Sleeping by the Mississippi has been ranked with the great representations of the United States, including Walker Evans’ pictures of the depression, Robert Frank’s harsh vision of the 1950s and, more recently, the colour work of Joel Sternfeld. As Alec Soth’s seminal work goes on show in London and is given a handsome reprint by MACK, we revisit an interview with him from back in 2004 – when the series first came out.
For over four decades, the documentary photography course has forged a reputation as one of the UK’s leading photography teaching destinations. In fact, the very first photography class can be dated back even further to 1912, when it was introduced by the head of the school of art at Newport Technical Institute. The course, however, was set up in 1973 by Magnum photographer David Hurn as a 12-month Training Opportunities Scheme to ‘re-skill’ miners and steelworkers.
No matter how hard you try, sometimes Arles can be just like Glastonbury (sans mud) – lots of things going on and you get sidetracked, and don’t get to see the one thing you wanted to. However I did manage to get round a diverse group of exhibits this year, one of my favourites actually being the Alice Neel painting show at the Fondation Van Gogh. Here is my round-up of what I saw of note this edition. The House of the Ballenesque, Roger Ballen This was very talked about in Arles – an old ramshackle house that Ballen has taken over, to express somewhat of what goes on in his mind and informs his photography. Like a giant walk-in sketchbook, it’s part fun-house and part mental asylum, with lots of creepy figures and dolls heads stuck on mismatching bodies. It’s worth seeing because it’s a bit different, though it doesn’t quite feel like the main event – it’s more of a fun sideshow to his practice, but interesting nonetheless. Try to go on a …
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration has waged one of the most vicious counter-narcotics campaigns in the world, with even police estimates putting the number of people killed by law-enforcement officers and vigilantes in the past 12 months at more than 6000. Manila-based photographer Carlo Gabuco has been out on the streets since Duterte came to power, recording the fall-out from the violence
“I enjoy an incredible freedom in how I work, in what I photograph or when I do it,” the 20-year Magnum member tells BJP. “By signing that contract I had the feeling I would lose so much more than what I would gain.”
Magnum Photos is taking outside investment for the first time in its 70-year history, to allow it “to take advantage of new editorial and commercial opportunities afforded by digital technology”.
The world-famous photo agency goes to town with four exhibitions, a live residency, a swap shop, a book launch, a series of talks and discussions, and even a t-shirt collection
Britain’s biggest photo fair is now an established event – so it’s organisers are pushing the boundaries this year with a headline show by Taryn Simon and more work by cutting-edge artists
It’s the scandal of the season – a young Anglo-Indian photographer Souvid Datta has been caught stealing other photographers’ images and claiming them, or elements of them, as his own. The story broke on 03 May, when PetaPixel published a story alleging Datta had taken a figure included in an image shot by Mary Ellen Mark on Falkland Road, Bombay 1978, and copy-pasted it to one of his own shots. Datta then renamed the person Asma and claimed Asma was a veteran sex worker friends with a 17 year old fellow sex worker, who he also named and who is also clearly identifiable in the photograph. The article included damning and pretty inarguable compare-and-contrast shots of the two images, and by 04 May, Time LightBox editor Olivier Laurent had managed to get an interview with Datta in which he confessed to this and other misdemeanours – such as taking images by Daniele Volpe, Hazel Thompson and Raul Irani and passing them off as his own, and cloning and restitching multiple components of his own images together. “I foolishly doctored images,” stated the …
“Everything in France over the last year-and-a-half has given a different context to the pictures I’ve made,” says Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson. “There’s a darkness now that wasn’t there when I began.” We’re discussing his series Bleu Blanc Rouge, an open-ended meditation on French identity and culture he’s currently editing into a book. He started it back 2010, on a residency in South France, but the work has taken on new resonance, after a spate of terrorist attacks in France and the rise of ultra-nationalist Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. In fact the series now seems timely – prophetic even – but then Anderson’s work often does. He released Stump, a photobook satirising the American presidential circus, back in 2014, two years before the upset election of Donald Trump; and he released Capitolio, a dark vision of the Venezuelan capital, in 2011, two years before the death of President Hugo Chavez and the economic and political crisis now playing out on Caracas’ streets. “I have noticed that,” he says, when I point out his talent for …