When a Mexican curator invited Pieter Hugo over to make new work, “His only brief to me,” says the photographer, “was that it be about sex and mortality”. So began a two-year inquiry into the country’s complex relationship with life, death and the afterlife
Akasha Rabut’s decade-long document of New Orleans delivers a powerful message about resilience and community during the current pandemic
“I am mostly self-taught, learning from experiences. I definitely didn’t follow a conventional art student route”
Before REM, the band he fronted for more than three decades, there was photography.
When the first issue of Huck went to press in 2006, it was quite different to what it is today. Started by a team of friends passionate about the skate and surf scenes, and formed soon after the closure of Adrenalin magazine, where many of them had worked, it championed the personal stories of the sports’ icons and surrounding culture, rather than the action. Though still passionate about radical culture, Huck is now decidedly less niche.
“Over the years, the voice we’ve always had as an alternative to the mainstream became more relevant to more people,” says Andrea Kurland, who has been part of the team from the start, and became editor-in-chief in 2010. “As we’ve grown, the generation that grew up with us has become more socially and politically engaged. This is now very embedded in the magazine, so we’ve been bolder and braver with this particular world stance.”
“Music is a language for all humans; it gets under your skin and brings out and expresses strong emotions,” says Emily Stein, whose latest commission took her to a primary school in North London, where she photographed young children for Stella McCartney’s Kid’s fashion range
“The Beatles were inspired by different things on that album: it was created out of everyday things and everyday notions, even though people view it as a psychedelic masterpiece,” says Dean Chalkley ahead of a new exhibition launching in Shoreditch this week. His collection, Reverberation, takes its inspiration from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 50 years on from its release. Just like the original album, Reverberation is set to take people on a treasure hunt to find hidden meanings out of everyday realities.
This Friday, theprintspace are putting on a party. Lost in Music is a major exhibition of 500 photographs that document the history of dance music, from the early rumblings of DIY DJ nights to the behemoth that is modern club culture. In conjunction with PYMCA, the world’s largest youth culture picture agency, the Shoreditch photographic pro-lab hopes to create a visual story that includes the full breadth of the movement, including professional photographers as well as personal snapshots from club-goers and DJs. Photographers being exhibited include Normski, Dean Chalkley and Dougie Wallace. The exhibition will tour the UK starting from February, but on the 4th of December, theprintspace are hosting a club night at Village Underground – the venue will be plastered with paraphenalia from various eras, hundreds of clubgoers and of course, the photographs. Recruiting the likes of Dean Chalkley, Gavin Mills and the legendary Danny Rampling to man the decks, the aim is to present music photography in the most natural, inevitable setting: the club. I went down to theprintspace offices to find out …
Long-time fans of electronica, André Giesemann and Daniel Schulz decided to combine their love of the German techno scene and photography in a joint ongoing project. The pair began collaborating in 2009 on Vom Bleiben, which features ghostly images of the insides of clubs after the ravers have left. Their images, taken on a large format camera with a 75mm lens, seek to record the emptiness of these spaces just after the club nights have ended – “the moment when the traces of the event become visible”, says Hamburg-based Giesemann. “Most of these clubs we know, and have experienced. In a way, this series is like an archive of clubs for me and Daniel, who is based in Berlin, since some of the buildings aren’t around any more. Sometimes they only exist for a while as temporary spaces.” In these images, the harsh light, made even more intense by the long exposures used by the pair (sometimes of several minutes), reveals the debris from the activities of the night before. Used beer bottles overflow on bar tops; discarded cigarette packets lie strewn …
Forty years ago, in the months leading up to the release of Bruce Springsteen’s seminal Born to Run, photojournalist Barbara Pyle documented a band of young men on tour across America, unaware they were about to be catapulted from left-field obscurity to the forefront of American rock music. Pyle photographed Springsteen and The E Street Band in their native New Jersey habitat of Asbury Park to the Cajun splendour of New Orleans – where the band were touring the new material. She photographed them in her own family home in rural Oklahoma, and gives a broad mix of studio portraits, performance shots and travelogue images. “I first saw Bruce and the E Street Band by accident,” Pyle says. “I was blown away by their music. For the next year, I drove to as many of their gigs as I could reach. They jokingly started calling me their ‘official unofficial photographer’. I was just expected to be there, and I almost always was – on my self-imposed mission to document this little known New Jersey band. “I had the remarkable good fortune to spend most of …