All posts tagged: archive

A Study of Assassination

Taking its title from a leaked CIA manual from the 1950s, George Selley’s collages – now the subject of a new photobook – tell a surreal story about leaked CIA documents, government propaganda, and bananas
When he found out about these documents, George Selley was instantly captivated, and his new project, A Study of Assassination, combines pages from the manual with archival press images, banana advertisements and Cold War propaganda. BJP caught up with the recent London College of Communication MA graduate to find out more about this project and his approach to images.

2019-05-31T15:52:31+01:00

Who’s looking at the family now?

2019 marks a quarter of a century since Val Williams’ curated her seminal exhibition, Who’s looking at the family? at the Barbican in London. In photography, a lot has changed over 25 years, including the introduction of new technologies that have reshaped the way in which we make and consume images, and the changing definitions of what constitutes a photographer.

“On the one hand I thought it might be interesting to speculatively chart that development, but also to rethink notions of the family at the same time,” says Tim Clark, editor of 1000 words magazine and curator of this year’s Photo50 exhibition at London Art Fair. “The idea seemed to chime with a lot of people. I think that’s the key point about family, it’s a great unifying subject. Everyone can relate to it.”

2019-01-03T15:15:27+01:00

Tom Roche: Black Blood

Growing up, photographer Tom Roche learned about his Romani Gypsy heritage only through fragmentary stories and speculation. “My great, great uncle was stabbed in the heart with a wooden stake because he owed money for land,” says Roche, a recent University of the West of England graduate. “Then I had one aunt, aunt Liz, who used to pick crops, one aunt that made baskets, and another who sold pegs – or so I’m told; I don’t have any images, records, or concrete facts of my ancestors.”

2018-08-23T10:25:01+01:00

British Journal of Photography: 164 years of cutting-edge design

1854 was a big year for photography. Kodak founder George Eastman was born, and the first issue of British Journal of Photography was published in Liverpool. Since then, the magazine has undergone several evolutions, rejigging its format from a weekly trade journal to a monthly glossy, and changing its name several times along the way. The magazine’s content has also continued to shift. With roots in scientific journals, British Journal of Photography has now changed course and grown into an art and documentary photography magazine, focused on the cutting edge of editorial and commercial practices. However, looking to the past, its most instantly noticeable transformation is its change in design. Staying alive for 164 years is a formidable achievement, but perhaps the key to our long life is our capacity for change. The redesigns of the magazine have always reflected its changing direction and willingness to adapt to the times, and they have carried us through right up to the present day. Here are some of British Journal of Photography’s most drastic changes. 1864 This centenary …

2018-08-15T13:25:20+01:00

Disaster strikes in John Kasmin’s postcard collection

“Before photographically-illustrated magazines or newspapers, before television and Facebook networks existed, in the first decade or so of the twentieth century, picture postcards were sent by the hundreds of millions worldwide,” writes John Kasmin, introducing his series of five photobooks on postcards published today. Kasmin is an art dealer who most notably works with 20th century abstract painters, but he’s also an avid collector of early postcards. First popularised in the late 19th century, postcards were an early way to send “images of peoples, places and events to inform and entertain the recipients”, and their use peaked in the early 20th century as printing costs reduced. Some of the subjects may surprise contemporary viewers, and the five volumes of Kasmin’s photobook series are divided by unexpected theme – Elders collects postcards detailing the older generation around the world; Scrub focuses on washing rituals in various societies; Meat is a bloody volume showcasing slaughterhouses and the butchers who worked there; Size shows people of all shapes and sizes going about their lives. The fifth volume, Wreck, shows intriguing, sometimes tragic, …

2017-09-20T10:08:10+01:00

Martin Parr’s Foundation opens to the public

Martin Parr has found a permanent home for the foundation he set up in 2014, giving visitors access to his archive and to his formidable collection. “I’ve been very lucky,” he told BJP’s Gemma Padley. “I have secured a very good living from doing this, and so the foundation is a great way to feed some of that back into the system.”

2017-11-06T15:13:49+01:00

From the archive… the long-simmering feud over housing Britain’s photography

BJP

News that the National Media Museum is losing the world-class RPS Collection to the Victoria and Albert Museum had us delving into our archives for some background. There is history between these two, as our 4 March 1982 edition attests, reporting open warfare between the museums long ahead of the Bradford opening. In our leader, ‘Whither Bradford’, published more than a year ahead of the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television’s opening, the unnamed writer (most likely then-editor, Geoffrey Crawley) charts a public spat that contrasts sharply with the cloak-and-dagger spin employed today. “Since the formal announcement of the go-ahead of the Bradford Museum was given last year, the Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sir Roy Strong, has been sounding off in the public prints with objections based on the belief that the new museum would be overlapping unnecessarily with the V&A photographic collection. His criticisms were particularised to the point of maintaining that the V&A was deliberately kept out of the picture until after the press conference 130 Archive at which …

2016-05-19T15:38:26+01:00

Spot the ball: Robin Maddock’s uncompromising, ambiguous vision of California

From the title of his photographic blog, Ugly Moments Strung Together, you sense that Robin Maddock is prone to critical self-analysis and distrust of aesthetic purity. Despite having two well-received photobooks already published by Trolley (or maybe because of it), Maddock says that he felt disoriented and perplexed when it came to finding inspiration for a new project or approach to work towards. His third book, III, also published by Trolley and shot largely in the harshly-lit urban topography of Los Angeles and San Francisco, is the culmination of this period of introspection and points to a future direction of enquiry that seems at odds with his documentary roots. His first book, Our Kids Are Going To Hell (2009), resulted from his work following police on raids in Hackney. The second, God Forgotten Face (2011), shot in his home town of Plymouth, was already more introspective, even if it remained recognisable as a documentary project, capturing the city as a kind of microcosm of Little England. Or so Maddock thought when he started, thinking of it as a kind of …

2016-01-13T14:44:56+01:00

BJP Staff