By: David Schonauer
Publish Date: May 14, 2017, 12:25 p.m.
Should you go to London or Madrid this spring?
Why not both?
Britain’s biggest photography photo art fair, Photo London, runs from May 18 to 21, and this year’s edition is pushing boundaries, notes the British Journal of Photography, which has a preview. Last year’s fair featured 84 galleries from 19 countries and drew more than 35,000 visitors over its five-day run, collectors and photography professionals included. Most of London’s commercial photography dealers will be represented this year at Somerset House. In addition, a number of major institution are programming events to coincide with the fair, following the lead of Tate Modern, which has staged Offprint London in its Turbine Hall since the fair’s inception in 2015.
Meanwhile, BJP also looks at what’s coming up in the 20th edition of the PHotoEspaña festival, which gets underway on May 31 and runs through August 27. The event’s curator, Spanish photographer Alberto Garcia-Alix, has taken a radical approach, celebrating work that, he says, “lives outside the norms because it feeds off what is most intimate and passionate in the author.”
“We kept hearing from people that ‘there’s no market for photography in London, there’s no interest. These were people in the industry and they should have known better,” says Michael Benson, one of the two founding directors of Photo London, in an interview with the British Journal of Photography. Now that the fair has established itself as a key fixture on the international photography calendar, notes the BJP in a preview of the event, it’s organizers are pushing the boundaries this year with a headline show by Taryn Simon and an expanded Discovery section, featuring work from younger dealers.
CHAPTER XI, A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII, 2011, Taryn Simon
Simon, who works with conceptual themes guided by extensive research, will present “Image Atlas,” a work that investigates cultural differences and similarities by indexing top image results for given search terms across local engines throughout the world. Among other highlights: William Klein will develop a new 18-metre-wide mural in Somerset House, while Juergen Teller will present a special exhibition in the Great Arch Hall using “the latest virtual reality technology.” Mat Collishaw will also re-stage British scientist William Henry Fox Talbot’s first public exhibition.
Dorothy with light face, 1962, William Klein
Wet collodion print, Mat Collishaw
Cafe with photo of Dylan Thomas, Laugharne, Wales, GB 1974, David Hurn
Magnum Photos will be celebrating its 70th anniversary at Photo London, with photographers Martin Parr and David Hurn curating a selection of works the latter has compiled through six decades of swapping prints with fellow photographers. Hurn’s own images will be juxtaposed with shots by Bill Brandt, Bruce Davidson, Sergio Larrain and Diana Markosian, and others.
“Like a spark. An intense current of excitement. We convulse. We fill ourselves with resonances. The comprehension of the universe as the last act. That is the great subliminal power that art has. The exaltation of the being.”
So says Spanish photographer Alberto Garcia-Alix, who has been given free hand as curator of the 20th edition of PHotoEspaña, one of the world’s premier photography festivals. He has selected cult and obsessive projects, many of which have an element of sexual subversion, notes BJP.
Mexico, 2014, Antoine d’Agata
Estate Karlheinz Weinberger, Paris, 2017
L’éperon d’Amour, 1965-1967, Pierre Molinier
La Gatta at the club Las vegas, 2016, Teresa Margolles
The work includes French photographer and filmmaker Antoine d’Agata’s scenes of sexual encounter and the late Pierre Molinier’s fetishistic self-portraits, as well as Karlheinz Weinberger’s voyeuristic photographs of “rockers, bikers, lovers or rent boys.” Also featured will be photographer Teresa Margolles’s images of transexual sex workers standing in the ruins of clubs closed due to drugs and violence. standing in the ruins of clubs closed due to drugs and violence
At top: Andrea at the Discoteca La Madelon, 2016, Teresa Margolles