Merrie Albion: Landscape Studies of a Small Island is a concise compendium of Britain over the past few years and is an excellent visual survey of the run-up to Brexit. The photographs examine rich and complex variations of Britain that are now even more poignant after last year’s vote. Images of election campaigning in clean and tidy suburbia, protests, the aftermath of riots in London, diamond jubilee celebrations, rock concerts, a family enjoying Brighton beach, computer screens of the trading floor of Lloyds – the list goes on. Roberts has managed to capture all the major events in juxtaposition with minor situations that are large with meaning, from the dead of the Iraq war being saluted by Army veterans through Wootton Bassett to an depiction of impoverished mothers and children at a youth club in Blackburn. Contained within each photograph are mini dramas, cheap-looking high streets with pound shops set against Victorian architecture. Roberts shows a Britain at odds with itself. Rather than a harmonious society, we sense fragmentation and awkwardness and a yearning for a glorious past that never existed.
With so much to see condensed into one city over the course of five days during Paris Photo (09-12 November), you’d be tempted to skip round the 149 galleries lining the elegant, glass-topped halls of the Grand Palais in a couple of hours, or even miss the main event altogether, as many do. That would be a mistake. You won’t get a better snapshot of what constitutes saleable photography in 2017, from the blue-chip North American dealers such as Gagosian, Pace MacGill and Howard Greenberg, to the work of younger artists championed by the likes of Project 2.0, Trapéz and Taik Persons. And eavesdropping on the sales patter can be a real an eye-opener.
“Gentlemen, for what came ye into the wilderness? Not for conventional scholastic training; not for ranch life; not to become proficient in commercial or professional pursuits for personal gain. You came to prepare for a life of service, with the understanding that superior ability and generous purpose would be expected of you.” Located on an isolated desert ranch, east of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, Deep Springs is an all-male, liberal arts college founded a century ago by Lucien Lucius Nunn. The entrepreneur, who with his brother built the power station at Niagara Falls, devoted the last two decades of his life to what The New Yorker describes as “a novel form of education, an anomalous admixture of Christian mysticism, imperialist élitism, Boy Scout-like abstinence, and Progressive era learning-by-doing, with an emphasis on self-governance, leadership training, and the formation of strong character”.
Palomäki specialises in taking photographs of children and young people, and says her work deals with growth, memory, the problematic ways we see ourselves, and – crucially – our mortality. “We fight against our mortality, denying it, yet photographs are there to prove our inescapable destiny,” she has written. “The idea of getting older is heart-rending.” Palomäki is currently showing new images, depicting siblings, titled Shared. BJP caught up with her to find out more about this project and her work in general.
The November issue of BJP takes you on a round the world trip with Journeys. From the markets of Lagos to the search for Jesus across the world, these are more than just trips; these journeys will alter your way of looking at the world.
Established in 2012, the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards are divided into three categories – PhotoBook of the Year, First PhotoBook, and Photography Catalogue of the Year. The winners will be announced on 10 November at Paris Photo, and all the shortlisted and winning titles will be profiled in The PhotoBook review and exhibited at Paris Photo, the Aperture Gallery in New York, and at other international venues. The year Albert Elm’s What Sort of Life is This, Mathieu Asselin’s Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation and the group book project Amplitude No.1, which is edited by Nadya Sheremetova and includes photographers such as Irina Yulieva, Igor Samolet and Irina Ivannikova, were among those to make the First PhotoBook shortlist this year
In the 1950s, André Breton, the anarchic poet-founder of Surrealism reached out to the Bordeaux painter and photographer Pierre Molinier. He had become obsessed with the man’s work: sexual, dream-like and utterly transgressive. As it turns out, Molinier was both gay and a transvestite, and through his work employed his body and that of acquaintances to create visions of a hybrid identity, unencumbered by traditional gender notions. Intertwined limbs, many-headed creatures and deformed bodies were not just visual references intended to shock; while Molinier’s tended towards the extreme, his exploration of the erotic foreshadowed work by the likes of Cindy Sherman and Robert Mapplethorpe. Earlier this year, London’s Richard Saltoun Gallery played host to the first UK exhibition of his work for over 20 years, and at this year’s Paris Photo, Artcurial are presenting a collection of Molinier’s work for sale. Nearly 200 works by Molinier, including photographs, drawings and personal correspondences have been compiled for the auction on Friday 13th November by Emmanuelle Arsan, a muse of the artist who drew equal inspiration from him …
Hidden Islam, Nicoló Degiorgis’ exploration of the hidden makeshift mosques across northeast Italy, and the silent, ecstatic worship that takes place within their walls, won the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Award today. “It’s a big opportunity for me as a photographer,” Degiorgis told BJP. “But it is also opportunity to give exposure to an important topic which needs to be discussed more, and with more sensibility. ” In the Constitution of the Italian Republic, the right to worship without discrimination is a fundamental principle. The constitution was signed in 1947 after the collapse of fascism. Catholicism, Buddhism, Judaism and Mormonism are formally recognised religions in Italy. Islam, the nation’s second largest religion, is not. According to a 2014 report by Pew, there are more than 1.5 million Muslims living in Italy, a figure expected to double by 2030. Yet, officially, there are only three mosques. Italy’s Muslim population is, by dint of the Republic, a diaspora, and Nicoló Degiorgis has visualised the disguised, temporary nature of this subjugated faith. Italy is the home of The Vatican, the Sistine Chapel …