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.
Taking place between 17 and 20th May at Somerset House, Photo London has become a popular fixture in London’s cultural calendar. For its fourth edition, the fair will exhibit more than 100 of the world’s leading galleries, along with a series of talks and discussions with photographers and curators. British Journal of Photography will be present across this exciting celebratory weekend as Photo London’s media partners! This year brings a number of new aspects to the fair; the Discovery section has been expanded, increasing the presence of emerging galleries and artists, and the programme of satellite events is bigger than ever. Every corner of London is playing host to some of the world’s most vibrant photographers and institutions. Among these satellite events are Hauser & Wirth’s exhibition devoted to August Sander, featuring 40 rare large-scale photographs, which have come directly from The August Sander Family Collection. Plus, Foam Talent returns to London’s Beaconsfield Gallery with an exhibition of forward-thinking photographers under the age of 35, an exhibition which will then travel to Amsterdam, New York …
Daniel Miller is a photography dealer residing on the west coast of the United States, and proprietor of two galleries in Venice Beach and Santa Monica. He is also the founder of photography collecting site YourDailyPhotograph, an initiative that supplies collectors with a variety of images to their inbox each day, which they can then purchase from a trusted source. With more than 7,000 collectors from 75 different countries currently subscribing, Miller has developed a wealth of knowledge on the current photography market, including on key market trends and driving factors. Here he offers some of his advice on collecting in the current art photography market, to coincide with the release of our first free e-guide, The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Photography. Why is now a good time for people to invest in the photography market? Globally, photography is one of the youngest categories of collectable art. As such, there are still terrific deals available to collectors looking for great images. Specifically looking at the UK, the photography market has great room for growth. Photo London …
Half a century on, the events of May ‘68 still burn in the memories of its provocateurs. Morphing from a frenzy of student protests into a nation-wide revolt, embroiling seven million people at its height, France was dragged out of its post-war complacency that summer and into seven weeks of turbulent action and police brutality. The fire of the rebellion was first sparked on Valentine’s Day, when students of Nanterre University in the Western suburbs of Paris, held a residents’ strike to promote the right to move freely between male and female dorms. The university hesitated over making any change, so on 22 March, 600 frustrated students gathered to occupy an administration building in protest against the old institution’s ageing values.
It’s a prestigious prize, which earns the winner an exhibition at Photo London plus a photobook published by the well-regraded specialist MACK Books. This year it’s gone to Hayahisa Tomiyasu for his book dummy TTP. Shot from the window of his eighth-floor student flat in Leipzig, Germany, TTP shows a park with a ping pong table, shot at various times of day and in various seasons, and showing different protagonists each time. The table is used as a tischtennisplatte (table tennis table, as a sun lounger, as a climbing frame, as a skate obstacle, and as much more, and, states MACK Books “thanks to Tomiyasu’s sustained curiosity, we observe the habits, humour, and idiosyncrasies of human behaviour”.
ALMANAQUE opened in February 2016 in Mexico City, with a dedication to contemporary photography. The gallery exhibits and sells international works from both established and emerging artists, exploring current manifestations on image as an artistic dispositive. Alongside gallery work, ALMANAQUE has begun a Portafolio initiative, offering professional consultations on collecting, curating and art direction for individuals, corporations and institutions. We spoke to director Arturo Delgado ahead of Photo London, to find out more about the artists ALMANAQUE are bringing to the event, and to hear Arturo’s insights on collecting. What excites you the most about exhibiting your artists at Photo London? The opportunity to share our multi-award winning artists with the UK public. We are bringing four artists to the fair; three from Mexico and one from Russia, representing several generations of contemporary imagery. These renowned artists all have an unexpected bond to the UK. Which artists’ work will you be showing at Photo London? Why? We will be showing work by the preeminent Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, one of the most renowned Mexican photographers, whose …
In 1935 Roy E. Stryker, head of the Information division of the Farm Security Administration (FSA), commissioned several photographers – including Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Russell Lee – to document America’s farm life and workers. The USA was in the throes of the Great Depression, and the scenes that the image-makers captured, from 1935-1944, created a damning and lasting vision of destitution. Lange’s 1936 portrait of the so-called Migrant Mother became a symbol of the plight of the impoverished itinerant farmers, for example – and, for Stryker, summed up his entire project at the FSA. “She has all the suffering of mankind in her but all of the perseverance too,” he reportedly said. “A restraint and a strange courage. You can see anything you want to in her. She is immortal.” As Stryker’s words suggest, he had a very particular vision of what he wanted to achieve with these photographs. Images that did not fit in with that vision were ruthlessly “killed” – rendered unpublishable by having a hole punched through the negative. Thousands of photographs were defaced in this way, in an act of censorship that has since been described as vandalism.
“They’re all driven by motivations that are both personal and political to a degree, and they are all self-initiated projects,” says curator Alona Pardo of the photographers in the show Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins. “Some may have started as commissions, but very early on took on a life of their own. It was interesting to think about the role of the photographer, because often the photographer hides behind the camera as a facade. There is also an interesting subtext of the photographer occupying the position of an outsider within mainstream society. They are there, assertively documenting the world.”
Roland Barthes’ tear-jerking account of his confrontation with his mother’s photograph captures the emotions that a picture of a loved one can evoke, and the significance of a family photograph. From early formal portraits of upper-class families shot in studios to contemporary snaps, images have welded families together under the premise of memory. But with private pictures now becoming more public, family photographs are evolving in the way we document our histories. Rie Yamada’s family photographs take it a step further: instead of documenting her nearest and dearest, in her series Familie werden (which translates as Become a family), the photographer plays every relative herself, highlighting gender stereotypes and social archetypes with a good dose of hilarity and absurdity.
For Léonie Hampton, photography is a tool to connect with the present moment. “I use it to explore the experience of being in a place, and being in that moment in time,” she says. Most recently this approach inspired Mend, her project for the 2017 Rome Commission which will be on show at the Italian Cultural Institute as part of Photo London this week. “Rome is a great place to explore the idea of being in the present,” says Hampton, “because everywhere you go there are layers of time, visually and architecturally”.