Paris Photo is epic, but beyond the Grand Palais there’s a plethora of other photo-related events in the French capital. For those interested in photobooks there are two essential book fairs – Offprint and Polycopies, both showcasing some of the most interesting new work in photography and beyond; there is also a week-long photo focus at the world-famous Left Bank bookshop Shakespeare & Co.
Phoebe Kiely was 14 years old when she first picked up a camera. It was terrible, though: a four megapixel digital device from Aldi. But despite the poor quality, Kiely became obsessed with taking pictures. One of the earliest photographs she remembers was of her best friend, Amanda, captured in the garden of Kiely’s family home in Ingoldsby, Lincolnshire. “It’s a picture of her on a small trampoline,” she says. “I’m above her and she’s curled up, looking up at me.” The Aldi camera was replaced with a film camera when Kiely hit her late teens and the “buzz” of shooting, developing and seeing the final results of her pictures became stronger. It was what helped her get through three years of working in retail after finishing her A-levels in 2009. “I remember running into town during my 15-minute morning break to drop my film off,” she says. “I would walk back during my lunch hour to pick up the pictures. It was the most exciting part of the day.” Kiely graduated in 2015 with …
Alighting at Peckham Rye train station in south London, a short walk across a busy market street takes you to the Bussey Building complex, a former cricket-bat factory that is now home to an assortment of bars, music venues, yoga studios and art spaces, including the Copeland Gallery. This bright exhibition space is once again the main site of Peckham 24 festival of contemporary photography, celebrating its third edition this year and running over the weekend of 18 to 20 May to coincide with Photo London – more than the 24 hours with which it launched and gave it its name. “Last year we were literally pushing people out of the door at midnight,” laugh the co-founders, Vivienne Gamble, whose Seen Fifteen gallery is in a nearby space, and artist Jo Dennis.
“I was asked to photograph a concert for one of the bands, and from the get-go I was visualising a book,” says Icelandic photographer and musician Verði ljós. “Black metal bands have a really strong look. It’s like its own aesthetic world.” His book Svartmálmur is a portrait of Iceland’s thriving black metal scene, designed to take the reader on a journey akin to listening to an album. ljós is also known as Hafsteinn Viðar Ársælsson, founder of solo black metal project Wormlust, and was able to give an insider’s insight into the genre – which though celebrated overseas, is often overlooked back home. “The only [local] media that ever mentions its existence is a Reykjavik tourist magazine not even aimed at the natives,” he says. “It’s partly why I wanted to document us. The scene is singularly important culturally and I’m proud that I was the one to photograph it.” Familiar with the “awkward dance macabre between the band and the photographer” from both sides of the lens, ljós was keen to show off …
The founding editor of Splash and Grab magazine and photo director at PORT Magazine picks out his top five of the year – including Suzie Howell’s Inside the Spider show
In Money Must Be Made, Lorenzo Vitturi’s latest photobook, the photographs address the question of how, not merely where. It is not exceptional to visit a market in Lagos with a camera, especially if, as white, you are working within a tradition of photography that depicts Africans in despair and as NGO-needy. What distinguishes this work is the complexity suggested, an indication that the market – one of the largest in west Africa – is connected to its people and products in many, many ways.
With so much to see condensed into one city over the course of five days during Paris Photo (09-12 November), you’d be tempted to skip round the 149 galleries lining the elegant, glass-topped halls of the Grand Palais in a couple of hours, or even miss the main event altogether, as many do. That would be a mistake. You won’t get a better snapshot of what constitutes saleable photography in 2017, from the blue-chip North American dealers such as Gagosian, Pace MacGill and Howard Greenberg, to the work of younger artists championed by the likes of Project 2.0, Trapéz and Taik Persons. And eavesdropping on the sales patter can be a real an eye-opener.
The first time Self Publish, Be Happy was invited into Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, its programme included selfie stick aerobics and tectonic crystal healing. The second time it focused on the virtual world. This time, SPBH founder Bruno Ceschel wants to focus in on ideas.
The photography collector, dealer, curator, editor, artist and soon-to-be gallerist on what made the year for him