This article was originally published in issue #7892 of British Journal of Photography. As a free gift to our community during the coronavirus lockdown, we are offering it as a free digital edition here. Male privilege permeates the private clubs depicted in Karen Knorr’s series, Gentlemen – hidden spaces where the act of exclusion protects the power of those invited in. Spread throughout St James’s, a historically wealthy area in central London, grand Georgian buildings housed, and continue to house, the playgrounds of the rich: extended living rooms for royalty, politicians, new and old money. In perpetuating racial, class and gender divisions, the clubs, which Knorr photographed from 1981 to 1983, safeguarded the ascendency of a privileged few. Now, Knorr’s series is being shown as part of the Barbican Art Gallery’s latest blockbuster show, Masculinities: Liberation through Photography (currently closed due to the coronavirus lockdown in London). Knorr was born in Germany to American parents, grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, studied in Paris, and moved to London in the summer of 1976. She wanted …
“A lot of people have thought of marking the centenary,” says Tracy Marshall, director of development and partnerships at Open Eye Gallery and co-director of Northern Narrative arts initiative. “But they just haven’t managed to do it.”
We’re talking about the 209 Women initiative, in which 209 photographers are taking portraits of the 209 women MPs in the UK parliament. It does seem like a project that was asking to happen, with 2018 marking both 100 years since (some) women got the vote here, and also the year that the first female MP was elected in this country. But, with 418 photographs and politicians to co-ordinate plus many, many other stakeholders and committees, actually achieving it has been quite a feat. What’s seen it through has been teamwork, with the photographer and academic Hilary Wood, who came up with the idea, getting together with hundreds of other women – and men – to make it happen.
“It’s been a huge collaborative effort,” she says. “We had to take it to the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art to get it approved, and we then had to ask each MP individually if they wanted to get involved. The fact that they overwhelmingly gave their support shows how relevant this project is. And what I was really pleased about was that we got cross-party support – every single party is involved.”
Chrystel Lebas has won the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Photography Book Award, beating off the two other shortlisted photographers – Stephen Gill and Dayanita Singh. Lebas won the prize for Field Studies: Walking through Landscapes and Archives, which she published with Dutch outfit FW: Books. Field Studies is framed by the work of 20th century botanist Sir Edward James Salisbury, particularly his glass plate negatives from the 1920s, retracing his steps and making new images in the same Scottish landscapes. Gill was shortlisted for Night Procession, which he self-published through his imprint Nobody Books; Singh was shortlisted for her multi-book project Museum Bhavan, which was published by Steidl.
First awarded back in 1985, the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Best Photography Book prize is one of the oldest in the business. Previous winners include Sergio Larrain (with Vagabond Photographer in 2014), Susan Meiselas (with In History in 2009), Boris Mikhailov (with Case History in 2000), and Eugene Richards (with Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue in 1994); this year three contemporary image-makers have made the shortlist – Stephen Gill, Chrystel Lebas, and Dayanita Singh. Gill has been nominated for the book Night Procession, which he self-published through his imprint Nobody Books. Shot using motion-sensor cameras in rural southern Sweden, where Gill moved with his family in 2014, the book reveals nocturnal animal activity in the dark forests. The book also includes an essay by Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgȃrd, who is best-known for his series of six autobiographies, Min Kamp [My Struggle]. Chrystel Lebas won a place on the shortlist with Field Studies: Walking through Landscapes and Archives, which is published by Dutch organisation FW: Books). Her work retraces the steps of British botanist Sir Edward James Salisbury, creating new images in the same …
“When I returned to the work, the notion of place became the focus precisely because of what had not changed in their social landscape over 20 years”
This October photographers have taken over the popular Art on a Postcard fundraiser run by The Hepatistis C Trust. Over 1000 unique works will be available for £50, with big names such as Jim Goldberg, Martin Parr and Wolfgang Tillmans joining in alongside less-familiar talents. In total 1200 lottery tickets will be available, with the postcards assigned at random to ticket-holders on 30 October. The images will go on show at theprintspace, Shoreditch from 12-24 October, with a private view on 12 October; in addition all the images, and a full list of the participating image-makers can also be seen at www.artonapostcard.com/photo-postcard/ Tickets are bought online at www.artonapostcard.com/shop/ and all money raised will go to The Hepatitis C Trust’s campaign to eliminate hepatitis C from the UK by 2030.
Martin Parr, Bill Brandt, Karen Knorr, Shirley Baker, Brian Griffin, Daniel Meadows, Chris Steele-Perkins, Mark Power, Tom Wood, Roger Mayne, and Tony Ray-Jones are all showing work in a new exhibition hosted by Burberry during London Fashion Week (and beyond). Installed over three floors in Burberry’s new show venue – the 18th century, Grade 2-listed Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell, London – Here We Are will include over 200 images by more than 30 photographers from 18 September-01 October
When does campaigning documentary photography become political art? Probing this question is at the heart of the latest issue of BJP, which looks at contemporary depictions of wealth and the structures that support it. The global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 has provoked an outpouring of feeling towards the so-called ‘one percent’ and a new wave of creative responses. It’s a subject that’s having a moment, and rather than the traditional documentation of marginalised communities we’re seeing photographers who are turning their cameras towards the wealthy and privileged. We’ve just scratched the surface in this issue, which features seven recent series, one curatorial project and one archival body of work recently published as a book. But in producing it, we hoped to find out how these projects were made – and perhaps more importantly, why. There’s a range of styles on display that interrogate these ideas in complex ways: while Dougie Wallace has shot in-your-face street portraits, using a flash “to bring out the ridiculous in the situation”, Zed Nelson doesn’t want to “vilify” …