Laia Abril is no stranger to themes of distress. Bulimia, coping with the death of a child, the asexual community, virtual sex-performer couples – these are all topics that the Barcelona-based photographer has explored and attempted to demystify with her multi-layered, story-based practice. The subjects she tackles are complex and provocative, but ones she is able to connect with by way of female empathy, “where I can be involved emotionally”, she says.
“Tu sais qu’est-ce que c’est le rayon vert?” Marie Rivière’s listless character Delphine asks, her legs swinging, in Éric Rohmer’s 1986 film Le Rayon Vert [The Green Ray]. The film – a portrait of its main character’s halting search for summer romance – was based on Jules Verne’s 1882 novel of the same name. While in theory its title refers to an optical phenomenon – in which the appearance of the sun as it rises or falls beyond the horizon creates a brief flash of green, and with it a supposed moment of mental clarity for all those who see it – in reality its subject matter is far more elusive. “I related the ‘rayon vert’ phenomenon to the process of photography – this special and quick moment that happens rarely,” Swiss photographer Senta Simond explains, referring to her project of the same name. Her series, which will be published by Kominek and shown at London’s Webber Gallery soon, adds a new, compelling layer to the meteorological event/Jules Verne/ Éric Rohmer mix of references. Indeed, Simond, a former student of ECAL, University of Art and Design Lausanne, from which she graduated last summer, first encountered the concept via the 1986 film.
Taking place between 17 and 20th May at Somerset House, Photo London has become a popular fixture in London’s cultural calendar. For its fourth edition, the fair will exhibit more than 100 of the world’s leading galleries, along with a series of talks and discussions with photographers and curators. British Journal of Photography will be present across this exciting celebratory weekend as Photo London’s media partners! This year brings a number of new aspects to the fair; the Discovery section has been expanded, increasing the presence of emerging galleries and artists, and the programme of satellite events is bigger than ever. Every corner of London is playing host to some of the world’s most vibrant photographers and institutions. Among these satellite events are Hauser & Wirth’s exhibition devoted to August Sander, featuring 40 rare large-scale photographs, which have come directly from The August Sander Family Collection. Plus, Foam Talent returns to London’s Beaconsfield Gallery with an exhibition of forward-thinking photographers under the age of 35, an exhibition which will then travel to Amsterdam, New York …
Daniel Miller is a photography dealer residing on the west coast of the United States, and proprietor of two galleries in Venice Beach and Santa Monica. He is also the founder of photography collecting site YourDailyPhotograph, an initiative that supplies collectors with a variety of images to their inbox each day, which they can then purchase from a trusted source. With more than 7,000 collectors from 75 different countries currently subscribing, Miller has developed a wealth of knowledge on the current photography market, including on key market trends and driving factors. Here he offers some of his advice on collecting in the current art photography market, to coincide with the release of our first free e-guide, The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Photography. Why is now a good time for people to invest in the photography market? Globally, photography is one of the youngest categories of collectable art. As such, there are still terrific deals available to collectors looking for great images. Specifically looking at the UK, the photography market has great room for growth. Photo London …
Five contemporary Austrian photographers – Stefanie Moshammer, Thomas Albdorf, Hanna Putz, Klaus Pichler and Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek – present work responding to the place they call home
It’s a prestigious prize, which earns the winner an exhibition at Photo London plus a photobook published by the well-regraded specialist MACK Books. This year it’s gone to Hayahisa Tomiyasu for his book dummy TTP. Shot from the window of his eighth-floor student flat in Leipzig, Germany, TTP shows a park with a ping pong table, shot at various times of day and in various seasons, and showing different protagonists each time. The table is used as a tischtennisplatte (table tennis table, as a sun lounger, as a climbing frame, as a skate obstacle, and as much more, and, states MACK Books “thanks to Tomiyasu’s sustained curiosity, we observe the habits, humour, and idiosyncrasies of human behaviour”.
ALMANAQUE opened in February 2016 in Mexico City, with a dedication to contemporary photography. The gallery exhibits and sells international works from both established and emerging artists, exploring current manifestations on image as an artistic dispositive. Alongside gallery work, ALMANAQUE has begun a Portafolio initiative, offering professional consultations on collecting, curating and art direction for individuals, corporations and institutions. We spoke to director Arturo Delgado ahead of Photo London, to find out more about the artists ALMANAQUE are bringing to the event, and to hear Arturo’s insights on collecting. What excites you the most about exhibiting your artists at Photo London? The opportunity to share our multi-award winning artists with the UK public. We are bringing four artists to the fair; three from Mexico and one from Russia, representing several generations of contemporary imagery. These renowned artists all have an unexpected bond to the UK. Which artists’ work will you be showing at Photo London? Why? We will be showing work by the preeminent Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, one of the most renowned Mexican photographers, whose …
In 1935 Roy E. Stryker, head of the Information division of the Farm Security Administration (FSA), commissioned several photographers – including Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Russell Lee – to document America’s farm life and workers. The USA was in the throes of the Great Depression, and the scenes that the image-makers captured, from 1935-1944, created a damning and lasting vision of destitution. Lange’s 1936 portrait of the so-called Migrant Mother became a symbol of the plight of the impoverished itinerant farmers, for example – and, for Stryker, summed up his entire project at the FSA. “She has all the suffering of mankind in her but all of the perseverance too,” he reportedly said. “A restraint and a strange courage. You can see anything you want to in her. She is immortal.” As Stryker’s words suggest, he had a very particular vision of what he wanted to achieve with these photographs. Images that did not fit in with that vision were ruthlessly “killed” – rendered unpublishable by having a hole punched through the negative. Thousands of photographs were defaced in this way, in an act of censorship that has since been described as vandalism.
“They’re all driven by motivations that are both personal and political to a degree, and they are all self-initiated projects,” says curator Alona Pardo of the photographers in the show Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins. “Some may have started as commissions, but very early on took on a life of their own. It was interesting to think about the role of the photographer, because often the photographer hides behind the camera as a facade. There is also an interesting subtext of the photographer occupying the position of an outsider within mainstream society. They are there, assertively documenting the world.”
Between 1960 and 1997, the idyllic Italian island of Sardinia witnessed a series of kidnappings at the hands of the anonima sequestri sarda – a group of vigilantes meting out justice according to a traditional, local code of honour known as the codice barbaricino. Over 37 years, 162 people were kidnapped for ransom, with some of them killed. The kidnapping of seven-year-old Farouk Kassam in 1992 is particularly vivid for Sardinian-born-and-raised Valeria Cherchi, who was the same age at the time. The case instilled in her a profound fear. “I clearly remember the news, during his fifth month of imprisonment, that the upper part of his ear was found by a priest on a mountainous road in Barbagia, central Sardinia,” she recalls.