“I wanted to form a collective, which could exist outside the rules of convention; a collective of people as lost as myself”
Coco Capitán, Laia Abril, Roger Ballen, Joshua Lutz, and Bex Day, respond to the theme the mind for Mental Health Awareness week 2020 — the next article in a new series inviting artists to respond to a theme with image and text
Succeeding the museum’s founding director, Jean-Luc Monterosso, Simon Baker plans to open up both its collection and its programme to audiences, carving out a space for emerging artists, fashion photography, ideas on geography, and newer names to the city’s rich artistic ecosystem. “We have to think about what isn’t being done in the photographic landscape in France,” he explains. “We really want to support younger artists – particularly with solo shows. While there are amazing fairs and group shows, that’s something that’s been missing.”
What better way to start, then, than with a solo exhibition by Coco Capitán? Since she graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2016, the 26-year-old Spanish artist has become a never-predictable presence. Her work is always dynamic and often playful, but underpinned by a precision and a poignancy too – whether created for, and thanks to fashion, such as her ongoing artistic collaboration with Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, or her diverse self-initiated series comprising text and paint along with traditional photography.
Fashion photography is changing – as Holly Hay and Shonagh Marshall, co-curators of a new three-part project entitled Posturing: Photographing the Body in Fashion, will attest. In November 2017, the pair held a London exhibition which placed 42 framed photographs and six magazine shoots in a west London space. It called into question both the function of this branch of contemporary image-making and the changing role of the figure in fashion imagery, placing work by Johnny Dufort, Marton Perlaki, Charlie Engman, Brianna Capozzi and others side by side. The show was followed by a specially commissioned film by artist Coco Capitán, Learning to Transcend the Physical Barrier That Owning a Body Implies, examining the respective practices of a choreographer, an artist and the founder of a traditional film-based darkroom, interrogating physical selfhood in all of its guises. This month, they launch the third part – a book created with Self Publish, Be Happy, in which photographers, stylists, editors and set designers respond to ideas about the body in fashion.