On the opening of Museum Of Machines, a major new exhibition on Dayanita Singh at Mast Gallery, Bologna, the exhibition curator Urs Stahel writes of the iconic Indian photographer’s ability to “shape internal and external life, society and personal history, presence and absence, fullness and emptiness, reality and dream into a fragmented whole, a new and unique body of image and poetry.”
A little-known series of photographs of the state of Nevada, shot in the year 1977 by the late American landscape and architectural photographer Lewis Baltz, is about to go on show for the first time.
David Lurie’s Cape Town-based project Writing the City, a documentary series focusing on the effects of urbanization, social marginalization and economic disparities in his native South Africa, is about to go on show in a solo exhibition in London.
During pilgrimages to his native Hale County, Alabama, William Christenberry has recorded the changing appearance of the region’s natural landscape and vernacular architecture in diverse formats and media since the early 1960s. The work is shown for the first time at New York’s Pace/MacGill Gallery, in an about to launch exhibition.
For his latest conceptual art project, Swiss photographer Roger Eberhard has travelled five continents and visited 32 cities where he booked the standard double room at the local Hilton hotel.
When Alnis Stakle first took up photography, he was faced with a rigid conception of the medium. In Latvia in the 1990s it was largely considered a commercial craft, he says, with any more artistic ambitions restricted to banal nudes and sunsets. But for Stakle photography is “a kind of religion”, which has the power to change our relationship to the world.
In the eighteenth century, the Kings of Siam found an ingenious way of excluding a courtier they didn’t like. They would present the offending socialite with a white elephant, a rare and unusual creature, one very difficult to make space for. No-one would dare decline a gift from the King. And so the recipient would be lumbered with something they could not maintain. They would invariably be ruined by the cost of trying to keep the white elephant, and would then be forced to take their leave of the Kings’ circles. Siam is now modern-day Thailand, but the idea of the white elephant has endured, entering our modern parlance. Shadman Shahid, a documentary photographer born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and a graduate of the city’s revered Pathshala South Asian Media Academy photography course, used the term to describe a remarkable discovery in China; a “ghost-city” called Chenggong, designed for more than a 100,000 people but standing silent, unpopulated, empty but for tiny pockets of life. “I was born and raised in a city where …
It’s cost the taxpayer £15 billion, it stretches for 26 miles, and it has unearthed artefacts from eight thousand years of London’s history. The British photographer Simon Norfolk, on commission for National Geographic Magazine, went 40 meters beneath the streets of London to photograph Crossrail.
French photographer Mathias Depardon first visited Baku in 2012, shooting human rights issues at the Nagorno Karabkh border, and describes the place as “Orwellian”. “I was fascinated by the effect the government had made to polish the city and make it look fast and modern,” he says. “It seems like they are trying to attract the attention elsewhere to make their reputation more respectful on the international scene.” Once Soviet, Azerbaijan became independent after a bloody conflict with Soviet troops in 1990; a repressive government took control and, when the country found prosperity via a huge contract with a European oil consortium, the wealth was not even distributed. More than 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and the global slump in oil prices is now poised to push living standards down still further. It’s also casting dark clouds over the ambitious infrastructure spending that has transformed the city scape, and which so struck Depardon. He’s visited Baku four times since 2012, taking a long-term approach to his project and fitting it …
For some, it is an iconic example of 1970s Brutalist architecture; for others, a big, ugly eyesore. “Whatever they think, there’s a huge sense of community here,” says photographer Kois Miah of Robin Hood Gardens, a housing estate comprised of two blocks containing 213 flats, soon to be demolished and replaced by a new build. In light of this, and because of the sheer volume of tenants that will have to be relocated – some against their will from the only home they have every known – local Miah and his friend and partner Nick Thoburn, together with the support of the campaign group SPLASH (South Poplar & Limehouse Action for Secure Housing) visited the affected families, and immortalised some of their last moments in the apartments in intimate portraits. “There has been a lot of talk about the Brutalist architecture, but I thought it might be quite interesting to get the residents’ perspective on living on that estate,” says Miah. “The thing about this project is that it’s really intimate – people invite you into their …