Dutch museum and international photography magazine FOAM, known for being the awarding body of the prestigious Paul Huf award, comes to London to champion young international talent
It is not often that you meander around a gallery space and can barely get past the hoards of students, professionals and new talents of photography as they press together to see the photography on display.
Such was the bustling opening night of the eclectic FOAM Talent, a group show of 21 up-and-coming photographers under the age of 35, at the Beaconsfield Gallery in London.
The photography on display here has already been featured in a dedicated issue of the FOAM magazine, and is now exhibited in over two large rooms in a dynamically curated showcase of more than 100 photographs.
“The range of different work is important,” says curator, Mirjam Kooiman. “What ties them together is that they’re young and that they have a strong, autonomous vision, whether it’s through studio or documentary photography.”
This year, there is a noticeable emphasis on the physical presentation of the images, adding a new sculptural aspect to the exhibition.
Jean-Vincent Simonet, a French photographer, invites us into a psychedelic world of vivid colour marbled with metallic shine.
For each display of his gothic and fashion inspired work, Simonet designs a bespoke wallpaper specific to the space, resulting in each viewing experience being completely unique.
London-based photographer Dominic Hawgood shows a trio of images inspired by his experience in witnessing exorcisms in African churches.
The display is bilateral, split between a pair of large monochrome images of individuals he met behind the doors of the churches, and a digital image displayed on a luminous light box leaning against the wall on the ground, mimicking a blinding advertising billboard.
“The current state of photography is much more than pictures on the wall” Kooiman says. “Hawgood tries to incorporate lighting design within every presentation he does, and is using computer generated imagery.”
Dutch photographer Sjoerd Knibbeler has produced a body of work of “the things that are not able to be recorded by the camera”. This includes “wind”, a thick pane of dark coloured glass suspended from the ceiling, depicting a faint spiral at its centre.
Knibbeler extends this playful approach to his subjects, with a separate project comprising of images of various images of folded paper planes.
The photographs are shown with a projector, clicking away as it illuminates each design, accompanied by pieces of A4 paper on the wall. On closer inspection, these are the unfolded paper planes that never flew.
“He captures the non-physical through his use of materials, and by talking to scientists, learning how to create small processes within a context of a studio,” says Kooiman. “I once visited him, and he showed me how he created these perfect images with vacuum cleaners and plastic bags.”
Other photographers on show include Sara Cwynar, who layers photographs on top of one another to address “the hyper visual stimulation we experience on a day to day basis”; Hungarian talent, Marton Perlaki and Swiss photographer Manon Wertenbroek, who has taken a number of textural portraits of her once estranged brother, who suffers from schizophrenia.
“These artists have had exhibitions before. But there are also those who have only ever had this one presentation and are still very much at the start of their career,” says Kooiman.
“It’s not only about representing the few that are important in their generation of photography, but also very much about giving young photographers a platform and introducing them to an international audience.”
The FOAM Talent showcase is open at the Beaconsfield Gallery from 22 April to 22 May 2016. Learn more here