All posts tagged: Whitechapel Gallery

From the BJP Archive: Thomas Ruff

On the face of it, Thomas Ruff has radically altered course since his first major series brought him to international fame in the mid-1980s. He followed his portraits of fellow students at the Düsseldorf Art Academy (where he was studying photography with the legendary Bernd and Hilla Becher) with photographs of modern architecture in the 1987-1991 series Hauser, and then began working with appropriated images. His 1989 series, Sterne, used astronomical panoramas from the European Southern Observatory, for example, while his Zeitungsfotos made during the 1990s took images culled from newspapers. Over the following decade he has continued working with the vernacular, incorporating source material such as manga comics which he manipulated into colourful abstractions (Substrat), highly pixellated images he downloaded from the internet (Jpegs), and an archive of glass negatives found in a factory archive from the 1930s and 40s (Machines). But while Ruff is happy to admit his techniques change from series to series, the concept behind his work has remained consistent. In an interview for his latest catalogue he told Hans Ulrich …

2017-10-05T12:10:59+00:00

Show: A Handful of Dust at Whitechapel Gallery

David Campany’s celebrated exhibition, A Handful of Dust, traces the 20th century history of photography through this seemingly humble substance; as the show finally comes to London, we revisit the article on it he wrote for BJP back in 2015

2017-06-27T11:42:37+00:00

Imperfect Chronology: Charting Arab history through photography and film

A 15-month long exhibition that began in September last year, Imperfect Chronology traces a chronological lineage through the development of art from the Arab region, starting from the beginning of the 20th century. Given the depth and size of the exhibition, it is the first time some of the pieces have been shown in the UK. Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and curator of the exhibition, explains the challenge in dividing the works into parts, where a distinction does not necessarily exist. “It is impossible to synchronise specific events in art history when the historical materials of a place or site are limited,” says Kholeif. “The exhibition acknowledges that is is a chronology but also that it is a propositional one, one that could be read in many different ways.” In this third instalment, the exhibition will display Moroccan photographer Yto Barrada’s poignant image Rue de la Liberté (2000), from the The Strait Project series, a visual documentary seeking to address the social tension and plight of Moroccan immigrants trying to get …

2016-04-08T16:09:41+00:00

The Unreliable Narrator: how should we represent terror?

At the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the British artists Karen Mirza and Brad Butler are currently screening The Unreliable Narrator, an installation, photography and essay-based film that connects CCTV footage of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks with Bollywood depictions of the event. As a narrator intones on the state of the globalised world, we see unvarnished, documentary footage and still imagery of the victims’ last moments before they are executed, before the same scenes are dramatised, and sensationalised, in Bollywood cinema. The film has been criticised for acting as a highly-conceptual snuff movie. To that, they defend themselves via a quote from the cultural theorist Stuart Hall. “The process of representation has entered into the event itself. In a way, it doesn’t exist meaningfully until it has been represented, and representation doesn’t occur after the event; representation is constitutive of the event”. [bjp_ad_slot] The Mumbai attackers spent most of their onslaught on their phones, uploading their massacre to the internet. One fighter, the film points out, shot at police and filmed at the same time. The movies …

2015-04-17T14:17:53+00:00

BJP Staff