The founder and director of the African Artists’ Foundation and curator of this year’s Lagos Photo picks out his top books, exhibitions and Instagram feeds of 2017
Returning for its eight edition from 13 September, Tbilisi Photo is an international festival in the heart of the Caucasus which hopes to bridge the image-making communities from across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. This year themed Fashion, the diverse programme includes a look at Guy Bourdin’s iconic oeuvre, the Dutch artist Viviane Sassen’s approach to fashion photography, and an exclusive display of Iranian fashion magazines published before the Islamic revolution in 1978.
“When I unbutton the sleeve of a shirt/Shades of sky under my skin awaken,” read the opening lines of Maria Barnas’ poem You and I, used at the start of Viviane Sassen’s new photobook, Roxane II. Abstract though these lines seem, they possess a subtle symmetry with the images which follow, in which expanses of pale skin sit in stark juxtaposition to graphic, almost blindingly bright streaks of colour. In Roxane II, the human and the organic seem to bleed into one another with captivating results.
Africa figures large in the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015, with nominations for South African photographers Mikhael Subotzky and Zanele Muholi, and for Viviane Sassen, a Dutch photographer who was raised in Kenya and chooses to make work on the continent. Subotzky is nominated for his collaboration with UK born editor and artist Patrick Waterhouse, however, while Russian photographer Nikolai Bakharev completes the four-strong shortlist. Works by the shortlisted photographers will be exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery in London from 17 April until 07 June 2015 before going to the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt; the winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at The Photographers’ Gallery at an awards ceremony on 28 May 2015. Image-makers are nominated for the annual prize for specific bodies of work exhibited or published in Europe over the preceding 12 months; this year Sassen (b. 1972) – whose fashion photography is currently on show at The Photographers’ Gallery – has been nominated for her exhibition Umbra, shown at Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam from 08 March until 01 June 2014. Bakharev (b. 1946) has been nominated for his exhibition …