All posts tagged: Tate Modern

Wolfgang Tillmans – an interview from the BJP archives

On first sight, Wolfgang Tillmans’ east London studio has a relaxed feel, verging on the messy. But look closer and you notice the meticulously organised files of invoices, alongside boxes of letters and out-of-date films. The objects around this studio are often the subject of his photographs, and in many respects it helps explain his work. With their informal aesthetic and seemingly loose approach to subject matter, Tillmans’ photographs have been mistaken for casual snapshots. Don’t be fooled. He has deliberately abandoned “the language of importance”, but his images are carefully thought out and are often partly staged. “I guess there is a tendency for any artist in any field to want their work to be noticed,” he laughs. “But the artists who are a little bit more interesting go beyond that and realise that of course it’s much cooler to make it all look effortless.” Despite the apparent ease of style, Tillmans’ work is instantly recognisable, and he’s become one of the most celebrated artists of his generation. A decade ago he was the …

2016-11-23T16:38:21+00:00

Arrested Development in Thomas Mailaender’s Man Cave

Using his friends’ ribbing as a catalyst, the French multimedia artist’s exhibition at London’s Roman Road gallery, and contribution to a group show at The Tate Modern, sees him imagine a correspondence with his homebound, pregnant wife as he travels the world. Through a compilation of self-potraits and fictitious letters, Mailaender uses his trip – climbing mountains, deep-sea fishing, feedings animals – to meditate on his new responsibilities; fatherhood and family life, masculinity after boyhood. The work consists of a series of sham, photoshopped images of himself; a photomontage of holiday snaps collected from hours of trawling the internet. His face, superimposed onto gap year student mash-ups, are accompanied with formal letters to his wife back home. “My love, Another mountain-top on the counter!” he writes in one, alongside an image of him at the pinnacle of a snowy mountain. “You should have seen me lost in the clouds! What bliss! And feeling like the tallest man in the world! I love you both, Thomas”. Mailaender is usually absent from his iconoclastic projects, making Gone Fishing feel …

2016-04-12T10:36:05+00:00

Working Process

“Alexander McQueen’s exceptional collection, the most ambitious we have seen this season, was as much a slap in the face to his industry, then, as it was a brave statement about the absurdity of the race to build empires in fashion,” wrote The New York Times about the designer’s Autumn/Winter 2009 collection, which he presented in Paris. “The clothes he sent out were a parody of couture designs of the last century, spoofing Dior’s New Look and Givenchy’s little black Audrey Hepburn dresses, as well as their reinventions by new designers at those companies in the last decade – himself included. It was a bit of a Marie Antoinette riot, poking fun at all the queens of French fashion.” For McQueen, who is quoted as saying that the entire business was “such a cliché”, the goal with this particular collection was to show how quick the turnover in fashion was. “There is no longevity,” he told The New York Times. That was in March 2009 – a year before he took his own life at his home …

2015-04-17T14:02:00+00:00

Sunday Service – Chloe Dewe Mathews

The churches, Chloe Dewe Mathews says, are “unlikely, reinvented spaces”. Spread across South London, former factories, office blocks, warehouses and bingo halls have become private, vibrant places for people to gather together, cry, shout, convulse, laugh and sing. Chloe Dewe Mathews’ photographs, now on exhibition in the Tate Modern’s McAuley Gallery, explore “a change in usage”. Like the Tate Modern, what was once an elephant’s graveyard of industry has been repurposed, organically, into monuments of “ecstatic, expressive worship”. There are over 240 black majority churches in the poorer stretch of Britain’s capital city – the greatest concentration of African Christianity anywhere beyond Africa. “Here, the Holy Spirit pervades, faith is intrinsic and God is personally experienced,” writes Synthia Griffin, a curator of regeneration and partnerships at Tate Modern. “These churches feature none of the monumental architecture or symbols of status and power of the historically dominant denominations. Frequently temporary, they are anonymous but very visible to the communities they serve.” Dewe Mathews, who won British Journal of Photography’s International Award in 2011, has spent each Sunday for …

2014-06-18T10:18:03+00:00

BJP Staff