stayed with them for a month. His story on the family won the Daily Life Stories award in the 2006 World Press Photo. In 2006 he moved to Tokyo, and shot a series of images that won the 2008 Leica European Publishers Award. I, Tokyo was published by Actes Sud (France), Apeiron (Greece), Dewi Lewis Publishing (Great Britain), Edition Braus (Germany), Lunwerg Editores (Spain) and Peliti Associati (Italy). Sobol became a nominee at Magnum Photos in 2007, and a full member in 2012. Aue …
Shot in Japan over two years, Tokyo is Yours is inspired by manga, surrealism and film noir, and uses a gritty monochrome that Meg Hewitt first experimented with back in Sydney
Dating back to 1996, Voies Off is the large and well-respected alternative to the official Rencontres d’Arles programme. Now backed by Leica, Voies Off is staging nearly 150 exhibitions from 03 July – 24 September, all of which are free to enter, plus a week of screenings, masterclasses, awards and portfolio reviews in the opening week, from 03 – 08 September, from its base in the Cour de l’Archevêché courtyard. The courtyard also hosts parties, held every night from midnight in the opening week.
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” said Magnum Photos co-founder Robert Capa, famously. This week Magnum Photos is revisiting Capa’s concept with its Square Print Sale, part of a cycle of four print sales it’s running to celebrate its 70th anniversary.
“Salvatore Vitale’s extraordinary project How to secure a country is a forensic examination of national security in one of the safest countries on the planet. This work challenges the concept of power and control, shining a light on wider issues of mass migration and fear,” says Emma Bowkett, director of photography for the FT Weekend Magazine and a jury member for the PH Museum 2017 Grant this year. Along with Sarah Leen from National Geographic, Ihiro Hayami from Tokyo Photography Festival, and the photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg, she picked out the Italian photographer for the top prize, for his project exploring the National Security Program in Switzerland, his adopted home. Two years in the making, the series has been funded by a Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia grant, and Vitale has scooped £7000 by winning the PH Museum prize. “Salvatore Vitale has managed to gain access to one of the most difficult places to photograph; border control,” comments Hayami. “He tries to capture, or examine, the abstract concept of security through the fragments of scenes and successfully presents, …
“I gave Taro the prize because he was honest,” says the Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol of the Japanese photographer Taro Karibe. “Working as a salary man, but longing so much to explore the core of his existence. Karibe came top in a Tokyo workshop with Sobol, run by the Magnum Photos agency for his image exploration of Tokyo, both a “utopia, where any desire can be satisfied, and a dystopia, filled with something threatening.” Karibe says. “Instead of focusing on the great photograph and looking for tricks to improve, he started a search within himself – using the camera as a tool to express his own inner life,” Sobol says. “He started taking pictures to ask questions instead of trying to give answers. He put himself at stake and invited myself and the other students into his private universe. “And he did it with soreness and honesty at the expense of the magnificent.” Taro speaks to BJP about his Magnum workshop: Why did you decide to sign up to the Magnum workshop? I had realized I had some limitations with …