All posts tagged: archives

Great Heights

Are these photographs for real? Yes, they certainly are – Korean photographer Ahn Jun may sometimes use a harness if she’s leaning over the side of a building to photograph her feet, but she really is leaning over the side of a building, or leaping up onto its edge. Her project is titled Self-Portrait and, she says, it’s a kind of performance without an audience. “There was a day when I recalled my adolescent years,” she explains. “I was sitting on the edge of my apartment in New York and looking over the cityscape. I had a thought that suddenly my youth was coming to an end and I could not figure out the future. I sat on the edge and looked down. Then I saw the empty space, the void, and there was a sudden change in my perspective on life and death, present and future. The vision of the cityscape I was witnessing was not real for that moment – I felt the illusion of beautiful buildings was just like the future, or …


Human Simulacrum

Luisa Whitton first became interested in what she describes as “technology and its effects on identity, in particular its ability to create a double self ” while working on a project during the second year of her BA degree at London College of Communication. Soon after, she came across a documentary on Japanese scientist Hiroshi Ishiguro, who had constructed a robotic double of himself, and she was instantly compelled to meet him. Whitton spent several months in Japan interviewing Ishiguro, as well as other scientists, and photographing their laboratories. The images that make up her series, What About the Heart?, focus heavily on the eerily lifelike faces that were constructed for the robots as a way to question the humanistic aspect of the subject. “In my photographs I am trying to subvert the traditional formula of portraiture and lure the audience into a debate on the boundaries that determine the dichotomy of the human/not human. The photographs become documents of objects that sit between scientific tool and horrid simulacrum.” [bjp_ad_slot] Whitton’s images are accompanied by …


An archive for modern times

When a chance encounter in 2010 saw an archive of several thousand prints and negatives come into Ania Dabrowska’s possession, little did the Polish-born artist know she would have her hands full for the best of part of the next four years. Dabrowska had been running an artist residency programme in north London with Space Studios at Arlington House, a London hostel for homeless men and women, when Diab Alkarssifi – a resident at the hostel – came to her with an archive spanning 100 years of Middle Eastern cultural and political history. Alkarssifi – a former photojournalist from Lebanon – had immigrated to the UK with his family in 1993, and brought with him as much of his 27,000-photograph strong archive as he could carry. The collection, which dates from 1889 to 1993, features photographs taken by Alkarssifi documenting family and public life in his home city of Baalbeck, the Lebanese Civil Wars, and his student days in 1970s Moscow and Budapest, as well as family albums of his extended family, friends and neighbours, among others. It lay hidden for 17 years until Alkarssifi brought it to Dabrowska’s attention. …


BJP Staff